Pandor: First Contact - Just Announced Space 4X from Slitherine and Matrix


I think it is funny that when a company comes along and says that they want to do a spiritual sequel to a beloved game (I will use MOM as an example) the Devs are usually crushed because they did NOT copy the game enough. How many times have people on this forum alone stated “I wish someone would just update the graphics on MOM and keep the game the same (do not try to improve it etc).”

If a Dev goes to much in either direction it seems no one is happy.

I think if I was a Dev I would go crazy! :)


But that usually applies to games that are not readily available to be run on modern systems without a lot of jiggery pokery. And even the “spiritual successors” to MoM and Xcom added something new to the mix.

I’m just saying that if you have a hankering to play SMAC ,play it. There’s no reason to play this instead.


That’s so disappointing, but thanks for the warning, tgb.


Did I miss something? I don’t see where you talk about the diplomacy.


I would imagine it’s this:


Copying 75% of a game’s features with each one being 75% as good as the original does not make a faithful remake.





Matrix has a bit of a hurdle with me because of their store. If I see this game pop up on Steam then I might be more willing to grab it on an impulse purchase, especially were I to see it on sale. Being restricted to only the Matrix site, that means I have to go over, enter my credit card information into yet another site, and make the purchase. While that’s not exactly a herculean task it is an impediment to an impulse buy. I’m less willing to do that when the user reviews are tepid.


With all due respect, treating tgb’s opinion as some sort of gospel given he has “never gotten 100 turns in and quits after half an hour” is premature. He is certainly entitled to his opinion and [I]he may very well be right[/I], but I think it is important to withhold judgement until someone who actually played the game longer than a half hour weighs in. Much of what makes a 4x game comes in the middle and endgame and is determined by how well the various aspects of the game come together and tgb has not experienced that.


I definitely agree with that. I don’t think anyone in the thread is treating his word as gospel, though, he’s just been the first out the gate with impressions. :) I’m interested in what robc04 has to say after he finishes his game.


You can pay with PayPal…

Also, let’s be honest here, you only want this game to be on Steam because you want to pick it up for $5 in a sale. (Nothing wrong with that per se, though.)

My problem with Matrix is similar - their lack of sales for games where I MIGHT be a potential customer, but not for the price they ask.
For games that are in my ballpark, I pay what they ask without grumbling over it - Distant Worlds and Panzer Corps are good examples.
But with games I’m less sure about, there’s a pretty high “miss” ratio where I play a game for an hour or two and realize it’s just not for me - their original pricing is often way too high to take this risk.

But hey, they slowly seem to come around - they’re doing their weekly sales for older titles now, often with substantial discounts (even if it’s on an relatively outrageous base price for years old games) and occasionally even do special sales - I picked up a number of titles at 50% off on eastern.

Also, Matrix doesn’t seem to have access to a direct-link into Steam anyway - they tried to get Panzer Corps on, but it’s been sitting in greenlight for forever now, while Valve happily accepts unfinished projects of games with 8bit graphics. Maybe one day…



Actually I started probably a dozen games in the last 10 days, and have tried each faction. I really wanted to find the love, but just got bored every time. YMMV.


Being completely honest, it’s not really about the price at all, it’s about the convenience. It’s probably not a big deal for a lot of people but it drives me nuts having my game purchases scattered around a bunch of different stores, I much prefer to keep a consolidated library as much as possible.

Where price does come into play is sales on games that I normally may have passed on. If it’s something I’m legitimately interested in I don’t mind paying full price.


Fair enough then.
However, regarding the all-apples-in-one-basket thing, I don’t think it’s not a big deal for as many people as you think - Steam has achieved marked dominance, and you hear about folks only buying something when it’s on Steam. Even if that’s not true for you, I maintain pricing plays a major role in this, but a strong contender for main reason is the same one you mentioned.
Since you can pay with PayPal, Matrix uses no client or phone-home installers of their own, you can hook the game up on Steam as an external game and you say price is not an issue, I really fail to understand the reasoning, though.



As an example, there was a game (don’t remember which one offhand) I wanted to play that I hadn’t fired up for a couple years. The game wasn’t installed so I went to Steam to grab it but… it wasn’t there. “Ahhh”, I thought, “I bet I bought it on Impulse”. So I go to download what is now the GameStop PC App, dredge up my login information (thank god for KeePass and programs like it!), login… but it wasn’t there either. So I start wracking my brain trying to think of where I might have purchased it. I hop over to GamersGate but had no luck. I searched through my email to see if I had obtained it via a direct download link. I later saw a Dominions 4 discussion on Qt3 where it was mentioned that you could pre-order on Desura which is what reminded me I had used that platform at one point in time. Sure enough, there was my game. Finally.

Meanwhile, games that I have on Steam are all consolidated in one place, neatly categorized by genre or frequency of play (categorized by myself, not Steam) across multiple PCs. I don’t have to worry about grabbing updates or patches myself, it’s all automatically kept up to date. While there’s definitely drawbacks to the platform it’s very convenient for me to have one central repository as opposed to multiple different ones. And since I am using Steam, sometimes I’ll pop it open and see that there’s a sale on a game that I wasn’t interested enough to pick up at full price. That’s where the impulse buys come into play for me. :)

So yea, not trying to preach the gospel or anything but that’s my perspective on why library consolidation is convenient. Enough pointless rambling on my part, though, has anyone else taken the plunge and tried the game yet?


Same for me. I’m happy to pay full price, but I do find it handy to have everything listed in Steam and redownloadable via Steam. Plus I trust Steam more than other download services. I had a bunch of games purchased via IIRC Direct2Drive, I heard it got bought out by someone who got bought out by someone and if I jump through enough hoops I may get my games back, but frankly since they are now old games, I’d rather pony up the extra money to purchase them again either through Steam (my preference) or GoG if they’re not on Steam. I’ve got some on GamersGate too, it just gets to be a pain trying to remember which service has which games on it. Steam has a very nice convenient interface and their Terms of Service support my moving them easily to another computer as desired.


I agree about the convenience of having all your games in one place, but at least in this case the price isn’t an additional factor. $30 for a game isn’t quite the same as the $50 (or more) Matrix often wants.

On the issue of the game itself, I’ve read a few other impressions and am not seeing AI being noted as a particular weakness (I have not delved into the beta boards at Slitherine as I’m not sure what comments there represent of the released game). If tgb can provide more examples of what he didn’t like I’d appreciate it.


It’s perfectly OK about not wanting to buy from another vendor, but here is my suggestion. Just keep a document with your non Steam purchases so you can easily keep track. When you install one of these, add it to the Steam client as a non-Steam game so it is listed right there with the bulk of your game library. I’ve probably got games from 7 or 8 sources and don;t find it to be a bother although your opinion may differ. Once you add it to Steam, it will remember the shortcut even after you uninstall the game. Most places take Paypal, which is probably why I find this acceptable.


That’s like going paperless in your office…then making sure you make paper copies of all your digital documents. The biggest draw for Steam (for me) was NOT having to keep a record at all.


I’m not saying my method works for everyone, but it works for me. I rather have the option to buy games from multiple sources to get the best price and not be shut out from non-Steam games. Those things might not be as important to some people and they can happily stick with Steam - no big deal.