Shadow Empire - Mad Max meets Operation Barbarossa

So… I ended up relenting and buying it anyway one hour before the sale ended. After briefly dipping my toes for no more than 10 minutes, the writing was everywhere but on the wall regarding my UI concerns so I quit and opted to try reading the manual first (urgh).

Long story short, for some reason Steam tracked having the pdf manual open in my web browser (as launched from the game’s splash screen) as being the same as having the game running. Even though I’d quit out of everything else. So I’m now half an hour past my 2hr refund window despite doing little else than generating a world.

I wouldn’t say I’m angry, or that I was even really planning to refund. But what the actual fuck?

So, a heads up for anyone else in the same boat.

Gotta close those fucking launchers, sir.

That’s the key here. That’s what Steam looks at to determine if this game is running. If that launcher is up, you’re accruing in-game hours. For others in the same boat, the manual is available online. Looking at it through Windows Explorer will also not accrue in-game hours.

The launcher was closed.

Just double checked and yep, launch game, click ‘Manual’ in the splash screen, close splash screen and it’s still ‘running’ until I close the browser.

I assume Steam just tracks any processes spawned from it to indicate the game is running.

You can probably still get a refund if you explain to Steam support.

I stand partially corrected then. It is not that the launcher is running. Still, you should be able to launch the manual through Windows Explorer, though that would be worth testing.

Oh, evil.

My previous observation was intended as an FYI for anyone else in the same boat. I didn’t want to refund this because;

  1. I’m aware of the processing fees that have to be absorbed by the developer when creating and then reversing such financial transactions.
  2. I had a pretty good idea what I was buying and made the decision to anyway.

i.e. if anyone deserves to be punished here, it’s me.

So; the UI is total dogshit and is pretty much everything I feared it would be. I’d expand on that but it’d be tiresome. And regardless! It is extremely compelling. I could feel it hooking me right form the start with the initial planet generation options. I catch my mind wandering back to it when I’m not playing, actually thinking about it, instead of just reminiscing. That’s a rarity for me these days.

It’s still early days for me, and there are certain mechanics I have grievances about. The decision to delay certain things so they only become active the following turn, for example. And I don’t mean newly created units having no AP, which is pretty typical for the genre.

So you like it! Good. :-)

I think that card is great. I would hold on to it. I use it when I want to vassalize or annex a neighboring minor. Depending how good your diplomat is this can be a tough roll. Since I put my best people into research directorates my foreign office sucks hind tit. I’ve used it like four times now and not seen a failure with it.

So much this, and it doesn’t really go away either. At least I haven’t yet “solved” the game to where it doesn’t still consume much of my thoughts while not playing.

The new episode of Three Moves Ahead dissects Shadow Empire (in a good way). Special guest star: @tomchick!

About Time!

Two things I agree with that Tom said: I have also not finished a game but I very much enjoy starting new ones. And at the 52 minute mark he talks about where he thinks the game fails due to the opacity of the logistics mechanics. Which is where I also stumble to the point that I stopped playing.

Yup, it is the one system that intimidates me the most. I wish there was an opening setting to opt out of logistics entirely. But I suppose that would wreck the intertwining of all the various systems.

Minor gripe - what is the deal with trying to create an account in the Three Moves Ahead/Idle forum? No matter what I do it won’t let me create an account after jumping through the hoops and copying and pasting the name of the podcast it is rejecting its own podcast name.

Can’t help on the TMA forum. I rise to defend the logistics system! It seems plenty clear to me. By the standards of PC grog games, I think Shadow Empire’s system is pretty good. (It’s much clearer than the overland-supply system in the War in the Pacific games, for example. And easier to use than those systems in newer games, like WITE, WITW, and probably WITE2.)

Yes, upgrading the rail system sometimes puzzles me. Certainly the UI could be better. And supply shortages do tend to catch my by surprise in Shadow Empire, but for me that’s part of the fun.

I’m only partway through the episode but I just want to say that it’s been really great hearing Tom’s voice on Three Moves Ahead again!

At about the 54 minute point Tom says that he was playing this week and rage quit the game for the final time because of the logistics. This from a guy who says logistics are 'sexy and cool" so he is not easily discouraged. He faults the manual for failing to explain the systems, saying it is disorganized and written poorly, and is getting worse as the game has been updated but the manual is not keeping up with the updates.