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Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/5/2017 5:07:28 PM   
tortugapower

 

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Howdy folks!

In case anyone is interested, the most recent episode of the 4X Gaming Podcast was on Distant Worlds. You can find it here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/4Xgaming/comments/74fflm/4x_gaming_episode_13_distant_worlds/

Of the panel of four people, there were two people who like the game, one who is neutral, and one who doesn't like the game (and he really doesn't like it!). I think this led to a fairly balanced discussion.

If you love DW as much as I do, or maybe even if you don't (but probably most people still patrolling this forum are enthusiasts), you may enjoy a back-and-forth on the game. Feedback is always welcome!

All the best,
Tortuga


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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/5/2017 11:50:22 PM   
StarLab


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Good discussion. Appreciate the mention...



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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/12/2017 3:05:08 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Thanks, I'll give this a listen tomorrow.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/12/2017 5:53:46 PM   
tortugapower

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Thanks, I'll give this a listen tomorrow.



I'd like to make it painfully clear that I am Tortuga, not Kirkus, from this podcast...

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/12/2017 6:18:57 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Noted.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/13/2017 8:03:12 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Thanks, it was a good listen overall and I appreciate the attention given to DW.

In the spirit of the podcast, I will also offer some comments.

I wish you had covered more of the gameplay parts of the game in more detail rather than focusing on interface gripes. I think some of what makes DW special and unique was represented well, but not all of it and I do think more could have been made of that rather than the interface. I certainly recognize that the interface can be improved, but I do feel that a large part of the problem is figuring out how the interface works. It is not unplayable or all that difficult, but a lot of parts are a bit hidden and buried a level or two down. Once you figure it out, it handles the functions you need pretty well, in my opinion. Could it be improved - certainly and we hope DW2's interface will be much better, but making interfaces for complex, data-rich evolving games is certainly as much an art as a science and can be very iterative.

Having also played many 4x games over the years, given that work on DW started in 2006 and it was released in 2010, and that it was was the result of a very small team with a very small budget, I don't consider its interface uniquely bad or horrible. Rather than comparing it to Sins of a Solar Empire which is also very different in terms of budget, complexity and gameplay, I'd say look at Sword of the Stars, which while still less complex than DW at least had similar gameplay but the interface was also nothing special and a bit quirky. If you are willing to learn it, the interface gets the job done (I'm sure Kirkus would disagree) but I've demoed the game at many conventions to folks who had never played it before and within 5 minutes had them up and running and playing it happily themselves.

Anyway, last note on the interface is that I would have loved to hear more specifics on how you would like it to be improved. Clearly we are hoping the DW2 interface will be easier to navigate and more useful, but the more specific feedback we get, the better.

The automation vs. manual approach is also something we are definitely thinking more about in terms of how best to introduce DW2 to new gamers. Again based on those in-person demos, the automation in that scenario is helpful to prevent people from being overwhelmed, but it's also clear that having the automation on by default makes the game impenetrable for many new players. Currently we're thinking about a much smaller scale intro/tutorial that allows automation to be gradually added in as the better way to go, rather than the previous "automate everything, then gradually turn it off". I do think the automation is something that makes DW able to relieve many of the usual burdens of mid to late game micro-management while retaining a vast and immersive scale better than many other games.

Regarding gameplay, I got the sense that Kirkus expected more of an economic simulation rather than a somewhat abstracted civilian economy (still less abstract than pretty much any other space 4x). The goal with the DW was to put enough in to create the emergent gameplay you mentioned regarding logistics and trade routes and the ability to conduct warfare and blockades in less direct ways. I believe it succeeded well in that goal, but for various reasons including game performance, we did not intend or achieve a complete economic simulation. I would also add that it's always a good bet when reviewing games that if a decision is made, it's probably more likely that the designers and developers know it could be done differently but have reasons to make that decision, often involving the many trade-offs that have to be considered at each step.

With that said, I do recognize that compared to many bigger budget / bigger team space 4x games, DW can feel rough and unpolished and overall I thought the criticism was fair and reasonably well founded. However, I do wish that more folks could "get" the magic of the game, which you clearly do but we need to figure out how to connect with more gamers the same way. I thought it was interesting that Kirkus mentioned that if the full economic simulation were there, this might be his favorite game. One of the things we tried to do with the various gameplay areas and the automation is support many different playstyles. It sounds like if we could expand on that area and improve the interface, we might bring him around.

Hopefully everyone on the podcast will give DW2 a look once we've finished it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and again I appreciate the attention and the thoughtful commentary. It's always helpful to see your game through the experiences and eyes of another.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 10/13/2017 8:04:58 PM >


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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/13/2017 8:26:19 PM   
joeyeti


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Thx for the response Eric! We certainly wish DW2 will improve upon DW1.

Reg. the interface - yes, it is functional, but I guess the most issues the players have (barring those that have learned it by heart) are:
1) Unscalable and unreadable fonts vs. screen resolution (yes, selection panel is scalable, as is the Empire navigation tool on the left, but this is only a small part of the overall UI)
2) Unwieldy and limiting windows, again not scaling to the resolution (hence readability is bad)
3) More key shortcuts needed and a better mouse+keyboard handling
4) Perhaps using tooltip summaries instead of showing the info in the Selection panel (ála Endless Space or other newer games) - this could perhaps mean eliminating the Selection panel entirely, or convert it to something different

Someone can certainly explain it in better terms, as I only played a few games of DW1. But I am pumped for DW2.

One other important question - will you release something akin to Early Access, to get community feedback right from the start (before you even get to Beta stage)?

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/13/2017 8:51:43 PM   
Sabranan

 

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I would just like to point out that regardless of the podcast (which I'm about to listen to, not just ignoring the thread topic here), it's just nice to finally hear "something" about DW2. Just having some idea of what improvements are in the works helps to reassure people that it's actually happening, that you actually have a plan for it.

Even if it's years away from release, periodic titbits like this help a lot. Just dropping in every couple months or so and addressing some user concerns with a rough idea of how they'll be addressed in the next game would seriously help in keeping up morale around here.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/13/2017 10:10:13 PM   
RogerBacon

 

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I really like the economic system in the Supreme Ruler games. If DW2 could include something like that I think it would be fantastic.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/13/2017 11:08:25 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: joeyeti

Thx for the response Eric! We certainly wish DW2 will improve upon DW1.

Reg. the interface - yes, it is functional, but I guess the most issues the players have (barring those that have learned it by heart) are:
1) Unscalable and unreadable fonts vs. screen resolution (yes, selection panel is scalable, as is the Empire navigation tool on the left, but this is only a small part of the overall UI)
2) Unwieldy and limiting windows, again not scaling to the resolution (hence readability is bad)
3) More key shortcuts needed and a better mouse+keyboard handling
4) Perhaps using tooltip summaries instead of showing the info in the Selection panel (ála Endless Space or other newer games) - this could perhaps mean eliminating the Selection panel entirely, or convert it to something different-


Thanks for the more specific feedback.

I agree completely on the resolution/scaling. If you have a resolution over 1920x1080 things do get pretty small. The resolution/scaling issue was something that was a result of the original engine and while we mitigated it somewhat over time, we were never able to solve it due to the engine limitations. Let's just say that many things changed on the resolution front over the nine years between start of development and the final release of DW:U. We were able to address other engine limitations over time to improve performance significantly, for example, but this one remained insurmountable.

The good news is, DW2 will not have those resolution and scaling issues.

Could you elaborate on "better mouse+keyboard handling"?

We are making a lot more use of mouseover/tooltip info in DW2, so hopefully that should help with this.

quote:


One other important question - will you release something akin to Early Access, to get community feedback right from the start (before you even get to Beta stage)?


Not ready to comment on this, but I'll keep the question in mind.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/13/2017 11:10:11 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabranan
I would just like to point out that regardless of the podcast (which I'm about to listen to, not just ignoring the thread topic here), it's just nice to finally hear "something" about DW2. Just having some idea of what improvements are in the works helps to reassure people that it's actually happening, that you actually have a plan for it.

Even if it's years away from release, periodic titbits like this help a lot. Just dropping in every couple months or so and addressing some user concerns with a rough idea of how they'll be addressed in the next game would seriously help in keeping up morale around here.


It will be a while yet before I can give any regular updates, so I don't want to get your hopes up. Things are still under wraps, as it were and there are good reasons to only release information when we are at the right stage. However, I can reassure you that DW2 is very much in progress and has been for a good long while. It is a massive project and has a very large plan which Elliot and I have spent a lot of time on. Elliot and I work on DW2 every day and we are as eager as anyone to complete it and get it out to all of you.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 12:22:40 AM   
joeyeti


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Thx Erik!

quote:

Could you elaborate on "better mouse+keyboard handling"?

I might not be entirely sure what I even meant by that , but for instance there could be shortcuts tied to the windows you open, to quickly get a specific task accomplished. One game that comes to mind is Rimworld, in which many of the tasks on a command menu or sub-menu have a letter shortcut, so soon you memorize the frequently used sequences and you are able to quickly get to the "core" function in the third submenu - rather than clicking your mouse 5 times at various places in the opening menues and submenues. I realize this heavily depends on the game itself and the environment it is using, but it might be an idea for the big bag of ideas.

One other question (or rather two, tied together) - now reg. the documentation:

1. I have no idea how you are creating or processing your docs/future manuals, but if you at any stage need an independent eye to check/correct mistakes, point out inconsistencies and/or advise on layout, or even work on the documentation itself, I would be happy to assist there. I like tinkering with text and refining it to be as readable as possible.

2. A good idea would be to create a Wiki page (or perhaps use the free Google Sites framework - as this is also easy to edit and maintain and various formatting styles can be applied and used). Again this will mostly come up once a more concrete game starts to appear (and playable even), but I think creating an online knowledge base will be invaluable to new players (and "veterans" alike). Some of the folk here might point to my previous unsuccessful efforts to create a Distant Worlds 1 wiki and I am rightly to be blamed - real life took over and I simply did not have time to devote to it. But starting from scratch for a new game might be easier and there might also be more willing editors to fill in content as the game develops and grows.

< Message edited by joeyeti -- 10/14/2017 12:24:24 AM >


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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 11:50:55 AM   
Icemania


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The podcast certainly exceeded expectations with how well considered it was.

Some specific suggestions I would add for Distant Worlds 2:

1. A lot of the mechanics in Distant Worlds 1 aren't well explained to players in-game and you really have to get onto the forums, this could use huge improvement for Distant Worlds 2. Even in the forums we were confused a lot of the time!

2. A particular feature which has been apparent in recent very popular games such as Endless Legend is race specific mechanics (e.g. races that don't use money, or can't declare war etc), race specific quests, along with tech tree uniqueness for each race. In Distant Worlds 1 we had the occasional unique technology only. Given it's popularity, this needs to be present in some form, otherwise likely be a focus of some critique.

3. Diplomacy exploitation needs to be much tighter in Distant Worlds 2, waaaaaay OTT in Distant Worlds 1.

4. Distant Worlds 1 exploration was good but Stellaris has taken it to another level with the variety of exploration events and writing. Hopefully Distant Worlds 2 applies that and take it even further.

5. Stellaris has multiple end-game crises as well as the War in Heaven, without which the mid-to-late game would be a struggle. Hopefully Distant Worlds 2 applies that and take it even further.

6. Community expectations on AI performance are higher now than Distant Worlds 1. Gal Civ 3, Stellaris and Endless Space 2 have all been criticised which was quite justifiable as the release AI was weak. That said, they are all improving, so no doubt Distant Worlds 2 there will be similarly high expectations.

7. While it wasn't the intent Distant Worlds 1 the larger the ship the better. Small ships needs to have some bonuses (e.g. evasion) to make them useful in-game.

8. Please let me finally convince Nasarog from eXplorminate that the graphics won't hurt this time ... :)

Some of these are probably pipe dreams assuming the budget for Distant Worlds 2 is very limited compared to the competition e.g. Stellaris, Gal Civ III, Endless Space 2.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 12:26:52 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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quote:

race specific quests


I seem to be in the minority these days, but I despise this recent trend of adding quests to 4X games. For me, a 4X game should rely on emergent gameplay, not scripted gameplay. I should feel motivated to do X because it makes sense for me to do it, not because the game offers me a carrot to do it.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 2:57:36 PM   
Retreat1970


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quote:

Some of these are probably pipe dreams assuming the budget for Distant Worlds 2 is very limited compared to the competition e.g. Stellaris, Gal Civ III, Endless Space 2.


Do your best. We have faith, but that statement is all I need to know I think.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 4:03:44 PM   
ASHBERY76


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The economy only really feels that relevant early game or if your fuel in targeted in war.The non abstracted economy is the main feature DW has compared to the crowd and should have the most focus in making it have gameplay even in late game.This and exploration which was never really improved open in the expansions.





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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 6:20:16 PM   
Bingeling

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cauldyth

quote:

race specific quests


I seem to be in the minority these days, but I despise this recent trend of adding quests to 4X games. For me, a 4X game should rely on emergent gameplay, not scripted gameplay. I should feel motivated to do X because it makes sense for me to do it, not because the game offers me a carrot to do it.


This.

If they manage to hit a good difficulty balance, a living galaxy like in DW gives the best "quests". Revenge on those who stabbed you in the back, or on those who snatched that colony right before you got there. The good feeling of finally beating those annoying pirates.

Emergent gameplay is good gameplay.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 7:14:35 PM   
ASHBERY76


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Quests do not stop Emergent gameplay but add flavour.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/14/2017 11:05:00 PM   
Francoy


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Don't forget to add filters !
The tool bar on the left of the screen is very useful at the start of the game,
but by mid-game, the list are so big that it become useless...

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/15/2017 1:09:34 AM   
RogerBacon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Francoy

Don't forget to add filters !
The tool bar on the left of the screen is very useful at the start of the game,
but by mid-game, the list are so big that it become useless...


I'd also like to see the grid views double sortable. Currently you can click on a header and sofr by that. I'd like to then be able to hold shift and click another header to sub-sort by that.
For example, First sort by Military ships and then click the ship class to group all the destroyers together, frigates together, etc.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/15/2017 10:11:00 AM   
Lucian

 

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I honestly never understood the criticism over the game's interface. Yes its pretty densely packed but then the game is quite intricately detailed and really requires that. I never thought it was overly cumbersome or really had any problems at all using it and once you get used to it, making gameplay decisions is fast and easy and all the information you need is only a click or two away. Like I said, I dont get it.

Same with all the font complaints. The font always seemed fine and easily readable to me so I never got all the hoo-haa about that either.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/15/2017 10:49:21 AM   
Bingeling

 

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The font issue is about the UI not scaling. If you have a too high resolution compared to screen size and distance to it, the UI becomes tiny and unreadable. For instance, I just replaced my laptop, and on the new one, by default, windows zoomed the UI to 150%. That is on a 14" with normal full hd resolution.

As for the interface, I am used to it and have no issues, but it is not pretty. And it was not exactly top of the line back in 2010 either.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/16/2017 6:37:24 AM   
SirHoraceHarkness


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cauldyth

quote:

race specific quests


I seem to be in the minority these days, but I despise this recent trend of adding quests to 4X games. For me, a 4X game should rely on emergent gameplay, not scripted gameplay. I should feel motivated to do X because it makes sense for me to do it, not because the game offers me a carrot to do it.



Depends on the implementation. In age of wonders: shadow magic which is a fantasy 4x the various magic classes each have a 'spirit' which you can build a shrine to and get a specific bonus along with quests which are offered with a reward for completion. These quests fit right in with the flow of the game like a quest to destroy or capture a certain magic node on the map or kill a group of npc which are of an opposing magic class that your spirit dislikes etc. So as long as its relevant to the game world and the quests are actually fun and rewarding then why not to add in some flavor on an increasingly stale genre.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/16/2017 7:30:54 AM   
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If DW2 follows DW1's practice of allowing players the option to enable or disable most options then everyone might get the sort of game they want re- quests.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/16/2017 11:19:08 AM   
Falcon1


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I'll chime in on the side of those who say that some things on the screen can be very difficult to read. It's even discouraged me from playing sometimes.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/16/2017 11:36:18 AM   
Cauldyth

 

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IMHO, it's a crutch, to avoid having to make the game mechanics themselves interesting and capable of driving the gameplay.

A good example is a game of DW I played a while back, where the Gizureans were running away with the game. They had almost reached the victory threshold, so it was just a matter of time. Looking down their victory conditions, I had to pick something to do to stop them. The only viable option was their "Keep your empire's Leader alive" condition. I had to throw everything I could at murdering their leader. Agents were sent to their homewold, fleets were amassed to assault their vastly superior forces, armies were assembled to launch a ground invasion. It would be a suicide mission for all involved, and the Gizurean counterattack would certainly annihilate them, but I only needed to capture the homeworld briefly to execute their Queen. Against all odds, however, one of my agents managed to assassinate her.

Crusader Kings 2 managed to make things like that a constant part of the gameplay. The player is always finding themselves doing things that, in other games, would be quest fodder - kill person X, convert province Y to your religion, get a strategic marriage to dynasty Z. But the player is doing those things because it makes sense to do them, not because the game told them to do it for some arbitrary reason, and promised to conjure up a shiny new trinket out of thin air as a reward.

But, as I said in my previous post, I realize I'm in the minority on this.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/16/2017 2:01:18 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Well, for a species like the Gizureans you can see why that might be quite a blow. It seems to me that having a unique way to hurt one faction that would barely harm another is a good way to help make those factions distinct and define their character. I don't personally feel that endless quests are the basis of gameplay in this type of game. We used them for added flavor and interest and to drive the major storylines, which you could choose to have on or off. I do feel that emergent gameplay can create its own narrative, but story events can also be helpful and I know that some players certainly appreciate them. As with the original DW, we do want to cater to many possible playstyles as much as we can, so there will be lots of options.

I guess the main thing I can say is that when Elliot and I started working on DW2, we first sat down and had a long look at player feedback on DW1 and each part of the game. I read or re-read a lot of threads and posts. The comments and suggestions over time of DW fans here (and on our beta forum, and on Steam), have been read and taken into consideration. We do not have unlimited resources or unlimited time (no game does) so trade-offs are a fundamental part of this process - not all good ideas are feasible. Nevertheless, we are doing the best we can to improve the game in the most significant ways we can with the time and resources we have.

When we get to the point where we can share details, hopefully there will be no doubt that DW2 is better than DWU and many of the great games from our competitors that have released since the original DW.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 10/16/2017 2:02:43 PM >


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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/16/2017 11:06:29 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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Ugh, I'm sorry, after reading your reply, I went back to re-read my post, and realized that it came across the exact opposite way that I intended. My example with the Gizureans was something I liked, as opposed to some pre-scripted things that happen in other games, like "Go kill character X and we'll give you 10,000 credits." DW gave me a legitimate reason to kill their Queen, it wasn't artificial.

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RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/17/2017 2:30:15 AM   
Hattori Hanzo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cauldyth
Ugh, I'm sorry, after reading your reply, I went back to re-read my post, and realized that it came across the exact opposite way that I intended. My example with the Gizureans was something I liked, as opposed to some pre-scripted things that happen in other games, like "Go kill character X and we'll give you 10,000 credits." DW gave me a legitimate reason to kill their Queen, it wasn't artificial.


hello Cauldyth, when I have read for the first time your previous post it was really clear for me that you liked very much the whole "Gizureans Affaire" and that you mentioned it as a typical example of GREAT "emergent game-play" in DW1.

ps: I'm also under the impression that also Erik Rutkins has understand it as as he should

(in reply to Cauldyth)
Post #: 29
RE: Distant Worlds Universe on the 4X Gaming Podcast - 10/17/2017 6:26:49 PM   
tortugapower

 

Posts: 139
Joined: 12/17/2015
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Thanks, it was a good listen overall and I appreciate the attention given to DW.

In the spirit of the podcast, I will also offer some comments.

<snip>

Regards,

- Erik




Thanks for the feedback, Erik.

I will try to respond to this as best as I can. A note about the podcast crew for this topic, but I find this manifest on the 4X subreddit and pretty much everywhere that people know about Distant Worlds. I'm going to highlight this point because I think it's very good to keep in mind:

Distant Worlds is an extremely polarizing topic for 4X gamers.

Why is this? I don't know. I think it's because DW can be so successful at doing things right, and at drawing people in. It's a very immersive, realistic-feeling game. And, besides Aurora 4X, most games draw more from a Masters of Orion type game (something more like Civilization in space), whereas Distant Worlds went a different (and very appealing) route.

I believe when people "bounce off" [don't like] Distant Worlds, they have a strong reaction to it for two reasons. (1) They probably see bits and pieces of unique gameplay that they really like, but still for whatever reason don't like [other parts of] the game, and that's frustrating. (2) They hear all the praise that Distant Worlds gets from other people, and this evokes a stronger response for them to the negative. (I'm not a sociologist, so I can only speculate that maybe #2 is related to the 'vocal minority' effect.)

The Interface

When people then dislike DW and are compelled to have a strong reaction against it, the reason why the interface is so maligned (to an unfair degree, I agree) is that it's an easy target. "I don't like this game, let me look for reasons why!" ... "Oh, well, what the hell am I even looking at! This interface is garbage!" I'm going to ask Kirkus to come in and explain his viewpoint about the interface in more detail. I know that he has some experience with designing GUIs, and that might also explain his brutal stance against it.

To me, the interace is functional. It was mediocre for 2006 or 2010, and maybe people are just forgetting how old this game is. I'm not worried about it at all with regards to DW2, because I am confident it will be improved. I believe we spent way too much time talking about it on the podcast. We have a real-time text chat about the podcast while we're recording, and I mentioned something like "guys, too much on interface, time to move on". I think it's an easy fallback for those who want to criticize DW.

My own gripes with interface: Ctrl+right_click and then select from a menu is rough for ship actions. I think it would be better if the standard right-click for a sensible default (move/attack) -- more or less implemented, feedback to the user on order submitted could be better -- and then a hotkey for other options (e.g. press "b" with a ship selected and click on a planet brings up a quick "build what?" menu, just like the current Ctrl-click options). I do remember that ctrl-right_click ends up hurting the finger which must press Ctrl constantly haha. More generally, people will want to see an updated interface that "looks smoother". I don't know what that means, as I play and enjoy Aurora 4X so I'm completely fine with this one, but... maybe Kirkus can tell you.

The Economy

I have almost no complaints about this. I don't think it's reasonable to have the level of abstraction so small that individual traders have wealth. The one thing I've seen mentioned that holds water is that blockading someone's resource increases the price of that good throughout the whole galaxy, based on supply/demand. I don't know the exact mechanics, but that's a fair point.

In my opinion, the more important thing is the immersion that having all those civilian ships around adds. This is mentioned so often, yet no other game has capitalized on it. It's the biggest selling point of DW as a 4X game.

From the development side, you'll just have to realize (and probably already do) how people will choose to perceive any apparent shortcoming of the game as a flaw in thinking or an oversight, rather than a design compromise/decision in response to a trade-off. I believe that the only way to combat this would be to have dev diaries explaining the decisions that go into the game throughout production.

I personally don't mind the lack of dev diaries, as I see it as a choice to dedicate that time on game development itself instead. Conversely, one great reason to do dev diaries is for the introspection it requires. I've found this in my own work, and I'm sure it comes as no surprise that taking some time to formulate your design decisions on a topic into words forces you to reflect heavily on it. Even doing a dev diary and then never publishing it would be a helpful exercise. But, "at what cost?" Time is finite, sadly. Maybe you could ask the devs from a game that did dev diaries whether they are worth the time?


I'll do some more reflecting on why people don't "get the magic" of the game. I have always thought it was because of the game's learning curve, and it's exactly this reason why I tried to formulate such an in-depth and well-organized tutorial for the game. In Kirkus' case, it's something else. I'm not convinced he has shared the true reason, if he has realized it himself.


Thanks for taking the time to listen to the podcast.


All the best,
Tortuga


< Message edited by tortugapower -- 10/17/2017 6:32:35 PM >


_____________________________

Matrix Games video tutorials:
Distant Worlds Universe
Advanced Tactics Gold

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 30
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