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Stellar Indie Venture: Worlds Collide

By on June 25th, 2013 10:41 am

Worlds Collide | Turn-based space 4X strategy

Time for another entry on our galactic quest for brave new indie devs and their space 4X strategy gaming adventures.

This time the indie adventurer is Paul Hickey from KWFL Games. Paul proposes Worlds Collide, a turn-based space 4X strategy game he’s been developing on his spare time for the past year or so. Main features include: hex-grid maps, modular ship design, a somewhat complex sensor usage and AI corporations, these last forming the base of the empire’s logistics, industry and research. Let’s see what Paul proposes a bit more in detail.

Paul says to have been inspired by titles such as Galactic Civilizations, Civilization 5, Anno, Endless Space and EVE Online in developing his own game. He likes GalCiv’s diplomacy system, the way Civ5 manages units, Endless Space’s streamlined UI and EVE’s economy.

Like so many other indie devs, Paul is a one man indie dev show. He’s doing all the modelling, texturing, programming, etc. He seems to have been enjoying himself and already shows nice progress for someone working alone, and only on his spare time.

The features that caught my eye where the hex-grid based maps, the modular ship design, the sensor behavior and the intriguing “AI corporations” that will work like an autonomous private sector. The individual elements aren’t new, but I think they form quite an interesting combination, and a novel one.

Worlds Collide | Hex grid map

Paul’s vision for the AI corporations seems to be quite deep. The basic idea is to use them as a system to help reduce micromanagement. But, it seems to be more complex than that. The AI corporations sound like independent mini-factions that work for you but that you need to keep content under the penalty of losing their loyalty. So, as I understand, you rely, and depend on these AI corporations for transporting goods around, production, and possibly even for research. This is very tricky business, to handover so much gameplay to the AI, but Paul seems to be fully aware of the implications of implementing such an “hands-off” experience.

Individual ships can stack and form fleets over individual hex spots. Paul doesn’t want to enforce a max number of ships limit, and to avoid the infamous “stack of doom” effect, Paul proposes area-of-effect weapons which will damage all ships present on a grid spot at the cost of weaker individual damage. Ships, and other objects detection will be based on a sensor signature for each ship which adds for each ship present on the same grid spot. Paul’s idea for sensors is that large fleets will be easy to detect while solo ships can stay undetected much easier.

Worlds Collide is Paul Hickey’s Dream

Paul says that the game isn’t playable yet, and that he has “no idea” of how long it will take to reach stage. He does have plans to release the game commercially though.

Indie devs always appreciate comments or suggestions, and Paul is no exception.

“I’m always interested in hearing any feedback, queries or extra information people would like to see. I’ll continue to update and post screenshots or videos [on my blog] as I go or that people request.” – Paul Hickey

World Collide’s blog is currently the only way to stay in touch with Worlds Collide’s progress. I’ll make sure SpaceSector is another way to keep you posted on relevant developments. Godspeed Paul!

Worlds Collide | Galaxy shape

Worlds Collide | Modular ship design concept

Worlds Collide | Grid locations with unknown content

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  1. cem şancı says:

    Looks like Space Empires VI.

  2. TanC says:

    There can never be too many 4x games. Good luck Paul and I look forward to the completion!

  3. Martok says:

    Sounds like this could be good; hopefully we’ll see a playable build sometime in the next year or two. Good luck Paul, and thanks to Adam for bringing this game to our attention!

  4. Gary says:

    Adam, thanks for letting us know about this game. I look forward to more info in the future.

  5. Fishy says:

    Thanks Adam for the write up on my Game! I was surprised to open up spacesector and see a very familiar screenshot at top :D

    Space Empires definitely had some good aspects to it. I played Space Empires IV quite a lot though V was quite buggy at launch as I recall which made it hard to get into. I have a post in the “Your Announcements” forum here if anyone wants to discuss anything too and i’ll be watching the comments here too of course!

    I’ve still been putting plenty of my spare time into this working on getting what I need in so it can be considered playable. I’ve added the basics of relationship development between empires (i.e. if you are at peace for awhile they will like you more or if your borders are too close they won’t like it. etc)

    Now I’m working on what GUI elements I need up front and how I want them to look, still trying to keep it minimalist but with all the functionality needed (ie planet and fleet lists, diplomacy, research, ship design etc). The usual balancing act…

    • Alex says:

      Good luck with your game, it looks attractive to say the least.

      (Just make sure you don’t incorporate that Space Empires V AI :P )

    • Adam Solo says:

      You’re welcome Paul. Looks like you’ve been doing good progress. Yes, a planets and fleets list in one form or the other is a must have. Keep it up and let us know the developments.

    • Ark says:

      Hey Fishy, have you considered taking some ideas from Aurora 4X?

      They have some awesome features.

      • Gary says:

        Ark, I agree :) I’ve always wanted to see an Aurora game with a nice UI and graphics!

      • Fishy says:

        I’ve heard Aurora mentioned a couple of times around here, I’m downloading it now to see what i can do. I was looking at the tutorials while waiting… lol seems like it’s quite a deep and complicated game but thats cool. Sounds like it might have a lot of concepts that people enjoy that I could see how they might fit into my game as well :)

        Thanks for the suggestion!

        • Ark says:

          It is. It’s awesome and has an amazing depth but it’s written in goddamn VB and it looks like Menu Simulator 1998. Mind you, I don’t mind not having graphics, I love DF, but playing with VB can screw your system and god I wish the game supported a mouse-wheel.
          I would be lying if I said I don’t want an Aurora game with nice graphics, so I very much agree with Gary, but I know it’s not that simple.

          Anyway, I think it all comes down to how “deep” you like your games. I like my games as “deep” as they come. What Aurora does right is the exploration and customization side. Like, you NEED to research another species language. That’s the most basic thing you should do in any space game but not even Distant Worlds does that. I can’t think of any games that does that. First contact with alien species is always tense. You don’t know if they are warlike. You don’t understand their language. Can their sensors see me? If I contact them they could fire at me. Should I fire a volley of missiles first?

          Anyway, you can assign custom medals, pump planets full of toxic gas and it has some awesome system for exploration. Thank you for taking a look at it.

        • Gary says:

          There is “depth” and then there is “Aurora depth.” :)

          Here is an example of the difference, taken from a PC World review of Aurora,

          “To provide an idea of how complex Aurora is, understand that in most games of this type, you may research “Missiles” and discover “Fusion Missiles” and then “Anti-Matter Missiles” and so on. In Aurora, you research root technologies, such as warhead types, ECM, fuel efficiency, and so forth, and then you design a specific missile by making selections from many different categories, and then you perform a research project to learn how to build that missile, and then you start factories producing the missiles. I should also note you must design missile launchers and magazines as well, and then put them on an appropriate ship. You must also design the tracking systems to be used by the missiles, and decide which launchers are controlled by which sensors. Also, if you don’t decide to invest in armoring your magazines, enjoy watching your ship explode as soon as a lucky shot hits your missile bay.”

          Now THAT is complex! There is a reason that Aurora is called “Dwarf Fortress in space.” :)

        • Gary says:

          BTW, Steve has plans for Aurora 2, which will be written in Visual C# so he can learn that language.,3011.0.html

          However, last message in that thread from Steve (from January 2013) has him still using his spare time for standard Aurora development.

  6. Ej says:

    I wish you great success on this game! It looks similar to space empires 5. I had great expectations of that game BUT it was a total let down.

  7. nnipi says:

    Reminds me of Space Empires V aswell. Really liked how tactical battle could be customized (what targets to prioritize, try to stay at maximum range of your weapons to stay out of the enemys range, set when to retreat, ect.) It was rare to need to manually issue a command during battle. The ability to simulate battles was nice aswell. Hope you adopt that aspect of the game and not the fact that you would probably die of old age before you ever finish a single game.

    • Gary says:

      Heck, I wouldn’t mind a Space Empires V that worked in Windows 7 properly (without the slowwwwwww mouse movement).

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