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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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: kai_esk
Will be planet be of a single type (eg artic, desert) or have different bimes in them ? (eg terran planet having some % suited to desert or artic species, artic planets having small temperate zones...)

Planets are of a single type, though there are quite a few more types than there were in DW1 and some represent a mix of previous types, which in effect creates some of the mixed biome effect you were wondering about. We'll reveal all of those in time.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: Retreat1970
If there's no risk of loss there is no challenge.

I hope the upgraded AI in DW2 will provide you with some risk of loss. [8D]
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: Miskatonic81
It seems like the biggest news is the use of slots for ship design. I'm curious if this change is mainly a consequence of moving to 3D, or if you could port the system back to DW1 would you do so.

That's a good question. The move to 3D was certainly a significant part of the decision, but I also noted earlier in this thread that there were other considerations as well. Had we stayed with 2D for DW2, I think we would have still ended up with most of the same decisions on ship design as we were heading in that direction with our thinking in DW1 as well to help resolve some of the design balance issues there. We probably would not have gone all-in on weapon arcs, but the design bays and ship hulls would likely have still happened.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: ReadeB
Not sure how the community would feel about this but, would the DEVs consider adding an API to allow a third party AI to play?

AlphaStar learned by watching players play against one another and trying to predict the next move and then went on to play AI vs AI until it was unbeatable.

Allowing Players to upload a complete log of every move would provide a dataset and an API would allow the AI to actually control another player.

Currently AlphaStar can beat 99.9% of all human players.

Should put some pause in all those players that complain about an AI that can't compete.

That's not in our current plans, and with DW1 it would have been effectively impossible. I'll discuss it with Elliot though and see if it's something we could consider for future releases.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Medway »

ORIGINAL: ReadeB

Not sure how the community would feel about this but, would the DEVs consider adding an API to allow a third party AI to play?

AlphaStar learned by watching players play against one another and trying to predict the next move and then went on to play AI vs AI until it was unbeatable.

Allowing Players to upload a complete log of every move would provide a dataset and an API would allow the AI to actually control another player.

Currently AlphaStar can beat 99.9% of all human players.

Should put some pause in all those players that complain about an AI that can't compete.

I don't think the games it's been trained in compare to DW at all. From what I read humars are already outsmarting it too.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Jorgen_CAB »

I have been studying and using neural network programming for some time and something like Starnet would not work with a game as complex as Distant Worlds. It's menu and GUI would be FAR to complex for any such application and the input needed to be made by the neural network AI would be insane. We also have to understand that the goals of an AI in a game like Distant Worlds are allot more complex than a game of say Star Craft or other similar real-time games, not to mention different races can have almost limitless differences in permutation of starting conditions and preferences.

We are probably a few decades away form any neural network AI capable of handling a game such as Distant Worlds in terms of total game play. Part of its game play could probably be used by something such as a Starnet like AI, for example tactical ship combat, strategical positioning of fleets and military ship production, but that is probably it.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by BlueTemplar »

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
[...]
The investment in 3D simply doesn't make sense if everything is going to shoot its weapons from a central point through the hull. As soon as you look at that from any relatively close distance, it's going to look bad. So you need some way to have external points for weapons and once you specify those, you need some kind of weapon mount or turret and ideally it should be able to rotate and fire in a way that looks realistic and cool. Then you need specific places for engines, maybe also things like defenses and sensors, etc. The end result of all this guides you towards a system that allows for the external visualization of component choices, which in turn guides you to component slots or design bays.
[...]
I therefore reiterate my question about point-like ships :
- How are the turrets going to deal with range ? Especially on biggest ships, where turret to target hull distance might be much shorter than center-of-ship to center-of-ship ?
- Will a turret shoot if it's line of view is blocked ? Is there going to be friendly fire ? On the ship itself and on allied ships ?
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by BlueTemplar »

ORIGINAL: Retreat1970
I would think that an unprovoked mention of multiplayer would raise your hope quite a bit. At least it has been in their mind when creating the foundations of the game

It sort of does, but not being included at launch and possibly added as a patch doesn't bode well in my mind.
Well, quite different game genre, but AFAIK that's what Factorio did, and it worked out pretty well for them, with games still working well up to 400 players !
(One complete rewrite of netcode later, to move from peer to peer to a more classic server-client...)
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar
I therefore reiterate my question about point-like ships :
- How are the turrets going to deal with range ? Especially on biggest ships, where turret to target hull distance might be much shorter than center-of-ship to center-of-ship ?
- Will a turret shoot if it's line of view is blocked ? Is there going to be friendly fire ? On the ship itself and on allied ships ?

The weapon will open fire if it is within range and within its arc of a target. It will not fire at ships it cannot reach or cannot rotate to fire at. It will avoid firing if it would hit its own ship or a friendly ship. Note that some seeking weapons, such as missiles, are not really dependent on arc or obstacles as they can fire out of the ship, then change course and pursue the target. As in DW1, there is a chance, depending on course and speed changes and distance of the friendly and enemy ships, that weapons where their shots take time to reach a target may be in range when fired but not actually in range by the time they would reach the point of impact.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Drumline2 »

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar
I therefore reiterate my question about point-like ships :
- How are the turrets going to deal with range ? Especially on biggest ships, where turret to target hull distance might be much shorter than center-of-ship to center-of-ship ?
- Will a turret shoot if it's line of view is blocked ? Is there going to be friendly fire ? On the ship itself and on allied ships ?

The weapon will open fire if it is within range and within its arc of a target. It will not fire at ships it cannot reach or cannot rotate to fire at. It will avoid firing if it would hit its own ship or a friendly ship. Note that some seeking weapons, such as missiles, are not really dependent on arc or obstacles as they can fire out of the ship, then change course and pursue the target. As in DW1, there is a chance, depending on course and speed changes and distance of the friendly and enemy ships, that weapons where their shots take time to reach a target may be in range when fired but not actually in range by the time they would reach the point of impact.

Interesting. In DWU ships would clump up during fights, so in DW2 if ships wont fire if they risk friendly fire is there going to be a formation system within fleets to keep the ships spaced appropriately? Or is there a general AI behavior to keep the ships from being too close/on top of each other so their firepower isnt wasted by being in each others way.
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by BlueTemplar »

ORIGINAL: Jorgen_CAB

I have played Stellaris quite allot as well but I always come back to DWU as I find that as more of a challenge no matter what I do in Stellaris the AI is really stupid and I have no time for MP so that is out for me. DWU AI actually are quite allot better, Paradox AI are for the most part not good. Paradox include way too many mechanic that are in favour of the player that their games become rather empty if you don't use them just so you can play them with some form of equality with the AI. I think that Paradox for the most part design their games wrong when they don't prioritise how the AI should use the features the add.

Stellaris is a nice game and I have played it for more than 1000 hours so I obviously like it, but it certainly is not in my opinion as good a game as DWU and I'm sure DW2 will be even better.

The biggest flaw in Stellaris is the weak economy game, it is way to deterministic and easy to exploit and there are no real strategic choices as all resources are universal and you can practically produce anything anywhere, more or less.

At least my most memorable and difficult games have been in Distant Worlds.

To Paradox credit they at least still balance their games mainly for SP. MP in Stellaris is not terribly well balanced and so seem rather bland in the amount of factions you can use and be competitive, I'm sure the same thing would happen in DW2.
Stellaris is barely a 4X IMHO, more a "Space Empires RPG" (not surprising from a company known best for Crusader Kings 2...). They still don't have basic 4X controls implemented !!
https://old.reddit.com/r/Stellaris/comm ... ?context=3
swizzlewizzle
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by swizzlewizzle »

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar
I therefore reiterate my question about point-like ships :
- How are the turrets going to deal with range ? Especially on biggest ships, where turret to target hull distance might be much shorter than center-of-ship to center-of-ship ?
- Will a turret shoot if it's line of view is blocked ? Is there going to be friendly fire ? On the ship itself and on allied ships ?

The weapon will open fire if it is within range and within its arc of a target. It will not fire at ships it cannot reach or cannot rotate to fire at. It will avoid firing if it would hit its own ship or a friendly ship. Note that some seeking weapons, such as missiles, are not really dependent on arc or obstacles as they can fire out of the ship, then change course and pursue the target. As in DW1, there is a chance, depending on course and speed changes and distance of the friendly and enemy ships, that weapons where their shots take time to reach a target may be in range when fired but not actually in range by the time they would reach the point of impact.

Erik, that brings up a good question then - since turret logic is very heavy CPU wise, and as you said, turrets will be doing raycast checks for range/arc/avoiding firing if a shot would hit it's own/friendly ship, does this mean that to allow the sim to handle the size we came to expect with DW:U, ships off-screen will have these calculations relaxed, and a more simple logic will be used to progress combat?

To be honest, in a 500 vs 500 ship battle, i'm not sure many people would see the difference between ships slightly firing through each-other and not! :)
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Performance is good so far. Can't talk more about all this yet, but I will when I can!
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Benzin1973 »

Dear Devs, im sad to report that (allready) there is a severe problem / bug with the game. The problem is:
Its not on my library!

Please help me correct this issue ASAP.

[:D]
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by BlueTemplar »

ORIGINAL: swizzlewizzle

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar
I therefore reiterate my question about point-like ships :
- How are the turrets going to deal with range ? Especially on biggest ships, where turret to target hull distance might be much shorter than center-of-ship to center-of-ship ?
- Will a turret shoot if it's line of view is blocked ? Is there going to be friendly fire ? On the ship itself and on allied ships ?

The weapon will open fire if it is within range and within its arc of a target. It will not fire at ships it cannot reach or cannot rotate to fire at. It will avoid firing if it would hit its own ship or a friendly ship. Note that some seeking weapons, such as missiles, are not really dependent on arc or obstacles as they can fire out of the ship, then change course and pursue the target. As in DW1, there is a chance, depending on course and speed changes and distance of the friendly and enemy ships, that weapons where their shots take time to reach a target may be in range when fired but not actually in range by the time they would reach the point of impact.

Erik, that brings up a good question then - since turret logic is very heavy CPU wise, and as you said, turrets will be doing raycast checks for range/arc/avoiding firing if a shot would hit it's own/friendly ship, does this mean that to allow the sim to handle the size we came to expect with DW:U, ships off-screen will have these calculations relaxed, and a more simple logic will be used to progress combat?

To be honest, in a 500 vs 500 ship battle, i'm not sure many people would see the difference between ships slightly firing through each-other and not! :)
I wouldn't be too worried about that, modern engines can deal with a LOT of ships/turrets/projectiles !
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(Not sure about the collision checks for projectiles though ?)
swizzlewizzle
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by swizzlewizzle »

It's always the collision checks, especially for projectiles, that kill large sci-fi battles. Stellaris had a huge problem with it for 2 years, and it's one of the biggest bottlenecks for X4's performance as well.

I personally hope that off-screen or "out of sector" combat is handled with more simplistic calculations that don't require spawning every projectile, checking for LOS, etc.. :)
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by BlueTemplar »

Not sure about X4, but Stellaris uses an obsolete, DirectX9-based engine...
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Webbco »

When might we expect the next update, Erik?
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Tanaka »

ORIGINAL: 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]

[&o]
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RE: Distant Worlds 2 Christmas Sneak Peek!

Post by Tanaka »

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

ORIGINAL: OJsDad
Hmm, if I'm understanding you, then it's a little disappointing. One of the things I really liked about DW1 was that you could build ships to any size and didn't have to research ship hull size tech first.

In practice, it's not as limiting as you may be thinking. Keep in mind that in Distant Worlds 1, you could not build ships to any size. You started out with size limitations (for example, Size 160 for ships initially) and you had to research to increase your maximum buildable size. The roles were mostly just ways to organize your designs and to set certain component minimums, the size was the real limitation.

In Distant Worlds 2, the ship hulls are effectively the research projects that unlock greater sizes as well as different component limits. Within each ship hull, there is still a lot of design flexibility and I haven't had any trouble duplicating my designs from DW1 so far. Roles still establish certain component minimums, but hulls also establish certain realistic maximums. However, the roles are now also much more meaningful in an absolute sense and not just as an organizational tool. This will become even more apparent when we get to the point of discussing fleets.

Regards,

- Erik


Realistic maximums thank you. My biggest beef with DW1 was the unlimited sizes and no special roles for ship sizes.
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