Whats next for the series?

Distant Worlds is a vast, pausable real-time, 4X space strategy game which models a "living galaxy" with incredible options for replayability and customizability. Experience the full depth and detail of large turn-based strategy games, but with the simplicity and ease of real-time, and on the scale of a massively-multiplayer online game. Now greatly enhanced with the new Universe release, which includes all four previous releases as well as the new Universe expansion!

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Dipluz
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Whats next for the series?

Post by Dipluz »

I wonder whats next for this series, Distant Worlds 2 with a 64-bit engine and multiplayer ? :D
Bingeling
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Bingeling »

There is something brewing, but no details about it has been released.

A good guess is a Distant Worlds 2, but for all we know it could be something like PacMan in space.
Dipluz
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Dipluz »

True, Though beeing used to playing Distant World since the original release I don't need multiplayer. Would just be fun. But a 64-bit engine too fully utilize multi-core CPUs and more memory allocation to the game would be nice. If that helps on lag with good computers would be fun to see a 3800 Solar system galaxy. I know wishful thinking.
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Kayoz
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Kayoz »

ORIGINAL: Dipluz
...a 64-bit engine too fully utilize multi-core CPUs

Irrelevant. 64-bit address space doesn't make use of multiple cores. Multi-threading a game like this would be terribly tricky. Everything runs off a main game loop. Utilizing the GPU effectively would probably give more performance increase than extensive multi-threading, hour-per-hour of coding.
ORIGINAL: Dipluz
and more memory allocation to the game would be nice. If that helps on lag with good computers would be fun to see a 3800 Solar system galaxy.

Elliot needs to drop XNA for that. It's locked to 32-bit.
ORIGINAL: Dipluz
I know wishful thinking.

Not really. It's feasible. Although I think the 64-bit engine is a bit much to ask. DW isn't terribly well optimized. I expect it's more because it grew far out of it's original design and is held together with spit and bubble gum... but I'm just guessing.

A full re-write with either time and resources into an engine, or using an existing optimized engine is most likely necessary to get what you want. I can't see how this would be too hard to do in Unity, so hopefully the Matrix bods are crunching the numbers to make the business case.
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Bingeling
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Bingeling »

I sincerely hope that some new engine is the base of the next iteration.

I don't mind the graphics of the current game at all, but switching the old stuff with a modern engine would be a good foundation. It is probably a good idea to run a 3d engine, but I hope the game map remains 2d.

If they work on "Distant Worlds 2" it should make little sense to keep the aging frameworks it runs on.
Cauldyth
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Cauldyth »

Huh, for some reason I didn't notice this thread, sorry for starting a new one on the same topic! [:D]
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Icemania
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Icemania »

Hopefully they'll provide some nice teasers at the right time just like the competition is doing e.g. Master Of Orion and Stellaris. I can understand the desire to overdeliver and underpromise but it'a also important to raise Awareness around the 4X community.
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ASHBERY76
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by ASHBERY76 »

I am very curious what sort of budget Matrix are putting into DW2 for art.DW1 expansions hardly got any.
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SirHoraceHarkness
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by SirHoraceHarkness »

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

I am very curious what sort of budget Matrix are putting into DW2 for art.DW1 expansions hardly got any.
ORIGINAL: Bingeling

I sincerely hope that some new engine is the base of the next iteration.

I don't mind the graphics of the current game at all, but switching the old stuff with a modern engine would be a good foundation. It is probably a good idea to run a 3d engine, but I hope the game map remains 2d.

If they work on "Distant Worlds 2" it should make little sense to keep the aging frameworks it runs on.

Full 2d is perfectly fine as you can do loads with 2d sprites mixed in with particle effects and other such gpu heavy stuff. Just look to the gratuitous space battles franchise for what can be done in that regard. As to the cost 2d is the cheapest way to generate art content both time and cost wise and there are lots of starving artist studios that would jump on the chance to get some business.
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Dipluz
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Dipluz »

2D is totally fine for me too :) Graphics is not a demand for me only gameplay, depth and 4 X :D
Cauldyth
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Cauldyth »

Agreed!
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Ranbir
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Ranbir »

Just hoping DW2 has all what Universe has from the ground up meaning specific interfaces for each thing.
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ASHBERY76
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by ASHBERY76 »

ORIGINAL: Dipluz

2D is totally fine for me too :) Graphics is not a demand for me only gameplay, depth and 4 X :D

No.3d will allow lots of pressure away from the CPU by using the GPU and allow for smooth zooming rather than the stepped 2d zoom.Good visuals would help sales a great deal too.Steam stats show the game only sold 40,000 copies which is much less than inferior 4x games
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Kayoz »

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

No.3d will allow lots of pressure away from the CPU by using the GPU and allow for smooth zooming rather than the stepped 2d zoom.

You seem to be confused between "2D game" and "utilizes 3D processor". You can have a game which does both. For example, it's actually impossible to avoid if you make the game in Unity but specify 2D.

I suggest you read the following, as it has far more effect on zoom smoothness than whether the game runs as 2D or 3D:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_detail
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_su ... on_culling
ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
Good visuals would help sales a great deal too.Steam stats show the game only sold 40,000 copies which is much less than inferior 4x games

I'm not sure how much you can read into the Steam stats sales estimation. The site uses weasel-words like "owner" as opposed to "sales" (I note that you used "sales" as opposed to the site's own terminology.).

Also, his estimations have never been verified. Has anyone actually checked and verified his numbers? Does he even have any education in statistics or mathematics of any sort? Not that I can see.

And for a game like DWU, a large chunk of the sales would be from previous DW customers - so how many went through Matrix's own site and never registered their purchase on Steam is a complete unknown.

Don't read too much into so-called statistics which have never been challenged and checked/verified. Here's a line from the site's own blog:

BWAHAHAHAHA! Many of these political surveys which the author says are "pretty correct" got it completely wrong in the USA's 2008 election. There are many other examples - suffice to say that political polls are notoriously inaccurate. So much for his claim of 0.1%. Case in point: UK election 2015 - so don't try to tell me that "many things have been learned since then". Clearly, nothing has been learned.

I'd love to see the basis for his claim of 0.1% accuracy. My garden needs some more fertilizer, and he's undoubtedly a superb source of bovine excrement.
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Icemania
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Icemania »

Regardless of the merit or otherwise of those statistics, improved visuals would help sales. While many here may not be fussed about the visuals there are plenty of 4X gamers that consider this important.

For me personally a higher priority is improving gameplay in various ways, having a relatively good AI and ensuring there is higher quality UI at release.

Bingeling
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Bingeling »

If they have some belief that sales would benefit, adding some good visuals should be rather cheap. It is also one thing that could be rather easily outsourced, letting Elliot focus on game mechanisms. Of course, he may love doing the visuals, but since Woodman did the new shipsets for the Shakturi (or was it Legends?), I doubt that is the case.

2d game, 3d engine, that is where I hope it will be. I can even tolerate little 3d ships flying around shooting at each other, as long as they are viewed from a fixed "above" position.

Or I can tolerate anything just as long as the game is good...
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Kayoz
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Kayoz »

ORIGINAL: Icemania
merit or otherwise of those statistics

Dubious at best. I think his comment on political polls indicates how little he knows of statistics.
ORIGINAL: Icemania
improved visuals would help sales. While many here may not be fussed about the visuals there are plenty of 4X gamers that consider this important.

It's an important aspect, I entirely agree. I think the core problem is XNA. But then again, I think it's (XNA, not DW) pants. Maybe it is possible to beat on XNA long and hard enough to make something that looks less like something other than a pack of Skittles jizzed all over your screen - but there have to be better ways for Elliot to spend his time.
ORIGINAL: Icemania
For me personally a higher priority is improving gameplay in various ways, having a relatively good AI and ensuring there is higher quality UI at release.

Having a rubbish graphical look to your game will only hurt sales. I'd expect that any cost-benefit analysis would make a very strong case for at least "decent" graphics for any game. The industry is rife with examples of rubbish games that have managed to sell almost exclusively because they look good, or at least appear to be...
Rome II, Colonial Marines - the list goes on and on.

With that said, having rubbish graphics doesn't necessarily hurt a game too much, so long as the game is innovative and fun. This War of Mine, Papers Please, for example. Even Warcraft can fall into this category with it's dated and comic-like look.

I hope that Matrix will contract some decent artists to do the next DW iteration, as it would be a pity to have poor sales just because it wasn't flashy enough for new customers.
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Keston
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Keston »

Universe is great.

I don't need 3d or faux 3d unless it is conveying important information.

I'd like improvements that would save a lot of time clicking to get information on things (ships most of all, rather than getting essentials in a mouseover - so I can click only the ones I need and not keep pushing down and popping up in the search. Ship icons in fleet or group selections show only damaged/undamaged and fuel status and a name mouseover. I'd want to know enough more on mouseover to decide if this is the ship I want for a particular purpose (e.g., grab select ships near an incident to find one to task with an intercept)or want to look at assigning it elsewhere (I find some with sub-optimal or obsolete missions). Filters help, but it is still more work than it ought to be with growing forces. A configurable outliner to keep a watch on designated objects would be a good addition as well.


PDS can put a lot of resources into Stellaris, but they are using the Clausewitz engine with its limitations and with their terrestrial strategy games as a model I would expect an orderly and formalized multiplayer-friendly star empires game rather than the more organic and emergent feel of DW.
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Spacecadet »

Actually I do believe DW uses threads & multicores . . . I seem to recall an issue during testing one of the expansions where I was having a weird issue running a Single Core AMD FX-55.

Elliot couldn't find the problem until he ran a VM emulating a Single Core System - so yeah, pretty sure it uses more than one thread/core.


As for the optimization aspect of things, you do realize how many AI's, Colonies, Ships (State & Private), and so forth DW keeps track and updating of, right ?
Right now GPU's not really an issue, it's CPU/Memory I think that are taking the biggest hit.

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Kayoz
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RE: Whats next for the series?

Post by Kayoz »

ORIGINAL: Spacecadet
As for the optimization aspect of things, you do realize how many AI's, Colonies, Ships (State & Private), and so forth DW keeps track and updating of, right ?
Right now GPU's not really an issue, it's CPU/Memory I think that are taking the biggest hit.
Colliders should handle a lot of the ship behaviour, such that proximity of an enemy triggers a response or a ship is close enough to dock. This can be more efficiently handled by the GPU than the CPU - of which it seems that DW uses the latter and not the former for this.

AFAIK, XNA doesn't use the GPU to handle collisions, but rather all the vector math is pumped through the CPU. Quite a bit of work to dump on the CPU, when the GPU is lying all but idle.
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