Sword Of The Stars II Engine Teaser

By Kieron Gillen on September 28th, 2010 at 7:30 pm.

The previously announced Sword of the Stars II? Well, they’ve only gone and released a trailer. HOT FOOTAGE of slowly rotating enormo-ships follow. There is nothing more PC gaming than enormous space-ships, except for terrain. Terrain remains number 1! Number 1 4EVA!

Explosions are number 3, after enormous spaceships.

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79 Comments »

  1. Antsy says:

    Its like pornography, except…spaceships.

  2. Tei says:

    There are 3 types of porn:
    – Porn.
    – Weapons porn.
    – Spaceship porn.

    Homeworld and EVE are pure space ship porn. SoTS1 space ships where like ugly shoebox, or trashcans, or something. So this change is more than wellcome.

  3. Mike says:

    *pchew* *pchew*

  4. ErikM says:

    Oh my. Is this what I’ve been waiting for since Homeworld?

  5. omicron says:

    Meh. Those aren’t that big. When designing spaceships, if you can’t at least beat the size of the Mothership, you aren’t big. Modern-day AEGIS cruiser is not big. Modern-day Carrier is not really big either. Anything less than a kilometer long barely deserves the title of “spaceship.” Heck, CRYSIS has a ship bigger than any of those – it’s over 3 kilometers long!

  6. The Codicier says:

    Sadly this is the spaceship porn equivalent of FHM lots of posing and no action.

    The first game I remember getting the epic space battle feel right was homeworld and though the ships were nice in there way it was the effects which made it for me.

    The vapor trails, glowing death beams, and missiles streaking across a background and exploding spectacularly against shimmering force fields, that’s what its all about.

    • Antsy says:

      Homeworld nailed it. Having Chris Foss design the ships was huge for me. The spaceships looked like the covers of all the awsome sci-fi book’s I devoured as a youth.

    • Urael says:

      Antsy – I don’t think anyone in the history of the world has said anything I agree with more than you just have.

    • mpk says:

      I never knew that Foss designed those ships but all of a sudden it seems insane that I didn’t notice. Chris Foss is legend.

    • Arathain says:

      The writers for Homeworld and Cataclysm worked on SOTS and are working on the sequel.

    • mootpoint says:

      @Antsy: Where did you find out that Chris Foss designed the ships in Homeworld? Wiki only says that they were inspired by him and there is no mention of Homeworld on his page. Just curious, he is pretty fab, and so was Homeworld.

    • Antsy says:

      Yeah its strange, I just had a look around and can only find reference to him inspiring the designs. Thing is I remember reading an interview with Relic about Homeworld when it was in production in which they said they had been consulting with him. Once the game was released there was no doubt where the style had come from. Wish I could remember where I read the interview now. I perhaps misread it and then accepted it as fact for all these years :(

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      HW1 and 2 rate among my top ten all time games, sadly nothing has come close to the pure visceral joy of it’s game play, narrative, and visual style. I keep going back to games of the same nature hoping to find some modern equivalent, like Sins of a Solar Empire, the X3 series or Sword of the Stars, but nothing comes close.

      On a side note, is there a way to make you-tube embedded videos start at 420p by default instead of 360?

    • mandrill says:

      Wants Homeworld III now please Relic. Show these upstarts how it should be done.

    • Rich says:

      @DigitalSignalX

      The lack of a well written and beautifully executed campaign doesn’t help.
      All the trailers and gameplay footage for Sins of a Solar Empire fooled me into thinking it had a campaign. Good job I only played the demo.

    • pupsikaso says:

      No thanks. If Relic makes Homeworld 3 you can be sure they’ll include a cover system within asteroids.
      >:(

    • Gap Gen says:

      I really liked Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. Homeworld 2 felt a bit too “build the optimum fleet and send it into battle where it will fight optimally, and all the frigates will die immediately”. Nexus was more tactial; it felt like your decisions had a major impact on how the battle played out; each ship was a mess of subsystems to take down (or else you could just rip through shields and pummel a ship to death). It’s a major shame to think that this engine could have powered a sequel to Imperium Galactica 2.

    • jsdn says:

      I feel the same way as everyone else about Homeworld, and indeed, Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has come the closest.

    • mrmud says:

      I made it about 2 hours into nexus tji before i was completely lost. Nothing I did seemed to make me able to beat the ships I was facing and I couldnt figure out what changing the different sliders actually accomplished.
      Which is a big shame because I was totally digging the atmosphere in the begining.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Antsy: that makes so much sense. Awesome coming forth from awesome.

    • Bob Moron says:

      @DigitalSignalX I think there’s a plug-in, at least for Chrome, which allows you to do just that.

  7. JonFitt says:

    Nooo! Spaceships beat terrain. Then explosions, then Big Stompy Robots.

  8. Tetragrammaton says:

    I think I broke my keyboard.

  9. Wolfox says:

    Looking good. Very good. I just hope the gameplay is at least as good as SotS 1 (+ expansions), which is, by the way, one of my favorite 4X space games ever.

    Also, the trailer shows Human, Morrigi and Hiver ships. I hope they show Liir, Zuul and Tarkan ships in a second trailer.

    • Urael says:

      Oo. Can you elaborate on that? Why is SOTS the best 4X game you’ve ever played? I’ve heard more than a couple of people say that but I don’t understand why having played it myself…

    • Wolfox says:

      Urael, I didn’t say it’s the best 4X game I’ve ever played, I said it’s one of my favorites. There are quite a few games among my favorites, and all of them are there for different reasons. Now, this is what I love about SotS 1 with the expansions (and the expansions make a HUGE difference, so if you’ve played without them, consider trying again with them):

      - fantastic tactical combat, probably the best combat of any 4X space game; things like fleet composition, formation and movement are very important
      - streamlined turn-based strategy – you don’t have to micromanage colonies, but it’s quite effective at the “macro” level
      - great lore – races are distinctive and play differently
      - good AI
      - good tech progression
      - great combat (have I mentioned that already?)

      Now, SotS isn’t as deep as, say, Space Empires 4. Its diplomacy is not as effective as the one in Galciv 2. It isn’t as epic as Distant Worlds. But it is great at what it does best – streamlined, macro turn-based strategy with focus on fleet management and real-time tactical combat. It’s very good if you play it by its strengths, and it’s fun to play. That’s what I love about it.

    • Arathain says:

      @Urael: I like the relationship between the extensive tech tree and the rest of the game. You have to make tough decisions that have a real impact on how you expand and how you fight. The ship design is elegant, simple to use, and powerful, and the options are many. There’s a huge pleasure to fielding your new, clever, up-to-date fleet and seeing how all your new designs work out.

    • Subject 706 says:

      SOTS 1s weak point was its art. It was horribly ugly, especially the racial portraits. Hope they’ve fixed it for the sequel, since it was a good game otherwise.

    • Urael says:

      Thanks for the opinions, all. Much appreciated. Well, I’ve been playing SOTS (upgraded with Argos Naval Yards) all weekend, having made a serious effort to get into and understand the things that make it so different from GalCiv 2.

      My opinion? I love it. :)

      I thought I’d miss the hands-on colony building but the joy of crafting fleets has utterly replaced that: Ship combat is enormous fun, both to plan and to watch, and I’m very much looking forward to trying out the races’ different FTL systems (I started out with the Humans). I’ll also have to bump myself up from Easy to Normal dificulty, as my first real game ended after 96 turns because everyone loved each other so much and the second is a bit…calm. Myself and the Liir have carved our 8-armed Spiral galaxy up between us and only three other races exist, hogging the sidelines, with only one of them possessing more than a handful of planets. I think it’s only my alliance with the Liir that has kept the galaxy so peaceful, but they do seem to request planets from me rather too frequently, one might almost say ‘beligerently’….

      Sign me up for the sequel – if Kerberos can improve on the GUI and game as well as the in-game rendering (I found a few things that could be done smarter or more efficiently) then this will be a Day One puchase, maybe even a pre-order. Oh, and if they’re listening, that goes DOUBLE for Northstar!

  10. pupsikaso says:

    I understand that it’s very popular with sci-fi to have holographic signs flicker to show some sort of authenticity or whatever, but I don’t understand why EVERY sign has to do that. Are they ALL broken and old? And anyway, how are they even projected in space? Sure space isn’t a complete vacuum, but there is nowhere near enough particles for anything to be projected on.

    Oh yeah, cool spaceships. Soundtrack reminds me of Homeworld.

    • Heliocentric says:

      The flickering light was on a hiver ship, insects.

      You know how bugs feel about flickering lights, right?

    • Tacroy says:

      I’m pretty sure the Terran ships had flickering hologram emblems, unless Hivers are suddenly putting mostly-naked human women on their ships :)

      Though you can make up a little story to explain it for any of the races, really. Hivers as you said, the Terrans might be going through a period of neo-retro-ultra-nostalgia design, the Tarka might say “silly human, they only flash to your eyes”, the Liir might be encoding some sort of information in the beats, the Zuul might be chewing up the power circuits, and who the hell knows what the Morrigi are doing.

  11. Heliocentric says:

    I’m hoping for more strategic compromise. Things like deploying an oversized gate as hivers which attract undue attention from various elements but allow you to make jump without a reciever gate where you can spend capacity to get longer range. Or millitary prisons for the humans which give a massive boost to xenotech but at massive diplomatic cost.

    But what i want most of all is a touch of galactic space battles.

    I want to be able to pre program units, like setting antimissile drones which only do that, or choose that first or only stay within a set range of a certain ship. Essentially, user customisable ai.

  12. TK421 says:

    Lol, ya. I was thinking the same thing about the signs (holograms… whatever). With all this awesome tech, you’d think that a non-damaged ship could have a sign that didn’t flicker.

    Oh well, I’m still lovin the visuals, and since I LOVED SotS, I’ll buy this sucker day 1.

  13. Arathain says:

    Those are flippin’ lovely. Bit of a change in look for the Morrigi, though, isn’t it? I like the simpler, more elegant flying wing design we have now. I’ll be sure to keep an open mind.

    Interestingly, SOTS has some of the most detailed background of any game I’ve ever encountered. It’s actually a trifle odd for a game which has a well pared down, limited interaction set, and a no-holds-barred galactic war setting. Reading the forums is fascinating, though. You can find out just about anything about the different races, from culture, history, diet, attitudes, and it’s all interesting, non-cliched, and in more detail than you’d ever expect.

    I’m surprised to discover about myself that one of the reasons I want the sequel is so that I can find out more.

    • Noc says:

      APPARENTLY, the SotS writers are the same folks who did the writing for Homeworld.

      You know, the game that who’s manual had (*checks*) 40 pages of background fluff on the planet that gets blown up in the fourth mission.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Third mission, and its called Return to Kharak.

      Did you know, that if you actually rescue all the life pods (a scavenger corvette rush with a few scouts to run interference can do this) the game cant handle it and the missions never ends.

    • Noc says:

      Oh, right. Third mission sounded right, but I overthought it ’cause there are two Turanic Raider missions and I thought you did both of them first.

      OOPS

    • Heliocentric says:

      There was “raiders retreat” but that was the 5th mission in the demo but didn’t exist in the game.
      http://homeworld.wikia.com/wiki/Homeworld:_Raider_Retreat

    • Hypocee says:

      Just FYI it’s not really the same ‘folks’ as wrote Homeworld, it’s the same person – Arinn Dembo. She was credited as ‘Marcus Skyler’ in Homeworld and the games journalism she did back then. And yes, she does have quite the knack, doesn’t she? Just from forum posts, basically, the Tarka, Liir and Hivers feel as close to me as if I’d read a good sci-fi trilogy – very Niven-Known-Spaceish. It’s such a pity that her only published book so far is vampire porn, but great 4X games will do. They’ll do.

    • Urael says:

      That explains that. I couldn’t believe that when I chose my races there was several paragraphs worth of well-written backstory on them, their recent history, their racial origins and their technology. Sterling work, and a pleasant surprise to find in a game these days.

  14. bakaohki says:

    Lot’s of polygons; how exciting; now, where did I put my old Macross tapes?

  15. apa says:

    How can the ships look worn at the edges, like the orange one? There should not be anything to rub them at in spaaaaaaace! Nevertheless, space ship porn works every time.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Well, there is dust and space debris. But yeah, I gave up on realism in space thingies since I saw Star Wars. Reskinned WWII dogfights are just too much fun.

  16. Noc says:

    Yeah, those are totally Homeworld Sounds! I approve of Homeworld Sounds, though. I was just thinking that that was a game I should go play again.

    SotS1 was also pretty ace, but I definitely felt that the art design was a bit goofy looking? I am pleased that this is looking genuinely pretty as well.

  17. clive dunn says:

    At work today we had to scrounge a 1970′s till as our fancy touchscreen one was on the blink. It was so bizarrely set up i had to search online for a manual of some sort. Jesus! What did i find?
    I estimate that up to 10 percent of the internet is composed of till manuals from every era. People (very sad people) spend all their time coalating these archaic books. IT WAS TILL PORN!

    • Znea says:

      Am I the only one thinking Gurren Lagann after that?

    • Znea says:

      “I’ve done everything right,” I said to myself, “I’ve checked and double-checked, there’s no way this reply can fail, all those other times were just training for this one perfect moment.” Such is the blindness of the incompetent.

      Just to clarify, my reply above this is meant for the post below by Pew.

  18. Pew says:

    Hopefully it will be a bit better than the first one. And hopefully it will have GIANT SPACESHIPS THAT TRANSFORM INTO ROBOTS THAT STOMP TERRAIN AND MAKE EXPLOSIONS… porn.

  19. Ohle says:

    Can’t wait to show this game off some more… muahahha. I love the look of the ships.

  20. Jimbo says:

    And yet space terrain is rubbish somehow. Figure that one out.

  21. Heliocentric says:

    Thats the menu ‘music’.. I think from homeworld, if not its homeworld 2.

  22. madned says:

    very funny cliffski,

    but as i think you found out, gamers mostly want semi-gratuitous battles. leave a little for the imagination yeah?
    and (stats) porn.
    can’t forget the porn.

    can’t have debris fields just clogging space up, gotta have a thinly veiled excuse for those navigation hazards.

  23. Chez says:

    Nothing was ever the same after they discovered planet DuPont. Comprised of nothing but tacky paint colors it changed the course of history.

  24. Saiko Kila says:

    SotS is one of the best space strategy games for me, better than Homeworlds or something, so it would be enough if SotS2 was only a bit better. If it will be much better – that’s only for the better. And bigger ships are always better. Anyway, I’m already mourning the hundreds of hours I’m going to sink into it.

  25. Duffin says:

    Well this is something to Klingon to. LOL!

  26. RadioactiveMan says:

    Sword of the Stars is *pretty* good… I particularly liked how the different species traveled between stars. I ended up favoring the guys who traveled very slowly on their initial transit, but could bring and establish instantaneous warp gates upon their arrival. Good times shuffling the fleet around…

    However: SotS fails to claim the crown. The greatest 4x space game has always been, and continues to be… Ascendancy! Every few years I reinstall it, just for fun.. The interface is easy, the races varied, the tech tree is apparently endless, the music is awesome, and the fan-made patch makes the AI brutally hard.

    Logic Factory even still has a website. Just taking a peak now… they seem to be working to finish a remake of Ascendancy for portable devices (Yay!). AND they hint at other secret projects ongoing- woot!

    • Vinraith says:

      and the fan-made patch makes the AI brutally hard.

      Wait wait wait, someone finally patched non-braindead AI into Ascendancy? The vanilla was comatose, the “aggressor” patch was only slightly less comatose, what’s this thing you’re talking about and where do I download it?

    • Urael says:

      I am a HUGE fan of Ascendancy. It’s an amazing game just begging to be remade or reiterated. I found out about their new project yesterday as well and was pretty stoked to see they’re working on improving the AI. I’ll drink burning napalm before buying an iPad or iPhone to play it on but there’s always a little hope they’ll backport to our humble platform. :)

  27. RadioactiveMan says:

    Vinraith, I found Aggressor challenging, particularly in a crowded large galaxy :-( The tactical battles are still pretty easy, but I thought the galactic strategy was much improved by the patch.

    Thats the one I was referring to- sorry to get your hopes up!

    • Vinraith says:

      Damn. :(

      Yeah, I’m not saying it isn’t an improvement, but it just doesn’t provide nearly enough challenge for me to make the game worth playing, and that’s a real shame. I loved Ascendancy, I’m sure I still would if it weren’t for this issue. Ah well, thanks for the clarification, and I’m glad it works so well for you! :)

      For me, it’s back to Sword of the Stars and AI War.

  28. Jon Tetrino says:

    You see I wanted to like the original SOTS, but I never could really get into it.

    I appreciate its probably entirely my fault, but for the time I played it I couldn’t get my head around what I was supposed to do. I will give it another good go, one day.

  29. robnark says:

    Lawks a mercy. I love SotS just a bit too much, and shinier artwork and more impressive ship battles are really all I could ask for. I’m moist with anticipation.

    oh, and I like the new morrigi. Always felt a lot of their ships looked a bit pancakey.

  30. Visigoth says:

    I see everyone mentioning Homeworld, but no one seems to mention Freespace 2. Sure its the wrong genre but big space ships will always remember me of that game. If i replay Homeworld, there is a 99.9% chance the next game i replay is Freespace 2. One of the best games ever!

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