In our last design article we discussed the creation of Lord of Rigel. Here we are going to discuss what we think sets Lord of Rigel apart from other 4x space games on the market. When creating any game it is important to ask the question, why are we making this? Creating any game is a huge undertaking, and unless there is some creative spark offering something new, while at the same time fulfilling a need - or if you will, a hole in the current gaming market, there seems little point in investing all that effort in creating one. So why Lord of Rigel?
That answer really goes back to Master of Orion 3. Master of Orion 3 was the cast away child of the Master of Orion series. For many of us it was a disappointment that failed to live up to the name of its predecessor and ultimately caused the series to have a decade plus hiatus, until very recently when Wargaming.net rebooted the series. Many other games over the years have tried to replicate the seemingly magical formula of Master of Orion 2 that brought 4x space gaming to the forefront for many gamers. This long list of games includes: the Galactic Civilizations series, Endless Space, Sword of Stars series, and recently the StarDrive series. However from our perspective none of these games provided an experience that equaled or exceeded Master of Orion 2.
As we discussed in our last article our main design philosophy around Lord of Rigel stemmed from the idea of making a modernized version of Master of Orion 2. Many of the above games took bits of the Master of Orion series and tried to make them into something of their own. For instance Galactic Civilizations really borrows its core gameplay from the Civilization Series more than the Master of Orion series. While it provides a fun gaming experience it doesn't provide an experience that invokes the Master of Orion series and as pointed out above it wasn't designed to. That is where Lord of Rigel comes in.
Our focus with Lord of Rigel has been on the core feature set of Master of Orion 2 and then evaluating each of those features to see what parts of them worked and did not work. We have added features and mechanics that we felt would evolve the series into something larger gameplay mechanics, but maintain the ease of play that Master of Orion 2 had. We have incorporated some unique ideas in our galactic political system such as elder races, but also kept things simple with automated ground combat. Ultimately we believe that gamers are still trying to relive the glory of original Master of Orion series and we feel we have a unique take on that by modernizing it and putting our own spin on it with unique species and gameplay mechanics that will lay a foundation for a series of Lord of Rigel games that will provide the players with years of satisfaction, but yet still remain true to Master of Orion 2.
In the next parts of our series we will discuss various questions that we have received about Lord of Rigel and ones that we feel people will have about designs made about core mechanics in the series such as fleet composition, turn based combat, colony management, etc.