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2022-01-13 FYI
Nice ! Now is the perfect time to optimize the rack and try to avoid paying too much for the servers.
No problems here. All is well.

Spent a year getting a huge number of things done that were neglected for varying numbers of years. 2021 was an awesome year for us, in terms of fixing and upgrading our properties. That stuff took a lot of time, energy, and money. Now it's all right and tight so we can look upward and outward again.

With that stuff coasting along now, I guess I'm ready for the millstone once more.

Here is my plan. Like all plans, this is merely guidance to move forward. None of this is guaranteed to happen.

1. Get Shores of Hazeron back up online as a pay-to-play game, via PayPal, like it used to be. Of the various things I have tried, that was the best way to keep out the riffraff and offset the cost of operation.
2. Finish up Hazeron Starship and publish it on Steam.

Hmm, I can't seem to come up with a step 3 so I guess it's a pretty short plan.

I've made some changes to the software that will break the games that are currently saved in Hazeron Starship. I apologize but it was unavoidable. Actually, those saved games should still work but the distribution of resources on every world will be different, and some manufacturing processes will be incorrect. This also requires that I reset the multiplayer database. Login accounts will remain, ready to be reactivated.

Here are some of the more interesting changes.

Suns are finally rendered as 3D objects. They are no longer strictly rendered as sprites.

I also delved into the surface kelvin temperature to produce a much greater distribution of sun light colors, instead of using the same RGB for every sun type, which was only 7 different colors. Now the color is calculated from the kelvin temperature, which is determined from the type and spectral decimal classification. The result is a broader more subtle differentiation of thousands of sun colors and the light emitted by them.

Gold. Gold ore now exists in the environment; it can be mined and smelted into gold. Gold is used to make cronodollars. Cronos are no longer manufactured using any other metals.

Jewelry processes now require gold where they used to require metal. Gold could also find its way into other manufacturing processes.

Citizens save their money. Citizens now withdraw some amount of money from the banking system and store it outside the banking system. The amount is determined by their morale, with lower morale causing them to squirrel away more money. This money is lost to the banking system forever.

Decay. Nothing about decay requires anybody to log in. Officers no longer get lonely if nobody hails them. Land rule prevents decay of cities in solar systems that are declared to be someone's land, as long as that someone's account is active.

Neutral Zone was eliminated. Twenty galaxies are accessible to all players, per the current Universe map in the wiki at

Noncombatant state of empires was implemented. When an empire has no players on line, it falls into a noncombatant state. A noncombatant empire cannot be attacked and its units will not attack anyone else.

Harvesters, trade operations, and manufacturing continue to function. Units and cities will interact with players who are on line as usual.

Diplomacy tab of the Governance window shows this status by color coding the empire name. A tooltip on the name explains the meaning of the color.

Maximum ship model size reduced a lot. The size reduction was in megabytes, not in physical dimensions. The size limit of spacecraft designs is now 28MB; the uncompressed size limit is now 14MB. Based on the existing designs in the database, this new size would only exclude a few of them. 

Fog of war implemented. This was fun. When you are on a world that is unexplored, the world map is now shrouded to obscure the areas that have not been explored by you or anyone in your empire. Space vehicles in orbit automatically explore the entire world.

Fog of war is not implemented on ringworlds. The size of the data was just too large and it changes too much. It is rare to arrive at a ringworld other than by space vehicle so this should rarely be noticed.

Aquatic plants now exist. This may get more attention later to improve the plant models to be more aquatic looking. I reused the same plants as on land with a shader that swizzles the colors to make them more red/brown instead of green. I also modulated the wind vector to be slower, like a water current. This all came together surprisingly well to present aquatic plants.

No sex in Hazeron Starship. It is no longer possible to procreate in the solo game and indigenous people are always fully clothed. I wasn't happy with the Steam version being classified as adult only, like a movie rated X. This would severely limit the potential audience and those adults who did play would be disappointed if they expected to find something pornographic in this adult software.
The new home for the servers is considerably less expensive than the last. I could pay for it myself indefinitely without help. However, help is appreciated, believe me.
Are you planning to send bunch of steam beta keys still? I would very much appreciate and like to have one.
Thank you
(01-13-2022, 04:15 PM)Haxus Wrote: Reconstruction of the server rack is also needed. The computers have been sitting cold in my barn, right where I dumped them a year ago. If the equipment still works, we'll be good to go.

Out with the old, in with new.KAPPA. Haven't they been dying steadly the last years? Anyways good to have SoH back.
Welcome back Haxus! Thanks for the update, looking forward to whatever you decide to do with the MMO, been playing Starship in the meantime
What even
Nice. Count me back in.
Once again reminding everyone that restricting the game area to 100 parsecs wide made things way more interesting.
(01-13-2022, 06:13 PM)Haxus Wrote: Here is my plan. Like all plans, this is merely guidance to move forward. None of this is guaranteed to happen.

1. Get Shores of Hazeron back up online as a pay-to-play game, via PayPal, like it used to be. Of the various things I have tried, that was the best way to keep out the riffraff and offset the cost of operation.
2. Finish up Hazeron Starship and publish it on Steam.

I know a bunch of people would love for Shores of Hazeron to be free-to-pay again, but I totally under the reason for liking the pay-wall to keep some of the more troublesome people at bay. Being able to make infinite free accounts and there by have infinite fully colonized solar systems means that any single player can easily drain more server-resources than all other players combined.
I would however suggest maybe lowering the price to be more inline with other games of this style and niche. Maybe $5/month is better. But I am no business major so I can't say if it would really make a difference, since most people are likely turned-away by any price-tag at all.

As for Hazeron Starship, it is nice to hear that you will be continuing that. Even better if you can be developing them both side-by-side.

(01-13-2022, 06:13 PM)Haxus Wrote: Suns are finally rendered as 3D objects.

Citizens save their money.

Aquatic plants now exist.

Fog of war implemented.

Sounds like good changes that I am excited to see in game.

Slight start of some economy changes is nice, and the way it simply vanishes them into the void seems like a fine way to do it. But will have to play around with it before I can say much more about it.

Ringworlds not having map exploration can just be explained by the internal workings of the ringworld. The same way the ringworld provide basic electricity to cities, it can be said that it gives easy access to a world map from anywhere on its surface.

(01-13-2022, 06:13 PM)Haxus Wrote: Decay.

Neutral Zone was eliminated.

Noncombatant state of empires was implemented.

Not having to login every week to prevent decay was always the best part about the subscription pay-to-play era. Might be sad for people that have money issues in real life, but there likely isn't a solution that would easily satisfy everyone on the world.

I think getting rid of the "Neutral Zone" is a good call. It mainly divided the player base weirdly and made people sad when they found out they they selected the wrong zone to start in.
As Celarious nicely said on Discord earlier, Hazeron Starship will work fine as a replacement for the "Neutral Zone".

The "Noncombatant" feature sounds interesting. I am sure a lot of the more PvP orientated players won't like it, but that kinda leads in into the age old issue and question that I would like to ask.
The question is: What is your vision for Shores of Hazeron as a game?
I am not asking this to be mean or anything, but it is seriously a question that many players don't know the answer to. Most players has over the past decade thought of Shores of Hazeron as an empire building war game. And when changes are than made that contradict that gameplay it always causes a lot of confusion and sometimes uproar.
I would just suggest that you start sharing a little more about how you think Shores of Hazeron should be played, so we can all help suggest changes or give ideas to accomplish that vision.

Anyway, it really is nice to see you back. It has always been a joy to watch your development and play the game.
Hazeron Forum and Wiki Moderator
I heartily agree with Celarious. The people who want to play a safe game of empire building can play HSS. Perhaps they will grow lonely there and decide to join the rest of us in the "real" universe.

HSS builds side-by-side with SoH. Only the top-most client app is different. They both share all changes. In fact, this caused me to revamp and improve a huge internal interface that had grown very ugly and prone to error. Now changes are reliably shared between the apps, with minimal uncomplicated programming effort.

I had just implemented that interface before taking a year off. Unfortunately, I only recently discovered that those changes broke the preview mode in the designer, for both HSS and SoH. I'm terribly sorry about that. It will be fixed in the next update, some time before the end of February.

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