It means "The last argument of kings".
December 7, 2012 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Ultima Ratio Regum is a middle-ground between roguelikes, RPGs and strategy games. It has no fantasy elements and seeks instead to be closer to a realistic history simulator, and a strategy/4x game which just happens to be in ASCII. Combat is rare and deadly – whilst these mechanics are modeled in detail, exploration, trade and diplomacy factors will have just as much effort put into them.
posted by boo_radley (23 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
I don't get it... or am dumb.

Created world... says "Select a world"... "Enter to confirm".... ENTER does nothing....
posted by Cosine at 3:47 PM on December 7, 2012

That is really, really pretty ASCII. Or I'm just used to Dwarf Fortress.
posted by postcommunism at 4:00 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

This looks pretty awesome. I'm a fan of Dwarf Fortress and URR seems clearly inspired by DF.

I ran it in WINE and it worked very well through world creation, but I got the same result Cosine did when I tried to start a game. Cosine: It's in alpha, so we can expect a lot of problems with it for the time being.

I'll be keeping my eye on this project for sure.
posted by agropyron at 4:01 PM on December 7, 2012

They're kind of pushing the definition of ASCII if they can rotate characters like that, but then, DF is actually OpenGL, using text characters as more of an excuse for not having an art department generating " assets", which more than anything else contributes to the Triple-A feel that too many players will snub anything that doesn't have.

Worth keeping an eye on, in any case.
posted by JHarris at 5:07 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm really excited about this after reading the info page. It sounds smart and cool as HELL. The "ASCII" is gorgeous. The concepts involved are deep, ambitious and such a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to see where it goes.
posted by naju at 5:11 PM on December 7, 2012

Look, my level 45 dwarf priest has hit level 60 of the dungeon in Angband. Do I need to look up for this?
posted by mollweide at 6:05 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

I hope ASCII sticks around as a bona-fide aesthetic. Indie developers shouldn't have to apologize for being unable to draw (or unable to convince someone who does to help out).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:07 PM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Cosine: "I don't get it... or am dumb.

Created world... says "Select a world"... "Enter to confirm".... ENTER does nothing....

It took about 5 minutes to create the world file, which is just about 64MB. Let it run.

... I'm a linguist!
posted by boo_radley at 6:09 PM on December 7, 2012

holy shit this skill tree
posted by boo_radley at 6:12 PM on December 7, 2012

Whoops, that's one of four pages of skill trees.


posted by boo_radley at 6:16 PM on December 7, 2012

My bitcoins are ready
posted by shakespearicles at 6:29 PM on December 7, 2012

Interesting, but it's not playable right now and the tutorial even seems not-yet-started.

Very ambitious scope. In some randomly generated solar systems, there are planets outside of "the earth" that are technically human habitable.

But the engine is interesting - but nothing revolutionary compared to the ones I remember from copying various roguelikes from a shareware CD-ROM in a caddy locked into a 8088 or maybe it was a 286 at the public library for my 386SX16 back in the day and being weirded by creepy old men while doing so, though. Never got that vibe from any other young-nerd venues like bookstores or Radioshack or other parts of the library.

Anyway, the display engine isn't anything new but it's the promise of the AI able to generate civilizations and economics independent of the player but potentially affected by the player that's really intriguing.

But not on display, yet, it doesn't look like.

Right now,
posted by porpoise at 8:58 PM on December 7, 2012

Hi all, developer here; thanks for the comments.

Re: pressing Enter on Select a World, I'm not sure what the problem is (I know this isn't a bug - you can explore the entire world fully!). Are you on the Start A New Game screen? Are you scrolling to a world that has "(free)" after it? That denotes that the world exists, but there is no player on it, and therefore it is free to add a player to.

Once you are in that screen and scroll to a created world (larger worlds do take longer to generate, and I know the save files are hefty; I'm working on that), pressing Enter should work. Does that make sense/work?
posted by UltimaRatioRegum at 5:41 PM on December 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Neat! Welcome to metafilter. How long have you been working on URR so far? The engine is pretty amazing -- I really liked the nightfall effect across the terrain and the pseudo ascii you're working with.
posted by boo_radley at 8:08 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tangentially related, I ran into this fun exploration game one click away from a recent Metafilter Projects post. It probably doesn't merit an FPP itself, but it's not entirely out of place here: Make No Wonder
posted by jepler at 8:30 PM on December 8, 2012

I believe Make No Wonder has been FPP'd before.
posted by JHarris at 8:54 PM on December 8, 2012

UltimaRadioRegum, no promises yet, but if you're up for it would you mind talking with us over at Roguelike Radio about it sometime for an episode?
posted by JHarris at 8:55 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

@Boo - thanks! About a year and a half. The first version was much more traditional fantasy fare; the latest version was much more about the generative art, the world generation, saving/loading, and setting things up for the coming versions. Very glad you liked the graphics; I'm really trying to push ascii/ansi to see what I can do with it, and get a lot of environmental variation according to season, time of day, weather (coming soon), etc. The same goes for dungeons, but they're still in the very, very early stages.

@ JHarris - I would absolutely love to (though lack of promises noted!). Let me know if/when, and I'll be there.
posted by UltimaRatioRegum at 2:49 AM on December 9, 2012

UltimaRatioRegum: I created a world using all the default parameters. Then from the main menu I went to 'Start new game' and hit enter. It asked to select a world, and I left the default highlighted: World 1 (free). I pressed enter, and it said "Loading", then never did anything else. That sounds like the same problem Cosine had.

I just tried again with the same result. I also generated a new world, and World 2 (free) also doesn't work. It still considers World 1 to be (free) after two attempts to start a game with it, so it's probably not getting very far in its process.

I'm running it in Wine on a Debian-derived system. (Trisquel GNU/Linux to be specific.)

(Maybe it just takes a very very long time to load? I'll let it sit for a while.)
posted by agropyron at 11:19 AM on December 9, 2012

@ Agropyron - even on a 'Large' map, it shouldn't take over 30 seconds. A 'small' map shouldn't take more than around 10. It's not producing an error log, is it? As I've only just joined Metafilter, if bug-related discussions aren't appropriate for this page, could you send me a mail, either on here, or mark at ultimaratioregum
posted by UltimaRatioRegum at 11:32 AM on December 9, 2012

It loaded after a few minutes. I'll email you for troubleshooting... this thread would be better used for discussing the game itself.

I just got myself some slashing weapon skills!
posted by agropyron at 11:35 AM on December 9, 2012

Yeah, I think I might have spoken too soon with an offer to discuss this on Roguelike Radio, because I just wandered around a few minutes and other than trees and grass I found nothing at all. Are there actually opponents in the game yet?
posted by JHarris at 9:08 PM on December 10, 2012

@ JHarris - I suspected you might have, but I wasn't going to say :) - all the focus is going into world generation (in the broadest sense, i.e. including myths, history, religion, etc) and UI/under-the-hood stuff at the moment. You are the only creature on Earth, currently - come the version after next, I'm going to be working on dungeons, tombs, temples, ruins and the like, and starting on the actual gameplay portion of the game. I mean, I would actually suggest a portion of the gameplay is exploring the depth of the world (or will be when all the histories and myths and so on exist), but I totally understand if you want to wait until there's more gameplay/mechanics present.
posted by UltimaRatioRegum at 2:50 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

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