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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows

 
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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/8/2013 1:21:51 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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I'll post some more news and screenshots tomorrow, too busy today (working towards a final release candidate this week).

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/8/2013 1:59:34 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

I'll post some more news and screenshots tomorrow, too busy today (working towards a final release candidate this week).

You... work?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/8/2013 3:24:03 AM   
necaradan666

 

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So.. day before FE: Legendary Heroes is set to release, and just after my bday. Gonna be a fun week.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/8/2013 9:47:03 AM   
Mansen


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Screenies, Screenies!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 12:41:57 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Still coming, will post some before the end of the day.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 12:46:53 AM   
Webbco


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Thanks Erik, looking forward to seeing your progress!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 1:29:35 AM   
Kruos


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Cant wait :)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 4:49:31 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Ok, I guess it's the last minute so I'd better take a break and post something. :-)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:02:43 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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With all the talk about Pirates lately, I know some of you who prefer planetary empires will also appreciate this new galaxy setup option.






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:04:04 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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When you first install Shadows, this is where I recommend you begin. The new gameplay in the Age of Shadows is very different from the classic age and these new tutorials will help you understand how to survive and thrive.






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:08:33 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The much requested updated ground combat screen, taking community feedback into account. This is one from a Mortalen homeworld planet with lots of troops. You'll see the armor units in the front row, infantry behind, planetary defense units behind them. The population of the planet is in the back along with characters and facilities. The facilities in this case are from top to bottom an Armor Factory, Military Academy and Science Academy. You can also see the Small Space port in the orbit area.

Should enemies invade, they will first transit from the orbit area to the ground in assault pods. The space port and planetary defense units will be firing at them during that stage and they hit pretty hard, especially once your planetary defense units are upgraded. Those that survive will then engage the ground forces. There are a series of calculations that compare the relative forces on each side and list the bonuses above. I'll show that in another screen shortly.

You can watch the combat unfold, maximize it, minimize it, do other stuff and select other units while the combat screen remains open, etc. While combat unfolds you can see the units shooting at each other and who is taking damage. You can mouse over each unit to see its information and current strength.






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:11:01 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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We've rebalanced the government types and races to try to improve the mid to late game chances for pretty much any combination, without losing the unique flavor. So far, it looks quite good in testing. Between that and the improvements to the AI and automation routines (and thanks to our testing team for many good suggestions and save files in that area as well) and the new comprehensive difficulty setting, everyone should be able to have a challenging game from start to finish.






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:12:05 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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If you consider yourself a very good player that usually wins DW with ease, you can always check this box too:






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:18:09 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The Age of Shadows is in general a pretty tough time in the galaxy and the pirates that exist there are really more like full-fledged space-based empires. You can either play as one of them, or see if you can deal with them as a planetary empire. Here's an example of my current test game nemesis, check out those ships and firepower. These guys have multiple based, planets under their control and the only good news for me right now is that they're also fighting with the other pirates as well as a few more planetary empires. I'm focusing on trying to take them down one base at a time while testing. It's a very real possibility though (in the Age of Shadows) that the pirates may win. The future of the galaxy is not pre-determined, they may end up in charge...

As always, the galaxy settings are entirely under your control. The Age of Shadows defaults though make for a tough game with strong pirates.





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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:21:03 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Oh, we're finally replacing the old victory screen with a much better one that also includes achievements and awards, which are tracked for all your games.






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:44:52 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Ok, one last battle screen, this one of a pirate raid, and I need to get back to work. Still a lot of final production tasks to finish and not much time left...

(Oh, also we replaced the official attack alarm sound )

Also, before you all get too worried, I should note that the above pirate faction is an extreme example, more like the "Legendary Pirates" before they left hte galaxy for a while and my test game was specifically setup to create pirates like that.










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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:51:18 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Ok, just one more...

I'll see if I can take a video of one of the gravitic area weapons in action when I next get a chance to post.




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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:55:57 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

With all the talk about Pirates lately, I know some of you who prefer planetary empires will also appreciate this new galaxy setup option.






Hrmm - I'm not sure about this one. People have complained that respawning pirates resulted in pirate-whack-a-mole, which
- made one's reputation all but irrelevant, as whacking pirates would bring it back up with ease
- pirates became an annoying distraction - not that this is necessarily wrong, but that the respawn rate rate was so high (immediate?).

Personally, I'd implement it differently. A cooldown on pirate respawn within a radius of the destroyed base, and a gradual reduction in the number of pirates as the game progresses - but an increase in strength.

But it's optional, which I appreciate. Can't see myself ticking that box, however.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 6:03:05 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Actually, the pirates that respawn are already weaker than the "starting" pirates, but I'm sure some will find that option worthwhile. In the Classic Age, pirates are not really a major issue but in the Age of Shadows it's a different story.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 6:18:19 AM   
Antiscamp


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Yes! Those Land Report screens actually do look a whole lot better now.

Can you tell us something about game performance and how that has been boosted too?

< Message edited by Antiscamp -- 5/9/2013 6:20:27 AM >


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 7:27:32 AM   
Texashawk

 

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 8:10:04 AM   
Webbco


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I'm really impressed, thanks for the new screens Erik. Glad to see the option to scale difficulty, and its an excellent idea to implement awards and achievements

As if this game isn't replyable enough already

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 8:17:48 AM   
Mansen


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Awesome screenshots.

Not so sure about the pirate respawn option though - Ideally I'd like to see more Pirate factions appearing. Due to corruption and a lack of security on your colonies. Or have deep space pirates far away from player intervention.

Can't wait to see them become independent empires rivaling small "races".

< Message edited by Mansen -- 5/9/2013 10:26:21 AM >

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 8:27:07 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi Eric,

quote:

If you consider yourself a very good player that usually wins DW with ease, you can always check this box too:


What exactly is the difficulty slider adjusting and does it have any impact on resource availability?

Cheers,
Lancer

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 10:13:01 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Nice looking screenshots and some cool sounding ideas.

I have seen it mentioned a few times now that the AI and "automation routines" have been improved. What specifically has been done in these areas to improve them?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 10:21:59 AM   
Antiscamp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

(Oh, also we replaced the official attack alarm sound )



And that's the evidence that the Power of Prayer is for real, people!


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 10:39:58 AM   
Buio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
(Oh, also we replaced the official attack alarm sound )

The problem isn't really the sound, it's the frequency of it. But if I remember correct, you were working on tweaking that too.

Cool that you took pics of features and not only gameplay in general. Good stuff, can't wait to get my hands on the expansion.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 10:52:42 AM   
hewwo

 

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Honestly, if this all works the way it should work this will be the game to end all other games.

Eric, could you comment on how you've balanced resources? In theory there should be amazing strategic gameplay with me trying to get hold of certain planets or taking out specific mining stations of enemies, but in practice I've never had any shortages other than my annoying private sector not efficiently distributing them...

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 11:39:55 AM   
Bleek


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I've crawled out of the wood work to say those ground battle screenshots look so much better than the early shots!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 2:49:38 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Antiscamp
Can you tell us something about game performance and how that has been boosted too?


Sure, we implemented a new graphics engine based on XNA which is running everything on the actual galaxy map now, though not the interface screens. It uses less memory and is able to handle much more in the way of ships on screen, combat, etc. The end result is fewer memory issues and the crashes that could be associated with them in large games, faster performance during battles and other galaxy map activities than previously. We have one tester who had serious lag and stuttering issues with previous versions of DW that are gone with this version.

Better multithreading has also been implemented, as well as better awareness by the game of how many cores it can use on your processor as we found some performance and game issues in the past were caused by rare situations where the multithreading was effectively stepping on itself.

As this is an expansion, this is still not the full new engine we would like to do in the future, but it's the most significant graphical engine change since the original DW.

Regards,

- Erik



< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 5/9/2013 2:50:22 PM >


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