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congrats for the new look of your forum and homepage, I have been away for some time but always happy to come here. I hope the look will attract a lot of space sim fans and we all get to see the epic game discussions that we have seen in past years.
I’m currently looking at two rogue-like games, Everspace which is combat-centered, and this one TLJH which has the different and interesting scope of being a non-hero that struggles with ever lacking ressources and dangers in the hope to reach Earth again after a miss-jump to some far place in the universe. A very interesting and challenging design.
What I found out with TLJH is: It’s going to be damn difficult to succeed, your odds are very small, so small indeed that (from what I read in the reviews or on Steam) most players quit-rage the game totally frustrated prior of even learning what a deep experience the game has to offer.
Here some helpful facts for staters of the game and things that I found out by playing for about 3 days. First let me say that no, I didn’t successfully returned to Earth yet, but there is hope…
– The game world, the alien races you will encounter, the overall difficulty is all procedurally generated by a seed that you enter at game start (see my tips at the end!). You can replay and explore the same situation in a new game by keeping the same seed, or have a totally new experience each time by changing the seed.
– The new update adds a ‘Story Mode’ that will make the game a lot more forgiving, with upgrades and ressources easier to gather.
– Even in Story Mode, the game remains difficult because planetary landings for ressources may cost a lot of shields for your lander, except on the most ideal suited planets, also common ressources will only yield very little for your ship considering the risks taken.
– Entering gas giants for scooping gaz (for fuel and for selling) is only worth for rare gazes that can sell at high price, because your lander shields will deplete quickly and are expensive to refill
– There is an easy way to refill your Jump Tanks for long travels taking advantage of sun orbits (I say no more!)
– Combat without upgrades is pretty hopeless, at least according to my experience. Fortunately you can boost away and leave the system if tracked by enemies. For what the developers can do by seeing the game, I give the combat aspect a 2 out of 10…shame on you devs, you could do much better!
– On the bright side: You will be given another lander blueprint if you lose your lander, so you can construct a new one for free (?)
– During jumps you will experience random system failures that will slowly kill you if you haven’t enough credits for repairing
– You cannot avoid system failures, but NEVER lose your basic laser otherwise you are doomed (my experience).
– You may not make credits fast enough to compensate for system failures, missing ressources or medecines for your crew meaning: Most often you get RIP.
The last 3 points are a game-killer for most players, but that’s apparently what the developers wanted: A hard game with tough decision-making and strategy choices in order to succeed. There are no easy solutions delivered to you on a silver plate, space travel is painful and dangerous, at least in the world of TLJH. I’m giving this design idea a high positive rating because far too many sci-fi adventure games (like the concurrent FLT or the classic Star Control) are way too easy and aimless to my gusto. This one is definitly different, also with superb grafics and animations and really nice alien dialogues with multiple-choice responses, a feature you will be missing for example in No Man’s Sky where aliens are pure decor not deeply designed for intereaction.
Space travel will obey to Newtonian physics making it challenging and dangerous for your ship and lander craft. You are better off if you keep at low speed making gentle trajectory corrections in order to use the sling shot gravity of planets and gaz giants, and slowly entering orbits because using the thruster or booster too much will quickly deplete your fuel tanks, and no, there is no easy-to-use gaz station at every angle… Else you constantly need to watch your shielding and ressource values otherwise you will quickly strand in space…
The negative aspects of the game – other than its sheer difficulty which I accept, and as far as I could discover for now – are:
– Other than the galaxy map, there is no possibility to zoom/unzoom the view in the system travel or during combat, making it a cumbersome limitation
– There are no upgrades that enhance the speed and maneuvrability of your ship during combat, you remain essentially a sitting duck, the enemy ships are waaaay more powerful and faster than you. The combat departement lacks some good possibilities here that would make the game far more abordable by a lot of players.
– No keyboard mapping possibility. The game plays with mouse/keyboard and gamepad but no custom settings are possible.
– Although normal in rogue-like games, I miss a saving possibility into a slot or at least some training missions for landings that you can chose in the main menu. The gamemakers have included 3 tutorial videos (you need to be online to watch them on Youtube), but in-build training missions would be that much better IMO.
Finally, here some tips on the ‘Seed’ expression to enter in order to have a more diffult or easier game:
URUKAI – Easy
GAMESTAR – Easy
EASYMODE – Easy
JEAN LUC – Hard
yes, I think it’s worth to buy now, especially because on GOG or Steam they have reduced price by 40% (see EDIT). The Pathfinder is a huge addition, the base building stuff is doubled, you can own more ships and trade them in, the whole item upgrade system has changed to be more challenging and interesting. Land vehicles have been introduced which will allow to harvest more mining materials from planets.
Still the game needs more content in terms of game mechanics and overall things you can do which are not related to grinding some items, but there is a future for it I think.
2 Patches (1.22, 1.23) have come out pretty fast, HG is speeding things up…
I have been playing since december and I’m having a lot of fun. On Steam there are a lot of ranters but they all now have hard time to find arguments, most of these rants are related to missing multiplayer which this game was never intended for (and will never be probably). Instead of MP, No Man’s Sky has online features for uploading discoveries and sharing bases (which is new).
For the reduced price I can easily recommend it. Your grafic card needs support for OpenGL 4.5 (for example Nvidia GTX 960).
Sorry I have to correct: I just checked and I see that GoG and Steam have returned to the old price of 60$. The 40% price drop has only lasted for a few days. Maybe you should wait for the next drop…:(
I’ve been playing the game for about 1 month now with the newest update mentioned above.
I want to give my player report without spoiling anything of course, and also giving a comment wether the game is worth 60 bucks or not and what needs to be improved. I will divide my comment by ‘The Good’ and ‘The Bad’ because these 2 highly contrast each other.
Immersion when exploring.
Yes, the planets and different locations are beautiful and immersive and if you enjoy to just free-roam and taking pictures of nice sites then this game is for you. Tip: There is a so-called Photo Mode, but strangely there is no keyboard command to take screenshots. So have a third-party program like MSI Afterburner (or Fraps, or else) that allows you to take screenshots or even videos to enjoy such activity.
Building and Farming is fun as long as the different quests take place. If you get too bored by the ‘Normal’ game mode, then switch to ‘Survival’ and be prepared to a very tough (maybe too frustrating) gameplay.
You can also buy a freighter (capital ship) and do all your farming activity there, but you need at least 15 Million units to buy it, so you have to play for a good amount of time to afford it.
If space battles and fights are not critical for you, then this activity will be OK, else, it’s way too easy and simplistic at the current state.
Exploration and contemplation of the sites apart, what you really *do* in the game will soon get repetitive because of lacking content. There are a lot of different types of buildings on planets, also there are Aliens in the game, not too many, but they are all dummies presenting you quizzes that will only challenge a 5 year old kid. On terminals in some buildings you have to solve some math quizzes that roughly will be the same all the time, not very appealling. A little more substance with a variety of actions would be fine!
Because of this uniformity and repetitive tasks to do your upgrades for your ship and health systems (major activity) the big scope of reaching the galactic center (and some other goals that I won’t spoil here) are highly diminished in my opinion, the game must simply have MORE CONTENT. And there we go for the question about the 60 bucks for it. That’s a lot of money for a game in this state. For such a price I’m expecting a content that I find in GTA V, or in Just Cause 2, Just Cause 3, or the FarCry series, and actually these games cost less. But then, just comparing No Man’s Sky with these titles is not fair. Why? NMS is not a AAA title with a big gaming studio behind the workers like in the games I just mentioned, so NMS is more expensive because only a little group of people is working on it making it much more work pro person. Still what remains is: 60 bucks for it is way too much for the current game content.
I personally still have a lot of fun with the game, but that’s just because of my romanticism and idealism: For me it’s enough to occasionally switch to this game and enjoy the nice sites, landing on planets, explore freely, meeting some strange animals, having the challenge to make a 100% Milestone for all fauna discoveries on a planet, and watching the planets in the sky where I have just been before. That’s enough for me, though It may not be enough for YOU, so if you watch videos on Youtube about the game, look at the release date, because most of these videos full of complaints are simply out of date, reflecting the pre-foundation state of the game. The game has added a LOT since then and hopefully Sean Murray and his team are going on and will add more content.
The Wing Commander series have a very good storyline, but such a playing style contradicts free roaming…you will have to follow the story – and the series of missions.
The mixture you want probably doesn’t exist yet, you will have to wait for Star Citizen, but it will mainly be a multiplayer game. As for No Man’s Sky: With the recent update (see my post in its section), a ‘lot’ has been added since the rather poor start, so you may want to look again for it, but yes, it has no main story line to follow.
A good pre-release, but with a lot of building content (I don’t know how you take this) is Empyrion Galactic Survival, you can land, explore planets in a big procedural world in FPS and 3D.
There are a lot of games that can fit your requirements, but no one will shine in all your points, but more in ones and less in others. Because you don’t seem to require a high quality of space ‘combat’ in particular, but more exploration and variety of ships and sectors, I will recommend you 2 titles with different budgets:
– No Man’s Sky (65$)
– Rebel Galaxy (20$)
Both games have a procedurally generated world, No Man’s Sky is shining for your points 1,4,5,7, especially the planet landscapes and general artwork, while the other points are also included but not focused on, except you can do base buildings and farming which will take you occupied for quite a while. The game focuses clearly on Exploration and has currently the biggest galaxy to explore. While mostly free roaming is in the centre, there are also quests to achieve both in exploring, building and unlocking interesting ships to fly. There is a trading system but not very elaborated at the moment. Space combat is simplified compared to other concurent titles like Elite Dangerous or Evochron series, you will confront pirates and eventually observe individual battles involving big freighters (which you can own and land on).
Rebel Galaxy has also these features but – as the budget says – with a much smaller scope, but still interesting. It has a 2D control for ships in a 3D procedurally generated world including most of your points above, but no one shining in particular.
Both games are rather recently released games, single-player games, full games and not beta or pre-releases.
Of course there are plenty other such games, take a look at the ‘Space/SciFi combat…discussion’ section. I almost would have recommended you Evochron Legacy, but this game focuses on space combat which is one of the most demanding and difficult you can find in a space game, and a requirement that you left off; else it has all your points above, but it is not procedurally generated (except the planets which you also can land on).
I’m glad that Egosoft is working on a new title, but let’s face it, and I won’t hide my words. Also I know this is only a non-committed preview message from EGO.
“A real X4…many new ships to fly…build stations from individual modules…manage large fleets”.
Yes these features would certainly improve the Egosoft titles we know already, but if we look at the general space game picture, then I’m afraid these features are not quite enough to make a successful title right today. Let’s just look at the competition: No Man’s Sky, Elite Dangerous, but also other promising pre-releases that soon may reach a competitive product like Empyrion Galactic Survival and many others. All these titles do have these features already, maybe with the exception of ‘manage large fleets’, but with the big difference that their game takes place in a really *open big world*. Egosoft is shining IMO as for the grafics of stations and evironment, but the EGO world is too piece-connected for my taste, not big enough. Actually it is big, but the bad thing is: it’s not giving the impression to be big, let’s take a metro transport system; you can add a lot of metro stations, even thousands, but this won’t add up to a galaxy, there must be another impression of ‘big’. There is nothing to add variety, no planets, not an open world: If you get a little away from space stations, all actions will soon come to a halt, there is ‘nothing’ out there, no reason for profound exploration, except for some very pre-determined pathes that will soon be consumed without any potential for replayability. And to be a successful title, AT LEAST all this has to change. I think the NPC ship AI is fine in v.4 of X-Rebirth, but it would be nice if their actions were not limited around space stations only, but if a mission could envelope a bigger space for the player’s maneuvres in order to escape or to battle these NPCs. This should include at least SIMPLIFIED planet systems, I say ‘simplified’ because for EGO anything else is already not realistic.
But who knows? Maybe the company is unveiling a big surprise for us showing a totally revamped engine with the big features of the past X series and some new features? Yes, that would be a “Real X4”. I’m proposing this name for the new title!
I hope Egosoft will succeed,
Hello World of SpaceSimCentral…,
I’m now in touch with this new site, I hope you are all doing well !
I’m sure that with time ongoing new patch and update notes about NMS will soon come here again, in the meantime I just want to report that NMS has got a fundamental new Update 1.1, also known as Foundation Update that completly changes the game – for the better. After this update, 2 major patches have come out, 1.12 and 1.13 (the latest from december).
What is new? A lot. A leap forward is that now you can build bases and other stuff, you can hire personel, do Farming activities with hydroponic labs where you can hire specialists…and a lot more. Here the complete description of the Foundation update:
These changes are indeed a great game booster, all features that many of us wanted to see from the start. Because I have now a decent rig, I will soon report for more details about my experience with NMS.
I played a lot Universal Combat years ago. Once you get to understand the key/menu commands and playing mechanics the game starts to rock…But I agree you need a lot of patience to get there. What’s really a blame is that all the fps part on planets is broken: or there’s nothing to do or the enemies are plain deadly, you can’t play without cheating.
With a better AI and random mission also including the ground part, and a manual with less 3-letter acronyms, I think UC would have been a great game. The good: it was one of the first space games with real free roaming mode including real-time features for your ship and full 3D environment (except inside of the ships) and almost seamless transitions from space to planets. I remember that at that time players were utterly lost about what to do in the game creating so a lot of complaints and shitstorms in the forums… 🙂
I now have the last UC version with the best possible engine DX9+ (bought it some years ago; a lot better than the now free version), but there are just too many other interesting space games, so I won’t bother soon to re-get involved with it.
I’m a fan of the Just Cause series, they have a huge open world where you can do FP fights against a good AI, a lot of cars, planes, boats, car races, plane races…Crazy things to do…Whilst playing I sometimes wish they had included an extension to play in space, replacing their magic parachute with a magic space suit, there are certainly also crazy things to do there… IMHO these series are a major improvement of the FPS genre, exactly the one I wish to see for space games. A lot of ongoing works listed on this site are promising though, so: devs, keep going with all your original ideas :haha:
XenonSNovember 13, 2016 at 9:04 am in reply to: Searching for an Old Colonization Combat Space Sim, Maybe Someone Here Can Help… #109964
Maybe Starlord ?
This one is not purely top-down but includes space fights in 3D with a cockpit view, a feature that can be switched off IIRC, but from your description it could be it. I don’t think Starlord had online capability and the ‘ranks’ are nobleman titles up to King/Queen and Emperor. Becoming Emperor is the final objective of the game.
Probably it’s not it, but I hope other space simmers will soon answer you,
What an interesting post 😎
I played a lot Amiga 500 too around the early 90s, and I am very sorry to say that this title is not among my Amiga floppy disks… What a pity…But what a discovery, I never heard about Starglider, and this must be a jewel, no doubt !!
Golden Age? I don’t think so. The big hype of No Man Sky has produced a false expectation regarding to what we can expect from a space game: We now know that the procedural generation technique doesn’t allow that much of game variety, unaware of what these games do randomly produce. So good scripting and a lot of special contents are still necessary to keep the gamers busy with a game and not making them do boring repetitive playing.
From the games you mention, most of them work with a very big budget: Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen are 2 of them. For the reason of copy protection, Frontier Games have chosen to make ED only playable online (there is no other serious reason for it), whereas Star Citizen is so huge in content and overall file sizes that once finished for release it can probably only be accessed from a Cloud in order to be played. The people’s acceptance for this is unknown and financially risky IMO.
Which sort of space game would get the most success if done tomorrow? I think it will be an Indie-like game with a small budget, a game like Rebel Galaxy. It uses procedural techniques for creating the universe you play, it is a middle way from 2D and 3D making the production cheaper and it has only a minimum of video sequences and voice-overs which also cut the production cost. Yet players will find most features they expect. Such a game give the gamemakers good financial guarantees I think.
Games like Space Engineers, or Empyrion Galactic Survival have a much larger goal, but the gamemakers also have much bigger financial risks to take: what if players get bored with building features that are only a small part of the features one likes in space games? Making all features work together for one single fascinating playing experience is difficult, I have yet to see such a game…Games like the Mass Effect series are very good playing FPS, a game like Elite Dangerous or Evochron Legacy are top notch for the experience of flying a ship, but a combination of these games does not exist. Yes, the makers of The Precursors had this ambition, but the rushed-out release (a decade ago) wasn’t a success, it’s more a FPS game with an unfinished storyline and space contents overly simplified. Probably such ‘exciting’ space games are too expensive to produce even today, with too little benefits for AAA producers, out of reach for little budgets.
Altough a lot of space games have been produced over the past years, half of which are in beta or pre-release state (ready to play on Steam for example), I’m missing some really new playing features that would clearly expand the possibilities of a space game. What has changed are the better visuals and interesting game engines that allow to play on planetary landscapes, and in some rare cases First Person modes that were not there before. But overall, nothing exceptional, nothing revolutionary released since Elite or Frontier Elite (Elite II).
But a Golden Age of space games doesn’t need a revolution, it needs a title that I’m playing for some time, I then put it in my desk, then I happily play the title again in the future. For that, the game content’s appeal and possibilities must be right. It can be done I think, I have yet to find this game…
Maybe the newest X:Rebirth titles (Teladi Outpost and beyond with version 4.0) are the one, the game has exciting weapons to use and challenging procedures to board ships and spying jobs on space stations, and a large part of some features has been done by mod creators. I think a game like this but with a huge procedural generated galaxy, a lot of different ships to fly and a more exciting FP mode (no need to reach Star Citizen) would qualify for re-starting a Golden Age of space games, with a touch of realism like the Kerbal Space Program and a AI scripting where you don’t feel that all enemies suddenly come out from a box acting the same again and again…
My favorites up to now? Elite II, Evochron Legacy, X:Rebirth 4.0 + DLCs
VR today and your private Holodeck tomorrow? I saw a funny documentation about riding a horse in a holodeck and – it’s possible, but still the mechanical machinery (including some sort of improved 3D printer) and the room and energy needed would be exuberantly expensive…oh..only for riding that horse of course, and nothing else except walking or similar simple movements of your own…
This is an interesting one 😎
Finally I see a RPG game with very good FPS battles and camera perspectives to switch. I think there is much more to this game than told in the description.
To the author if he is reading:
Congrats for this nice game :girlcrazy:
You should present the game much better on Steam by including a detailed feature list, if I look at the current description I hardly get the essentials of the game. Your videos are very well done, but there are ommissions I want to know about, especially because what you show is already very good.
It’s a horrible idea that people could just turn the page because they don’t ‘get’ the mechanics of the game and what you can actually do. For example, I see a screenshot showing that battles also happen in space (not shown in your videos). Please tell this in the feature list, this is a clear plus :haha:
Are there missions to do, is there a driven story to follow that you can leave at any time? How is free-roaming? Do you have to buy your armament/machines/ships or other items, is there a sort of trade market in place? Etc. etc. Tell this in your description !!
Going through your numerous screenshots, Nevil, is a game on its own, simply beautiful 😎
Steam (Valve) is full of this genre of games, most of ones are in Early Access without a lot of features. Take a look but be careful, most of them will remain pre-releases forever.
The thing with your ‘Empire’ is a little problematic, but for example Empyrion – Galactic Survival goes towards your mood I think, but again, it’s not a finished game. Else Master Of Orion II or Endless Space Disharmony or similar games are focused on Strategy rather than heavy 3D combats, and come close to an ‘Empire’ you can build. But these are not open-world sandbox games because their world altough huge is not build at random, but constant. The same applies to the latest Egosoft title, here you fight in 3D in your ship with a cockpit, you can visit all these stations in FP mode, and you can build an economic empire by building stations all over the place, produce and sell your goods, but I would say that’s the final scope of the game, it will set the final point of what you can do.
Take a look at Planetbase on Steam, it’s a finished game and about Colonization of planets and building features.
I do not recommend Space Engineers, it may fit your case, it has a lot of nice building features but nothing other to it, MP is broken since the planet introduction AFAIK, and single player is said to be boresome (because not enough features aside building).
There are also plenty of 2D visual games of the genre ‘land on a planet, build your colony, fight enemies etc.’, again take a look at GOG or Steam, I don’t know one that really gets me out of my chair, maybe Rimworld.
I have tried this for a short time just to see that I have to transfer the game to a more powerful computer system to enjoy decent FPS at medium grafics settings. However you can set these to low and it will also run without problems on low-end computers as for the min. specs, of course you then have a different experience. The grafics of this game are very good IMO.
From the gameplay I like the in-built tutorial very much, it goes in very details about what you can do and how to. There is already very much content in this game as for building stuff, flying ships in space, exploring. The FPS intereactions are worked on and I expect much in the immediate future to be added and improved.
This game, and also Space Engineers could suffer from what I think is a too much central devotion to building features. It is certainly nice that you can build ships, compounds, whole bases, etc., but after this you ask: And now what? What influence has all this on the gameplay? For example, can you build a base that has challenging corridors and rooms to be a platform for a decent FPS combat arena? Will your base-building skills have an influence about how easily this base will be destroyed by enemy bombers or such? Did you build a heavy ship just to see that it’s a ‘stone’ in the sky easily sur-classed by light NPC fighters because of your slow turning rate? These are factors that make a game interesting.
I give value to the content of such features not only by looking at the visuals (that are fine in EGS), or their quantity. I’m primarly interested how they perform in the gameplay to give the player a real challenge AFTER building or putting in place these constructions, ships and platforms. Space Engineers shows clearly that it’s not enough to add a lot of construction possibilities, you can build capital ships if you want, strong terrestrial bases too, but then: Is there a decent single-player mode to do fightings in space? Manage and defend your stuff on planets? it comes very short, nothing to write home about. To only play the architect you don’t need a space game. Only doing that is more a tech-demo, not a game.
These are things to care about and should be added soon to make these titles playable over a longer time.
Empyrion Galactic Survival is on a good road. But the time is NOW to make these crucial decisions about really helping features to add to the game. Obviously you can not add everything en masse and hoping that it will ‘somehow’ fit in the overall picture, that would be the wrong development strategy IMO.
I will follow this title further of course, if you like games like No Man’s Sky, you will also enjoy this one when more features are polished and added.
I’m not 100% sure because I’m not a developer, but my best guess is that making a MMO and a Single Player Adventure Sci-Fi game are 2 entirely different things the last one being much more difficult and expensive IMO, and considering that we must be fair with NMS I think. Looking at Eve Online or other MMOs (excluding Elite Dangerous that has a good single player in form of ‘Solo’ play), they all have very nice grafic engines, no doubt, but for a good reason these titles don’t include single player modes that have real free roaming qualities. And will they ever? Nah…Will we ever see a NMS like game with the grafics of Eve Online? Maybe Star Citizen when ready.
Getting good AI behavior for NPC’s etc. requires huge amount of work, not just a good grafic engine, and if you make a story mode then your story better hit the moods of the gamers, also the whole thing must be made so to surpass a simple indie-game. Not easy at all. It’s not every day that we bump into a storyline like Freelancer, Wing Commander or – hell, how is the name of this jewel – xxxxx.
I wonder if Star Citizen has more problems with their ‘Single Player Campaign’ rather than the multiplayer part.
Or maybe I’m totally wrong and MMO’s are even more complex and expensive to produce? I welcome the feedback of a developer here!
All this should tell us how difficult and what real work is behind a game like No Man’s Sky.