Endless Space Devs Reveal Dungeon Of The Endless

By Nathan Grayson on August 13th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

What's behind the door? I bet it's not monsters. It's never monsters.

Space is ever-expanding. It is, for all intents and purposes, endless. Thus, when Amplitude asserted as much with much-loved 4x strategy Endless Space, I was totally on board. “Space? Endlessness?” I said. “Yep, all checks out. Looks like I won’t have to get the Title Police involved after all. You folks behave yourselves now, ya hear?” And then I strolled off into the hungry hills, ever vigilant for a new entry in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. But dungeons? Those can’t just go on forever. I mean, it’d defeat the purpose. Why lock some doer of grievous wrongs up in a never-ending expanse? “You are hereby confined to infinity. There are no limits on what you can accomplish. Good luck, sucker.” I might just have to let Dungeon of the Endless off the hook, though, because of reasons. Mainly, it looks pretty great – even if we don’t know a whole lot about it yet.

It appears to be a retro dungeon-crawl-type thing, potentially with multiplayer and a few slimy tendrils of terror. The aesthetic is a pretty huge shift away from Endless Space’s pseudo-realistic (though still nicely colorful) stylings, but it looks very attractive all the same.

For now, Amplitude is saying – oh hey, this is nice – nothing! Instead, it’s just drumming up interest in a big Gamescom blowout with a cryptic, not particularly original “What’s behind the door” social media campaign. So that’s annoying. I can’t say I’m not interested, though. I guess that means Amplitude’s strategy kinda worked? Or maybe it’s just that Endless Space was really good, and all this teasing silliness was never necessary in the first place. Oh well.

We’ll know more very soon. Until then, speculate about what’s #behindthedoor #wooOOOooooOOO #hashtag or something I guess.

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49 Comments »

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  1. Juan Raigada says:

    Between this and Sword of the Stars: the Pit, I guess the new cool thing for 4X developers is to do roguelike spin-offs?

    This is weird.

    • Alien426 says:

      It made me think of scifi games going fantasy like Sins Of A Dark Age, the successor to Sins Of A Solar Empire.

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      RedViv says:

      My exact thoughts yesterday. It’s very odd.

    • mouton says:

      I love SotS:The Pit, so no complaints here.

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      cpt_freakout says:

      It’s OK, but what would be great would be if these little games integrated with the 4x one. Maybe even added as a multiplayer feature? You play in someone’s session of Endless Space? I think that would be cool.

    • jpvg says:

      Take a look at existing roguelikes, it’s a relatively untapped market for small to medium sized devs. I don’t think you need to search any further for an explaination.

  2. Shaun239 says:

    The Pit was made out of necessity though – Kerberos are on their last legs. I imagine this is just a labor of love for Amplitude.

    • frightlever says:

      I picked up the Pit somewhere recently (I can’t even remember where) because I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Hoping it’s good, but it still won’t forgive them for Fort Zombie.

  3. DHP says:

    Horrible misunderstanding…the rescue team, on hearing no noises inside, assumed all crew were unconscious or worse and in need of immediate medical attention. They decided to use the battering ram of life as is customary in that part of the universe. They were not expecting to be shot at, and now the crew are punished in the famed endless dungeons the planetary law enforcement is renowned for inflicting upon the slightest weapons infringements.

  4. belgand says:

    Since when is Endless Space “really good” and “much loved” rather than “middling” and “kind of OK, but it’s been done better several times already”?

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      IMO No space 4x has ever done planetary management as well as, or in quite the same way as, Endless Space does it. Also, it has some great little bits of charming sci-fi in its backstory. I’d have preferred it if they completely did away with the hands on combat though and had a completely abstract representation of space war which meant no micromanagement of fleets or ships. Also the research tree at first seems flat and soulless – but when you really get into it there’s some great sci-fi there too. They just really don’t need so many “filler” techs. I’m looking forward to seeing a more personal game set in the same universe.

      • twig_reads says:

        Try as I might, I never have loved automatic combat. That’s what killed Dominions 3 for me. It has so many interesting things going on but the moment the combat starts, I’m totally disinterested. Maybe HoMM, Age of Wonders and Master of Magic/Orion have ruined me but automated combat just makes me feel like I have no control over my armies. And I’ve tried to give Dominions more chances but it always ends in a heartbreak.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          My suggestion would not be automatic combat, it already sort of has that – you can just click through all the battles. But you can’t avoid the tedium of it all. My approach would just be to have wars represented in a completely abstract way, perhaps by choosing the point you wish to attack or defend and then diverting a portion of your FIDS to the war effort, or peacetime defence. Let manual control of spaceships be for exploration and expansion only. Alternatively, have a much more detailed combat system but limit each player to 1 capital ship per system.

      • mouton says:

        I have already forgotten how Endless Space does planetary management. So there.

        I admit it is quite hard to do well. Would have to think hard what game did it well, if any.

      • hurleybird says:

        Endless Space doesn’t have good planetary management. It has typical 4x planetary management with a slightly better interface. The king of planetary management is MoO 1 — all of the depth, none of the micro.

    • Yuela says:

      Playing a few hours of Endless Space just reminded me of how much I love Master of Orion 2 so I ended up just playing that instead. Many have tried, yet none have succeeded in replacing MOO in my heart.

      • frightlever says:

        Ever play a modded version of Space Empires IV? NB IV not V. V is loathsome.

        Endless Space was okay but kinda dull. The Endless Space UI and the Star Drive combat might have made for a fun game. I dunno.

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        JamesTheNumberless says:

        I just don’t find the MOO games as enjoyable. For the same reason I never really got into GalCiv. I guess I would take more charm and atmosphere and focus on the space opera, over more micromanagement and gameplay systems. Until Endless Space my favourite 4x space game was the original PC version of Ascendancy – I think endless Space was the spiritual successor I’d been waiting for.

        I don’t get hung up on things like not being able to have multiple races colonize different planets in the same system – because that would change the excellent system/planetary management mechanics – which I think are the one thing that the game does perfectly.

        I do love to be able to completely design and customize my ships (and give them longer names à la Iain M. Banks – RIP) but not if I have to do if for 1000 of them, and not if they become obsolete 10 turns later.

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        Andy_Panthro says:

        I also love MOO2.

        No other similar games have the same appeal to me, for whatever reason.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      It’s my favorite 4X

    • Laurentius says:

      Not too mention ES has terrible pacing. Ok i know that i can change victory conditions but since they are there i don’t see why should I ? Generally game ends when things start to get interesting. Almost all plantes colonized, four of five strong empires controls majority of galaxy and when you are ready to switch from expanding to warmongering for domination, bam someone completes end game condition, and it has to be you or you will loose otherwise.

  5. Dariune says:

    Got to say I ididn’t think Endless Space was all that.

    Everything, other than the interface, seemed a bit half hearted,

    The research was functional but dull.
    The Colony management was functional but … dull.
    The combat was … ok I guess.
    The ship designer was functional … but dull.

    I really didn’t like it as much as RPS did.

    IMO the only space 4x game which has given me a lot of fun in recent years was Distant Worlds.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I’m really interested in that game but it’s so expensive with all the expansions – is the base game good on it’s own merit?

      • Dariune says:

        That’s actually a harder question to answer than it might sound.

        Yes the base game is good. It has a hugely steep learning curve which I imagine a lot of people will bounce off of.

        However the rewards for sticking it are well worth it.

        The base game is good. Actually it is excellent but it does become frustrating in some areas (Such as research being frustrating and borders being hazy)

        The add-ons fix these issues as well as adding a little more character to the game.

        Your right. It is expensive. Too expensive for a video game. But the game is IMO much better than it’s recent peers.

        Hope that helps :)

        • Sheng-ji says:

          It does, yes! Thankyou, I think I’ll grab the base game and think about the expansions down the road.

    • frightlever says:

      Your best bet is to keep an eye out for next time they release an expansion because the base game usually gets a temporary price cut. No idea if they’re putting out another expansion and the last one isn’t that old so it could be quite a wait.

      EDIT should be a Sheng-ji, but that’s kinda obvious.

    • mouton says:

      Yeah, I found Endless Space quite lackluster. Most elements were adequate, but it just wasn’t interesting very much.

  6. hotmaildidntwork says:

    Why is there light shining in beneath the outer door of a spacecraft? That raises a variety of concerns about structural integrity…

    • Pheeze says:

      Structural integrity? The ship just crash landed and is clearly in a right state!

      • Lone Gunman says:

        Pheeze wins here

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          ::examines corpse:: Look, the head comes right off! And there’s all this fluid everywhere that probably would be better off inside. Terribly poorly designed these humans, terribly.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        All well and fair, but can you explain to me why the airtight door has separated from the frame at the bottom, all along the bottom, and *just* the bottom??

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          Probably in order to create suspense in the scene. The ship was carefully designed by Hollywood set builders who wanted everything to behave just right in case a dramatic situation arose.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            I suppose every space empire does need to have its priorities straight.

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    Gap Gen says:

    Has RPS pitched a tie-in game, Endless Horace?

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Horace, the endless… Endless space… Horatio… Hmm

    • The Random One says:

      Actually Horace made this game. And lives in outer space. See the “Endless Space Devs” in the headline? Horace is the endless space dev.

  8. Tei says:

    I really like the vectorial/pixel art graphics of the intro. Not much else is show :D

  9. guygodbois00 says:

    Love the graphics, but do show more to get me interested, please.

  10. Turkey says:

    Although the title has “dungeon” in it, i hope doesn’t just consist of caves and ancient ruins. It would be cool with a little surface action. Maybe a jungle or something.

  11. crinkles esq. says:

    I really hope this is a sci-fi roguelike – and not in the frenetic action Teleglitch way, but a true turn-based affair. Operation Thunderbolt is still my favorite roguelike. Though I’d settle for a sci-fi RPG also…

    • KirbyEvan says:

      I personally liked Teleglitch so much more than The Pit.

      Being a fan of SOTS’s universe, I thought I was going to like The Pit a lot better than I did, but I just kept on comparing the game to the, (in my opinion) superior Dungeons of Dredmor and DoomRL.

      Teleglitch however was like a beautiful mixture of roguelikes and Doom and it made resource management fun and stressful.

  12. Hanaar says:

    Notice how it says “Oh Shit” when the coat on the espace pod is being burnt off by the heat!

  13. Phasma Felis says:

    Oh mah Gawd, dem pixels.

    That art style basically is delicious candy. We’ll see if the game looks as good–no-brainer purchase for me if so.