Evochron Legends


This is a sandbox space game similar to X3 or the like but you command one ship and change it as you advance in wealth and status. The game is programmed and developed mostly by one person, although he lists thanks to nice people who help him test and do some of the voices.


Game Description:

Evochron Legends is a freeform mercenary space-sim that focuses on 'lone-wolf' survival gameplay. You can play the game in a variety of ways and complete many activities including buying, trading, negotiating, bribing, spying, racing, escorting, transporting, mining, exploring, cleaning equipment, clearing paths through asteroid fields, recruiting, protecting, hiring crew members, fuel harvesting, and designing your ship. Evochron Legends is a technical simulation, not a character based simulator, so you are not limited by pre-selected character roles, skills, or attributes. Your decisions and actions define your role in the game and establish your reputations, wealth, progress, and ranking. The emphasis is on real-time tactical gameplay strategy for both combat and non-combat objectives. You are in control of your ship virtually all of the time in open space, including player controlled combat and planetary descents. Your ability to successfully pilot around or through dangerous objects in space, develop trade strategies, evade detection, harvest resources, efficiently explore for hidden benefits, and transport people and items can be just as important as your skill in combat. The game also rewards players who devise their own gameplay strategies and 'think outside the box'. With diverse optional objectives and many paths to choose from, Evochron Legends offers an amazing level of freeform gameplay.

Evochron Legends features unified gameplay profiles for both single player and multiplayer. The upgrades, ships, equipment, money, and commodities you earn in the game can be used in both the single player and multiplayer modes. You don't have to give up your progress in these areas when switching between single player and multiplayer, nor do you have to give up what you earn when you join different multiplayer sessions.

Everything you do in the game takes place in a seamless universe without system 'walls' or 'rooms' that require a jumpgate 'door' to access. There are no required warp gates or trade lanes to restrict your travel and hold you back. You can travel anywhere you want, with or without jump drives and gates, as long as you have the fuel and time to get there. You can descend into planet atmospheres (without loading screens or sudden environment flipping) to land at city trade stations, mine valuable materials, or explore for hidden items. You can escape to nebula clouds for sensor cover or hide in a massive asteroid cave for protection.

Design your ship for the role you want to play and customize the appearance by adjusting the position/scaling of the various parts of your ship. Whether it's combat, exploration, mining, trading, racing, or a variety of other activities, you'll find many ways to play and advance in the game. Below is a list of many features available in Evochron Legends.

The game features are listed as: (This is an advancement upon the game Evochron Renegades previously released)

-True freeform gameplay without plot restrictions, conditions, or limitations. No character attribute/skill limitations to hold you back. Experience ultimate gameplay freedom and play the game the way you want to. Your decisions and abilities define your role in the game and establish your reputations, wealth, progress, and ranking.

-Diverse gameplay choices and activities. New options including passenger transport, capital ship escort, military war zone missions, multiple waypoint patrols, and planet atmosphere combat contracts. There are many ways to make money and advance in the game.

-A vast seamless universe that lets you fly anywhere without loading screens. Fly from planet to planet, star to star, solar system to solar system seamlessly.

-Interactive training mode with selectable stages to provide the necessary basics for flying your ship, managing its systems, docking/landing, and surviving in combat.

-Unified gameplay architecture and profiles lets you keep the ship, upgrades, equipment, money, weapons, crew, and commodities you acquire in the game for use in both single player and multiplayer.

-Multiplayer capacity increased (for both human players and AI controlled ships).

-Clan ID linking system lets you establish your indicated threat levels with other players in multiplayer. Players sharing a common ID in their callsigns are linked together as friendly contacts while different ID's are indicated as hostile. You can also link together in-game with another clan to form a larger group for better odds of success.
-Cooperative multiplayer objectives that pay all linked players. Join forces with other players to complete more challenging activities that can offer much better pay. More advanced players can link with new players to give them access to higher paying contracts that they would not otherwise have access to early in the game. Being part of the same team lets you combine reputations and contract pay for improved results.

-Challenge other players to multiplayer ship-vs-ship races and place the race course where you want in space. Players can each have their own track to race the clock against each other or race each other on the same track.

-Seamless planet descents that can include weather effects such as rain, snow, and turbulence. Explore planets for hidden benefits, trade at city stations, mine their surfaces for valuable materials, recover cells from plants for valuable biological material, or hide in their atmospheres... they are an important part of the game's interactive universe... not just background scenery you can only look at.

-Ship-to-ship trading and cargo system. Ship and trade weapons, upgrades, and equipment in addition to commodities. You can even load items from your cargo bay onto your ship, letting you carry more weapons, upgrades, and equipment beyond what you can install on your ship.

-New energy pod generators and receivers, which players can use to set up 'capture the flag' scenarios and receive free fuel.

-New constructor stations that you can take raw materials to for crafting components and items.

-Optional customizable universe that lets you move objects in space, replace them, remove them, and change the local environment.

-Enhanced 3D game engine with new effects, objects, and textures.

-Dynamic economies with realistic variable item availability and specialized industries.

-Three weapon classes - beam weapons, particle cannons, and secondary missiles/equipment. New weapons and equipment include the Lynx, Rage and Cyclone missiles, proximity mines, probes, and new stealth technology.

-Explore for hidden commodity and weapon storage containers which offer free reloading, upgrades, and other valuable items.

-Use your wealth to design and build a new ship, buy better weapons, hire crew members, recruit other ships, install upgrades, load commodities, and more.

-All new Shipyard lets you design and customize your ship for the role you want to play. Optimize your ship for defense, exploration, combat, racing, or transporting... the choice is yours. You can also position and scale each component to give your ship a unique appearance. Civilian ships can also be painted a variety of colors.

-No required trade lanes or warp gates to hold you back. The game's universe is yours to explore with an open space navigation system and built-in jump drives. Optional warp gates are available for faster long distance travel and you can also install new gates in desired locations with the game's customizable universe.

-Realistic zero gravity inertia based 'Newtonian' style flight model including complete 3-way rotation and 3-way direction control with optional variable input. An advanced inertial dampening system helps keep flight control simple in space, atmospheres, and gravity fields. The physics system has been enhanced for improved realism based on ship type and design, including thruster-to-weight and acceleration/deceleration agility. Heavier and lighter ships alike now handle more realistically for their mass and configurations.

-Realistic environment interaction far beyond the genre's typical 'background wallpaper'. Nebula clouds, asteroid fields, planet atmospheres, moons, and more all provide unique options for shelter and strategy. Such environment elements include changes in gravity, fuel consumption, physics, sensor range, and visibility.

-Quick one-key access to jump drive navigation and inventory management. You control all system travel and inventory decisions right from the cockpit.

-Explore the game's massive universe with several secret locations to discover and many unique objects/obstacles to encounter including black holes, asteroid caves, wormholes, and stars.

-Clue-based integrated story you can continue at virtually any time. Follow the beacons, solve the clues and voyage through many systems in a quest to discover the mystery of what happened at Arvoch and the device the Alliance found. Players who take on the challenge of the story quest and succeed will discover a very beneficial feature.

-Supports keyboard, mouse, gamepad, and joystick flight control. Use the control device you prefer to play the game. Force feedback control is also supported.

-Supports Natural Point's TrackIR 3D head control system for managing the viewpoint from the cockpit with all six degrees of movement.

The next generation of Evochron launches soon!

Disclaimer: I borrowed most of the thread information from:
I don't feel like I'm very good at the 'background info' to do game's justice. So I'm just going to stick to my personal impressions in the posts following and borrow the first post.

I'm not sure if the game will live up to what I expect or not, but to me it looked pretty amazing before playing it.

The tutorials are fairly succint and explain the basics of controlling the ship, targeting, shooting, docking at a station, and landing on a planet. Luckily this doesn't limit available demo time.

I decided to just get the full version of the game since I figured most of my enjoyment would be from online. So I had a few minutes tonight and I hopped online straight away with my new pilot. Luckily AVG 8.0 didn't cause me any issues and it worked perfectly!

So there I was sitting in space...I had no freakin idea what to do. But wait, I heard something on the forums browsing about cleaning space arrays. So I headed straight down to the nearest planet, green alignment brackets give me a docking trajectory and I uneventfully descended to purchase my first mining/tractor laser.

While scooting around I learned the value of fuel, as if you are wasteful the cost is significant (or seemed to be for my low amount of wealth). I accepted a contract from the station above the planet to destroy 20 asteroids and went into warp landing in the middle of the field. I proceeded to go around full throttle until I figured out I could save fuel by accelerating a little and turning off the Inertial Dampening Systems. I'd then float past a few asteroids at a time blowing them up and then accelerate in one more direction and float that way blowing up more.

Finally I saw a contract for cleaning solar arrays and decided to try that. It was pretty simple to fly there and tedious to clean the dust off them, but beggars can't be chosers with 40,000 credits.

So far it all seems pretty interesting just because it is so unique, but I look forward to exploring rank and advancement with factions in singleplayer tomorrow as I can not live life for long dusting solar panels and blowing up floating rocks.

I heard this game was something like X3:TC lite and it piqued my interest a bit.

How do the controls and interface hold up? I only have a mouse at the moment and some space sim games are just HORRIBLE with spacecraft controls. Some don't even have an invert-mouse options which most would consider a capital crime.

Pretty ambitious for such a small team. Looks pretty cool though. Might need to hook up the joystick again.

I'm not sure how the game controls with a mouse, but it gives you the option and I see it allows you to invert the mouse laso.

I'll play some more tonight. I'm stuck taking a test in about 2 hours and then only 4 more hours of class, but I'm excited to try and pick up some more of how the game works. I think from what I've read, and so far I partially agree, the interface and controls are the biggest portion of the barrier to entry in the game.

On the positive side the game comes with a print out keymap so I can consult it as a I learn.

Also I forgot to mention. I started with multplayer yesterday and I had a nice fellow from the community helping me out with any questions I had as I tried to figure some stuff out.

Tamren wrote:

I heard this game was something like X3:TC lite and it piqued my interest a bit.

How do the controls and interface hold up? I only have a mouse at the moment and some space sim games are just HORRIBLE with spacecraft controls. Some don't even have an invert-mouse options which most would consider a capital crime.

I tried it with the mouse and didn't find it to be that hard to control. There's a trial version on the site that gives you a limited amount of play if you want to give it a shot. As for mouse control in general, I've actually heard of people that prefer mouse control in X3, though combat in that game is much less stressed than here.

So a small update since I found some time to play today (and might play a little more). I've expanded from interstellar window wiping:

I tried a mission where I go to a point in space and explore an object left there unattended by the military.
Also, I did a pickup mission for an item located out in space.

I see if I do a few missions (I've done 6) my rank is upped to rookie. I also see I gain faction with the merchant and military but I lose favor with the rebels in the system. I've not yet made any die hard enemies in my limited play time.

What I can talk about more in depth than before:
You can customize your ship to fit a specific role you want to perform in the universe!
You can alter typically between levels 1 and 5 of shields, cargo space, engines, and fuel based on your preferences. Each level upgrade costs a reasonable amount but results in the use of assembly points. Your ship frame only has so many assembly points so you must pick and choose your goal when building. The trading of one ship type for another is made simple though as your ship value is updated with new components and you can switch out for alternate components also of an equal value. When you want to move on to bigger and better things you upgrade your ships hull.

What I did:
I got a rank 3 engine and gained about 200 units/sec in max speed
I upgraded my shields to rank 2 (so hopefully I can do combat without a horrible death)
I upgraded my cargo to 3 (because I want to try mining an asteroid for money soon)
and I upgraded my fuel to 3 (Which tripled my capacity and will make refueling much less common and let me focus on other things for the moment)

What I can't do:
Figure out how to switch weapons
I haven't tried switching from the starting safe system yet
I don't know when missions change or if it is based on area
A lot more...

My next goal is to try to a) hit a new level of missions and/or b) keep progressing further in space from the starting point to explore new territories and planets and/or c) do my first combat mission or attack someone randomly and evaluate combat a little.

Overall so far I'm not disappointed in the game. I can definitely state that it isn't the ultimate coolest bestest thing out there that everyone is missing. I can say though that there are a lot of little things to figure out, and I can get around without crashing or dying repeatedly while I learn so I'm able to play in a very relaxed manner. I like noticing little things like how accelerating slower doesn't fire the afterburners and saves me fuel on ordinary missions.

I really dig the TrackIR support, and the atmosphere landings are pretty awesome. I'm a bit of a graphics whore though and X3 satisfies that need for me. That said, this game has plenty of potential and I hear a graphics update is in the works. One to keep an eye on for sure. How does the multiplayer work?

The multiplayer is just like singleplayer but with all online participants with the following exceptions:

All ranks are reset for factions as well as who likes and dislikes you. Neutral standings to all people ensures you can help anyone with any of there missions without damaging your pilots reputation. So it is left to singleplayer to gain reputation.

You can't race AI in online, but you can race human players for fun on the set courses.

Multiplayer lets you join fleets with other people to complete contracts or fight enemies, and full rewards are given to all involved in a contract instead of splitting it up.

When you die in multiplayer the server boots you out, and you rejoin the server with your last savegame before you died.

Can you clarify that last part? Do you save your game while in multiplayer and it reverts to last save or does it revert to your last offline save?

You can save in multiplayer just like you can in singleplayer. If I go online and travel across the universe then save. I log on singleplayer and I'm in that spot.

I know one newbie ran out of fuel in the middle of space and so people had him log online and someone from the community went and gave him enough fuel to get back to a station.

I have the full version, but it's so incredibly boring that I can't bring myself to play it. It's like playing Eve, but by myself. I have to manually fly to ports, dock with them, trade, etc. It takes forever to get anything done, and the world isn't really all that interesting.

The multiplayer sounds like it might be interesting. Would be kind of cool if you could run a persistent GWJ server that we could hop on to play together.

Manually flying to ports and all that isn't so bad. If you do it right (right click on the item in nav map) then you pretty much warp straight into the docking port.

The world's a little quiet, but there are at least NPCs warping in and out about their business. That leaves you a ready supply of npc to hire as wingman, fight with, or to trade with.

I would just play in the main server for the game so there would be people on more often. The community is really mature and helpful anyways right up there with this one, so that isn't a problem like in some games.

I'll admit it's a little quiet, but it is more than I expected from a game made in Dark Basic. I still have a lot of stuff I want to try though.

How does the combat play out?

The combat plays out fairly hectic. You zip zoom around and try to use the strafing thrusters in connection with the ability to fly in one direction and shoot in another and you can engage in fights kind of like I'd imagine they are in Babylon 5 or BSG. I think the best bet is to try the demo because it's free. It's limited in time, and you'll have a smaller ship...but you can see exactly what the combat is like and how to fly around.

I don't think the game is any be all end all, but for one guy making it there is a lot of fun to be had. The community is friendly and helpful to me even when I ask silly questions and I really just can't get enough casual play out of being able to float around space shooting backwards, sideways, or engaging thrusters accelerating to some absurd speed before I turn off inertial guidance and float in one direction at blinding speed (which is bad near an asteroid field I've learned).

Tried out the demo. It was.... underwhelming. The core game mechanics are just not streamlined enough. Though keep in mind these are first impressions from a demo.

After playing the tutorial which was adequate but didn't provide any of the fine details. I started trying out the "core" game mechanics that are listed as features. Some worked better than others.

Flying down to planets, playing privateer among the stations, customizing your ship. All of these things sound good on paper but they are shackled to a system of movement that bogs down the game to the point that just moving around is boring and tedious. There are no afterburners or time lapse systems to make the wait bearable.

When trading you don't have an X sized cargobay you can fill up with crates. Instead you have 1-5 cargo slots that seem to hold an unlimited amount, the catch is you can only fit one type. So one unit of oxygen will prevent you from picking up 99 units of platinum if you only have the one slot. Commodities are extremely random. One visit the station might have 20 and 31 units of food for trade. The next visit it has 10 diamonds and nothing else. This makes impossible to set up reliable trade routes or some semblance of supply and demand.

The missions were boring and didn't pay very well. Playing solar window washer is every bit as boring as it sounds. So are fedex missions. I quickly finished one and went mining instead. Once you have a tractor beam you can mosey up to any asteroid and gather minerals. An unlimited amount seemingly, after about 20 units each of platinum, diamonds and metal I got bored with staring at a rock and sold the lot for more money than I could get with 10 race missions. Are rocks unlimited? Could I really leave the computer on overnight and mine more money than I could ever use?

I then picked up a passenger mission. Transport to Lambda Sta-. station presumably but the text got cut off. The only info I was given was a set of coordinates. -1250,0,-400. After 20 minutes of searching and entering those coordinates in all the ways I knew how I was unable to even find Lambda Station on the navigation map.

Speaking of coordinates the nav map is okay. Only every time you zoom out you zoom out from your current position, not what you are looking at. As well there doesn't seem to be any way to scroll the view. So if you are examining something at the far edge of the map and want to adjust your view slightly you have to zoom out, scroll back there and zoom in again.

Going from a planet surface to orbit means flying in a straight line until you leave the atmosphere. Trying to jump while inside the atmosphere will kill you instantly. The problem is there is no indication that shows where the boundary is. You can think you are in the clear and then BAM another death. It took me 5 tries to leave the first planet I came across, that was no fun.

To dock at a station you fly into a "bubble" and get tractored in. For some unfathomable reason this process does not deactivate your engines for you. They will stay on and burn fuel until you exit the interface and turn them off. The interface for trading at planets or stations is pretty much the same as your ships inventory interface with only a couple extra buttons. No scenery, just menus with coloured buttons.

Item descriptions are lacking. No stats are displayed, just a short line of text that must explain everything. But the only detail you can get from it is far from enough. Highlighting a gun will make the text say something like "This is a gun!". Highlighting a fuel converter makes it say "This converts fuel!".

I was unable to find any of the vaunted secret areas. Though I suppose you could include one station that was displayed on the nav map. [b]But upon zooming in, promptly disappears. If finding secret areas involves jumping blind over a huge map then I think I would pass. [/i]Its like playing find the pirate treasure without a map, heck without a shovel even.

The main quest involves finding these nav bouys and completing objectives to "activate" them, presumably for an eventual reward of some sort. Only these "missions" involve things like "bring 15 units of X with you and talk to me again". "Defend this bouy", "destroy X ship". The whole system feels like a game of simon says, combined with an army sergeant that makes you do pushups and bring him coffee.

Lastly the graphics were horribly choppy. I don't know how I could be getting screen tearing even through triple buffered V-sync but it still happened.

In the end, the most I can say is that the game is simply not for me. I had more fun playing ASCII Sector which is still missing half of its planned content. Thought the gameplay probably gets interesting later on it totally failed to grab me in the time provided by the demo.

Is there a reason to switch from X3 to this? I mean, X3 is such a time sink and I just don't have the ability to devote time to these grand sized games if there isn't a big reason to.

The tutorial is only supposed to be enough to get you started. After that, the point is to explore to figure things out. If exploring isn't for you there is a recently released game guide (with non-spoiler and spoiler material) which I believe is on the forums.

Moving around isn't as tedious as you think. There is a nav jump system that can get you near immediately right near an area. There also is an afterburner button and you can hold it down burning fuel extremely quickly. If you want to keep the high speed you turn off the inertial systems and you'll hurtle in that direction as fast as you give yourself time to accelerate to. The tradeoff is it's just as hard to stop as it was to speed up.

Although it might seem like the cargo is unlimited, if you are patient you'll find out that it is not. Cargo is limited and can be expanded with ship upgrades. There might be something in the news about potential trade runs (or not, I can't remember).

The solar window washing is boring, but it's fun in my opinion that you can even do it...it seems funny to me. There are better occupations. Cargo is not unlimited, and mining is only safe if you are careful about the speed of yourself and the speed of the asteroids near you. You could get hit by one (not too likely) or you could get attacked by enemies looking for easy prey. It's not as easy to jump out of an asteroid field (gotta watch your exit vector) to escape.

Dunno about the text cutting off. The maps a little weird, but I was surprised you can change the coordinate's on it so you can warp in 3D. It took me a while to realize it wasn't a 2D only affair....not related but it's there. If you're dying leaving a planet the indication is a combination of graphical changes, patience, and experience. It's possible to jump into a planet from outside (I can't do it, it's some sort of trick but it's on youtube) but not the other way around as far as I know. You just gotta be careful. Stations are what they are, and I agree the items are a bit confusing (read: really confusing) without descriptions. A secret area is secret

I'm sure if you cared enough to ask in the forums someone would help you figure out your technical issues (probably even the guy who made the game), but I don't get that, it's a pain when it happens for a game though. If you don't wanna stop playing after the demo I think uninstalling and reinstalling gives you the demo time back.

As to the last post...no there is no reason to switch from X3 at all. It's just a fun little casual game to play on the side IMO.

Second impressions:

- Afterburners help a lot, but it would have been nice if the tutorial mentioned them. If it did then it should have mentioned them louder.
- Trade info is available but you have to go digging through the "news" section, which is not where I would expect to find it.
- The rep grind is pretty harsh and you can never please everyone. What are the benefits for choosing one side or another?
- Having crew makes mining and looking for hidden stuff a lot easier, but you do need steady income.
- The gravity field around stations prevents you from ramming them and taking damage. But it also acts a bit like flypaper. If you DO hit the station you sometimes get stuck and it can be hard to get away.

The benefits for choosing a side are who will and who will not shoot at you. Also I believe higher reputation results in better paying/more difficult missions and in some cases equipment. I know the military gives you access to better ships they fly only if you raise standings with them.

I get stuck on stations too.

Well the final verdict is in for me. Considering this is the work of one guy the game has an AMAZING amount of content. Unfortunately it also shows in the lack of polish. Core game mechanics and the UI have a lot of rough edges that can put you off. But if you can get past them there is a lot of game to play through.

I think I might pick this up later if the price drops.

Even better than simply waiting for the price to drop might be posting your thoughts and suggestions on the official forums. The guy who makes the game actively works to improve things based on community feedback.

EDIT: Just for clarification this doesn't mean buy it, but it does mean if you have cool ideas I'd get to see them in updates :p

Well, sitting here at work and reading about this game has sold me. Anyone up for recklessly Dishing out 25 dollars and starting a GWJ Clan online?

Bob5602 wrote:

Well, sitting here at work and reading about this game has sold me. Anyone up for recklessly Dishing out 25 dollars and starting a GWJ Clan online?

There's not much (actually nothing) in the way of "clan support" in the game that I'm aware of, other than the cooperative missions I've heard of, but not myself seen. I've not ventured out of the starting system yet and haven't really strayed much from the starting sector except for a few quirky jumps that took me away for an unknown reason (and cost me a delivery contract in the process).

I'd say let's pick one of the 2 multiplayer servers that appear regularly on the list - Bablyon 5 and Jet's Space - as a GWJ home and possibly name our pilots with a "GWJ- " tag at the front. I've not logged a lot of hours though, so if I'm wrong on the clan support statement, I apologize.

Evochron Mercenary was just announced. Looking like there's a fall release.

I wasn't impressed enough form the demo to make the switch from X3, but I'm still interested in the series from an academic view.