Juegos For what the information tells, planet handling and colonization
is practically a get, set and forget issue. Would that be the right way
to see it? Or are there any, maybe new things you are including in the
process that aren't as obvious as one might think?
No, you are not entirely wrong to view it that way, but with the addition
of "under normal conditions". Planets in 4X games are units of production
for all intents of purposes and we really don't see the need to bog them
down with all sorts of "busy work". You have sliders to control initial
development and then after a planet is fully developed you can generally
let it sit while you pay attention to more dynamic things. Now when a planet
is under assault or needs to increase production dramatically then your
attention swings back to your planet setting where you then decide do you
want to put the efforts into rebuilding damage or defenses and then there
is the whole issue of over-harvesting. It's a powerful boost to production,
but one that permanently reduces the resource base of a planet.
Aside of in the starmap, the forums give some clues about the chance of
strategizing inside a system. Care to elaborate? Can we place the defense
fleet/satellites? Mines and others during a Turn? Or is it all just before
are placed automatically in a defensive ring around the planet. Initial
fleet formation can be set any time from the fleet manager. Mines are placed
during combat as they are inherently unstable and detonate on their own
after a certain amount of time.
Since the starmap is 3D, are systems shown in a cubic view of space? Or,
in general, what would be the extra gameplay added by a 3D map, or is just
MC It's not
just a gimmick. A 3-D volume is nothing like a 2-D map that artificially
creates range and choke points. A 2-D starmap is a product of the earliest
board game versions of 4X games and we thought we would take advantage
of modern technology and make the point that strategy in space goes in
all directions. No longer can you make a safe assumption that the enemy
on one front of your empire is blocking everyone else from your borders.
Your borders are all around you. You just can't fortify a couple of planets
and assume your backfield is safe. The other real difference between 2-D
and 3-D starmaps is that 3-D actually makes the action closer and more
direct. On a 2-D map, 250 stars means a very, very long trip from one side
of the map to another and therefore, in a big game you may not meet every
other empire for hundreds of turns. On the SotS 3-D map, 250 stars still
makes for a compact game because the stars are in all directions. You can
form a large empire and still have to deal with multiple opponents all
around you from fairly early on in the game.
Talking about the modular system: what the user assembles is the blueprint
of a ship, or a ship? If the first, Can we give names to the blueprints?
(like MYCLASS or BOMBER)
MC Yes the
players design the blueprint of a ship type and then name it themselves.
Let me assume we are dealing with blueprints here, just to avoid confusion
later on. What can we do once we have one, edit/rename/erase? or are they
set in stone? (assuming, of course, I have no ship built for the given
MC The designs
are set into stone. If you wish to modify a design you can start with that
blueprint and add or subtract from it, but you must give it a different
Besides defining the role of a ship, within a fleet, what else do the sections
help establish: ship cost? ship "hit-points"? both, other? (if other, any
MC Yes, each
section has its own cost and hit points as well as the ability to place
different armor plating on it or other special tech additions that modify
range or shield power.
Are there sections that give bonuses/area bonuses? special attacks or abilities?
Not like jamming, more like extra speed, or firepower. If affirmative what
would be an example? (I mean, bonus beyond section role).
MC Well a
torpedo mission section for a destroyer would technically give it a special
ability to fire torpedoes, but as far as real firepower differences it
comes down to turret number, size, and placement - each section is different
from the others in those terms. So a cruiser Assault Command section has
fixed beam and torpedo mounts making it very powerful head on while the
Battle Bridge Command Section lacks the fixed heavy weapons, but has more
heavy turrets with a wider angle of fire. Both these sections pack more
hitting power than the Hammerhead command section but are more expensive
and slow the maneuverability of the ship.
I can understand the basic idea behind a Command and a Mission section,
but, what is the real purpose of having an Engine section? different speeds?
or just different turret placement? Or do they act as power generators
too? That is, a better engine section also stands for faster firing rate
with energy weapons and faster shield regeneration?
sections increase tactical and strategic speed and new sections are not
only created for both power plant tech (fission, fusion, anti-matter),
but also for advances in FTL drive. As power plant tech increases it is
assumed one is getting more power in less space, this means larger or more
turrets in advanced engine sections as well as more "hit points".
I read there will be energy shields of various types, probably even hull
special coats/reinforcements, are these linked to one or other sections?
or are they extra devices we can plug-in into a given section? or... something
MC Armor techs
can be added to any section as an attribute while shield generation requires
a dedicated section but the shield power can be increased through attribute
None of the videos, released so far, show it, but I read somewhere in the
forums that ships have 'real space' drives (to differentiate from those
for FTL), does that refer only to forward movement, or do they acquire
special thrusters for turning, combat and avoiding objects?
MC Real space
drives are your ships main Newtonian physics drive systems that generate
thrust and push your ship in any direction in tactical combat. Some races
achieve this by just venting energy from their powerplant while others
like the Liir or, eventually, the Tarka, use exotic technology to move
in "real space".
During combat the number of ships that enter the action is limited by Command
Points, but, overall, are there limits to the number of ships on a fleet?
How about the number of fleets on a system and the number of fleets in
the "SOTS Universe"?
MC All of
these numbers are completely to do with computer memory and will be set
to accommodate the largest number of machines. But for sure you can assume
safely that the number is very large for all of them.
What can you tell me about single-player gameplay in general. I read there
are two Campaigns, is that correct? Are they story driven? What other play
modes are there besides the Campaigns, skirmish against the CPU?
MC SotS is
at heart a strategy/tactical wargame. Anything you can do in multi-player
you can do in single player. There are no campaigns per se, but instead
there are scenarios. As a classical wargame may allow you to play out the
War of 1812, and the American Civil War, and the Napoleonic Battles, SotS
will allow you to choose from a number of interesting scenarios to start
a game with and modify the strategic rules from the standard "choose-any-side,
fight against the CPU for Universe conquest" mode. These scenarios will
reflect various eras and event from the "SotS universe".
If there is a "choose-any-side fight against the CPU for Universe conquest"
mode, how configurable are the play options? Can we choose number of systems,
level of AI, maybe max tech level? Others? Are systems/planets attributes
defined randomly for each game?
MC As mentioned
before, there is indeed a random map set up where you can play against
up to 7 other players or AI's for galactic domination. You will be able
to set turn time limits, map shape and number of stars, research and economic
efficiency levels, how many initial plants and how many initial technologies
(Perhaps in relation to the previous question) Is there going to be some
play mode, or a configuration option, in which we can have access to ALL
the technology tree(s) of the species being played?
MC No, the
random tech trees are integral to SotS's unique gameplay design.
What can you tell me about camera controls, and camera views in general?
How free is it? Will there be a follow-ship option? Isometric view? first-person?
third-person? "Get crazy exploring with the mouse" view? "Back to default"
button? Free mode? Zoom in/out? All of the above and more?
MC You can
select any object you can see. Center in your view on a ship with a touch
of the button and the camera will stay locked on it. Your visual range
is limited to the visual range of your ships so if you are locked onto
an enemy ships that goes out of range the camera will snap back to the
nearest friendly ship. Camera rotation and zoom in and out use standard
mouse controls for this type of game in order to stay completely intuitive.
It has been our experience that "crazy cameras" cause "crazy problems"
for most folks.
How is the game save model in single-player? Quicksave/load? Save/load
at will? Autosave/checkpoints? All of the above?
MC You can
save and load whenever you want during the strategy game. In multiplayer,
the game will autosave at the beginning of every round, which is handy.
Any plans to release extra sections after the initial release, for download?
there are! Whether these will be as rewards for pre-order or unlocked by
winning various scenarios under various difficulty levels has yet to be
Where are ships built, space stations? planets? other? Do we see the process?
ships are built in orbit around planets, but you do not see this process
as it occurs during the strategic turn. Just because some of this stuff
happens "between" turns, doesn't mean we didn't bother to wonder things
like, what does a Hiver colony look like, or what does a Liir orbital drydock
look like? Arinn Dembo, who's done a lot of excellent background material
for games like Homeworld: Cataclysm and Arcanum, has worked out a lot of
the histories of each race. As well, she sat down with our artists, and
worked with them to help shape the races visually - what they look like,
what their technology looks like, what their worlds look like. So when
events happen in the game, they aren't just simple notes - they come with
glimpses of the life of aliens.
How does the real-time combat work in single-player, is it time limited?
is there an active pause system to allow for a better understanding of
player tactical combat is identical to multiplayer except you WILL be able
to pause the game and give commands.
Will 3D space have some tactical use in combat? I read it will be the ship
that decides whether to move up or down, so, as users, can we command a
ship to go up/down away from sensor range to later attack from behind/above/under
MC While the
ships can decide to maneuver vertically when in combat, the player gives
general 2-D location commands to the ships. This not only serves to drive
home the player is a fleet commander, and NOT the pilot of every single
ship, but also allows us to NOT burden the player with fully 3-D movement
interfaces which are at best cumbersome and require a steep learning curve.
In single-player. Is the combat process, so to speak, the same when attacking
a system with a colony, one without, or when fleets just meet in space?
MC The combat
process is the same, but factors like meeting distance and "terrain" are
I read that ships wont gain experience, so, is there going to be any other
system to make each unit special/valuable somehow? and not just because
of its cost? Or are they all... expendable? (I mean this at an armada level,
not so much at fleet or attack group level; like, there is this one unit
that I would, for one or other reason, want to survive any skirmish, anywhere...
or at least do my best toward it).
MC You want
a ship to survive because it takes not only money, but time to produce.
Ships are power in SotS. Any player that does not see every ship as useful
and use it to its full tactical advantage will almost always lose to a
player that knows better. And as far as the long-term functioning of a
fleet goes, things like command ships, special sensor or jammer ships and
even upkeep ships like tanker, repair ships and refinery ships are vital
to long term survival away from base and so are very important to keep
alive in battle.