Dalek Chess V 0.1 (Aridius) Concept Doc

Last updated: 2-21-00

Purpose of this Document

The purpose of this document is to provide a basic description of the Aridius Dalek Chess theme and set the goals for the 0.1 version of the Dalek Chess battle chess engine. This is NOT a design document. Although I have a rough design in my head on how this should be written, I am not yet ready to put that design on paper.

Aridius is a stepping stone release of the Dalek Chess game. It is meant to provide a simple, playable game which can function as a starting point for writing the more complicated end result. There will be several such stepping stone releases until the final goal of a truely themeable game with sound, animation, and MPEG animation clips is achieved.

Description of the (Aridius) Dalek Chess theme.

The game pieces for Dalek Chess will all be various forms of Dalek technology. The black side will feature Renegade Dalek technology while the white side will feature Imperial Dalek technology.

Here is how the pieces will be assigned.
Classic piece name. White Black
Pawn Imperiel Dalek Renegade Warier Dalek
Rook Imperial Dalek shuttle craft Black Dalek space ship
Knight Imperiel Dalek on hoverbout Renegade Dalek on hoverbout
Bishop Imperial Spider Dalek Renegade Spider Dalek
Queen Imperiel Special Weapons Dalek Renegade Special Weapons Dalek Dalek
King Emperor Dalek aka Davros Black Dalek Supreme

Some of these pieces have already been modeled in POVRAY and examples can be found in the Dalek Chess test image gallery.

The board should have some sci-fi look to it. However boards will also be themeable so new boards will be loadable.

The control panel should have a Dalek-ish look to it with big buttons that are easy to press with plunger like arms.

Basic Dalek Chess engine dynamics

The Aridius engine will feature a single perspective. The perspective I have chosen is the top down perspective where the viewer is directly over the board. This simplifies initial redraws since no game piece can be in front of another and all can appear to be the same size. Although this is a boring perspective, other perspectives will be added in future stepping stone releases.

The engine will reserve an area for the board to be mapped and off to the side an area for controls to be mapped. Much of the control board space is reserved for future features such as an about indicater describing which piece is chosen and what capabilities it has.

The game will play by the player selecting a piece and then selecting the square he wishes to move the piece to. This move will be fed into GNU Chess and if GNU Chess concurs that this is a legal move the piece will be moved. Taking a piece will simply result in the taken piece disappearing and moving a piece will result in the piece reappearing in the new square. In the future stepping stone releases, this process will be animated.

The specifics about what files contain bitmaps for which pieces, where to pick up the game board, and the size and orientation of the squares will be stored in an embedded SQL database. At this time I am leaning toward using Berkly SQL because the license is open and the database we need should be light weight and truely embedable.

The interface to the graphics hardware will be done through SDL. Earlier attempts were tried with XWinAllegro, but they proved to be too slow and load intensive to work for a game of this planned complexity.

Comment about this concept document's state

This is a living document. As more solid work is done on Aridius this document will be updated with new information as to how the engine and theme will conceptually work. Until then this is about the best I can do.

Have questions? Drop me a line. cory@users.SourceForge.net

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