Greetings and Salutations! This week we interviewed the developers for Lord of Rigel from Rhombus Studios. I’d like to introduce myself first. My name is Nate also known as Nasarog, and I’m the co-founder of eXplorminate4x.com, the premier 4X and strategy website on the internetz. With the resurgence of space 4X games, indie studios have really stepped it up, and as a result we want to bring you – our fans – as close to the developers as possible so you can get to know them and their products as well as possible. Let’s begin, shall we?
eXplorminate: Thank you for joining us for this Q&A. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourselves, your team, and your studio.
(James) My entry in the 4X space genre really started with a demo of Master of Orion 2 which hooked me instantly with the idea of various alien races, especially the idea of the Elerians and their telepathy. I remember begging my parents for a copy of the game at our local Costco and playing it for countless hours, including many hot-seat sessions that lasted for 10 hours or more. Since then, I have dabbled in various 4X games such as Civilization 5 and the Total War series.
Rhombus Studios was started from a conversation with my business partner (Adam) in the Spring of 2014. Our conversation led to how much we wanted to play a Master of Orion 2.5 like game and in turn, that led us to talk about what we would like to see from a MoO successor.
That conversation started because I haven’t played an enjoyable 4x strategy game besides Civilization 5 with its expansions. I really felt that the 4x genre was a fantastic genre, but the games being produced had game mechanics that didn’t work for me and had forgotten some of the classics like Master of Orion 2.
Our team is composed of a variety of people that we have either worked with in the past on other projects such as Diaspora [a critically acclaimed freeware Battlestar Galactica space combat sim released in 2012], and people we reached out to that could contribute to the project.
(Adam) As James mentioned, we started this with just a conversation in his living room in the Spring 2014. I was working on the second release for the freeware space sim game Diaspora, but doing a space strategy game was something very appealing.
I had played a lot of current 4X games such as Endless Space (Endless Legend hadn’t been released quite yet) and Galactic Civilizations 1/2. I was also looking at a lot of the current projects that had been funded through Kickstarter. After playing a many of them, I felt that something was missing from each. A big sticking point for me was wanting to have a solid combat system, and an endgame that stayed fun.
At that time, I was playing Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai and some of the game mechanics such as the realm divide events really shaped my thinking on how to “fix the endgame” for a space game.
My first 4x space game (and strategy game in general) was the first Master of Orion which I grabbed from a floppy disc from a friend down the block. When Master of Orion 2 came out with its high resolution 640×480 graphics it seemed to be the best thing ever. When Master of Orion 3 was released on my 18th birthday, I was certain that the universe was playing a sick joke.
eXplorminate: I’d have to agree that Master of Orion 3 was too much of a departure from it’s predecessors. So why is your game called Lord of Rigel?
(James) Lord of Rigel comes as a play on Master of Orion since Rigel is the largest star in the constellation Orion’s belt.We felt that Master of Rigel was just pulling it a little too close on project name so we went with Lord instead.
(Adam) Lord of Rigel also ties a bit in with “Star Lords” which was an early title for MoO. Of course the actual recent indie game Star Lords had to change their name to Lords of the Black Sun…
eXplorminate: Ah, now I understand. Can you also tell us a little more about the races in the game?
(Adam) Ah, this is what we’ve been looking forward to. We have ten playable species, two elder species (the Rigelans and Arcturans), and also minor species who lack FTL technology.
(James) The species are fairly diverse and include species that are aquatic, shape shifting, telepathic, warriors, researchers, machines, etc…
(Adam) We also mix and match a few sci-fi archetypes. For instance the Selach are our aquatic species but they’re also masters of galactic trade.
(James) The player can of course choose a species look that they like and design their own stats. But we have spent a fair amount of time developing the species to be unique and have created character artwork that is diverse and lets the player feel attachment to each species.
eXplorminate: Rob ‘Devildog” is a huge fan of aquatic races. What about the minors and elder races? How do they fit in the Lord of Rigel universe?
(Adam): The minor species lack FTL technologies and are at different technological levels (some pre-agriculture, others right on the cusp of getting FTL for themselves). They’ll also tend to be on planets with key strategic resources to use endgame techs. They’ll also have unique bonuses and traits not available to the standard player species. This might range from an insanely high reproduction rate to research bonuses. Players can choose to protect or conquer minor species. Uplifting (your species giving them FTL and their joining the bigger galactic scale) is also planned.
Unlike some games that outright say whether your species is “good” or “evil” aligned, in LoR this is based on your actions. Being an interventionist with minor species isn’t good or evil on its own, but what your motive is can be.
Do you uplift a species that’s better at ground combat that even the Katraxi with the hope they’ll get on their feet and start a war? Do you annihilate a species so you can get the strategic resource to build a planet-killer to save the galaxy from a grand menace? Those are the questions we want players to be asking.
So you can play it like the Federation and never interfere, or you can get your hands dirty. But needless to say if you’re enslaving pre-warp species that doesn’t make the galactic community happy. Yet some species will be pretty apathetic to it. The Tharrn for instance won’t care much minus being cranky about losing a food source.
eXplorminate: You mentioned the Master of Orion series, yet some people preferred the first game to the second one (let’s not bother with the travesty that was 3). What are your feelings about the franchise?
(James) I have dabbled in Master of Orion 1. But it came out before I really got into playing computer games. Adam is a big Master of Orion 1 fan. Since we have begun to design and develop the game (Lord of Rigel), he has brought up many of the design aspects of Master of Orion 1. I have tried to play the game a few times recently, but just can’t move past the old school graphics. It isn’t a game that resonates with me since I don’t have the childhood memories playing it that he does.
(Adam) I played Master of Orion 1 thoroughly and really enjoyed it. There are a lot of mechanics in it that didn’t make it to the sequel which was always disappointing.
Overall, in 4X games, there appear to be two camps, the Civilization and MoO influenced games.
Lord of Rigel falls more in the Civilization camp. Some other released games like Sword of the Stars and Stars in Shadow fall more under the abstracted economies of MoO 1. While Stardrive 2, Endless Space, and Galactic Civilizations have the less abstracted ones with more of a focus on colony building.
Getting back to the MoO 1 question: Master of Orion 1 has had a massive influence on the very cartoony art style that we often see in 4X games with few exceptions and the focus on heavy humor.
With Lord of Rigel we’re trying to move back to something that feels more like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Babylon 5. So yes, there are lizard people but we’re constructing histories and backgrounds that make sense (in a Star Trek kind of way).
(James) Personally, some 4X games have drawn me out of them with forced humor. It’s not to say we’re doing a “dour, humorless” universe, but we want to have things feel somewhat real. I think for me, some recent games have had this fatal flaw. I don’t think you can become invested in a game for 20+ hours if it is one big joke. I also think replayability is weakened by this as well.
One of our aims is to create a universe the is fairly open and, with a little leap of faith, believable to the player. We want the player to become invested in the species they are playing and playing with.
(Adam) To do this for LoR, one thing I’ve attempted to do is also ground traditional sci-fi species archetypes into some sort of grounded evolutionary and cultural history.
eXplorminate: Currently, I can count six Master of Orion 1/2 games vying for the title. What makes your vision for Lord of Rigel stand out from the rest of the fray?
(Adam) So what makes us really different we can distill down to a few things. Alien races: We have ten playable races with unique characteristics and behaviors. For example, the Tharrn; their consumption of colonists is a pretty major gameplay mechanic. So they’ll want to invade planets and freight captured population to other worlds for the bonuses they provide. Two other big things on races are the elder and minor species that have unique characteristics.
Our second big thing is the endgame. We’re spending more time than other 4Xs have on ensuring that the game continues to be fun and challenging towards the end. This includes how we handle the endgame scenarios (military, diplomacy, research), things such as grand menaces, and the conflict between the elder species.
(James) In terms of what we are doing differently, I think the most important thing is that we have two core focuses in our design.
1st: This is a game. It needs to be fun.
2nd: Master of Orion 2, while old and not as in deep as other modern 4X games, did have a balance between game and stats that provided a fun playing experience for people.
Many modern games have the science of space down, but I think the art of making a game has been ignored to an extent. During our initial design discussions our basic premise was that Master of Orion 2 was great. But why do we want a successor? As we began to answer that question, we began to look at various mechanics in the game that we felt lacking and expanded on those systems. So one of the areas that we felt was weak in MoO 2 was espionage. It really became about defending yourself from theft rather than a mechanic that could be used as a rewarding gameplay system. Wouldn’t it be nice to assassinate enemy leaders and cause rebellions? Our focus has been to make spying rewarding for players so that a player actually wants to use the system rather than be forced to use it for their own defense.
Ship combat is another issue that we felt was weakened in Master of Orion 2. Turn-based battles with five columns of ships took excessive time to play each turn. Fleet building was about building the biggest ship and by late game you could create a doomstar in five turns rather than have pride in your accomplishments. Additionally some systems like command points were so weak that they could easily be ignored. So the player could just spam massive Doomstar fleets and horde the galaxy to victory rather than strategize how to build a fleet and position them for strategic advantage.
(Adam) One of the things we’ve done with tactics is mechanics like flanking and called shots on subsystems. So the game isn’t just a race to make the largest ship. Small ones can deal critical damage and have use in the late game.
(James) Menaces is another area of Master of Orion that we took and expanded to make endgame meaningful, but also make grand menaces deserve their name. The game will have mechanics where there are plagues, alien hordes, and deadly probes, that don’t just affect some minor planets or can be defeated by sending three ships to a system to defeat a space dragon. We want a grand menace as a way to force the player to adjust their plans such as focusing on research or military to defeat probes that are destroying star systems.
(Adam) The types of random encounters we’ve added also tie in more directly to the history of the galaxy and universe.
(Adam) Think of threats like the Borg and the Flood.
(James) In a way they provide a mechanism for questing to occur, but in a way that is broader and more meaningful than sending a diplomat to another empire. Lastly one of the things that I think I will be heavily focusing on in the later stages of the game is creating an AI that is reactive to what the player is doing and consistent so that the player can actually understand what the AI is doing and why.
eXplorminate: Are you talking about external pressure here?
(James) Yes these would be random events that can hurt the player or help them.
(Adam) But they’re also balanced and gated so you don’t have your homeworld wiped out turn two by a supernova.
eXplorminate: So, guys, you are saying all the right things in all the right places, but I haven’t heard much about the tech tree and tech progression through the game. Can you tell us something about that?
(Adam) We’re doing an approach like MoO 2 and Stardrive 2 where you have some fields and you pick one technology to focus on out of those fields. But we’re making sure that decisions at any tech level are difficult, it shouldn’t be easy to choose between the alternatives. Certain endgame technologies will also require controlling strategic resources. So if you want to build a Dyson Sphere or Black Hole Generator you’ll need to secure those resources.
(James) We have a basic tech tree design, but as we go forward with playtesting things may change. Tech trees are important to gameplay since they provide a means to an end for the player.
eXplorminate: Are we going to be inundated with missile 1/2/3 laser 1/2/3 and faster missile 1/2/3 etc?
(Adam) Oh, god no!
(James) We have disrupters, phasers, lasers, meson cannons, etc.
(Adam) We’re doing it like MoO 2 where you research the tech once and you’ll automatically get the new versions when you keep moving up a field. So you don’t have to research Heavy Lasers or Cloaked Missiles. When you research a Cloaking Device you’d unlock weapon mods that involve cloaking tech.
(James) Essentially expect each weapon to add something a little different to the experience. We are really focusing on trying to get the tech tree to a place where the player has to make some decisions about what is important to them and their game style. Having weapons or technology that is just tech 1, 2, 3 simply doesn’t provide that experience.
(Adam) The choices we’ll have are things like do I want mass drivers or shielding? Mass drivers don’t have the drawbacks of say a fusion gun, but having early shield tech means much stronger ships. Those sorts of trade offs.
(James) I am sure as development of the game continues we will agonize over how we group technology and research levels. But gameplay will be the ultimate deciding factor.
(Adam) Plus it encourages players to acquire techs from other species through diplomacy, invasion, and espionage.
eXplorminate: That sounds great, but will there be any randomness or variability to the tech tree like Sword of the Stars or Pandora?
(Adam) We did discuss it, but it didn’t seem to be the approach we wanted to take for this game. SotS and MoO 1 added tech weighting to help make each species more unique.
(James) No, there won’t be much randomness to the tech tree. We want to focus on a technology tree that provides good technology/gameplay mechanics to the player. But we will be tying some late-game technology to galactic strategic resources. So I think that should help give the tech tree and research even more relevance to the player when they are taking star systems because they contain a resource they need for their mega cannon.
(Adam) For LoR, we’ve discussed doing something similar for AI species so they’ll tend to pick certain technologies. So for the player we’re emphasizing choice, but for the AI they’ll tend to pick techs that fit with how we picture they should behave.
eXplorminate: Space is vast and beautiful, so are there going to be any visible planetary or orbital structures in the game?
(James) Planetary structures can be seen in the colony view as you build each building. Orbital structures such as starbases, battlestations and star fortresses can be seen in orbit within system view as well as colonies being lit on the nightside.
Due to the massive amount of art assets, structures will be unified to one set. We chose instead to make starships and characters unique for each race. However icons for population will be unique to each species. One of the goals that we have is with sufficient crowd funding or interest in LoR paying our artist to do additional buildings for each species.
eXplorminate: That’s sounds really thought-out, thank you for that. Let’s talk about empire management, and more specifically… the colonies. Can you tell us how you plan to manage early-game development, and late-game micromanagement hell?
(James) Well one thing that I loved about MoO 2 was the ability to watch your colony grow. So you landed your colony ship and watched the first houses being built, etc. Where things get crazy is late-game as you point out.
(Adam) This is a good question since we want to keep the option for micromanagement that MoO2 had, but we also have galaxies at least ten times larger if the player wants.
(James) When I have 40 colonies, I am not always caring about how they are building up. One solution that we think we have found is to allow the player to focus on colonies if they wish, but to also allow them to be built a standardized queue of buildings.
So for instance if you gain a new colony you can simply use Player Build Queue 1 and build sequence you have designed will begin building. That will let players have more of a set and forget mentality so they can focus on things are require their attention. At any time the player can turn this system off and micromanage the colony.
(Adam) Also, players can pick AI priorities too. So you can do your own queues, or from a pulldown list pick the specialization type and the population and building queues will be set to hit that specialization.
eXplorminate: We’ve talked about technology, colony management, random events, how about diplomacy and espionage?
(Adam) In terms of diplomacy there’s a few big things we’re doing. First and foremost we’re wanting to avoid the psychotic AI you’d get in many strategy games while also trying to avoid a “gamey” feeling system of points for diplomacy.
In diplomacy we’re trying to make it heavily tied to the personality of an Empire’s leader and also the culture of an empire. So the Katraxi will behave in an internally consistent manner different to the Selach for instance, respecting strength and generally holding to treaties.
Other species like the Tulock might seem pretty random to the players, having periods of inaction followed by greatly expanding their sphere of influence.
The other thing we’ve done with diplomacy is the fact that in general it has a lot more importance. When you’re dealing with things like grand menaces or elder species banding together is more critical.
Plus, diplomacy with minor species (ones without FTL tech) can be important in terms of FTL technology or generally how you are going about in guiding the galaxy. Do you give FTL to these people? Or try to protect them from being exploited even though their planet has the only source of a star-destroying material in the galaxy?
(James) Espionage is a system that I feel once we get implemented and tested I will love to use. That is saying something because typically I hate espionage in a game.
Master of Orion 2 espionage mainly was about defense. If you had no spies the AI would steal all of your advanced tech and then use it against you. It was also difficult to acquire technology and also you ran the risk of making the AI go crazy and kill you.
What we are focusing on with our espionage system is providing a system where the player can engage in espionage and be rewarded for the risk they are taking. Players can look to incite rebellions by pushing discontent in a neighboring empire so that they can assassinate the enemy leader and have a coup. Additionally the idea of blowing up some random farm on Altrac 3 seems like a small reward for a high risk.
eXplorminate: We haven’t really discussed eXploration and eXpansion. What can you tell us about how they are utilized within the Lord of Rigel universe?
(Adam) So on exploration the mechanics are pretty simple overall. Ships have a range they can explore based on fuel from a colony or outpost. Ships explore systems once they arrive. Ships, colonies, and outposts also get sensors which can detect fleets and worlds within a set range as well. We wanted to keep the basic exploration itself simple, but what you can find is where the fun is.
So we have nine basic star types all from the real stellar classification system. There’s also a variety of nebulae and other “anomalies” (neutron stars, wormholes) that also affect the game. Ships and fleets have a harder time navigating through nebulas, near neutron stars, and around black holes, reflected in ships going slower. But there’s good reason to visit places like neutron stars, since they have a high chance of having nearby wormholes that can form a transit network through a galaxy.
When exploring you’ll also come across various unique things in planets and systems. These can include Dead worlds with the ruins of previous civilizations. Also exploration is important even in the late game to secure strategic resources.
In terms of expansion, that’s done through settling worlds with colony ships. But you can also construct outposts that serve as refueling, repair, and sensor bases.
(James) Having outposts is one area in the game that we have been focusing on some new mechanics to improve their use and make gas giants more useable to players as well. Outposts will be able to produce small amounts of research, industry, etc. and players can build them orbiting gas giants. The idea being that players can see gas giants as something useful rather than thinking that they are worthless or should be converted into a rocky world through terraforming.
(Adam) Unlike some games, you can colonize any planet type from game start. But if you’re a Human and settling on an Inferno planet with seas of lava you’ll not be able to farm there (having to ship in all supplies) and construction and maintenance are much more expensive. I should clarify that Gas Giants aren’t a type that players can colonize at least in the base game.
eXplorminate: Are there any heroes, admirals/generals, governors, politicians, mercenaries or any sort of unique individual/s within the game?
(Adam) Yes, so we’ll have pre-set leaders with set skills to start within the game. They’ll be from each of the main species in LoR, and a few will be unique. Leaders also acquire new skills over the course of the game depending on how they’re used. Say if you use bioweapons a lot, an admiral may acquire a trait that makes them feared for their reputation for biowarfare. We felt that doing it that way rewards the players more than standard skill trees we’ve seen in many recent games and is less of a chore too. Think of it as unlocking achievements for your heroes. Governors and leaders are the same, it’s up to players to assign them to what based on their skills. One other thing we’ve been discussing is having leaders from inside your empire with random skills, some bad. They could have the potential to be much greater (or worse) than hired leaders. [At this point in the Q&A, Nate threw a bunch of money and credit cards at his monitor.]
eXplorminate: Let’s go deep on combat. Would you like to elaborate some more on the combat in Lord of Rigel? How about the implementation of ground combat?
(James) First thing with LoR that we thought was important was to contextualize combat. Tactical combat in Master of Orion was part of the story and a means to an end rather than a central focus.
What we have done with Lord of Rigel is really look at what worked in the Master of Orion 2 system of combat and what didn’t work. MoO 2 did a great job of integration and really didn’t have any mega-flaws in combat. Really they were omissions rather than something sticking out to the player. So we felt that turn based combat was the first thing that needed to stay. That keeps pacing with the rest of the core game. But of course we have given it some improvements that modernize it and change some core dynamics in fleet design.
For instance Master of Orion 2 could have terribly long battles with even worse turns if fleets were big enough. We felt that a way to limit this would be to have a 36 ship limit per side during combat. Now players can have bigger fleets and can call in reinforcements in the same battle, but they won’t show up until after a ship has been destroyed. This will keep turn waiting down to a minimum and still make large fleets worth the player’s time. We also integrated a top down camera that if you double click on any ship will give you an anchored camera to give you a 3d perspective in combat. We are also adding some fleet composition mechanics that will make smaller ships more useful and more common. Larger vessels are exponentially larger in size than smaller size and therefore should consume more time to build and more resources to upkeep.
Doomstars in the late game of MoO 2 could be pumped out in 8 turns on the right colony and this is not the right approach in our opinion. Doomstars should be an achievement for a player and something that massive empires only have a dozen or so of. Within combat tactics themselves smaller ships will be harder to target and do a better job at flanking opponents and exploiting weaker rear armor on largest ships. Additionally, they can receive sub system targeting bonuses that will allow them to be used as a scalpel to disable engines, weapons, and shields on larger ships so that cruisers and battleships have an easier time knocking down bigger ships.
Ground combat again falls into the same design philosophy as MoO 2. While the system in MoO 2 was basic, a more complex system would break up gameplay too much. For instance, each invasion of a colony would require two major battles. One in space and one on the ground.
So we asked ourselves what was lacking in MoO 2? The answer we felt was a lack of reward for hard work and preparation. LoR will have the same system as Master of Orion 2, but it will reward players for the degree to which they won a battle. Two areas that we will reward the player on will be morale and technology left. So if a player invades a large world and has only one marine surviving then the colony is more likely to rebel than a colony where twelve marines are left behind. The second area is that if players blitz a planet with a massive amount of troops the odds of them acquiring technology will massively be increased.
With this system in place there isn’t any increased complexity in ground combat, but rather players can actually use it to their advantage now if they choose, and actually be rewarded for their work so that ground combat is more relevant. A few recent games have done very in-depth turn-based ground combat systems. But in the end tech level and basic preparation are still what drives ground combat. So we wanted to keep something simple, fun, and strategic in scale that rewards players for good planning in attacking or defending.
eXplorminate: This all sounds very intense and complex. How is the AI going to handle all of these difficult choices? Plenty of games out there that have worthless AI…
(Adam) So we’re using a state based AI with logic trees at the core (like everything else out there). But what makes us different is our focus on making the AI behave internally consistent and not necessarily trying to win the game. Which at first sounds odd “why have an AI who doesn’t have the goal to win?” But the big thing is having each species when it comes to diplomacy, spying, expansion, and even tactical combat to all feel a little different from each other, and most importantly, be predictable.
Players aren’t predictable, and if you make an AI designed to win the game in an optimal way it’ll do things like break treaties after a few turns and behaviors that appear schizophrenic because it’s going for optimal choices with limited data. So instead, we went ahead and decided that the best thing is going to be to make say the Selach seem… Selach-y, in their behaviors.
Focus on trade, expanding enough to stay in contact with other species, emphasis on money so if they need to defend themselves they can buy fleets. Another example is in the upcoming demo how different we have the Human and Katraxi AIs. Both are for ship combat, but the Katraxi tend to be very aggressive with self-destructing and positioning while the Humans try to stand off and will focus more on trying to minimize losses.
So for us good AI is having enough patterns that a player can recognize how to deal with a species. That species might not win the game, but they won’t feel neurotic to the player. Which should make the AI feel much smarter to players since you’ll be able to get a feel for what they should be doing.
So both in tactical and the strategic side, each species should feel different. That’s the goal. The Katraxi are going to try to beat everyone up and they’ll ideally back down at a sign of strength and even like you. The Tharrn are going to raid weak worlds to secure captives to ship back home. The Tulocks will have periods where they’re isolationist and then they’ll rapidly expand and annex worlds.
eXplorminate: That makes me wonder where else you’re drawing inspiration for your game besides the obvious?
(Adam) A little bit of everything and anything. In games a lot of SM’s Alpha Centauri, a bit of the Endless games. From shows and movies, Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Star Wars are the big ones.
(James) Total War.
(Adam) From books there’s a lot of Niven’s Known Space and Bank’s Culture novels tossed in there too.
(James) A lot of Babylon 5 should be evident in the game. Not so much having the Narn and Centauri races or anything like that, but the basic assembly of alien races similar to B5. Plus you have two Elder races engaged in a cold war… But we have also taken elements from 2001: A Space Odyssey with the use of probes being sent to young races and helping them develop.
(Adam) In LoR the player species are using the same FTL tech since the Rigelans have seeded the galaxy with probes with that information. Hoping to get into the good graces of the younger races before the war with their rivals. The Arcturans begin again building probes of their own to counter Rigelan influence on the younger races and begin to form a confederation between themselves and pre-FTL species they have contacted.
eXplorminate: What part of your game are you most excited about?
(Adam) Blowing up stars!
(James) Two things excite me, but they will come at different points. The first is getting to finish my first victory in the game. The second is seeing someone build a mod for the game. I am really hoping someone is able to modify Lord of Rigel and build a total conversion of one of the major sci-fi franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, etc.
eXplorminate: During one of your answers, you had mentioned crowdfunding, does that mean you’ll need the public to help finish this project? What crowdfunding sites are you going to utilize?
(Adam) Yes we will need the public to help finish Lord of Rigel. We’re going to focus on Kickstarter since we don’t want to split efforts between two crowdfunding sites. We’ll be starting our media campaign next Sunday (July 27, 2015). We’re aiming for September 24th (2015) for our Kickstarter. Our new website will also be launching shortly.
(James) People can expect to see more content from us including articles and a demo for tactical combat. We are hoping that people are interested in the project and want to discuss and contribute to it in a meaningful way.
eXplorminate: Can you please elaborate further on what the Kickstarter campaign will net you and the backers?
(Adam) So our plan is you’ll get some immediate rewards for backing including an expanded version of the tactical demo. Though calling it a tactical demo is kinda underselling it as it’ll be a full blown skirmish game with the ship designer and two species. The expanded version will unlock additional species: two more to start, but we’ll add on more as content packs. The soundtrack, a digital art book, universe fiction guide, and early access are also going to be perks for tiers. Higher tiers will have things like naming systems, heroes, and emperors (pending approval of course).
I’d like to thank you both on behalf of eXplorminate4x.com, and the greater 4X and strategy community. For a small indie team, you have some grand ambitions. We hope they are realized in the ways that you are imagining them. I look forward to more updates. Good luck and godspeed.