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StarLords3K - Online Strategic 4X


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StarLords3K is an on-line, Strategic 4X Space Game

 

The game is short on fancy graphics (I have zero artistic ability), it is for those who prize strategy above visuals.

 

Been building this game for 6 years now. When I started firefox was the only browser that supported newer (then) HTML features, so I just made it firefox specific.

 

Game runs fairly smoothly, been playtesting with a half dozen people, but now need more testers as it is the diplomatic play that needs to be checked.

 

Would really like to hear what other developers think of it.

 

Website : http://www.StarLords3K.com

 

If you have pointers on how  to find playtesters that would be of help.

 

Anyone interested in joining the closed beta, please pm me.

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I've been playing this game for a couple days now and I can say that it is dope as hell.

 

Like it's seriously the galactic strategy MMO board game that I've always wanted.

 

There are things that try to achieve similar goals as this game but they are all focused on monetization, and so the strategy takes a back seat to anyone who wants to pay money to win.  Here, the strategy is clearly the main focus of the game.

 

It's very complicated.  There is a LOT to know. Diplomacy, trade, production and war have all been given painstaking attention and in a way that using strategic creativity combined with solid research is very rewarding.

 

After you learn everything there is to know about the game (which I haven't) and your empire is set up it seems like this game will only take up a small portion of your day, kind of like taking a turn in a game of risk.

 

Basically if you like strategy board games or just strategy games in general then you will psyched that there is a game like this in existence.

 

I just really really want everyone to play this game haha.

 

Try it out, it's really awesome.  And the more players it has the better it will be.

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  • 1 month later...

A few more screenshots and concepts that make this game different from othes 4X games :

 

snip_5.png

There is an emphasis on diplomacy.
Much effort has gone into creating organic "situations" that evolve into diplomatic crisis. These come about from conflict between several realms of influence. These being political relationships, trade, military actions, resource access and a feudal hierarchy.

snip_2020.png

Trade is encouraged by a mechanism whereby the number of types of minerals governs the efficiency of your refineries and thus your limits to production of assets. Since only a few mineral types are found locally you must trade with other areas to gain more mineral types.

The manoeuvre element is the fleet. Fleets move between stars by an instantaneous jump, but then must wait while the jump engine re-charges. This slows down the pace of the game, giving you time to plan. It creates the feel of a turn based game, even though it is a persistent universe.

snip_2000.png

Fleet movement may be automated.

  • Patrol routes may be created to look for enemies.
  • Gathering routes take minerals to stars with a refinery. This works kind of like railway tycoon.
  • Other routes may be configured to move new ships to the front, return the battle weary for R & R, etc.

The game is not played in "binges" (hours in a session) but in short play sessions. Think of a normal 4X that has its play session sliced into bits. This is by design, so that those with real lives may fit it into a busy schedule (or a fanatic gamer can play a session between all those other games) allowing them to play a deep, involving game even though "they have no time".

Fog of war is constant. If you have no ship or spy at a star you do not know what is there, you only know what was there last time you visited. This permits a "cat & mouse" situation, where cunning can win out.

Building assets takes a long time. This creates pressure to plan, as you cannot react immediately to a new threat by "popping out" fleets of new ships at a moments notice. You can build & assign additional builders to speed up a project, but there is cost there as well.

snip_2040.png

A large selection of technologies are available that affect all aspects of the game. There is no "tech tree" you just research the areas you want an advantage in. you may choose to be mediocre in all or focus on a few that complement your overall strategic direction.

snip_2050.png

There is a robust economic model that provides many ways to gain income and many ways to lose it. Taxation, tribute, piracy, export contracts, asset support, salaries are some of the factors.

snip_2061.png

In the beginning you manage all aspects, but as your empire grows you can do less micro-management and automate repetitive tasks.

The game progresses though stages; exploration, build-up, contact and then the core game play begins with diplomacy, trade & conflict.

There is a play through of a typical 1st session on the website. The game begins slowly as you are mostly exploring and colonising, so the video may be a bit boring. Any suggestions on how to present a "cerebral" game and not make the presentation boring?

This slow start is intentional as the game is complex and is designed so that a new player is not overwhelmed and has time to get his bearings.

http://www.starlords3k.com

We need a few more play testers, pm me if interested.
All feedback is welcome.

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  • 1 year later...

Thought I would post an update...

 

Finally found a few dozen play testers (almost 2 years ago now) and have been cleaning up the game ever since.

 

Graphics have improved marginally, I have updated the images in post # 5.

 

Main new features are :

- Ship design

- Diplomacy & trade with Independent stars (NPCs)

 

But I have worn out most of those play testers and need some new blood.

Had to update the tutorial, so I got rid of those videos that were terrible and the tutor is now all text panels now.

 

Anyone up to testing the tutorial for me?

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Hello,

 

I like 4K strat games, so if you don't mind a nobody like me then I'm willing to test play it.

 

Let me know :-).

 

You would be most welcome to join us, please use the "Request Account" button on the homepage : www.starlords3k.com

 

Just curious, why firefox only? That's a lot of potential market share :P

 

This project began 8 years ago. At that time browsers were very incompatible. Firefox was the only one that was really supporting the newer HTML tags (Video & Canvas).

The game could never have been made (at the time) if it had to be cross-browser. So I went with Firefox.

 

Now that things have changed I've been trying to get Chrome to run the game. There was a bug in Chrome (iframe visibility had problems) that prevented Chrome from being able to run it. That is now fixed.

Seems to run in Chrome now about 98%. There are still inconsistencies with canvas...

 

Had someone just complete the tutorial running Chrome, so it seems good to that point anyway.

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You would be most welcome to join us, please use the "Request Account" button on the homepage : www.starlords3k.com

 

 

This project began 8 years ago. At that time browsers were very incompatible. Firefox was the only one that was really supporting the newer HTML tags (Video & Canvas).

The game could never have been made (at the time) if it had to be cross-browser. So I went with Firefox.

 

Now that things have changed I've been trying to get Chrome to run the game. There was a bug in Chrome (iframe visibility had problems) that prevented Chrome from being able to run it. That is now fixed.

Seems to run in Chrome now about 98%. There are still inconsistencies with canvas...

 

Had someone just complete the tutorial running Chrome, so it seems good to that point anyway.

 

Oh wow.  Well 98% is pretty good.  That's great, I wish you the best man.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 11 months later...
  • 1 year later...

The episode "Cave Mercatura Furta" has begun.

New game features:

UTS Delivery Service : Send resources to remote stars and territories.
Sector Markets : Resource trade via UTS.
New ship components :
  - Engineer Unit : Required to capture transponders.
  - Supply Dock : Reduces support by 50% for system ships.
Checklist : Programmable reminders.
Jumpgate Agreement : Required for foreign jumpgate use.
Join Route Option : For new ship builds.
Dragable Map : The map is now dragable!

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  • 3 months later...

The episode "Mercatus Volgus Ubivis" has begun.

New game features:

Dogfights : Takes place during short range combat by fightercraft
Thrusters, Generators and Ion Cannons : Only usable on Fighters & Interceptors
Civil Markets : Similar to black markets but deal in legal goods
Luxuries : Demand now based solely on each star, rather than realm
Civil Defence Fleets : Replace tribute ship building. CDF's build automatically based on habitat level
Monuments : May now be dedicated to science, fertility, productivity or shipping. This results in bonus output    Monuments : May now be dedicated to science, fertility, productivity or shipping. This results in bonus output

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  • 7 months later...

The episode "Partes Facere Totam" will begin on September 11th 2020.
If you have never played and wish to join in, please begin the training game now so you can join the above game with some knowledge of the mechanics.

New game features:

    New Structures :

        Crafter       - Crafts components
        Power Station   - Higher level structures now require power
        Slave Market   - Provides workers, but increases rebel activity
        Training Base   - Increases experience of ships at the star

    Components : A new asset type :

           May be used to reduce costs of building structures, modules and ships.
           Should provide a comparative advantage to lords that invest in their research.  

    Misc :   

           Tradebases have been removed in favour of the more universal "Sector Markets".
           Lords may now enrol officials for extra training at foreign academies.
           Shipyards, assemblers and academies may now be dedicated to a single output, reducing time and costs.

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