Sword of the Stars demo

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siron
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Sword of the Stars demo

#1 Post by siron » Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:18 pm

Anyone of the fo fans here has tried the demo already?

http://www.fileplanet.com/promotions/sots/

(my moo2 buddies were not really impressed by the demo)
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Kharagh
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#2 Post by Kharagh » Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:49 am

Hi, I tried the demo this weekend with 2 friends of mine for a few hours.

I liked what I saw quite a lot, although it has some negative aspekts, also.
I'll try to sum up the features that I noticed, but as I said, I didn't play it for that long.

Economy:
There is an empire-wide Research-Savings slider, which controls, how much money is spent for research.
On each planet there is a slider for Construction vs. Trade, which controls how much of the produktivity of your ppl is used for construction.

There are 2 more sliders for each planet, a terraforming and a infrastructure slider. These control how fast your terraforming/infrastructure-buildup progresses. These are especially important on newly colonized worlds.

Building:
You can build only ships and defense bases, the buildings you research are automatically build according to the infrastructure slider.

Ship Design:
For each ship you chose a forward section (ie command), a middle secton (e.g. assault, tanker, armor) and an aft section (ie engines)
Those sections have to be researched before use.
On those sections there are fixed weapon mountpoints in different sizes, where you can install whatever fitting weapon you like.
There are three ship sizes, destroyer, cruiser and dreadnougt, however in the demo you can only have destroyers, as for as I saw.

The ships themselves are nicely designed, you can see the weapon mounts clearly, the ships look sleek and deadly.

Combat:
Ship combat is in realtime
In combat you give your ships simple orders (eg. hold fire, engage hostiles) or you can control them by hand, controlling where they fly and even, which section of a target ship they target.

For planetary defense you can build up to 10 bases, which orbit your planet.

Exploration:
What I liked was that each race has a different way of travelling in space, I won't go into detail here, but I think that feature is very nice.

Tech Tree:
There are different tech categories (industy, biology, star drives, etc) which are arranged in a circle. When you enter the research screen you are inside this circle and see the differrent techs arranged around you. The techs are shown in a techtree growing upward. You can zoom in on the individual techs to see what they do and how long it will take to reseach them.

Negative:
- Only one planet per system:
You fly to a solar system, and once it is explored, the previously shown sun changes into one planet, which you can colonize. I would have liked starsystems with multiple planets.

- Random events:
Perhaps I was just very unlucky, but I started of at a very bad location and had mostly uncolonizable planets around me, and the few I could colonize cost so much, that my economy/research took a mayor hit. Because of this, I had only three colonies, while of my two friends one had five good ones, the other for colonies.
Suddenly I had a combat, at my second best colony, although I had seen no enemy incomings. It was a meteor swarm. My two ships could not stop all meteors and my colony got destroyed.
A few turns later my other colony got a meteor swarm. I had 6 relatively good ships there and 2 orbital defence platforms, but I couldn't stop all meteors (the fracture and thus mulitply when you hit them). Again, colony destroyed.
I had just recolonized this colony, when it was again hit by a meteor swarm, again so numerous, that I could not stop them.
Now normally I'm not that touchy about random events, but at least the Antarans mostly hit the better players and not the weakest three times in a row :x
I hope they will build in some control mechanism in the final release for this.

To sum it up, I will definately watch that game develop, it is not perfect, but it is fun to play :)

That should cover everything that comes to mind atm. If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

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marhawkman
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#3 Post by marhawkman » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:23 am

does it have single player/hotseat?
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siron
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#4 Post by siron » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:21 am

Havent tried the demo yet, but of course it has SP. Dunno about hotseat.

Nasty meteors are the only random event in this demo. Full release will have other random events, i.e. also less meteors.

I like the 1planet per system solution (see also moo1) quite a lot. Lets face it....the AI can barely compete when there is more than 1 planet. Micro is too tricky then.
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#5 Post by EoD » Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:28 pm

I've played the demo several times and i liked it very much.

The major bonus points are the random tech trees (there are some basic techs and a few random techs, for each time you start a new game) and the absolutly gorgeous 3d galaxy map...
(btw: is a 3d-map planed for FO?)

The tactical combat is also a great thing. You can control basically 6 Ships in combat, but if you have a Squadron CnC ship in your fleet, you are able to control 3 more ships. This makes battles more tactical challenging.
Usually huge battles take more than one turn, which gives you the possibility to retreat, repair or to enforce your fleet.

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marhawkman
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#6 Post by marhawkman » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:37 pm

Welll.... Looks like I'll be trying this out soon.
Computer programming is fun.

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utilae
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#7 Post by utilae » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:17 am

What are the demo limits, eg
num turns playable
num races plyable

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marhawkman
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#8 Post by marhawkman » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:36 am

utilae wrote:What are the demo limits, eg
num turns playable
num races plyable
From what I've gathered it's an old version of the game. (IE less developed)
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siron
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#9 Post by siron » Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:21 am

Demo Information

The demo premiered on FilePlanet on July 25th. It can be found at this link: http://www.fileplanet.com/165574/160000 ... Stars-Demo

The demo covers the Destroyer age, 2 races (the Humans and the Tarkas), 4 player multi-play, the fission- and beginning of the fusion-power era, and first-generation medium and small weapons. There is no limit on the number of playable turns. It allows for sphere-type galaxies (the first of six galaxy configurations), with a maximum of 40 stars. There are no scenarios in the demo (other than a limited tutorial). Due to the truncated tech tree and destroyers-only limiation, the AI in the demo is much less sophisticated than what will be seen in the full version.

The size of the demo download is 226MB. More information can be found here.

http://sots.rorschach.net/Release_Infor ... nformation

This means IIRC, 1 of 3 ship types, 2 of 4 races, limited techs, galaxy types, planets and random events. Well, and below-average dumb AI, but I dont care much :) .
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marhawkman
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#10 Post by marhawkman » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:52 pm

Argg!!!! Could someone Email it to me? Apparently it's only available to subscribers.....
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utilae
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#11 Post by utilae » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:38 pm

Some one put it on a torrent site. Since it is a demo and would be legal to do so, I guess.

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Zanzibar
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#12 Post by Zanzibar » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:36 pm

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utilae
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#13 Post by utilae » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:06 am

I'll try them, but I wouldn't be suprised if they all linked to file planet.

Edit:
Zanzibar wrote:Google searched for: Sword of the stars demo download

Results:
http://www.gpdownloads.co.nz/dl.dyn/Download/3592.html
You can always trust a new zealand site. This one works sweet!

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utilae
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#14 Post by utilae » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:41 am

Tried the demo.

Positives:
* GUI is awsome. Simple, but looks very good.
* Minimal clutter in the way GUI is arranged, eg not too much information, buttons, etc
* Each race has unique forms of movement, etc
* Ship design is pretty good.
* Build screen works well.

Negatives:
* The research screen is horrible. I found it difficult to navigate and generally it is too much work to rotate the research screen, zooming in to read, zooming out to see other techs. And overall, there is not that many techs. I know it's a demo, but they boast 150 techs, that isn't really much compared to other games.
* The galaxy map and movement system for ships is not very good. 3D makes things hard to navigate and having to zoom in all the time to select ships, and see whether your ship has gotten anywhere or run out of fuel is annoying. I didn't realise tankers would be so important, but even after building one, I still could not figure out how to get it to my ship that was stranded in the middle of space. It looked like I got it close, but not close enough to exchange fuel.
* Only three ships sizes to be in the game is not that impressive.

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Zanzibar
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#15 Post by Zanzibar » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:12 pm

utilae wrote:Tried the demo.

Positives:
* GUI is awsome. Simple, but looks very good.
* Minimal clutter in the way GUI is arranged, eg not too much information, buttons, etc
* Each race has unique forms of movement, etc
* Ship design is pretty good.
* Build screen works well.

Negatives:
* The research screen is horrible. I found it difficult to navigate and generally it is too much work to rotate the research screen, zooming in to read, zooming out to see other techs. And overall, there is not that many techs. I know it's a demo, but they boast 150 techs, that isn't really much compared to other games.
* The galaxy map and movement system for ships is not very good. 3D makes things hard to navigate and having to zoom in all the time to select ships, and see whether your ship has gotten anywhere or run out of fuel is annoying. I didn't realise tankers would be so important, but even after building one, I still could not figure out how to get it to my ship that was stranded in the middle of space. It looked like I got it close, but not close enough to exchange fuel.
* Only three ships sizes to be in the game is not that impressive.
Well, what race are you playing? If you are human... you can't refuel if you are traveling in a star-lane!! You have to be at a planet to do that. The other race that is available in the demo can, however refuel enroute. What I would recommend: If you get a red-line on the route you chose, put a tanker into your fleet before you send them!! Then, select auto-refuel.
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