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Distant Worlds: Universe Announced!

 
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Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 4:22:03 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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A new chapter will soon be written in the grand space saga of Distant Worlds. This sci-fi series praised as “a worthy successor to Masters of Orion” (Eurogamer.dk), “a true space empire game” (Gamers Hall), “a small revolution in 4X strategy game” (PC4War), is now flying towards infinity with its ultimate collection: Universe.

Distant Worlds: Universe is the much anticipated stand-alone package which gathers all previous releases of the series. Emphasis was placed on the community as the game features advanced modding tools to allow you to develop extra content and set up their own galaxies and epic storylines. Thanks to a user-friendly in-game editor and a comprehensive modding guide, even beginners will be able to create unique galaxies with intricate plots.

This collector’s edition also introduces a new scenario covering the ancient galaxy and the first war between the Freedom Alliance and the Shaktur Axis in which you will get access to powerful technologies and new weapons, including the ability to build planet destroyers.

Distant Worlds: Universe is set to be released in May 2014. Get more information on Distant Worlds Universe from its official product page.


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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 5:42:23 PM   
CyclopsSlayer


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Any clues on pricing yet? Got a few people still sitting on the fence about picking up DW and the right pricing may bring them into the fold.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 6:13:09 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi guys,

Pricing and upgrade info will be available in a future announcement.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 6:52:04 PM   
Wolfe


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As I'm not a modder and already have Shadows I'm rather underwhelmed by the info on Universe on the product page. The only new content seems to be

"A new official storyline built using the new modding capabilities, covering the first war between the Freedom Alliance and the Shaktur Axis, in which you have access to the tech required to build your own planet destroyers, establish the Ancient Guardians and research and deploy the Xaraktor virus."

Unless this is a lot better and bigger than it sounds my reaction so far is somewhere between , and


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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 8:00:47 PM   
Dagfinn

 

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Could you please consider a pre-order that would enable downloading of the former games in the series?

Im realy keen on trying DW, but am not inclined to purchase the whole series now that Universe is coming...

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 8:46:21 PM   
ASHBERY76


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I can think of some interesting tech tree changes but is the A.I opened up more for direction? It is no good adding bio armour if the Bio race researches steel instead.

I am sad some issues are still not being addressed diplomacy,war weariness,ect.But I will enjoy playing with the modding option

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 9:03:46 PM   
Fishers of Men


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The product page says that there is comprehensive modding and customization of diplomatic dialog, Ashbery76. Maybe there is some hope for us here.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 10:00:19 PM   
mbar


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DW All-in-one. I'm getting the boxed version! I'm so excited.


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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 10:12:37 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Well, for one thing, the physical version of Universe will also include the first full color printed manual for the DW series so that will be in the box. :-)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 10:15:50 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wolfe
As I'm not a modder and already have Shadows I'm rather underwhelmed by the info on Universe on the product page. The only new content seems to be

"A new official storyline built using the new modding capabilities, covering the first war between the Freedom Alliance and the Shaktur Axis, in which you have access to the tech required to build your own planet destroyers, establish the Ancient Guardians and research and deploy the Xaraktor virus."


There have been the usual host of various small improvements to AI and efficiency in a lot of areas of the game, but they don't fit well into feature points. Bug fixes and behind the scenes improvements aren't that exciting for most.

The modding capabilities are frankly awesome though and I would be well and truly shocked if you didn't have a lot more than just the new official storyline to play around with shortly after release. For non-modders, I think there will be many benefits as a result of what we've done for modders in this release and this will give the DW series a single common entry point/base level for all DW customers and mods for the foreseeable future.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 11:05:04 PM   
BTAxis

 

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Mods are great. Even if nobody else is going to make mods, I have some tweaks in mind for my own games, such as removing requirements for ship designs all over the shop (such as construction yards for space ports), removing life support altogether, and setting size constraints for ship classes.

Ashbery has a good point though - the extent of modding depends on how well the AI will be able to cope. Maybe we can steer it in some way?

Taking that idea to the extreme, maybe you could consider open-sourcing the AI code. There's a precedent for this, as Malfador did it with the Space Empires games. I realize that's a big step though and providing support for that might be more trouble than it's worth.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/13/2014 11:19:13 PM   
Euler

 

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You might consider including a "demo project" with the game that shows people how to use the modding tools. Like a modded version of the game as a mod tutorial.

That could then be another item on your list of things that will be included with the new release.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 12:46:25 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Euler
You might consider including a "demo project" with the game that shows people how to use the modding tools. Like a modded version of the game as a mod tutorial.

That could then be another item on your list of things that will be included with the new release.


That's actually what we've done - the new storyline for the Ancient Galaxy with the Freedom Alliance vs. Shaktur Axis war was built entirely with the same tools/capabilities we are giving to modders. You can look at it as a reference mod, but I'm sure there will be even bigger and better ones coming from the modding community after release.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 1:56:07 AM   
Simulation01


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Will we finally be able to change the color of the phaser beam and, add new techs based on different color phaser beams? This has long been a desire of mine.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 5:31:37 AM   
Spidey


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The biggest question for me, besides the obvious one of whether the AI can deal with modded changes, is whether we can change that damn tiny font. I'm sick and tired of 1366 by 768 but I just can't read the damn text if I use my monitor's native 1920 by 1080. Some appreciation of those with crap eyesight would be really nice.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 7:41:45 AM   
Blueberry

 

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Great news. Looking forward to playing the game AND even more playing the mods. AI improvements with regard to diplomacy and general decision-making would be much appreciated. I don't mind whether the AI improvements are introduced in the 'Universe' or by the modding community. Indeed, it is also quite imperative to remove all those instances where a player can easily cheat the AI in diplomacy. This, of course, does not mean that I want a cheating AI either. Just some proper balancing and smarter choices. Perfectly doable. The greatest thing about this latest (and final ) expansion is the introduction of modding options. Really appreciated. Would be even better to know what exactly we could mod and exactly to what extent.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 7:54:01 AM   
hewwo

 

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For a dev team this small, i totally support the direction of improving the engine while leaving the actual content up to the community. If only because if you have the same guy writing code as diplomatic dialog, the results can be... less then inspiring ;)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 11:12:48 AM   
feygan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi guys,

Pricing and upgrade info will be available in a future announcement.

Regards,

- Erik




I must be reading some other product page here. The expansion was originally due out in March and now pushed back to May for unknown reasons. So if you do not yet have a pricing level set then how was it ever really due out in March? Was it just a lucky dip of various prices for some lucky office member to choose?

I give a standing ovation the the developer of the entire DW series from it's buggy outset to the near perfect game it has become today. But I hope for their own sake they go with a different publisher for any future ventures as Matrix just astound me on a weekly basis.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 1:05:46 PM   
Deathball

 

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Can we please not turn this into yet another discussion about Matrix' marketing? Thanks.

Erik, can you give us some info regarding AI modding? It was mentioned before but this is really the biggest roadblock regarding extensive overhauls because what is the point of new components and technologies if the AI doesn't know how to use them?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 1:40:18 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
Will we finally be able to change the color of the phaser beam and, add new techs based on different color phaser beams? This has long been a desire of mine.


Yes, no problem with Universe.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 1:41:10 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
The biggest question for me, besides the obvious one of whether the AI can deal with modded changes, is whether we can change that damn tiny font. I'm sick and tired of 1366 by 768 but I just can't read the damn text if I use my monitor's native 1920 by 1080. Some appreciation of those with crap eyesight would be really nice.


We actually increased the font size in all the key problem areas during Shadows development as well as added the ability to scale the text part of the main display. Beyond that, there's not much more we can do until DW2.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 1:42:17 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Feygan,

quote:

ORIGINAL: feygan
I must be reading some other product page here. The expansion was originally due out in March and now pushed back to May for unknown reasons. So if you do not yet have a pricing level set then how was it ever really due out in March? Was it just a lucky dip of various prices for some lucky office member to choose?


We've decided on a price, but the price announcement is going to happen later, for various good reasons. You'll know the price and upgrade plan before release.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 1:43:14 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathball
Erik, can you give us some info regarding AI modding? It was mentioned before but this is really the biggest roadblock regarding extensive overhauls because what is the point of new components and technologies if the AI doesn't know how to use them?


The AI should be able to handle the mods. We spent a fair amount of time testing and tweaking that. I'm sure someone will find a way that we didn't consider after release, but we plan to keep an eye on things and update it if necessary.

Regards,

- Erik



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Erik Rutins
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For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 2:13:08 PM   
Maponus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Euler
You might consider including a "demo project" with the game that shows people how to use the modding tools. Like a modded version of the game as a mod tutorial.

That could then be another item on your list of things that will be included with the new release.


That's actually what we've done - the new storyline for the Ancient Galaxy with the Freedom Alliance vs. Shaktur Axis war was built entirely with the same tools/capabilities we are giving to modders. You can look at it as a reference mod, but I'm sure there will be even bigger and better ones coming from the modding community after release.

Regards,

- Erik




So, by learning from this storyline - you could create a narrative driven campaign fought between two alliances?

This would be good for a Warhammer 31k (i.e. Great Crusade/Horus Heresy) mod, which would probably suffer immersion wise from a fully randomised conflict.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 2:13:25 PM   
Icemania


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Just looking at the screenshots in the announcement. The Machine Intelligence new technology looks interesting as a 5% victory condition bonus every year will help move the end game along to a conclusion. I really hope the Shaktur Dominion are serious bad asses (e.g. like the Borg in Star Trek Armada 3) and this game is much more difficult. I want to get slaughtered in my first Universe game ...

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 2:49:14 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
I really hope the Shaktur Dominion are serious bad asses (e.g. like the Borg in Star Trek Armada 3) and this game is much more difficult. I want to get slaughtered in my first Universe game ...


Well, I certainly did but YMMV and we did tone them down a tad since then but they can still kick butt.

Regards,

- Erik



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Erik Rutins
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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 2:49:55 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Maponus
So, by learning from this storyline - you could create a narrative driven campaign fought between two alliances?


You could absolutely do that and set it in a customized galaxy map with a custom tech tree, custom resources and components, though I can't comment on any specific possibilities.

Regards,

- Erik



< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 3/14/2014 3:50:30 PM >


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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 2:55:45 PM   
Osito


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Hi Erik,

Thanks for the update. I'm really looking forward to this expansion!

I have a very specific question, which I'd like to know the answer to, if you're able to give me the information.

Will it be possible to import a galaxy map from a game created in 1.9.0.13 to use as a starting point for creating a modded map in the expansion? Hope this question makes sense.

Thanks,

osito

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 3:47:43 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
I really hope the Shaktur Dominion are serious bad asses (e.g. like the Borg in Star Trek Armada 3) and this game is much more difficult. I want to get slaughtered in my first Universe game ...


Well, I certainly did but YMMV and we did tone them down a tad since then but they can still kick butt.

Regards,

- Erik



I hope you have seen the Friendly Challenge thread and have kicking my butt in mind ...



< Message edited by Icemania -- 3/14/2014 4:53:23 PM >

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RE: Distant Worlds: Universe Announced! - 3/14/2014 3:53:04 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Well, for one thing, the physical version of Universe will also include the first full color printed manual for the DW series so that will be in the box. :-)


Well that settles it, gotta get the box set. I love having an actual manual I can hold in my hands.

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