I thought I'd create a catch all to bring the Distant Worlds discussions (here and here.) I've seen around here into one place. I'll expand this post as I have time to include links to info and game play clips.
For those who don't know Distant Worlds is a 4x space game developed by Code Force and published by Matrix Games.
Distant Worlds is a vast, pausable real-time, 4X space strategy game. 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.
Vast galaxies are made to order: up to 1400 star systems, with up to 50,000 planets, moons and asteroids. Galaxies are so deep, fun and immersive that you won’t want to finish the game... Build, expand and improve your empire endlessly. The galaxy is packed with life and activity. Encounter other empires, independent alien colonies, traders, pirates and space monsters. Explore star systems, asteroid fields, gas clouds, supernovae, galactic storms and black holes. Discover evidence of civilizations long since past, uncovering secrets about the galaxy's troubled history...
Best of all, you can play the game your way: enjoy a quick, intense game in a crowded galaxy or take your time in an epic game spread across a vast galaxy!
Private enterprise leads the way
Your citizens expand your empire’s economy by themselves: colonies grow in size and culture, freighters transport cargo, mining ships and mining stations exploit resources – without any direction from you. Your job as the head of government for your empire is to explore, colonize and protect.
Providing security and stability allows trade and development to flourish at your colonies. But neglecting your defences will see your empire shrink as it is attacked by marauding pirates and other greedy empires. Use a full array of tools to help your empire achieve dominance: diplomacy, espionage and the threat and use of military force.
Do things your way
Automate as much or as little of the game as you like, leaving you time to focus on the game aspects that interest you most. Seamlessly zoom your view from a single ship or planet right out to the entire galaxy – or any level in between. Watch thousands of star ships criss-crossing the galaxy: transporting cargo, mining resources, exploring uncharted regions, colonizing new planets, taming lawless areas.
This "interactive AAR" on the QT3 forums is awesome.
Gameplay videos from Matrix
Inane comment to track this thread.
Too much on my plate, but I'm always down for some 4x space games. Especially considering this is more like EUIII than Civ.
This post belongs in this thread. Plus it's making me want to buy the game even more:
Forgive me for this wall of text that may seem to jump around illogically but, I wrote it over the course of a morning jumping between things...
So I started playing Distant Worlds last night. I didn't get a lot of play time in, but I was able to spend about 1.5 - 2 hours with it. I started with the tutorial to just get a real basic idea of what things did, but I didn't finish it as I prefer to learn through failure. So I restarted a game in a tiny galaxy (which still had 100 or so systems). I went with no pirates, a sandbox game, and no automation just so I could take my time and experiment. I'll point out that my computer is the equivalent of a '85 Yugo (barely meets required spec) and the game still ran well enough.
First let me reiterate that the game is a RTS not turn based. The good news is that it has a pause button so you can pause and spend as much time in menus as you'd like… which I did :). The more I think about it, it feels like a fast Hearts of Iron time management system (more than a standard RTS like Age of Empires).
Initially I thought that the game was very confusing because there were instantly a bunch of ships shooting around doing things that I didn’t order them to do when what I expected was more of a planet just floating in space. Most of the ships were private vessels which you have no control over. Once I took control of the 4 or 5 state vessels that you start with (as defined by my starting settings) I was able to get into the game pretty quick, figure the basics out and actually do some simple things.
It's definitely not as deep as some of the 4x space games around (it’s not shallow either) but the ability to delegate portions of the game play to the AI is WONDERFUL. Personally, the combat is not what I'm looking for so I planned on being the guy who builds the fleet but let's the AI control it. I mainly spent my time last night tinkering around with exploring systems and expanding my empire into 3 systems with a total of 4 or 5 colonies. I like the fact I can queue up ship orders (explore, X, explore Y, refuel, explore Z) and then unpause and burn some time while I sit back and watch events unfold. Last night, I let the AI tell me it thought I should build more military and then I'd approve it and I didn't even mess with research. I didn't bump into any other races yet, so the espionage or diplomacy didn't come into play. I did run into some "space monsters" that harassed my exploratory ships and I sent frigates out to destroy them, pretty standard go there and kill it RTS feel.
As far as the State v. Private part of the game goes, initially I was somewhat discouraged by the expansion of the private sector seemingly without any direction from me. As I explored the game play and expanded my empire with colony ships I noticed the private sector shifted to utilize my expansion and basically acknowledged a new source of resource X . What was happening was that the private sector started utilizing "my" resource mines and spaceports rather shipping resource back to the main colony on its own, not really complex idea but the shift did help me feel more in control. The more I thought about it the more I realized it did have the Simcity feel of independent growth through my action, definition or delegation. Now I really feel like I can set the framework for the expansion of the private half of my empire by paying more attention to the resource demands of my empire.
I'll mention that the game looks great, even on my Yugo of a system. Stars are animated, and planets slowly orbit their stars and their moons orbit them. The expanse of space looks nice as well. Ships and monsters look nice and have Mass Effect “Reaper” look.
I think I'll go back tonight and restart a game with pirates and see how that hamstrings the growth of the private sector. Based on that AAR thread I'm guessing it will only add another bottle neck to the private sector which should help give me more of a feeling of control the private section via military protection, and less of a runaway feeling.
Overall I think Distant Worlds is going to be a pretty good purchase for me. As I play it more I'll get you a little more feedback, but feel free to ask any questions and I'll answer them if I can. Also, If enough people get into this game we might consider creating a Distant Worlds Catch-All (if there isn't one) for Q/A so as not to focus this thread too much and let it focus on the original question at hand.
It looks interesting. However, Sins of a Solar Empire taught me something important: a gigantic galaxy is only a perk if you explore it. Otherwise, it just makes the game huge and impossible to complete.
Maybe it's because I paid full price for Armada 2526 (which is a pretty decent game, but not $40 decent), but I just can't take the plunge on DW yet. Still, the game intrigues me, since it seems to have a lot of features that I've been looking for in a space empire game. A large galaxy filled with planets (instead of like 20 or so), the realization that it's too large for you to micromanage so you need to delegate and let your empire run itself, the ability to customize the hell out of game mechanics. If Spore had this as the space stage, well, I'd still be playing Spore. With that said, I need either more convincing or a demo play to drop a couple of Jacksons.
In other words, inane comment to track this thread.
I'll be keeping my eye on this, I'll give it a go once I clear the pile away a bit, or get bored with my pile, or it goes on a nice sale.
Man I'm a whore.
Your more recent game sounds much more interesting than the previous one.
I'm really interested in picking this one up prior to leaving for a long weekend tomorrow. Can anyone give their thoughts or comparisons to other space empire games (e.g., Sins of a Solar Empire, GalCiv 2, Sword of the Stars, etc.). I'd like to know what, beyond the scope, differentiates DW from the rest. Also, just how far does the automation go? For example, if I want to play a game concentrating mainly on expansion and economy, can I allow the AI to control ship creation and combat.
How exactly does Matrix Games handle digital downloads? Is it like GamersGate, Direct2Drive, etc where you have an account that lets you redownload at any time, or is it like the EAStore where you only have a limited time period? (Obligatory curses to EA for making it necessary to even ask this question.)
From what I have read, they will let you redownload for free after the 30 days, you just have to contact them to do so. Here is a quote form Erik Rutins (Director of Product Development and Business Relations at Matrix, the publisher) on the Wargamer forums:
"2. How much will DW cost?
The price in US dollars is $39.99 for the Download, $49.99 for the Physical copy. For those who want the physical copy, we recommend the "digital + physical" option which lets you get the download now while the physical copy is shipped to you, same cost as physical copy only.
3. What's this "download insurance"?
This is a small additional fee we are required to add to the shopping cart by Digital River. You are free to remove it. Its purpose is to cover the cost of re-downloads for Digital River and it officially allows you to re-download up to two years after the initial purchase. Otherwise, you officially have 30 days to download. In reality, if you have any issue with re-downloading, just contact us through our Help Desk and we'll take care of it. The main instance where this would be of assistance is if you were unable to reach us or we were unable to assist you, then this would cover your bases with Digital River."
They do have game registration, and usually games that are purchasable for download can be re-downloaded after registering. Not sure if that's always true, however.
Any more impressions?
Also, let's talk aliens. Do we have humans in this game? How many alien species are there, and are they just run of the mill or kind of interesting?
Edit: Never mind, I answered my own question.
Here are two pages from the manual.
There are 20 races from which to choose at the beginning of a new game. Each race has its own unique characteristics, prejudices, advantages and disadvantages over others. The player’s diplomatic relations with other empires will be effected by both their own race and that of the other players. The player’s choice of race, because of its diplomatic and other implications, can deeply effect the outcome of the game and should therefore factor into one’s strategy. For example, if the victory conditions set are to achieve a certain population level, it is advantageous to select a race that reproduces at a high rate. What follows is a brief list of the major characteristics of each race; a more extensive treatment of each is available in the Galactopedia.
Amphibian, reproduce at a 14% rate (default), quite intelligent, very passive, very cautious, quite friendly, very dependable, gifted scientists, master engineers, special technology: TurboThruster ER7 (Main Thrust Engine)
Ursidian, reproduce at 24%, extremely stupid, quite aggressive, extremely reckless, extremely friendly, very dependable, naturally optimistic.
Insectoid, reproduce at 18%, moderately intelligent, extremely aggressive, very reckless, quite unfriendly, very unreliable, warrior class, fierce rivalry, special government: hive mind. Special technology: Shaktur Firestorm.
Insectoid, reproduce at 6%, quite intelligent, very aggressive, slightly reckless, extremely unfriendly, extremely unreliable, fierce rivalry, special technology: Velocity Drive ST3 hyperdrive.
Insectoid, reproduce at 27%, quite stupid, quite aggressive, quite cautious, extremely unfriendly, very unreliable, master engineers, special government: hive mind.
Reptilian, reproduce at 12%, quite intelligent, quite aggressive, very cautious, very unfriendly, cunning schemers, master engineers, special government: mercantile guild, special technology: mega-density fuel cell.
Humanoid, reproduce at 14%, quite intelligent, quite aggressive, quite cautious, quite friendly, very dependable, cunning schemers, gifted scientists.
Ursidian, reproduce at 12%, quite intelligent, quite aggressive, quite cautious, quite unfriendly, quite unfriendly, quite dependable, master engineers, warrior class, natural merchants, special technology: S2F7 RepairBot.
Ursidian, reproduce at 12%, quite intelligent, extremely passive, very cautious, quite unfriendly, extremely unreliable, cunning schemers.
Humanoid, reproduce at 13%, very intelligent, slightly aggressive, very cautious, slightly friendly, extremely dependent, gifted scientists, master engineers, special technology: ShadowGhost ECM 2000.
Reptilian, reproduce at 11%, moderately intelligent, very aggressive, quite reckless, very unfriendly, very unreliable, warrior class, fierce rivalry, special technology: Swift Vector 5000 (Vectoring Engine)
Reptilian, reproduce at 18%, slightly stupid, very aggressive, very cautious, quite unfriendly, quite dependable, warrior class.
Amphibian, reproduce at 9%, extremely intelligent, extremely passive, very cautious, very unfriendly, extremely dependable, gifted scientists, special government: technocracy. Special technology: NovaCore NX-700 (Reactor Hyper Fusion)
Humanoid, reproduce at 23%, moderately intelligent, very passive, quite reckless, quite friendly, very dependable, natural optimists, special government: Utopian paradise.
Reptilian, reproduce at 16%, slightly stupid, quite passive, quite cautious, slightly friendly, quite dependable, natural optimists, special government: Utopian paradise.
Insectoid, reproduce at 16%, quite intelligent, very aggressive, slightly cautious, very unfriendly, very unreliable, warrior class, fierce rivalry, special government: hive mind, special technology: StarBurner XX-12 (Main Thrust Engine)
Rodent, reproduce at 15%, quite stupid, extremely passive, quite reckless, quite friendly, extremely dependable, industrious miners, natural merchants, special government: Mercantile Guild.
Rodent, reproduce at 9%, quite stupid, very passive, very reckless, quite friendly, extremely unreliable, industrious miners, natural optimists, special government: mercantile guild.
Amphibian, reproduce at 12%, moderately intelligent, very passive, quite cautious, very unfriendly, quite unreliable, industrious miners, natural merchants.
Rodent, reproduce at 13%, quite intelligent, quite passive, very cautious, quite unfriendly, slightly dependable, natural optimists, master engineers, special government: technocracy, special technology: Megatron Z4 (Shields).
I was right that technology advancement is not directly controlled by the player. This obviously leads to different gameplay each time, as components available to you will differ. But you can build research units dedicated to certain areas of research, which will goose them a bit.
Well, I just have one thing to say about this game: the text is extremely hard to read.
Look at the word "technology" up there. The user interface does not scale at higher resolutions, and it doesn't let you adjust the resolution. Changing the desktop resolution on my monitor just makes the game more blurry.
I'm not going to get far in this game if I can't read it. $40 wasted.
Same exact problem Badken. Eve has this problem as well I swear its the same font. Although so far it only appears that the tutorial msgboxes use this font the other fonts, while problematic, are nowhere near this bad . I would pull your monitor forward or away to where you can read the tutorial font just right then enjoy the game at regular distance.
Same exact problem Badken. Eve has this problem as well I swear its the same font. Although so far it only appears that the tutorial msgboxes use this font the other fonts, while problematic, are nowhere near this bad . I would pull the eyes out of a 6 year old and use them so you can read the tutorial font just right then enjoy the game at regular distance.
Any chance you can just replace the font in the game using trickery?
Eep. Even if I lean in towards my monitor and squint I still can't read that text without blurring. In fact it kind of sinks in and out as if someone was fiddling with my focus knob. Unbearable.
I've gotten used to reading text like that having worked with Microsoft's WPF. They released a service pack to .NET 3.5 to fix their font antialiasing and it's just as bad, just differently bad.
Yeah the rest of the game is really immersive. I am getting frustrated and at the same time sucked back in to playing. The learning curve really appears to be in the design section. Also i found a really interesting way to play, keep stuff on automated and when you want to do something cycle through your ships and add the direct command as a queued order through the right click menu, they finish whatever there doing, do the queued command, then go back to making automated decisions.
Also use the construction window alot and realise that the cranes in the spaceports = number of parallel builds they can do, colonies appear to only have one crane for building constructors, colony ships and starbases. A large spaceport has 8 cranes, also they will be used by civilians to build frieghters (which also gives you money).
The font issue is really bad but its only the tutorial, I would try and get past it to the real game.
So one thing that's not clear to me is whether the AI will prompt you for military ship production. Seems to me I'm expanding, but not being asked to build military ships (except for resupplies). Is that intended to be left to the player? In which case I need to start working.
So one thing that's not clear to me is whether the AI will prompt you for military ship production. Seems to me I'm expanding, but not being asked to build military ships (except for resupplies). Is that intended to be left to the player? In which case I need to start working. :-)
In my experience with the game, the AI seems to build up forces for defending what you have. Periodically as I was expanding I would get the suggestion to build a destroyer, a couple of frigates and some escorts. But the fleets suggested by the AI were hardly enough for offensive operations. For that I had to do it all myself...
No demo? I'm a sad panda... I can't justify a $40 purchase to see whether or not I like it. I did that with A Farewell to Dragons and I've never quite forgiven myself.