Daily Elysium: To Post or Not To Post - The Galaxy Andromeda Interview

We started this website with a pretty firm premise, that being we would only post those stories, articles, or tidbits of newsie goodness that we found interesting. We figured that we needed some posting standard, and since no one else was around at the time to give us input - save our wives/girlfriends who tried very hard to occasionally seem interested in what we were doing - we pretty much worked from the position that our interests would form the foundation of our posting rules. This became complicated as people began reading the site, as we became concerned about whether we should now be posting for them (you) or ourselves, ultimately deciding that our best work is born from topics about which we have something at least mildly interesting to add. So our basic tenet is this: if we donÂ't care about it, whatever noun Â"˜itÂ' may in this case be replacing, then weÂ're not going to post it.

Naturally, we break this rule all the time.

There are days, particularly in February, when we hit the news scene looking for a story or game that inspires us to discussion, but find instead stories with all the inspiration of a dial tone. ItÂ's difficult to try and generate interest in the latest Humvee Assault screenshots or an interview with a low-level developer of The Sims: Superstar Expansion, particularly when weÂ're firmly against being a basic repository for screenshot and interview links. The idea has been from the start that if we feel it's worth posting on then it should be worth talking about. This, above all else, should explain why we rarely have more than six or seven posts on any given day. You already know all the places to find bulk news, and another site added to that hoary list would be pointless. We have, from the start, wanted to be the place where you can hope to find content more stimulating.

There are days where I think we just nail it, and then there are days where crickets and tumbleweeds drift virtually through the severs that host our tiny digital nook. I always feel bad about those days, because I think you guys deserve better than an unpredictable occasional silence. These are usually the days when you see us revert to the Â"˜something/anythingÂ' mentality, deciding, despite our better judgment, that we might have something to say about the DOAX nude patch - an article from which, I should point out, we get 40 or more hits a day from Google Â"˜DOAX nude patchÂ' searches.

Sometimes, however, we have something which is, for me, at least borderline. Something that engages me, but IÂ'm not sure is quite up to standard. Believe it or not, every time I hit that post button, I try to take the reader into account, both whether they (you) are interested in the subject and whether the post is of a quality that you expect from us and I expect in myself. It is because of those considerations that IÂ've spent the past week sitting on a Galaxy Andromeda (formerly Imperium Galactica 3) interview.

In early February we sent a series of questions off to Imperium Galactica 3 developer Philos. Shortly after, we discovered that Imperium Galactica 3 was going to be undergoing some pretty dramatic changes, and, as was announced last week, IG3 became Galaxy Andromeda being developed by Mithis Games - which absorbed many of PhilosÂ' displaced employees. I was fully prepared to write off my questions, not expecting any response from the turmoil. And then, a week ago we got a response to some of the questions from Galaxy Andromeda producer Axel Rathgeber. 

First of all, I'm very grateful that Mr. Rathgeber could find any time out of an already busy schedule to speak with us, and I very much wanted to reward his comments with some exposure for Galaxy Andromeda.  The problem is that the questions he responded to were about Philos' work on Imperium Galactica 3, and as such many of the questions simply didn't make sense, and those that did no longer asked the questions we think you'd be interested in.   So we sat on the interview trying to figure out if it was worth presenting to you, and if so, in what format. 

So, bearing all that in mind, here's what producer Axel Rathgeber had to say about the development of Galaxy Andromeda.  Of the fifteen questions we asked, eight of them were applicable enough for him to respond to.  We'd like to thank Axel Rathgeber for speaking with us, and we assure you we're already working on getting new answers to questions directly relating to Galaxy Andromeda and its interesting development.


GWJ: Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions! An easy one first, howÂ's the progress of Imperium Galactica 3 coming along?

AR: The game is coming along well! We have renamed it Galaxy Andromeda and we are redesigning some parts, so it wonÂ't have a direct comparison to the previous Imperium Galactica titles. We are heavily working on multiplayer and balancing the game. Look for a demo to come out somewhere around May of this year! We are very excited about what players will think of this new approach to Science Fiction Real-Time Strategy games!

GWJ: Previous iterations of the Imperium Galactica franchise found themselves in competition with games like Master of Orion for their shared scope and focus on galactic micromanagement, often termed 4X games, but Imperium Galactica 3 seems significantly different. What games would you compare this new version to?

AR: ItÂ's hard to find any games that we can compare to it-Galaxy Andromeda is so unique.

GWJ: How do you think fans of the series will react to the new approach?

AR: Since we have renamed the title Galaxy Andromeda and are going in an different direction, we hope the title will appeal to all RTS players, including fans of the IG series.

GWJ: [Galaxy Andromeda's] release was delayed to include, among other thing, multiplayer elements. Can you talk about some of the plans for multiplayer? How many players will be able to compete at once, and what kind of gameplay will multiplayer focus on, visceral combat, strategy?

AR: There are different game variations like "deathmatch", "team deathmatch", and "team battle", but also "team domination" and "team escorting". Before entering a match, each player can put his own fleet together. A nifty point system can be used to "sell" damaged ships during a battle and "buy" new ones that can be instantly engaged. Rounding it all up, tactically challenging maps turn Galaxy AndromedaÂ's multiplayer gaming into a real galactic delight.

GWJ: What can you tell us about the storyline for [Galaxy Andromeda]? ItÂ's clear that the game begins in the near future. How does mankind find itself embroiled in a galactic power struggles and massive space battles?

AR: Let me give you just a little bit of Galaxy AndromedaÂ's storyline, and hopefully this will help:

ItÂ's 2028: Near Jupiter, a reconnaissance satellite discovers an amazing phenomenon: a wormhole. Scientists conjecture that objects passing through would be transported into another part of the galaxy. While experiments are carried out with small satellites, a spaceship is designed to carry people through the wormhole to new worlds. The scientists blast the wormhole to make it bigger. But when the spaceship NoahÂ's Arc attempts to enter the wormhole, disaster strikes: The blasts have unleashed some kind of reaction. The wormhole closes. And only bits of the wreckage of the Arc survive.

2042: Gigantic companies have begun to systematically conquer and plunder our solar system. The son of the engineer who disappeared along with the NoahÂ's Arc 14 years ago is on a transport mission from Earth to Mars. Suddenly, his small transporter is attacked by two hunters from a rival company. The transporterÂ's engines are destroyed, the interior freezes abruptly and induces the young man into a cryogenic sleep.

2112: The floating transporter is discovered by a space patrol. The son everyone thought lost is reanimated, educated and promoted to a frigate officer of the SpaceTech Cooperation. The game begins when our fresh-faced officer is off on a recon mission in JupiterÂ's orbit (and now itÂ's up to you, the player, to take on his role).

The player will set off with an alien space ship, that is detected in our solar system, to another part of our galaxy. When he finally gets back to Earth, it has been infected by a strange alien virus - and now it is up to the player to save his home!

GWJ: How will [Galaxy Andromeda's] mission structure work? Will the gameplay be like traditional RTS missions, split into discreet parts, or will it follow the more epic and constant flow of other 4X games?

AR: WeÂ're working on the mission structures as we speak, so weÂ'll have to get back to you on this one.

GWJ: On what level does the player interact with the game, a distant third-person point of view like other 4X titles, or in a more personal first person perspective? Will the player interact directly with other characters in the game?

AR: The player will interact directly with other characters in the game. The player is playing the role of an officer whose father disappeared in a wormhole during an experiment in the year 2028

GWJ:Any word yet on a firm release date?

AR: I canÂ't give you a specific release date, but expect to see it in the second half of this year!

Thanks again to Mithis Games' producer Axel Rathgeber.  You can visit the new Galaxy Andromeda website here.

- Elysium