Distant Worlds 2 Christmas 2019 Sneak Peek!

The Galaxy Lives On! Distant Worlds, the critically acclaimed 4X space strategy game is back with a brand new 64-bit engine, 3D graphics and a polished interface to begin an epic new Distant Worlds series with Distant Worlds 2. Distant Worlds 2 is a vast, pausable real-time 4X space strategy game. Experience the full depth and detail of turn-based strategy, but with the simplicity and ease of real-time, and on the scale of a massively-multiplayer online game.

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Erik Rutins
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Distant Worlds 2 Christmas 2019 Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Hi everyone,

Here's the content that we shared on our end of year Christmas live stream:

First, we confirmed that Distant Worlds 2 will be a 2020 release and there will be a beta test starting sometime next year. Watch this forum for more news on that.

We’ve been working on Distant Worlds 2 for more than four years now and we thought it was time to start giving you a few peeks behind the curtain. There is much more we’ll be showing over the coming months, but we’ll give you a first look today.

Please note that the screenshots included here are not from a final, polished release build so will in places include some unfinished areas and missing or placeholder art. There is much that is still subject to change between our current development build and the release.

In general, our goal for Distant Worlds 2 was to make a better Distant Worlds 1, with a new and modern engine. That is a pretty tall order given that by the time we got to the final Distant Worlds: Universe release, about nine years of development and design had gone into Distant Worlds 1.

Distant Worlds 2 is based on an entirely new 64-bit, multi-core capable 3D engine which provides us better performance and the ability to create even larger galaxies with more to explore, more stories to tell and even larger battles. In addition, it allows us to support a fully scalable interface.


Below you see a screen shot for a Teekan Spaceport in orbit around a planet.


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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

For this first peek, we’d like to speak briefly about Ship Design. In this screenshot, you can see the ship design interface and a view of a Mortalen Spaceport.

In Distant Worlds 1, ships were two dimensional units basically defined by their size. Size determined how much could fit in a ship. Each component that could fit in a ship had a size and while you needed some minimum components to get a ship to work, beyond that you could put in whatever you wanted, as long as you stayed within the maximum size. Your size was also essentially your bag of hit points and any damage that wasn’t soaked up by your shields or your armor started destroying components.

In Distant Worlds 2, ships are a bit more interesting.

The below is a screenshot of a Mortalen Spaceport with component slot markers turned on. You may recognize it from our first teaser, but now you get a much better view.


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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

For one thing, they are now three dimensional models. For another, ships now have a hull, which has its own armor rating and ability to take damage, as well as additional space that can fit components. That additional space is divided into slots, which are organized by the broad component category they are intended to fit. When a ship takes a hit, assuming it gets past the shields (which now can allow some damage to “leak” through, but also can have some base resistance against small shots, similar to the reactive rating for armor) and the armor, it may hit the hull or it may hit a component. If your hull is too badly damaged, your ship will be destroyed. If you lose the wrong components, you could also be effectively dead in space, but not necessarily destroyed.

When you are deciding how to build a ship now, you first research a hull, which defines the hull armor, hull size and the size and number of components it can fit.

Below is a screenshot of a Mortalen Spaceport with component slot markers turned off.


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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Some of these component slots are external (for example, all the weapons and engine, the hangar, some of the defenses). In the case of an external slot, adding a component there is actually reflected on the 3D model of the ship. A ship with four weapons will have four visible weapons, whereas a ship with one will only have one. A ship that has filled out all its possible engine slots to be as fast as possible will visible have more engines, and so on.

In many cases, this means that you can see significant differences in the ship model based on the design style chosen for a particular ship. It’s worth noting that you almost never have enough available space in the hull to fill every possible slot. As with Distant Worlds 1, you can choose to specialize a ship in one or a few areas, or to try to balance its capabilities across all areas.

Within the ship design interface, you can easily view the different categories of components, review the component slots in your selected hull and also see the visualization of the ship and the component slot locations in the center. The right side allows you to see a summary of your ship’s capabilities in a variety of areas.

Below you see a screenshot of an Ackdarian Construction Ship in the Ship Design screen.


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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Bleek »

Thanks Erik.

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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

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There’s more to say about ship design, but that’s all we will cover for now. We’ll leave you with a few screenshots that show a bit more of the game.

The below is a screenshot of an Ackdarian Spaceport in orbit around an Ocean Planet


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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

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This is a view of the planet Sreloor 5 and its moons

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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

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This is a view of a red gas giant with a mining station in orbit

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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

And finally, this is the first sneak peek at the main interface, still work in progress.

This shows a system view in the center, various main interface dialogs in the top left, including the Military one which is open, the selection dialog in the bottom left with some information regarding the selected Mortalen Destroyer, a summary of the planets, ships and stations in the system being viewed in the bottom center, map overlay toggles in the bottom right and victory, settings, message and speed controls in the top right.

We appreciate your interest in Distant Worlds 2 and we hope you enjoyed this preview!

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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Hey everyone,

The above was the script and screenshots from the live stream. I also answered some questions there and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have here, as long as they are focused on Ship Design and what's shown in the screenshots above, including the interface elements. I'll check back here frequently over the rest of this week and respond with as much information as I'm allowed to share at this time.

Regards,

- Erik
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Bleek »

I just love the scale of things.

Red giant vs the mining station is a brilliant example of why the art direction and scale works, and you guys will only improve things. Exciting!
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by elvendeathknight »

From the stream chat :
The white components are general internal components. Yellow are the engines, red the weapons, blue the defenses, green the sensors, magenta the hangars.
The data that defines each ship hull is fully externalized and moddable. The 3D models of course are more difficult, but we are building the game to be very robust about accepting 3D model or texture replacements.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by elvendeathknight »

I understand that we have to research different kind of hulls. Are they named "Destroyer" and such ?
In the screenshot, there is a destroyer. Is it associated with a specific hull or linked to a role (like in DW1) ?
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Here's a bonus screenshot for the forum, because we love you all. [8D] It doesn't show anything that hasn't been shown in the others, except that I thought you might like to see some rings.

A Teekan gas mining station and small freighter in orbit around a ringed gas giant.




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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by btd64 »

Definitely love the scale of things....GP
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: ArchMike
I understand that we have to research different kind of hulls. Are they named "Destroyer" and such ?
In the screenshot, there is a destroyer. Is it associated with a specific hull or linked to a role (like in DW1) ?

Yes, on the construction part of the tech tree, you research hulls as part of your research projects. These effectively allow you to build larger ships, but they also unlock particular hulls with somewhat different sizes and maximum component slot arrangements. For example, you can can research a basic Destroyer Hull at Tech Level 2, but at the next Tech Level in the Construction tree, you could research Heavy Destroyers, Fleet Destroyers and Fast Destroyers, each of which is a more advanced and larger destroyer hull, focused and balanced in a somewhat different way. The size matters the most if you are looking for a balanced design. The particular hull matters more if you are looking to focus your design in a particular direction, such as weapons, defenses, speed and maneuverability, sensors, etc.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Medway »

Looks excellent, game will have a whole new level of immersion and depth it seems. Thanks for showing.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: btd64
Definitely love the scale of things....GP

I should also note that the scale of things is adjustable. So if you want the epic realistic space feel you see in the screenshots, you can have it. But if you want ships and stations to be bigger and a bit closer to DW1, that's also going to be possible. By default, we allow for some dynamic scaling so things don't get too small to see before the icons/symbols replace them. The new interface also helps a lot with keeping track of things vs. DW1, even with the epic scale.

The new engine of course also still allows small galaxy games, but it does also allow us to go larger than DW1 if you want an even more massive living galaxy to play in. [8D]
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by elvendeathknight »

Thanks Erik for the answer concerning hulls.

As you mention larger galaxies, DW1 had 1400 stars and 225 sectors (15x15). What would be the largest galaxy in DW2 ?
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: ArchMike
As you mention larger galaxies, DW1 had 1400 stars and 225 sectors (15x15). What would be the largest galaxy in DW2 ?

Well, I honestly can't tell you for sure yet as our final optimizations and performance tests are in the future. However, we've already tested 2000 stars with success in our non-optimized development build.

Regards,

- Erik

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