Also In Space News…

whooooosh, etc
The Elite IV piece reminded me that the latest version of Evochron Legends just came out. Not many changes in this version, but I thought it was worth mentioning because this is a game that actually includes a lot of the stuff people mention when they ask for a new Elite game, including the capacity for multiplayer in a freeform universe – a feature that we don’t often get to see in action. Anyway, the full-game installer acts as a demo so you can check it out.

Man, I fancy a big old RPS game of this. Let’s get our Warband explorations up to a gallop first, though, eh? Sign thee up.

31 Comments

  1. Paxeh says:

    Yay, flying in space.

    Now here’s to hoping this game supports the newer joysticks. X3 doesn’t even like my multi axes super setup. Throttle, rudder pedals and stick.

  2. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Oook! You totally got me interested!
    Downloading…

    EDIT: Yey, for single-player!

    • Premium User Badge

      DollarOfReactivity says:

      Got me, too. Sounds like it’s worth a try… feel like I’m missing out having played Privateer but not Elite.

  3. Al3xand3r says:

    Not a very good series, every game is essentially like the last one with a few new quirks but mostly all the same issues. Control isn’t great, planet surfaces are ugly, and the game runs weird even on a dual core system with a powerful GPU despite being somewhat older. He should just sell this one for a couple years and actually try to improve the next one in meaningful ways, from the controls and options to the engine.

  4. Javier-de-Ass says:

    love these. many great improvements over renegades in legends. definitely agree with Al3xand3r that Vice should take more time with his next game and redo a lot of the underlying engine/systems stuff though

  5. amishmonster says:

    That space station looks a lot like the ones in Hegaemonia: Legions of Iron. Odd. Cool style to potentially mimic, though.

  6. Mario Figueiredo says:

    EDIT: Ok, I really think this one heck of a game for me! After what I read ion their website about the game features and from the very little I went through in the tutorials I think this is it! What in hell have I been doing that I never knew of this before? Thanks a bunch, Jim!

    One note:
    The game may throw you a Runtime Error: 10 when you try to start the tutorials. It threw one on me. I went to their website and there’s this post. It doesn’t help me much. I am not using any of those anti-virus (thank goodness for that), neither it makes much sense since it is a very rare occurrence indeed for an anti-virus runtime DLL to adversely affect an executable it hooks itself to.

    Anyways, it however hints you into what the problem may be. Just go to the properties of the game shortcut and set it to Run As Administrator on the Compatibility tab if you are using Windows 7 (or Vista). Voilá.

    • Caiman says:

      I found Evochron Legends very hard to get into, but it was worth it. The tutorial is fairly poor, but if you can persevere with it the game opens up and really does deliver the best Elite-like experience I’ve played for years (and I’ve played most of ’em). The combat is excellent once you learn a few tactics and manoeuvres, but the best part for me is the feeling of exploration. There are lots of very cool easter eggs out there, some spectacular planets, and a few odd anomalies.

      I also appreciate that the developer (who is doing this alone) tries very hard to update the game and implement various suggestions from the forums. It’s not quite a AAA title in terms of production values, but it’s a good effort and really the best we’ve got right now as space sim nuts.

  7. Phoshi says:

    How’s this compare to X3:Reunion? There’s a game I really, really wanted to love, but could just never get into it. I wanted to do more ship designing, and be a proper merc (Trading was done awesomely, but that’s not very exciting. Kept me in funds, though) rather than “Hey your fighter has a gun on it, go take out this hardened pirate base” stuff. Actually, is there anything better than X3? Or any mods to make it particularly better? Because it’s a genre I really, really want to love.

    • jonfitt says:

      X3 always seemed a bit soulless to me. It was partly the way the sectors were all just a floaty collection of cut-paste stuff and portals in random space, and probably partly due to the fact that I probably didn’t get into the later fun stuff.
      I couldn’t progress far in the missions due to lack of quicksave and having to replay long boring trips with hard endings. So instead I took up trading, but found that more like a fiddly Tycoon game.

      I heard better things about X3:TC, but it came too late.

    • Phoshi says:

      So after playing the demo, I don’t think so. Spent 5 minutes not knowing where to go, tried the jump drive which dropped me about 5cm above a planet, fell into it’s atmosphere, crash landed, then set a target and hit autopilot, which caused me to fly up 15 meters before smashing myself into the ground. Possibly just a bad first experience.

    • Dr Snofeld says:

      I was in the same boat. Wanted so badly to love Reunion but just could not get into it. Recently I was convinced to get X3: Terran Conflict, and that one just clicked, for some reason, in a way Reunion didn’t.

    • dadioflex says:

      jonfitt – you buy salvage insurance in X3 which acts like a quick save, so you don’t have to rely on auto-saving when you dock.

    • Nesetalis says:

      the biggest problem with X3 really is the fact that its more work than play.. nothing in it spectacularly stands out.. everything is just “good”
      its combat is mediocre.. in a fighter its difficult.. especially since you never know what you are going to go up against… in a M6 or so.. it starts getting easy.. (atleast until you run in to M2s and what not)

      Trade… its a piss poor system they built.. it works if you automate it, but manually doing it.. half the time you buy something for cheap, then find you cant sell ti for any decent price within 30 sectors.. and then when you find a place that has a demand.. that usually means the place that supplies it is very far away.. if you /know/ where to get some.. you might get back to the place that needs it before some random space trader fulfils the demand..

      missions in X3 were abysmal. very buggy to start with.. and were lowest priority in the patches it seemed.

      X3:TC on the other hand, did one primary thing that made it very playable… added a better random mission system.. easy to find them, and easy to earn money from them. That made the game more immersive.. I actually enjoyed X3:TC.

  8. Mr_Day says:

    “Man, I fancy a big old RPS game of this.”

    Dear Jim.

    Please set this up, I would very much enjoy it. I would set it up myself, but the last time I tried organisational crap I ended up re-packing ships in a corp hangar and feeling very bad.

    hugs and kisses:
    Day.

    PS – I am very sorry about re-packing all the ships in the corp hangar.

  9. DarkNoghri says:

    Speaking of Big Old RPS Games, whatever happened to Air Buccaneers? I was under the impression there were server issues that were being worked on, and then never heard anything again.

  10. jonfitt says:

    For a second I considered the possibility of Space News. How would that even work with the quantity of content to get through?
    Would you have regional space news which covered your galactic arm, with a round up of the galaxy’s top stories, perhaps mentioning intergalactic events?

    • jonfitt says:

      Bah, you can tell the news is based in Andromeda, they hardly ever mention the supernovae crisis in the crab nebula.

  11. PHeMoX says:

    Evochron Legends? That series has always been craptastic. I haven’t actually noticed a lot of improvements ever since the first few games.

    It’s why I prefer X3 over it any day. If you want a new kind of Elite experience, you’ll either end up playing X3 (actually X:Beyond the Frontier did a few things best, X3 is mostly prettier and bigger) or that space MMO EVE online.

    Evochron Legends doesn’t come close to how Elite or the earlier X games made me feel.

    • PHeMoX says:

      It seems I’ve missed a bit of their progress lately as this game does look a lot better and more interesting than the previous games from the series.

      Still has that same dodgy art style I don’t quite like so much though.

  12. Joinn says:

    At the risk of being excommunicated, I must say that I think Evochron is highly overrated.

    It goes from fun to tedium in just a few hours, less than 5 hours after I bought the thing I wished that I hadn’t.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Yup, that seems about right, but X3 will become boring for most people after about an hour or 20-30 as well, even though it’s open-ended.

      The X:Beyond the Frontier and eXtension were better games as a whole, despite being less graphically interesting.

      I very much think Evochron got stuck somewhere down the road when it comes to significant developments.

      I do think the flight physics have improved, but it’s not a game I’d buy judged by the demo.

    • geldonyetich says:

      I’ve never been particularly impressed with the developer. Though I admire their passion for the medium, their games are largely loosely cobbled together labors of love. To their credit, the product gets better with every revision, but they’ve awhile to go yet until they impress a veteran gamer who isn’t chomping at the bit to play an Elite-like game.

  13. Al3xand3r says:

    What most people said, and also, play Oolite while you wait :)

    link to oolite.org

  14. IvanHoeHo says:

    I love the concept of games like this, but I just can’t get over the… aesthetics of it. I’m more of a Homeworld 1/2 kinda guy.

    Oh well, my loss.

  15. Waltorious says:

    I played Evocrhon legends for a while, but unfortunately I have to agree with those who felt it got boring after a bit.

    Don’t get me wrong, it has some great features… the flight model is really cool, and really made me feel like I was in space. It supports all the latest and most complicated joysticks, TrackIR, etc. The galaxy is open, and there are lots of secrets to find. But after a while all the star systems start to feel the same. It feels like a randomly generated galaxy even though it isn’t. Dogfighting is interesting at first but then with better equipment becomes really easy (although fighting over players is apparently a different matter entirely; I mainly fought against AI ships). Trading isn’t very interesting because there are certain commodities and items that are most valuable and everything else is basically worthless. I did have fun to a while, though, and I’m glad that there is someone making games like this, but I couldn’t help wishing for something a little more fleshed out.

    The creator, Vice, is very open to user suggestions, but he also has a very loyal community who like the game as it is and are often resistant to large changes. It also could be that multiplayer play makes it much more fun too, I didn’t try that much.

  16. warsign says:

    I play series about 2 years. Awesome. Control support is very well, you can use every joystick,HOTAS and even play with mouse and keyboard very well. Track Ir support is great.Seemless universe, open ended, no loading screen between jump sessions, single and multiplayer is the same, you can use same game file to connect Mp is so cool and also MP is free…

    Community is also great. There are many good pilots out there, enemies ot there, awesome game.
    There are cool place to explore, nice military missions, etc…

    If you like space trading exploring and fighting game, have to try it.

    Main features of Evochron Legends:

    Evochron Legends Main Features

    # 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 including racing, spying, mining, trading, commodity shipping, exploring, asteroid clearing, equipment cleaning, crew management, and ship designing. 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 have their own track to race the clock against each other or race other players 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 constructing 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.

    # New military combat ships you can own and fly ranging from light scouts to heavy interceptors. New capital ships include Cruisers, Battleships, Command Ships, and Destroyers which also join in war zone battles, plus Carriers you can dock with for military objectives and ships.

    # Shipyards let 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. Save your designs with the new template system to rebuild later. Store ships and cargo in hangars you can rent at trade stations.

    # 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. Even the cargo your ship carries is a factor.

    # 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.

    Ns clan Elite member
    warsign

  17. Vice says:

    Vice here. Just wanted to post some thoughts regarding the comments here and similar feedback I’ve received, both negative and positive. I really do appreciate substantive feedback I’ve received, whether harsh or kind, it’s been an extremely valuable resource to learn about where the game is succeeding and where it is failing. When it comes to the criticisms, there are certainly legitimate points made here. Graphics have been a long time struggle for me with the resources I have to work with, often resulting in that kind of ‘programmer artwork’ look that’s tough to contend with at times :-) It’s gotten much better by most accounts with Legends, but there’s obviously still room for a lot of improvement.

    With comments about gameplay, there does seem to be some ‘explanation’ obstacles and need for new options. For the former, I need to do a better job of presenting what is available in the game. I sometimes receive requests for features and gameplay options that the game actually already has, which tells me I should have done a better job with the training system and other in-game options to explain what is available to the player. 5 hours isn’t anywhere near enough to even scratch the surface of what can be explored, acquired, and achieved, but if the player doesn’t know where to go or what to do next to find those new things, they’ll often assume that was all there was available to them. For the latter, the game does need new gameplay options and I’ve needed to break out of the confines of the ‘localized gameplay’ structure I seem to have locked Evochron into.

    With that said, I do want to let those of you who have taken the time to post your comments here, elsewhere, and provided me with feedback directly via e-mail that I have been listening closely and have been working very hard on the areas that have been in need of improvement along with new features/options that will benefit the game. Many require complete rewriting of existing systems to change how they work while others are entirely new from the ground up (ie graphics engine). I’ll be announcing the results of these efforts soon and hope to ‘hit the mark’ for more of you than I have in the past. I’ll send Jim the details as they become available so you can read more about it here on RPS. Anyway, thanks again for your comments.

  18. Quercus says:

    I have tried to get into the various Evochron games because like you I really want a freeform multiplayer space game, but it just feels too clunky and awkward to play. It is difficult to get into.
    I really enjoyed playing Freelancer (for all its shortcomings) with friends and want something that easy to get into and have fun with, which Evochron just isn’t.

  19. Vice says:

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on specifics, feel free to send them to me at your convenience, starwraith.com > contact

    Clunkiness and awkwardness for gamers more familiar with mouse control preferences and making the game easier to get into is something I’ve been working on.