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Distant Worlds: Universe to Launch in May 2014

By on March 13th, 2014 1:46 pm

Distant Worlds: Universe | 4th expansion pack to the real-time space 4X game Distant Worlds

Slitherine and Matrix Games have just announced that Distant Worlds: Universe, the 4th and possibly last expansion pack to Distant Worlds, will be released not in March as previously assumed, but in May of this year. Or at least that’s the official date for now.

We already knew that the focus of this 4th expansion was extending the game’s modding capabilities, the fact that it’s a standalone product (a “wrap up” release of the entire Distant Worlds series), and that it will offer a new storyline and new technologies to go along with it.

What we didn’t know yet was the scope of said modding extensions, which is now revealed.

New in Universe:

  • The entire Distant Worlds series in one package! Universe includes the Original Distant Worlds, Return of the Shakturi, Legends, Shadows and the new Universe expansion!
  • Comprehensive Modding and Customization Support: Allows adding/removing/changing most items: resources (including new colony-manufactured resources), ship components, planetary facilities and wonders, fighter designs, alien races and race families, diplomatic dialog, empire policy, custom characters, ship and base design templates, governments, plagues, research tech trees and more
    • Can customize most of the images used in the game: ships and bases, fighters, alien races, planetary facilities and wonders, characters, troops, components, resources, ancient ruins, planets, stars, asteroids, animated in-game effects and more
    • Use a previously saved and editor-customized game as a map for a new game (instead of generating a new galaxy)
    • Powerful new event system accessible from a considerably-upgraded Game Editor. Set up your own storyline in a custom map with triggered events and custom victory conditions
    • Add story triggers on specific in-game objects or events, executing one or more actions on other in-game objects (either immediately or delayed)
    • Can replace most of the user interface icons and sound effects
    • Add your own custom help files to the in-game Galactopedia
    • Switch between different customization sets with a couple of mouse clicks from the main game menu
    • Comprehensive 99-page Modding Guide that outlines how to make Mods and explains all of the settings in detail
  • A new official storyline built using the new modding capabilities, covering the first war between the Freedom Alliance and the Shaktur Axis, in which you have access to the tech required to build your own planet destroyers, establish the Ancient Guardians and research and deploy the Xaraktor virus.

There’s no price set yet but it’s expectable that this all-in-one package will be significantly cheaper than buying the base game and the three previous expansions all together. Matrix also said that there will be an “upgrade path for existing customers”.

To know more about this real-time space 4X strategy game, have a look at our reviews (base game and following three expansions): Distant Worlds, Distant Worlds: Return of the Shakturi, Distant Worlds: Legends and Distant Worlds: Shadows. Note that the game reached a great level only with the first expansion pack, Return of the Shakturi, at least in my view.

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28 Comments


  1. Joe Kundlak says:

    This should be as I anticipated it… and then some! Looking forward to it, as well as the price tag :p

  2. Benji says:

    whoooooooooo awesome!

  3. vnxa says:

    This is what I was waiting for, now lets hope the price is reasonable.

  4. BTAxis says:

    Yep, going to have fun with this. It probably won’t let me do everything I want, but it’ll be great all the same.

  5. Buxaroo says:

    I also hope it goes on Steam, like they just did yesterday with PanzerCorps. I bet they will sell a ton more if they go with Steam as well :)

  6. cem şancı says:

    I hope they started to prepare the distant worlds 2.

    • Harry says:

      I dont think so..

      They should start form scratch for DW2. Espicially GUI and Engine needs some modenifiacations.. I want a gui with scalable letters..
      3D graphics. And it should be faster even on small notebooks..

  7. Jeff P says:

    Thanks for the update! I found nothing about it on their website, so your info is very valuable. I’ll keep my eye on it and probably buy it when it goes on sale. Here’s also hoping it ends up on Steam!

    • Adam Solo says:

      You’re welcome Jeff. They did announce it through their website. Check the first link of the article. Slitherine also has the news on their homepage, at least at the moment.

      • Jeff P says:

        I checked it day before yesterday, so I guess I was a day early. Thanks for the info nevertheless.

  8. DannyD says:

    So if I have only Distant Worlds “vanilla” and buy this version I don’t need other expansion?? fantastic!!!

  9. Mark says:

    Not really interested in modding the game or playing mods. I think I’ll save some pennies and give this one a miss.

    I like DW but I cant see this expansion adding anything that I will actually want to use.

    • Gary says:

      Until someone comes out with a mod that you want :)

      • Mark says:

        We don’t know the price yet but I doubt they’ll charge $100 + like the current price plus all expansions.

        That being said, its pretty unlikely that they’ll charge $20 either. I think realistically that we’re looking at somewhere around $50 or $60. Would you pay that much for a mod that you want? Me either.

        • Gary says:

          Did you miss the line in the above article that says:

          Matrix also said that there will be an “upgrade path for existing customers”.

          I’m guessing for those of us with all current expansions, it won’t be more than $19.99.

        • Mark says:

          Well we’re both just guessing about prices here, who knows what they’ll charge? But even if the upgrade is $20.00 (which seems kinda optimistic for Matrix). That’s still rather a lot for modtools – that I’ll never use – plus a token scenario. You could buy a full game for that.

          If I were into modding and playing mods though, I’d probably pay that. It would be grudgingly though, after all I remember a time when mods were free….

  10. csebal says:

    Could we please get modding separately as a patch? I am really not looking forward to the prospect of having to buy an expansion with a token storyline bit tucked on just so they can call it an expansion and charge money for it.

    • Mark says:

      Totally agree.

      • ashbery76 says:

        Something about spending 6+ months development time and being no charity.

        • csebal says:

          Something about rewarding loyalty of those who spent all that money buying the game and its expansions before they finally made a bundled release.

          I can most certainly understand, that in an age, where paying to be a tester is the norm and a “digital art book” carries any value, the idea that a “feature” should be provided for free might sound ridiculous, but for those who actually take the time to think things through, its not.

          For starters: a modding feature’s value diminishes with the age of the game, so modding added in late is a lot less worthwhile, than modding added in early. Why?
          Because modding needs modders and those are not growing in every bush. You get a modder in your community for every N players and on a very basic level that means, that the higher the number of active players, the higher the number of modders will be.

          Suffice to say, that for a niche game, at the end of its life cycle, the number is probably far from being on a level that would produce a huge modding community.

          Okay, so we have established, that modding added to distant worlds a this point in time carries little value, BUT it still carries value, right? Why not pay for it? Several reasons actually:

          1) Modding increases the longevity of the game, thus results in more units sold over its lifetime (longer lifetime, more sales). So in essence it benefits the developer to add modding to his game, not just the gamers.

          2) Modding actually requires players to be doing some pretty heavy lifting. A serious mod is no child’s play to make. Even just making a rebalance mod, without any functional or content additions can take up weeks of your free time. Its serious commitment and you want to make it super easy for your players to commit themselves to it.

          Forcing them to buy the privilege of then spending weeks of their free time so they can make the games of other players more enjoyable, that’s just detached from reality.

          3) If the modding system is really that good, then it should not be too hard for the dev to create some worthwhile additions to the game and make money selling that as an expansion, while keeping the core modding functionality a free patch.

          As a matter of fact, modding started out as just that.. devs releasing the tools they used to make the games, because.. believe it or not, an intelligent developer creates the modding tools for himself as part of making the game.

          Somewhere along the line towards insanity, this tidbit of info got lost, along with the purpose of beta testing and the role of a beta tester and many other things.

  11. Dave says:

    So is there anything in there apart from a story for people who have legends?

  12. Martok says:

    E-e-e-e-excellent. :D

  13. t1it says:

    A patch sold out as an expansion. Not necessarily a “big” patch even for the majority of the players. What is this Paradox Interactive :D

  14. eidyx says:

    I so wish they would fix UI fonts in this game :(

  15. Alien JD says:

    Will the existing mods still work with the new expansion? Distant Worlds extended adds so much to the game that I’d hate to give that up. Plus the GEM mod and Sirian’s resource mods really are great to have.

  16. dearLeader says:

    So this is kind of a “gold edition”? I always wanted to get into Distant Worlds but the price always has been very prohibitive and I don’t understand why this game is priced so high.

    I bet Matrix is going to troll us and put it at 60$.

  17. DDCanuck says:

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I was hoping the would fix the pirate factions. I know most people enjoy playing the empires, but there is a certain allure to playing as a pirate. Only problem is that mechanics make it very difficult to really build up. Sometimes it wouldn’t allow me to build a criminal network, sometimes smugglers would cease to function, and worst of all, if for some crazy reason I did succeed in taking over a system the economic system would collapse and I wouldn’t be able to expand.

    So at the top of my wish list is to see the pirate factions improved.


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