Author Topic: Stellaris  (Read 172743 times)

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Offline RedArgo

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2015, 08:34:44 AM »
Here's a better link, which has all the diaries.

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/stellaris-developer-diary-archive.882950/

The latest one talks about movement which is pretty interesting.  Kinda similar to Sword of the Stars.  Sounds like you pick your prefered method, warp drive, wormhole, starlane, and then that is what you use for the whole game.  Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Next diary is about races.

Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2015, 09:28:51 AM »
I'm a broken record on the subject, but it's a dead horse I just can't stop flogging -- 4X games (and space 4x in particular) really need some fresh thinking. It's like there is a cast-in-stone set of Standard 4X Conventions that all 4X devs must employ, which is why so many of these games feel like mix-&-match affairs. I find it hard to get genuinely enthusiastic about "the next big Space 4X Game!" when it's all but certain to be "Mostly nothing new, but with shinier graphics and slicker interface." 

(Despite that, I'm 100% certain Stellaris will be a Day One purchase for me...  ^-^)

I bet we can predict with some accuracy what the Stellaris races will be. Most will be based on Earth Animals and Insects, many adapted to Extreme Climates (because we all know Sci Fi planets come in single-climate flavors -- desert, ice, volcanic, forested, etc. etc.). There are bound to be some of these:

1) Reptilian race (evil, obviously)
2) Insectoid race (prob. evil, with Hive Mind capabilities; quickly expanding and devouring new territory, locust-fashion)
3) Advanced Humanoid race (good; has evolved past humankind to recognize the futility of war and prefer peace and prosperity, although they won't hesitate to defend their territory)
4) Artificial / Robot race (evil; or isolationist)
5) Sea-faring/ Underwater race (prob. good, whale-like intelligent mammalian)
6) Rodent race (underhanded if not evil/warlike, excelling at smuggling and the like)

OK, I'll stop being a d**k now. Stellaris will be awesome, because Paradox.  I just hope it has one or two genuine surprises for 4x cynics like me...

Offline Freyland

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 12:06:45 PM »
You.. you... you've ruined 4x games for me for life!  BASTARD!!

Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 12:24:13 PM »
Sorry to be the cold, pitiless voice of 4X disillusionment.  Someone has to.   :)

Seriously though, ponder this:  the 4X template that Sid Meier invented for Civilization back in 1991 is still the basic template of all these games:  the mechanics of expansion and advancement, of diplomacy, of technological progress...

Civilization is one of the greatest strategy games of all time, so it's no surprise it's influence has been profound and lasting.  But it's time for something new -- I mean really new, not just repackaging...

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2015, 02:00:21 PM »
Well honestly, what do you propose? I mean, don't all games of these type have to have some form of colony management, exploration, economy/trade, diplomacy, espionage, combat, research, etc.?  There are only so many ways to handle the same thing. Its like power armor and lasers...its a concept that is repeated so many times in literature, film, gaming, etc. and the only way to keep it really fresh is to change the window dressing. 

Personally, I think what can differentiate Stellaris is the Paradox attention to detail. Imagine CKII in the 41st millenium...just awesome.
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Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 02:24:53 PM »
If I knew, I'd launch a Kickstarter -- Space Empires: Now for Something Completely Different   ;)

I don't mean to underestimate the programming challenges of creating a new type of game. I have no doubt that part of the reason the Sid Meier 4X Template sticks around, is that it's a proven way of modeling all the things you mention:  exploration, trade, diplomacy, espionage, etc.

But the industry complacency about how to approach 4X surprises me. There's an opportunity here for some genuine outside the box thinking. There's a new paradigm to be created here. Game creator genius though Sid Meier is, his paradigm can't continue to be the One and True 4X Paradigm for All Time. But honestly, it feels like that's how gave devs treat it.

We essentially already know what to expect from Stellaris. The conventions are by now so completely ingrained that we can hardly see them as conventions anymore. You will start with a Home Planet. And an Explorer Ship. And a Tech Tree to begin developing with a certain number of Science Points (which you will be able to enhance by unlocking Science Buildings) -- which will unlock increasingly more powerful modes of propulsion, weapons (which in turn will fall into the 'kinetic / mass driver' vs. 'laser/energy' vs. 'missile/projectile' varieties). You will soon contact your first alien civilization, and diplomacy will be take place on an entirely transactional level ("we won't trade with you until you have enough 'we like you' points; we see you are allied with one of our enemies, so we dock you a few 'we like you' points, etc.). You will soon build your first colony, thence to become preoccupied with growing and exploiting that colony until you discover a new colonizable planet, so a build a new Colony Ship, etc.)

Am I the only one who's bored with this kind of thing at this point?

My point here really isn't to sound like a negative nellie (although I have no doubt I'm succeeding on that front) -- so much as to point out that 4X games don't *need* to all proceed in this fashion -- but we kind of just accept that they will.

Again, I'm sure Stellaris will be excellent. I just don't expect it to be boundary-breaking.

Offline Anguille

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 03:22:49 PM »
On one side, i agree that something new would be great (Horizon had some nice new ideas with the story mode and races starting at different evolution levels) especially because it's been too long since i was surprised or puzzled by a 4x (not knowing was is going to happen next.

On the other hand, i am still waiting for a game that would take the best things of my favorite games and improve on them and i don't understand why it's not happening (birth of the federation, master of orion 1-3, imperium galactica 1-2, distant worlds, armada 2526 and horizon).

Stellaris might be a good addition to the genre.


« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 03:27:14 PM by Anguille »
My all time favorite games:
Master of Orion, Civil War II: Generals,  Armada 2526 Supernova, Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, Imperium Galactica I, Conquest: Frontier Wars, Master of Orion III, Spartan, Civilization III, Knights of Honor, Takeda 2 and 3, Horizon, Master of Orion Conquer the stars.

Favorite games by Haemimont:
Rising Kingdoms, Omerta: city of gangsters, Celtic Kings: Punic Wars, Glory of the Roman Empire, Imperium Romanum and Grand Ages: Rome

Offline Freyland

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 05:34:43 PM »
"You will start with a home planet."

I believe this goes a bit deeper than just "ingrained", unless the first half of your new game is spent watching the Big Bang clutter things up.

Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 06:46:43 PM »
I think I was more trying to express some frustration with the way most 4X games insist on beginning from a position of somewhat arbitrary limitation. (Not all do this -- Distant Worlds gives you some flexibility for example.)  Again, it seems to be a more or less unquestioned convention that doesn't always make a whole lot of sense. If I'm playing 'earth humans' in the future -- in a game like Galactic Civilizations, for ex. -- why is that that my species is capable of interstellar travel -- yet we haven't colonized the moon, or Mars, or built an elaborate space station or 2. And why is it that the space fleet of my futuristic advanced civilization consists of... a single ship or 2?  With an economy not able to support much more?

Look, I understand the point in terms of game mechanics -- starting out within limitations for the sake of challenge. Yet it's so often done so predictably, with so little imagination (You get:  One Planet. One Ship. You will soon need to build a Colony Ship, etc.)

It's not that it doesn't make sense -- it makes a kind of sense, a gameplay sense, certainly -- but it's just so old hat at this point, and we're just expected to take it for granted that 'this is the way it has to be.'

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 09:19:33 PM »
I'd echo one or two other folks here who have suggested that Distant Worlds: Universe is the most novel entry in the Space 4x genre in a LONG time.  It got away from the "Civ cities in Space" pattern that Sandman mentions...  I finally gave up when I couldn't get the game to stop upgrading my ships from useful designs to useless designs, nor get my fragile missile frigates to stop charging through a swarm of a dozen enemy battleships pursuing the fleeing Corvette (at "maximum standoff" range, mind you) that he'd locked onto at the beginning of the fight.

I actually have high hopes for the Arcen Games guys to do an interesting 4x.  Their games don't always knock the ball out of the park, but they're almost always innovative and do a nice job of bending/blurring genres.

In its own way, AI Wars: Fleet Command was an interesting game of exploring, expanding, and exterminating.  Not a pure sandbox 4x title, but still lots of fun.

Offline dinsdale

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 10:32:58 PM »
Am I the only one who's bored with this kind of thing at this point?

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter!

Sorcerer King was supposed to be a new take on it, but it's reviews have been pretty bland. A game I never played, AI Wars also claimed to break the mould, anyone have experience with it?

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 11:15:45 PM »
I played it and loved it.  Arcen offers up a demo on their website.  It's a crazy mix of 4x, Tower Defense, and RTS. 

One thing it's really got going for it is the notion of asymmetrical game play:  Rather than fighting against opponents who play by the same rules you do, you play against a robotic AI that won the last war.  The AI easily has the unit's to destroy you in the first 30 seconds of the game, but it's busy thinking about matters known only to a godlike intelligence.  So long as you can accomplish the things you want to without pissing off the AI opponent too much, you won't bring its wrath down on your head.

The game is much deeper than I realized when I first tried it, but really engaging to me.  The sequels got a bit too complicated/micro-managey for me, but the original was brilliant and easy enough for me to grasp.  I'm still thinking about going back and reinstalling it one of these days (lost it when my old hard drive crapped out and I've been playing other games ever since).

Offline Huw the Poo

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 11:42:54 PM »
Well said, FarAway Sooner.  AI War is a brilliant game and absolutely packed with content.  If you get into it, it can keep you going for weeks.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2015, 01:24:33 AM »
The problem with AI War for me was that they never felt like ships in space. It always felt like game pieces on a board and this killed a lot of the immersion for me. I could never get into the game, nor see what all the fuss was about. I feel that way about pretty much all of Arcens games. Most guys talk about the developer as if he is a genius, but I just don't see it.
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