Archive for the ‘Solium Infernum’ Category

Solium Infernum Survey

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

If you are a forum member at my Cryptic Comet forums and have the time to share some data on how your Solium Infernum games (PBEM) have ended, I would appreciate your input. I’m trying to get a sense of just how often games are being won by prestige vs. the capture of pandemonium vs. a rogue excommunicated player eliminating everyone. Here is a link to the thread.

Solium Infernum Survey Thread

Solium Infernum Update 1.06

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Update Instructions:

The 1.06 update is compatible with all save games from previous versions. It can be applied to any previous update version.

Multiplayer PBEM Note: I strongly recommend that hosts update to this version. All other players should as well but many of the key fixes are for the turn resolution performed by the host.

You apply it by overwriting the three files AIScripts.cxt, MainIFace.cxt and GameEngine.cxt in the Solium Infernum install directory which is usually Program Files\Cryptic Comet\Solium Infernum

You can use a .zip file here: Solium Infernum Update 1.06 ZIP

Or a self extracting .exe here: Solium Infernum Update 1.06 .Exe

Important:
For the self extracting .exe, some windows systems will not let you copy directly to Program Files so you might need to first copy them to your desktop or another writable location and then manually copy the three files over.

Bug Fix And Change Notes (Only Partial):

Fixed bug where player perk bonuses where not being added to deceit roll for frame attempt success

The bonus for Pandemonium in determining successful framing for hostile rituals is now 10 instead of 8

If a player has demonic premonitions active and is the target of a ritual (not the player being framed) then they now receive their Prophecy roll number as a bonus when determining whether frame attempts are successful

Fixed bug in AI selection of Rain of Brimstone and Vile Oath

Fixed bug where player could be excommunicated by event and still selected regent

Fixed bug where paying to continue Planar Lock did not actually continue the lock effect

Implemented update message to target of Planar Lock that has been continued to the next turn

Fixed bug where wrong message was sent when player performed rituals against Pandemonium and was excommunicated

Fixed bug where loyalty for legions was not getting demonic premonitions bonus when events that required a loyalty check occurred

Fixed bug in AI goal that directed the destruction of opponent’s legions

Fixed error in display of 3 digit resource stockpiles

Fixed bug in Dire Dissipation ritual so that attributes as well as hit points are permanently reduced (as the manual says they should be)

Increased average reformation times of personal guard legions for lower infernal rank Archfiends

Fixed AI bug where wrong support ritual was being performed during attacks on unclaimed Places of Power

Increased range threat threshold that AI uses for determining threats to own stronghold by excommunicated players

Fixed AI bug where goal processing cycled endlessly between goals for buffing up legion for attack and moving legion to attack because battle success chances did not match

Fixed AI bug where even though a Machine was completed it did not get constructed if the AI prioritized a different goal because the Create Machine goal was removed from the stack and also not in the possible goals pool

Fixed bug where excommunication of player removed all mod objects from player and not just mod objects that were Infernal Conclave Decrees

Cyberstratege Interview

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Bertrand over at Cyberstratege put together a fairly in-depth (and tough from my perspective) interview with the help of some of the lounge lizards (and I mean that in a good way 🙂 ) from the Cryptic Comet Forums. You can read the interview here.

Quality Analysis

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Dubious Quality is such a great name for Bill Harris’ blog since the quality of the analysis you get there is anything but dubious….from NPD numbers, the great console wars to musings on outcomes of games’ industry litigation, Bill always hits the mark with a keen eye and economical articulation. So I should have mentioned this on Monday but [insert generic excuse here that deflects from my incompetence]. Bill has started a detailed play guide for SI which you will want to read as it includes some great observations about the game.

Here is the first entry

And Thanks! Bill.

Solium Infernum Update 1.05c

Monday, March 8th, 2010

The main point of this update is to correct a problem that occurs in games with Blood Vassals and Blood Lords where the Blood Vassal does not get credit for actions during Vendettas. If you are a host for a PBEM game then I would recommend you update. There are some other fixes as well but the main one is the Blood Vassal problem.

The update is compatible with 1.05b and 1.05a. If you have a lower version than 1.05a then I would strongly recommend that you upgrade

You can use a .zip file here: Solium Infernum Update 1.05c ZIP

Or a self extracting .exe here: Solium Infernum Update 1.05c .Exe

The Three Amigos Indie Bundle

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

If you follow this blog at all you have probably figured out that I am a bit of a loner and maybe marginally agoraphobic…at the least I have serious hermit tendencies that are coddled by my ability to make a living via the internet. However, sometimes misery loves company. So when Cliff Harris and Chris Park approached me about doing an indie strategy game bundle that would offer our latest games I didn’t think twice about it. Being associated with two quality designers like Cliff and Chris is great business sense and I’ve followed and enjoyed their games. If you haven’t heard about Gratuitous Space Battles (Cliff) or AI War Fleet Command (Chris) then you have been hiding under a bigger rock than mine 🙂 Seriously though, if you are a strategy fan then you should check them out. You can also grab up all three of our games (and the expansions for GSB and AI War) for the bargain price of $49.99.

A Word Of Caution

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I just wanted to offer a word of caution for players of Solium Infernum. The Diplomatic Protocols of the Infernal Conclave can be deceptive. Many Archfiends tend to get lost in them scheming of how to time their insults and demands and how to manipulate the rules to their own advantage. Some begin to think inside of the diplomatic box and forget that rules are only useful if other players follow them. This results in a false sense of security that your stronghold, your seat of power is safe. This is never the case since the slightest transgression against the sanctity of Pandemonium will result in excommunication for a player and that means that the heretic no longer need obey the Infernal Protocols.

If you have a neighbor who is within quick marching or flying distance to your stronghold always be on guard. Consider placing a combat card in one of your stronghold’s attachment slots just to add some uncertainty. You never know when a desperate, vindictive or just plain crazy Archfiend will pick the go for broke with excommunication gambit. It might not make sense to you but you need to keep yourself thinking outside the box….or at least pop your head out of it every once in a while to get an appreciation for the lay of the land. Nothing in Hell is certain except punishment.

Pain And Punishment

Phill Cameron Chit Chat

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I meant to post this but my mini-crunch on 1.05b side tracked me a bit. Anyway, I did an interview with Phill for Game Set Watch/Gamasutra where I pick open the fun game price scab and also talk about future plans for SI and my new project Rogue Expedition. I’m having a lot of fun putting RE together right now. Design is always the most kick-ass part of the whole process 🙂 I hope to have some interesting posts here soon on how I am approaching this Rogue-like board game on a computer…..influences, design goals, and what I am playing right now for inspiration.

Solium Infernum Update 1.05b Release

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Update Instructions:

The 1.05b update is compatible with all save games from previous versions. It can be applied to any previous update version.

Multiplayer PBEM Note: I strongly recommend that hosts update to this version. All other players should as well but 1.05a and 1.05b are compatible. There are a lot of nice fixes here though so I would encourage all players to update especially if you have lots of excommunication going on in games.

Thanks to everybody who tested out the beta and to all the bug submissions I got over the last few days….some were really nice finds that I am happy to have terminated.

You apply it by overwriting the three files AIScripts.cxt, MainIFace.cxt and GameEngine.cxt it the Solium Infernum install directory which is usually Program Files\Cryptic Comet\Solium Infernum

You can use a .zip file here: Solium Infernum Update 1.05b ZIP

Or a self extracting .exe here: Solium Infernum Update 1.05b .Exe

Important:
For the self extracting .exe, some windows systems will not let you copy directly to Program Files so you might need to first copy them to your desktop or another writable location and then manually copy the three files over.

Bug Fix Notes (Only Partial):

Fixed bug where attaching Praetor with level bonus to Place of Power resulted in PoP gaining that level bonus to its level permanently

Fixed bug where player did not get refunded prestige wager from Vendetta when opponent was excommunicated.

Fixed bug where legion returned to Bazaar for lack up upkeep displayed EOF text for artifacts and relics attached.

Fix bug with Dimensional Gate ritual that allowed player to abuse targeting process

Fixed bug where legion that was bought in Bazaar but did not have valid Canton to deploy to had inspect icon on message that caused script error when clicked on.

Fixed bug in level up response message for Praetor who defeated Champion of Pandemonium

Fixed bug where player was excommunicated multiple times with repeat messages and the excommunication list also had multiple entries for player causing problems with Expel the Heretic event and Dissolution of the Conclave

Fixed bug where event to reinstate excommunicated players was not working properly when one player could not be reinstated due to the fact that they were occupying Pandemonium at the time.

Fixed bug where player removed from game was not also removed from excommunication list

Fixed bug in Conclave dissolution process where loss of Pandemonium due to event could result in control being assigned to Conclave which does not exist

Fixed bug where you could dismiss Personal Guard under certain conditions

Fixed bug where Bribing an enemy legion without having a valid deploy hex caused an error

Fixed bug where removal of a player from the game could cause incorrect visibility data for newly created legions in the Bazaar

Fixed bug for Strategic Confusion ritual where selecting invalid target messed up remaining targeting choices

Biting Off More Than….

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

you can chew….You need to be able to admit it and moving on is sometimes the best option as bitter as it tastes to swallow that pill. I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few weeks – on and off trying to prototype a new twist to Solium Infernum that I was going to release as a free mini expansion pack. I have dropped it once, then moved onto a more compact mini-expansion idea and then tried another stab at the “big idea” approach and now finally realized that I need to moderate my ambition….otherwise a mini-expansion pack is going to morph into a full blown expansion pack and that’s just not something I want to approach at this point. But for S & G’s documentation sake here is how the “big idea” really was too big for now.

The “big idea” actually seemed pretty simple: Let one player assume the role of avenging Angelic Hosts that launch incursions into the Infernal Pit to punish the other players. The details proved however to be rather more complicated.

My main design goal was to do a twist on the Cults of the Wastelands mini expansion pack that I offered for Armageddon Empires except this time the role of the “spoiler” would be played by a human opponent. To do this I had to overcome a couple of big hurdles….invent a resource system for the Angelic Hosts player and come up with a win condition as well. The benefits would be great if I could pull this off. Ideally the Angelic Host player would offer yet another cooperate/defect dynamic to the game that would spice things up even more. It would be in all the Archfiends interests to make sure that the Angelic Host did not “win” the game but of course having the “Angelic Host” hammer your opponents would also be in a players interest as well. Balancing that dynamic would ideally add a whole range of new decisions.

The key design issues would then be how the Angelic Host player would interact with the Archfiends. Success for the Angelic Host player would mean loss of prestige for the players and most importantly the loss needed to be distributed unevenly. My initial idea was that the Angelic Host player would first send scouting parties to a Canton and then invest effort into setting up outposts and eventually stronger fortifications. This would result in an Archfiend having a continual drain on prestige the longer the Angelic Host operated with impunity in a players domain. I won’t go into other details other than I fiddled with a bunch of different rules variations…sometimes the outposts were hidden from all the players besides the one owning the Canton etc. Weight was given to locations that would border two or more Archfiends so that both would lose prestige and be able to act….and successfully removing an incursion fortification would gain the Archfiend prestige.

I already had a good idea how I wanted to handle the resource system for the Angelic Host player. I have always loved the design idea of players actions generating “negative action points” which can be used by other players to fuel resistance and roadblocks for the “acting” player. That type of system provides an elegant negative feedback mechanism to restrain would be leaders. One of the best examples of this type of mechanic is the wonderful little card game called dungeoneer So the basic idea would be that as the Archfiends used “souls” in their turn orders, the Angelic Host would be granted points to spend to torment the Archfiends.

The last key hurdle was coming up with a Victory condition for the Angelic Host and this was something that I only partially explored. There are a lot of possibilities ranging from the Angelic Host scoring Victory points to a build up for and conquest of Pandemonium that dissolves the Conclave and wins the game for the Angelic Host. I honestly didn’t get very far into this aspect before I realized that the whole endeavor was not working out well. In the prototyping I did getting the balance right for this idea proved really difficult. Putting a “spoiler” into the mix calls for a very deliberative approach to get it right and more importantly the design is way too ambitious for 4-6 weeks worth of work which is what I had planned for the free mini-expansion pack.

So I am going to back burner this and hopefully maybe come back to it as a more major expansion to the Solium Infernum universe. In the meantime I have gone back to the idea of a less revolutionary mini-expansion pack that smooths out some of the rough edges from the game.

So here is what I have in mind right now(and remember this could all change) and it will be a free addition for players who have already purchased the game:

Curses – Direct ways to affect your opponents’ prestige. The plan is for each Discipline except Diabolism to get a unique one.

Resource Fonts – Level up in a Discipline to level 3 and you can create an “Attachment” for a place of power/stronghold that gives you the chance each turn to receive a tribute card that contains an amount of the resource associated with the Discipline (Martial Skill => Ichor, Deceit => Darkness, Prophecy => Souls, Destruction => Hellfire) If you create one then your max Diabolism Level is capped at 6 minus the number of Fonts that you have created. Also if you create a font then the next font requires one level higher in the discipline you are choosing. i.e. if you created a soul font at level 3 Prophecy then a hellfire font will require level 4 in Destruction.

Assertion of Weakness – A new diplomatic action. Make an assertion of weakness before the Conclave against an opponent who has an unoccupied border hex adjacent to your holdings. The Conclave authorizes you to move into the single canton and remain there for X turns. If your opponent cannot eject you from the Canton (and only the Canton…this is not Vendetta) in X turns then you gain the Canton and he loses prestige (and you gain some as well).

New Praetors, Artifacts and Relics

New Events

A Regular Infernal Census
every 5 tokens where 1 prestige point is generated for each Canton held

I’m going to shoot for a May/June time frame for this and I’m still trying to think up a good name. 🙂