Remnants of the Precursors - Now in Pre-Release state

Updated Apr 2021:

Remnants of the Precursors, a modernized remake of the original Master of Orion, is now in a pre-release state. All features are locked in. Remaining work consists mostly of language translations, minor polish, fixing stray bugs and getting the last of the artwork in.

The game is on schedule for a 1.0 release on Christmas, 2021, in over 20 languages!

Looks really interesting. I will probably hold off until the tactical combat is in the game, but what you’ve done so far seems really great. Please keep posting updates here.

Agreed; what you all have accomplished thus far is pretty incredible, and I look forward to watching your progress going forward!

Holding off for ship combat is not a bad idea. Several have asked me why I have put it off so long. The primary reason is that, once ship combat is in, the game will feel functionally complete and expectations for polish will change even if I make it clear that the game is still an alpha.

Think about how MOO:CTS entered Early Access and everyone reviewed it as if it were a finished game and criticized it for its shortcomings while still an alpha. When those shortcomings were fixed in the actual release, there were no additional reviews for it… the critical die has been cast already.

Unlike Wargaming, I don’t have a team of testers in my employ so I have to find a way to release the game publicly for testing while simultaneously discouraging people from concluding that the game is finished. Without tactical ship combat, any evaluation of the game comes with a giant “Unfinished” caveat in bold red letters.

That’s actually really clever.

I’ve played a few games of this and it really is coming together nicely. It’s still incomplete but it is playable enough that you can have fun while testing it. There are even some nice improvements to the UI.

That is really clever. Have you considered a separate build that just contains the tactical combat, like SC2 Melee, so you can test that in parallel?

You’re doing God’s work, son.

Now that I will have a continuously running alpha test while I am working on the next alpha, I’ll have to create two separate branches: one for the Mrrshan artwork as I integrate it into the game and another for the tactical combat as i start coding that up…

Everything else like bug fixes, revamped UIs, etc will go in the main public alpha as they are done…

That’s the problem with Early Access games in general. I’ll be sure to check out Remnants, though! (You emailed me about it before, after I’d written a review of MOO:CTS on my website.)

It’s functionally very similar to the previous alpha last Summer. I had planned to do more feature work in this alpha but was totally blindsided by the dramatic visual improvement I was able to get from a graphic designer. So instead, I spent more than expected of my coding time working on UIs that had previously been “complete”.

Not being tied down to a specific release date is one of the big luxuries of not trying to do this commercially.

Looks great, but never say (regarding a million stars) “No one will ever play this.”

When I was doing the performance work and had 50K stars, I was very surprised that people seemed to sincerely want to play map that size. It’s ridiculous. I don’t think people understand the tremendous scale of a 50K map. If you colonized 50 systems/day, it will take almost 3 years to fill the map. That’s one game.

But the point of continuing the work and getting to 1M was not only to find memory problems, but to get people to universally agree, “ok, that’s too much. We get it. Galaxies are huge. You can stop now.”

EVEN SO… if there’s one 4X that a person can reasonably expect to play a huge 10K+ map, it will be Remnants. We have created a unique interface designed specifically to facilitate macro-level management of large fleets.

In my mind, this particular end-game management problem has been solved. Not perfectly, but certainly good enough for most use cases. I hope that, over time, variations of our Fleet UI will eventually work its way into other space 4Xs.

Does the game currently play out a tactical battle “behind the scenes” or is it some kind of high-level estimate of how the battle would go?

Does the AI play by different rules than the player to increase the challenge? If so, what are the shortcuts it takes?

It plays out a tactical battle, but the AI doing so will need to be improved greatly once ship combat can be viewed and controlled by the player.

No. The AI plays by the same rules and the philosophical goal is to adhere to that as long as possible since I do not want to undercut AI development by adding brute force bonuses until they are necessary.

Good to know. I like that approach to AI. Thanks very much.

Here is some sample artwork coming in the next alpha. The Mrrshan soldier:

I would play this if it had some anime girls.

more people would play it if it didn’t