1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    Firgof Umbra's Avatar
    January 2005
    1,247 Posts


    Available this Friday (July 18th, 2014) on Steam Early Access

    Well, what is it?
    A 4X/RTS and the sequel/reinvention of our first game.

    Media (Late Alpha Build -- Much more coming soon; some art shown is temporary dev-art)
    Early Access Trailer

    Developer Logs



    Developer Diaries
    Diary One: Economy
    Diary Two: Diplomacy
    Diary Three: FTL
    Diary Four: Energy and Artifacts

    Interviews, etc.
    SpaceGameJunkie Podcast (Aug. 8, 2013)


    What do you mean by 'Late Alpha'?
    The Starflare Engine (which we have built from the ground up for this title) is more or less complete at this time and the gameplay design has reached a pretty stable and well defined state. What's left to get out of alpha is to get the gameplay design off the page and into the game engine which we are mostly through with, begin to introduce our art assets, and get the game ready for things such as save/load, multiplayer, mods, our art and sound assets, and to rubber-stamp/finalize most of our gameplay mechanics.

    So what do you do in Star Ruler 2?
    Survive. It's not as easy as it sounds. The galaxy may be alive with possibilities -- but it's also alive with danger. Backstabbing politicians who can change the balance of power and the rule of law in the galaxy; reclusive and powerful scientists whose inventions grant them powerful advantages and mutations biological, economic, and militaristic; divine and godly rulers who can with the snap of their fingers use vast stores of power to bend the galaxy to their will. These will be the sorts of opponents you will face in your quest to ultimately rule the stars for the glory of your species and the guarantee of survival. If you do survive, and if you do wrest control over the galaxy, then it shall be yours to command -- stars will turn to ashes by your demand; planets may be destroyed and re-built to better fit your ways of life; you may even-handedly decide ultimately whether there can be peace or one final war. The galaxy is yours for the taking -- if you can handle it.

    Star Ruler 2?! Alright, so what's the difference between SR1 and SR2?
    A lot! It won't just be a better looking/running/playing game, it'll be a better game. Diplomacy will have teeth; planet micromanagement will be painless and interesting; the base gameplay itself has been greatly improved and expanded in almost every direction. Oh, and we finally have a functional, working, smooth-as-butter movement system for our newtonian motion amidst a host of new features such as physically-simulated projectiles (e.g. torpedos that track targets, chase to intercept, and detonate when they strike an object -- whether the one you intended or not) and "Powers" which allow you to bend the galaxy to your will with terrific force at the cost of vast stores of energy. It's everything Star Ruler was but more refined, better looking, expanded upon in all directions, deeper in strategy, and easier to control and read in every way.

    But will I still be able to build ships the size of the galaxy/create worlds?
    If you can afford to, you can do whatever you want in SR2.

    What about the ship design? What'd you guys do to that?
    An improvement on the former design. All the ease of SR1's ship building system with a much richer depth and in a much easier to read and manage format; we'll be posting dev diaries which go over specific mechanics/portions of the gameplay such as ship design on our website if you'd like to read all about what we changed, what we added, what we removed, and why we did each of those things.

    You're selling this for how much?
    We haven't decided yet

    When are you releasing?
    2014 is our current target for release and we're shooting for an early access beta late this year.

    System Requirements
    To be announced/determined.

    Will SR2 give in to DRM where SR1 didn't?
    Our company belief still holds that DRM is: too intrusive, too easily defeated, too hardware/software-error prone, and too much of a time-and-effort investment to be worth it; especially when that time and effort could be spent on adding value to the game. SR1 did nothing to change our minds on the subject.



    So are you going to stick around like last time or have you moved on from the 'indie developer'/'just another one of the guys' phase?
    As with before, feel free to ask me about the game or suggest/criticize. If I'm allowed to answer your question, I will do so as quickly as I can; if I can't or don't know the answer, I'll ask my boss and co-worker to lend an ear/hand/claw. Please bear in mind it may take me a little longer to respond than it did last time around -- we've all got our hands elbow-deep in SR2's guts at the moment though we're very excited to talk about it and hear your reactions/thoughts on it.

    Can I get an actual feature list?
    Certainly. There's a full list of features available on our newly minted website: Starruler2.com as well as additional screenshots, dev diaries, and eventually ordering information, video footage, and so forth.
    Note that this isn't the full list; we've got a lot up our sleeves that we'll reveal as we finalize them or are able to show them off. You can also expect the return of features such as "everything destruction", galaxy-spanning weaponry, select-a-scale ship construction, and planetary engines.

    Star Ruler 2 Feature List posted:
    The game is being developed with a focus on interesting gameplay with meaningful strategic choices and full scalability of the universe and unit counts.

    Some of the major features that are being implemented are:

    Ship Customizability
    Every ship in the game is entirely player-customizable. Design your ships using a wide variety of subsystems and take advantage of flaws in the designs of your enemies.

    Designs use a completely new 'blueprint painting' system to determine the size and placing of subsystems and weaponry.

    Actually Usable Diplomacy
    Diplomacy and influence gathering are reinvented as a core mechanic of the game, giving meaningful alternative options to players and serving as a platform of interaction both between players and AIs as well as humans in multiplayer.

    Intricate Research
    Use research to improve and radically alter various aspects of your empire.

    The game features a multi-branched research tree with tons of technology nodes.

    Massive Scale
    Running on our specially developed Starflare Engine, Star Ruler 2 is entirely multi-threaded and makes full use of all the available cores on the PC.

    Star Ruler 2 can run immense galaxy maps with hundreds of units and simulating thousands of physical projectiles impacting ships during combat.

    Complete Moddability
    Virtually the entire game is accessible and modifiable in scripts and data files, giving unprecedented freedom to the modding community to implement any feature they want. Extensive documentation and guides for the modding system will be available on release.

    Full Multiplayer
    Star Ruler 2 features complete multiplayer support with up to 28 players and AIs in the same game. (Subject to bandwidth and processing limitations on the server. More conservative estimate: 8 players for regular consumer connections.)

    Multiplayer games can be saved and loaded at will and feature full drop-in drop-out support; players can take over from AI empires and can be replaced by AIs when disconnecting.

    Cross-Platform Support
    Native versions of the game for Windows and Linux will be available and kept up-to-date.

    We hope/intend to add an OSX version in the future as well, but the shinyness of its interface has left us temporarily blind.
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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
    213 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
    4,446 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
    1,247 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
    9,822 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
    5,169 Posts
    SR2, the sequel to the premier Lensman Arms Race simulator.
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  8. Post #8
    Axznma's Avatar
    October 2008
    2,024 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
    809 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
    1,247 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
    5,169 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
    9,822 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
    1,247 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
    9,822 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
    1,247 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
    7,699 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
    1,247 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
    7,699 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
    1,247 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
    7,699 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
    1,247 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
    7,699 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
    25,829 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
    4,446 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
    908 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
    1,247 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
    1,108 Posts
    Oooooooh, new SR.

    Colour me interested.
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  28. Post #28
    redsoxrock's Avatar
    July 2008
    874 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
    25,829 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
    1,247 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
    19,846 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
    6,177 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
    2,425 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
    3,942 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
    7,699 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
    5,523 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
    809 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
    2,425 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
    347 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.