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View Poll Results: Do you wish the space exploration part had more depth?
Yes, I want exploration to have more detail / options. 10 62.50%
No, it's fine. 6 37.50%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old November 29th, 2005, 08:24 PM

Tanelorn Tanelorn is offline
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Default Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed report

Hi guys. Before you start thinking that I am about to make a flame post, I promise you that I'm not. I am going to share my reasons for dissapointment after trying the demo, and give some constructive criticism, however. I hope that as you read my post, you don't get the feeling that I'm dissing the game. I think Wierd Worlds and its predecessor are quality games and worthy of praise. Yet, I also feel that there are alot of gamers out there who need a bit more for this game to be satisfying and engaging.

I have a pretty strong background in game development. I have worked as lead programmer on training sims for the USMC and Coast Guard using modified versions of off-the-shelf games for the last 3 years. And like many modern day gamers, i've spent alot of time modding or tweaking games to make them more enjoyable / playable. I was actually one of several armchair developers who were paid by Electronic Arts to mod Battlefield 1942 into Desert Combat, for example.

As should be obvious, my experience with WW:RtIS is limited to the demo, and I keep that in mind. But the issues I have with the game are more about the game system itself, and far less with the actual content. The content is moddable, thanks to Digital Eel's great decision to make the game modder friendly. However i think that most of what I found lacking in the game is not something that can be modified by the user. So let me skip any further introduction and get down to the details.


- Shallowness of content
The major problem I have with WW is the immense shallowness of the material. I know shallow can sound very negative, but I'm speaking more about how we don't get into much depth over any of the new and interesting things / events we encounter. Most everything we encounter is skimmed over and not covered in any depth. An adventure isn't an adventure if you merely glance at something you haven't seen before and then move on. The fun of adventure is discovery and study. Imagine if shows like Star Trek were only about visiting strange new worlds just long enough to say hi, take a couple pictures, and leave. There's a huge desire that isn't being satisfied when we get such little detail. Now, I'm not talking about adding extra paragraphs onto all the text descriptions. I'm talking about making the galaxy we are exploring more dynamic and fleshed out. Below I will describe in more detail what I'm getting at.

- Astronomical curiosity not satisfied
For example, we fly to a new star system. We are given a little paragraph of what the star is, and another of the planet that is there. But we aren't allowed to appreciate what this system has to offer beyond being shown a picture and a little paragraph. What about other planets in the system? What about examining the planets in detail, their terrain, their surfaces, their moons? What about actually exploring the planets themselves in search of artifacts? There are a few games I have played where a large part of the fun is this kind of exploration. Spaceflight and Elite 2: Frontier come to mind, and those are as old as the hills. If this game fleshed out star systems to include multiple planets that could be interacted with, my sense of adventure would be much more satisfied. I want to SEE the binary stars, the volcanic planets, the giant humming beehives covering the surface. This will satisfy my desire for true exploration.

- Great combat mode, little detail
I really like the space combat in this game. It looks great and feels great (although I hate it when my ship keeps turning away from where I want it to look in close combat). But I was suprised at the lack of detail in the weapons / shields, etc. I would like to see numerical values for damage, shield strength, range, etc. Maybe this could be an option you could select, so that gamers who don't like to be flooded by details won't be bothered by it. In addition, I think a health and shield bar should appear below your ships so you can easily see how they are doing without having to mouse over them.

- Connections
Ever see that great BBC series Connections where you start with an item, then trace all the technologies, people, and places that were required for that item to come into being? Well, with all these really neat items we find throughout the galaxy, almost none of them have any connection to anything else anywhere. I find robo pirana fish on barren planets, snails and amoebas on volcano planets, etc. How about there be a deeper connection between the star systems, the planets, the objects, and their histories, so we feel like this is the only planet where we could find this unique kind of artifact. Or, Ooh, this system has a water planet, so maybe we will find an underwater creature here. It's like saying that Indiana Jones didn't have to go to the Aztec temple to find the golden tiki statue, that thing had a random chance of being anywhere in the world!

Allright, there are plenty more smaller things that come to mind while I play, but these were the main issues I had with the game that made me not want to keep playing it. The game felt alot like I was playing a single player board game like The game of Life, where you hop along the board and get random cards from the deck. For me, that's not rewarding enough. Perhaps I am just not within the target audience for this game. But when you think about it, you have lost a sale *because* the game does not appeal to the audience I am a part of.

How about the rest of you? Do you wish the game had more depth and was more satisfying to 'explorer' types, or is it fine as is? ""
  #2  
Old November 29th, 2005, 10:43 PM

ZylonBane ZylonBane is offline
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

No mystery here. Sounds like you want the game to be BattleCruiser 3000AD instead of a quick 10-minutes-of-fun game as it was designed to be.
  #3  
Old November 29th, 2005, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

"The game felt alot like I was playing a single player board game like The game of Life, where you hop along the board and get random cards from the deck."

Thank you, this is exactly what we were going for and succeeded in doing. Weird Worlds is a coffee-break game for those who want to play something during a coffee break but cannot stomach another game of solitaire, mahjong or minesweeper. It's a short story, not a novel.

The game YOU are perhaps looking for is called Star Control 2 (there's a free remake called "Ur-Quan Masters" that I hear is good and runs on modern systems). It has the dozens-of-hours, hundreds-of-planets exploration gameplay that you want. I don't think it'd be possible to improve on SC2 for that particular kind of gameplay, and wouldn't dare to try...
  #4  
Old November 30th, 2005, 01:26 AM

jab2565 jab2565 is offline
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

Lol, I own Star control2 and I love it. That was the reason for me beat testing weird worlds. I own the original star control 2 as well, for the 3d0. You may want to escape velocity nova, it gives you a universe to explore, but there really isn't a guiding story to it.
  #5  
Old November 30th, 2005, 12:03 PM

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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

Ok, understood.

By the way, I am a huge fan of the Master of Orion series. I still play MOO2 on my laptop. Can you imagine how cool MOO2 would be if it were upgraded to Wierd World's graphics level and space battles were animated to WW's quality?

Ever consider developing a game like MOO2 using WW as a start? I'd chip in on the labor in a heartbeat if I knew someone was considering that...
  #6  
Old November 30th, 2005, 02:27 PM

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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

WW would be a poor start to a MOO game for everything -except- graphics, really..
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  #7  
Old November 30th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

Master of Orion is one of my favorite games of all time... I wasted countless hours playing it back in the day. And Rich (Ripcord O'Reilly on the forums) is a huge SC2 fan. When we originally started thinking about "Infinite Space" it's no surprise that it was going to be the biggest and most complex space 4X game ever made.

We had all those features like hundred+ star galaxies with multiple planets per star, multiple interconnected tech trees, ten races with ten ship types each ranging from fighters to two-mile-long super dreadnoughts and so on. Our planets even had several layers of different minerals you'd get access to with more advanced mining technology (core-sucking, anyone?), all kinds of stuff we all love to dream about. There's a couple of really interesting screenshots out on the net somewhere

Now, why didn't we finish this game? Several reasons. Mainly, games like MOO3 and imperium galactica 2(?) were coming out and there's no way two or three people could compete with those guys and their megabucks. Secondly the game was becoming so complex that it'd be impossible (at least for me) to write a competent AI, so it turned into a multiplayer-only title and there just aren't enough people playing these games to get together ten of them, especially given that a game might last several weeks.

So basically, it would have taken several years to complete the project and there was no way to tell if anybody would even notice it by the time it was finished, so we abandoned it. A couple of years later SAIS was born out of the work we did on "IS" using a lot of the art assets and background info etc. This time we actually did some planning and designed the game based on what we could realistically do, so it was finished before we got too tired of working on it.

It's interesting to note though, that almost all of the races, weapons and ship systems from the "big game" live on in Weird Worlds, in one way or another.
  #8  
Old November 30th, 2005, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

... some names, and 3 words:

Moo2, Moo3
Imperium Galactica 2, Imperium Galactica 3
Stars!, Stars Supernova

Space Empires 3, Space Empires 4, DominionsPPP, Dominions 2


Finish that game !
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  #9  
Old November 30th, 2005, 06:49 PM

Tanelorn Tanelorn is offline
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

Quote:
Fingers said:
Now, why didn't we finish this game? Several reasons. Mainly, games like MOO3 and imperium galactica 2(?) were coming out and there's no way two or three people could compete with those guys and their megabucks.
Well, as we all know, both those games flopped big time, and I don't think there's another MOO killer in the works anywhere. I would consider going back and re-assessing your original project. There's quite a large crowd of people who like that kind of game and wish there was a game that took everything they loved about them and put it into one bag.

In my opinion, the market is ripe for a 3rd party Master of Orion clone with 2005 technology.
  #10  
Old November 30th, 2005, 06:54 PM

jab2565 jab2565 is offline
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Default Re: Why I won\'t be buying the game - detailed repo

I would love to play another game like SC2, the only difference would be a random universe generator that would shift where all the planets and races were.
 

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