Decided to switch to Libgdx in order to port to android, and jump to Opengl ES 2.0 while I was at it. Whew… also discovered how much weaker a mobile device is compared to a gaming computer While my PC could handle 1000 ants, my Kindle could barely muster 20. So this update has some major optimizations. Now my PC does up to 8000 before getting too choppy, and the Kindle gets up to 80, still not good. Very curious though if anyone here tries with a newer nvidia tablet/phone, how it will run.
The jar file below is cleaned up, hoping it will run on more computers now. Also new testing number keys:
 - add 1 black ant
 - +10
 - +100
 - +1000
 through  do the same for red ants (testing big battles, just hit 4 and 8)
Windows Runnable Jar
Android apk (low graphics since I’m testing with Kindle Fire 1st-gen)
So my favorite games growing up were the Sim series by Maxis. While SimCity lived on due to popularity, two great games were forgotten: SimEarth and SimAnt.
Knowing there will never be a sequel for them, I took it upon myself to create new versions of them with updated graphics. After creating a base engine for SimEarth, it dawned on me how much work it would be, a hundred or so animated models is not feasible for a solo hobby programmer (with no artistic ability). So I turned my attention to SimAnt, and have been surprised how much I have done with little time on my hands.
I do intend on releasing this at some point, so I will eventually make it less like SimAnt, and more its own game.
Planned features on release:
- All aspects of original simulation from SimAnt
- Single player vs. COM
- Two ant species (Black/Red)
- Simple campaign with several map types
- Sandbox mode
Added features after release
- New species (ex: honeypot, fire ants)
- Each species has own traits/special abilities (for example, milking aphids for Black)
- New environments (house, roadside, desert, etc)
Wish-and-hope future features
- Multiplayer (4 player ffa)
Current status - The simulation is functioning, and if left alone, the black/red ants will find their own food and tend their eggs. Eventually one nest will lose out and starve.
The player can control an individual ant, and can command the nest to attack the red nest (battles have no animation yet). Besides that, the game is very unpolished and buggy. Controls are awkward, etc And there is no sound or music, I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to do that, will probably be my biggest challenge.
I’m targeting this for Android, but until I complete the game I’m building in Win7-64 for ease of development.
The demo may not work for everyone, I’ve tried it on 4 computers, only 2 worked. Will try to get a more robust build soon. (Download the zip and unzip into folder, and run the jar).
Left-click: walk in direction of pointer
Right-click: take action (pick up or drop food/eggs/dirt)
Q: move queen to current location
H: speed up simulation
Please let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions/encouragement on actually finishing this (especially sound/music!).