Discussion in 'Starships' started by Paideia, Jan 19, 2015.
I can't wait to find out more about this game.
To be fair, investing in something that hasn't taken off is how you get cool new features and things that really can lift up a whole company - like the original Half Life. Sure, there were successful first-person-shooter games before, but Half Life was still pushing the genre forward and completely new intellectual property. Just like there have been successful operating systems before, and SteamOS would be trying something new (a gaming OS that's still on a general-purpose, and user-accessible, base - Linux). I can definitely identify why Valve game fans are frustrated that Valve Time is so lengthy, but I don't think there's a problem with the concept of investing in things that haven't taken off yet.
Whether SteamOS is a wise investment that hasn't taken off is another question, but being the first one in the game, or at least the first to do it well, is part of what sets the leaders apart (including MicroProse back in the day).
I was just reading an overview of Sid Meier's Railroads, after having played some RT3 this weekend (and being a longtime RT2 fan). The impression I got was that some of its simplifications would make for interesting mechanics in a boardgame, such as the highest bidder on new technology getting a monopoly on it for 10 years, and the first one to build in certain areas with rough terrain having a distinct advantage over anyone coming later (which was also true in earlier iterations, but it sounds like it was turned up in Railroads). But in terms of the complexity that a typical strategy fan would enjoy - including fans of Meier's early games - it sounds like RT2 or RT3 would be the best in the series (I can't say for sure as II is the only one I've played for dozens of hours).
Which got me wondering... maybe the disconnect is that Sid moved away from core strategy games years ago, whether consciously or unconsciously, and just has never really articulated that. There are still strategy elements in his games, but not to the degree that you'd see in Civilization or Railroad Tycoon. So maybe the reason that strategy fans keep being disappointed is not that Sid can't do a good core strategy game anymore, but that his interests have moved on. In which case it's just a communications issue.
Or perhaps it's the later iterations of his old series that led us astray. Civilization II was a lot more involved and deeper than Civ1; similarly with Railroad Tycoon II. Perhaps the 1990-era originals were among the deepest strategy games at the time, but the designers of the sequels made them much more complex and in-depth, to the delight of some but beyond what Sid would ever have planned.
I'm really curious how Starships turns out. A decade ago, Sid Meier was the top name in strategy for me... but it was really Brian Reynolds, Soren Johnson, and whoever designed Railroad Tycoon II whose work I was experiencing, built on top of the base Sid had created. I do plan to take Covert Action for a spin this year to see more of old-time Sid games, but I'd like to see this be a success as well, and see Sid create at least one more really well-done game as a designer.
For now, however, Paradox already has become the strategy king for me. I stay at CFC rather than Paradoxplaza due to the community - and Civ being my long-time favorite - but the crown is Paradox's to lose currently, for me. Firaxis is still the leader overall, but Paradox's star is also rising.
I kind of agree here. I think that the torch has passed to paradox (even though i dont play paradox games). For me Brian Reynlods was the big loss. Ever since he left Firaxis have gone downhill. Ever since he left, Firaxis have gone down the boardgame route (basically risk with resources and a plus or minus 10% here and there). What they really need is a game that combines strategy with narrative. A great example of how this was totally missed is in Beyond Earth. Which i kind of find strange really. One of the biggest criticisms levelled at civ 5 was the diplomacy. The diplomacy in BE is even worse than vanilla civ 5, which in itself is some achievement IMO.
I think Sid is probably the problem, maybe because of different interests or whatever. But really, i think they have stopped listening to what their fans want. Every fan i know of was clamouring for a game like SMAC. This explains the disappointment in BE. It was nothing like SMAC and basically amounted to an average reskin of civ 5.
Having said all that, Firaxis can still be successful. They just need to find a way of marrying decent stragey with something that is accessible (as Paradox suffers here). I think Amplitude might have stolen some ground with them though, as Endless legend is interesting, deep, and accessible.
Man, if Amplitude ever polishes up Endless Space, I'll give them all their children and disown Firaxis forever. Seriously, that game has lots of potential.
Link to video.
Gameplay starts at ~33:00. Also someone has a chronic case of throat clearing.
I feel like this game will ultimately be disappointingly shallow but I do like the use of battle maps although too bad they aren't in 3D because it is, you know, space. I am hoping it will be a good casual strategy title, but we'll see.
Thanks for posting the vid.
It at least superficially reminds me off MOO 1. Definitely not a reboot, but somewhat similar.
I'm a little hopeful for the game. Hopefully they polish it up and it is received well.
As someone pointed out on reddit, the planets are just scattered in space and not orbiting anything like a sun :/
Moderator Action: Moved to new Starships forum.
i think the sid meier caught the heliocentric bug y heliosynchronous lol
you have to keep in mind that civ1 had more severe resource caps than civ2.
the first civ is Sid's baby. all others are not:
civ2 -> Brian Reynolds
SMAC -> Brian Reynolds
civ3 -> Jeff Briggs
civ4 -> Soren Johnson
civ5 -> Jon Shafer
Sid explicitly stated that civ:rev, civ world and Starships are his babies.
civ:rev is a simplistic civ port for the console/mobile market.
civ world was a facebook game. Sid failed to balance a player paying and a nation winning. the project was canned.
Starships - ? we shall see.
I am cautiously optimistic about Starships. However, I detest the marauder/pirate home planets thingy. They are game-changers. All else seems to fit together nicely.
As far as I understand it, it is supposed to be what happens after your game of BE ends. So basically, when they say it draws from BE, they only mean in terms of story and setting.
They remind me of the planet Orion in MOO2 that was defended by a powerful ship called the Guardian. If you were able to defeat it, you got some massive bonuses.
If I won my BE game with ARC and Suzanne Fielding in a Harmony game, then it would be expected to transfer that to Starships. But to what point? I can (it seems) choose all the necessary perks manually in Starships (New game)
And if I destroyed a Sponsor (ex. Brasilia) in my BE game, it would be strange to meet him once again in Starships.
If there is a save-transfer, those whom lost my BE game, should not be possible to meet again in Starships
This once more points out that 8 Sponsors, are a bit few.
Maybe Brasilia was betting on several ships back when they left Earth, but to meet Bolivar again, is just game-breaking for me.
So I'll bet there will be no save-transfer from BE to Starships.
For that to happen, we need far more diversity in Sponsors and characters, and a DLC that links BE more natural to Starships.
Something along the way of have to deal with invasions on home world, build Planet defence, Build new ships (build new hull, ready for purchase in Starships), a tech web that works with between the games, etc. My list is a mile long, so let me know if I should crack open my brain.
On a sidenote: Isn't it strange that all the other Sponsors are equally evolved around the same time, even without contact?
technically you didnt meet any of the other leaders in your planet. You may have met expeditions from their respective sponsors but not the same leaders. You must make a like suspesion of disbelief.
Never thought about it this way. I always considered myself a sid meier fan, but you are right, after civ1, all sid games are kind of crap (for my taste). It's other directors who came out with the good games.
I dislike Cid game design. He is big believer in simplicity and we way pass that stage. personally i believe Civ1 was a fluke, it is soo different from his other game designs so..
Sid did a 50 mn let's play of starships with Gamespot:
Link to video.
Simplicity =/= bad. Simplicity often makes a game significantly better, as you can focus on playing the game rather than juggling systems.
What is bad is simplicity without depth (i.e. replayability). The reason Chess has been around for so long is that it's a very simple game on the surface, but there are thousands of different ways to approach and play. The same goes for other classic games (Checkers, Go, etc.).
Now, whether or not Sid's games have simplicity with depth is certainly up for debate, but I'm pretty certain that's what he's going for, and it's an admirable goal. Personally, I've found most of his games that I've played to be quite enjoyable, but to miss the sweet spot where I can keep coming back over and over again to it.
And besides, while the series from II onwards may not have been directly designed by him, he's certainly been present and impacting the development of them, so he still leaves his mark on every entry in the series.
I don't know much about this new Starship game, but After watching the video linked above: have you seen how technology and ship upgrades work? Instead of researching cool techs and building awesome modules, you increase counters by a number.
Come on. Sure, if you dumb it down, any tech upgrade in games could be dumbed down by +X to some stat, but that is what you call "simplicity without depth/replayability"
And I disagree with your example of chess. Chess is a total different story... why? because it is a competitive game. Competitive games need to be balanced and the fun part comes from it's competitiveness.
A civ, or simulation game, doesn't need to be competitive. Sure, make the pvp as balanced as you can, but without taking away from the fun of the pve. For me, and I would say for most old time civ lovers, the good part about civilization games is the simulation of a civilization, not the balanced competitiveness. For that you play another type of game. A 4x strategy game can't possibly be balanced enough for competitiveness.
The problem is that civ players generally fall into two contradictory camps. Some want the simulation of civ as you put it. These players want depth and historical atmosphere. Others want the competitiveness. These are the players that constantly complain about things being OP or broken because they want every strategy to be equal.
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