So, um, what's the status of this game?

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Arioch
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby Arioch » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:39 pm

Devildogff wrote:
Devildogff wrote:
Arioch wrote:I'd be surprised if MOO4 shipped before the middle of next year; it's still in alpha stage.

However, it can't be helped. There's only two of us, and we're doing the best we can under the circumstances.

Insider knowledge here: it's coming Q1 2016.


Looks like this has been pushed back. I can no longer speculate or speak about it, though. Signed an NDA.

Since the CM on the official forums referred to it just a few days ago as still being in "alpha," and there are still major systems (such as ship design and tactical combat) that haven't yet been seen, I get the impression that there's still a lot of work left to do.

Theodotus
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby Theodotus » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:32 am

First time poster here.

Now that MOO 4 is out, I bought into early access and played it a bit this weekend. That was what finally convinced me to take the plunge on SIS.

I don't think you have much to worry about from MOO.

SIS has the two things that people are complaining about as lacking in MOO: turn-based combat and no star lanes. In that sense, SIS is more "traditional MOO" than MOO 4 itself is. That alone should draw some customer base once SIS is on Steam.

Beyond that, MOO 4 looks like it's going to suffer from the "interchangeable colony" syndrome: You take the same approach to building up every colony, and they all become effectively interchangeable. Frankly, that was what killed my interest in continuing to play it after about six hours. (Honestly, just about the only thing it's got going for it at the moment are nice production values.)

I'm really attracted to your new resource system in SIS in which some colonies become breadbaskets, while others are mining colonies, and the remainder are more generalized or even become "Trantor-esque." (I'm looking forward to the turn-based combat too, but it's the colony specialization that caused me to actually pull the trigger on the purchase.)

Take the time you still need to finish SIS to your satisfaction -- from what I've been seeing on the MOO 4 Steam forums, I don't think you have to worry about going up against MOO. (In fact, the turn-based combat and lack of star lanes will probably gain you some customers. Maybe a lot of customers.)

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Arioch
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby Arioch » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:32 pm

Thanks for giving us a look! I'm sorry to hear that some folks are disappointed in new-MOO's early access; I hope you'll keep in mind that we are also still a little rough around the edges and still missing important features (notably diplomacy).

Theodotus
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby Theodotus » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:02 pm

Arioch wrote:Thanks for giving us a look! I'm sorry to hear that some folks are disappointed in new-MOO's early access; I hope you'll keep in mind that we are also still a little rough around the edges and still missing important features (notably diplomacy).


Actually, I've been following SIS for several months now, so I'm familiar with its progress and quite impressed with the way it's been developing.

Another thing I very much like about it is the way planets have climate zones, which are more or less hospitable to the different races, and that different races can inhabit the same planet to maximize use of the different climates. This too gives it a feeling of versimilitude that many other space 4x games lack. (It also addresses to some extent the issue of having every planet terraformed to the max -- the discussion in one of the terraforming threads about that was very interesting.)

It's systems like this that to me make the game universe feel "alive".

The only thing so far that feels a little clunky to me is the interface, which is functional but not nearly as smooth as something like MOO4 or Endless Space. Hopefully this can be tuned up a bit.

On the other hand, the art style is most excellent. That was the very first thing that drew my attention to the game, even before I knew much else about it.

I haven't had enough time with it yet to have any other hands-on opinions, but I plan to rectify that in the next day or two.

I'm very glad you all got the green light on Steam. But until it's there, I'll be playing the copy I just downloaded.

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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby bjg » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:11 pm

Theodotus wrote:Another thing I very much like about it is the way planets have climate zones, which are more or less hospitable to the different races, and that different races can inhabit the same planet to maximize use of the different climates.

Something tells me that the upcoming "morale" system is going to make multispecies habitats much more interesting. ;)

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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby Theodotus » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:29 pm

So now that I've had the opportunity to play SIS a bit:

Space 4x games are my favorite genre, and I've played a lot of them --

Reach for the Stars (a classic in its time, though primitive by today's standards);

Spaceward Ho! (hated the hat graphics, which destroyed immersion -- couldn't get past that);

Master Of Orion 1 (the archetype of the genre, the game that caused me to buy a PC just to play it, since before that I only had a macintosh computer, a game with a diplomatic scheme that created stories I still remember 20 years later);

MOO2 (up to now the classic expression of the genre, though for me the map is too small to give it a really epic feel);

MOO3 (patched up and modded this has many aspects I like, such as multiple planets in a system, and if I could completely turn off the God-foresaken planetary AI governors I might still be playing this);

Emperor of the Fading Suns (awesome backstory but dead AI);

Birth of the Federation (love Star Trek, but the game never made me feel like I was there);

Space Empires 4 (lacked flavor for me to an extent that for some reason it felt like a cardboard cutout);

Galactic Civilizations 1 (don't remember much about it, which says something in and of itself);

GalCiv 2 (initially the economic system was idiotic, it took until the first expansion to incorporate the idea that you should have to tech up to colonize a lava world, the planet development scheme left me feeling like I never completely developed any place, and having only one planet in every system impairs my immersion, to name just a few of the ways it fell short for me -- plus contrary to popular opinion I never found the AI to be anything special, to the point that after I bought the last expansion I was able when playing as humans to get every AI to trade me all their planets for a few techs, even after some patches had been released, though maybe it's gotten better since I shelved it);

Sword Of The Stars 1 (liked the random tech trees, liked the backstory, thought the combat was ok but didn't like it as much as MOO1 or MOO2, planet development reminded me of MOO1 which means that to me in the modern era it seems generic, and the nearly non-existent diplomacy system eventually meant the game as a whole didn't keep me coming back to it),

SOTS2 (it's not a game yet but may be someday -- or maybe it's a game by now, but the color scheme on the interface makes my eyes hurt, and it's systems are too complex for me to bother with learning, since I can't be sure that most of it is actually working correctly);

Sins Of A Solar Empire (if I liked RTS I'd probably like this);

Armada 2526 (liked the graphics style, the planet anomalies in the expansion provided a feeling of verisimilitude that led to some experience of immersion, but the tech tree was way too limited);

Distant Worlds (I bought all the expansions -- I think I'll like this after I retire and have the time necessary to learn how to play it fully);

Endless Space (Steam tells me I played this for more than 250 hours, and that was before the Disharmony expansion, but eventually I wore out on the combat system, and the limited diplomacy system wasn't sufficient to make up for what the combat lacked);

StarDrive 1 (loved it in theory, tried it out, seemed like the design never quite came together, too much going on all at the same time for a comfortable gaming experience);

Lords of the Black Sun (or whatever it was called -- the only space 4x game I've ever felt like I completely wasted my money on, not even an actual game in my opinion, a tech demo, and a bad one at that);

StarDrive 2 (loved the graphics style, didn't mind that it ripped off MOO2 as much as it did, didn't even mind the real-time combat, but once again it seemed like the design never completely came together, and then the Dev once again never seemed able to successfully address all the issues that cropped up.)

GalCiv 3 (liked the planet development pretty well, hated constructor spam, and then realized that the company that brags about its ability to create good AI has once again sold me a bill of goods in that area);

MOO4 (love the graphics, but nothing else about it holds my attention);

and I know I've played others that I don't now recall anything about.

(Maybe it's because I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid, but didn't end up living that dream. Or maybe I was just born too early in history.)

For me, Stars In Shadow (even in its current unfinished state) is better than almost all of these. Its game systems are relatively simple without being simplistic, which means that learning to play it doesn't amount to feeling like I'm working a second job. The combat takes me back to MOO1 & MOO2 in the best of ways. The universe feels real, albeit slightly abstracted. The backstory is cool and unusual.

Even in its currently unfinished state, it's worth the $50 I paid for MOO4. (Which, as it stands, is only worth the $20 I paid for SIS -- if that much.)
Last edited by Theodotus on Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sven
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby sven » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:47 pm

Theodotus wrote:For me, Stars In Shadow (even in its current unfinished state) is better than almost all of these. Its game systems are relatively simple without being simplistic, which means that learning to play it doesn't amount to feeling like I'm working a second job. The combat takes me back to MOO1 & MOO2 in the best of ways. The universe feels real, albeit slightly abstracted. The backstory is cool and unusual.


I'm glad to hear many of the pieces are clicking. Arioch, myself, and many of the long-term beta testers still feel like the game won't be ready to really reach its potential until the the diplomacy system goes in -- but, it's great to hear that we're already capable of making a strong first impression on a true veteran of the genre :)

Now I'll go back to work, with renewed confidence and enthusiasm!

Theodotus
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby Theodotus » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:06 am

sven wrote:
Theodotus wrote:For me, Stars In Shadow (even in its current unfinished state) is better than almost all of these. Its game systems are relatively simple without being simplistic, which means that learning to play it doesn't amount to feeling like I'm working a second job. The combat takes me back to MOO1 & MOO2 in the best of ways. The universe feels real, albeit slightly abstracted. The backstory is cool and unusual.


I'm glad to hear many of the pieces are clicking. Arioch, myself, and many of the long-term beta testers still feel like the game won't be ready to really reach its potential until the the diplomacy system goes in -- but, it's great to hear that we're already capable of making a strong first impression on a true veteran of the genre :)

Now I'll go back to work, with renewed confidence and enthusiasm!


I'm loving the game so far. The metal/food system makes it so that I typically have some planets that are dedicated mining worlds, which is a dynamic I adore, in that it matches a lot of the backstories in various science fiction tales I've read over the years. I can't think of another space 4x game I've played that so successfully captured that dynamic, and especially not as simply and elegantly.

I think the luxury/strategic resource system you've previously mentioned will be a nice addition to the game as well, as long as you keep it similarly simple and elegant.

The other systems seem to work simply and smoothly also, which makes the game a joy to play, instead of a job or a chore.

wminsing
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Re: So, um, what's the status of this game?

Postby wminsing » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:20 am

Yea there's just enough meat to the current systems to encourage colony specialization, but it's not so complex that you have to crunch a lot of numbers to understand it. Which is awesome, and helps to make the game highly addictive.

-Will


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