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Project Space Sector Announced!

By on October 14th, 2016 11:24 am

Project Space Sector, a spiritual successor to Master of Orion 2, in the making.

Hi everyone!

Today we’re thrilled to announce what we've been cooking for you over the past three or so years.

Space Sector is currently developing a turn-based space 4X strategy game, and you’re all invited to participate and help make it happen!

The game is called Project Space Sector, for now, and a forum has already been put up to welcome everyone interested in taking part and helping out make this the best game we can.

We've just reached pre-alpha. Most of our vision is already established and partially implemented, so we really need some fresh air now. And that's what the phase that starts now will be all about. The road from pre-alpha to alpha1 will be about collecting feedback and improving the game so it may be in a reasonable state for people to start pre-ordering it, with instant access, in a not too distant future.

The Vision

What is Project Space Sector?

One of my lifelong dreams has been to enter the games' industry and create my own games. While this dream drove me to get a degree in computer science, it was my love of space strategy games which motivated me to found SpaceSector.com. A few very interesting years down the road, and after getting a glimpse on how the games' industry works, I felt that the time was right for me to take the next step. This was when the idea behind Project Space Sector started to brew in mind and when I first began developing my own space strategy game.

My initial vision for the game began with wondering what "humanity's reach for the stars" would look like. What types of beings would we meet out there? They would probably be very different from us, and not just in physical appearance, but also biologically. I also wondered what would happen when we make first contact? These questions formed what would become the central theme for the game.

That was the beginning, the spark. I didn't know for sure how much I'd want to innovate, but I knew in my heart that the game would be a space 4X game, and that the gameplay could not be very different from the two games I loved to play the most in the genre, namely Master of Orion 1 and 2. So, I started wondering what would a Master of Orion game be today, with all the fundamental elements MoO fans love?

And, it was probably after writing this article, and witnessing people's reaction to it, that I finally realized what my mission was.

Our mission, with Project Space Sector, is to develop a spiritual successor to Master of Orion 2, the turn-based space 4X strategy game from the 90's that we love so much. A faithful successor, that is true in spirit to the series, but one that manages to offer something new (and this is important).

We believe that no game has stuck to the MoO2 formula to the extent that would please fans who would like to relive the experience with all of its fundamentals. For us, the fundamentals are (more or less in this order of importance): Turn-based tactical combat; ship design; free space-based movement with range limits; race customization; leaders; deep colony management and espionage. This is the foundation upon which all other aspects of the game will be built.

We also knew from the start that we wanted to alleviate a bit the excessive micromanagement felt on MoO2 both on the colony management and space combat aspects, especially by the mid/late-game. So, that was taken into consideration in our design since the beginning. Espionage has also been simplified in concept.

Regarding the new stuff, we added more meat to the exploration phase, terraforming and to leaders. We also added strategic resources, a social engineering system, modding support and introduced a few novelties to the space combat.

By the way, the game will be single-player only (i.e. no multiplayer).

With all of this we believe we have all the ingredients to make a worthy successor. One that will please the fans who want to feel the atmosphere and that “feeling” of Master of Orion 2, but also want to experience something new and fresh, with all the complexity and depth of a big and complex 4X game.

The Team

I, Adam Solo, am the game's vision and design responsible. I'm also one of the programmers, alongside MalRey.

Hugo Rosado (MalRey) is my colleague and partner. Our lives have been deeply intertwined since high school, and he's like a brother to me. He's also a big fan of Master of Orion 2. We used to play it together when we went to college. MalRey is also a programmer in the team and has helped shape the game's vision and overall design. He's the "artist", although I don't think either of us can really be considered as such. So, we'll need a lot of help here.

Both me and Malrey work at full time on the project.

My dear colleagues on SpaceSector.com over the years, Keith Turner (aReclusiveMind) and Edward Varfalvy (Edward the Hun) will help us interact and collect feedback from the community, as moderators in the forums.

The community. Yes, you will also be part of this, and can make your voice count! Everyone who registers and contributes on the Project Space Sector forums will be able to follow the development of the game, provide feedback and propose ideas. Hopefully, you will resonate with what we have in stock for you. But, if not exactly we’ll see what we can do. As in Jeff Bezos’ quote, we’ll be “stubborn on vision, but flexible on the details”, so that’s what we propose for us to do here. Your feedback will be key to help polish the game's rough edges, and it is our hope that we all manage to have polite and helpful discussions so that we can improve the game as a result, and have a lot of fun while doing it.

SpaceSector.com transition

So, but what happens to SpaceSector.com, the reviews blog?

We are very happy with what SpaceSector.com managed to achieve over the years, both in terms of the community that was formed around it, as for its content. But, we felt that we were ready for a new adventure, that we hope you want to share with us.

Eventually, Project Space Sector (the game), will branch off onto its own website, along with the new Project Space Sector forums (which will move to the new site as is), and SpaceSector.com, as it is, will be shut down (effectively stop being updated) at that time. However, we'll finish our coverage for the ongoing titles, that are currently in Early Access or about to be released that we've been providing coverage for, but we can't promise to provide coverage for newer or to be announced titles from this point forward.

There are other sites out there that have been doing, and are doing a great job covering sci-fi and strategy games, and 4X games, like the folks at Explorminate.net, SpaceGameJunkie.com and SpaceSimCentral.com. So, you’ll be in good hands.

Rewards to SpaceSector.com's long-time readers

We can’t thank enough to everybody who engaged on SpaceSector.com over the years, so we want to reward the most prolific and enthusiastic members, if they so decide to follow us in our new adventure that is, and register on the Project SpaceSector forums.

The top 30 posters on either SpaceSector.com's blog or the old forums, are awarded the “Star SpaceSector Badge” recognition, and in addition you’ll see your usernames added to the list of stars that will be present in the game!

Everybody who has posted on at least 30 different topics, on either the blog or forums, are awarded the “Elite SpaceSector Badge”! Thanks a lot for your contributions.

If you have made 30 posts or more on either the blog or forum, you receive the “Prolific SpaceSector Badge”, in addition!

To all who have participated in the discussions over the years, you have our deepest thank you. And, if you posted at least 10 times (either on the blog or forums), you receive the “Supporter SpaceSector Badge”, as well. And, you’ll also be listed in the game’s credits!

Note: The data for the rewards was obtained a day before this announcement and was collected from all SpaceSector.com's blog posts and forum posts. To claim your prizes, please try to use the same email you used when you registered for SpaceSector.com (either the blog or forums) as that will ease the job of awarding the badges to everyone on the new Project Space Sector forums.

Rewards to those who join us in these early days

Even if you haven't been a long time member or frequent contributor to the SpaceSector old blog and forums, you still receive something special if you join now. Between today (we're currently at Pre-alpha) and the time we hit Alpha, you'll receive the "Pre-Alpha Badge", as a token of our appreciation for registering and signing up to comment on the Project Space Sector forums in these early days.

You'll also be listed in the game's credits!

Next steps

Next, we plan to release a new update in a couple of weeks or so, which will kick off a series of dev diaries that we plan to keep releasing in a 2-week or monthly fashion. So, don't forget to check us out again by the end of October where we'll have more details on a specific topic. In the meantime, and to stay updated on news, you can follows us via the site's twitter, facebook, G+ and RSS feed, which is where we'll be posting the dev diaries on. You can also follow this thread on the game's forum to stay updated.

Now that our game project is public, and you have a glimpse on what our vision is, we want to know what you think. We want to know your wants and desires for a spiritual successor for Master of Orion 2. Tell us what you think and we'll publish the results from our first wave of feedback and ideas obtained soon, which by the way will be collected, categorized and published in the forums for everyone to be able to see and track.

In the meantime, see you on the Project Space Sector forums!

You can comment on Project Space Sector's official thread for this post, or here on the blog, as you prefer.

Project Space Sector is a spiritual successor to Master of Orion 2, the turn-based space 4X strategy game from the 90's that we love so much. This will be a faithful successor, that is true in spirit to the series. We believe that by sticking to its fundamentals we will please the fans who want to feel the atmosphere and that “feeling” of Master of Orion 2, but also want to experience something new and fresh, with all the complexity and depth of a big and complex 4X game. You can join the discussions here.

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52 Comments


  1. dayrinni says:

    Congratulations on this amazing announcement! I know you will make a great game that the community loves.

    Good luck!

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks dayrinni. Hope to see you in the new Project Space Sector forums. I’m sure you have a lot to say.

      I also take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions to the site with your game design posts, which have been numerous and very interesting. I’m sure our readers have appreciated those.

      Take care.

      • dayrinni says:

        Hello!

        You’re welcome. I also sent you an email with some more personal thoughts :)

        Thanks for letting me write on the site for a bit. I wanted to write a lot more but real life and other things got in my way both on that front.

        I will visit your new forums.

        Thanks.

  2. Wodzu says:

    Wow, guys. Closing up the site is a bold move. I really hope that you succed in your mission of creating worthy succesor of MOO1/MOO2. From the feature list I see that you did not bend to the common trend of realtime battle. Thank you for that!

  3. TericDragon says:

    Alas! I am saddened to see that spacesector.com will be shut down. It is my favorite site for news on space strategy and 4X games.

    At the same time, I’m excited for your new project! As a professional game dev myself, I am very interested to see where this project goes and how it develops. My favorite game genres have always been space, strategy, and 4X, and I hope to be able to build my own some day.

    What tools are you planning on using? Are you going to use a commercial engine (Unreal, Unity, etc.) or build it from the ground-up? What language are you going to use? What platforms are you targeting (I’m assuming PC, but any others)?

    Ship design, combat, exploration, and planet development have always been my favorite parts of a good space 4X, so I’m very interested to see how those aspects of your project develop.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I felt the same way. Sad for a while, for having to let the blog go. But, now we’re super excited with our game project going forward!

      We’re using Unity, and C#. The target will be Windows PC, at first, but we’ll see if Mac and Linux can be possibilities later on.

  4. t1it says:

    So that’s what you’ve been up to all this time Adam. Your making your own game – that’s one mammoth of a step! Surely you and your mates got the theoretical foundation of what makes a good space 4x – you can’t disappoint! But will you go beyond the fairly large pile of mediocre 4X’s these days? I think and hope so. Gl!

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks for your vote of confidence t1it!

      We surely have a plan to make this a great 4X game. Much has already been thinked through, implemented and tested, and thinks are looking good. But, a long journey is still ahead of us to reach the level of polish and fun that we desire.

      It’s great to see that you’re already contributing on the game’s forums. Talk to you soon.

  5. Sithuk says:

    Good luck with your new project Adam. You and your team deserve credit for stepping forward and making a contribution.

    I notice your game is to be single player only. I’m curious, do you think the 4x industry gives AI coding the priority and focus it deserves?

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks Sithuk.

      Regarding the AI, and if the industry gives it the priority it deserves, I think many times the AI doesn’t reach its full potential, and the reasons for that are many and varied. But, perhaps the most important one, in a game like this, is that you should only start working on the AI when all the systems are in place, which due to the game’s development iteration process is a very hard task to do, with features changing significantly.

      As a renowned dev once said, “You should only start to work on the AI when your game is finished”. Now, and as the same dev said, that would be ideal, but not really feasible. So, I understand perfectly well why some companies don’t give it the focus it would need for it to flourish, because there’s so much you can do by the end of a project, and the AI will necessarily be one of the things that gets sacrificed. Other reasons why it may get neglected are that coding AI is complicated and hard to test.

      We knew from the start that the AI would be something we wanted to get right, because it’s very important to increase replayability and the level of engagement with the game.

      We’re confident that we’ll do a good job with the AI. Both me and my colleague and partner have a solid AI academic background, so I trust that will work on our favor to make it work.

      I see that you’re already on board and contributing on the game’s forum. I’ll be looking for your thoughts on AI, since this seems to be something that interests you a lot, and on other topics.

  6. JD says:

    I would like to thank you Adam, Keith and Edward (and others) for your hard work on the website. SpaceSector.com has been my go-to place regarding 4x/strategy news since it’s beginning in 2009. Damn how fast time flies.

    Shout out also to Dayrinni, I always loved to read those tech articles. Programmer (software engineer) myself so those articles were fun for me at least.

    Thank you all, the community. We had cool debates here, a lot of good debates about game mechanics, always enjoyed reading that and learning different perspectives on things.

    Part of me is sad, but life moves forward I understand this all to well.

    You all rock!

    I wish you and your team good fortune Adam with this new venture you are embarking on.

    • dayrinni says:

      Hello!

      Thanks for the shoutout :) I did really enjoy the time I spent writing articles for the site. I wish I could have done more. I had these epic plans to write a lot more but RL got the best of me :(

      I am glad that someone enjoyed reading them :)

      I am going to actively post a lot more on the new forums though, this is what Project Spacesector deserves. I want them to succeed and make a great game. I believe they can!

    • Keith Turner says:

      Thanks JD! It really is amazing how fast time has gone by. It really is both a sad and exciting time. It’s been a pleasure writing for all of our fans these past few years. If it wasn’t for all of you and your kind words, I surely wouldn’t have spent the many, many hours I did writing, proof-reading, and editing my reviews. I couldn’t let you guys down though, so I always did my best and took all the time necessary to make it that way.

      We certainly have had some great debates here, and the hope is we can continue those debates on the new forum as time goes on.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks a lot JD, your words mean a lot to me.

      Boy, time really flies. It feels that it was just like yesterday that I created the site from a strong desire to talk about space 4X games, and to discuss with people what would be coming next. Little did I knew at the time that the long hours I worked on it would lead me to meet so many great people in the industry, and to so many great discussions from which I’ve learned so much. To the point that I am now developing my own game applying all that I learned.

      What this tells me is that, as they say, one should really follow one’s passion and dream, and have faith that everything will be alright. If you have the passion, work hard and keep authentic, I believe that there’s probably nothing you can’t achieve. Then, as a fellow developer once said to me, it’s just a question of making a plan, and do it.

      Thanks again, and I hope to see you in the game’s forums, your star is waiting for you!

  7. thrangar says:

    Wow hate to see SS go, so many time I have benefited from the great reviews

    Looking forward to the game and I am buckled in and ready for launch, will review the new forums and most definitely looking to support the new game!

    • Adam Solo says:

      I’m glad you found our content valuable thrangar. And it’s great to see that you’re already quite active in the game forums. And, since it was a concern of yours in the forums, yes, there will be diplomacy with everything that goes with it.

      I didn’t mention diplomacy in the announcement post under “the new stuff”, mostly because I feel that our primary mission for this system will be to improve the diplomatic experience (especially the AI), more than creating a new thing or revolutionize or simplify the system. For more on that you’ll have to go to the game forums, and to lookout for the dev diaries starting in the following weeks and months.

  8. Mark says:

    So sad to learn that my favorite game review site ever will be closing down :( I’ll really miss those honest, in-depth reviews from people who’s opinion I respect and value. Over the years you guys must have saved me a small fortune on games I would otherwise have bought and hated. I dont think there will ever be a high-quality review site quite like Space Sector, you guys were one of a kind.

    On the Plus side its great news to hear that SS will be creating their own space strategy game. I wish Adam and the other devs all the best of luck in their new endeavor and I’ll be following the development process with great interest. If the game ends up anything like the quality of your reviews it will be a best seller to rival MOO 2. May your skies be clear and your shields never buckle.

    • Keith Turner says:

      Thanks Mark, you are far too kind. I’m very happy that we’ve been able to remain a useful source for you and many others over the years. Thank you also for always contributing in the discussions and for expressing your appreciation. After many hours spent over several days writing a review piece, it is that appreciation that makes it all worth while.

      I look forward to seeing and interacting with you on the project site!

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks a lot Mark. You certainly left your mark on SpaceSector.com with your numerous discussions on all sorts of topics, especially on what constitutes a great space strategy game, particularly the kind we’re developing now.

      In the slow days you were always there to push the discussions forward, and you’ve managed to become one the most distinguished members, even if some of the discussions were quite pungent and passionate sometimes, I believe that only contributed to a better understanding of things, and to make more clear where one was coming from.

      It was people like you that has helped us push the envelope even harder. Our audience is tough, but also mature and astute, so it was a great pleasure, and I take great pride, to feel that we may have been up to the task.

      So, thanks a lot for your dedication on the blog, and I love to have you on board on the game project now, and know that I can count with your support to make this the best game we can.

  9. Timstone says:

    Sigh… it’s always MoO and MoO2…
    Have people forgotten the way better Space Empires series? My goodness. :-(

    Besides that, good luck have fun!

    • t1it says:

      Devs surely has forgotten them. In fact I’d bet most probably doesn’t know the existence of the series.

      I haven’t though. Can uninstall any 4X game from my desktop, and then reinstall them again after a while for a revisit. But SE4/5 ? Never ever uninstall them.

      • Timstone says:

        Haha… it’s nice to read about another enthusiast of this epic series. SE III and IV were IMHO the best ones. SE V was a bit different, but revolutionairy for the series.
        Space Empires FTW!

        • Vendor-Lazarus says:

          Couldn’t agree more!
          My Favorite 4X games?
          Space Empires IV, Sword of the Stars and Distant Worlds Universe.

          Very sad to see Space Sector close down.
          It is/was the only good place to find out about new 4X games.
          The other sites are either unfocused and missing out, relegated to listening/viewing videos/podcasts or behind the DRM that is Steam.

          MoO 2 is overrated and MoO 3 underrated!!
          There, I finally said it. ,)

          Good work so far guys. Thanks for time and work put in.
          I’ll put your game on the backburner and check in again in 5 years time.

          Until then.

        • csebal says:

          Amen brothers.

  10. Evil Azrael says:

    Sad to hear that this blog will expire. Edward’s and Keith’s articles are great and I will really miss their articles. Are they willing to write reviews and previews in the future, maybe for a different site? What are the reasons for shutting downs the blog? Anything that can be solved with volunteers or donators helping out?

    For the project space sector, I wish you the best and hope we will see a good 4X game :-)

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks Evil Azrael. Thanks also for your numerous comments and your direct contribution to the blog on the topic of “Video Game Remakes”. That was helpful.

      As I said in the post, I am very happy with what the site has managed to achieve over the years, but I felt that it was time to move on and go on a new adventure, which I hope you’ll join.

      As I also said, there are other sites that do a great job at covering the topics SpaceSector.com did, clearly run by people that are also passionate about the subject, so I encourage people to really think in volunteering and helping those sites out as they carry the torch forward. Places like Explorminate.net, SpaceGameJunkie.com and SpaceSimCentral.com, among others I may not be aware.

  11. zigzag says:

    Congratulations, and good luck! I’ll be following you all.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Thanks zigzag!

      And thanks also for all your contributions to the blog over the years and for all the wise comments about this genre that we love so much. I don’t expect less from you in the game’s forum.

      I know that you also have a strong passion for Master of Orion 2, so I will be all ears to all the good ideas and advice you can spare for the game, to make it the most true in spirit as we can.

      Talk to you soon.

  12. Ofer-molad says:

    Good luck with your project!

    May I ask how this works as a project? Do you get paid? How do you manage the project scope and schedule? Is it going to be more demanding than this website (I assume it is). I find this interesting because it does not sound like a game company but something more ‘loose’.

  13. mzprox says:

    Wow. I always enjoyed the spot on reviews on this site, so I have high hopes you’ll make a great game. No multiplayer is a pity though.

  14. TimmY says:

    Awesome! It’s always nice to hear that a new 4X game was born.

    Good luck! I’ll be watching you! :)

    Oh, forgot one thing. Please no star lanes :D

  15. Possibility says:

    I’ve been coming here for a very long time always eager to read the newest game review, but I’ve never posted until now, always a lurker. I loved MOO1 & 2, and I liked that the reviewers had the same general game interests that I do. But I am saddened that the site is closing but I am happy that its for a good reason, pursuing your dreams. I am also a software developer and I too have been upset with the current crop of games so I too also got the Unity engine and started to experiment with it trying to create my own MOO clone. Its hard to make a game, but at least you are starting with a proven engine and not reinventing the wheel there.

    I am curious as to your thoughts on how the release of MOO4 affected your decision and/or desire to make this game finally happen, and about the stiff competition that you will be facing. The market is after all getting kind of flooded. But I like that you are sticking to the more basic design of MOO1 and 2. I personally prefer the more simpler empire/planet management of MOO1 with the combat of MOO2, which would be the ideal game for me.

  16. Jeff P says:

    Adam, it is great that you will be able to live out your dream, and I wish you tremendous success!

    Unfortunately, nothing in this world is free, and the cost will be the best space game-related website I have ever encountered.

    I’ve always found Space Sector the perfect blog site for gaming: detailed reviews of my favorite genre without suspicions of paid reviewers or commercial agendas. Posters were real fans of the games and not trolls, and reader comments were reliably informed and thoughtful. Best of all, the site is small enough that our reflections on the games and reviews actually seemed to matter rather than being one of 500+ posts that no one will wade through.

    I trust that the honesty and dedication you brought to this website will carry over into your new enterprise, and I’m anxious to see you breathe new life into space gaming.

  17. Vivisector 9999 says:

    I quietly read this site for many years. I can still remember the first time I ever discovered Space Sector… I could hardly believe my eyes, that there was such a classy and hard-working site dedicated to fans who love space 4x games as much as I do. Though the comments here grew increasingly repetitive as time dragged on (if I never hear another complaint about “starlanes” again, I’ll count it among my blessings), the articles and reviews themselves were always gold.

    I also like the respectful mention of Explorminate, even though they were technically rivals to you (covering the same type of games and whatnot). It seems the respect is mutual, too, as they recently posted their own article about the Space Sector project!

    Like many of the above comments, I am sad that the blog will not continue, but I wish you all the best with your new game.

  18. deck75@lycos.com says:

    Wow, hope you guys are successful.

  19. ChrisKonstantine says:

    Congratulations Mr. Solo. You have managed to sadden and delight me at the same time. I have been reading your work for a couple of years now as I find your reviews very useful to my own play style and preferences. Your announcement of this project motivated me to register both here and at the project blog as well.
    Normally I would just observe but in this case I feel compelled to participate.

    • Adam Solo says:

      It’s great to hear that you liked our reviews and found them useful.

      And, I’m glad you decided to register on the game’s forums to participate and make your voice count. Welcome to Project Space Sector!

  20. SamDog says:

    Don’t forget the gyro-destableizer.
    and good luck.

  21. Tripp87 says:

    Frequently visited the site for the past 2 years and really liked you’re articles. You were my number 1 source for good reviews of 4x games. So i’m really sad that the site is going to be shut down, but really excited for the game. I registered on the forum and hope i can support in some way. Congrats!

  22. csebal says:

    Adam:
    I’m honestly not sure what makes me weep more: The fact that the site will be closed (though its been kinda dead in the water for some time now) or that it is closed because you decided to join the failure bandwagon and try recreate your childhood.

    what you are chasing is times long gone and feelings you associate with memories. No game can truly capture or recreate these and even if by some miracle you do, these are so personal, so specific in nature, that they differ for almost everyone, thus the universal acclaim of your work would likely be different from your own perception of it, which – unless you do this mostly for yourself, in which case, hell.. go ahead – can be soul crushing.

    This is similar to the kickstarter fallacy, where one person’s idea might look appealing to a wide audience, as they each interpret the idea their own way, but the actual manifestation of that idea brings all these differences to light, causing a shock. Nostalgia is a similar animal. We all loved MOO2, we would all love to see another MOO2, but that sentence carries a different meaning and expectation for every last one of us. Please, pretty please.. make sure you are painfully aware of that fact.

    Suffice to say, that I will be keeping tabs on your progress, just to see if you manage to beat the odds on this one. I truly and honestly wish you do.

    Thanks for the great site, the reviews, the great topics we’ve got to discuss here and your hard work in making it all happen. Best of luck for the future.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I hear you csebal. And, thanks for your important contributions to the site over the years, with numerous comments made and lots of vibrant discussions.

      Regarding your concerns, I believe that what we’ve come up with, and what the community will help us shape and improve down the road will please the majority of MoO2 fans. That’s our mission, to offer a game that is the closest to the core experience of MoO2 on what it did best, improving on its inherent and glaring flaws, which it did have, while managing to offer something new and fresh.

      We also have high standards for quality. So, we want to offer a good product. The AI in particular, will be something we’ll be focusing our attention a lot, to give a good challenge to people.

      Thanks for your well wishes csebal. Hope to see you in the game’s forums for more vibrant and fun discussions going forward.

    • Mark says:

      This “MOO2 nostalgia theory” has been put forward several times and indeed might well be true, but would carry a lot more weight if even one of the so-called MOO2-clones had been even remotely close to being a good faithful remake.

      Unfortunately none of them have really come close to qualifying, ESPECIALLY the official sequel MOO-Cts which deviated in several critical ways by incorporating some truly disastrous MOO 3 core game design concepts (forced-starlanes, eternal fuel, boring shallow RT combat). It seems that none of the devs of these so-called MOO2 clones can resist inserting their own “truly brilliant” ideas and concepts, which by the cold light of day turn out to be far less brilliant and more often utterly terrible.

      The closest 1:1 MOO clone would probably be Zero’s Stardrive II but even here he felt the overwhelming need to deviate from the formula and replace deep, TB tactical combat with a less controllable RT version and ground combat with a weird, totally deterministic chess-like thing that I still dont fathom the reasoning for.

      Once somebody actually *creates* a good faithful MOO2 remake and it fails horribly, then we can confidently claim that nostalgia can never equal reality, but until then we simply dont know. My personal feeling is that I’d kill for a good – and most importantly, ACCURATE – MOO2 remake with modern graphics and perhaps a few extra (non-critical) bells and whistles. It was the greatest 4x ever made and nothing since has even come close to touching it.

      • Keith Turner says:

        Just an FYI, StarDrive II’s Sector Zero DLC does away with the weird ground combat. Of course, the RT space combat remains. I would agree that it feels the most similar to Master of Orion of the 4X games I’ve played. I’ve not yet played Stars in Shadow so perhaps that comes closer.

      • Evil Azrael says:

        You are not alone. MOO2 is one three 90s games I want to see an open source, multiplatform 1:1 remake. All my own tries failed at latest when it came to graphics & GUI. A programmer alone without any artistic skill is bound to fail. Btw the MOO2 data files have a weird format but can be ripped ;-)
        If anybody or team with artistic skills is interested, I am willing to collaborate. I just want to be sure nobody is underestimating the work and how it will take, especially when done during leisure team with other distractions like family, friends & entertainment. Even an old game like MOO2 will take multiple man-years.

        • dayrinni says:

          I totally agree Az.

          It is really easy to underestimate how long something will take to create. Even something without graphics, such as a text based game (I have always had an active text based game going since 1997 in one way or another). The sheer amount of man hours it take to produce something that is interesting and fun, is astounding.

          Then, when you consider adding graphics, everything changes. You introduce an entire new layer of complexities and requirements. You can spend 20 hours making a single window, have a tester look at it and point like 15 things that are wrong with it. Back to the drawing board. Simple things such as rotation of graphics, particle affects, fonts, and texts easily suck up a load of time.

          Not to take into account strange graphical errors that require debugging sometimes down in the internals. Same for a UI library.

          Adding networking and multiplayer definitely adds to the complexity even more, probably several orders of magnitude.

          Having said that, this really is a labor of love. And I am happy that some of us have been able to release something that is fun and the community likes in some fashion (aka StarDrive).

          It’s a wonder we have games that work at all (Haha, I know some will disagree given the current failure of kickstarters, etc). Software is inherently buggy and it always will be. This is why I will not trust medical machines to perform any operation on myself. I’ll take my chances with a Human. It’s also why I’ll never work in a lab that developes critical mission software. I don’t want that kind of stress. I’d rather be able to sleep at night.

          /ramble off

  23. NoldorElf says:

    Just a minor issue – not sure if I am doing something wrong, but are the badges missing?

    Not a huge deal at all if they are, but just wondering.

  24. NoldorElf says:

    Thanks Adam.

    Just wondering, what will happen to the site after Project Space Sector gets launched?

    Will it go back to reviewing or will it just be a site around Project Space Sector?

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