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Monday, August 13, 2001
Master of Orion III Interview with Alan Emrich
11:08 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Player.At has posted the results of a recent interview with Alan Emrich of Quicksliver, the development house currently working on the upcoming space empire strategy game Master of Orion III. The interview focuses entirely on MOO3 and is fairly lengthy, giving some interesting insight into the upcoming title.

Though much of the information covered in the interview has already been divulged in previous articles or is available straight from the MOO3 website, a couple of new details have managed to surface. Concerning the modeled map of the universe, it will be in 3D (as opposed to the 2D map of MOO2). However, when looked at from "above" or "below," the map will resemble a 2D map in that none of the stars will be stacked on top of each other. Planetary models will also be extremely detailed, with moons, dual planets, and asteroids being part of the equation, among other space phenomena.

The various species in MOO3 will each contain a subset of races, such as the Klackons being a subset race from the Insectoid species. The Harvesters, the troublemakers from previous MOO games, will be present. Emrich mentions that there is a sub-race from The Harvesters known as the Ithkul, and that "you don't want to meet these guys."

The ability to tweak races/species attributes will be available as well, though it will carry some restrictions:

There will be realistic restrictions for the various species in the game. Thus, the Geodic species will all be Lithavores (rock eaters). You can‘t turn it off, nor can any other species turn that on. It‘s intrensic to the Geodics. So, within a nominal but realistic framework of what makes a species a species, you‘ll be able to tweak racial characteristics to your heart‘s delight.
Emrich also stresses the deliberate pacing of MOO3, that will be more geared towards intelligent strategy than fast-twitch reflexes. Diplomany and government actions will be largely responsible for the outcome of the game. A text generator for the diplomacy aspect called the "Diplo-Matic" will create proper diplomatic responses on the fly and free the game from canned messages.

The technology tree from MOO2 has evolved from a tree to a wheel in MOO3, presenting players with more freedom and thus more difficult choices:

Our technology system is so huge we don‘t even call it a technology "tree." We call it a technology "wheel." Pure research has been separated from the development of research projects (that yield actual game goodies) and the research required to get a specific item (and even that item‘s presence in a particular playing session) can vary a bit from game to game. There will be no „perfect path“ for players to research in MOO3. We keep moving the street signs just a bit so you‘ll always have to work for what you‘re looking for.
As for the most significant news for Mac owners, Emrich notes that there is currently only "one version" of the game that runs both on the Mac and the PC. He is quoted as saying "That means Mac users won't have long to wait when the PC version comes out!" This is good news indeed for Mac users currently eager for this game.

For the rest of the interview, which takes a fairly in-depth look at the governmental aspects and space combat tactics of MOO3 as well as other things, be sure to check out the whole interview at Player.At.

Player.At - Master of Orion 3: The fifth 'X'
Official MOO3 Site
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
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• Master of Orion III Interview with Alan Emrich11:08 AM
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