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Matrix Games/Slitherine Have Just Announced a New Sci-Fi 4X Game !! [Live Coverage]

By on April 24th, 2012 6:43 am

I will condense all developments on Pandora: First Contact (a recently announced sci-fi 4X game) in near real-time in this blog entry. Covering Matrix Games’ and Proxy Studios’ updates on twitter, facebook and forums.

The company behind Pandora’s development is Proxy Studios.

“Pandora: First Contact is about to be presented by Lorenz from Proxy Studios!” ~Matrix Games.

This is all still speculation but it looks like focus will be put more on a single planetary development, a more focused and particularized sci-fi 4X gaming experience. So, a 4X game not much like Master of Orion but perhaps more like Alpha Centauri where everything unfolds on a single planet.

“Pandora will be a 4X strategy game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) in the same vein of Alpha Centauri.”

Again, everything leads to believe that Pandora: First Contact will be a planetary sci-fi strategy experience rather than an open-end galaxy-wide empire building setting.

“Pandora will include terraforming to get bonuses, colonist morale, economic victories, diplomacy, deal with pollution and production.”

This means that emphasis should be more on economic management, tech developement and diplomacy, rather than in spaceships design and fleets construction and management.

“Players will have (to) maintain resources such as food, minerals, production, monitor pollution, research and colonist morale. Economic victory can be achieved with high enough credits to buy out other factions on the colony.”

“Terraforming will have an impact, to improve terrain to increase a territory’s output or grant bonuses to soldiers.”

Lunch Break (I think).

No, it was not lunch break. It was more network break :D

“We destroyed the wifi here in the hotel, so we are back briefly as the press event winds down. Here is a huge information dump on Pandora: First Contact!”

“Pandora will have multiple stackable unit types, taking into account for power, movement points, light and heavy and armored units. Unit classes range from troopers to all-terrain vehicles, tanks, watercrafts, aircrafts, and mech units. There are three tiers per unit class, one for each era.”

“Fog of War has an effect, with players being able to utilize mountains and forests to screen units for surprise attacks. This can only work outside of a city’s influence range to prevent cheap tactics and to facilitate more in-depth strategies.”

“There are also a variety of weapon classes, from machine to gatling guns, sniper rifles, flame and gas throwers, missile launchers, and like unit classes, has three tiers per weapon class. They can also be effective against certain types of units.”

“Military Operations are produced in cities, which lead to satellite reconnaissance, drop pods, nano repair bots, nuclear missiles. These can be deployed anywhere on the battlefield.”

“Single and multiplayer are supported, with simultaneous turns. It will release for Windows, Mac, and Linux in the Q3 2012.” ~Matrix Games

So, it’s Q3 2012 and not Q4 2012 as previously announced. Excellent! :) Simultaneous turns! Great! So, we have a new 4X turn-based strategy game here for a good bunch of platforms.

“Pandora will include a unit workshop where you can combine units from classes, weapons and armors.” ~Proxy Studios

So, now we know a lot about warfare. But what about more bits on research, diplomacy, other factions (natives?), planetary construction. And what about exoplanetary stuff? Will there be any? Or will everything unfold in Pandora? Let’s wait for more on this and hopefully a few shoots or a nice footage.

“single and multiplayer (simultaneous turns & PBEM). Releasing for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux Q4 2012.” ~Proxy Studios

So PBEM is also in. But, humm, we seem to have a publisher/dev discrepancy on the release date :)

Clarifications on the release date: “About the release date of Pandora: we’d love it to be end of Q3, and are aiming for it, but don’t be surprised if it falls to Q4”. ~Proxy Studios

\Edit: Apr 25, 2012 – Matrix Games have just launched Pandora in their website as comming soon. 7 screenshots are available and a preliminary list of features also, that I will copy paste here to complete this coverage.


  • Discover a new world harboring a variety of ecoregions, ranging from the frozen ice lands of the north, to vast deserts and lush tropical forests in the south.
  • Encounter and survive the planet’s dangerous wild life. Agile predators in the steppes, deadly insect swarms in the jungle, or gigantic creatures lurking in the abyss of the oceans.
  • Ruins and artifacts, the relics of an ancient alien civilization long forgotten, provide you advantages against other rivaling factions.
  • Over the centuries, progress through a vast research tree spanning dozens of technologies and providing buildings, units, weapons, and more.
  • Negotiate trading or research pacts with other factions for mutual benefits. Forge alliances to stand united against common foes.
  • Build new cities to expand the borders of your empire. Manage cities by choosing building or unit production and assigning priorities to your colonists.
  • Shape the landscape with terraforming: construct farms, mines, forts, or other improvements to increase the productivity of your colonies or to fortify positions.
  • Command vast armies on the battlefield against enemy factions. Utilize the planet’s terrain, for example by fortifying in hills or hiding troops in forests or mountains.
  • Design your own units, choosing from a variety of different classes, weapons and armors to maximize the strength of your forces.
  • Unleash hell on your opponents with powerful military operations, ranging from drop pods behind enemy lines to black hole generators eradicating entire landscapes.
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  1. ZigZag says:

    What’s the relationship between military operations and units? Are military operations just specials that can be built and deployed anywhere? Are they, in any way, dependent on units? e.g. In order to build/deploy a drop pod, does the player need droppable units?

  2. SephiRok says:

    They are currently fully separate; they have their own panel and do not have any unit requirements. Drop pods drop a predefined set of units, which may become stronger as you delve further into research. Some operations you may also gain on a time basis (e.g. every 20 turn) for every corresponding operation building (e.g. satellite scan) while others you have to construct for each use (nuclear missile).

  3. ZigZag says:

    Thanks! How are units produced? On a per-player or per-city (or equivalent) basis?

    • SephiRok says:

      Each city has its own production which is based on the amount of population of that city assigned to production and capped by the amount of available minerals.

  4. JohnR says:

    Pandora sounds a lot like Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, though this is not necessarily a bad thing because Alpha Centauri was a great game. Also, I’ve purchased a couple of games from Slitherine and on the whole they have been excellent. I will definitely be watching this one with great interest.

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