The game is currently 16% off - buy now for early access to the beta. I'm tempted - has anybody played it yet?
The modular custom ship system sounds intriguing - would love to know if it's been done well.
@dantad: (and anyone interested about how the game is)
It's quite interesting. Has a kind of a real time Civ vibe going on, with it's own systems. You can pause the game at any time to give orders, as well as speed up and slow down the game. Research and production besically happen on a "turn" basis like in a Civ game except a turn is 5 seconds. Combat, expansion, scouting, trade, all of that is real time tho. A lot of significant menus will autopause too, but some won't.
The ship building and subsequently combat is the biggest part of the game. Most of the research is focused around ship upgrades and unlocks. Only a few technologies are civil in nature.
The good part is that the ship building and combat are really robust and well done. I had lots of fun optimizing existing designs and making my own. There is also a fleet management tool, for formations, ship behavior (very detailed), reinforcement etc. And the combat itself is engaging and dynamic, with large number of hugely different ships and weapons flying and weaving around each other and dozens of effects happening.
The bad part is because it has it's own take on civil/commercial systems, they are kind of half baked. Combine that with the real time aspect of the game and you got yourself a recipe for a headache. Managing a large empire manually is a pain in the ass requiring constant babysitting and too much time. While the "AI" city management is not sophisticated enough nor customizable enough leaving you to rely on sub optimal production levels and resource management. It also leaves a lot of inner systems/workings unexplained requiring you to basically guess how some things affect each other, some basic economic stuff that other strategy games make sure to surface to the player to ensure you're well aware of how or why exactly certain things are happening.
I've also encountered some weird issues where road automation would halt and leave my empire crippled without warp channels (fixed by deleting pre planned roads for them to reset). The fact that you can't build workers by yourself, they are only build when a "road" segment requires building. Some default ship designs use invalid layouts. And the AI opponents deciding to all form a single empire against me, for no other reason then i was in the lead, without I suspect building any sort of relationships with each other that you as a player would have been required to do. And there are a few other issues and bugs besides.
It's definitely a diamond in the rough. If you are craving some cool new experiences and for $30 it could be worth checking out despite the potholes. As a first draft (i assume) it's not bad at all. It also makes me look forward to see if these guys can nail this concept down with the next iteration, if there is one. Because with some spit and polish it would be very good indeed. Just be aware that this game comes with some caveats if you're off put by this sort of thing.
Use your keyboard!
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