I will never forget a sentence said by a 4x sci-fi strategy gamer one day (in the Galactic Civilizations forums, zigzag was his name) that described what he wanted to see next (and play next) in terms of 4x sci-fi gaming. He said something like this “Really, I just want Master of Orion 2 with better AI, graphics and LAN support“.
I knew what he meant by then, but I found it a bit retro to always mention MOO2, especially in terms of future games. The more time passes the more I see the truth of his sentence.
I’m running a poll this month to assess if this is how people feel in general. I’m interested to know what do you guys think. I’m a MOO2 fan(natic), I would love to see a new sequel come to life. But this is a topic for another time, now it’s time to present Starbase Orion. You’ll see why I brought MOO2 up.
Two days ago (17th April 2011) Chimera Software, an independent publishing software company headquartered in Atlanta GA, announced Starbase Orion, a 4X Turn-Based Space Strategy game for the iOS device family (iPad, IPhone, iPod Touch).
I knew about Starbase Orion because Chimera announced their press release on the Space Sector’s forums (if you have your sci-fi strategy game project this is a good place to spread the word).
Master of Orion 2 … With Better Multiplayer
According to Chimera’s Vision statement, Starbase Orion will “retain the classic turn-based gameplay of Master of Orion 2 while embracing the simplicity and multiplayer experience of Warcraft III”. They explain in detail what they mean by that in their vision statement.
Chimera’s Software says that “(their) biggest disappointment with Master of Orion II is the multiplayer support (…) the hassle and time commitment you need to share the game experience with others is substantial“.
Chimera wants to improve the multiplayer experience of 4x Sci-fi TBS games by “make it dead simple to find other people to play with, matches lasting 30-60 minutes. Long enough to have some great battles, yet short enough to get one or two in before bedtime“.
This sounds pretty good to me, let’s see how they pull it of.
Starbase Orion Main Features
Taken from Chimera’s Software Press Release.
- Customizable Races: Choose from one of five existing races to play, or make you own by picking and choosing from a variety of race attributes.
- Customizable Ships: Starbase Orion includes a complete ship designer which allows you to design your ship weapons and systems.
- Premiere PvP Experience: Most space strategy games take hours, days, even months to play to completion. Starbase Orion is designed to provide a complete and engaging multiplayer strategy experience in a single sitting. Finding a worthy opponent is quick and easy with automated game matching.
- Battle-hardened AI: We battle tested the fleet management AI for Starbase Orion in the Google AI Challenge 2010. Our AI ranked of 698 among thousands of competing bots; it has played hundreds of matches and is ready to give Starbase Orion players a challenge.
- Built for iOS: Universal Binary, Retina Display, Multitasking, GameCenter, OpenFeint.
To learn more about Starbase Orion, please visit:
Customizable races is there, so is customizable ships. These are two very important features. Good job guys!
Starbase Orion will feature 5 races. Here is a short introduction. For the details check the SO official races page.
The Isather have the love for battle, they are aggressive and expansionists.
The Vass are an ethereal race, a collective. They gain bonuses if they have greater population numbers.
The Cyban are great researchers but are not that charismatic.
The Drask have a natural affinity for aeronautics, they are great fighter pilots.
The Humans are crafty, charismatic, and highly trained smugglers.
(click to enlarge)
It’s good to see new games coming out for iOS (Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch family of devices). It’s a sign of vitality of the genre, that individuals and companies are willing to invest also in new paths (technological and markets).
It’s also good to see that the community is interested in taking the MOO2 concept and evolve it. Take what is good about it and improve what was not so good about it.
Chimera Software stated that Starbase Orion will be available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and that the release date is this Summer.
Well zigzag, MOO2 with better LAN support seems to be under way, let’s hope AI is also as good as Chimera promises it to be. Regarding graphics, well, we’ll probably have to wait a bit more on that one :)
I’m really looking forward for Starbase Orion. This range of new 4x games coming out for Apple (Ascendancy, Empire of the Eclipse and now Starbase Orion) mean that probably it is time to buy one iOS device, probably an iPad :) Well, you know where to donate don’t you :razz:
- Starbase Orion: Teaser Trailer and Ship Combat First Look
- Starbase Orion Hits Kickstarter for PC, Android and Mac Ports
- Starbase Orion Released
- Starbase Orion Gets a Major Update
- Gemini Wars: Alliance Assault and Missile Frigates