Weekly eXchange

WeX #60 – The Year’s End

Join Rob and Nate as they discuss the weekly 4X and Strategy Game News! Have news that we didn’t catch? Be sure to email us at eXplorminate at gmail dot com!

Music by Mangadrive for eXplorminate

Show Notes

Categories: Weekly eXchange

6 replies »

  1. WeX #60 Notes

    0:00 – Intro, music by Mangadrive


    0:53 – Predestination

    The new big update puts the game at version, making it one step closer to release. Listen to Nate as he talks about these changes with a focus on the many new 3d models, the temporal rifts game mechanic and a new race, the Revenants. Rob mentions his dislike for the current UI and we are promised more Troy videos on this upcoming game. Woohoo!

    Of note also: Predestination devs encourage us folks to make suggestions on the forums, as the Dev Updates get published. So, get out there and help them make the game you want.

    Latest Dev Update:

    3:34 – Stars in Shadow

    It has finally reached Greenlight on Steam. Rob and Nate urge you to vote for it. You must listen to them as they discuss the purpose of the Greenlight system as a means to help games being published. It is NOT meant as a means for we to vote on games we like or dislike, but a means to vote for games that have enough production value to merit being released on Steam.

    Stars in Shadow has been pretty well covered on eXplorminate website. It is one of the 5 games figured picked by eXplorminate team as the most anticipated of 2016 and it is currently in 3rd place on eXplominate website latest pool, as one of the indie space 4x the eXplorminate community is most excited about. It is also been covered on the Weekly eXchange podcasts since… well, we know about it. If you haven’t greenlight it yet, go do it now.

    Steam Greenlight:
    eXplorminat Staff Most Antecipated 4x Games of 2016:
    Rob Let’s Play (December, 16):
    Rob’s Preview (April, 28):

    I said now!

    6:35 – Polaris Sector

    Beta 6 is out. Rob talks about it as he also announces he has started a Let’s Play. Updates includes high-res animated portraits of the races. Currently the Beta test program for the game is free for all. You just need to register to Slitherine website. Rob’s let’s play is fun to watch and ended up being used on Slitherine’s own website to showcase the game.

    Beta Test program:
    Rob’s Beta 6 Let’s Play:

    8:14 – Planar Conquest (known as “Worlds of Magic” on the PC)

    The game gets a rename on the App Store because of another game known as The World of Magic. On the PC it will maintain its Worlds of Magic name. Nate explains it. The App Store release for the iPad is an improved game over the poorly received PC version, hoping to come up with a better game.


    10:33 – Steam Winter Sale

    You must listen as Rob and Nate discuss Steam Sales and their concern about how they may impact on the developers and publishers returns. They go into detail about the Refund Policy and how it interacts with the Steam Sales. They then move on to dsicuss the shortfalls of the Explore Queue. Did I say you must listen to this? Well, you must.

    17:33 – What are you playing

    Rob is still under a Non Disclose Agreement on this secret game he’s been playing about. But he’s been also on Polaris Sector, Sorcerer King, Endless Legend. Also Grim Dawn, and he goes into some detail about this Diablo 2 slash Titan Quest inspired game.

    Finally Star Ruler 2. And Rob promises he will try to find the time for Let’s Play videos. And check it out, inspired by another a Star Ruler gamer, Rob decided to offer 10 copies of Stars in Shadow to the eXplorminate community if it gets Greenlight! Is that cool or is that cool? So go vote, for pete’s sake!

    Nate has been on Gal Civ III, Endless Legend and Thea. Both talk about their love for both Endless Legend and Thea. And we know already they gave the eXplorminate’s 2015 GOTY award to the latter.

    Polaris Sector:
    See above
    Sorcerer King:
    Endless Legend:
    Grim Dawn:
    Star Ruler 2:
    Galactic Civilizations III:
    Thea, The Awakening:

    25:32 – 2016, The Year Of 4x Games

    Fun conversation with important news thrown in. You must listen!

    Rob and Nate are very excited about the upcoming year with many new titles and expected expansions for already release games. They predict it will be the best year for 4x games ever, and promise they will be covering it all, starting with exactly that secret game they can’t talk about in just a few weeks.

    Rob announces his personal life has to take priority and he will remain absent for the most part of the first half of the year, with the exception of the Weekly eXchange. Troy will be taking over at least until the Summer.

    Meanwhile Nate also reminds us to be participative and not fear to make suggestions or request coverage on certain games. He reminds us that while eXplorminate started strictly on the 4x genre, they since have branched out to Strategy in general and they will also consider new suggestions and new staff members with value to add to the community.

    31:01 – The End & Happy New Year, Music by Mangadrive

    Rob and Nate wrap it up wishing everyone an Happy New Year. And, for pete’s sake, don’t stop right there. Listen to Magadrive’s cool end tune. 3 minutes of awesomeness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure we all here at the eXplorminate community wish you the best Rob and hope you sort it out so we can see you more often around. Please return, or else…

    As for Troy, we love the man! He’s a great choice to take a more central role. eXplorminate is in good hands. We love the whole staff and the work you keep on putting together to make this community so vibrant is all the proof you need that you are doing it right. And all the proof we need eXplorminate staff cares for its community.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’re absolutely right about Steam sales hurting the overall market. I know my personal experiences are little more than anecdote, but I’ve almost completely stopped buying new games. I know I’ll get them 50% off sooner or later. I use my wishlist entirely for the purpose of having an “at a glance” summary of what is or is not on sale.

    Buying a game at full price is, for me, a conscious, careful decision at this point. I usually wait for 75% off or more.


    • It’s a tough subject for me. I always feel divided about it. Struggling to make ends meet in real life, I tend to view the video game market as a luxury I can only rarely afford. So I look at Steam Sales as catering for the consumer and in my own best interests. But on the other hand, being so involved in the history of personal computer video game since its birth in the 80s, I am also very attuned with game developers needs.

      Another issue that pops up and many people may not be aware, is that Steam online distribution model which we do enjoy for some of its benefits, has in fact become a another factor contributing to the Digital Divide and that is creating two completely different Internet experiences in the world.

      Poor and underdeveloped countries have almost no Internet infrastructure and rely mostly on expensive leases on available satellite bandwidth. The almost complete destruction of the physical PC game retail market, means these countries which represent a large portion of the world, represent today only a tiny, tiny, portion of the PC gaming market.

      How is that? Well, take Angola, where I live. In here a 2GB plan will cost you roughly the equivalent of 32 USD. There’s no typo anywhere. 2 GB = 32 USD. And don’t expect discounts. 10 GB will cost you 160 USD. So to download a 2 GB game, priced today at around $50, someone in here ends up spending roughly $80. The irony is then that Steam Sales are to people like me the only way we can in fact pay for and download a game at full price. With no Sale, we pay a much steep premium price for games.

      It is no wonder then that in a country like this, despite its economic growth on the 10s%, PC gaming is almost non existing. I am in fact one of only a handful of residents in this country that uses Steam. The video game market is instead mostly based on consoles for the ability to purchase games on a physical retail store. But we know that is changing too. As the console manufacturers keep making a huge push towards online markets, soon enough the PS and XBox will move entirely into online distribution too.

      Now, I know Steam doesn’t make sales to help poor and underdeveloped countries. But I am sure glad they exist in such a constant amount. I only hoped the tripe AAA PC gaming market hadn’t become so expensive on the $50 dollar figure and rapidly moving to $60. And with disk space being so cheap today, there is very little incentive for developers to tightly pack their games and be more efficient in how they use disk space. You can imagine how difficult it is for residents in countries like this to play a 10 GB game that will cost them 180 USD just to download.

      I’m not a poor person. Certainly not in comparison to the $100 USD monthly wage of the vast majority of the citizens in this country. But my ~$2,500 household monthly income can only rarely support the cheap indie purchase on Steam. We are an household of 4 with, my wife and two daughters at high school age. And everything in here is expensive, even for the basic needs.

      So Steam Sales help. Even if not by much. But most importantly, the Steam business model that ended up putting so much unfair pressure particularly on small studios and indie ventures, is in fact working in my favor. I try to balance that with as much support I can give to those indies I like (by spreading word on their games, being a part of their beta test periods, or whatever). But ultimately, I try my best to pay the lowest possible price for their hard work and Steam, even if only occasionally, has helped me doing that.

      Sorry for the long post.

      Liked by 1 person


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