Author Topic: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all  (Read 2813 times)

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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2018, 07:26:34 PM »
Aurora should be subtitled 'Spreadsheets in Space'.  Granted its been awhile (maybe 3 years now) since I tinkered with it but what it really needed was a story mode.  No amount of graphics would fix that there didn't seem to be much of a point to it.

I felt this way about Aurora largely until I took the time to learn how the game and its systems work. Once you start to learn what you can do, you begin to develop your own plans to accomplish your own goals. The development of the game, as I understand it, was meant to trigger the imaginations of players of an old table top game. It was literally made to help them roleplay. So yes, nothing in Aurora will guide you. The player is expected to use his or her own imagination to explore, or conquer, the stars. This could be very clearly a positive feature for some, but a negative for others...
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Offline Yskonyn

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2018, 02:45:05 AM »
I agree fully that the space 4x genre has become stuck for a long time.
There was a thread in the RPG section a while back with some interesting ideas.
If we can’t get a game with AI to create something interesting to play we could try to setup something multiplayer and go as deep as we want with a game system that provides the depth we would like!

I’ll quote my post from earlier this year:
Re: StarFire
The free QuickStart Rules can be obtained here: http://www.wargamevault.com/product/213075/Quick-Start-Rules

The QSR do not cover campaign play.
According to the official forums StarFire Solar (the latest and a rework of Ultra with a focus less on tournament play and more on narrative) is the recommended version if you want to create big sweeping campaigns.
It definately looks like this game hardly knows any bounds. You can truely craft your own endless fully featured space 4x, but the rulebook is over 400 pages!

It comes down to wether we can / want to put in the effort to learn this, cause I am sure it wont be the game that’s limiting; fully modelled ships, fleet combat, exploration. Its mind boggling deep. 😳

StarFire is a HUGELY detailed ruleset with just about anything you can think of regarding 4x play. The only thing with this is that it’ll take considerable effort to setup and play, but the narrative will be completely in our own hands.

Another interesting option I posted:

Ok, here is a crazy idea regarding Aurora multiplayer:

Would it work if you let each participating player create an Empire in Space Master mode.
Then we start the game and player 1 plays his Empire for say 1 game year (to be determined), while the other Empires are on autopilot.
Then the game gets saved, player 2 switches to his/her Empire in Space Master mode and then play another year.
This way we let the savegame go round and round and effectively have Aurora multiplayer going! 

The wiki actually refers to Space Master mode as being derived from Dungeon Master. And facilitates the switching/creation and editing of Player and Non-Player Races.

O0

Jarhead, OJsDad, bobarossa, Rayfer, Tuna and bbmike interested to see if we can make it work?
If we can then we'll have intelligent (well somewhat at least, if you look at myself) opponents, we can make diplomacy as detailed or as basic as we want while having the super deluxe groggy gameplay from Aurora itself!  :smitten:

Aurora’s Game Master mode can be used creatively as well.
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Offline Yskonyn

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2018, 03:10:03 AM »
Another suggestion that might be right up our alley is Space Empires 4X published by GMT Games!
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/84419/space-empires-4x

It has a VASSAL module making it very well suited for PBeM or Forum play as well!
http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Space_Empires:_4X
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Offline bbmike

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2018, 07:19:14 AM »
Another suggestion that might be right up our alley is Space Empires 4X published by GMT Games!
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/84419/space-empires-4x

It has a VASSAL module making it very well suited for PBeM or Forum play as well!
http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Space_Empires:_4X

Or you could also play the computer versions. Space Empires IV Deluxe and Space Empires V are both on Steam.
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2018, 09:35:50 AM »
...
Or you could also play the computer versions. Space Empires IV Deluxe and Space Empires V are both on Steam.

SE IV was a good game.... I never thought much of SE V though...
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2018, 09:52:50 AM »
...
Or you could also play the computer versions. Space Empires IV Deluxe and Space Empires V are both on Steam.

SE IV was a good game.... I never thought much of SE V though...

I draw some of my inspiration from SEIV. However, overall, I always found the game to be dull and soulless. Nevertheless, it has some excellent depth and a bunch of features that we just don't see a lot of these days. Even something as simple as being able to designate a new colony for a specific purpose (i.e. industrial, farming, military, science, etc.) I mean, such a simple and obvious feature that no other game seems to have really utilized. Why the hell not?  The closest any game has come is Polaris Sector, which lets you set development priorities for the planetary AI.
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Offline bbmike

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2018, 10:11:18 AM »
I agree if you play against the AI. For multiplayer I think it would work really well.
"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
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"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
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"There's a horror movie called Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you!"
-The Doctor

“Before Man goes to the stars he should learn how to live on Earth.”
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2018, 11:04:09 AM »

I draw some of my inspiration from SEIV. However, overall, I always found the game to be dull and soulless.
...

Can't argue there, after a while in a game it did become kind of dull.... more so than most 4x game but I think this happens to most people in most of the games of the genre....
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Offline DennisS

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2018, 11:36:23 AM »
...
Or you could also play the computer versions. Space Empires IV Deluxe and Space Empires V are both on Steam.

SE IV was a good game.... I never thought much of SE V though...

SE IV IS a good game. Perhaps the best of all the 4x games out there. I liked Stars! a lot as well.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2018, 05:09:48 PM »
I agree with Sandman:  The Space 4x genre is heavily burdened by the game play conventions that Sid Meier first dreamed up for Civ 1 almost a quarter-century ago.  It's even the freaking "one scout/one settler/one city" feature!  There are so many opportunities to expand that.

I think one thing that's been sadly neglected in most Space 4x games is the PvE aspect.  Sure, you have your occasional Barbarians spawning out of a Goody Hut, but that's about as sophisticated as most of the Space 4x games get in this regard.

One thing that DWU got entirely right in their Dark Ages period is the idea that you populate the galaxy with dynamic PvE adversaries.  Pirates who are more powerful than you and extort tribute in the early games, but not nearly as dynamic (i.e., they lack research), make for an interesting adversary.  Splitting pirates up into different factions, and giving players the option to play nice with some (or all) pirate factions adds an intriguing layer.  It also means players get to face tough strategic choices about when to start picking a fight with a pirate faction, and which faction to fight with.

The "Space Monster" cliche is tired, but because it's not the only component in PvE play, it's pretty interesting.  They even have some more indestructible space monsters (e.g., the "Silver Cloud" of devouring nanites you often release in mid-game) that keep the challenge fresh in the mid-game.

As others have said, the ability to model an actual civilian economy is also very well done.

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2018, 03:56:00 AM »
Did that SE4 grogheads pbem game ever lift off?

My point was that we could lament the state of 4x, but we could instead be setting something up here on grogheads. With several people interested in a good 4x experience we should have no issues making diplomacy interesting because it’ll be human controlled. So one of the big negatives with AI would have been taken care of.
If we can just decide on a platform to use that’s suitable for forum or email play we’d be set for a grand space adventure against and with eachother.

I mentioned StarFire because its basically Aurora 4x in paper form. Huge and daunting, but at the same time many stuff can be optional. (There is a VASSAL module for the tactical stuff out there)

I mentioned Space Empires 4X because of the boardgamey feeling, but SEV or SE4 might be handier because of its electronic form.

Aurora’s Space Manager feature is interesting and certainly can work, but it will be fiddly.

Or.. you can just jump into my Battletech campaign! 😜👍
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Offline HDIAndrew

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2018, 11:06:26 AM »
A friend of mine used to argue that all games are glorified spreadsheets, and that the better games just hid that more effectively :)

I think the 4X format still works well, but each X needs to be considered more broadly. For instance, eXploration refers both to exploring the game environment and its mechanics - determining who to make best use of each. eXpansion refers to extending control over territory and game resources of all types. eXploitation refers to exploiting that territory or those resources to maximum effect. eXtermination is probably the least appropriate X, as we usually refer to exterminating all the game enemies, but really it can apply to exterminating their ability to threaten us. I personally like thinking of how eXtermination applies to 4X games that can be played co-op, like the classic M.U.L.E.

And I always think we should consider a fifth X - conteXt - for the best 4X games.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2018, 02:46:02 PM »
Andrew, I'm sorry to blow your cover, but gentlemen (and lady or two), Andrew is the founder of Holistic Design and the lead developer behind Emperor of the Fading Suns!!!!

We're not worthy! We're not worthy!!!  :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
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Offline airboy

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2018, 03:33:00 PM »
Space Empires IV is still the best IMHO.  I acknowledge the flaws mentioned by others.

Another issue is playability.  The more stuff you put into the mix, the more time investment you have to be able to play it.  I can only master so many Dominions 3 level complexity games without burning out.

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: The greatest space 4x to conquer them all
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2018, 05:27:07 PM »
Hi Andrew! Great so see you here and let me take the oppertunity to thank you for the great game you created!  :peace:

On a different note: I have been browsing through the Solar Starfire handbook, but the thing reads like some kind of professional engineer’s manual.
Lots of abbreviations, accronyms and formula’s. Not really something you pick up and play.
Diving a bit further into Starfire it seems that 3rd edition (Called Legacy on the website) combined with the Unified Tech Manual is much easier to get into.
This is also the version where Aurora 4x is based on if I understand it correctly.
Solar is so detailed that it becomes pretty much unplayable unless you make a study of it. 😳
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