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  1. #101
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    There's an interesting comparison to draw between Stardrive and Elemental, actually. Both have released or will release fairly close sequels with fairly similar premises. Both had first versions crippled with problems that were apparently unfixable in their first incarnation.

    The difference is that Elemental's standalone sequel, Fallen Enchantress, was free for all War of Magic owners. I think that's the right way to reward your fanbase for their support while still letting you drop the old design or code and start fresh. Patching out a brand new engine isn't easy, so I can understand the dev for wanting to reboot it all. It's asking for the full price for people who've made this sequel possible in the first place that I find is pushing it too far.

    EDIT: @CrunchyGremlin: worth pointing out that you brought up the economy thing, gundato never really said anything about it, and now you're using that point (which you brought up as a problem) to counter him? That makes no sense.
    Last edited by FriendlyFire; 15-04-2014 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #102
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    There's an interesting comparison to draw between Stardrive and Elemental, actually. Both have released or will release fairly close sequels with fairly similar premises. Both had first versions crippled with problems that were apparently unfixable in their first incarnation.

    The difference is that Elemental's standalone sequel, Fallen Enchantress, was free for all War of Magic owners. I think that's the right way to reward your fanbase for their support while still letting you drop the old design or code and start fresh. Patching out a brand new engine isn't easy, so I can understand the dev for wanting to reboot it all. It's asking for the full price for people who've made this sequel possible in the first place that I find is pushing it too far.

    EDIT: @CrunchyGremlin: worth pointing out that you brought up the economy thing, gundato never really said anything about it, and now you're using that point (which you brought up as a problem) to counter him? That makes no sense.
    Its a tight rope to walk, that is for sure.

    I mean, I regularly mock Obsidian for this, in part because i DO think they were kind of assholes about it and screwed over their fans over and over and over. The fans always leap to blame the publishers, but Obsidian were VERY silent, even when they were knowingly releasing broken and incomplete turds. One can argue they had NDAs and the like, but this was already into the era of sites like neogaf allowing for leaks and the like. I'm not sure if I would say they need to kneecap themselves, but it still doesn't sit quite right with me.
    Admittedly, I also backed Project Eternity within the first five hours, so I can't be TOO mad at them :p.


    Quote Originally Posted by CrunchyGremlin View Post
    But did not say in my original post anything about people buiying the game.
    You kept implying the game was not as buggy as it is... in a thread about "what game should I buy". Apologies if I misinterpreted that

    The facts you were toting were that game doesnt have a publisher and that blah blah blah is inexcusable.
    Does it? I checked the steam page and it looks like the developer and publisher are the same, which implies that the dev is his own boss. If I am mistaken I am all for letting the fans blame the publisher, since that is what Obsidian is founded on and I like most of their games :p

    You toting that a lot 4x games are made in a garage.
    Dominions series, Space Empires series, and probably anything else published by Shrapnel. The 4x genre is one that is largely defined by very small groups of developers doing amazing things (mostly because graphics aren't a concern, at all).
    You saying that $17k is more than most devs have for making a game.
    Apologies, I thought context would handle that but I am mistaken.

    I am referring to indie devs, where shoestring budgets and having to do everything out of pocket and "make it back later" is the norm. This was kickstarted and the guy basically got 17 grand "for free".

    And then you will not back up your own "facts" without falling back on the tired excuses of "i dont have to" here are google lists from 6 months ago.
    You didn't read my last post, did you?

    We can argue about your galciv refernce but galciv was also hard to finish. The game is often over long before its finished.
    That is the biggest issue in SD's end game. Its just inflated due to some of the difficulties in managing the game.
    The difference is that, at least as of the first expansion (possibly launch, but I didn't have GalCiv2 until the first expansion :p), the game was very stable and tended to not fall apart upon reaching endgame. Stardock USED to be very good at releasing polished and quality games :P

    Again, you keep pointing out other games are "bad". That is your prerogative (you are wrong on GalCiv 2 though, cause I am a fanboy :p), and I really don't care. What I care about is misrepresenting the technical quality of a game. The actual facts, as it were.
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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caddybear View Post
    I've read your blog posts about it, and I liked them. You should get back to blogging about games. 2 years isn't too much :P
    I do mean to get back to blogging games I stopped when my youngest was getting demanding (Linguistics fans now know I have at least 3 children) but never lost a desire to do it.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  4. #104
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    Why argue when you can simply load up MOO2 and still have a grand time!

    Bomber fleet, launch all bombers!

  5. #105
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    I played Eador MotBW a little bit (meaning, dozens of hours or so) and I am horribly conflicted. On one hand, the game is much more than a HOMM clone it looked like and vastly better in some respects. On the other hand, the design seems imbalanced later on and things take much more time than they should. I am playing the campaign, and after conquering half a dozen worlds I am still using basic units over and over again. I always hoped it is just a start, but from what I read, the devs did not really balance the higher tier units very well, making them prohibitively expensive and resulting in most games being finished with Tier 1. Heroes are quite unbalanced too, with fighter becoming an unstoppable juggernaut of destruction by level 10.

    I do like a lot of ideas that went into the game, though, like exploration and I love how it prevents the worst flaw of HOMM - stacking units over time. No 36 dragons sitting on the last city just because you went sightseeing too much.

  6. #106
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    I do mean to get back to blogging games I stopped when my youngest was getting demanding (Linguistics fans now know I have at least 3 children) but never lost a desire to do it.
    It's been two years since that game?
    Time flies.

  7. #107
    Right and most of those games built on a shoestring budget look like there were built on a shoestring budget. SD doesnt look like that graphically. It has a lot of art work in it and some pretty nice graphics.

    When you load the game is says iceberg interactive. its hard to miss.
    on the steam page it says publisher iceberg.
    "Publisher:Iceberg Interactive"
    Its hard to miss.

    And of those 4x you listed with all of their own bugs and weirdness which of those compares to stardrives combat system?
    There arent any.
    There arent any well funded 4x games that has a combat/design system nearly as detailed that is as easy to grasp.

    Directional damage. Individual directional component damage. individual shield components covering areas of the ship i choose. Exploding parts. Chain reaction explosions. nothing i have seen has this detail and to boot its fairly simple to grasp. Ship experience. Individual fighters. That part of the game to me is simply magnificent to watch.

    I was not using the economy to reneg your argument i was clarifying what the issue in the economy i thought was that you took as being a bug.

    You are still not being an honest person with me here.
    i did not say galactic civ was bad. I said it suffers from the same issue as SD does and a lot of 4x games do in that the game is over long before its finished.

    I liked galactic civ as well. I dont think it was as good as moo2 considering the time frame. It was good but hardly a next step in 4x games. it was just done with better graphics and some finer touches on a very old design theme.

    Nor is this thread about "BUYING" a 4x game. its "So what's the 4X crowd playing these days?"

    The thing with SD is that it has the element of what these 4x games will be. There are several examples of this. distant worlds. SINS. SD gets this conceptually right in all areas it just doesnt bring it to it full potential.
    Which is a shame.

    But again this is primarily a one guy game made with a shoestring budget. If you look at the game from that standpoint its not a terrible game. Its just too much for one guy to do on $17k dollars in the time allotted with the resources available and i have to applaud that effort. Not condem the dev because his PR skills are shitty, PR is a full time job in companies, or jump all over his shit because he hasnt made the game perfect yet.

    The difference between SD and something like elemental is that elemental was made by a real company with multiple devs and real money. In addition although SD had a lot of issues it could be finished and was for a while getting a lot of active work on the game post release.

    Its unfortunate that the dev has greatly reduced the amount of work he put in to the game and its unfortunate that some of the extra work he did put into the game later was in the wrong area.
    the "hardcore" pre-warp mode.
    Its unfortunate that he does not get it that all he needs to do to make the game well rounded is just a little bit of work int he right areas.

    All the stuff in my code mod and a little bit more.

    Thats it. And it might get there. Then it would be a, not just passable, but a decent 4x with an excellent combat/design system. It would be a contender in the 4x realm.
    As it is it just has potential and is a conceptual example of what a modern 4x should be.

  8. #108
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Publishing on steam is often not done by the actual publisher, this might sound illogical but developers often refuse to concede steam sale profits to the publisher.
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  9. #109
    In the case of iceberg, they had a rep on talking about their contracts, they do take profits and they financially penalize game devs for not releasing on time.

    IMHO this is why some of the recent Iceberg games get released in less than ideal state. Endless space and some others.

  10. #110
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrunchyGremlin View Post
    Right and most of those games built on a shoestring budget look like there were built on a shoestring budget. SD doesnt look like that graphically. It has a lot of art work in it and some pretty nice graphics.
    So we would rather a pretty, but non-functional, game over a functional, but not pretty, game? ;p

    When you load the game is says iceberg interactive. its hard to miss.
    on the steam page it says publisher iceberg.
    "Publisher:Iceberg Interactive"
    Its hard to miss.
    Fair enough, I apparently had a brainfart and looked up Star Ruler. So feel free to blame the publisher for the dev releasing a piece of shit, all us Obsidian fans do :p

    That being said: WHY THE FUCK IS THIS SELLING FOR 30 DOLLARS?!?!?!?! Star Ruler, which is as ambitious (and mostly functional) is going for 15.

    You are still not being an honest person with me here.
    You keep saying this without providing any evidence. Is this a really weak ad hominem? At least call me a shill or argumentative or something.

    i did not say galactic civ was bad. I said it suffers from the same issue as SD does and a lot of 4x games do in that the game is over long before its finished.
    No. Please stop misrepresenting this.

    GalCiv2 allegedly suffers from a weak endgame (I strongly disagree, but it is possible to fuck yourself horribly and get wiped out). Stardrive suffers from an unplayable endgame. GalCiv 2 you might stop because you are steamrolling or you can't win. Stardrive you stop because the game is crashing every time you try to complete a turn. HUGE difference

    Nor is this thread about "BUYING" a 4x game. its "So what's the 4X crowd playing these days?"

    ...
    ...

    You know what, I feel enough pity that I won't point out the question of "Why would someone ask that?". But either way, there are people who have decided to grab Distant Worlds and ENdless Space in this thread, so people are using it for that

    But again this is primarily a one guy game made with a shoestring budget. If you look at the game from that standpoint its not a terrible game. Its just too much for one guy to do on $17k dollars in the time allotted with the resources available and i have to applaud that effort. Not condem the dev because his PR skills are shitty, PR is a full time job in companies, or jump all over his shit because he hasnt made the game perfect yet.
    I condemn the dev because he knowingly released a buggy piece of shit, is still selling it at comparatively high rates, claimed to abandon it once, is outsourcing the debugging to his fans, and is just trying to cash in on a sequel.

    If you can't do something in the budget you have, you scale back. You don't release a broken title. Again, Obsidian. As much as I love to mock them, they at least tend to release buggy, but solid, games. They just end at the 75% mark. They may suck at time management, but they at least make sure that what they sell IS (mostly :p) playable, even if the super awesome battle between the Sith Lords happened entirely offscreen.

    The difference between SD and something like elemental is that elemental was made by a real company with multiple devs and real money. In addition although SD had a lot of issues it could be finished and was for a while getting a lot of active work on the game post release.
    No, the key difference, as has been pointed out, is that the lead developer of Elemental owned up to his mistakes and took the blame. And they did their best to make it up to the fans.

    Stardock put the fans first (after releasing a turd). The Star Drive dev decided to say "fuck it" and make a sequel (although, he apparently realized that is NOT at all acceptable and is now outsourcing development work to the fans... so yay?)

    Thats it. And it might get there. Then it would be a, not just passable, but a decent 4x with an excellent combat/design system. It would be a contender in the 4x realm.
    As it is it just has potential and is a conceptual example of what a modern 4x should be.
    And nobody is denying that. But you don't buy something for the potential (nobody check my post history :p), and you don't mislead people by saying "it is just so and so's opinion that there are bugs". You own up to it.

    Our Sots2 "apologists" own up to the fact that the game is buggered. I like Stardock and like Fallen ELementalist, but I am not going to pretend it is perfect.


    Again, if you want to talk about the interesting concepts, feel free. They are great. But don't pretend the game works or that all the bugs are just because we don't like the game or whatever. And understand that even if your (un)official patch makes it work perfectly, a lot of us REALLY don't want to give that developer a single penny, and that we feel strongly enough to remind people that the guy is a shithead.

    Also, consider looking in to the Space Empires series. Very similar ship design and I think some of them DID do location-based damage reduction to a degree. I just don't recommend the series since it is way too inconsistent (SE4 has features SE3 didn't have and SE5 doesn't have... yeah).
    Last edited by gundato; 15-04-2014 at 09:59 PM.
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  11. #111
    Speaking of space 4x, sidestepping the pointless debate about SD [ to gundato: you won't get anywhere, he is obviously too emotionally invested in the game to recognize facts ] ; how about GalCiv3? It looks to be a better Galciv2 with updated graphics and better AI and more options? Will Stardock let us down again? Why do I dislike Elemental's ( and expansions/derivatives, I guess ) graphics so much?

    Also there is the fantasy 4x from the Endless Space guys which looks okay. I mean, they have been promising a lot but I wasn't the greatest fan of Endless Space which I found to be utterly soulless but very pretty ( reminds me of my girlfriend, come to think of it ) so I'm not too excited about it.

    I should also mention Civ V with all the expansions is a lot of fun but the AI is still about as smart as my cat. Which is an improvement because it used to be as smart as my chair at release.

    On the discussion front, I think people's rose tinted nostalgia glasses about Master of Magic or Master of Orion 2 are hurting the genre more than they are helping it. It feels like there is some kind of belief that these games were perfect and every new game should be compared to them. Which is fine and all, we humans love comparing things but the comparisons are mostly immaterial and have no basis on facts.

    I've seen a lot of people saying "ooh but Master of Magic was very well balanced and all races and units were equal." One word: Paladins.

  12. #112
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    I pre-ordered GalCiv 3, but didn't get the super bundle so I don't know yet. My thoughts are that there is a good chance Stardock will fuck up, but this is something where they can literally re-release GC2 and I will be happy (and signs say they might have...).

    And I am really looking forward to Endless Fantasy. Endless Space is fun, but the mechanics just seem slightly "off" and feel more suited toward a traditional fantasy map
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  13. #113
    The point where we completely differ and was the original point i was making with you is that game can be completed without crashing every 5 minutes as you say.

    The game can be functionally completed. It suffers from managerial concepts not so much functional concepts. It does have a memory issue and if you play on a huge map the game will run out of memory when you start getting to large number of ships.

    The point i made there is that the dev put efforts in to fix that and has reduced this effect in addition if you play with my mod and bump the maintenance costs this goes down even further and improves the late game perf. My mod is not a reason to buy the game. But it may help people that have the game enjoy it more.

    You point that game can not be completed reasonably due to functional issues is currently false and I assume your take on that is based on the game 6 months ago or longer. There are still memory issues and this has to do with the fact that the game engine its built on sunburn which uses XNA and XNA was dropped by microsoft leaving game developers that used it in a bind. Especially game designers on low budgets under contracts. The dev was pretty clear on this in his forums saying that look I cant keep working on this game with the resources i have. I have to replace the whole engine. I dont know but i assume that to get more money from iceberg he had to make a new game or already was on contract for a new game.

    Even so I finished the game before it had the current improvements which include performance fixes and memory fixes and tweaks. It did not crash every 5 minutes. It did crash a few times but it was not to the point of frustration nor unrecoverable on a normal sized map. The lag however at that time was pretty bad. Its a lot better now. Like i said even better with my mod.

    The cost of the game... Get it on sale. I agree with that. its only going to be worth $30 bucks to people that really dig it and they wont know that until they play it. For me it was worth $30 bucks. over 100 hours of game play that to me did not suck is well worth $30 bucks.

    Star ruler and some others have some of the RTS 4X components of SD but 1 dont look as good and 2 are no where near as easy to grasp. Last i played SR was some time ago so that may be different now.
    Last edited by CrunchyGremlin; 15-04-2014 at 10:35 PM.

  14. #114
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrunchyGremlin View Post
    The point where we completely differ and was the original point i was making with you is that game can be completed without crashing every 5 minutes as you say.
    Oh, that's great
    The game can be functionally completed. It suffers from managerial concepts not so much functional concepts. It does have a memory issue and if you play on a huge map the game will run out of memory when you start getting to large number of ships.
    ...
    ...

    Got it, stick to tiny maps and very small armies. That sounds like EXACTLY what I do when I play a 4x game

    The point i made there is that the dev put efforts in to fix that and has reduced this effect in addition if you play with my mod and bump the maintenance costs this goes down even further and improves the late game perf. My mod is not a reason to buy the game. But it may help people that have the game enjoy it more.
    That's great, but just don't misrepresent the game as fully functional and awesome

    What I propose is the following: We stop discussing this because you seem incapable of understanding there is a difference between a buggy game and a bad game. So just stop saying the game is fully functional and all that crap and I will have no need to correct you for the sake of protecting other people from becoming "poor mother fuckers".
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  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by Caddybear View Post
    Speaking of space 4x, sidestepping the pointless debate about SD [ to gundato: you won't get anywhere, he is obviously too emotionally invested in the game to recognize facts ] ; how about GalCiv3? It looks to be a better Galciv2 with updated graphics and better AI and more options? Will Stardock let us down again? Why do I dislike Elemental's ( and expansions/derivatives, I guess ) graphics so much?

    Also there is the fantasy 4x from the Endless Space guys which looks okay. I mean, they have been promising a lot but I wasn't the greatest fan of Endless Space which I found to be utterly soulless but very pretty ( reminds me of my girlfriend, come to think of it ) so I'm not too excited about it.

    I should also mention Civ V with all the expansions is a lot of fun but the AI is still about as smart as my cat. Which is an improvement because it used to be as smart as my chair at release.

    On the discussion front, I think people's rose tinted nostalgia glasses about Master of Magic or Master of Orion 2 are hurting the genre more than they are helping it. It feels like there is some kind of belief that these games were perfect and every new game should be compared to them. Which is fine and all, we humans love comparing things but the comparisons are mostly immaterial and have no basis on facts.

    I've seen a lot of people saying "ooh but Master of Magic was very well balanced and all races and units were equal." One word: Paladins.
    Or death knights or whatever they were. No master of magic was not well balanced and was full of bugs. Its more of an at the time comparision and just the fun of play more than anything else. Moo2 compared to galciv2 taking into account the date it was made.
    For some reason FE just doesnt really do it for me nor warlock but id say warlock was a little more fun.

    I tried playing Moo2 recently and i just cant. The graphics and interface are just no where near as good as galciv is now. but at the time it was excellent. Galciv just isnt as excellent for it time. Its a good game its just i played moo2. I get it. the format has been done.

    Please understand i dont really care about people opinion of SD. you like it you dont like. whatever. But when you start spreading misinformation about the game i do take issue with that.

    This has happened a lot with the game and its not "right"

  16. #116
    Again that is not what i said.
    You have a real issue talking because you simply do not want to hear anything but what your opinion is and you change and twist words or spread misinformation based on your faulty knowledge and perhaps your desire to just "win" the argument.

    Thats really a shame. I wouldn't trust your opinion of a game with a 10' pole as you seem to have a real problem with the truth.
    Last edited by CrunchyGremlin; 15-04-2014 at 10:49 PM.

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Stardrive was "space bears with a shitty game that isn't playable to completion but the dev will never fix it", right?
    This was your inflated opinionated comment.
    Which i replied to nicely stating it could be completed and was still getting patches.

    Then you said the devs an asshole with no excuse for not having a publisher and then blew off my statement as being able to be completed as bullshit.

    Then i said hey thats fine have your opinion and then you dug further.

    Again when i ask you what your issues are you dont list any but make links to old reviews and lists. Some of which are still accurate. You say i listed them all and then turn around say "Dont say how awesome and functional the game is"

    It seems to me that you just want to hear your right and paint a picture of my words that are twisted and misunderstood.

    Take that to heart my friend. You argue like you are on the internet. :p

  18. #118
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    I liked Stardrive. For about the 10 hours I put into it. Personally, I didn't have that many issues with slow performance or crashes lategame. Although I suffered from the audiobug, which has since been fixed. I really loved the character of the game, something a game like Endless Space lacks entirely in my opinion. ES is almost a hyper stylized excel sheet with about as much flair and atmosphere to me. I felt reminded of MoO3 while playing ES to be honest.
    On the flipside Stardrive lacks the slick and intuitive user interface of endless space. However, Stardrive just didn't capture my interest for long. I felt I've seen everything after about 10 hours and the story events, well really just a singular event, didn't quite satisfy. In the end, it was a game that I thought was okay but in dire need of more content, on all fronts.

    Also about claims of the Developer grabbing the money and running, everytime I look into the Steamforum, I see a recent update thread. Doesn't look like a grab and run operation to me, but I never quite followed the Drama around that game to begin with.

    Ultimately, none of the recent 4X really satisfied me. Neither Endless Space, nor Stardrive, not Galactic Civ, not Star Ruler and just about any other of their ilk. With the exception of Distant Worlds, I've probably played them all. Probably. And Distant Worlds is said to be the best, but I'll wait and see if the planned Universe Edition is a bit more reasonably priced.

  19. #119
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    I've been playing Imperium Galactica 2. I've tried others, but as far as space is concerned, i havent found one better than this. It's got amazing spy and diplomacy aspects, space and ground battles, simcity style colony management, 3 cinematic campaigns, 7 or 8 playable races, it's real time with pause and three speeds, random events during the game, ship and tank designer, trading, great interface, good music and skirmish and random maps.

    I've got the original big box and i'm playing the game on my laptop, good times.

  20. #120
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    Oh yeah, Imperium Galactica 2. Joyous was the day I found out they ported it to IOS. Many tears were had when it consistently crashed later in the game. Still, a great game. I remember playing it in LAN parties back in the day and the multiplayer desynched really hard. The game had the odd habit of interpolating desync with AI takeover. So the games kept drifting more and more apart until there was a point where we were still in the same game but had enditrely different systems, tech and military control.

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