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Horizon Alpha Access Now Available

By on July 3rd, 2013 1:04 pm

Horizon | Turn-based space 4X strategy game by L3O Interactive

We started our Horizon coverage back in 2010, but this turn-based space 4X strategy game for the PC was already in development for far longer than that. Some screenshots‘ date back to 2006. We have an interview with the designer and producer Raffi Parsekhian in case you want to know more details about the game, at least how it was at the time.

L3O Interactive, Raffi’s game development company, states the following regarding inspiration to develop their game:

“Many sci-fi shows and games have inspired the making of Horizon. But in short Babylon 5, Star Trek DS9 along with Star Control 2 and Master of Orion 1 and 2 had the greatest impact in the design and decision to make an epic sci-fi game that captured some of the best elements from these productions.” –L3O Interactive

The project seemed dormant for a long time but re-emerged in 2012 asking for more hands to help complete it. In March of this year L3O signed a publishing deal with Iceberg Interactive. They’re not finished yet, but have reached Alpha and are now selling alpha access on Steam’s Early Access program for anyone interested in pre-purchasing it for $18.99/€18.99, to get instant access.

We plan to have an Horizon alpha preview up anytime soon. So, don’t go anywhere :)

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  1. omicron says:

    The map looks like something from BOTF. I’ve been following this game plus Star Lord.

  2. Jeff P says:

    I’ll be looking forward to the preview. This video doesn’t look anything like the older stills that Horizon released over the last 7 years. I’m curious whether Horizon is going anywhere.

  3. DevildogFF says:

    Can only play as the humans.

    No, thank you.

  4. Gray Carlyle says:

    I think this game will be interesting when its done, so far it is well playable and fun to explore.

  5. TimmY says:

    It looks ok and it gives me a nice feeling watching the screenshots and few videos found on steam. Anyway I’m not 100% convinced and I’m waiting for more. :)

  6. Guido says:

    no 1 tryed yet? curious about how it plays.

  7. Jeff P says:

    Most of the comments on the Steam website are negative, hardly surprising considering it is an alpha build. More distressing is that graphics are supposedly crude and ugly. This game has been in development for 8 years; if they can’t get it right in that amount of time, they probably never will.

    Not buying until I read a convincing review or try a demo.

    • Ben says:

      Most of the comments on Steam are negative because most of the people on Steam are negative. Already, Horizon appears to be in more stable condition than several released games I’ve bought lately. There’s a ways to go, for sure, but that’s why they call it “Early Access”, which I still don’t think a lot of those people understand.

      So far I find it to be a delightfully MOO-ey throwback 4x with a cleaner interface. Yes please.

      • Lens Flares Suck says:

        You are spot on about people on Steam. I don’t take their criticism of anything seriously.

  8. salvo says:

    considering the game is still alpha it’s very playable. I’ve experienced no crash and very few bugs yet. The UI is very well done, clean and intuitive, though it surely needs some work (info, less clicks). The graphics may be not state of the art, but who cares, the gameplay is what matters in this kind of games, and in this horizon may excel if done right. The research model is interesting: No classical tree where you know from the beginning the whole progress. There are six fields if I remember right, and each field contains a variable amount of techs. You may put the focus both on a field and on a tech within each field. The progress consists in three parts: discovery, breakthrough and refinement. When you discover a new tech you are not able to use it yet, but have to study further to achieve a breakthrough. At this point you may use it. The refinement phase is virtually endless as you can improve a given tech as much you like. I vastly prefer such a dynamic model to the static ones like in endless space. The turn based tactical combat is well done, but needs some work, you have to consider facing, initiative. The design is simple but clean: There are four hull sizes and for each one you may design up to four ships. The components are divided in core, weapons and special slots. At the moment you can only play humans, but the other races are supposed to become playable later. All in all, I really like the game, not a great one, but a solid good one. In any case, I prefer this alpha to endless space together with all its expansions.

    • Ben says:

      Careful: The developers have said that other races “may” become playable “possibly in an expansion”.

      In other words, do not expect to play anything but the humans in v1.0, although there will be customization options.

      I’m sure many will bitch and moan about this, but whatever. Worked okay for GalCiv.

      • salvo says:

        I don’t know where you got that info. I checked the setup screen, and on the left where you select the playable race there is only earth alliance available. But it says the customization option is not yet available in that version. I’ve supposed that the full customization would include the selection of another race, too, though I may be wrong

        • Ben says:

          I got the info here, on ye olde Internette:
          Strategy Informer: Tell us a bit about some of the design choices you made for Horizon – we understand you only get to play as the Humans initially?

          Raffi Parsekhian: That’s right. We’ve focused on the human’s initially. We will probably… maybe as an add-on, we could probably allow the player to choose the other races. You start with the humans, because the story is based on the humans, and Horizon is about Humans conquering space.

      • Raffi Parsekhian says:

        Hello everyone, there has been some confusion about playing different races in Horizon so hopefully I can help clarify.

        What we have planned is that you have the option to create your own custom race in Horizon, give it a name, select racial traits/unique abilities and so on and still be able to play with open-ended missions and experience galaxy lore which is a unique feature in Horizon that we think players will really enjoy!

        This custom race can be a modded race, one of the alien races (this is still custom in that sense) or any race you can imagine and want to play as with mods.

        With respect to playing Humanity, there are some unique storyline elements that can only be experienced by playing as humans which we might expand on later (in add-ons) and allow a different perspective & expanded storyline.

        These are our current intentions which is going to be shaped with input from the 4x community and our early adopters. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from people who have tried Horizon in the past few days and we look forward to your suggestions to make it a better game for all those who like 4x games.

        • salvo says:

          thanks for the clarification. That’s exactly how I expected it, you can customize your race without being stuck to the humans, except for the mission driven settings, which is understandable

  9. Benji says:

    I’m really looking forward to this game! I especially like the fact that there is some restraint in choices here. I’d much rather have less choices that have more impact than an endless parade of “+5%” type of things (technologies, buildings, etc.). Looking forward to this! Might even get the alpha is the weather is crap a few days in a row ;)

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