Tagged: Distant Worlds Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • unmanneddrone 12:03 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Distant Worlds, , Space Empires, ,   

    @bowlisimo Yeah, it’s interesting…the preorder and get access to the beta thing is, in my opinion, good for the goose, but not always good for the gander. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that’s primarily one of the reasons Elemental turned out the way it did – a vested interest doesn’t always make for good community-led QA and folks inducted so much closer to the development cycle seemingly aren’t as willing to stand up and say “oi, what’s this garbage?!”. Minecraft is a bit of a different story…it’s just a collection of tools at the end of the day and, while it bores the pantaloons off my very person, I can understand and appreciate its clever (non) marketing and filling of a niche.

    Playing a ton of Starbase Orion on iOS and there’s an example of smart development and another take on the ‘buy in’ process. Strong core game delivered, with fan feedback and suggestions being sorted and implemented through incremental updates. Helps that it’s got asynchronous multi – which I’ve been played a little too much of. Either the greatest or the most damning indictment that I was standing in the supermarket yesterday conquering star systems, designing ships, delegating build focuses and leaving messages for whoever I was playing with when they logging in again to take their turn.

    In any case, I think there’s a danger in the pre-order/beta access for 4X games due to dilution of intent or focus, as many folks want different things from a genre that can overwhelm at even the most basic of levels. The MoO series is not about diplomacy to any degree…the Space Empires series is very much about diplomacy (I’d argue one of the best diplomatic models in the genre, despite the utterly indie production values)…SotS franchise = your empire is there to fuel ship design and production….and so on and so on.

    Issues really are how much the developer can retain the original vision without fans feeling like their input and suggestions being marginalised. A real balancing act when it comes to your investors also being your audience and consumers. We all want the product to succeed, but a developer mustn’t feel like the trust placed upon him by early-birds is being broken by retaining vision…and on the same token, an early-bird should have – in my opinion – at least be considered part of the QA system and stand up when something feels busted or moving in a direction he or she is worried about.

    Funnily enough, though, most 4X games these days come out busted. Star Ruler was a mess, Distant Worlds was in a terrible state, Space Empires 5 was buggy in everything bar the diplomatic model…the issue with Kerberos and SotS is that, for such a small team, they appear to eschew the air of an indie developer somehow.

  • unmanneddrone 3:23 pm on April 26, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Distant Worlds, , ,   

    @bowlisimo You know, man, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you much about the campaigns of either X2 or 3 – primarily because they’re so open from the get-go. I’ve not played much of 3, simply because I was waiting for the right rig to play it on in all its classical sci-fi glory. I guess if you enjoy self-actualised milestones and goals, these games provide that sense of accomplishment above and beyond (oooh, contextual reference!) what most sandbox games do. It’s a long, long, tough climb to the top, and there’s many ways to get many places. Space Rangers was great in that it was chock-a-block with humour and variety. If there’s one thing that X suffers from, it’s a slight lack of personality when set against particular peers. However, it makes up for that by being the deepest spacefarer sim out there.

    I suppose that’s the most apt descriptor of what X is…it’s about spacefaring.

    Bowley, sir, if you’ve not checked out Distant Worlds, there’s one I’d recommend…it’s a commerce and infrastructure-heavy 4X strategy out of, all places, New Zealand. Super indie, but some of the most intricate governance I’ve seen in a space strat. Lots of interesting interplay between empires, traders, etc. Diplomacy is a bit of a non-event, but otherwise, immense. As a Sins fan, you may very well dig its pace. Other than that, Star Ruler is another indie gem. Think Sins meets GalCiv? I dunno. I secretly call it the unofficial Terran Trade Authority game. Because, goddamn it, we need an official TTA game.

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