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L3O Interactive Signed with Iceberg Interactive for Horizon

By on March 19th, 2013 11:23 am

Horizon | Space 4X game - Tactical Combat

L3O Interactive has struck a publishing deal with Iceberg Interactive for Horizon, their turn-based space 4X strategy game for the PC. And, after the recent deals for Endless Space and StarDrive, Iceberg continues to show its strong support for space strategy games.

We’ve been following Horizon for a long time now. Development dates back to 2006 (at least), and it was one of the first space 4X games we covered on the site, with an interview with the main developer back in 2010. Life is hard for an indie, and there were long periods of apparent development inactivity. However, the devs re-emerged strong on January 2012, hired some new hands and were now able to convince Iceberg to tag along and help on publishing their game.

The publishing agreement includes worldwide digital rights and boxed retail rights for Western Europe, Russia, Australia and other to be announced territories. Horizon is part of SpaceSector’s “Sci-Fi/Space Games You Can’t Miss” list and is currently scheduled for a summer 2013 release.

Horizon | Starmap

Features include:

  • Total open space: Ships can travel anywhere between stars and inside solar systems;
  • Turn-based tactical combat: Reinforcements can arrive while battles are ongoing; no artificial limits on how long battles can last;
  • In-depth ship design: Allows you to choose weapons, emplacements, and specials on different hull sizes based on available technology;
  • Unique races: Technologies, weapons, and ships are based on each race’s culture and civilization;
  • Coordinate actions: Coordinated diplomatic and military actions with your allies against your enemies;
  • Research: up to 100 techs, each with 10 levels of upgrades.

Find more screenshots here. More info about the game on L3O website. Read the full announcement here.

Horizon | Planet view

Horizon | Galaxy map

Horizon | Diplomacy

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  1. dayrinni says:

    Looks cool!

  2. LayDayDirk says:

    I was hoping to hear more about this game! Fantastic news, thanks for the update!

  3. Starizard says:

    BIG improvements since the last update! Glad to see it’s coming along and that they have been signed on with Iceberg!

  4. Dudefriend says:

    Looks good! Can’t believe this game finally has a release date! :O

  5. RandomBlue says:

    Looks nice, though the UI looks on the largish side, reminds me of early 2000’s late 90’s game UIs. Might just be the screenshot resolution though. Gameplay looks up my alley though.

    • dayrinni says:

      I like how they did the UI. It looks simple and clean, but usable. Though, playing will actually determine if those actually hold true. I also like the galaxy view – looks cool.

      • Lens Flares Suck says:

        Yes, the game design and artwork looks very clean. The fonts look READABLE and information is layed out in a straightforward way.

        Maybe this game will focus on BEING FUN, unlike so other recent 4x’s which are so complicated they are not engaging.

        Simpler is usually better.

        Please keep us informed on this, it’s the most interesting new 4X I’ve seen in a long time.

        • rahvin says:

          Simpler isn’t better. You need interfaces and designs that allow you to automate the gameplay so as you learn the game you can choose to focus on the aspects of the game you like. This is the best for almost everyone (as long as the AI is good) so that everyone can play the type of game they like by automating the stuff they don’t like.

          That’s probably the thing I like the most about Distant Worlds. The game is immensely complex and could be a micromanagement nightmare, but they allow you to basically automate the entire game so you can choose what functions of the game you want to manage. This basically allows a game that’s tailored to how you want to play, not how the developers thought you wanted to play.

          The problem with a game that’s got a simple learning curve and interface is that generally in the long run they are so simple that the re-playability is nil. The other thing a complex game with automation allows is a customized learning curve.

          Anyway, I disagree, simple isn’t better in most cases. The only time you want something simple is when the interface is cluttered, game play is complex, the learning curve is very steep and it’s a micromanagement nightmare or in other words when the game sucks.

  6. DevildogFF says:

    Are they opening up the beta, then?

    If so, how do we sign up?

    • RandomBlue says:

      Devildog, your soul belongs to StarDrive!

    • Adam Solo says:

      Now word on beta yet. I think they will enter in a QA (Quality Assurance) period now. The same as with StarDrive before it opened for pre-orders. They will probably only go beta (possibly open) after that I guess.

  7. Evrett says:

    Iceberg is really taking a gamble chaining themselves to every name in the field. So do they advertise and provide services for all these space 4x evenly? Courting more than 1 person at a time is a recipe for drama…

    • Adam Solo says:

      They surely have quite a few 4X titles at the moment (Armada 2526 Gold, Endless Space, StarDrive and now Horizon) that they will soon be competing against themselves :) But, I also think it’s a sign the genre is alive and well, that it’s starting to get proper attention from publishers. I think that’s a good thing.

  8. ashbery76 says:

    Total open space is a feature :)

    I hope the game has some new ideas rather than copy and paste 4x staple.

  9. thrangar says:

    Holy space cows! I cab read the fonts…actually I likr the look of the whole thing so far…makes my wishlist

  10. Kordanor says:

    Unfortunately the one and only 4X Space game this year which does not have multiplayer and doesn’t plan to get it.

    Pics look awesome and I am probably buying it anyways if the quality is right.

  11. Buxaroo says:

    Looking forward to this indeed. At least next month I will have StarDrive to keep me busy. Then hopefully once I milk that game for all it’s worth this will be released :)

    • Starizard says:

      Yea, they’ve really improved! I guess they listened to the feedback.

    • dayrinni says:

      Wow, I didn’t even know this was that game. They did a fantastic job with the new graphics and everything. Props to them.

  12. Jeff P says:

    Horizon is looking better than I expected. I really like the 3 levels of involvement (galaxy map, starmap, and system map) and the (supposedly) extensive tech tree. I am concerned that there was no mention of a beta, open or otherwise. We’ve had enough of that, lately (I’m looking at you, LOP!)

    • Adam Solo says:

      When there’s no word of a beta, but more importantly when there isn’t any hands-on preview published before release (no preview builds released to the press) it’s a clear sign that something may not be right. This was the case with LoP and SotS2 by the way.

  13. Martok says:

    Excellent news! I’ve had my eye on Horizon for years now, so it’s exciting to see it approaching release.

    Also, kudos to Iceberg for supporting the genre! They’ve really been on a roll the last couple years.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I didn’t lose hope for these guys. Proof of that is their inclusion on the 2013 SpaceSector’s Can’t Miss list. But, man, was development slow… There are screenshots that date from 2006. But, better late than never :)

  14. HectorOfTroy says:

    There are no videos of gameplay anywhere!! At least I couldn’t find them.

    • RandomBlue says:

      Well they’re not asking for our money yet. Hopefully there will be plenty of videos available prior to release.

  15. Keith Turner says:

    Great to see this one continuing to move along. I see they are going to have some sort of galactic council/voting system similar to MoO. I’m curious to see how that is going to work in this game.

    I also like the sound of reinforcements coming in during the battle. I’d like to see a turn-based tactical system that will support having your ally race’s ships come in and help you during combat. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but it’d be nice to see. If I have one gripe about alliances, it’s that they seldom lead to any type of coordinated strikes or teamwork in the vast majority of games.

    Iceberg is becoming a very strong supporter of the genre. That’s great news for 4x space fans.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yea, I also like the galactic council/voting system, similar to MoO as you say. It’s a very simple feature, and when people talk and talk about 4X games not having satisfactory endings, I think that the galactic council (2/3 votes necessary I think) was a very elegant solution to end the game in a satisfactory way.

  16. Lens Flares Suck says:

    I just signed up at their forum. Very little activity there. It’s a shame, this looks really good.

    Are people burnt out by 4X games that offer fun gameplay but deliver tedium instead?

    • RandomBlue says:

      I think you mean “promise fun gameplay but deliver tedium instead”. I don’t think that’s the issue. I think 4X is just a niche genre unfortunately and until the game is actually available to a decent amount of players in some form (be it alpha/beta/release) you’re not going to see much community involvement.

    • Jay says:

      I think the problem is I don’t see this one adding much if anything to the genre unlike Stardrive and Star Lords for instance, it’s not really an issue of people being burned out by 4x games.
      There’s a huge lot more activity in their respective forums for instance, I regularly check them for news while I don’t have much interest in Horizon to be entirely honest.

      • Gray Carlyle says:

        And unlike Stardrive AND Star Lords this game dont have a alpha/beta program running.

        • Adam Solo says:

          No, not yet. At least one that we are aware of. But, now they should be entering in a QA (quality assurance) phase. At least I read something about that (similar to what happened with StarDrive). And, if they follow the “procedure” they used for StarDrive, they should probably enter in beta after this QA phase. I’ll check that out in due time.

  17. SYN says:

    Good god!!! This is my first post in this website!!!

    I seriously hope this game doesnt end up like LOP!!!!! I wasted money on 2 copies (1 for me and the other for my cousin). Eventually got a refund for both.

    Actually LOP had a powerful concept however, QA wasnt done on it. I do hope HORIZON has a damn good QA team or maybe have iceberg get some good testers for this before fully deciding to roll it out.

    • Starizard says:

      I believe that is one of the benefits of having a publisher? They hook you up with QA, etc.

      • Jay says:

        Legends of Pegasus also had a publisher, Kalypso if I’m not mistaken, but it ended up being a disaster anyway so I don’t think that’s the issue.

        • Adam Solo says:

          The difference is that Kalypso never released preview builds for LoP. That’s a red alert that things may be wrong. And in LoP’s case the fear materialized. Always look for hands-on/beta previews. If you don’t see one …

  18. Ace of the Stars says:

    Well, another one to keep an eye on, let´s see if it´s worth it at the end.

    • SYN says:

      i do hope its go for this…i havent had a good game in ages…cuz im damn choosy for space sci-fi games. I also dont like too much scripted event games…it tends to ruin the fun.

      e.g. homeworld 2, irrc, a few missions are based on some damn formula whereby you got x number of ships and the enemy will have x*1.5 or more….thats bloody stupid.

  19. Ace of the Stars says:

    Early access coming soon, your thoughts guys? Will this be worthwhile?

    I gotta be honest, I haven´t seen anything about it since this news got published here so I have no idea if it will deserve my bucks.

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