1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts



    Star Ruler 2 is a pausable 4X/RTS Hybrid developed by Blind Mind Studios (I'm one of the 2 BMS developers!). It's set in an original sci-fi setting at near-future tech levels - though it ends with the construction of entirely theoretical constructs such as Ringworlds.

    You play as one of seven unique races [or a product of your own terrifying intellect] each with their own morph on the base gameplay (minus the 'vanilla' Terrakin). The first four non-terrakin races are minor morphs to the gameplay and the last two alter or even entirely subvert core concepts of the game. That's before we get into what FTL method your race uses (there are four, each have their perks and work entirely different from the others) and what Government your race adheres to. Your job is to survive, expand, and ultimately persist in the galaxy. Whether you wind up conquering the stars with thousands of ships hurled into the void with potent, star-crushing, weaponry - or diplomatically annexing and subjugating those who could or would stand against you - is up to you as their leader.

    Star Ruler 2 runs on the Starflare Engine, a from-scratch in-house engine we built specifically for Star Ruler 2, and is releasing on PC and Linux. It has really minimal hardware requirements, which you can check out here on the Steam store page if you like but - brass tacks - if you've got a rig that's post-2009 you should be just fine.





    Our goal was to create a 4X which tries to actually solve a lot of the problems we've had while playing other 4Xes, such as nobody having figured out a good way to do a diplomacy system that isn't Civilization's. Meanwhile, we wanted to revisit and improve all the ideas of Star Ruler 1 like making your planets something you care about and making the economy not mind-numbing. As a result, between the innovations and the improvements, we believe SR2 is a far superior title to the first one - despite offering a different gameplay experience.


    Beginner/Default (Recommended for those who are new to Star Ruler 2)


    Advanced (Recommended for advanced players who understand the basics of the game and are ready to absorb new strategies)




    Expert (Recommended for players who have mastered the core mechanics of the game and wish to learn new ones)



    What's going to go in here? Badass mods, community events, et cetera. I'll fill this section out as quickly as I'm able.


    Blind Mind Studios:
    James Woodall (Firgof) - Too many responsibilities to list shortly.
    Andrew Ackermann (ThyReaper) - Programmer [Doesn't have a SA forum account]

    Glacicle:
    Lucas de Vries (GGLucas) - Programmer
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  2. Post #2
    KigJow's Avatar
    June 2009
    3,641 Posts
    I never played the first one, but I'll definitely be looking forward to this one.

  3. Post #3
    lordoflard's Avatar
    May 2010
    241 Posts
    This sounds pretty cool!
    I still enjoy playing the first one, and this is couldnt look spiffier if it wore a tuxedo and tophat!

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    Saber15's Avatar
    February 2005
    4,994 Posts
    I fucking LOVE Star Ruler 1. I'm pumped for the sequel, especially the smoother micromanagement and better movement.

    Edited:

    No other game lets me turn planets into spaceships or create ships that can fit themselves inside their own cargo bay.
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    especially the smoother micromanagement
    It's a big improvement over SR1's. It'll be the topic of a dev diary most certainly. The current plan is: your citizenry will build structures automatically on planets but you can encourage their growth or override their decisions through either direct specification or a system similar to how Civil Acts functioned. Like in SR1, it's intended to be something you can entirely ignore or micromanage if you want to pull the best out of it. Though, admittedly, it didn't really succeed in the being 'optional' part when it came to it success rate and versus human opponents who knew the 'perfect build list formula'.

    Your citizens won't be able to screw you over like in SR1 (e.g. "I really needed electronics, but some idiots just rebuilt 3,000 adv. part facilities because Metallurgy just ticked over to the next level so now I'm flooded with adv. parts and bankrupt on elec and metals.") because though resources mutate the buildings and the effects of buildings they'd want to build, they won't subvert or use them up. In fact, what they build might not even cost you any resources at all.

    That part's still in talks over on our end but last we chatted about it we all seemed pretty happy with it.

    better movement.
    It's so much better. Ships stop in a group, stop where they say they're going to, and all arrive simultaneously. It's a big leap forward. And with some FTL drives you can even prevent overshoot that results from requiring more output than the ship can generate by just activating their FTL drive; when they come out of FTL, they're at full stop. It costs you a little to do it, and can cost a lot if you're stopping a lot of big ships, but if you've got the ability to do it it can save your butt from walking in to powerful system defenses you didn't know were there before or etc.

    That's another thing: movement is also more varied now. We're toying with four main methods of FTL travel in addition to the newtonian thruster solution. Each has a different advantage and usage; some can't even be installed on ships; one doesn't even have the ability to get a ship back once it's sent it to FTL. We're thinking the different modes of movement will really help spice up the strategy metagame -- especially if we do implement hybrid drives.
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  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    S31-Syntax's Avatar
    October 2007
    9,921 Posts
    It's so much better. Ships stop in a group, stop where they say they're going to, and all arrive simultaneously. It's a big leap forward. And with some FTL drives you can even prevent overshoot that results from requiring more output than the ship can generate by just activating their FTL drive; when they come out of FTL, they're at full stop. It costs you a little to do it, and can cost a lot if you're stopping a lot of big ships, but if you've got the ability to do it it can save your butt from walking in to powerful system defenses you didn't know were there before or etc.

    That's another thing: movement is also more varied now. We're toying with four main methods of FTL travel in addition to the newtonian thruster solution. Each has a different advantage and usage; some can't even be installed on ships; one doesn't even have the ability to get a ship back once it's sent it to FTL. We're thinking the different modes of movement will really help spice up the strategy metagame -- especially if we do implement hybrid drives.
    So... one is more of a gate system... but I have no idea how an FTL system that can't come back to realspace would be useful, unless it was weaponized.
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  7. Post #7
    Lemons in Bulk
    Cakebatyr's Avatar
    May 2005
    5,773 Posts
    SR2, the sequel to the premier Lensman Arms Race simulator.
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  8. Post #8
    Axznma's Avatar
    October 2008
    2,157 Posts
    I've been waiting for this. Star Ruler is still my favorite 4x (and the best in my opinion, in terms of flexibility and complexity), so if this really is just a better version with more stuff I'm braced for impact!

    My only real complaint with the first one was that visually it was fairly unappealing (especially the UI). Hoping for improvements on that front.

  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    Thy Reaper's Avatar
    April 2006
    828 Posts
    SR2, the sequel to the premier Lensman Arms Race simulator.
    There's something weird about having our game on the TV Tropes page for that term.

    Axznma posted:
    My only real complaint with the first one was that visually it was fairly unappealing (especially the UI). Hoping for improvements on that front.
    We aren't ready to show off our interface yet, but expect it to be better in every regard.
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  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    but I have no idea how an FTL system that can't come back to realspace would be useful, unless it was weaponized.
    Basically, in exchange for it being unable to get ships back, it can FTL ships *extremely* long distances away for relatively cheap. Think of it as an FTL railgun; appropriately, it is tentatively labeled 'Fling'. The other tentative types are 'Slipstream (one ship creates a tunnel in front of it that other ships can follow behind')', 'Hyperdrive' (your standard FTL 'my ship can go to warp' drive), and 'Gate' which functions like Nydas canals / the X universe's gate system concept.

    Gates are slow to move, have to be at no velocity to link, and take time to establish links.
    Flings can't return ships that they fling.
    Hyperdrive will cost you FTL/ship over distance in a group that's using it.
    Slipstream costs you only the slipstream ship(?) but it has a maximum capacitance when it comes to what comes with it.

    They all have situations in which they're less useful or awkward to use and we do hope to make technologies arising from the study of the basic techs. Perhaps fling stations can become fling-artillery stations as just a possible example? No promises though; it's one of our 'wouldn't it be cool if's. Though, admittedly, we do wind up implementing a lot of the things we say 'wouldn't it be cool if'.
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  11. Post #11
    Lemons in Bulk
    Cakebatyr's Avatar
    May 2005
    5,773 Posts
    So... one is more of a gate system... but I have no idea how an FTL system that can't come back to realspace would be useful, unless it was weaponized.
    There is one episode of Star Trek TNG where they do this. And for the life of me I can't find it.

    Basically they've got a technobabble wave accelerator one each end, one end accelerates an object and the other decelerates an object. But if the deceleration station isn't there then the object turns into a very deadly projectile.

    With the equation for kinetic energy: .5mv^2 (I'm using the one that doesn't at relativistic velocities because I dislike math), where m = mass and v = velocity, and assuming we're going by Star Trek warp speeds:

    1 gram travelling at warp 1 = 4.4937759e+16 joules of energy.
    1 gram travelling at warp 9 = 3.1256728e+22 joules of energy.

    For reference one metric ton of TNT = 4.184e+9 joules.

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    S31-Syntax's Avatar
    October 2007
    9,921 Posts
    They all have situations in which they're less useful or awkward to use and we do hope to make technologies arising from the study of the basic techs. Perhaps fling stations can become fling-artillery stations as just a possible example? No promises though; it's one of our 'wouldn't it be cool if's. Though, admittedly, we do wind up implementing a lot of the things we say 'wouldn't it be cool if'.

    Will FTL systems be limited by gravity wells and other space phenomena?

    Also, ancient history, but I still use your slapper engine design and most of my self designed engines were based upon that concept.

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    Hahaha. Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Will FTL systems be limited by gravity wells and other space phenomena?
    Unknown. Some are already being limited by what can have them. Fling drives can't be installed on ships, for instance, and Gates are basically a ship themselves. All said, though, Reaper doesn't particularly like what movement restrictions cause in game design/map design so I wouldn't be too optimistic.

  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    S31-Syntax's Avatar
    October 2007
    9,921 Posts
    I assume some types of FTL jump will require a charge time, will there be the option to "emergency" jump or "crash" jump, throwing out any jump accuracy and adding lots of risk but allowing for a far faster jump?

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    "Jump calculation"/"Singularity creation"/"etc" time is certainly in the cards last I heard (with obv. exception to 'Gate' when it comes to transit time as it's insta/near-insta-travel). Crash jumps I'm unsure on; it'd likely be instead of reducing accuracy it costs more in FTL for a faster/instant jump than the standard/tactical jump.

  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    Kyle902's Avatar
    September 2008
    8,245 Posts
    I still have the old one installed and play occasionally (with the Galactic Armory mod).
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    A suggestion I would make is to have weapons be more specialized and to simply have more weapons.
    We hear you. At the moment it's looking to be more 'everybody's got their own brand of laser' than 'a million bajillion pre-built weapon platforms' but we do want a decent variety of weapons that all, at their base, do unique things.

  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    Kyle902's Avatar
    September 2008
    8,245 Posts
    We hear you. Though, at the moment, it's looking more 'build your own weapon platform' and less 'a million bajillion pre-built weapon platforms'. In that you start with a basic railgun and maybe you make all your railguns fire +100% further and their projectile speed and fire rate got bumped up +50% and maybe you make it so that when the hit a ship they hit it again but further inside and then maybe at that point it blows up and does an internal AoE effect. Etc.

    Again, dunno. That just seems the direction we're leaning -- I'm unsure how many base platforms we'll put in given that we're planning on the weapons themselves being very moldable through research. We do like our variety when it comes to weapon effects and so forth though so who knows. Maybe you can mutate your railguns so much that they become not bullets but mini-rocket-launchers and so the sprite/particle system/etc changes with it? :p
    Wait you're going for the Aurora 4x style weapon design?

  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    Not quite. Think more global mutation and less 'assembling each warhead'. Though maybe we will have weapon assembly from unlocked 'mutations'. I dunno; all that's up to Reaper and we haven't really fleshed out that whole thing just yet -- how we figure it'll work and a basic layout to demonstrate that it does work is all I've got to speculate on aside our myriad conversation on the subject.

    I believe the drive is for it to be a hard choice -- the end result being that nobody's laser is 'Stock Laser Mk III'. Again, dunno; none of that's final as far as I know.

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Kyle902's Avatar
    September 2008
    8,245 Posts
    Not quite. Think more global mutation and less 'assembling each warhead'. Though maybe we will have weapon assembly from unlocked 'mutations'. I dunno; all that's up to Reaper and we haven't really fleshed out that whole thing just yet -- how we figure it'll work and a basic layout to demonstrate that it does work is all I've got to speculate on aside our myriad conversation on the subject.

    I believe the drive is for it to be a hard choice -- the end result being that nobody's laser is 'Stock Laser Mk III'. Again, dunno; none of that's final as far as I know.

    Are ship modules going to affect the ships appearance?

  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    Are ship modules going to affect the ships appearance?
    Also a question mark. That's something we've been wanting to do since SR1 but the question is: Can we do it? Do we have the budget for it? Is it worth the costs both monetarily and in performance?
    Unfortunately, we don't have the answers to any of those questions just yet. I think the current stance is 'we don't think we'll be able to do that -- but it'd be really cool if we could'.

  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    Kyle902's Avatar
    September 2008
    8,245 Posts
    Well if you guys get a kickstarter up I'll be sure to pledge.
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  23. Post #23
    tonks erryday
    Orkel's Avatar
    January 2005
    27,999 Posts
    It's about bloody time you made a sequel

    I was a dev SVN tester in the first one so if you need any help just drop me a message again.
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    Saber15's Avatar
    February 2005
    4,994 Posts
    Will the AI be less bullheaded? In the first game, within ten minutes of finding a non-aligned AI player you'd get a message "GIVE ME ALL YOUR LUXURIES" about every ten minutes until it became "GIVE ME ALL YOUR LUXURIES OR WE GO TO WAR"

  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Xavith's Avatar
    May 2010
    1,019 Posts
    AI should only go to war, if diplomacy fails over conflicting territory/interests.

    With 70% of the galaxy's planets not yet colonized, it makes little sense to wage war across the galaxy, with limited resources.

    I'd say a nice balance would have leaving pirates/rebels/terrorists in space and on planets, as a source of combat during the early stages of the game. Once players begin exploring space, one would assume they would rather start trading if they were to encounter another advanced species. There's not much to gain from waging a war until you actually have conflicting interests, like ideology, territory, potential threats etc.

    Thinking kind of like the relations between, Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, and The Federation in Star Trek.

  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    Will the AI be less bullheaded?
    I'm pretty confident that we can't get away with having AIs that are as obnoxious/single-minded as SR1's as they'd just blow each other to pieces immediately in the much more hostile diplomacy system of SR2. It's harder to decide 'I wanna blow that guy up right now' when the war route of SR2 involves things such as 'And if I commit genocide on a massive scale against that guy's empire, I'll be giving him a large amount of power to use against me in the diplomacy system.' instead of just 'Is my stick bigger than that guy's stick'.

    There's not much to gain from waging a war until you actually have conflicting interests, like ideology, territory, potential threats etc.
    The nature of limited resources, territory, and diplomacy combine to make going to war a non-trivial choice. You always have something to gain from taking someone's stuff but the question will always be 'is it worth the trouble I'll get in to/the resources I'm committing'?

    So I imagine it'll wind up being a lot like Star Trek's universe where the powers that be want to go to war but know that they're often not in the right position to do so or believe it'll cost them too much to do so.
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  27. Post #27
    DVH

    May 2010
    1,277 Posts
    Oooooooh, new SR.

    Colour me interested.
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  28. Post #28
    redsoxrock's Avatar
    July 2008
    1,139 Posts
    Awesome, I never played enough of the first one, but I could tell it was good. Maybe it is time to try again, Its already installed.

  29. Post #29
    tonks erryday
    Orkel's Avatar
    January 2005
    27,999 Posts
    SR1 is a great game, very original gameplay with the whole newtonian thing + ship customization system etc. But it was most heavily hampered by the fleet movement being buggy, which if it really is fixed in SR2 is going to be a godsend. Nothing more annoying than half your fleet overshooting the destination with some getting left behind and some lucky ones stopping at the right time.
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  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,285 Posts
    We may be holding a podcast with SpaceGameJunkie sometime in the near future over SR2. I'll post details up in the original post as information on that emerges.

    But it was most heavily hampered by the fleet movement being buggy, which if it really is fixed in SR2 is going to be a godsend.
    How I wish I could show you in-game footage of it working. It's quite beautiful to watch a group of ships swirl and turn to face new directions, reach vectors, and so on. Soon, though, I hope. Soon.

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    TheTalon's Avatar
    June 2008
    22,174 Posts
    Oh damn. Daaaamnn

    What am I supposed to do, It's either Star Drive or Star Ruler 2... how am I going to decide what to play?!

  32. Post #32
    Tark's Avatar
    August 2010
    6,200 Posts
    Yes! YES! The problems with ship movement in Star Ruler were the main reason it was so hard for me to get into it, but man this sounds like it's going to be a blast.

  33. Post #33

    April 2010
    2,517 Posts
    I really loved Star Ruler 1, I have played almost 100 hours of it and I still play it occasionally today.

    Though I love the game, the one thing that bothers me is that diplomacy isn't very ... good. One of things that I love most in games like Rome: Total War (Campaign) or Civilization V is that each faction has clear opinions about your actions and will like or hate you for your actions. Not only that but you could do more than just trade or announce peace/war, you could bribe people, you could plead factions into wars or to attack an enemy faction; it's just really fun to play politics to get your own way.

    Also could you make sure that when I send a trade offer I get back an alter'd deal, instead of just a rejection. I do not know what is considered a fair deal, the AI should just alter it so I don't have to keep opening the trade window and reselect the offers every time.

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    Craigewan's Avatar
    October 2005
    4,330 Posts
    I've been waiting for this. Star Ruler is still my favorite 4x (and the best in my opinion, in terms of flexibility and complexity), so if this really is just a better version with more stuff I'm braced for impact!

    My only real complaint with the first one was that visually it was fairly unappealing (especially the UI). Hoping for improvements on that front.
    Agreed, and colony management could be a bit dense, too

  35. Post #35
    gnisasas's Avatar
    February 2011
    1,958 Posts
    holy shit yes my willies are excited for this

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    Kyle902's Avatar
    September 2008
    8,245 Posts
    I hope the camera was fixed as well. It seemed to either be too sensitive or not sensitive enough.

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    junker154's Avatar
    May 2006
    6,531 Posts
    This sounds really awesome, I didn't expect a sequel at all. I hope you guys change the micromanagement a bit, I always disliked that quite a bit, it was really confusing.

  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    Thy Reaper's Avatar
    April 2006
    828 Posts
    Though I love the game, the one thing that bothers me is that diplomacy isn't very ... good.
    We're taking a completely different, and I think novel, approach to diplomacy that should be far more interesting and engaging for all parties - even for people that might usually avoid diplomacy in games.

    Craigewan posted:
    Agreed, and colony management could be a bit dense, too
    junker154 posted:
    This sounds really awesome, I didn't expect a sequel at all. I hope you guys change the micromanagement a bit, I always disliked that quite a bit, it was really confusing.
    The economy is being designed with the scale and pace in mind, where it is both manageable at large scales, and retains important decisions to be made throughout the game.

  39. Post #39

    April 2010
    2,517 Posts
    This is awesome then, I'll try to pre-order/pre-purchase/fund as soon as I can. I'm a big fan of Star Ruler, it is a shame whenever I mention it to people I know they don't know about it or haven't played it.

  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    Tosti's Avatar
    January 2005
    370 Posts
    Holy shiieeeet. They better improve on the science mechanic in this sequel. In SR1 it was just spam labs and win the game basically. Science was op.