Other Space Strategy Games?

By on December 25, 2013 11:41:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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I love Sins, but the game play feels somewhat limited to me (very combat-focused, movement around the maps feels very constricted to me). Maybe it's because I've just been playing it for so long, idk. I also don't like the fact that it minidumps on me whenever I try to have 4 or more players or more than like, 40 planets in a game.


I'm looking for a space-empire game that has a bit more freedom of movement so it actually feels like you're exploring a galaxy, and maybe one that doesn't focus 75% on combat like Sins does. I've given Endless Space a try but I'm a bit mixed on that atm, not sure I'm really into turn-based games in general (I've tried Civ games as well, didn't really care for them).

I gave Star Ruler a try a while ago but I remember thinking it was a bit obtuse. I might give that one another look though. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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December 26, 2013 12:11:24 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Well I like the Civ games. Since we are talking about space I would recommend Galactic civilizations 3. It is turn based, but if you ever was going to give one a chance this would be the one. When you get Galactic civilizations look for Autum Twilight mod. It helps improve the game. I'm looking into distant worlds it seems to have potential. Both games are exploration space stradegy games. Distant worlds could contain 1400 solar systems.

One of the problems with real time stradegy is its limited playability where turn base you are able to do more.

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December 26, 2013 12:37:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting admiralWillyWilber,

Well I like the Civ games. Since we are talking about space I would recommend Galactic civilizations 3. It is turn based, but if you ever was going to give one a chance this would be the one. When you get Galactic civilizations look for Autum Twilight mod. It helps improve the game. I'm looking into distant worlds it seems to have potential. Both games are exploration space stradegy games. Distant worlds could contain 1400 solar systems.

One of the problems with real time stradegy is its limited playability where turn base you are able to do more.

I think you mean Galactic Civilizations 2, since I'm pretty sure 3 doesn't have any mods yet, not being released and all.

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December 26, 2013 1:26:31 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I did take a peek at Distant Worlds (It's so easy to mess up and type "distant stars" instead...) And it looks interesting, but the art style is very dated and I'm not sure if I like that price tag.

The video for distant worlds (I typed stars again...) had one for "StarDrive" on the youtube side-bar thing, and that game by contrast LOOKS much better, but the reviews aren't as good. Has anyone played StarDrive here, and can put in their 2 cents?

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December 26, 2013 11:07:29 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have StarDrive, but havent played it that much, since i prefer Rebellion. It does not mean its bad, though, actually there are certain aspects, which are pretty cool, and i wish they were transferable to game like Sins...

Aside StarDrive the only 4X space games i ever played are Ascendancy and Pax Imperia 2, so its kinda hard to compare for me. I think both of those games were basically real-time, while you could make time run faster/slower or pause it completely, and StarDrive is the same way, so there is no "turn" button. Even though the game says various things take X turns to complete.

One thing i liked about the game, even though this was kinda difficult to comprehend at first, is the how resource system works in this game. I mean, certain planets are good for food production, other for production, you gotta import/export these goods and people between planets to supplement them with stuff they need....this was completely new to me - and once i kinda understood, how it works, and got it going, it felt really good.

Oh, and there is one stand-out thing i guess, the ship-designer. Again cant compare to other games, but here its really well done i guess, gives the game that sand-boxey feeling, where you can speculate and play-around with various designs...obviously there are some rules to adhere to, so you need actually think, what are you doing, for example all the fancy weapons and shields need to be powered by strong enough power generators, you actually to connect them via power conduits, etc... if you like this kind of stuff, its definitely a game for you.

The negatives for me its the pure single-player nature of the game, i like to play my games with my friends. Additionally one thing i particularly dont like are the races. Not only they look like various animals (owls, samurai bears, wulfen, etc), which kinda makes it bit less serious, and i dont like that, but most importantly, they are all the same basically. You make them unique by choosing few special trait at the beginning of the game, like "industrious". "meticulous". "astronomers" or "polluted homeworld". otherwise their research trees are pretty much the same. And thats never good enough for me  when compared with pre-designed races like those in Sins. I way, way prefer the Sins approach.

Anyway, I guess it depends on your preference. The StarDrive is probably less complex and more stream-lined game than DW, at least it definitely looks so when seeing the DW videos on youtube. Personally i need certain things to be schematised, abstracised. Dont want to deal with every single detail nor do i like to put too many things on auto, cause it feels like it is playing itself then. Thats why i chose SD over DW.

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December 26, 2013 6:37:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am spending a lot of time with Endless Space. I prefer turn-based games, which the OP does not. However, in multi-player, you play your turns simultaneously, so there is little waiting around. Also, the more I played the game, the more I liked it.

There is also Sword of the Stars; I spent many hours with this one. It's also turn-based except for the combat, which is real time. There is now a Sword of the Stars 2, which I never got into. Some people really like it. However, unlike the first version, you were forced into a 3D universe. SOTS2 had a horrible launch; it was incomplete and full of bugs. However, it has been cleaned up and playable if your mind can grok 3D.

 

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December 27, 2013 4:18:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Starpoint Gemini 2

http://store.steampowered.com/app/236150/?snr=1_7_15__13

 

Early access and brilliant game.  A game that incorporates parts from other space games, as well as it's own features.  It's different.

I played it quite a bit since buying, and can tell you it's very addictive and a breath of fresh air from all of the x4 clones running around at the moment.

 

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December 27, 2013 5:26:34 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Spore http://www.spore.com/what

Start microscopic, take over your planet and then search out others. War, play nice...do whatever.

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December 30, 2013 12:09:46 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

StarDrive is pretty solid. Its a touch buggy, but the dev is making a new version in unity. I bought it hoping it would be GalCiv III (quite some time before GCIII was announced), it was not, but I do not regret buying it. It gets economy right, for the most part, and the ship-building is unique, although I prefer the GalCiv II style personally. The AI is not the brightest though, especially the ship AI and the planet governors (eg. industrial governor still does tons of research). 

 

Overall, I would say to pick it up (I give it a 7.5/10), it on the steam holiday sale for 66% off right now. 

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December 30, 2013 12:28:13 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting coyote303,
I am spending a lot of time with Endless Space. I prefer turn-based games, which the OP does not. However, in multi-player, you play your turns simultaneously, so there is little waiting around. Also, the more I played the game, the more I liked it.

I got Endless Space on the Steam sale last week.  I like it so far, and especially like that you can win the game by economy or points, but continue to crush the opposition for a military type victory.  The tech trees are a little difficult to remember so far, but they seem learnable. 

 

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December 30, 2013 1:25:56 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The only space strategy game that could make me play it more than once or twice is Endless Space. (too bad it seems I started playing space strategies later than everyone else and can not really enjoy older games than SoaSE)..

EDIT: My favourite game of all times is Sins of a Solar Empire just Endless space is the only OTHER space strategy game I could play for a longer time without getting bored or too confused.

It is a bit strange I am a warmonger in Sins of a Solar Empire, but in Endless space mainly due to battles being somewhat poor, I am an economist and researcher (though I do wage wars while improving my economy). Manageing research and improving the economy while being defensive here in this game feels much better than in Sins, and to finally achieve some kind of non-military Victory. 

Oh and it has many races, though racial diversity is not that huge, and some races are just bad.

Endless Space is a TBS, I got really tired of the horseracing of competitive Sins Multiplayer, and playing against the mass-suicide AI or playing with incompetent noobs (many times they can't even speak or want to speak english) is not a fun option for me anymore..

I Like that ES has more planet types than Sins had for many years.. And you can terraform, remove anomalies, and that this game really is in a galaxy, not an abnormal extrasolar system having 30 or more planets and stuff around a single star (I hate multi star systems in sins, bad to play on them).. I like Endless Space's system focus instead of managing each planet individually.

Oh, and I dislike many space strategy games because of their overly complicated resource management. I can't remember which game had 8 or more resources I couldn't even figure out my income of those and what to do with them.. Endless Space is not like this fortunately.

Quoting MottiKhan,
The tech trees are a little difficult to remember so far, but they seem learnable.

Tech trees are indeed a bit funny and sometimes not very logical, but after some time you will remember what each of the 4 branches do, and which branch to focus on if you want something new like a luxury resource or a new planet colonisation tech. Good thing there is a good in-game explanation for every tech there, and the icons are helpful as well

 

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December 30, 2013 9:59:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Ive played a few games of endless space, enjoy it (Distant worlds is still my fav... at least until GalCivIII comes out). The tech tree, with its randomization each game, does create some silly connections, but then again, its all fantasy anyway... so I enjoy that quirk as well.
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December 31, 2013 9:29:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Distant Worlds is the only game that fits your criterion.

There are very few (a literal handful) real-time space empire builders and Distant Worlds is the only one that isn't a combat focused game (i.e. not an rts with delusions of grandeur).

 

I can give you a list of good games that don't meet your criterion.

For non-empire building space strategy exploration games there's Space Rangers... and after that you need to go really retro with Star Control, Escape Velocity and Starflight.*

For space economic empire building there's the X games (ignore the disaster of the latest game).

 

And then the (great) turn based space 4xs are:

Sword of the Stars (the first one). This has real time combat.

Space Empires IV

GalCiv (obviously)

Master of Orion

and after that it gets sketchy...

 

As you can see  we aren't exactly... blessed... with space strategy games of any kind let alone meeting your very specific requirements

 

 

* Maybe I'm wrong but I think these might be the kind of games you're really after?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 1, 2014 12:19:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

I have been looking seriously at Distant Worlds after reading about it in this thread. However, I have always preferred turn-based games. So I didn't like even a fine RTS game like Sins of a Solar Empire. Does DW play like an RTS, or does the pause feature make it feel more turn-based?

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January 1, 2014 7:37:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It plays most like Paradox games (europa universalis, crusader kings etc).

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January 1, 2014 7:42:11 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting rahal,
For non-empire building space strategy exploration games there's Space Rangers...

 

I like Space rangers very much, but they turn-based at times, and, apparently, that's what OP doesn't like, and currently available HD version is somewhat strange. First, I do not understand why we need HD - old versions works fine, second, I don't like "new, exclusive" content you can't turn off. Thankfully old content is still there and is not modified, as far I know.


Quoting rahal,
For space economic empire building there's the X games (ignore the disaster of the latest game).

 

X-rebirth is controversial game, to put it mildly. Even if you exclude usual bugs at start. I'm not sure asking €50 for game in that condition, even without bugs, is fair - game barely looks like X-rebirth, not even X-tension-Rebirth (let alone X2-Rebirth, or X3-Rebirth), moreover, it looks like it's been chopped down, and I don't mean just features.

What I do not like the most, are highways... Yes, I played Euro Truck Simulator 2 and enjoyed it, but wasting more than 15% of my time in X-Rebirth simply flying through those pipes? No, thanks.  Even if X-R had some moments I liked, I can't recommend it to anyone, as long as price is higher than $10. Yes, I bought it for €50 , no sunk cost fallacy, I'm not going to protect X-R, it has too many flaws, it's just like suitcase without handle, toilet seat made of barbed wire, you know, something like that - needed, but very uncomfortable to use.

As for older X-games, I think X2 is good place to start - it decently looking, big enough, not overcomplicated, yet not oversimplified, and has actual docking (we lost that in later games) and individual cockpits for every ship. I miss them a lot. X3 is better looking, yet there are no cockpits whatsoever, just HUD, and docking is simplified, yet universe is the biggest there.

 

However, after seeing X-Rebirth sectors, I find it somewhat difficult to fly in older X-games - sectors look empty and barren, even if I know that X-Rebirth traffic is fake.

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January 1, 2014 9:57:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@cayote re: Distant worlds game and turn based. I am with you. I strongly prefer turn based games. I play DW a lot, as a 'turn based-ish game. When i first scouted out Distant Worlds ("DW") I was put off by the RTS aspect of it. However, when I read a few posts here at SD, and then went to DW forums, I discovered that while DW is labeled a RTS game, and can be played as a RTS game, there are other viable (turn based) approaches enabled by DW's game interface. DW allows for an incredible number of choices regarding automation or manual control of almost every aspect of your empire. You may pause it at any time, and enter, change, etc. commands, policies, etc. DWs can be a micromanages dream come true, or you can turn on all the automation and ride the whale. Players choice. I play in a smaller galaxy, and turn off almost all automation. The tricky part is getting a handle on the missions you can assign to military fleets, the 'fleet posture,' and how they interact with "empire policies.' But its fun. There is a steep learning curve if you turn off automation, but well worth the ride. And i love designing my own ships from the ground (err stardock?) up. Further,there are multiple, well researched, guides on the DW forums, and you-tube videos. Just seek out the ones that fit your play style.

If you do decide to try it (I'm not sure if a demo is available?) I would be happy to guide you a bit to smooth out the initial learning curve, mostly by pointing you to the most appropriate 'guide.'

edit:  spelling. grammar.

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January 1, 2014 10:11:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've never played multi-player, and was not aware of the difficulties of playing with/against users that speak different languages.  Seems to me the game makers should create a symbol based interface for multilayer games.  Wouldn't that simulate different species who don't communicate well? Kinda like a symbol based pidgin, a basic trade/diplo language, "galact-lingo" using symbols rather than words.  Then people of any language (Real life) could play. 

 

SD, is idea worth pursuing?

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January 1, 2014 1:03:45 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I like Endless Space ok - it introduces some interesting concepts like system instead of planet focused management and tradable commodities - and I like the different planet types and anomalies.  I hope there're some interesting things worth considering for GC3.  But by and large ES feels flat and stinks for customization, whether ships, adversaries, tech, etc.  I'd rather be playing GC3!

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January 1, 2014 4:19:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ElanaAhova,

I've never played multi-player, and was not aware of the difficulties of playing with/against users that speak different languages.  Seems to me the game makers should create a symbol based interface for multilayer games.  Wouldn't that simulate different species who don't communicate well? Kinda like a symbol based pidgin, a basic trade/diplo language, "galact-lingo" using symbols rather than words.  Then people of any language (Real life) could play. 

 

SD, is idea worth pursuing?

 

Sega does a pretty good job of bridging the language gap in their Phantasy Star Online series: from the Wikipedia page -

"Communication between players is achieved via a combination of direct 2-line text entry, Symbol Chat, Word Select, and/or by keyboard (optional.) As PSO servers support international co-operative play, the Symbol Chat and Word Select features encourage players to attempt communication with others regardless of language. Symbol Chat allows the player to define a collection of symbols within a speech bubble, in order to convey an emotion or simple instruction. These symbols can be used by the press of a key, or accessed via an in-game menu. Word Select acts as a limited phrasebook, allowing sentences to be constructed through a hierarchy of menus. Once complete, a sentence is automatically translated into the configured language of other nearby players, thus bridging the language gap encountered in cross-cultural multiplayer games."

 

The amount of R&D that Sega has put into this over the last 15 yrs should not go overlooked.  While the newest iteration in the series has not been localized yet, I know there is an extremely active public community that has created translation patches.  All of it is free - I believe Sega opted for an in-game shop model.  I haven't tried this latest one yet, but the communication system was already rather impressive in the first few games that I did play.  The new international logographic language that is developing on the internet fascinates me.

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January 2, 2014 9:28:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cardinaldirection,


The amount of R&D that Sega has put into this over the last 15 yrs should not go overlooked.  While the newest iteration in the series has not been localized yet, I know there is an extremely active public community that has created translation patches.  All of it is free - I believe Sega opted for an in-game shop model.  I haven't tried this latest one yet, but the communication system was already rather impressive in the first few games that I did play.  The new international logographic language that is developing on the internet fascinates me.
  

 

wow, cardinaldirection, I had no idea someone actually did this. Sega rocks (diplomatically speaking). Does the UN know about the boards?  

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January 2, 2014 1:28:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ElanaAhova,

wow, cardinaldirection, I had no idea someone actually did this. Sega rocks (diplomatically speaking). Does the UN know about the boards?  

 

that's a great question.  to be honest, "fall of babyl, rise of glyph: an international logographic language" is a paper i started writing years ago, that's now turned into more of an unfinished book.  as a specialist in mythology and the history of religious thought, one also ends up spending a lot of time studying the development of languages.  sega's work was actually a big resource, (and probably still is).  i do have a really good friend who worked for the UN most of his life, and now consults for them in a semi-retired fashion.  however this was the first holiday season that we didn't write each other (he moved overseas a few years ago), so perhaps ill drop him a line.  feel free to run with the idea, i am quite curious to see what comes of it - especially given how fast it's growing on it's own... so please keep me posted if you do.  ill try and find some time to work on the paper too.

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January 4, 2014 9:47:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Way cool! 

Quoting cardinaldirection,


Quoting ElanaAhova, reply 20
wow, cardinaldirection, I had no idea someone actually did this. Sega rocks (diplomatically speaking). Does the UN know about the boards?  

 

that's a great question.  to be honest, "fall of babyl, rise of glyph: an international logographic language" is a paper i started writing years ago, that's now turned into more of an unfinished book.  as a specialist in mythology and the history of religious thought, one also ends up spending a lot of time studying the development of languages.  sega's work was actually a big resource, (and probably still is).  i do have a really good friend who worked for the UN most of his life, and now consults for them in a semi-retired fashion.  however this was the first holiday season that we didn't write each other (he moved overseas a few years ago), so perhaps ill drop him a line.  feel free to run with the idea, i am quite curious to see what comes of it - especially given how fast it's growing on it's own... so please keep me posted if you do.  ill try and find some time to work on the paper too.

 

Way cool!!!

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January 6, 2014 11:41:58 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I am still going to play distant worlds, but I think I'm going to try endlass space, I like the idea of it playing like galactic civilizations. I hink distant worlds is more like sins of a solar empire. My favorite is turn based stradegy. Don't be fooled with distant worlds galactic civilizations does more. I like distant worlds respawnability of races. As long as there are aliens I don't have a particular preference on how you do it. I like the ability of choosing how many races to play. I like the big universe. I don't like the non interactive tutorial. I miss paper manuals. I like race customisability in galactic civilizations. I think Galactic civilizations does techs better than distant worlds and sins of a solar empire.Still learnong the distant worlds screens. I like random events in galactic civilizations.

I will probably play distant worlds more. I going to download endless space now. It sounds appealing, Its like galactic civilizations,

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January 17, 2014 12:00:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
I play both DW and endless space. Very different flavors.. both a good fun romp thru local space.
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February 1, 2014 4:11:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you don't mind older games Birth of the Federation is a great game, though maybe not as 'free' as what you're looking for. You still explore the galaxy and all that, but are limited to the amount of stars/minor cultures. Such as from a tiny universe to a large one or from no minor cultures to many. Its also free and player patched so it works very well. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys TBS games. Also less focus on the fighting, more on the solar system and empire/federation management.

You can d/l it here I believe:

http://www.armadafleetcommand.com/get-files?cw_action=fileview&file_id=62

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