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Endless Space: New Big Patch, Mac News and Modding

By on August 10th, 2012 11:21 am

Endless Space | "Yea, that's nice, but when can I play on my new Mac book?

After the official release, on July 4th 2012, Endless Space has already received four patches (started on v1.0.5), but the big one came out today: v1.0.14. This one adds the most changes and additions and fixes so far.

Among these changes I retained the ones about invasions: new visual effects and an invasion status indicator; the removal of the ‘Isolationists’ faction; some balancing changes; the ability to deselect a tech; new hero portraits and a bunch of fixes.

On the modding front there are significant additions and news on v1.0.14. There’s a modding screen to load custom mods now; XML files have been re-arranged; there’s a modding tutorial available now and a few mods, which can be found here.

There’s also some news for Mac folks. Apparently Amplitude isn’t there yet but they’re saying to be working on it. To the question “Any idea when the Mac version will be released? ” Amplitude replied on twitter “I am getting this question everyday. :D No [Mac] release date yet, sorry, we are still having trouble with the multiplayer at the moment.”. So, looks like a bit more time for Mac folks to enter in the Endless Space Universe. The good news is that probably they’ll enjoy from a much more polished product at the end, if the patch rate continues like it has been so far at least.

Endless Space is on post-release phase now. Patching, fixing, listening to players and delivering, as usual in games like these. And, as Amplitude Studios promised they would.

When Amplitude announced the official release for Jul 4th 2012 they said: “[the official release] is just a step in the life cycle”. The devs clearly stated that they were committed to keep on improving and expanding the game for “many months” after release. They added further “we have to survive as a company to continue making great games and adding new content to Endless Space”. And the reason for releasing on July 2012 didn’t seem related with cash issues: “we are not releasing because we have run out of money, but we think the game has reached more than sufficient quality (at Jul 4, 2012)”.

Endless Space is certainly a good addition to the space 4X/TBS games’ list (not a so big list as you might expect). And, when the post-release phase ends, after all the polishing and requests from the community are done (happened with GalCiv games as well for example), there’s hope it will be among the best space 4X games ever made.

ES offers a superb UI; everything is very intuitive and attractive. It seems to offer the all package, but … there was (always) heavy criticism on ES’s combat mechanics (since the alpha came out actually). But, you have our Endless Space review to help you out decide if this should be your next game.

\Edit (30/08/2012): Endless Space is now available for Mac on Steam.

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  1. Saracen26 says:

    “we are not releasing because we have run out of money, but we think the game has reached more than sufficient quality”

    In my mind it wasn’t anywhere near high enough. I see the potential in this game, but it really needs the combat system stripped out and redone, given an overhaul on colony management other than just selecting an exploitation (there’s no depth!) and the tech tree is just awful. There’s a hell of a lot of fluff and not enough substance within it. It also needs more balancing in regards to research times. There are also other niggles. But it’s primarily the lack of depth, or should I say the game metaphorically is a puddle rather than the usual and very enjoyable 4X gaming ocean.

    I have to say, I don’t usually regret buying games, but this one at release made me feel like it stole my money, punched me in the stomach and laughed in my face about it. To be considered one of the best it’s going to need a transformation which goes beyond what Gal Civ 2 managed to do (and that was a fairly decent game to start with anyway)..

    I dunno… I hope a modder can actually turn it into the game it should have been, because I can’t see patches or expansions doing it right now. This patch is merely a plaster put over a severed artery for me.

    I apologise for the negativity Adam. But for me this game was purchased with money I didn’t really have at the time. I expected a huge banquet which would be a taste sensation… instead I got a slice of ham between 2 thin slices of bread.

  2. Ray says:

    Personally, I believe these guys are on the right track, A few more additions and some further patch fixes just might tip this into an enjoyable experience.
    While I don’t dislike this game – playing it is an experience of frustration at times. Many things are not properly explained enough for your average gamer so you are not aware whether some order you gave is a bug or you don’t meet the requirements to complete the order.
    The AI still needs some tuning in diplomacy. I have yet to complete what I would consider a satisfactory and fair exchange of luxuries without the AI demanding ridiculous compensation – maybe there is a reason for their demands – but I refer you to my comment above – what is the reason behind their refusal or high demands? Haven’t a clue!

  3. Solrax says:

    I don’t regret my purchase, but I agree that it is missing something to make it a must-buy, I still would recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre. I certainly don’t feel ripped off at all.

    The UI is one of the best I’ve seen anywhere, it makes Galactic Civilizations look like a joke, though that game has more depth. On the other hand, then enemy combat/fleet AI is pathetic. I (with my fully upgraded fleet) was mowing through enemy fleets with almost zero damage. And they were the ones initiating combat! After the first couple of utter defeats they should have retreated and retrenched. That is is the biggest flaw I’ve found so far. Perhaps the patch adding enemy fleet upgrades will help with this, I hope so because I would like to see this game do well, they have obviously put a lot of work and care into it and they are this -> <- close to having a winner!

  4. Smoking Robot says:

    Yeah, the tech tree is a disaster. Lots of flowery but meaningless words, very little basic info on what a tech will give you. Civ is easy, ‘If you research ‘Archery’ you can build the Archer’. I have very little idea what any tech in ES actually lets you do. They need to totally re-write all the tech descriptions so they are 60% shorter, and actually tell you what the tech does.

    • jackswift says:

      Just look above the text area next to the improvement icons in each tech. It tells you exactly what each tech does. You can also hover your mouse over each icon and it does the same thing, so you can easily see stuff like “-22% expansion disapproval” or “[This improvement gives] +3 food on explored moon, -5 dust maintenence”.

      I agree that the descriptions are flowery and unnecessary (I just read each one once and then never again), but they don’t detract from knowing exactly what a tech does.

      • Jamiri says:

        Sorry, but in my eyes it should be the other way around: it should give you the stats immediately and all the flavour text only if you hover your mouse above it.

  5. Marc says:

    I think this game is excellent at release and has tremendous potential. It doesn’t make the mistake of trying to develop competent AI for a tactical fighting game – the strategic level combat is a system where I can imagine having decent AI. It’s extremely stable, and the interface is intuitive. The tech system gives you interesting choices and there are distinct approaches that are reasonable. The different races play in different ways, and it shows a lot of promise for multiplayer. The AI gets too easy to beat when you get the hang of the system, and there are unbalanced custom race options. But these are minor critiques.

    I simply don’t understand some of the criticisms here. If you zoom down onto the tech tree the items are color-coded by what aspect of the empire that they improve and there is detailed text about what you gain, including whether it is empire-wide, system-wide, etc.

    There are too many space games that are complex, focus on tactical battles that AI players can’t hope to do competently, and that take forever to complete. ES is refreshing – one of the most enjoyable out of the box that I’ve seen in quite awhile. It needs some more things, especially on the AI side, and it could use more “chrome”. But it isn’t a train wreck like Civilization 5, where I can’t even see a path to making the game decent.

  6. red1939 says:

    I am on the ‘revolutionists’ side. In terms of production standards and overall quality the game is great. No doubts about that. Problems begin when you start getting deeper.

    Due to ‘one pipeline’ mechanism for systems the colonization options are basically stripped down to: “choose the most profitable planet and colonize the next one only when the first is full”. There is no constant pressure to colonize next planets.

    Tech tree is vast, but shallow. Most of the techs are like: “Weapon A +X” or “You can colonize planets X” (where X is dependent of the tech level). There is some variety but very few techs seem really interesting and game changing.

    The biggest flaw, however, is the … battles system (what a surprise). I don’t know where to start really. First, the whole concept of rock-paper-scissors (together with 3 weapon and defense types) is so boring that I don’t think it requires any more comments. Second, a lot of attention was put in detailed battle scenes, but after like 10 fights no one wants to watch them and probably switches to auto resolve. Third, the card system. At first it seem too chaotic. Later you begin pounding the enemy with the card combination that they can’t really beat.

    Random events, pirates, independent races? If any, not very intriguing.

  7. SamDog says:

    Multi-player is good, the quick tactical battles make it possible. Unfortunately some people hacked multiplayer, but usually the games are fun.

  8. Adam Solo says:

    Endless Space is now available for Mac on Steam.

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