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Author Topic: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game  (Read 911 times)

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Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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[Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« on: February 05, 2010, 07:11:44 AM »
For those not familiar with the term, 4X refers to eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate.

I've been playing around with a game of my own, a heavily chopped and changed one that started life as 1st edition VBAM and has morphed from there, gaining complexity in some areas, losing it in others.

Players would have control over their own star faring race, allocating points to research, infrastructure building, ships, colonies and so on. From your home planet you would go out to explore space, find new worlds, encounter other races, and so on.

The game is at the point of testability (though I'm currently revising the combat rules with some ideas), and I'm tossing it out to see if anyone is interested in giving it a spin.

I will point out that will have a fair amount of rules. Probably not enough to intimidate any wargamers or system gamers, but it might look scary or unappealing to those more used to freeform play.

So, anyone interested?

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 09:34:31 AM »
I have been wanting to try a Free Form kind of 4X game (part why it never happened was because it was so complicated and vast), and I am a avid 4X gamer myself. If you need someone to test it out, I'm volunteering.

What more can you tell us about the system, or how it would work?

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 10:11:50 AM »
Well, first up it's not free form. There are rules for what you can and can't do (to a degree). Some things I've left not covered by the rules, others we can decide how we want to play them from a few options.

This is the turn order, so would give you an idea of each persons actions during the turn

Turn Order

1 – Income phase.

Calculate and gather income.

2 – Orders phase.

Order research
Order new construction
Order Colonisation of new system
Order movement of fleet assets.
Order trade fleet established.
Order Intelligence operations planned.

3 – Intel Phase

Conduct intelligence actions.

4 – Movement phase.

Fleets move to new location.

5 – Exploration phase.

Supply checks made.

Fleets scan for new system layout and enemy fleets.

6 –Combat phase

Establish Blockades
Space combat.
Break Blockades
Orbital Bombardment.
Ground combat.

7 – Order completion phase.

New technology researched.
Constructions completed.

8 – Updates phases.

Update assets.
Check for population growth.
Roll Random Event (optional)
Check for Pirate Raids
Check for change in planets Morale
Perform system loyalty check for planets for planets in state of Unrest or Rebellion.

The way I envisioned it playing would be the GM (ie me) would have a master map, the other players would only get maps of what they knew and explored. Systems are laid out on a hex map, with connections between them that speed up travel, but these have to be scanned for and found. You can stay in a system and scan as many turns as you want, and the longer you stay there the more likely it is to find the connections to other systems.

Moving into a new system you'd scan for planets (to see if any are suitable for colonisation), for alien fleets and anything else odd. I haven't got rules for diplomacy, as that would be down to the players. If someone wanted to take the 'kill them all' approach and just wipe out enemy ships, that's fine. If they want to make like Star Trek and seek out new life and new civilisations, then they would simply write those out as the standard operating procedures for their captains and admirals, and I'd interpret those orders when something came up.

There is a tech tree, and lots to research. I may tweak that bit in line with some of the changes I'm envisioning in combat.

Research, construction, fleet maintenance, all comes down to ecomonic points. These are created by your planets, and spent however you like. Unused ones are carried over to the next turn. What you research this turn you can start building next turn, and the bigger things are, the longer they take to build. It might take you 3 turns to build a fleet carrier on your homeworld, and 10 turns to build it on some little colony world.

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 10:46:22 AM »
Oh, I got that much. I just explained that a rule heavy game like this is interesting too!

And that is an extensive list of actions, but I guess it's better to have it detailed then vague. i think I will volunteer for a trial of this game now that I have seen the basic layout.

I can't wait to get my hand son the tech-tree!  :D

Offline Question Mark

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2010, 02:37:44 PM »
I've never done a ruleset game over the intertubes, but I'd love to give this a shot.

Count me in for whatever.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2010, 03:21:20 PM »
Down like a clown. I take it we'll be playing some sort of big colonist movement or an armada and play out our turns on the forums, yes?

Any rules we could look up yet, or this still a tentative interest check?

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 03:43:15 PM »
Actually you'll be playing an entire species / empire. You start from your homeworld, decide what you want to research, where you want to go exploring, and how you'll behave when you come across other species out in the deep dark.

There is a rule set, which I will post up, at least in part. One or two bits I'm still revising, so I'll post those once they're ready.

Each turn you would submit your orders, I'd process them and feed you back the results. Whether that is done openly (where other players can see it) or secretly (where only you get to see the results) is one of the options we'd have in how the game is played.

Offline hgb

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 03:50:23 PM »
I wouldn't mind giving this a go.

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 04:51:18 PM »
Oh, question! Will there be a "Race Creation" process á la Space Empires, or is it entirely up to the players imagination on what kind of feats the empires will have?

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 04:59:38 PM »
I had thought about doing that, but decided to leave it and test the core rules out first.

What sort of stuff did you have in mind?

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 05:11:27 PM »
Well, initially I was thinking about birth rates and sociological skills inherent to the species in question. Humans are social creatures that give bonuses and negative modifiers; now imagine an alien race evolved with different qualities, like, attitude towards governments (not to mention what type of government the empire has!) and occupation and over social events. But other then that, I'm thinking environmental aptitudes and resistances, research capabilities, warfare capabilities and affinities.

I'm sure I'll think of more crap if it wasn't so late over here.

Should it have some significant gaming impact, or should it be just a flavour issue, something written in a "bio" section for each empire perhaps as a part of the general historical background?

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2010, 05:14:50 PM »
Ok, I get what you have in mind now. Yes, I do intend to work up racial abilities, but that's something I haven't gotten around to yet.

This is still pretty much in a playtest state, so I expect as we go along there will be things we find worth tweaking to improve it.

Some of what you want to do may be possible in the technology you choose to develop, to match the character of your race.

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 05:23:37 PM »
It would make sense that some of the abilities and the general "flavour" of each race would develop over time. Compare 200 BC Rome with 400 AD Rome and you have two completely different Empires, for example.

If you want any suggestions or help with government and social technologies, I'm volunteering. It'd be the first time I'd have some practical use for my International Civic Sciences studies  8-)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 05:26:27 PM by Xenophile »

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 05:28:26 PM »
Well, let me start posting the rules up before you start picking them apart  ;)

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 05:30:19 PM »
Oh, fine. Whatever you want, Dungeon Master  ::)

Offline Schrödinger

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2010, 05:35:15 PM »
Well, let me start posting the rules up before you start picking them apart  ;)
Playtesting gameplay mechanics!

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2010, 05:44:39 PM »
Ok, rules will be going up by section here

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=59899.0

Discussion of them, and general OOC chat here

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=59900.0

As I have the rules written in Word, it make take me a little time to get the formatting sorted out and get them looking decent again when I post them :)

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2010, 05:26:30 PM »
Ok, there are three of us at present. Ideally I'd like a couple more to kick this around thoroughly :)

It's not going to be roleplaying as such, more a strategic level wargame. If you've ever played anything like Pax Imperia, Master of Orion or Sins of a Solar Empire, that's what we have in mind.

Offline Xenophile

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2010, 11:18:53 AM »
I'm sorry, but I have to withdraw my interest in this game. I've done some soul-searching, and this level of complexity is not what I am looking for in a game. Plus, I got several other games going on, and I have problem focusing on them as it is!

Good luck with finding replacements/more gamers!

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2010, 02:29:31 PM »
Not a problem. I figured it would be a fairly limited appeal. Enjoy your other games.

Online Doomsday

Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2010, 03:30:00 PM »
Why don't we all just play Gal Civ 2? :P

Offline HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: [Interest check] - Sci fi 4X game
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2010, 05:17:33 PM »
Because I don't have a working games machine at present  :P