Strategic eXpanse

Strategic eXpanse #22: Imperia Interview

Join Rob and Nate as they speak with Steve and Oliver, two of the developers behind Imperia, a new 4X game with a unique twist: the 5th X, eXist. They talk all about the game mechanics and discuss the AI and its role and briefly mention a rough outline for the development timetable!

Check out their site here:

Intro by: Mangadrive for eXplorminate

Categories: Strategic eXpanse

2 replies »

  1. In all fairness, I would not think naming Crusader Kings (we must assume version II) single dimensional. This may seem correct at the surface, in the sense that my relationship with a certain vassal or ruler is defined as a single state in the range of possible relationships. But CK II is about managing large and complex trees of relationships. The depth and multi-dimensional aspect to diplomacy in CK II happens because I need to take into account that vassal own relationships with other members of the court, as well as my own relationships with them.

    If I’m allowed a small criticism, I think Imperia has major selling points. It doesn’t need to muscle its way into CK II territory. That game is just too hard to beat. It’s not that is impossible. But any developer wanting to so openly draw comparisons like that, really better deliver. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And while Imperia would still have strong solid points in its favor, it could just be remembered instead as the game that “tried to be CK II in space”. Not good.

    In fact, I don’t even appreciate much the open way CK II is referenced. In particular “CK II in space” may not be the best tag. I believe gamers, particularly 4x gamers, have grown sophisticated enough to raise an eyebrow at exactly this kind of stuff. They can smell marketing ploys a mile away. It works best if you let the community do it, after the fact as a genuine compliment to the finished game. The further you distance yourselves from CK II and refuse to draw comparisons, the better.

    And that’s the thing: From what I heard on this excellent interview (thanks the four of you for the fun and informative listening), all I can say is “Damn! I want! Now!”. Imperia has so much going in for it that is its own, it is not even fun.

    I am excited about the promised land I’ve been shown in this podcast. The biggest challenge for the developers will no doubt be to make the complex and unique diplomatic mechanics in this game to work. In particular players must feel the world as a breathing, organic and logical universe, with some dashes of unapologetically unexpected behavior to properly simulate the randomness of the human race. Finding this balance between reason and irrationality is a tremendous task. I’m just glad I’m not part of it and I will be sleeping like a baby on my pillow as Steve and Oliver are wasting their nights trying top crack it. But if they pull it of, man what a game! I’m loving everything in it, the new and interesting IP and the ethos stroke a chord with me. And not a nerve, Rob :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, let me make a humble suggestion. I don’t want to sound like I know better how you should make the game. But one thing clicked inside of me while I was listening to the interview, but I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it. Not until now. Besides I’m outspoken like this…

    Don’t let us meet the Zil (sp?). Leave that for a sequel. Victory conditions could sort of mimic Alpha Centauri diplomatic wins or military wins, if the player achieves the goal of ending the game with a reasonably strong imperium. All factors should be considered, including military might at the point the game ends. The game needs to understand a Pyrrhic victory will invariably lead to a loss at the hands of the incoming Zil.

    I’m saying this because what I felt a bit off-place in the whole description of the game, was this idea that during the whole gameplay I will be either fighting or joining others into my empire, growing my demesne and influence, for the sole purpose of trying to secure a strong human civilization capable of matching the evil that is upon us. Like Phillip II of Greece, or Attilla and his father before him, we are in charge of uniting our race, or perish at the hands of a great enemy. I just can’t see how you can imagine this game setting, and then introduce the invading Zil forces at the end of the game without having to make huge concessions to the richness and depth of the game mechanics. It’s like playing two distinct games and one of them will suffer in quality.

    Maybe you have a plan. Maybe you know just how to pull this one and impress us. But at least this player here is telling you that he doesn’t really mind having a game terminate just before the Zil invasion.



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