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MORE: A Pre-Alpha Look

By on October 2nd, 2014 9:52 am

M.O.R.E. | A turn-based Space 4X Strategy Game by IdeaLcenter

Last week I was able to have a chat with Marcin Bednarski from IdeaLcenter about M.O.R.E. We were able to talk about M.O.R.E. and were offered a live demonstration of the state of the game. It should be noted the game is still in a very early stage of development (pre-pre alpha of sorts) and not all the components are implemented, many more elements are not fully functional, and lastly the game still uses plenty of place-holder assets. The purpose of this preview was to get an idea of the direction M.O.R.E. is going into.

For those that are new to M.O.R.E. it is a turn-based space 4X strategy game that will have turn-based tactical combat. The game chimes to be inspired off of Master of Orion 2, a classic of the genre. They’ve recently released their second Kickstarter, which SpaceSector has previously covered here. Currently, IdeaLcenter is doing regular update videos to showcase more elements of the game.

The Basics

One of the many things I am curious about when it comes to 4X games is diversity of options given to the player when setting up a new game. Naturally I decided to probe into this area during the demonstration. Overall, there seems to be many options to tailor your galaxy, along with the 20+ races to choose from which you can customise as well. Each race tends to have their own unique technology branch in the tech tree. Races also have a diverse array of habitats and biochemistry (not all life is carbon based, and some races live in regions like the Corona of Stars and Asteroid Belts). The player can also disable random events including disabling only specific events; other game settings include victory conditions.

M.O.R.E. | Diversity of game options

One thing to note, the screen is pretty compact and the basic choices are presented immediately, each category has an advanced tab that places the more detailed selections inside of it. Example, selecting the shape and size of your galaxy is pretty straight-forward, but the player can also expand into selecting the number and type of stars specifically, and the density of each type of worlds as well.

Another feature the game will have is an Omnipedia which acts like an in-game encyclopedia about everything, such as game mechanics to lore bits (which the community has been helping to flesh out).

Galaxy Map

The game is set in a fully 3-dimensional galaxy, as many of the game preview videos have showcased. The galaxy will contain many features such as wormholes, neutron stars, black holes, and even nebulae of varying kinds. The game will have the traditional trappings of spheres of influence, sensor range, and even limits on fleet ranges. It was also informed that the player can send a ship to any point in deep space; this includes even having a rally point just outside of a system 1-turn away from invading. However, there are costs to have a fleet far from its home base and having fleets in a holding pattern outside of a star system.

M.O.R.E. | 3D Galaxy map navigation

One concern I had is ease of navigation. I was answered that such concerns are already being addressed. At the moment, the player can filter what they see in the galaxy map such as planets he owns, only planets from a certain range from the selected point, or seeing the current sector only. Also, coordinates can be given to fleets directly to have them go directly to a given coordinate in space. I still feel more tools could be useful, especially being able to get such coordinates easily, but from what I saw IdeaLcenter is aware of such considerations.

Planetary Systems

Perhaps the meat and crux of any space 4X game are planets since they serve as the backbone of your economy. Like in most games, you have a planet view panel. There you can filter them as you wish and order as necessary. This is important as from what I gathered from the game there will be a lot of worlds to explore, as you have many star systems, each with a set of planets that may even have their own moons. Filtering will let you only select colonies or filtering planets via other criteria. More importantly due to the diversity of worlds, practically any planet criteria can be used to order a planet and many of which are also filter options.

One thing I noted was that the diversity of worlds is huge. Aside from the typical planetary types and resource levels, the game seems to also factor conditions such temperature, gravity, and biochemistry. The design choice of the game was that there is a multitude of worlds but only some of these worlds will ever be useful for a given race. Though technology can be used to expand ones comfort zone and make less comfortable planets more comfortable, not all worlds will be viable and even by the end-game you will have a vast number of useless rocks in your territory.

M.O.R.E. | Star system view

The player will be going far and wide to find the worlds they need with many planets being unusable between them. This also means because of the racial diversity of alien life, there will be planets you will not be competing for and the possibility of a mixed-space is quite possible.

The player can go to the system view which gives an overview of the system, showing every world inside and allowing the player to quickly select and at a glance to get the basic information they need to know about the selected world. The player will also be able to get information on the star and on the asteroid belts in a given system as these may be places of interest for certain races that live in such environments.

The game also features a sort of cinematic view of inside the star system, showing the worlds orbiting their respective stars and moons around their respective planets. Settled worlds will show sentient activity as space build objects will be seen orbiting their respective worlds. This view also gives the player an idea of what the local ‘topography’ would be during a system bound space battle. Overall, the view seems to be visually rich and was a request of many backers.

Colonies

All these planets would be useless if one would not be able to exploit them. Though the game’s economic models have not been implemented and placeholder art is still abound I was able to see some elements of how colony management will work. The basic economy is similar MoO 2; where you have farming, industry, and science, but you also have mining which supplies resources to feed the industry. The game uses freighters to help distribute food and minerals as well, allowing players to set up agriculture planets and mining planets feeding their science and industry planets.

M.O.R.E. | Planets list

The player is given many tools to help micromanage such as the player can set growth direction (as in which area new population is placed), assign a flag category which makes any other planet with the same flag get the same change, and the use of saved build-order templates. The player can build civilian and military structures, orbitals, and obviously spaceships. Like in many games, if you have enough money in your treasury you can speed up production immediately.

Technology and Leaders

The game will use a tech tree similar to Master of Orion 2 where the player will have a choice between each branch but only receive the one they researched and skipping the ones they have not selected. Two key differences were observed: most techs will have an automatic tech above and beyond the one the player chooses acting as a sort of baseline that everyone can get; the other is that every race has its own unique branch which helps further distinguish each race from each other.

The game will have a wide variety of leaders. These will be captains and admirals (commands spaceships and fleets), diplomats (improves relations with other races), scientists (improves research and may even give free techs), spies (improves espionage), and managers (colony governors). You will be able to get leaders from exploration while others will come and offer their services for you. There is also a sort of leader market where factions can place bids on potential leaders. Leaders will also have recruitment requirements as some leaders will join certain type of empires, such as those that are at war or that are a certain type of government.

M.O.R.E. | Leader management

Diplomacy and Espionage

The diplomacy kernel seems to be far from complete, but Marcin assured that a lot of work will be placed into it. The game will have the traditional treaties one would expect, the ability to trade techs, and even the possibility to coordinate with allies. Also, relations will be bilateral which means liking a race does not mean they will like you. There is also a sort of global opinion for each race that acts as a sort of reputation or karma meter which shows your overall standing in the galactic community. This can have a serious impact on which race is willing to deal with you. Lastly, it was mentioned that there will be inter-species councils though not much detail was given on this subject.

The game will also have an espionage system. The player will assign agents to either espionage or sabotage to any number of opponents and even select focuses within each. Espionage will focus on stealing tech and gaining information, while sabotage is about weakening the enemy by causing acts of violence, or sabotaging their economy or research. The player can also assign agents to defence; however, the counter espionage and counter sabotage require their own agents.

Fleet, Ships, and Combat

There was not much that was shown in these areas as the game is still in a very early stage of development. The game will allow the player to customise their ships by adding modules and components, allowing the player to influence their ship’s esthetics and combat capability. IdeaLcenter intends to have a wide variety and modification to weapons: having weapons that can bypass shields, armour penetration, or envelope. Ships will have many different defences such as armour and shields, and point defences. Ships will also have statistics such as ‘noise’ which will determine a fleet’s detectability. The fleet screen is designed to give the player all the relevant information on many statistics.

M.O.R.E. | Fleet management

Not much was shown about combat, but facing will matter as weapons will have firing-arcs. Additionally, a star system’s topography will matter as ships will be able to take cover behind moons and asteroid belts. Again, none of these have been implemented yet, most of this was discussed and renders were shown from inside the game’s program. One bit of information that was interesting is that the game will have space monsters and one of the alien races will be able to tame them for personal use.

Final Comments

The core concept of M.O.R.E seems to be including many elements that veterans of the space 4X genre may be looking for. Though I have not seen the game be actively played, I was shown the engine in action and many key gameplay elements inside the game. I have seen no functional AI, and there has not been any mention of one being developed. When asked, I was told the bulk of the AI will be developed later but no timeframe was given as to when even a basic AI would be implemented. The game will support modding, but yet again not much details were given on the matter except that the game will be friendly to modders.

Hopefully, IdeaLcenter will be able to continue with the progress on the game and be able to show us more about their title in the future. The game still has quite of bit of work left before hitting the Alpha stage and I do wish them luck on this endeavour.

(Updated October 9, 2014.)

You can check out M.O.R.E. at their official website here, you can also go check their second Kickstarter page here. The regular updates can be found here. There is no official date given when the game will be complete and when the alpha will be available for backers, though the project is nearing the alpha phase. My personal opinion is they should not rush the game, as this has been a bane for many of the indie 4X games that were released lately.

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55 Comments


  1. marlowe221 says:

    I have high hopes for this game and the return of turn-based tactical combat in a space 4X game!

  2. alex says:

    I really hope this turns out well. That being said, the emphasis on making the “next MOO2” and rigidly adhering to 4x conventions is frustrating. Why not have a variety of starting positions (with some factions starting with empires and other less-developed) and greater faction variety, which are explained by lore that gives a sense of history and role-playing (in the literal sense)? Why not have named characters who develop meaningfully over time, and travel in their own ships rather than via spreadsheets, giving the player a sense of attachment to them? I feel like Emperor of the Fading Suns, the Total War series, and the paradox games (particularly Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings) have a lot to offer that could help space strategy games break out of the stagnant 4x model. Distant Worlds was a step in the right direction–it still feels bland, but the galaxy feels full of life and activity rather than the typical lifeless chessboard, and the economy (while it has huge problems IMO) was a welcome departure from the overdone civ/MOO style of the food/production/research command economy.

  3. Smoking Robot says:

    Teeny-tiny fonts and minuscule little bits and bobs on the screen and icons you can’t make sense of.

    Not for me. Too bad, I’ve been waiting for a good space 4x since Ascendancy.

    • StarMate says:

      ever tried distant worlds universe? its currently the best 4x fantasy game and personally i find it even better than MoO2.

      • Happy Corner says:

        He said he has a problem with teeny-tiny fonts… I wouldn’t steer him in the direction of Distant Worlds!

      • Mark says:

        Although the font size in DW has improved considerably over the last few patches

    • Vendor-Lazarus says:

      Change your display resolution. In-game or otherwise.

      I wouldn’t want to play Ascendancy in 1920×1080 either.

    • JD says:

      “… I’ve been waiting for a good space 4x since Ascendancy.”

      I forgive you for smoking Robot. You know your computations ;-)

    • Ridon says:

      Ascendancy was awesome

      But more looks also very intersting… i have high hopes… but lets see how it turns out

      • Neil says:

        Ascendancy was awful as a strategy game. It was almost impossible to lose a game to the brain dead AI (even with the so-called antagoniser patch).

        What ascendancy did very well was creating a great sci-fi atmosphere. Terrific music, an interesting tech tree and some of the most imaginative aliens in any sci-fi game.

  4. BlueInstinct says:

    very good preview, i have to say this sounds really good so far.

    I hope the devs manage to get all those high ambitioned features together and running.

    all the best!

  5. csebal says:

    Thanks, Edward, for the preview.

    It is a well written piece, that I believe could also do better in certain areas:
    – You either accidentally or on purpose neglected to mention the fact that the game is about a year overdue compared to its originally planned official release date (yes it has one, and it was set in 2013). I believe that to be a rather important part of any introduction of a project.

    – Did not touch the AI topic and more importantly the fact that they plan on starting alpha without an AI and even beta without any AI worth a damn, or their idea of the AI system being extendable by modders.

    – You did not ask them about modding plans in general.

    – Basically I see this as a wasted opportunity as you did not address the critical questions and did not touch all important topics. 95% of the article could have been written from the KS page and the two video updates they posted.

    Generally though it is an okay summary of the current situation that might save people some time when they want to assess where this project is.

    • About the AI, the demo did not have a functional AI (or if there is one it was not shown), it is basically running game engine. There wasn’t much said about the AI. I thought I conveyed that impression in the article when I said I did not see the game being actively played, however, I guess I could have been more clear about not seeing any AI implemented yet. Fell into the old assumption trap. Considering the combat module doesn’t seem to be implemented in the engine I was shown, none of this comes to a surprise to me.

      Side Note: It does seem they plan to add the AI much later than one should in a development phase. So that furthers explain the lack of AI seen so far. It definitely worth mention for clarity. I hope they reconsider their AI implementation schedule since a competent AI is an important matter for games of this genre.

      As for modding, yeah, I did ask them. They said they are planning to have the game be quite mod-able but there was not a lot of detail given. That I could have been said in the article, missed it, sorry about that.

      You are right about the game being over time from the time frame they initially, but honestly the estimate they first gave was way too generous and I never believed it for a moment. Rushing the game would be the single worst thing they can do. That said, there is indeed something to be said about the estimate since many might have pledged based on those figures. So a more conservative and realistic estimate would have been the right thing to do. Many people do decide if they will back a project on when a product will be delivered.

      Personally, I do not believe in pushing games out. Quite frankly I am actually a little sick and tired of playing half-finished unpolished games. It got to the point if I am not happy with the release candidate I probably not going to give the game a second chance. The bigger issue would be they were not being upfront about the actual time it would take or (more likely) that they under-estimated the time it would take which may show some deficiency in organisational management.

      I see that mistake being done by a lot of Kickstarters. Even some of the most experienced developers tended to go over the estimates by 6 months, if not longer for some. I imagine smaller and younger teams making these mistakes even more so. It is probably the reason why I never been a huge fan of Kickstarters.

      Lastly, the purpose of the article and the demonstration was to show aspects of the game. Many of the important issues would probably be better handled in a formal interview, which I do agree would be of great interest to many of our readers.

    • Gary says:

      Wasteland 2 was a year overdue, and that was from a major studio. The fact that M.O.R.E. is overdue isn’t alarming for me. I’d much rather have a completed game than a half-finished game.

      • I agree, it is disappointing to some that were ‘planning on the timeframe’ and it would be better if developers could guess their time frame better. However, if confronted with the choice that a game is delayed to be finished properly or rushed to meet a deadline, I will take delayed every time, every single time.

        We see first hand what happens when games get rushed out. In an ideal world, I would take both and I think it be neat if more companies tried but we do not live in an ideal world and as said before between the two choices we get when a schedule can not be met, I take a delay for a more finished product any day.

        One good example is looking at the release of Rome 2 and the re-release of Rome 2 as Emperor Edition, there may be several design choice that are still not that great but in overall quality there has been a significant improvement. It was like what? 1 year. A AAA studio took 1 year of post release fixes to get the game to something that would have been better received at release. Admitting it would have taken less time if it was done while the game was in production, but this show too many games get released uncooked.

        • Mark says:

          “However, if confronted with the choice that a game is delayed to be finished properly or rushed to meet a deadline, I will take delayed every time, every single time.”

          I totally agree, they can take as long as they want with MORE until they get it right.

  6. UncaJoe says:

    Good review Edward. It gives me a feel for what the game “could” be. I hope it lives up to expectations. We’ll see.

    • Jeff P says:

      Pretty much my feelings too. Good review, but so far, M.O.R.E. is a tech demo and a game proposal, not an actual game. This is pretty much where I’d hoped M.O.R.E. would be at the time of the original KS. That the developers have already spent two years and thousands of dollars gives me little optimism.

      • tgj says:

        Exactly. Not an actual game sums it up nicely. Th egame is what should come first, and anyone hoping for it to be added later is hoping without evidence. It’s possible, but unlikely. And even more unlikely to be good.

  7. AstralWanderer says:

    Nice to see a preview, though it does look like even the December 2015 release date may be a challenge given the amount of design, balancing and playtesting still needed.

    Not too keen on the “list three, pick one” research model adopted from MOO2 though – I felt that was implausible (which should choosing a Fusion Drive stop your scientists from developing a Fusion Bomb?) and inconsistent (with Power research, you could choose a drive at one level and a bomb the next, with no requirement for having developed previous generations of a device).

    A better alternative would be to allow research specialisation, giving faster progress in a specific area of technology while still allowing everything else to be developed at a slower pace. This would make research exchange treaties between races a valuable goal (though alien-specific tech should come with restrictions, like needing quantities of a specific alien material to build – the return of Elerium-115?). It should also be possible to change specialisation (e.g. boosting weapons research as part of moving an economy onto a war footing) over several turns.

  8. t1it says:

    No AI in BETA? Hmm, that’s just about two tiers below Legends of Pegasus level, sorry. They do have seem to have interface and menu systems so that’s positive but we’re looking at a spring 2015 release at this point.
    Negativity aside I wish you good luck, you do have interesting ideas.

    • Where did you get there won’t be an AI in beta?

      From the engine I was shown I did not see an AI at work, but what I saw was a pre-pre alpha build so it is not automatically indicative of the alpha either.

      I can see why some people may get worried there might be no AI implemented for the alpha and raising some concern now is valid, but assuming there won’t be one for certain is reading too much into it. Definitely worth a question for the developers if some players have reservations about the matter.

      • csebal says:

        Khm.. on this very blog, the developer wrote about their plans for the AI.

        http://www.spacesector.com/blog/2014/09/a-new-kick-for-more-idealcenter-launches-2nd-kickstarter/comment-page-1/#comment-848251

        Salvo asked:
        “so the playable pre-alpha version will not have any AI?”

        IdeaLCenter’s answer:
        “We preffer to make good things.. not to have something from which you won’t be happy. Our main goals are playable single sandbox mode/multi > ALPHA > add space battles > BETA > add AI > GAME

        Also we create AI with idea of space sector member – Wodzu as separate part of game. So.. if there will be some talented modder, he will be able to upgrade it :)”

        So yes… they plan on launching beta with no / minimal AI.

        • Wow… must have missed that. Thanks for the link because things like these are better sourced. I did not write that article, so I do not get the auto-notifications in my inbox so its easier for me miss a comment made in an article.

          I have to say, I’m honestly upset such a comment was only made in the comments section. Yes, they did answer the question but we all know the pyramid of involvement (only a percentage of people read the comments, even less so actually do comment). I think they need to be more clear on their AI development and have it up someplace quite visible (and official). I seen a roadmap, but can’t seem to find it anymore.

          They really should reconsider and have at least a derpy AI for the alpha. Though in practice the heavy AI work should be done before the beta (with beta being balancing and fine tuning). I think many would forgive if most of the AI work was done during the beta but as long as alpha had a functional one, even if it was barely, and the game transitioned into beta with an operational AI.

          Heck adding the AI during the alpha could be excusable too, though it will still be met with some justifiable concerns. We all know AI coding is insanely hard and you can’t just stick it in at the end and hope it will make the cut. The game should be able to play itself, even if incompetently. Then it gets iterated upwards as the game goes through development.

          From friends I have in game design, a basic AI is usually added last to the core mechanic but added before any iteration and full implementation occurs. So basically in the later parts of pre-alpha, actually alpha implies the game does have an AI already (but one that still has a lot of work to be done on it).

          It hasn’t happened yet, and hopefully the developers reconsider. However, since I could not find any comment afterwards that changes the mentioned schedule, it is fair that many go by that word and be seriously concerned. One of which is not just the late addition of the AI but having a competent AI by release.

        • SQW says:

          The game is ambitious to say the least – more complex than most 4X games that came out recently from more established studios.

          Given how every single one of those games failed in implementing a reasonable AI, I remain highly skeptical from a team with zero history.

          While it make sense to implement AI after the game mechanics are in place, it can also be said it’s very risky to start implement the AI so late in development – after all, if your AI can’t handle the complexity you’ve built then the game itself, no matter how great the features are, would simply be empty window dressing.

          I hope the future vids adds something more substantial. The contents of the last three vids are more akin to tech demos seen typically at the start of a KS than something I personally expect from a project that’s originally scheduled for release around this time.

  9. Pankratos says:

    Good stars above you, M.O.R.E. guys! You must not fail. No more awkward misbirths like Stardrive or Horizon! To Abyss with real-time hybrids like Distant Worlds! Only turn-based, only hardcore!!!

    • ChrisB says:

      From the misbirths you mentioned Stardrive and Horizon…. it should be noted that MORE is attempting to create an even more ambitious and complex game without much more resources.

      I tried looking up the budget for Horizon and couldn’t find much, Stardrive appears to be around 20k.

      A more indepth comparison of 4x games budgets would be interesting.

    • Dale says:

      Abyss Distant World…

      It’s the best 4x game cmon!!!!

      • Mark says:

        Distant Worlds is indeed the best recently released space 4x. And that’s a pretty sad admission considering that I don’t like RT and think that it is DW’s biggest problem.

        Come on turn-based devs! Step up to the plate and create a decent TBS game! The fact that no one has yet come up with anything better than MOO2 after all this time is just embarrassing.

        • Dale says:

          Pause the game each 30 sec :P

        • Jeff P says:

          “Pause the game each 30 sec :P”

          When I play, I run DW:U until a message pops up, then I pause to see if it needs my action. I don’t think I get 30 sec between pauses, but it’s necessary to avoid missing something important.

          And yes, I prefer turn-based strategy as well.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          The problem with this “solution” is that sometimes you might have several important things (like battles) happening at the same time.

          Another problem is how you would make multiplayer for a game like that?

        • Mark says:

          @ Dale,

          That’s not far from how I play DW, but once you are past mid-game with a large galaxy and you begin to get more than 3 or 4 important messages *per second*, pausing no longer really helps.

  10. ACEofHeart says:

    While I loved MOO2, I’ve never been a big fan of turn based combat if it involves too many units, it becomes both tedious and boring. Played MOO2 in late stages where in a 4 hour sitting I spent 3 hours just moving ships in battle, no thank you. It becomes too much of a military game as opposed to a 4x game. I felt Galactic Civ2 combat was just fine, it just needed more depth in other areas.

    • Jeff P says:

      My preference is turn-based strategic, real-time tactical (ala SotS I and II.) Turn-based for both strategic and tactical combat is fine IF you can group your ships into easy-to-maneuver fleets for combat. That was the key to making GalCiv 2 playable, and the absence of that feature is what made MoO2 such a pain to play late game.

  11. DevildogFF says:

    I have serious, serious reservations about this one.

    • DrBalthar says:

      And so seem to have many MORE (if you excuse the pun) their campaign has slipped to the third page on the Kickstarter most popular game projects page that usually means pretty much death. Although they have still many days to go they might reach their initial target for this second campaign but I doubt it will go much beyond that.

    • Jeff P says:

      Thanks for the notice. I viewed the video, which details the colonization, system and planetary screens.

      The screens are very derivative of MoO2 and seem intuitive and easy to use. However, I’m not sure the MoO2 colony management system is a good fit for a game with potentially hundreds of colonies. In MoO2, you rarely had more than a dozen or two colonies, and even at that it could be tedious scrolling through the colony list monitoring their development. M.O.R.E supposedly will accommodate 10-20 times that number of colonies, which would quickly overwhelm all but the most manic micromanager.

      Some method of colony auto-development/management is sorely needed for a game of M.O.R.E.’s scope. There was no mention of such automation in the video; perhaps it will be included in a future update.

  12. Ashbery76 says:

    You cannot fault the ambition as it sounds great on paper.The scale is more like a turn based DistantWorlds.

  13. stormcloud says:

    Those narrow blocky fonts they used in some of the screenshots in the article isn’t going to win them fans. He previously commented the fonts were improved, but I personally don’t see much improvements. They’re still hard to read type of fonts.

    The ship combat mechanics will make or break this game if his design decisions derive from a MOO ancestor. MOO2 had a very strong tactical ship combat mechanics that incorporated weapon arcs, mounts, size etc for different hulls. Sword of the Stars 1 successfully implemented this under a real-time strategy setting. Odd that no details were revealed for ship mechanicsin the above article and they went for the galaxy/macro settings first?

    That said, 4X typically fall into three major categories (imo).

    1)Strong at empire management/strategic level but shallow on ship combat depth. (can’t think of a good example on top of my head atm. Any notable ones? Distant World?).

    2)Strong at ship combat depth, average/above average on empire management/strategic level.
    (typically MOO2/SotS 1)

    3)An amalgamation of both. Creates player focus problem as you need to deal with everything on the micro-level. A hardcore 4X. Think Dwarf Fortress-ish hardcore. Closest example is probably Stars! type games. A game where you have to manually manage (finite) resources – mine, transport, build requirements. The actual ship combat isn’t deep but the mechanics that underlines the ship hulls & modules is a solid design you can become addicted to. For example, its various engine types has this lovely graph on warp speed/fuel relationship that influences a player’s design choice based on the ship’s role. Heck even by today’s standard, I still consider Stars! as an excellent grandaddy 4x game.

    This begs the question, where is MORE at right now?

    P.S I remember Horizon was a game that was heavy on cosmetics but fundamentally failed on the design level …. and the funny thing, Iceberg Interactive published it? One has to wonder what/how they’re basing their decisions on.

    • BlueTemplar says:

      GalCiv2 is MUCH more shallow in ship combat depth than Distant Worlds (which I would rather categorize in 2.) There’s also Endless Space that is not as shallow as GalCiv2, but close.

      Distant Worlds also has this unique private sector simulation part.

      SotS1 is very focused on tactical and strategic combat, the empire management is a lot less fleshed out than in MOO2. You would need another category for SotS1.

      • marlowe221 says:

        All of this is why for most people, Master of Orion 2 still wears the crown when it comes to space 4X games. It strikes a good (not perfect, but good) balance between the tactical combat and strategic/management levels and no game that I know of has done it any better than (or even as good as) MoO2.

        • Ashbery76 says:

          Yet I never really play MOO2 because of all the busy work mid game onwards.I can only enjoy Moo2’s early game in 2014.

          I think Civ type colony building never really made sense in a space 4X as an emperor would not oversee movie theaters.Moo1 did not have it and Moo2 just copied Civ.DW’s economy and big picture building is the way forward in my view for space 4x’s with large scale.

          I am thinking More is far too big for civ style colony management and should be big picture too.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          And yet, MoO2 is not really large scale… It certainly does seem to suffer less from colony spam than Alpha Centauri (which is not large scale either) from base spam!

        • SQW says:

          Personally, SOTS series struck the perfect balance for me. The whole point of majority of these space 4x games is to pump out big ships with big guns or generate enough science to get even bigger ships and guns.

          For indie devs with limited funding and manpower, a studio should have a tight goal of either combat or empire building; every other game mechanics should then support this goal – it might not be the perfect 4x but what it will have can be bloody brilliant. Again, SOTS I did a fantastic job (AI issues aside) where the focus was on combat so the other 3Xs were there simply to facilitate that instead of getting in the way with sci-fi mumbo jumbo planet improvements.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          I fully agree. This lack of focus is IMHO a big reason why SotS2 failed so badly.
          (SotS1 AI seems to me being about as incompetent as most other 4X AIs, and the game was designed to be as multiplayer-friendly as a 2006-2009 game could be, so I don’t really see the problem here?)

  14. Mark says:

    Why do so many 4x fans seem to automatically assume that the inherent goal of the game is to be an “emperor simulator” and therefore anything that doesn’t fall into that narrow role is wrong for the game?

    Personally I want to do detailed tactical combat, AND ground combat, spy actions, ship design, unit design and colony management. I want to do the grand sweeping intergalactic strategy AND see the explosions up close while directing my fleet and doing emergency repairs on a crippled frigate. Basically all the interesting things that emperors DON’T do!

    4x games should concentrate more on whether the game-play is fun and interesting and less on whether it is something “an emperor would do” because being an *actual* emperor would be a pretty damn dull and narrow job description.

    • IdeaLCenter says:

      And that’s why we are trying to create a game, which give you much fun while playing it, and that’s why we have many functionalities in our game. Without something, it should be easier to create M.O.R.E. but.. would it be then MoO2 successor?

      • Mark says:

        MORE definitely seems to have its heart in the right place. I just hope it’s philosophy manages to survive the often difficult transition from concept to reality.

        • Joel says:

          I agree with Mark 100%. What IdeaLCenter is attempting is exactly what I’ve been looking for for years. All aspects of 4X fleshed out; not concentrating on just one or two parts.

          I am optimistic that MORE will be what I’ve been waiting for.

    • SQW says:

      A video update showing off the current state of the game rather than another written ‘we are working on it’ feature list would’ve been a nice change.

      I’ve seen those same screenshots since their March 2014/Oct 2013 updates.

      Oh, War for the Overworld came out. Another first time indie who *gasp* failed to anticipate the complexity of game development, tried to wing it without a solid business plan and chose to push an incomplete game out the door anyway instead of owning up to supporters.

      http://www.reddit.com/r/Cynicalbrit/comments/31gsd7/wtf_is_war_for_the_overworld/

      At least they have a working-ish game to their credit.

      • Ashbery76 says:

        Its been how long now and no real evidence of a playable game.How are they paying for the development? It’s going to run out of cash at some stage.Progress is far,far too slow.

  15. Gary Vandegrift says:

    Oct 26, 2015: eXplorminate has a Q&A with the devs: http://explorminate.net/2015/10/26/m-o-r-e-qa-part-1/


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Post category: Game Previews, Games Under Development