NEWSOBJECTIVESTASKSREQUESTS


General Information and Guide

NEWS

01-Aug-2012 – DEV DIARY – Current work

18-Feb-2012 – SUPPORT US – Page updated, be the first to learn about our investment offer

01-Jan-2012 – DEV DIARY – Brief overview

20-Oct-2011 Public release 3.1j has improvements for the original ToE campaign

19-Oct-2011 – DEV DIARY – Release at H6 launch

13-Oct-2011 Public release 3.1i has a finely tuned hero flee threshold, the town portal spell and many more substantial improvements

08-Oct-2011 Beta 3.1.15 has a more finely tuned game balance, no cheats, pure competition of skills

02-Sep-2011 – CONTENT – Concept art for the The Shifter Campaign

01-Jul-2011 – DEV DIARY – Non-cheating AI

OBJECTIVES

Important: Eternal Essence has evolved since we first introduced it. Eternal Essence is part Civilization, Dragon Age and Heroes. There is an explanation at our own community board for Eternal Essence. The information there is currently a bit scattered because we are just at the beginning stages and focus on the real development work. But it will be improved in time.

On the other hand these pages here are mostly related to its origin in Heroes. The site will be upgraded to reflect these developments once we get around to a relaunch.

What confuses many people is the fact that we are both. We do a mod for Heroes, like DotA is a Warcraft mod, and develop an independent game Eternal Essence at the same time. We use Heroes as a staging area to develop a much more advanced and ambitious game.


OBJECTIVES (HEROES V)

The primary goal of this project is to reimagine Heroes V and to create a strategy game that comes close to the vision its fans have. This includes the AI, new refined adaptable gameplay rules and enhancements to the original game, an advanced modding interface, better tools and a new campaign.

Heroes V can be much more than just the little brother of Heroes VI. It can be an independently evolving strategy game that is driven by a community and emerges as the premier modding destination for this genre. It is a unique project in the industry, for a community to take the reigns of a mature strategy title and to create a blueprint for a more advanced game.

It is also meant to excel in a number of ways and to provide an incentive to the developers of Heroes VI to create a game and add-ons that are more ambitious than what Heroes V has achieved.

DOWNLOAD

The current build is available at H5AI_31.zip (10.6 MB). This zip archive contains a readme with installation instructions.

PARTICIPATION

You are invited to join us. This website is organized into several categories: AI, modding, tools, gameplay and content. Each category has a section with news, that describes the most recent updates, and objectives to outline what we are focusing on and what lays ahead. Additionally, the section tasks lists what work is currently being done.

Last but not least each category has a section titled requests. You can request any feature you would like to see in the game. The regular way to do this is to post your request on our community board. Please do not contact me directly.

Bear in mind that change requests which alter fundamental game features need a consent in the community to be approved. This is somewhat relaxed for features that can be made optional.

Keep also in mind that we have clear objectives and priorities. Priorities derive mostly from the requirement that we want to get done as much as possible with the resources we have. So, if you were requesting a feature that alters some specifics, for example how building X works in town Z, and this requires lots of research how this can be done, the chances are slim that this feature gets implemented.

On the other hand, if you ask for a general enhancement and can say I know in which data format it is stored and in which folder location, and what the requirements are to add it to the game, but just have no clean way to load it into the runtime, you might find yourself surprised how fast your requested feature gets into the game.

So it depends on you. It also helps if you can make a strong case why a feature enhances the game and the community approves.

MOTIVATION

The motivation for this project came originally from the desire to have a fast, non-cheating and challenging AI. In a way I believe that the AI is the core of a strategy game, and once this works, we can delve into using it for many advanced and interesting gameplay features. Buf if it doesn't, we mainly have to deal with workarounds. So, if you are interested in the motivation behind this project, read the objectives section in the AI category.

In the end strategy is about the balance of power and what you can achieve with a given leverage. If the AI cannot hold its own and contest the player's forces, the challenge is a shallow one indeed, not necessarily easy, more like grind work and lacks the elegance of strategic mastery.

But I am also aware that it is the content that makes a strategy game live and breathe. Map making is an important part of it.

What I hope for is that we can create maps for human and AI players who adapt to this balance of power and give their best to shift it to their advantage. Maps that are designed around an inherent balance of power where two or more sides contest strategic locations and resources by skill. It will be a learning process to figure out how this is done properly, but I believe this is a worthy goal.

The graphics of computer games matured around the time H5 appeared, games do not age visually as fast as in earlier generations. While you can always do more, make no mistake the visuals for the type of game, genre and setting that we have at hand are stunning and the combat animations Nival created outstanding.

It is up to us to fill this game with life. If we have a fully working AI we can create all sorts of subtle and advanced gameplay that brings this stunningly beautiful world to life. It's not only about strategic contest, a fully featured AI can enable gameplay elements that have yet to be seen in strategy games, destructive and constructive alike.

Think big. We can do anything we can imagine and get to work. We are not limited by a design document. We have an enormous freedom and opportunity to develop an entirely fresh game as we see fit.

Quantomas (AI programmer, scientist, inventor)

COMMUNITY LINKS

We have our own community board at Eternal Essence.

Until recently our discussion thread was located at Heroes Community > H5 - Modders Workshop > New Unofficial Patch. You might find a lot of information still there.

BUG TRACKING AND KNOWN ISSUES

Known issues and limitations are listed in the tasks section of each category. General errors and crash causes are listed in the gameplay category. Errors that can be clearly attributed to the AI, its behaviour and issues that appear during turn processing, are listed in the AI category.

You can report new bugs in our central bug tracking thread located at Heroes Community > H5 - Modders Workshop > Bugs and Known Issues or at our own community board at Eternal Essence.

If you would like to help with debugging and fine-tuning the AI behaviour, please use the latest beta build. This build tracks data in log files and also includes a version for observing the entire map.

BETA BUILDS UNDER DEVELOPMENT

You can download the current beta build from H5AI_31n_beta.zip (12.3 MB).

This is the build with the latest upgrades, enhancements and bug fixes. Beta means that it hasn't seen extensive playtesting yet, but otherwise it's supposed to be an improvement in every aspect.

SCHEDULED TASKS

CHANGE REQUESTS