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Digital Reality Announce Imperium Galactica New Game

By on February 13th, 2013 12:21 pm

Stargazer | Digital Reality engine for new Imperium Galactica game

This has just come in. Digital Reality, the creators of the space 4X game series Imperium Galactica, announced that they are working on a new game set in the Imperium Galactica universe. Little is know at the moment aside from the fact that it will be an online game, and that it will use Stargazer, an engine DR has been developing to generate customized planets in real-time.

This Stargazer engine is now available on their website, and you can download and play with it. This engine will be the “first step” towards a new Imperium Galactica game, says DR. The game is however in the initial stage of development – “This will involve a long-term development of several playable phases published in the future.” ~Digital Reality

Digital Reality’s Imperium Galactica space 4X strategy games are among the most well received of all time, and they were one of the first to seamlessly adapt the real-time mechanics to 4X games, resulting in one of the best 4X series ever created. Let’s hope that this new Imperium Galactica game follows on the footsteps of its predecessors and can also be a 4X game. Fingers crossed!

More on this as soon as we have it.

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  1. Garmine says:

    OH my god, I can’t believe it! :)

    I’m really looking forward it, and hope they’ll make something that’s at least as good as the old ones.

  2. Ezequiel says:

    Didnt they announced IG2 for mobile devices? Maybe its something along those lines…

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, but IG2 for the iPad has been around for a while. The only thing we know at the moment is that it’s an online game. Maybe an MMO? No reference to SP has been made yet though.

  3. Martok says:

    “Little is know at the moment aside from the fact that it will be an online game”

    If this means “online-only”, then I’m not interested, sorry.

  4. Kyle Rees says:

    Interesting news, IG2 was easily one of my second favorite 4x game right behind MOO2. Thanks for the great news!

  5. Lovász says:

    Please make fully customable outfitting/construction type ships for multyplayer.

    Kérem legyenek egyedi felépítésű hajók.

  6. Stormy says:

    Nice article. There is maybe a typo though, you first mention the Stargazer engine, then you write Starglazer.

    Otherwise, great news !

  7. David Karnok says:

    I’m interested in the implications, e.g., if they bought the name back from Atari?

    • Adam Solo says:

      You mean the “Imperium Galactica” trademark? That’s not Atari owned from what I understand. I see a “Budapest HUNGARY”, so that should belong to Digital Reality. I mean, how could they publish Imperium Galactica II for the iPad with their name. Maybe you’re confusing this with other IP, no?

      • David Karnok says:

        I was following Imperium Galactica from GT Interactive to Infogrames to Atari (according to Wikipedia). Now I hear Atari is in trouble and IG2 iPad implied this buyback. I was concerned because of my reimplementation of the original game with all of the assets included…

        • Adam Solo says:

          I see. Yes, according to the wiki it’s GT Interactive -> Infogrames -> Atari, but then, how does Digital Reality releases IG2 for the iPad? And the trademark seems to be registered in Hungary. Maybe DR had the IP all along, and GT Interactive only helped with the publishing part.

  8. JINGLES says:

    Finally!!! I have been waiting for this for a long time, surely there will be a single player aspect? Oh god I hope there is.
    Lets hope its as good as IG2

  9. t1it says:

    WOWOWOWOW!! What a pleasant surprise! Nothing can beat this announcement (except GCIII ofc)especially when I doubted DR had any muscles left :O
    Command & Conqer Generals 2, Company of Heroes 2, Age Of Wonders 3 and now this. Life is good.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, Company Heroes 2. If it’s at least as good as the original I’m in. C&C Generals 2 and Age of Wonders 3 ditto.

      On the new DR game, not so fast though :) We barely know anything about it, and the fact that they announced it as an online game is getting some people nervous. At least we know it plays in the IG universe, but I really hope there’s a SP element.

      • AstralWanderer says:

        I’d be among the boycotters if it was online-only too. Aside from this, this is good news – but with some gotchas. The IG series was top-notch for graphics and atmosphere (the only empire-builder that tried to provide an “emperor’s perspective”) but it had significant issues in the gameplay/balance department (broken pathfinding and repetitive gameplay in IG1, “fleet of doom” tactic overly effective in IG2). There was also no continuity between IG1 and 2 (different races, different universe) so how can IG3 share the same background?

        Haegemonia (also from Digital Reality and available on GOG) would seem a better starting point – it has more of a plot, better developed aliens and greater opportunities for a follow-up – encountering the Unseen that the Solons fled from?

  10. Smoking Robot says:

    Online 4X? Really? How’s that going to work?

    • Adam Solo says:

      There’s only a few available that I’m aware of, online 4X that is. Starjack Online for example. And, Empire of the Eclipse is also kind of a 4X MMO. I still have to revisit Starjack, but Empire of the Eclipse didn’t start well, don’t know now, don’t check for a while.

      However, online 4X is still a bit of unknown territory, because if the idea is to go MMO where there’s no AI to beat but only human players, it’s strange to think of that as diplomacy, at least in the terms that we’re used to.

      So, it will be interesting to find out what DR has in mind. Will they go completely F2P MMO, or will they offer SP and a strong online component? In any case, I’m convinced that it’s possible to offer a 4X experience in an online game, if we accept that we’re dealing with real human opponents instead of AIs, the rest should be essentially the same I guess. Which already happens in games like Civ and other 4X games that have a online multiplayer component.

    • Zeraan says:

      They never said it was 4X, just that it’s online and set in Imperium Galactica universe. That’s what I’m concerned about… It could be a space sim instead of 4X, but in IG lore…

      • Zeraan says:

        Note, I haven’t tried the teaser or whatever, so I may be wrong and it may be 4X after all.

        • Adam Solo says:

          The teaser demo doesn’t say much about the genre. But, you can tell that there’s some kind of colony development thing going on, which is more 4X. But then, there’s a spaceship flyby view that reminds of a space sim. It could be a hybrid. However, everything in the demo is very bare bones but it looks good and it’s nicely done I think. At least for an engine seems like a good start.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Correct, they don’t say anything about 4X or any other genre in fact. So, it may be a space sim. who knows. It’s set in the Imperium Galactica universe and we have the online demo teaser. And it’s online, and there will be several playable phases through development. That’s all we know for now.

    • csebal says:

      Actually, I’ve been pondering that idea for a decade now.. mostly because of how interesting of a challenge designing a 4X MMO actually is.

      The biggest one probably comes from how the flow in 4X games tends to snowball as the player gets stronger. Early/mid game is hard, then as you get stronger it gets progressively easier because of your dominance over the remaining opponents.

      In a persistent or even semi persistent multiplayer environment, this would mean that new players would simply be stomped on by older, more established empires and it would be extremely difficult for them to become even remotely competitive.

      Also the static tech tree of most of the games in the genre is not exactly ideal for really long running persistent games, as players would either max out on technologies too soon, or there would not be enough progress and the game would feel stale.

      Plus lots of other issues really.

      Then again, they are just problems to solve. Assuming someone somewhere comes up with the right solutions (or the ones he thinks are the right solutions), we will see a 4X MMO.

      As far as whether or not IG would turn out to be an MMO or even just a very MMO like online game.. i doubt it. Its too big of a title, with a way too significant history to just go and become a game design experiment like that.

      On the other hand, sequels are generally a place to fail when it comes to the space 4X genre. It would not be uncharacteristic for this game to follow the road of master of orion, where the developers wanted to bring the stars down from the sky, but got crushed underneath them in the process.

  11. Robert says:

    From what I saw in the demo online (I am a veteran of all the previous titles):

    Online only = Mistake.
    Feedback & Continuity = Wrong Direction.
    Judgement = Disaster.
    Will you buy it = No way.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I’ve found the teaser demo to be kind of cool actually. The UI, and the ambience are nice. What do you make of it? You can instruct buildings construction, a pivot gameplay aspect on IG games was always the colony building aspect, and the ability to do interact with your colonies directly when battles happened. And now you can supposedly navigate and flyby over your colonies. But yes, the online thing puzzles me.

  12. Ashbery76 says:

    I was excited about the headline and then I saw the online thing,meh.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Well, it was the best title I could come up with. Part was my desire to be as close as possible to the IG franchise, but it’s actually true. They said it themselves. It is an Imperium Galactica game, although the genre is still unknown at the moment.

      To be exact, this is what DR says (in the about page on their Stargazer site): “We are currently working on a new Imperium Galactica game”. But then they say: “it will be an online game set in the world of the Imperium Galactica universe”. Hum…

  13. a_Wizard says:

    Ha I loved the scrolling intro on the page!
    Adding my sceptical soprano “What online!?” to the choir.
    The Teaser demo is quite nice though my comp had problems coping with it.
    The UI is great and I love beautiful planets.
    Actually it’s quite sad how most space 4x games neglect planets so much and focus on other stuff like ships, don’t get me wrong ships are awesome.
    Planets are the heart of your empire, the home of your people but mostly a barely unique spherical object that generates income.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I’m with you. Spaceships are awesome but planets are the principal characters in a space 4X game, or at least they should be as they are the backbone for everything. It’s the equivalent to cities in Civ. Everything sprouts from them. You can have massive starbases that behave like star cities and house millions of people, and be a rough equivalent to planets, but in the end the planet is king and they deserve a better spotlight.

  14. Viktor says:

    Everything was exciting until the “online” part… Seriously? Same happened with Simcity. Seems like game designers these days look after the “online” games like the next big thing. Online games are not suitable for every single game type out there. I am not buying that thing, no matter how good it is, online kills the intimacy of 4x games.

    • Adam Solo says:

      But that’s the thing. Simcity is a single-player game. And the new installment to release soon will be played online. How does those facts glue together? Is the online part used for DRM purposes only in these cases? I see that the new Simcity has a solo gameplay mode even being an online game, so perhaps IG’s new game can have one also.

      I hope they clarify this soon. But yes, when developers announce an “online game” we usually know what they mean. For me it usually means an MMO, otherwise they wouldn’t call it an online game. They would call it a Y genre type game, with multiplayer possibly online if that’s the case. Could be wrong of course.

    • a_Wizard says:

      I would love having the option to chose to play either online or single player, 4x is historically a single player experience and many people prefer it that way, I love to tinker do silly stuff or just play a game for the sake of being alone getting away from a busy day.
      Online play usually enriches the game further and I can’t count the hours I played with close friends or even strangers which where a total blast, often created a totally new experience.
      But why rob me of the single player experience which I hold so dearly.

      PS:Yes this is no reply nor a question, I know. Its emotion!

  15. Jeff P says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m conflicted. IG and IG2 were great experiences, but to be honest they were loaded with bugs. That Digital Reality has set the demo recommended specs as high as they have suggests that the new game (whatever it is) will be pushing the tech envelope. Not a good sign.

    If the new game is a MMO, that is a killer for me: 7 years with WoW has cured me of any interest in another MMO.

    I’d love a new beautiful 4X game; a resource-hog MMO, not at all.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I asked Digital Reality to comment on this, let’s see.

      • Viktor says:

        Personally I think they were so excited to do the announcement that they rushed their words out; it kind of contradicts itself when they say it’s a “new game” but then proceed to mention “based on IG universe…” It’s like trying to sell something new under the impression of an existing product as if to assure quality, reliability or service. The same goes for when you see a “new AND improved” 2013 X Y vehicle being sold. It’s either totally new (never seen before) OR improved (re-designed) not both. That’s my 2-cents.

  16. Ace of the Stars says:

    Online? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… Please concentrate on single player only!

    • Adam Solo says:

      :) Funny that in a very recent talk with Civ4 and Civ5 designers (Soren Johnson and Jon Shafer) two of the points that they discussed were exactly about 4X multiplayer and the online thing, and how that could work or not. Check here if you’re interested. It’s very interesting.

  17. Hypnotron says:

    This looks like a good start to a type of alien invasion X-COM inspired game that contains both Flight Sim missions, huge scale ground force missions (with weapons support from space and air) as well as squad based tactical style missions.

    The game can include both offensive and defensive campaigns. The offensive campaign can be either you doing the invasion or you and your fleet coming back home after years away in deep space, to retake your conquered homeworld.

    • Hypnotron says:

      Randomized planets, randomish enemey force distributions and such could make for unlimited replayability.

      Campaigns can take place on moons, single provinces of large worlds, entire planetary systems and maybe even entire solar systems in future expansion packs.

    • Hypnotron says:

      Victory conditions can take into account various factors such as how many civilians must survive, duration (have to achieve victory before enemy reinforcements from deep space arrive), how much of the infrastructure has to survive (can’t just lay waste to entire cities).

      Another premise could be that both sides don’t want to make the planet inhospitable so nukes might be allowed, but if the global radiation levels reach x levels, you lose.

      This is one of the many things that annoy me about XCOM Enemy Unknown. The original XCOMs took full advantage of the tech they had to make a good simulation at the squad level. Now we have even better tech but really very few companies want to use that to make broader simulations such as Creative Assembly and Total War.

      And I do think it’s possible to make a broader alien invasion simulation that is not ultra hardcore like a Falcon 4.0 campaign.

  18. Hypnotron says:

    Back on topic-ish…

    I would like to know what is this expansive barren terrain supposed to offer gamers beyond the initial novelty.

    Seems to me the seemless space to planet transitions and the expansive procedural terrain are a big waste of time _if_ it’s not utilized for some massive ground forces opportunities.

    I feel like the global procedural terrain element in alot of new games is a huge waste of development effort because going from that to something meaningful is an order of magnitude more work that just will not get done.

    • Hypnotron says:

      aka: millions of square kilometers of barren wasteland is ultra lame. seriously. it just has to be said.

  19. Angel says:

    Awesome. Seriously the only thing that would make me jizz in my pants more than this announcement is Homeworld 3…

    Though I too am cautious about the whole ‘online’ thing, I will not be so quick to condemn it until I see what they do with it.

  20. Predictorian says:

    I was a big fan of “Reunion” some 20 years before. I remember how stupid the alien races were and always very weak about diplomacy. And some 20 years later even with the quantum computers and cloud computing, still AI is very weak on diplomacy. Mark my words: 4x will be totally MMO and very social. Every bit of your play will be shared on social networks automatically. I think this is so exciting. But don’t get me wrong I spent almost a year in Imperium Galactica 1. And still remember every bit of the game! Wonderful! But after IG1 I’ve failed to notice any unique 4x game. Maybe Endless space will catch something. Anyway, I’m ready for the next move that Digital Reality will make.

    • AstralWanderer says:

      “Mark my words: 4x will be totally MMO and very social. Every bit of your play will be shared on social networks automatically. I think this is so exciting.”
      LOL. “Farmville – The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Facebook flunkie. My five month mission: to gorge on micro-transactions, to seek out new followers and pitch virtual goods, to vaguely figure what the hell I’m doing before the whole Internet collapses in LOLs!”
      More seriously, have you even looked at the number of single-player 4X games announced or sucessfully funded on Kickstarter? That shows demand for the exact opposite of your prediction, quirky AI or not.

  21. Predictorian says:

    The revolution in 4x MMO I’m predicting won’t come from fund-raising. The people (smart one) makes good games. And when these people connect together they will make the revolution. Should I need to give examples about the revolution?

  22. Novakiller says:

    Just thought you guys might want to know any updates on this game… so i’ll copy and paste from the forums.

    1) Lets cut to the chase with the million dollar question. Will it be a 4X game?

    Traditionally speaking, no. What we hope to achieve is an evolution of the 4X genre, evolving each „X“ seperately to add new gameplay experiences. It will differ from the original 4X IG gameplay, mixing the charm of 4X with new and exiting ways for players to play the game. Ofcourse the feedback from the players is invaluable to us, and especially in the conceptualisation phase of the game we would like to hear as many ideas as possible on how you think we can achieve this.

    2) How and when will the game be released?

    We want to move away from the industry standard of releasing a core gameplay and then adding on content. Instead, we want to release each installment of the game after each other, which each installment adding an extra layer of gameplay, like layers of a cake. It doesn’t mean that each installment will contain one of the „X“ of the 4X genre, but we can say that the first installment will include the X „eXterminate“. The other „X’s“ will follow later.
    This way, we can avoid developing the full game for years on end with the players waiting and waiting, and we can get feedback directly after we release each installment.
    Furthermore it will be released as an online game, so we can adjust, tweak and patch on the fly.

    3) So if this is an online game, will it be an MMO type game? Solo/multi player? What kind of monetization model will it have?

    The only thing we can say for sure right now, is that it will be free to play (but not pay to win!) and an MMO. Because of the type of development and release we want to do, the genre of the game will change with every installment, so it’s not a persistent world MMO. We will make sure that no progress is lost ofcourse. As for solo play, some parts of the game will eventually be playable alone, but it is not our goal.

    4) What exactly is Imperium Galactica: Stargazer? Is this how the new game will be played?

    Stargazer is the engine we use to build the client. The interactive teaser is meant more as a demo to show what it’s capable of. The gameplay that is shown in the teaser is not the actual game, or exactly how the game will be. Besides, we will not develop the teaser further, except for a few bugfixes here and there, while we focus on developing the first installment of the actual game.

    5) What platforms will the game support?

    We will focuss on PC release initially, but eventually it will be available on other platforms.

    6) How do the former IG games „fit“ in to this game? Will the races and storyline be continued?

    The storyline will not be continued, but parts of the races and the IG lore will be presented. It will be a new, but familiar universe in some ways.

  23. scott says:

    If it’s doesn’t have single player then no buy from me either.

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