"Doubletime" With Master of Orion III
10:33 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Quarter to Three recently posted the results of a comparison interview titled "Doubletime with the designers of Starships Unlimited and Master of Orion III." What the interview basically does is ask the same questions to developers of different backgrounds, allowing readers to compare their answers side-by-side. Though Starships Unlimited may hold little interest for Mac owners, as this is a PC-only title, the interview also includes questions for Quicksilver members. Their upcoming title Master of Orion III, a space-oriented strategy title on a grand scale on its way to the Mac courtesy of MacSoft, definitely holds the interest of more than a few Mac owners.
The interview focuses on design motivations and influences, rather than any actual game details. One of the more interesting questions addresses the issue of the use of conventions already established in popular science fiction, rather than applying strange technologies with no current basis. Both Alan Emrich and Bill Fisher of MOO3's development team respond:
[Emrich]: You could go either way. For MOO3, we’re sticking with popular conventions (and adding a few twists of our own to extend that convention just a bit).Emrich also discusses the macromanagement/micromanagement aspects of MOO3, noting that, while both will be possible in MOO3, it will ultimately be macromanagement that players will find the most useful, particularly when their empires increase in size. For example, instead of tweaking every build queue located on a moon, a player can simply issue an Imperial Edict that states that all Frontier Worlds must increase their production of defensive capabilities.
[Fisher]: You need to stay rooted in the familiar. One of the most appealing things about the Star Wars or Star Trek universes is that they're more like our own than different. Sure, the wallpaper is new, but people still live in houses, pilot vehicles, and have relationships that mirror the variety in our own society. In the same way, our technologies begin with that which we know about our own universe and then extrapolate in as "realistic" a manner as possible into the distant future. If we created our own universe, it would feel far more alien. And we'd probably have one heck of a time play-balancing it, since we'd have nothing real to compare with.
Quarter to Three - Double Time
The rest of the interview focuses on more personal issues, including the developers' favorite games, the length of development cycles, and which of the "Big Three" (Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5) appeal the most to each designer. For those who wish to peruse the full read, it is currently available at Quarter to Three.
Master of Orion III - Official Site
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Quicksilver Software (add to watch list)
Master of Orion III (add to watch list)
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