Thread: 4X space games
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Old November 10, 2010, 14:48   #25
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Originally Posted by ekolis View Post
Just a random plug for Star Legacy - a new 4X game that I'm involved in developing!
Good luck with that! Having joined a couple (failed) 4X development projects, I know it can certainly be a challenge

I think 4X games are deceptively difficult to execute. It's very tempting to get bogged down with the details (i.e. combat mechanics), but the success of such a game is almost 100% execution. You need a great, clean UI with intuitive controls. You need an amazingly simple way for new players to join multiplayer games with their friends. You need a decent AI which can provide a compelling single-player experience, since there are tons of players who will never venture past the single-player game (especially if it sucks).

Space 4X games are a bit different as they've historically catered to a slightly more tech-savvy player. But it's still all about execution. That, IMO, is why Space Empires V - with its incredibly deep mechanics and wonderful modding capabilities - does not end up appealing to a large audience, and is ultimately left without a sustainable player base. The execution was mediocre (no offense to Aaron, it's just not a one-man job!): The UI was OK but not great, and out-of-box AI was terrible, and there was no official channel for joining multiplayer games (i.e. only community-run sites offered multiplayer, and "transfering turn files manually" just doesn't fly in this modern gaming era).
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