Programming a 40K Simulator

(further reading)

This has been a pet project of mine for a long time. I’ve taken a couple cracks at making one, but have failed miserably each time. My objective is to create a simulator that allows players to play battles with various armies, allowing them to refine their strategies before actually buying the models. However, I want a fairly flexible and modular rule system that enables alternate rulesets to be introduced (not only other official rule editions, but custom gametypes like racing) and of course custom armies. There are two inherent problems with creating a realistic simulator:

  1. The number of exceptions to the rules is about as large as the number of rules. Many exceptions rely on human understanding of the rules, and get resolved intuitively. This is problematic when going for a procedural approach
  2. The rules change. I started playing with 4th edition rules. My first attempt was during that phase. When I made my second attempt, the rules had moved onto 5th edition. Now they are in 6th edition. It’s a pain in my ass.

The two previous times I attempted to make a simulator, I programmed from the ground up. This time I’m thinking about using Unity3D. This makes sense in at least one regard: Line of Sight is contingent on precise model and terrain geometries. If I want the project to match my objectives, I need some sort of 3D system behind it.

I see a pretty clear path for development. The first step is to breakdown the rules into a clear procedural system. After I can see the possibilities that need to be encountered, I can figure out how to generalize that into as simple an architecture as possible. Then I can figure out how to implement that in Unity3D.

Unfortunately, every step of that is hard. I’m still stuck on that first step. First, I’m unaccustomed to the 6th edition ruleset. Second, the rulebook isn’t laid out optimally for my purposes. It works well for a beginner building up their understanding. The basics of each step is introduced, and then later modified with exceptions and special cases. I need an organizational somewhere between a flowchart and an outline.

So I have two things I need to do: map the rules, and learn C# for later use in Unity3D.

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