We at eXplorminate reached out to Mike Domingues and the others at Grey Wolf Entertainment to learn more about what their recent road map meant and we’re now pleased to share the answers we received:
1) Congrats on the early access release of Pax Nova! How do you feel the release has gone so far?
Releasing Pax Nova has been brilliant. We’re really happy with the reception so far – players seem to understand what we’re trying to do and most importantly are enjoying what’s there. This is especially encouraging considering we have so much more in store to show and the game will only get better from here.
2) The roadmap looks great, but can you give us more detail about your plans to add more planetary colonization options, enhanced planetary differentiation, race and diplomacy differentiation improvements and improved combat?
That’s a big question! If you check out our Steam store page we expanded on the details of our next big update – which will feature a lot of these new features, such as the ability to create more colonizable planets. In further updates, we’re going to be adding exclusive technologies and weapons for each race, new proposal types for diplomacy, new terrain types on planets and new animations and combat features.
3) Right now, we’re seeing a lot of reports on how little incentive there is to colonize other planets, as you can win the game from your starting planet. What’s your plan to fix that?
That is indeed probably the most recurring issue people have with the game as of right now and this is something we want to address as soon as possible. Balancing will be a huge part of how we’re going to fix this, but we are also going to add a new Tech era, greatly increase the difficulty of how you can get a Science and Score victory and add plenty of incentives for players to go to space; making it nearly impossible for players to win without leaving their home planet.
4) Are there plans to make the research tree mode dynamic or, bluntly, more interesting?
Yes! We are going to add a new Tech Era with plenty of cool new technologies as well as add new technologies to the existing ones and rebalance and improve some of the older ones. We are also going to add race-exclusive and new faction-specific technologies, partially randomize the tech tree as well as some other goodies we have in store. We also think the tech tree will also be a lot more interesting as a side effect of improvements in other areas such as making space a more important part of the game and some new gameplay elements like space mining for example.
5) In your opinion, where do you see the most room for improvement?
Because of the scale of the game there’s a ton of room for expansion in most areas, but the one area we feel needs more love right now is probably the space layer of the game. I mentioned space mining and new resources, which are coming in our next big update. We’re also planning on having trading posts later on where you can buy powerful items and technology.
6) The choice to include planetary and space colonization is pretty unique and has been rarely attempted. How do you plan to make Pax Nova stand out and perhaps above the other games that have attempted this type of gameplay?
The other 4X games who did both space and land had these layers divided with each serving a certain purpose while in Pax Nova the transition between both is seamless and the gameplay works the same way instead of just acting as a map connecting every planet so to speak. Alongside improvements we’re planning for the space layer, we’re also adding more landscape types and textures to the planets – so each one feels more distinct, even if they share the same biome.
7) Assuming Pax Nova sells well enough, do you have some ideas for expansions in the future?
We definitely have lots of ideas and there’s massive room for expansion, but for now we want to focus on making a great game by itself and putting everything we can in there.
8) Lastly, it’s very clear that you have a lot of passion for the 4X genre. Can you tell us about how that passion formed and about some of your favorite genre entries?
I started getting into 4X games gradually first by playing Age of Empires 2 and other RTSes as a kid, then spending many many hours on Rise of Nations, a great game designed by Brian Reynolds which already had some 4X elements. Then I made the full transition into the genre with Galactic Civilization 2. I got completely hooked on that game, then moved on to the Civilization series with 4 then 5, and played the classics such as Master of Orion, Alpha Centauri etc. – followed by pretty much every major title released since! I consider all the games I mentioned some of my favorite entries into the genre to this today, but as far as recent games go I really enjoyed Endless Legend and Civ 6.
Thanks a lot to Mike Domingues for answering our questions. If you guys have any questions you don’t see asked here that you’d like to know the answer to, please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to get an answer for you!