Zebbeni

Alien Empire (Board game sort of like Catan + SW: Rebellion)

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This is a personal project I've been working on for about a year, it's an online multiplayer board game with a space colonization theme where you can build, explore, trade, send secret missions, and attack other players. It's possible to win without ever having a war, so I'm pretty satisfied with the tension that happens when one player decides to be the first to build fleets. Anyway, I'm really happy the way it works now, and it seems to be pretty balanced at this point (thanks to my girlfriend play testing it about 1000 times with me :D)

I haven't written an AI yet, so to get past the lobby you may need to sign in with a couple incognito tabs and start a game with yourself if no one else is online.

Let me know what you think!

Game: http://alien-empire.com/

Server: Node.js / Socket.io
UX: Javascript / Jquery / Createjs
Github: https://github.com/Zebbeni/alien-empire
Music / Sound Effects source: http://www.soundsnap.com/

spash_page.png

in_game.png

end_game.png

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Cool game, very impressive if you designed and developed this all by yourself!

I played three games for with two players. These are my observations.

pros:

  • Great visual style. Feels like a real board game.
  • Design of the game gives it enough depth and replayability.
  • Network play works great!
  • User-interface is very clear and understandable.

cons:

  • Unbalanced resource gain at the start of the game. (If there is only 1 fuel and you need ships or explorers to find more planets).
  • Unclear when I could buy agents or build fleets. Maybe it should say so in the mouse-over description of the buildings and the units.

 

Being unable to explore makes you stuck sometimes while your opponent is building up his economy quickly. I don't know if you have ever tried making the explorer free for every player at the start of the game. You probably have a lot more insight than me but it seems like a big issue in two player games where it is essential to have fuel.

Otherwise great game!

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Wow, it looks awesome and very polished UI. I'm not a fan of strategy games so it took me a looong while to figure out the game play without reading the instructions (I was obstinate about this). The (very good) music suits perfectly but it's a bit too short and gets repetitive. Again, I love the UI and graphics, really, it looks perfectly professional IMHO. It's a good concept too.

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Thanks for the great feedback!

@ecv That's good to know about the intuitive-ness of the UI. I have a few things I'd like to improve after watching people click around in it, but if you have anything specific you found frustrating, let me know! I'd also like to record my own music eventually- the current loop should be a stand-in- but I think writing my own is going to take a while.

@Goblet Ed I've noticed the same thing about resource scarcity, I've restarted quite a few games due to a badly randomized game board. I'll add some constraints to the resource generation and see how much that helps. I also added a quick improvement from your other comment- now the agent hover menu lists the structure that the agent requires to be recruited. I have a couple other ideas to help with this too (like a button that displays a build tree, or darkening the agent buttons until you've built a structure that lets you recruit them) so I'll try to add those soon.

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