Author Topic: [Pretty sure, YES] Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?  (Read 19316 times)

Omega

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It's no secret that this board has been quiet for a long time. The last official GAE release was December 2010, almost TWO YEARS ago. Even the beta for version 0.4 was last released in October 2011, over a year ago. Since then, there's been hardly any progress with the engine. Besides MoLAos's fork, which is developed on a different path than GAE, there isn't any active development on the fork. There have been no new mods recently, with constellus having been long since abandoned and my own apocalyptic dawn as well. There hasn't been a single commit since September, but even beyond that, commits are few and far between. In other words, the possibility of version 0.4 being released is looking very slim. With the exception of Hailstone, most of the devs no longer frequent the board often, having last visited the board over a month ago. Long story short, the project is looking pretty much dead.

If that is the case, I think we'd be best off to archive the GAE threads and convert the board to full on MegaGlest. There's just no point having another fork lying around if it's never going to be developed.

This topic is meant to ask the community if they agree that the GAE project should be closed down and the rest of the board adapted for MegaGlest use. If this is the case, then the Wiki can also be adapted to be solely for MegaGlest, which would make the development easier and less confusing for future MegaGlest modders. If this proposal passes, I'll personally modify the board and wiki myself. Beyond that of the community, I also would like to hear the GAE devs take on this. I understand that real life comes first, and it can be hard to find time to develop a freeware project. As well, since it's more or less "your" project, it's really the final say of the devs. With that being said, GAE's really looking in limbo, and the MegaGlest project could always use more coders.

So again, if the community is in agreement, we'll:
  • Lock and archive the GAE category
  • Adapt the board to be better for MegaGlest: move the childboards to be proper categories of their own (MegaGlest logo at the top corner?); set MG devs to universal moderators
  • Archive the GAE portions of the wiki, making MegaGlest the dominant topic


Edit 2013-08-06 - Omega: Changed title
Edit 2016-12-31 - filux: Changed title, to all: please don't dare to say project is not dead until the time when source code (with history) will be available to download (again) ... and with at least one fresh commit
« Last Edit: 31 December 2016, 21:20:33 by filux »
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MoLAoS

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #1 on: 8 November 2012, 07:41:31 »
I don't think this is a good idea. MegaGlest has it's own website.

Your plan might be marginally helpful for MegaGlest in some ways but this is the Glest site for Vanilla Glest as well as the both main forks. It doesn't exist to service the needs of MegaGlest. That's what its own site is for.

You could simply make a MegaGlest section of the wiki or a new wiki just for MegaGlest. Then you don't need to have all the is this feature vanilla mg or gae type stuff with color coded backgrounds.

will

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #2 on: 8 November 2012, 07:52:36 »
I think this would be a good idea.

Make the top-level categories MG-specific and then put the classic Glest and the GAE boards under child boards

Something like:

Installation and getting started (MG-specific, but you don't need to say that in the title)
General Discussion (MG-specific, but you don't need to say that in the title)
Modding (again MG-specific, without child boards for maps and variations; just put it all in one big bucket; Tools in here too)
(the Glest Advanced Engine fork) (put everything about GAE under here, and put the board name in brackets so its subtly clear its inactive)
(archived forum) (includes all the old Glest boards)

Having too many boards at the top-level, and having too many boards in general, is not making it easier for new people to know where they go to interact with livies

Psychedelic_hands

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #3 on: 8 November 2012, 07:59:20 »
This is Pretty sad stuff...

GAE has been on long breaks before has it not? I  really hope that is the just the case this time as I fricking loved this game man.  0.4 seemed so close yet we never did quite get there, one last ticket has been haunting trac for months now. My one and only humble request would for that ticket to be closed and then one FINAL version would FINALLY be release (0.4). Just to give it a better ending and maybe inspire some modders to finish old projects (like me) I know I would probably try to fix the crincillin up to a respectable level if this happened. Wasn't Military ( sorry forgot the new name ) also waiting on 0.4 for a release?
I have been working on a new project a at slow but consistant pace for the last couple of weeks, just getting a couple of new models into the game, I'm not sure what the future of the project is but now this thread is making me think about stoping completely.The optimistic side me tells me we should go out and try to actively recruit new coders, but not sure if it's viable/worth doing.

About the forums, I'll stay out of that as I reckon well that should be left completely up to the developers.
« Last Edit: 8 November 2012, 08:12:22 by Psychedelic_hands »

Omega

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #4 on: 8 November 2012, 11:24:00 »
Your plan might be marginally helpful for MegaGlest in some ways but this is the Glest site for Vanilla Glest as well as the both main forks. It doesn't exist to service the needs of MegaGlest. That's what its own site is for.
True, but vanilla Glest is long since dead; there's no reason it should be used instead of a fork. That's why we archived all the vanilla Glest categories. If GAE has ended up as dead as vanilla Glest, then perhaps it's better to archive it as well. The code isn't going to disappear, but to be honest, there's not much of a reason to mod for GAE, since its audience is shrinking while MegaGlest's is growing. If it's never going to be developed, it's just going to die off. That's why I have to ask "where do we draw the line"? When do we decide that it's just not being developed and we should move to MegaGlest? Months ago, we were complaining about how two separate forks split the community. Perhaps it's better if there's only one?

You could simply make a MegaGlest section of the wiki or a new wiki just for MegaGlest. Then you don't need to have all the is this feature vanilla mg or gae type stuff with color coded backgrounds.
We can, and if this proposal to close up the GAE section fails, we may have to segregate the wiki for the convenience of modders. I initially kept the MG and GAE documentation closely conjoined to ease modding for both engines, but if only one engine is going to be actively used, the joined documentation only serves to confuse.

Make the top-level categories MG-specific and then put the classic Glest and the GAE boards under child boards
I suppose that's an alternative, but it sounds more confusing to me. We'd have childboards for a (potentially?) inactive project. While it shows that the project is smaller than MegaGlest, it's not clear as to GAE's "place". I agree having too many boards in general is detrimental, but keeping all these childboards seems detrimental too. Still, I think it's a good idea to move the old archives to be a child board of an archived "Vanilla Glest" board. In fact, I did that already and it looks much cleaner. If the GAE board is archived, its child boards will remain child boards.

But basically, you'd "lightly" depreciate the GAE boards by implying all other boards are "geared towards" MG without actually archiving the GAE board?

GAE has been on long breaks before has it not? I  really hope that is the just the case this time as I fricking loved this game man.  0.4 seemed so close yet we never did quite get there, one last ticket has been haunting trac for months now. My one and only humble request would for that ticket to be closed and then one FINAL version would FINALLY be release (0.4). Just to give it a better ending and maybe inspire some modders to finish old projects (like me) I know I would probably try to fix the crincillin up to a respectable level if this happened. Wasn't Military ( sorry forgot the new name ) also waiting on 0.4 for a release?
I have been working on a new project a at slow but consistant pace for the last couple of weeks, just getting a couple of new models into the game, I'm not sure what the future of the project is but now this thread is making me think about stoping completely.The optimistic side me tells me we should go out and try to actively recruit new coders, but not sure if it's viable/worth doing.
Well, Apocalyptic Dawn was fully abandoned. There was just so many issues (AI didn't use water units correctly, the Glest engine was never a good choice for guns) and I found myself boring with the project. I did secretly start a high fantasy engine-neutral mod near the end of the summer, but didn't get far before university started, and now I'm not sure if I'll ever get time to work on it. Annex for MG is far better than AD ever would be, though. And Constellus never had a proper release at all, did it? The original GAE flagship, Four Path Magitech had a great idea, but its original devs long since abandoned it, leaving the GAE project without much for mods.

Admittedly, the project does seem very close to a release, but it's been in limbo for so long. Recall that the last beta (0.3.93) was released 6 October 2011. I can't believe it's been over a year. However, nearly two years since a stable release and over a year since a beta seems to scream "dead" to me.

About the forums, I'll stay out of that as I reckon well that should be left completely up to the developers.
I don't intend to take any action without word from the current GAE devs (Silnarm, Hailstone, and Yggdrasil). I've already PMed them about this topic.
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GunChleoc

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #5 on: 9 November 2012, 10:51:35 »
I'm not one of the developers and they are your projests to play with, but maybe it is time to talk about a merge again? After the current release of Megaglest is finished, maybe start porting some of GAE's features that you'd want into Megaglest, if this is doable?

As a user, I'm thinking especially about the crisp graphics that GAE has as well as vanilla Glest did. I never play Megaglest, because the graphics are a bit fuzzy and they make me sick because I'm sensitive to that, and I really would like to play.

Having only one fork is definitely a better use of programmer (and modder, artist, translator) resources, as long as working on it is still fun for everybody!

wciow

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #6 on: 9 November 2012, 12:56:10 »
After the current release of Megaglest is finished, maybe start porting some of GAE's features that you'd want into Megaglest, if this is doable?

This is the way forward IMO. Unfortunately because there is no coding standard between the projects this will be difficult.

GAE has some really nice features that should be in MG.

Personally I'm awaiting Molaos' Mandate engine as the next logical extension of GAE.
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MoLAoS

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #7 on: 9 November 2012, 17:48:57 »
Even if you were to port GAE features over to MegaGlest it wouldn't really be a merger since GAE devs would not likely then start working on MegaGlest. And I think MG already has ported many GAE features over, although obviously not the most significant features.


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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #8 on: 8 December 2012, 15:51:28 »
I think the silence speaks for itself.

I'm no longer interested in Glest as a whole. Never played the game much (like more 0ad's and spring's gameplay), but liked working on such a code project. I learned many new things by doing so and that was basically my motivation. I'm still fiddling with the code now and then, but i'm not able to get this project rolling again on my own, especially developing for windows.

So, i'm not sure how to proceed. If you really think converting the Glest board to a MG-only board gives you any big benefit, then seriously go ahead. You won't get an "approval" from me, but a don't care anymore.

MoLAoS

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #9 on: 8 December 2012, 19:43:19 »
I think the silence speaks for itself.

I'm no longer interested in Glest as a whole. Never played the game much (like more 0ad's and spring's gameplay), but liked working on such a code project. I learned many new things by doing so and that was basically my motivation. I'm still fiddling with the code now and then, but i'm not able to get this project rolling again on my own, especially developing for windows.

So, i'm not sure how to proceed. If you really think converting the Glest board to a MG-only board gives you any big benefit, then seriously go ahead. You won't get an "approval" from me, but a don't care anymore.

Honestly I was pretty tempted to switch over to 0AD too. They have such superior stuff graphically and they have a far more active community as well as a significant number of contributors.

Sadly they have certain engine limitations that I would have a lot of trouble working around and they just don't have the art assets to compete with Glest stuff right now. All their assets are non european historical and its even harder to manage them due to the increased graphical complexity. Plus it would be quite difficult to modify their gameplay and also the javascript thing turns me off a bit.

But then again their development is just so active that its quite enticing.

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #10 on: 9 December 2012, 13:17:54 »
I haven't given up on GAE or Glest. I've just taken a break to sort out other important things. I think the biggest roadblock has been multiplayer. I've been trying not to work on anything else until that has been sorted at least to a basic level of working. I have a fairly good idea of what is needed to be done. I've been taking a lot of inspiration from how 0ad has done their networking. After that I have many big ideas that can push GAE forward as a base for RTS games.

I'm fine with MegaGlest being in the spotlight. I always imagined GAE as the engine behind the games rather than the game itself. I don't think it's necessary to lock the GAE board though.
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helldiver

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #11 on: 13 December 2012, 20:36:04 »
If this is any consolation; I'm working on a major project that is currently using GAE as its backbone. I do not wish to release details right now, but I hope to have a full community preview by either 1st or 2nd quarter of 2013. This wasn't an issue of development time, but quite frankly I didn't start primary development until April of this year (concept art, prototyping, etc).

By major project I don't mean a hobby mod. That being said GAE is the backbone since it has two key features that will be used in the final product; emanations and shaders (Normal maps). MegaGlest currently does not have those features so it makes it difficult to prototype/test units as they are implemented.

I really would appreciate it if the GAE Wiki portion is kept as it is.

With best regards!

MoLAoS

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #12 on: 13 December 2012, 20:39:42 »
Are you modifying code or just art assets and XML?

helldiver

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #13 on: 13 December 2012, 23:22:31 »
Are you modifying code or just art assets and XML?

All three

MoLAoS

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #14 on: 14 December 2012, 01:00:53 »
What code modifications? Anything of serious note that would be applicable to regular GAE or mandate?

helldiver

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #15 on: 14 December 2012, 04:14:34 »
What code modifications? Anything of serious note that would be applicable to regular GAE or mandate?

I don't have enough information right now to give you precise details, as I said I'll be posting more information in the future. However, I don't believe it will be anything serious of the calibre of Mandate. So far the laundry list includes clean up of visual errors and bugs (terrain tiles), implementation of missing features (such as no submenus for building, unit limitations, etc).

Again it's too early for me to give you a primary list. But I'll be sure to include a list of any main changes in the future. So far based on the needs of this project it's for certain that it will be its own fork.

ultifd

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #16 on: 14 December 2012, 08:29:39 »
We should try to do a community release instead. Maybe a new beta? It shouldn't be too hard to compile everything.
After that we should try to promote GAE more to get new testers and developers and then if that fails then could close the board.
 :-X

Omega

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #17 on: 14 December 2012, 09:50:34 »
We should try to do a community release instead. Maybe a new beta? It shouldn't be too hard to compile everything.
After that we should try to promote GAE more to get new testers and developers and then if that fails then could close the board.
 :-X
I have to be the one to ask: why should we try and revive a dead (let's call it what it is) project when we have a very much alive project that also could use more developers? The GAE project has some fantastic features, I agree, but do we need a board for it? I can understand making mods for it still (as someone who has firsthand used most of GAE's features at one time or another, they'd pretty fantastic), and the past mods (including my own) aren't going away anytime soon, but what general discussion can we make about GAE? Disregarding this post, we have something that's actually kind of a feature request, a concern about widgets that might never be answered, a thread about an offshoot of the GAE engine, a question about adding a language that has also gone unanswered and that's the last month and a half. The bug reports board serves no purpose if there's no devs to fix bugs (and the last post was early October). Feature requests, likewise, has no purpose with devs to implement features, and was last posted in in late September. That's over two months ago.

Future GAE mods, like all past and present ones, belong in the mods board. GAE's download isn't going to be removed, it'll always be there for future modders and gamers. I'd personally like to see MegaGlest start supporting some of the most important GAE features. Emanations and effects, for example, would be very useful. Shaders would be fantastic for graphics. The cast-spell skill would be incredibly useful for making a healing or buffing unit. Subfactions are actually rather straightforward and make it possible to have impartial stages to a techtree. Loading and unloading has long since been a request by modders. Someone's already working on making levels customizable. The generate command provides an easy way to create resources without having to create a new unit, so Magic's energy source can actually produce energy without needing a size zero unit. GAE's resources have the option to remove the storage cap and manipulate the damage consumable resources deal. GAE allows units to be give a tag which can determine if emanations and upgrades effect them. These are the big changes. There's a lot, but one by one, it's very reasonable to implement MegaGlest alternatives.

Some features, like teleportation, patrol, guard, pets, or multiproduce are less important. It'd be great to see features like them in MegaGlest, but to my knowledge, no mods use them, making them less important. And it's not just about making (formerly?) GAE mods compatible with MegaGlest, it's about giving MegaGlest mods more options. Every mod could benefit from shaders. With subfactions, it's possible for a mod like Annex to upgrade to different stages of technology, with older units being left out of future stages. Maybe it's a choice between being evil and powerful or being good and precise? Emanations make it possible for a building to heal nearby units or a unit to be stronger in packs (but only packs of itself).

I'd personally love to start implementing features like these in MegaGlest, myself, but as a first year student, I don't have the skills yet (perhaps in a year or two).

But do we really need a board for a fork of Glest that might never be further developed?
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MoLAoS

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #18 on: 14 December 2012, 09:50:52 »
I want to make a post arguing against the idea of another fork but my hypocrisy detector keeps interrupting me with these annoying beeping sounds. No idea why, thing must be broken  ::)

I understand the other examples, but what are the unit limitations you refer to?

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #19 on: 14 December 2012, 10:03:59 »
We should try to do a community release instead. Maybe a new beta? It shouldn't be too hard to compile everything.
After that we should try to promote GAE more to get new testers and developers and then if that fails then could close the board.
 :-X
I have to be the one to ask: why should we try and revive a dead (let's call it what it is) project when we have a very much alive project that also could use more developers? The GAE project has some fantastic features, I agree, but do we need a board for it? I can understand making mods for it still (as someone who has firsthand used most of GAE's features at one time or another, they'd pretty fantastic), and the past mods (including my own) aren't going away anytime soon, but what general discussion can we make about GAE? Disregarding this post, we have something that's actually kind of a feature request, a concern about widgets that might never be answered, a thread about an offshoot of the GAE engine, a question about adding a language that has also gone unanswered and that's the last month and a half. The bug reports board serves no purpose if there's no devs to fix bugs (and the last post was early October). Feature requests, likewise, has no purpose with devs to implement features, and was last posted in in late September. That's over two months ago.

If you read a certain post in this very thread, hailstone has already said that he is planning to continue mainline GAE development. And clearly people are interested in GAE since it has 2 forks/offshoots. Where would me and Helldiver post if not in the GAE board?

Future GAE mods, like all past and present ones, belong in the mods board. GAE's download isn't going to be removed, it'll always be there for future modders and gamers. I'd personally like to see MegaGlest start supporting some of the most important GAE features. Emanations and effects, for example, would be very useful. Shaders would be fantastic for graphics. The cast-spell skill would be incredibly useful for making a healing or buffing unit. Subfactions are actually rather straightforward and make it possible to have impartial stages to a techtree. Loading and unloading has long since been a request by modders. Someone's already working on making levels customizable. The generate command provides an easy way to create resources without having to create a new unit, so Magic's energy source can actually produce energy without needing a size zero unit. GAE's resources have the option to remove the storage cap and manipulate the damage consumable resources deal. GAE allows units to be give a tag which can determine if emanations and upgrades effect them. These are the big changes. There's a lot, but one by one, it's very reasonable to implement MegaGlest alternatives.

Some features, like teleportation, patrol, guard, pets, or multiproduce are less important. It'd be great to see features like them in MegaGlest, but to my knowledge, no mods use them, making them less important. And it's not just about making (formerly?) GAE mods compatible with MegaGlest, it's about giving MegaGlest mods more options. Every mod could benefit from shaders. With subfactions, it's possible for a mod like Annex to upgrade to different stages of technology, with older units being left out of future stages. Maybe it's a choice between being evil and powerful or being good and precise? Emanations make it possible for a building to heal nearby units or a unit to be stronger in packs (but only packs of itself).

I'd personally love to start implementing features like these in MegaGlest, myself, but as a first year student, I don't have the skills yet (perhaps in a year or two).

But do we really need a board for a fork of Glest that might never be further developed?

Its obvious what the benefits to MegaGlest would be if people didn't have other options as to where to contribute modding and coding talent, although most people go to 0AD or Spring these days, but that's not a valid argument for closing down the GAE board.

And MegaGlest would have been useless for me personally, if I had not seen the GAE board and its feature list I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere and would probably be somewhere like 0AD now. MegaGlest is terrible for single player projects with its entire dev focus on multiplayer, the probably need to dig into the network code to not break the game, which is not necessary with GAE and its immense lack of features that GAE has which you so helpfully listed for us.


Just give up this closing the GAE forum thing. Its not happening.

helldiver

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #20 on: 14 December 2012, 19:32:21 »
I don't think the GAE board should be done away with. The help I've received from the folks that have answered my questions has been invaluable since some stuff is different in GAE than in MG (for example; building progression animation).

Additionally it's been very evident that the MG project and even GAE have their own goals. I'm avoiding engine bloating. This means that a lot of the features in MG will be done away with or removed in the version of Glest I will use.

A lot of features that I've taken for granted in a game like Age of Empires Online are missing or have outright been disabled for no apparent reason. Unit limitation for example, was removed in GAE for no reason other than the author/s of GAE felt like it (at least that's what I've come to understand).

Conversely why hasn't the MG team ported in Normal map and Shader support? Is there some huge difference between GAE and MG that prevents it? Also, why no emanations in MG?

For those reasons it has become apparent that I will have to take the GAE source or MG source and modify it to have the features specific to my needs. However as I explained in a message to tomreyn; it would become it's own seperate non-Glest community fork available seperately for free on a different website/location. The Glest community will be free to use it in GAE/MG if they wish however.

Currently on our project, I do not have a dedicated programmer. It doesn't make sense to bring one on since I'm still in the arts and assets phase and GAE Beta 3 has worked perfectly for prototyping and testing. In the future I'd be more than willing to work with any members of the community, it's just that right now it's too early for me.

Psychedelic_hands

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #21 on: 16 December 2012, 11:20:34 »
Disregarding this post, we have something that's actually kind of a feature request, a concern about widgets that might never be answered.

Using me as an example aye?
Well just sayin', that thread was really just to see if I was wrong (which I very well could be, I know I came off as a bit angry though). I know people such as yourself or wciow would know more about widgets than me. Plus hailstone's still  around, he might of known something about it.
I may of been hopeful, but I'm still kinda glad I have somewhere to post... Even if it is just an angry concern about widgets that might never be answered.

Zoythrus

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #22 on: 16 December 2012, 23:01:12 »
Hey, as much as I would hate to see GAE and it's wonderful features (did you hear that Softcoder?) die, I'll stand behind the decision if it finally unites our relatively divided community.
Our division was one of the reasons that people were not too fond of our game, they were never too sure what to do to get it (and once they did, we had nothing too special to keep them here).
Speaking of that, we need a gimmick, something to attract people to our community. Spring has an extensive modding community, and 0AD has visuals. What do we have? We have a crappy story that we're moving farther and farther away from as time goes on. What can MG add to the table that hasn't been done before?

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #23 on: 16 December 2012, 23:22:14 »
MG has hewn quite closely to being a poor man's Warcraft. Many announced projects seem to be the same kinds of custom maps that were popular from Warcraft 3 and Starcraft like Tower Defense, MOBA (BattleGlest for instance), and so forth.

The goal of free or indie games has to be to provide some value which cannot be found in major commercial games because they cannot compete on story, art, or performance, and certainly not on multiplayer. Battle.net rules all.

MegaGlest's primary strengths are that it is free, it piggybacked on the Glest name, and that it runs on platforms that commercial products choose not to support because it is not cost efficient.

However Linux users can get Windows for gaming and Wine also plus Steam for Linux and Desura stuff so most of those reasons no longer suffice.

Its only current strength therefore is its free nature but 0 AD and many other games which provide no cost and also improve in many aspects like graphics and historical accuracy.

John.d.h

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Re: Please read: Is the Glest Advanced Engine project dead?
« Reply #24 on: 17 December 2012, 00:00:36 »
The goal of free or indie games has to be to provide some value which cannot be found in major commercial games because they cannot compete on story, art, or performance, and certainly not on multiplayer. Battle.net rules all.
This.  If you've already got a copy of Warcraft 3 (and most people who would be interested in playing Glest probably already do), why play Glest unless you're just an avid supporter of FOSS?  Better art, better story (in that it has one), more varied gameplay, more balancing, huge multiplayer community, etc.  We indie enthusiasts can't out-produce professional full-time developers, but we're free to take risks and explore whatever crazy innovation suits our fancy.  There is no reason I can see for trying to fit the mold of a standard Age Of Xcraft game unless that's just what you really enjoy doing.