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The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds!

 
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The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 4:52:45 PM   
Philkian

 

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Matrix Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of the highly anticipated third expansion to the critically acclaimed 4X space strategy game series Distant Worlds: Shadows.

Distant Worlds: Shadows adds new gameplay to the Distant Worlds universe and is set in a new era in the Distant Worlds timeline, called the Age of Shadows.

In this time, when the planetary civilizations have not yet rediscovered hyperspace travel, factions of space-based pirates with remnants of ancient technologies battle each other to succeed in survival and expansion. They struggle to hold back the rebirth of the space empires from the ashes of the first war against the Shakturi while establishing themselves as the new power in the galaxy. It is up to the player to choose a side.

New gameplay includes expanded ground combat, with a full new ground combat tech tree, a ground combat resolution screen and multiple different troop types as well as ship and base boarding and capture. The expanded tech tree also includes Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams as well as additional planetary facilities that allow you more customization on character recruitment.

Distant Worlds: Shadows also includes an updated and improved graphical engine, a much enhanced AI and comprehensive difficulty settings that will be challenging even for the veterans of the series and as usual many new modding possibilities.



Please note: Distant Worlds – Shadows REQUIRES ownership of Distant Worlds, Distant Worlds: Return of the Shakturi and Distant Worlds: Legends.



Get more information on Distant Worlds: Shadows from its official product page.

< Message edited by Iain McNeil -- 6/13/2013 10:23:03 AM >
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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 5:15:41 PM   
Simulation01


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An exciting bit of news. The new features look very interesting as does the ground combat resolution screen/window popup.

There was no release date on the product page, yet April was hinted at as a time frame for release. Does this suggest that you intend to push back a release to some time beyond April?

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 5:25:13 PM   
AminMaalouf

 

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I think it takes normally a week or two between the announcement and the release at Matrix.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 5:27:17 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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There's no rule about that actually, but more typically the announcement is about a month before release. That's where we are here.

I'd say early May is the realistic date right now, but this announcement means that we think we're within a month of release. That can change if we need a few more beta builds than we expect before release. That's why we don't give exact dates until we're within a week or so of release as the state of the game guides the release more than a set date.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 5:29:06 PM   
ASHBERY76


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Sounds great but what improvements have been done to the base game issues in regards to the bloated economy,exploitable diplomacy system and intelligence agents which became a non existent gameplay factor by the A.I opponents in Legends,IMO.Also bombarding was overpowered with no need to research any higher tiers and reputation improved very fast.War weariness was also a non issue mechanic with the old get peace and declare war again trick.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 5:41:30 PM   
Simulation01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

There's no rule about that actually, but more typically the announcement is about a month before release. That's where we are here.

I'd say early May is the realistic date right now, but this announcement means that we think we're within a month of release. That can change if we need a few more beta builds than we expect before release. That's why we don't give exact dates until we're within a week or so of release as the state of the game guides the release more than a set date.

Regards,

- Erik




Thanks for that update Erik. I hope there are no unexpected roadblocks and I wish you a speedy development.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 6:02:40 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
Sounds great but what improvements have been done to the base game issues in regards to the bloated economy,exploitable diplomacy system and intelligence agents which became a non existent gameplay factor by the A.I opponents in Legends,IMO.Also bombarding was overpowered with no need to research any higher tiers and reputation improved very fast.War weariness was also a non issue mechanic with the old get peace and declare war again trick.


As with Legends, we've been improving many areas of the game as we go. We've been working on this for a year now. A lot of the fixes and improvements that don't qualify for a major feature point have come in the area of the economy. We had to make the AI smarter in a number of areas to allow it to play effectively as a pirate, as the space-based factions are much more challenging than a steady planetary economy. The late game economy in general is in much better balance now and bombardment has been toned down as part of balancing it with the new greatly expanded ground combat. Diplomacy has not been a primary focus for Shadows, except in the area of Empire/Pirate interactions and Pirate diplomacy. The AI uses intelligence agents better in my experience, we're also working on a few more tweaks in that area.

The overall challenge possible for experienced players with Shadows is much greater than with any previous release. We're actually planning to tone down the difficulty levels before release as the higher ones are too difficult right now.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 7:11:45 PM   
moonraker


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Looking very good . I will definitely be purchasing this. Thanks Eric

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 8:18:24 PM   
tylertoo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Philkian

Distant Worlds: Shadows also includes an updated and improved graphical engine,


Will this increase system specs? I play on a laptop, with graphics dialed down. Have recommended specs changed?

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 8:39:27 PM   
Evrett


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This is one of those "marketing people are from another planet" things. Its an announcement of something that's already been announced, with no date in the announcement as to when what is being announced will actually be available. Real Players/fans arnt even the intended audience but rather its created for useless "gaming media" partners who will echo the content and try and look informed so they can sell advertising.

< Message edited by Evrett -- 4/5/2013 8:40:15 PM >


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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 9:17:26 PM   
Arcatus


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That ground combat interface...



But other than that; I can't wait

(Ok, kinda harsh to judge with only one image, but the first impression on that mechanic is no good...)

Edit;

Okay, i found some more larger images in another thread, and seriously?? Please tell me that the ground combat interface are only a work in progress... It looks terrible!

< Message edited by Arcatus -- 4/5/2013 9:31:38 PM >

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 10:01:16 PM   
Hawawaa


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DWs is a damn gem! Love it!

Wait turn down the AI?! I got an idea, keep a little checkbox in game setup for people who want punishment. Seriously.

Keep these expansions coming they are amazing. Maybe one day after you got everything thing in you want maybe some coop/multiplayer ie do that last. DW would reach epic levels.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 11:24:15 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tylertoo
Will this increase system specs? I play on a laptop, with graphics dialed down. Have recommended specs changed?


It should work fine and in fact perform better on all systems that can currently run Distant Worlds.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 11:26:09 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Evrett,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Evrett
This is one of those "marketing people are from another planet" things. Its an announcement of something that's already been announced, with no date in the announcement as to when what is being announced will actually be available. Real Players/fans arnt even the intended audience but rather its created for useless "gaming media" partners who will echo the content and try and look informed so they can sell advertising.


For those who read this forum regularly, a lot of information about Shadows has already been posted. For those who don't come to this forum, this will be the first time they heard that Shadows is on the way. We need to get the word out and I don't know of a better way than a press release, product page and screenshots to start things off.

For folks who have been checking in, this still included the first screenshots of ground combat and some of the related systems as well as much more information through my forum commentary in the Distant Worlds: Shadows thread below.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 11:28:21 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arcatus
Okay, i found some more larger images in another thread, and seriously?? Please tell me that the ground combat interface are only a work in progress... It looks terrible!


Perhaps you could be more specific? What do you find terrible about it? Playing with it, it works well for me to show me how combat on a planet is proceeding. You can also open it for a planet and keep it open while going around and doing other things, that way you don't have to be watching that one spot in the galaxy the entire time without doing or watching anything else. It can also be set to a smaller size (ideal for keeping up in the background while you keep playing) or a larger size (when you want to just watch the whole combat play out).

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/5/2013 11:35:19 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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Looks fine to me. I'd rather the small dev team work on meat rather than icing. I don't like icing on my meat anyway...

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 12:15:46 AM   
StarLab


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Was reading through this thread while listening to this:

YouTube: Ayreon - The Age of Shadows

Chorus lyric:
"The age of shadows has begun
Giant machines blot out the sun
Frozen lands becoming known"

Found it to be quite fitting with this announcement.

< Message edited by StarLab -- 4/6/2013 12:16:50 AM >


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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 2:41:59 AM   
Arcatus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arcatus
Okay, i found some more larger images in another thread, and seriously?? Please tell me that the ground combat interface are only a work in progress... It looks terrible!


Perhaps you could be more specific? What do you find terrible about it? Playing with it, it works well for me to show me how combat on a planet is proceeding. You can also open it for a planet and keep it open while going around and doing other things, that way you don't have to be watching that one spot in the galaxy the entire time without doing or watching anything else. It can also be set to a smaller size (ideal for keeping up in the background while you keep playing) or a larger size (when you want to just watch the whole combat play out).

Regards,

- Erik




Sorry, offcourse, It was not my intent to be unclear; here is a more spesific post:

This is the original dialogue box, with some points highlighted:



1) The dialogue box is inconsistent with every other dialogue in the game. Text is hard to read, and the bright color combinations are really hard on the eyes. Does this really need to stand out that much?
2) Is that buttons? There are perfectly fine buttons/GUI elements elsewhere. Why not reuse them?
3) Why represent the entire planet when troops are out of scale anyway? Maybe consider to use a "cleaner" background representing a smaller patch of land.
4) Of all the above, this point is by far the worst. The background image used for the stars is of horrible quality. That background image is broken .

In my opinion this entire dialogue box is a ugly wort bleeding puss in the middle of the forehead of a beautiful girl.

Imagine if the forehead looked like this instead:






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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 3:21:17 AM   
feelotraveller


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Very much looking forward to the release and once again I must congratulate Matrix on their philosophy of releasing games when they are ready rather than releasing them whatever their state when the previously allocated 'release date' deadline rolls around. 

That is a very good elaboration Arcatus, well done. 

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 3:37:26 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Arcatus,

I asked for it, apparently.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arcatus
1) The dialogue box is inconsistent with every other dialogue in the game. Text is hard to read, and the bright color combinations are really hard on the eyes. Does this really need to stand out that much?


One of the reasons it's different is that you can also have it up even while looking elsewhere and doing other things. With that said, your point about the contrast with the text is well taken. We setup the top section based on the color of the owner of the planet, but I think the bottom "tug of war" shows well enough who is in control.

quote:

2) Is that buttons? There are perfectly fine buttons/GUI elements elsewhere. Why not reuse them?


Those are the enlarge/close commands. They do look different, mainly because the screen behaves differently from the other ones we have in the game. I think this one's subjective - I'm not sure the buttons we use elsewhere would work as well in this case.

quote:

3) Why represent the entire planet when troops are out of scale anyway? Maybe consider to use a "cleaner" background representing a smaller patch of land.


Because the battle is in fact for the entire planet. Seriously though, we tried several options before we settled on this one and this worked best on the art side. When watching the animated battle, it works quite well and gives a distinct look to each planet type.

quote:

4) Of all the above, this point is by far the worst. The background image used for the stars is of horrible quality. That background image is broken .


An image can't really be "broken" but I understand your point. We can do better on that one, I'll see what we can do.

quote:


In my opinion this entire dialogue box is a ugly wort bleeding puss in the middle of the forehead of a beautiful girl.


Tell me what you really think.

quote:

Imagine if the forehead looked like this instead:


Cleaner, yes - higher contrast, certainly. My only real quibble is that I don't like the bland planet background. I'll see what we can do to improve the look. I should also add in here that the background is moddable.

Regards,

- Erik



< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 4/6/2013 3:38:39 AM >


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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 4:10:56 AM   
necaradan666

 

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Thank the gods someone mentioned how FUGLY that planet invasion interface is, it was enough to make me rethink purchase when I saw it. Glad you're going to take another look at it. Just remember to check that the starfield area isn't stretching when you enlarge that window, Arcatus didn't seem to mention the difference between the scaled versions.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 12:18:59 PM   
Arcatus


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Erik, thanks,

I understand that there are well considered design choices along the way, and some of the things I like, is definitely not the same tings the you like. (and 30 minutes photoshopping at 3AM, is going to be ugly, but I think my points was made )

Good to hear that the background image is going to be one of those things that is moddable. (But I still find it very disappointing if the game is released with such poor quality (space) images)

While we are on that subject; Are there any modding news? Is there going to be new moddable functions?

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 1:27:47 PM   
Wolfe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arcatus

That ground combat interface...






That was my first reaction as well and for pretty much the same reasons subsequently mentioned. From the product page screenshots the Ground Combat interface does look like a work in progress that is still awaiting a graphical "polish" to put it in the same style as the rest of the game.

It would look much better if it was in the same type of window that every other information screen in the game uses.


< Message edited by Wolfe -- 4/6/2013 1:31:42 PM >


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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 3:27:23 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi guys, message heard loud and clear. I'll post up another screenshot after we've given it another pass.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 3:43:45 PM   
ASHBERY76


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A simple planet grid showing overall control and a panel showing unit actions would look neater.The unit art looks nice but should not make the UI look bad just to show it in some sort of battle motion.

Either way I did not buy DistantWorlds for its eye candy..

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 3:48:54 PM   
elmo3

 

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Looks familiar ASHBERY76. Is that MOO3? I wanted so badly for that to be great and it was a dreadful unplayable mess. Distant Worlds just blows that POS away IMHO.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/6/2013 5:03:11 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

Looks familiar ASHBERY76. Is that MOO3? I wanted so badly for that to be great and it was a dreadful unplayable mess. Distant Worlds just blows that POS away IMHO.


Yeah, that's from MoO3, not that bad a game when it's all patched up (user patches).



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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/7/2013 2:38:39 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi,

I'd back Arcatus on the planetary invasion mini-screen. I don't want to have to wear sunglasses to play the game.

Looking forward to seeing the next pass. My only suggestion would be to get input from people outside of your existing test group as if they have given the above dogs breakfast of design the thumbs up then their judgement, in this one very specific area, is dubious.

Cheers,
Lancer

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/7/2013 4:03:01 AM   
Tampa_Gamer


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+1 ASHBERY76, I still play MOO3 every now and then (with Strawberry Mod) simply because I think ground combat is one of the few things it got right.

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RE: The Age of Shadows is coming to Distant Worlds! - 4/7/2013 8:01:46 AM   
nelsonlee


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HOW MUCH?

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