2019-07-17 03:32:03 (edited by Dark 2019-07-17 09:21:02)

I personally agree entirely with rashad about the fleet  according to composition, that would be a really handy way to remember what you intend specific fleets for when looking through them.
For fleet scattering, it would also be nice to have that o and shift o command to find ships awaiting orders, that way if worst came to worst you could find your scattered ships and just order them back to one of your planets rather than having them sit around do nothing or effectively be lost, after all in sf series like Startrek etc ships could still navigate home on their own even if it would take them a long time, look at voyager.

As to other comments, I'll admit I'm feeling a bit more kindly inclined towards the guidedog client these days, especially that now both my lady and I have computers. You wouldn't believe how much trouble hardware specific keys can be, and to not have that hassle is a major help. There are several games I just haven't installed because of their hardware specific keys.

As I said back at the time I'm not a huge fan of the name "guidedog games" myself, but hay I don't really think much to the name "breed memorial" either, and people will know how much I enjoy that game.

As far as self voicing goes, the voice could be a little clearer, but as I've done voicing for games myself I'm not going to argue about this, and playing with speech delay is often a good idea. My personal one major problem with the self voicing is that the developers aren't really taking advantage of the fact that this is an audiogame and not a text game, since at the moment there are so few sound effects, you might as well be playing with text, thus the point of having a game which is an audio game with self voicing capacity isn't' really being met.

for Slj and others having trouble I'll try and explain a bit of how things work, since unfortunately there are so many different methods of doing each individual thing, and the documentation explains them in detail, that it is possibly a little confusing when your learning the game.

The game is played on a 20 x 20 board. In this board are planets, ships  and hazards. For each planet you own, you get some more income per turn which you can use to buy ships, thus the first phase is the purchase phase where you decide what ships to buy and which planet to  put them on.

After this comes the movement phase when you move your existing ships around the board. Your objective here is to explore the board revealing more planets, colonise planets, and possibly fight off the enemy. Each ship type can move a different number of squares per turn, but only in the cardinal directions,  destroyers can move three squares, interceptors, cruisers and frigates two while battleships and colony ships can move just one square.

The most basic way to move your ships around is to go through them with s and shift s, and then just move them with shift and the arrow keys, however this is rather time consuming, so there are a large number of different ways to order your ships, for example if you hit A you can open the autonav menu where you can set a destination for your ship like another planet, or set your ship on scout mode where it'll automatically move across and down each turn exploring the board for you. Hit V on a ship to see if it has an autonav set.

Since you have a lot of ships, a good way of speeding things up is to gather them into fleets. As well as being an easier way to move large numbers of ships around, fleets also offer ships protection from hazards or enemy attacks . Fleets will always move at the speed of the slowest ship, so a fleet with a colony ship will move at one square per turn, even if it contains faster ships like destroyers and interceptors. Just as you can go through your ships and order them with s and shift s, you can go through your fleets and order them with f and shift f You can make and manage fleets with the e key, including adding more ships to them.

After you've finished moving your ships around, there then comes the combat phase, if there is any combat, and finally the placement phase, when those ships you bought will appear on your planets. Your then back to purchicing ships for your next turn.

In the lightning game, your objective is to colonise as many planets as possible, which means first launching destroyers or interceptors to explore the board (use the autonav scout mode). then building colony ships and sending them out, preferably with a decent escort fleet), to colonise new planets.
So, begin by sending an interceptor or a destroyer off with scout mode, though leave the rest of your ships since even after you build a colony ship you'll need some escort.
You should find some nearby  planets to your colonies very quickly, make sure to explore the board with the arrows, so in the purchase phase be sure to build a colony ship and place it on one of your planets, preferably one that already has a few ships stationed around it.
Now, you have the makings of a colonisation fleet, find the planet with the colony ship, and hit e, then create a fleet and set it to go to a nearby uncolonised planet, preferably  an earth type one if you can since they generate more income.

Once that planet is colonised, you will lose the colony ship, however you should have built more ships in the mean time so should be able to start colonising other places too. You will also notice that with each planet you colonise, you will get more income per turn, as well as earn a bonus, use this to make more colony ships and escort vessels.

Remember, not to send out ships alone since space can be dangerous, and to take note of where the enemy is, though in the lightning game unless your very unlucky you shouldn't run into too much trouble.

hth.

Btw, I'll probably be buying the full game tomorrow after I've been to the bank and checked my finances, since I seem to have pretty much explored all possibilities of the demo so far.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-07-17 04:33:22

See, scattering isn't really an issue because except for early game, I exclusively group ships into fleets. Then single ships are easy to find with y and s.

I think the guidedog client was named such because Dentin thought the dogs are inspirationall, and not out of anything exclusively blindy, which I think is the issue I have heard, but I confess not to have paid all that much attention to the issue.

As to the voice, it doesn't bother me, but I have known the guy for years. I really don't get it though because nobody criticizes other self-voicing games when accents are involved quite so much.

thanks,
Michael

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2019-07-17 08:47:25

Hi.
@Jeremy and @Dark:
Thanks so much for your great help in post 46 and post 51. It finally starts to make sense for me. I will give the game an other try for sure.
I think I start to realise why I was having such big an issue on getting the basics of the gameplay. It would be very helpful if the "basic gameplay" section in the documentation explained things like in post 51, and then recommend people to learn the basics before moving on. Just like a tutorial which goes through the basics, and then people was free to find their own strategy when they got how things works. I think I might be able to come up with more examples on this when I hopefully fully get all the basics of the gameplay... smile

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-07-17 09:29:58

Glad that helped Slj, obviously I'm still learning the game myself since I've only played the lightning mode thus far, and strategy games always tend to have a longer learning curve than other game types just by nature of what they are.

A tutorial or example of play probably would help though. The documentation is quite detailed, and the program offers a number of different methods of doing each thing, plus, even at the start of the game you have to think about things like buying different ship types, its not say like sound RTS where the very costs of units automatically dictate the order in which you buy and use them.

I'm quite looking forward to trying the game more extensively, which I'll hopefully get to do today.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-07-17 14:59:08

SLJ,

Honestly, when I prepared the quickstart section, I did it under protest.  I knew there'd be people who would want to start with little or no preparation, so I tried to cover the basics as best I could.  That said, you're right, it doesn't give enough information, hence the note at the top of the section about the rest of the documentation having much more information.  I will try and put together a how to play step by step document that starts with the beginning of a standard game, and post that to the EKS web site.  I have to do some work on the documentation today, and that's a worthwhile addition.

Dark,

I'm glad it's coming together more for you.  As to the self-voicing and GDG issue, I agree it's a matter of opinion and people are emotionally tied up in the GDG argument as well.  Dentin's choice of the name was to make it clear who the target audience was, and for the significance of guiding people to the games they wanted more than any stereotypical ideas about dogs.

I personally dislike the use of guide dogs, and have issues with them, so I am not a fan of the name, but I think it encapsulates what the point is quite briefly.

In answer to your scattered fleet issue.

If you know what ships were in the fleet, you can search for them with the go to menu or with the y and s commands to find them and give them new orders.  I find a method that seems quicker for me is to scroll through the board using the control arrow keys.  I go to 0,0 with home and page up, then use control right arrow to see what is on the top row if anything.  If the arrow announces merely 0,0 then there's nothing of interest revealed there.  I then go down to 0,1 and do the same thing and so on and so forth until I get to 0,19.  By this time I've found all the ships, and given them new orders based on their local conditions. 
Scattered individual ships from fleets sitting around without orders are not completely useless, but this is hard to see in a lightning game.  They actually perform two very useful functions in a big game on one of the other modes.  First and foremost they make good observation posts: you can see some enemy fleet movements, sometimes find new planets, and generally locate what's within their scanner range.  Second, they draw enemy fire.  The AI doesn't like ships in its section and goes after them.  This often reveals where the AI is, where it is strongest, and places to avoid in games of higher difficulties where the player is often at a disadvantage.

I'm not arguing that fleet scattering is fun.  I hate it just as much as the next person.  However, it isn't the disaster it might seem in every case. 

Take care,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

2019-07-17 15:28:28

Well personally I'm a huge fan of actual guide dogs, having had one for the last eight years, but my issue with the name was more because it highlights the "blind" nature of the audience rather than the "gamer" nature of the audience, as well as being a trifle inaccurate for a games client, ----  search engine or other index tool like the whitestick.co.uk site fair enough, game platform for having fun, less so.

Then again, to not use something simply because of the name strikes me as going a bit too far. As I said, there are plenty of things I am not crazy about the name of. Breed memorial for example strikes me as a bit of a strange name for a game about monster training and competitions, since there is very little breeding and nothing memorialised, that doesn't stop the game being  all kinds of awesome though big_smile.

I'll probably buy the game this evening and see how things work in longer matches.
I do think perhaps that o and shift o command might be helpful for dealing with scattered ships, but we'll see.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-07-17 16:04:23

I would be willing to bet that Breed Memorial is just a bad translation from Japanese to English. Japanese does not translate at all well, because it's so complex. I have Yukio from nyanchangame on my twitter just because 99.5% of his tweets are in Japanese and its fun running them through the various translation services to see how badly they mangle it.

Pain is life and life is pain.

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2019-07-17 17:35:32

Hi. Congratulations on the new release. I have played your previous games and I absolutely love them. I will demonstrate this game on my YouTube channel when I get back home. Unfortunately, I am not able to purchase the game at this moment. Do you think please add the ability to play with friends?

Here is the link to my youtube channel. Please subscribe, like the videos, and turn on your notifications to get notified of any new updates!
https://youtu.be/KKF0rWuBbBs

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2019-07-17 18:46:13 (edited by Dark 2019-07-17 18:52:54)

"Iron cross, yes I assumed Breed memorial was a miner translation wangling, my point is just that a name is a name, and a rose would smell as sweet etc.

Well I've bought the game and won my first victory. It was a bit nonsensical since I was still trying to get how stuff worked, EG I don't think I quite get whether two fleets need to be in the same square to fight or not if they have battleships, or how two fleets move together. Also, sometimes even when I set the auto nav to move one square, my ships didn't move, which was odd when I was trying to get some reinforcements to catch up with a fleet or put my fleet into the same square as an enemy fleet, indeed a bit more on combat and fleet movement might help as things were getting a wee bit complex there.

I would still like the ability to see at a glance whether a fleet has a colony ship or a battle ship, since that would make things easier I think, also it would be handy to be able to get a list of colonies by the other side, since towards the end of the game I was hunting down planet to colonise, and forgot about one colony of the other side which was in an inconvenient place. it would also be nice to know the distance to a given auto nav destination once set, so you can check if your sending your fleet light years away.

Amusingly enough, just after I finished capital control for four turns, I also got control over %72 of the galaxy, so I would've won economically too, indeed I was playing a little conservatively at the start in terms of colonies, then only noticed later that the other side didn't have half as many colonies as I did. Towards the end I was pretty much just banging all my cash into battleships and using auto placement then waiting things out whilst some of my fleets colonised planets and the auto placement just reinforced my colonies while I won.

Oh, and the game took a wee bit longer than expected since Mrs. Dark and I stopped for a chat mid way through, so the total length is not a reflection of how long the game took, though any game that I found this engrossing for at least two and a half hours just playing one match definitely gets a thumbs up from me.

Still, I didn't think I did  too badly for a first try and I'll be interested to see how other games go.

Game Statistics for Playthrough of VGA Expanding Known Space, Version (21).

The player beat the game! woohoo!

The game lasted 3 hours 9 minutes 27 seconds  and ended on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 5:38 PM.

The war between you (the solarian federation) and the enemy (the interstellar union) started in 2850 and ended in 2860 (40 turns, with the solarian federation victorious.
Game was in normal difficulty.
Military victory condition was assigned - was not met
Colonization victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Economic victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Capital Control victory condition was assigned - the solarian federation met this condition for 4 seasons
The enemy was in normal mode.
the solarian federation finished with 22 colonies (55%) with the most ever held  being 22. the interstellar union finished with 7 colonies (17%) with the most ever held being 9.
the solarian federation colonized 1 of 1 asteroid belts, 1 of 7 space stations, 1 of 3 ice planets, 7 of 7 volcanic planets, 2 of 4 ocean planets and 10 of 18 earth type planets.
the interstellar union colonized 0 of 1 asteroid belts, 2 of 7 space stations, 0 of 3 ice planets, 0 of 7 volcanic planets, 0 of 4 ocean planets and 5 of 18 earth type planets.
At the end, the solarian federation was making 216 credits for 58% of the total income, the interstellar union was making 64 credits for 21% of the total income.
the solarian federation made a total of 4862 credits, the interstellar union made a total of 3185.
the solarian federation spent 30 on intelligence gathering, the interstellar union spent 80.
the solarian federation purchased 23 interceptors, 29 destroyers, 29 frigates, 27 cruisers, 131 battle ships and 26 colony ships for a total of 265.
the interstellar union purchased 66 interceptors, 18 destroyers, 18 frigates, 24 cruisers, 77 battle ships and 20 colony ships for a total of 223.
the solarian federation lost 4 interceptors, 2 destroyers, 3 frigates, 1 cruisers, 1 battle ships and 1 colony ships for a total of 12 (11 lost in combat, 1 lost to hazards).
the interstellar union lost 53 interceptors, 18 destroyers, 13 frigates, 21 cruisers, 34 battle ships and 7 colony ships for a total of 146 (111 lost in combat, 35 lost to hazards).
the solarian federation lost 7 ships to changing loyalties, the interstellar union lost 0.
you have won 0 military, 0 colonization, 0 economic, 1 capital control and 2 mission victories and you have lost 0 military, 0 colonization, 0 economic, 0 capital control and 0 missions for a total of 3 wins, 0 losses.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2019-07-17 20:21:37

hi, is there any way to pay for the game with paypall, i can only find the card field and my dad is wierd about only using paypall.
so far from what i've played, it's grate, keep up the good work.

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2019-07-17 22:45:55

As to playing against other players online, this would require a server, which right now, isn't something we're able to do.  It's something we would like to pursue however, and we're investigating how best to go about it.

Shane, unfortunately, currently the answer is no.  Dentin is working on this, but it's been low priority thus far, and he's got limited time to spread among his various projects at the moment.  We would like to implement paypal support at some point, and it's possible, that you might email Dentin at Guidedog and ask if he'd be willing to handle a paypal transfer.  I know he has done so for Alter Aeon.  This isn't a guarantee, just a possibility.

I'm glad people are enjoying the full version of the game.  Dark, I don't look at game duration, I look at game turns.  40 is a good game.  Just judging from your comments, and your stats, you might try going up a difficulty level or so, but you might want to play a few more games on normal first. 

I have finished a tutorial document, but it's currently being reveiewed by the beta team and Aaron before we post it.  Once they're done I'll put it on the web site and link it up.

Take care,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

2019-07-17 23:16:27

I don't want to appear hypercritical, but isn't the point of linking the games to a centralized platform really to ease both the developer and player side of things. But if Guidedog games doesn't even accept PayPal, what good is that to the players.

PayPal is popular, though I disagree with their handling of certain things and some of their rules, but nevertheless, it is a popular payment method. GDG has no reason not to accept them. Some businesses do, and we the customers might suffer a bit, such as Google and Android Pay, Apple and Apple Pay, and so forth.

Instead of implementing payment methods one by one, the developer of GDG could just use BrainTree and do all the popular ones at once.

Also, while not every country has access to PayPal, for the ones that do, people could get the game just by selling stuff. For instance, without having PayPal tied to a card or bank account, they could sell things they don't need or want anymore on eBay or some other site that works with PayPal, then just use their balance to buy the game without having to link to another payment method.

Pain is life and life is pain.

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2019-07-17 23:48:22

it's good i can get my brother to buy it for me and give him the cash, but i agree with post 62, paypall's very popular.

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2019-07-17 23:55:30

I agree with the post on paypal.
I can buy it but I will need a sightling to read the card information.
Just about every site allows paypal, or paypoly direct net banking or something.
If you guys missed it, traders of known space or tks got a major update with all the extras and is good.
However while the game is free  it still says not activated.
As well as that guide dog client just doesn't load I mean you can load it manually with say other games and then load  tks but while it says its a free game hitting the activate button puts on a page which it says not available to buy or something.
If its a free game, and you ask to activate it shouldn't you just get a free activation or well why bother loading the client or attempting to load it, and why it doesn't load the client itself.
Also the client should be able to be loaded manually outside a game and be able to be loaded at startup by configurations.
As for the name.
We have gdg, guidedog games, sounds like gog, good old games.
Its probably playing on gog thats what I think about it anyway.
Its a pitty about paypal though.

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2019-07-18 07:02:24 (edited by Dark 2019-07-18 07:31:03)

@Crashmaster, the Vga crew have said they're working on a paid expantion to tks, which is why I assume its currently listed as not activated. Its cool though that Tks now has all the planets and the large map which Expanding known space does, though in the future changing map size might be a factor to play with game length etc in both titles.

While I do have a credit card to use on Amazon and for situations where I can't use Paypal, Paypal might be a good thing to consider in the future, since it is the most popular and easy to use payment system, indeed if I'd had the choice I probably would've used Paypal over my credit card simply because its quicker than typing in all my card numbers big_smile.

@Vga, the game was fun, though I probably will want to explore things a bit more on normal difficulty before I go higher. For example, I'm still not exactly clear on how the different ship types work together, and as I said there were some occasions where movement was a bit weird. Plus I'd like to try some of the other victory conditions, E.G I'm not sure at this point how you actually achieve a military victory without taking over most or all of the enemy's colonies so that they can't build any new ships. Towards the end of that game the enemy was making a lot of tiny fleets, but I was just ignoring them and building more battleships whilst I waited to win.

One other thing I'm not entirely sure of, is what the best fleet composition is, since it seems at the moment as colony ships are necessary to actually take an enemy colony, and battleships move as slowly as colony ships, constructing faster fleets doesn't seem worth while. Even for defence it seems your best off just leaving fleets at points you want defended, rather than trying to move more quickly.

then again manifestly I've got more of the game to try out.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2019-07-18 10:20:51 (edited by vga 2019-07-18 11:16:01)

Dark,

As to how to achieve a military victory, it's easiest if that is the only victory condition, or the only one with capital control victory.  it's possible to do it on other settings, especially if you find the enemy's planets quickly, and eliminate all but Earth or Bolivar then take that last, but it's extremely unlikely as a scenario.  Military victories are fun, but time consuming ways to play the game.

As to fleet composition, this honestly is a matter of taste.  I like destroyer wolf packs for exploration and strike forces to slow up large enemy concentrations.  Since a fleet must stop and fight if it's in a square with enemy ships, using interceptors or destroyers to slow down advancing enemy fleets while you build defenses can be very effective.

However, that said, having a large fleet of battleships is very deadly as well.

The real advantages of the different ships are these:

Destroyers gain 1 more square of movement making them by far the fastest ships.  They lose this advantage in fleets.

Edit: They lose this advantage when part of a fleet that has anything which is not a destroyer.

Frigate allows salvage of capital ships giving 1 credit per destroyed capital ship in a fight.  For instance, in the tutorial game I played yesterday, the AI sent a fleet of 21 interceptors, a destroyer, and two battleships to a planet.  When I destroyed this fleet, I gained 3 credits income because of having a surviving frigate.

Cruisers can repair other ships.  This is more important in defense, but it can be useful when traveling across the board, as cruisers can bring ships damaged by hazards back up to speed before they engage the enemy.

Battleships can fire on more distant ships, and hold fleets together.  The second is the more useful ability.  Long range fire is inaccurate, and while it helps, it's sometimes less effective than one might like.

When we first began play testing, I used almost exclusively destroyer fleets.  They were fast and hit fairly hard.  However, as we retooled the AI and he began using more and more battleships, this became   a more and more dicey proposition.  Further, once we introduced the larger ships' abilities, it became harder to ignore the benefits of having the others.

Nowadays, I generally like to have a colony ship, as many battleships as I think I can afford, one to three cruisers, a frigate, and round out the rest of my income with destroyers.  I send these small attack fleets out to colonize and rampage, while I build larger fleets to take out hard targets or for assaults on the capital.

One of the beauties of the game though is that it supports a number of play styles.  As Michael mentioned earlier, he virtually builds only three or four large fleets, and just sends them around the board colonizing and destroying enemy forces.  I prefer a number of smaller attack fleets.  One of our other beta testers uses something of a hybrid.  Aaron generally uses mostly battleships and little else.  All of  these work, they just take various amounts of time to accomplish.

If you'd like a different style game, but don't wish to go off normal mode, you might try matching optimal start.  This provides both alliances with three earthlike planets to begin with.  It's a subtle change, but it makes a large difference over time.

The game takes a while to really understand.  Our beta testers were hitting around a month or so before they hit their stride, but once you begin to see what your preferred playing style is, the game can be very rewarding.  Then you switch difficulty levels, and you have to change smile  I'll warn you, I know with me at least, going up difficulty levels forced a complete rethink of strategy. 

Take care,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

2019-07-18 11:30:35

I have created a tutorial and uploaded it to the web site.  The link is
https://www.valiantgalaxy.com/eks/tutorial.html

I have a link to it on our front page, and on the Expanding known Space page itself. 

Hope this helps.

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

2019-07-18 13:04:14

question, is there a way to tell if a planet's earth like, oceanick and all that when i'm first choosing my planets or do you have to memorize it?

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2019-07-18 13:36:58 (edited by Dark 2019-07-18 13:42:42)

@Shane, yeah, some way of knowing planets in the start menu would be nice, though generally these days I just tend to go with teranova and illissium by default.

Good to read the tutorial, it confirmed a few things I originally thought.
Well that game was fun. Amusingly enough after asking about a military victory I achieved one, mostly because I detected the other side fairly quickly, took moloch which was in their teretory and comparatively close to two of my colonnies, then used that as a stepping stone to take ultima station which was not far away from bolivar.

Amusingly, I also had a wormhole which helped me by catapulting one of my huge battle fleets up near two of the enemy's tiny colonisation fleets, meaning I denied them another colony.
I was wondering if I'd missed a planet before arranging the assault on bolivar, but  had two fleets combine to form a huge uba fleet which destroyed the enemy's main force, then  that fleet met up with my wormhole transported and very experienced battle fleet and they all came together on bolivar, which turned out to be both the last planet to take, and the last of the enemy's forces big_smile.

I almost felt sorry for them, ---- well almost, though methinks I will probably try some different conditions next game, I rather fancy the far corners version. Actually it sort of surprises me the Ai doesn't colonise more planets, especially those on the opposite side of their capital.
Then again I freely admit that in this game I was comparatively lucky in discovering one of their colonies earlier and taking it out, though it surprised me they didn't then send out a colonisation fleet from the other side of their capital to increase their resources.

Ha, their loss.

Game Statistics for Playthrough of VGA Expanding Known Space, Version (21).

The player beat the game! woohoo!

The game lasted 1 hours 1 minutes 1 seconds  and ended on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 12:29 AM.

The war between you (the solarian federation) and the enemy (the interstellar union) started in 2850 and ended in 2854 (17 turns, with the solarian federation victorious.
Game was in normal difficulty.
Military victory condition was assigned - the solarian federation met this condition
Colonization victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Economic victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Capital Control victory condition was assigned - was not met
The enemy was in normal mode.
the solarian federation finished with 11 colonies (27%) with the most ever held  being 11. the interstellar union finished with 2 colonies (5%) with the most ever held being 4.
the solarian federation colonized 0 of 1 asteroid belts, 2 of 7 space stations, 0 of 3 ice planets, 3 of 7 volcanic planets, 0 of 4 ocean planets and 6 of 18 earth type planets.
the interstellar union colonized 0 of 1 asteroid belts, 1 of 7 space stations, 0 of 3 ice planets, 0 of 7 volcanic planets, 0 of 4 ocean planets and 1 of 18 earth type planets.
At the end, the solarian federation was making 112 credits for 30% of the total income, the interstellar union was making 17 credits for 1% of the total income.
the solarian federation made a total of 1272 credits, the interstellar union made a total of 330.
the solarian federation spent 25 on intelligence gathering, the interstellar union spent 5.
the solarian federation purchased 5 interceptors, 15 destroyers, 5 frigates, 3 cruisers, 35 battle ships and 11 colony ships for a total of 74.
the interstellar union purchased 21 interceptors, 29 destroyers, 0 frigates, 0 cruisers, 0 battle ships and 6 colony ships for a total of 56.
the solarian federation lost 0 interceptors, 1 destroyers, 0 frigates, 0 cruisers, 0 battle ships and 0 colony ships for a total of 1 (0 lost in combat, 1 lost to hazards).
the interstellar union lost 21 interceptors, 25 destroyers, 1 frigates, 0 cruisers, 0 battle ships and 6 colony ships for a total of 53 (50 lost in combat, 3 lost to hazards).
the solarian federation lost 1 ships to changing loyalties, the interstellar union lost 0.
you have won 1 military, 0 colonization, 0 economic, 1 capital control and 2 mission victories and you have lost 0 military, 0 colonization, 0 economic, 0 capital control and 0 missions for a total of 4 wins, 0 losses.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-07-18 13:59:17

Shane,

At one point we had the planet type assigned in the planet selection menu, but at the suggestion of the beta testers we took it out as it was making things too easy.  Since this information is available in the documentation, there's not any real reason to continue Hiding it.  I will make Aaron cry, and suggest that tthis might be a real easy addition to an update.  We could either put it back, or alternatively, to make m work in the planet selection menu.

The earthlike planets in the game, assuming I don't forget one are: Earth, Terra Nova, Vesta, Vishnu, Grunwelt, Bubba Elyssium, Olympia, and Zion for the Solar Federation.  For the I.U. they are Bolivar, Charlemagne, Gautama, Ishtar, Magellan, Mandela, Osiris, Wovoca and ZengHe.  I have the feeling I"m forgetting one or two, but that's the majority of them.

Dark,

That is an exceptionally fast game.  The AI is a slow colonizer.  We tried various tweaks and hacks to get it to do better, and never came up with a way to speed it up to player standards in normal mode.  However, a lot of the AI's problems often have to do with cash flow.  On higher difficulties, this is less of a problem, and the AI becomes very aggressive at colonization.  It still doesn't do as well as a human player would with those resources, but it's better. 

In reference to Earthlikes colonization, etc, I did post a new version of the documentation with more info about spoils of victory, occupation of planets, and colonization and how it works. 

I'm glad you whipped them so thoroughly, the Pax Solaris can begin that much sooner in your universe:)

Take care,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.

2019-07-18 16:31:35 (edited by Dark 2019-07-18 17:11:08)

Well next game I'll probably try mixing things up, though as I have places to be this afternoon and obviously the game takes time war will have to wait.
Btw, interestingly enough, I read the section on  added to the documents and it confirmed one thing which happened in my last game, the reason the IU had so few ships was because I had one of my fleets sitting on one of their colonies. Since they didn't have a colony ship they couldn't  take the planet, but it does explain what had happened to their fleets.

the one thing which I do find odd in terms of the game, is that there aren't any planetary defensive structures like ground to space missiles or those huge great ion cannons as in the Hoth battle in empire strikes back, since it seems a bit odd both that your ships can't actually inconvenience an existing colony, and that long established colonies  don't have the chance to fight back against occupying fleets.

still, presumably such things might be possible in future expansions.

It'd also be interesting both to play with the size of the map, and the quantity and type of different available planets, for example, imagine a barren map where apart from the two respective capitals there were no other earth or ocean type planets, just the 18 lower income types making salvage much more important.

I'd also love to see a combination of the four corners and capital start modes, where you start in one corner with your capital, and need to get everything through exploration, eventually meeting the enemy and having to push them back to the very far boundary to win.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-07-18 22:28:07

So, I recorded a game,  but my commentary didn't come through. I will rerecord tomorrow and hopefully have one up by then.

thanks,
Michael

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2019-07-19 09:26:26

Hi.
@Jeremy: Wow. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Fantastic job. You're really working fast on this project. It's amazing... Time to look at it later today.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-07-19 21:19:59

Okay. I made a demo. I forgot to change the settings though so my voice is on the left the game is on the right.

Good luck!

Click here for my EKS demonstration

thanks,
Michael

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2019-07-20 15:39:01

Dark,

In answer to your question about planetary defenses, there's two answers.  One is the historical one, i.e. planetary defenses of the type you describe just aren't available at the time of the First Interstellar Wars in our universe.

The second is the technical game design side of it.  We initially had thought about having stationary defense stations for planets and/or mine fields and possibly sensor arrays.  Once we started talking about it though, the stationary gun platforms for planets, in practice, weren't that much different from battleships.  Rockets for planets would be extremely expensive unless fired from orbital platforms, and again, this ended up in practice being something like battleships.  The mines made things very tricky.  You'd have to mine around a planet, leaving a corridor in or out, and mines in essence would be hazards that would only do limited damage to incoming ships.  A big enough fleet of ships wouldn't even be inconvenienced.  Also, if we had mines, reasonably, we should have mine sweepers, and this added another ship with little practical use.  The sensor array idea was proposed by one of our beta testers, but once we started arguing about the logistics of it, again, we decided that if you want sensor arrays, the best route is to string interceptors out.

EKS is supposed to be more about the tactical problems of using the hazards, planets, and ships on the board to best effect, not about the realities of a real war in space.  That way madness lies because first off, physics would have numerous things to say about how dumb this entire idea is. War in space that is, not your planetary defense ideas.

SLJ,

Glad the tutorial helped.  It was a larger and more involved project than I first thought, but I think it does cover the gap you noticed.

Aaron and I have already started working on an update to be released soon that addresses some of the issues raised here and some that weren't.  I make no predictions on when it will be finished.

Finally, this morning, I decided to play an insane mode game, and I was beaten miserably, and after listening to Michael's easy trouncing of the AI I wanted to give the Interstellar Union it's day in court so to speak.  Before I post this, let me say that it is possible to beat Insane mode, and I have done so.  I believe I sitll have the log if anyone wants to see it.  On the higher difficulties, the matter becomes more of survival and out colonizing the enemy or gaining control of the economy.  That did not happen in this game sad.  So here's my stats:

Game Statistics for Playthrough of VGA Expanding Known Space, Version (21).

The player lost! It'll be better next time?

The game lasted 27 minutes 59 seconds  and ended on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 7:40 AM.

The war between you (the solarian federation) and the enemy (the interstellar union) started in 2850 and ended in 2855 (21 turns, with the interstellar union victorious.
Game was in insanely not fair difficulty.
Military victory condition was assigned - was not met
Colonization victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Economic victory condition was assigned (60%) - was not met
Capital Control victory condition was assigned - the interstellar union met this condition for 4 seasons
The enemy was in normal mode.
the solarian federation finished with 16 colonies (40%) with the most ever held  being 16. the interstellar union finished with 14 colonies (35%) with the most ever held being 14.
the solarian federation colonized 1 of 1 asteroid belts, 3 of 7 space stations, 2 of 3 ice planets, 3 of 7 volcanic planets, 1 of 4 ocean planets and 6 of 18 earth type planets.
the interstellar union colonized 0 of 1 asteroid belts, 0 of 7 space stations, 1 of 3 ice planets, 2 of 7 volcanic planets, 1 of 4 ocean planets and 10 of 18 earth type planets.
At the end, the solarian federation was making 124 credits for 34% of the total income, the interstellar union was making 1236 credits for 58% of the total income.
the solarian federation made a total of 1803 credits, the interstellar union made a total of 12752.
the solarian federation spent 0 on intelligence gathering, the interstellar union spent 105.
the solarian federation purchased 27 interceptors, 73 destroyers, 10 frigates, 18 cruisers, 22 battle ships and 21 colony ships for a total of 171.
the interstellar union purchased 40 interceptors, 5 destroyers, 8 frigates, 8 cruisers, 500 battle ships and 15 colony ships for a total of 576.
the solarian federation lost 19 interceptors, 29 destroyers, 3 frigates, 5 cruisers, 17 battle ships and 2 colony ships for a total of 75 (71 lost in combat, 4 lost to hazards).
the interstellar union lost 4 interceptors, 0 destroyers, 2 frigates, 0 cruisers, 3 battle ships and 1 colony ships for a total of 10 (6 lost in combat, 4 lost to hazards).
the solarian federation lost 0 ships to changing loyalties, the interstellar union lost 2.
you have won 0 military, 1 colonization, 0 economic, 0 capital control and 24 mission victories and you have lost 0 military, 0 colonization, 0 economic, 1 capital control and 9 missions for a total of 2 wins, 1 losses.

For the record, when he took over Earth, I tried to regain it from Amundsen which was only two squares away.  I built up a fleet of 9 battleships, a frigate, 2 destroyers, and six interceptors.  I hadn't been defending Amundsen much, and I couldn't do more than place a hasty colony ship there and some battleships and hope.  I did damage 8 of his battleships . . . . out of 100.

Take care,

Jeremy

Valiant Galaxy Associates Company, owned by Aaron Spears and Jeremy Brown develops and markets audiogames for the Blind and Low Vision markets.