The Viceroy - SF Oddball 4X

I’ve barely had time to touch it, sadly, due to houseguests and such, but I plan to really dive in tomorrow

That’s right, except you can build projects that give you multipliers early on.

Sounds awesome! I mean, GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA!

They should have put that as the sales headline. I am so in.

is this game repetitive?

Yes. You move from one district to the next, which might have a different set of challenges, but game play isn’t going to change any.

In spite of that I still feel compelled to keep slogging away at it, trying different strategies every time. I’ve only completed the first Sector to my satisfaction, but every time I think about a different approach I start a new game.

This sounds really interesting. How is the learning curve? How are the tutorials? How is the manual? Did you end up relying on any particular videos to get your head around it?

Manual is alright, learning curve is meh, I started two or three games before I started my current one, where I feel even a modicum of comfortableness. ;) I’m still on this first territory, as I wanna get EVERYTHING RIGHT. It’s really compelling, I don’t know these people, but after all they’ve suffered, I wanna really do my best to help them. I haven’t even cured one effect from the Collapse yet, but I PLAN ON IT.

It’s surprisingly engaging, truly. My first video is up today if y’all wanna look:

I found the best way to get over the hump was to print out the manual (it’s less that 30 pages) and have it in front of me, since it explains the game screen by screen in a reasonable order. Once you get your head around how all the different systems work, there are all sorts of different approaches you can take. As Brian says, it’s really engaging.

I’m hoping they get a couple more automation tools implemented before I start diving in. Sounds like with the ability to automatically construct buildings/cures on worlds and with a bit more information available (graphs, charts, etc.) this could be even more interesting than it already appears to be. 1.02 already brought some helpful tedious-click-reduction changes so hopefully another week or two will bring more.

Yeah, the developers seem to REALLY care about their game, and I’m happy they’re trying to continually improve it. I hope to have them on the podcast within the next few weeks.

I don’t share Brian’s enthusiasm about the developers’ involvement. I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of them on the Steam forums and they don’t have any sort of message board on their own site. They furthermore don’t seem to be answering emails. The only patching they’ve done has been minor stuff, but I feel the game could use a lot of interface improvement given its complexity. I’m also not satisfied with the manual. It’s one of those manuals that tells you what you’re looking at on any given screen, which I could mostly figure out by going to that screen and looking at it. The manual does a lousy job of explaining how the game works. The glossary is the most useful part of the manual.

And you guys who keep restarting the game to replay the first scenario are doing a disservice by passing judgment at this point. If you haven’t gotten to the later scenarios, you’re just playing the tutorial. The overall arc of the game is that you’re sent to larger systems where you have to manage more and more planets. This is where the interface pain really emerges and where you’ll drown in all the overbearing and unexplained detail.

I admire what this game is trying to do, but my impression so far is that it doesn’t do it very well and the developers are horrible at responding to feedback.


That’s weird about the correspondence man, they’ve been very quick to return my emails. I emailed them via their contact info on their site, is that where you got the info?

Yep, I tried to reach them using the contact info on their web site. I guess I don’t have the cachet of a guy who runs a web site dedicated to space games! :)

But that’s not as concerning to me as the fact that they don’t seem to participate in any sort of community conversations about their game. Can an indie developer really afford to ignore the Steam forums when they release their game? I don’t know the answer, but it strikes me as pretty bad form.


I’m a little disheartened that with all the people calling for some more automation in the interface, the developer can’t at least be botheedr to post a “We’re looking into it” message.

I picked this up a few weeks ago … I really liked it, initially it seems there’s an awful lot of complexity to the game. Unfortunately, there’s a straightforward strategy towards winning after the first scenario which pretty much kills any replay value for me (took a couple weeks of real time to beat the second scenario … finished the third with my second faction 4 hrs after beating the third with the first faction, and I had dinner in there somewhere).

Spoilered: Pushing everyone into specialized production for the faction you have a bonus with. Ignore all other production and let them trade for their other goods. You need some happiness, but not much. Before turning in the first scenario, build influence multipliers on the planet with the most influence (you had to remove all misery anyway). You end up with enough points to max your factional production bonus and also reduce rebel income. The second and third scenarios are all about building wealth, which comes fastest with specialists.

These developers put out another game which was also a oddball look at 4X … is it any good?

I enjoyed After the Empire for the hours I put into it. It’s veeeerrryyy different from The Viceroy though.