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mahks

4X Space Game Play Tester Request

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I need a few play testers for a game I am developing.

Game overview :
- Space based 4X on-line game, only runs in firefox

- Closed Beta status
- Basic 2d graphics
- No action, not a RTS
- Strong focus on strategy & diplomacy

The game is designed for those with little time but enjoy 4X.

Interested? please PM me and I'll add you to the play tester list.

Edited by mahks

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A few comments from current play testers :

"Warfare is difficult to conduct without allies or preparation. One must pay attention to support costs of fleets, lines of supply and time to repair."
- Limey

"StarLords3K is a space politics simulator. It’s all about careful resource management, building your infrastructure, and keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Its casual, turn-based nature gives each player time to think and react to the movements of their opponents, and its unique sovereignty system organically generates multifaceted political situations."
- Shimmey

"On the surface it appears to be a strategy, tactics and management exercise in space... but don't be fooled! As you gain experience in the mechanics, you discover it's true multifaceted nature and just how flexible you can be in play style."
- The Jenerator

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Here are some pics and game info :

 

snip_map5.png

The manoeuvre element is the fleet. Fleets move between stars by an instantaneous jump, but then must wait while the jump engine re-charges. This slows down the pace of the game, giving you time to plan. It creates the feel of a turn based game, even though it is a persistent universe.

snip_2000.png

Fleet movement may be automated.


  • Patrol routes may be created to look for enemies.
  • Gathering routes take minerals to stars with a refinery. This works kind of like railway tycoon.
  • Other routes may be configured to move new ships to the front, return the battle weary for R & R, etc.

There is an emphasis on diplomacy.
Much effort has gone into creating organic "situations" that evolve into diplomatic crisis. These come about from conflict between several realms of influence. These being political relationships, trade, military actions, resource access and a feudal hierarchy.

snip_2020.png

Trade is encouraged by a mechanism whereby the number of types of minerals governs the efficiency of your refineries and thus your limits to production of assets. Since only a few mineral types are found locally you must trade with other areas to gain more mineral types.

The game is not played in "binges" (hours in a session) but in short play sessions. Think of a normal 4X that has its play session sliced into bits. This is by design, so that those with real lives may fit it into a busy schedule (or a fanatic gamer can play a session between all those other games) allowing them to play a deep, involving game even though "they have no time". Several people have interpreted this to mean it is a tick based game, it is not. Once your realm has grown, there is always things that need to be done, it is just not all time sensitive.

Fog of war is constant. If you have no ship or spy at a star you do not know what is there, you only know what was there last time you visited. This permits a "cat & mouse" situation, where cunning can win out.

Building assets takes a long time. This creates pressure to plan, as you cannot react immediately to a new threat by "popping out" fleets of new ships at a moments notice. You can build & assign additional builders to speed up a project, but there is cost there as well.

snip_2040.png

A large selection of technologies are available that affect all aspects of the game. There is no "tech tree" you just research the areas you want an advantage in. you may choose to be mediocre in all or focus on a few that complement your overall strategic direction.

snip_2050.png

There is a robust economic model that provides many ways to gain income and many ways to lose it. Taxation, tribute, piracy, export contracts, asset support, salaries are some of the factors.

snip_2010.png

In the beginning you manage all aspects, but as your empire grows you can do less micro-management and automate repetitive tasks.

snip_2061.png

There is a whole game within the game in regards to spies. Covert agents may conduct espionage, sabotage, incite labour or student unrest and incite rebellions. They can embezzle, slander and assassinate as well.

The game progresses though stages; exploration, buildup, contact and then the core game play begins with diplomacy, trade & conflict.

There is a play through of a typical 1st session on the website. Note this video has the old graphics and the colonising bit is out of date. The game begins slowly as you are mostly exploring and colonising, so the video may be a bit boring. Any suggestions on how to present a "cerebral" game and not make the presentation boring? This slow start is intentional as the game is complex and is designed so that a new player is not overwhelmed and has time to get his bearings.

http://www.starlords3k.com

We need a few more play testers, join us if interested.
All feedback is welcome.

 

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We just started a new episode.
Join in if you would like.

Feel free to ask questions here.

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