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MDA 06-02-2008 19:47:01

Sins of a Solar Empire out in retail as of yesterday, I see. Anyone picked it up and would like to say a few words?

Chris 06-02-2008 20:45:30

I have the beta Brad Wardell sent me, I need to contact him if the game is done.

Chris 06-02-2008 21:05:57

I have a thread with some beta screens if you want to see what it looks like:

Link here

MDA 07-02-2008 12:16:55

Thanks. I'm vaguely reminded of Homeworld by your short description of it.

I'm mostly hoping to figure out how much meat is in the single player game/story and how slow-reflex friendly it is (i.e., is it pause-able) since my experience with multiplayer RTS is a long series of humilliating defeats that I don't care to add to.

Funko 07-02-2008 12:22:06

Looks like a very interesting idea.

It was good when we had a few CGers playing WarCraft III MP. Much more casual skill level for people with limited playtime, real jobs etc. So at least my many defeats were narrow. :D

If another good RTS comes along I'd be interested in getting involved with something like that again. And this does look interesting.

Fistandantilus 07-02-2008 12:44:11

It was fun yeah :D

Venom 07-02-2008 12:55:56

I hated Homeworld.

MDA 07-02-2008 13:04:04

I liked the early game, I liked the story, and I hated how the only way to reliably get to the end of the game seemed to be exploiting ship captures.

Venom 07-02-2008 14:26:57

I liked that I was smart enough to question how much I would like it that I pirated it.

Chris 07-02-2008 16:54:22

Well, I will be getting a review copy of it, so I will let you guys know.

Shining1 09-02-2008 00:26:01


Beta1 09-02-2008 19:44:54

if nothing else its a great name for a game.

very Iain M Banks.

Funko 11-02-2008 10:19:44

As with all these RTS, probably worth waiting for patch 2 anyway. :)

Chris 11-02-2008 10:37:35

Hard to say about patches, Gal Civ 2 worked without patching, but they did make some anyway.

Funko 11-02-2008 10:41:45

Yeah, with RTS it's mainly the MP balance issues that you don't find out about until you've got people really trying to exploit them.

MDA 11-02-2008 11:48:21

Some might even go so far as to say the GalCiv 2 patches were enhancements.

Funko 11-02-2008 12:09:32

I have got GalCiv 2, and played one game of it, but it didn't inspire me hugely. I'm still playing Civ IV if I play anything, but I might give it another go sometime.

The planetary based system just seem naturally as much fun somehow for a TBS.

Chris 11-02-2008 12:45:20

You never played Dark Avatar?

That ahd a lot of improvements, including really cool graphic updates.

You could actually see the ships you designed orbiting planets.

Funko 11-02-2008 12:55:52

No, didn't seem worth it when I'd barely scratched the basic game.

MDA 11-02-2008 13:42:08

I just upgraded to DA this Christmas after playing the orignal a ton.

Lately I've been playing SMAC. Its funny how hostile/schizo the AI is compared to newer games like GalCiv2 and Civ4. They may be cooperative/magnanimous one minute, then demand a tech, and if you refuse, declare vendetta because of your gov. choice. Particularly if you're doing well.

I see Penny Arcade did a paragraph long recommendation for Sins, which is probably a good sign.

Beta1 11-02-2008 20:27:50

LOL I thought I was the only one whoed been sucked back into SMAC and was keeping quiet about it.

Fistandantilus 11-02-2008 20:56:38

Well I played MoO2 a bit this w-e :nervous:

LoD 11-02-2008 21:13:22


Originally posted by Beta1
LOL I thought I was the only one whoed been sucked back into SMAC and was keeping quiet about it.
We still have active PBEMs (OK, one at the moment) at our site.

MDA 12-02-2008 12:08:01

I kinda stopped playing Moo2 when I got GalCiv2.

I don't even know if I kept my Moo3 disc. Even the player-made patches didn't completely fix it.

PA compared Sins to Hegemonia today. Then they sidetracked into Hegemonia nostalgia.

Chris 13-02-2008 14:00:51

It arrived yesterday, starting playing it today.

The visual controls take some getting used to, it's hard to view all the things inside a planent's gravity well at once.

There is a ton of detail, I went through the tutorials which seemed easy enough, and have begun a campaign.

The first thing is, there is no mini-map.

None at all.

The game designer says 'mini-maps' limit the gameboard size, so they found a different way to do things, and supposidily the game can have huge maps.

It kept my attention for a few hours, but I was really just feeling around.

Funko 13-02-2008 14:29:08

Interesting, keep us posted. Look forward to the review.

Chris 13-02-2008 16:54:20

It also lets you chose your faction color and Icons, which is pretty cool.

You definetly get a feeling of the vastness of space, and you can zoom and rotate the camera all over the place.

It's RTS, but making lots of one ship type is said to suck, according to the info that comes with it you need mixed fleets.

Funko 13-02-2008 17:18:03

RTSs always say that, hopefully it's true in practice too.

Chris 13-02-2008 17:55:25

From what Brad told me, you get massive bonus attck points with different ship types.

If it works I can't say, haven't played enough yet.

Chris 14-03-2008 11:09:39

Haven't had time to work on this, but I will this weekend.

Sir Penguin 24-03-2008 01:21:13



Funko 25-03-2008 11:24:48

Cool. Might have to try that.

Funko 28-03-2008 14:15:19

Anyone else up for playing this MP? if I get it? Reviews sound good. And MP sounds suited to groups of friends rather than random play.

Shining1 28-03-2008 21:15:13

I could be tempted.

Funko 29-03-2008 16:49:01

Well, I'm downloading the demo.

Funko 29-03-2008 18:16:26

Demo doesn't work. Black screen. Apparently they are working on a demo patch. Bah.

Shining1 29-03-2008 23:01:13

There's a new DoW xpack, btw. =D

MoSe 31-03-2008 12:40:10


Originally posted by Fistandantilus
Well I played MoO2 a bit this w-e :nervous:
I MoO 1

Funko 08-04-2008 17:28:49

Got demo working using this guide:

Will play at the weekend I reckon... left handed should be fun.

Fistandantilus 09-04-2008 10:11:08

mmm will try it

Funko 09-04-2008 12:27:59

Interesting looking total conversion mods being worked on for this game. Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestart Galactica, Battleship Gothic, Babylon 5. I imagine it'll be a while before any of these surface but at least one of the development groups have completed conversions on previous games.

Funko 09-04-2008 12:36:05


LoD 09-04-2008 12:48:49

You've obviously never seen the mods for Homeworld 2, Funko :)...

Funko 09-04-2008 12:57:53

No, and I haven't seen Homeworld 2 either.

The Star Wars and Star Trek conversion teams are pretty much the same as the Homeworld 2 teams, which is why it sounds promising. I haven't read about the other mods.

Funko 14-04-2008 08:37:17

Played the demo, liked it, bought the game, played my first game.

First impressions:

It's big! Even the small maps feel impressively large and you can build up fairly huge fleets. I ended my first game with 3 fleets including 8 capital ships, although I later found out that was massive overkill.

It's basically a cross between GalCiv II and Warcraft III. Any regular RTS players will find it all reassuringly familiar. You've got all your traditional RTS aspects. The mix of units is what you'd expect you've got building units, colonising units, attack units, long range units, repair units, buff units and capital ships which are similar to WC3 heroes even down to their types. You've got your tanks, buff capital ships, healers etc. They also have abilities that level up and at level 6 you get to have the hero, er I mean ship's super ability activated.

You've also got 3 resources credits, metal and crystal. You need to mine metal and crystal but it's fairly automatic. If a planet you own has a metal or crystal rich asteroid circling it you click the planet and tell it to build a crystal mine and leave it to it. No fucking peons thank god.

The control system is surprisingly intuitive. It's not really 3 dimensional in terms of combat. All the ships basically fly flat loops around the equator, but you don't feel bad about that. Combat looks great when you zoom in. You can build everything that can be built at a planet without leaving the main planet screen which is very handy. You can group your ships into the traditional Ctrl+# groups as well as into fleets.

It's slow. Although it's an RTS it's not frenetic. I haven't played multi-player but I don't get the impression that a couple of seconds either way are going to make the same kind of difference they do in WC3 or Dawn of War. Combat takes a long time, which gives you a chance to micro-manage stuff, although the default attack actions of the fleet are very good, leaving you to intervene in key areas or manage your capital ships abilities. If you outnumber the opposing fleet you can just leave them to it. The downside is that games can take a long time and fleets can take an age to travel long distances.

The tech tree is big and you definitely have to make choices, you can't afford to research everything.

There's no frills. No campaign just sandbox (which is what I prefer in RTS anyway) a rudimentary intro video. The interface outside the main game is functional enough.

I can see why people are making mods of this. The space battles are very atmospheric and really do look great.

Fistandantilus 14-04-2008 09:21:29

Does the demo support multiplayer?

I know I know I should find the time to download it and try it myself :(

Funko 14-04-2008 09:24:33

No, single player only in the demo.

Download only version from the states is $44.95 which is only 28!

Funko 14-04-2008 10:13:28

ps. I'm happy to do a full CG review for it, once I've played a bit more if anyone is interested.

Funko 14-04-2008 11:47:49

Oh and I just found out you can play with the game speeded up. Might try that next.

Venom 14-04-2008 12:15:11

Do it!

Funko 14-04-2008 13:09:43

ok had 2 "Do it!"s now so I'll do it.

Fistandantilus 14-04-2008 15:45:17

Demo downloaded, now the difficult task is to find time to actually play it :p

Funko 14-04-2008 16:00:48


Immortal Wombat 14-04-2008 18:28:33


Originally posted by Funko
Oh and I just found out you can play with the game speeded up. Might try that next.
Ah good, that would be a huge improvement.

Shining1 15-04-2008 03:20:04


Funko 15-04-2008 07:43:42


Originally posted by Immortal Wombat
Ah good, that would be a huge improvement.
They've even added the ability to speed up/slow down mid game in single player. I'm not sure whether you can see/edit the default keys in the demo or not but it might be there?

Fistandantilus 15-04-2008 08:53:27

Played the demo a bit yesterday. Didn't understand much :p

Besides, space combat is like getting in range, completely stop and exchange shots until someone explodes? :D

JM^3 15-04-2008 08:57:34

That is how it is in EVE also.

(at least for big ships)

Funko 15-04-2008 09:15:47

Ha, my first go was a bit like that.

I normally either micro my capital ship abilities/focus fire with my frigates, go off and manage the rest of my empire if it's one sided, or zoom in and fly around the battle looking at the pretty ships and shooting and explosions.

Funko 15-04-2008 09:29:21

n00b getting started guide (from someone who's still a n00b).

Your first hero er... I mean capital ship is free. Just like in WCIII. And just like WCIII you want to get it first and go out and start creeping to level it up. Apparently one of the planets adjacent to your homeworld is always a colonisable asteroid that you want to get ASAP.

1. Build a Capital Ship Factory
2. Mine your local Asteroids
3. Build your first Capital Ship (dunno what's best! One that can colonise planets would save you having to build a colony frigate. I think the carriers are cool, the battleships are toughest against other ships...)
4. Build a couple of scout frigates and send them off exploring to find out which of the two next to you is your local colonisable asteroid and then get them mapping the rest of the system.
5. Send your capital ship off to kill the locals at that planet, build a colony frigate to colonise it if your capital ship can't do it. Build more frigates and have them rendezvous with your capital ship. If you make the capital ship a fleet and right click the build rendezvous on the fleet flag they auto join the fleet.
6. Upgrade the "explore planet" and "population" planetary improvements on anywhere you colonise (and your homeworld) ASAP. These are the things that increase the credit rating you get out of each world. Hover over the credits bar at the top of the screen to see your credit income per planet. New worlds cost you money until you upgrade then they start making you money.

After that, you should be up and running with a 2 planet economy and it's up to you how you want to play from that point.

Oh and I totally underestimated the value of the black market the first time I played. You can quickly convert whatever resources you have too many of into what you desperately need. Very useful if you are in a tight spot.

Fistandantilus 15-04-2008 10:06:31

Realizing if a battle is one sided or not will be my next step in the learning process as I have absolutly no clue right now :lol:

Funko 15-04-2008 11:51:31


If you zoom out of a system there are little indicators in boxes around the planet, they show you relative military strength. I think the top left hand arced box is your military strength (shown in your colour) and the top right hand arced box is any enemy military strength in their colour(s). If you have more bars than them, you have better strength. Doesn't help you with force breakdowns etc. but it's a decent very rough guide.

Also if you look in your explorer on the left hand side you get columns of boxes that show you all the military units in the system, and if expanded you can see all the units. Only helps if you know what the units are...

Funko 15-04-2008 15:54:37

Oh and I think/hope I've got a properly functioning mic now.

Funko 18-04-2008 15:35:32

They have found a European distributor now. Should be out in retail here in may I think.

Funko 21-04-2008 13:31:06

Review is here!

Fistandantilus 21-04-2008 13:44:11

ohhhhh nice!

MDA 22-04-2008 10:49:47

thanks for the review, I'll let you know if I pick it up

Shining1 22-04-2008 12:52:10

Very good job on that. I'll have to take a look. =)

Sir Penguin 27-04-2008 03:32:57

The closest I've ever been to beating the hard AI was when I got my capital ship into the AI's gravity well 15 seconds before it finished its first ship. Then it launched its ship, drove me off, and crushed me in a few hours.


Venom 12-07-2008 13:28:52

Picked this up yesterday as I have some free time coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Funko 14-07-2008 11:35:06

My PC is up and running if you fancy a game sometime, maybe at the weekend. Bear in mind I totally suck as my computer has hardly been working since I wrote the review.

Fistandantilus 14-07-2008 12:03:51

You can't suck more than me :D

Funko 14-07-2008 12:08:05

I could!

Has anyone else got it?

Sir Penguin 14-07-2008 18:38:23

I have grown so much less sucky that I can now exploit AI weaknesses to beat three normal AI players or one hard AI player under ideal conditions.


Funko 15-07-2008 07:51:50

That probably makes you the best. Maybe we should endeavour to try some of the CG MP games like we did with WCIII, they were fun.

Incidentally this is now out in retail in the UK.

Sir Penguin 15-07-2008 17:27:07

I am both up and down for some MP.


Shining1 16-07-2008 02:33:21

Almost finished Mass Effect, almost got Orc Warrior to non-grindy point - still interested in whether this has potential as fun social RTS.

Funko 16-07-2008 08:00:05

I think the major thing against it would be game taking too long.

Possibly going to try setting up a very low skill level game with Venom on Sunday 27th if anyone wants in.

Venom 16-07-2008 12:06:16

I was playing a game last night and desperately trying to remember what to build and why I needed to build it. And then I ran into all the tactical and logisitic limits for planets and ship building limits and all that stuff.

Funko 16-07-2008 12:32:37

To upgrade your fleet building limits you need to go to the Fleet Logistics section of the research screen and upgrade your limits.

The tactical and logistical limits there's no way round if the planet is fully upgraded. You can sell structures, there's a button which is slightly hard to find when you have the structure highlighted.

Normal solution to needing more logistic slots for reseach centres is to conquer some more planets.

Venom 16-07-2008 12:39:25

Ah, Fleet Logistics research. I haven't even looked at that screen.

Funko 16-07-2008 12:40:32

Nor did I my first couple of games! I had the same thing with the logistics caps too.

I think the top row upgrades your capital ship cap and the bottom one is total ships. One or the other.

Venom 16-07-2008 12:42:26

So what are the keys to getting started? What are the first things to build other than metal and crystal extractors?

Funko 16-07-2008 13:10:18


Getting started

Early goals:

1. Explore the universe
2. Mine your home asteroids
3. Build your free capital ship and escorts
4. Clear your local asteroid of creeps
5. Colonise your local asteroid and mine it

The local asteroid is another planet type asteroid that is situated 1 jump from your start location on most maps.

Early actions:

1. Get your scouts, put their "explore" action on autocast and let them map out the galaxy for you
2. Send your constructors to mine your local resources
3. Build your free capital ship
4. Build 5 or so escort frigates to escort your capital ship, the last should pop about the same time as the cap.
5. Form your frigates and Cap into a fleet with the cap as the fleet admiral, send them off to your local asteroid to clear it of creeps.
6. If you didn't build a cap ship with the colonize ability (generally not considered to be the best first cap ship anyway) build a colony ship and send it to the newly cleared asteroid.
7. Max out your home planet for exploration and civilian infrastructure
8. Build military research centre, and civic research centre

Expand, research, conquer...

I'd normally go for another planet at this point. You might need to research ice planet or fire planet colonisation depending on what planets are nearby.

Venom 16-07-2008 14:29:31

I have done almost none of that.

Fistandantilus 16-07-2008 14:45:54


Funko 16-07-2008 14:52:38

Game experts might well look at that list and say it's total bullshit, but it's a good starting point.

Sir Penguin 16-07-2008 17:16:36


Originally posted by Funko
Possibly going to try setting up a very low skill level game with Venom on Sunday 27th if anyone wants in.
Yay! I want in.


Funko 17-07-2008 08:32:32

Have you got msn or anything so we can co-ordinate?

Sir Penguin 17-07-2008 18:16:54

No, I don't have anything like that. I can install it if necessary.


Sir Penguin 17-07-2008 23:16:45



Funko 18-07-2008 07:43:57

I've added you.

Funko 18-07-2008 07:45:28

If this is anything like a lot of MP games we've played the first forays into MP will involve a lot of chat on MSN like

"what lobby are you in?" "I'm hosting the game why aren't you joining?" "Have you set up the port forwarding?" "brb need another beer" etc.

Sir Penguin 18-07-2008 16:00:17

Life is harder now that we know people in other parts of the world.


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