It’s not dead: it is one of those games that will live brillantly… whenever our computers catch up!
Unfortunately processing time for PoN is a function of the code, not the power of the processor. You could be running it on a 686 prototype with an artificial intelligence Risk chip and you still wouldn’t see any appreciable difference in speed.
But if you’re at all interested in 19th century history, then this game has it all - no corner of the 19th century world is left untouched - from the French skirmishes with the Tukulor nation in the Western Sahara to the 2nd Anglo-Burmese War, to Commodore Perry’s Black Ships in Japan. The game is just chock full of little historical moments that you can tinker with and experience. Plus the game also comes with smaller, discreet operational scenarios that you will not find anywhere else like the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War. You just have to put up with the poor interface and optimisation.
From what I remember of reading interviews with them, it is basically their attempt to put Pax Brittanica (old Victory Games boardgame) into computer game form.
I was wondering if anyone else had felt the same about Warhammer Online like I did. I didn’t play it a lot due to my own health, but when I did it was great. When I look at the success of Sega/CA Warhammer Total War series it makes me wonder why Warhammer Online couldn’t make it.
Also Ultima. I think if the Ultima 8 & 9 formula had general been adhered to for 10 things would have been different for that buggy and poor performing release. The poor reception of 10 was a one off and not a trend. Could they have continued the series properly without Richard Garriott? Not sure.
The main problem, from my perspective, is that it’s way too zoomed in on things to make its interesting mechanisms work, and regardless of the turn times, there’s way too many turns. Whatever coolness that some of the design of its economy has(private money vs state funds is really clever and good design), is vastly overshadowed by how little happens, turn-to-turn because it has to accomodate detailed military campaigns, which are not really the game’s strong suit.
Rainbird games, producers of Starglider, and, for me, especially this. One my favorite Amiga games, even if its reach seemed to exceed its grasp:
Stars! Supernova Genesis. I was so excited for that game for so long.
You and me both pal. Still have the beta CDs and beer bottle I got from them at E3 so long ago.
I never got into the beta, so only ever got to imagine the awesome.
I played it a couple of times, it was rough but SO PROMISING. Sadly it doesn’t work at all on my current rig.
Around 1987-88 a little company called Interstel hired Mark Baldwin to add a graphic interface to the classic Empire. I bought the Amiga version through the mail and many, many, many hours of sleep were lost obsessively playing my first 4X game. I think Interstel quietly disappeared after that for what reasons I do not know.
Nope, they made Star Fleet 2 in 1989 and Star Legions in 1994, so they kept going for a spell. Had Mark Baldwin on our podcast a while back too. Great guy.
I had the original Star Fleet, but forgot about Star Fleet 2 and Star Legions. Well, I’m old. ;)
Star Fleet 2 was insanely buggy at release. I’ve been playing the patched version recently though, and it’s amazing.
Star Legions isn’t a space game, but a fleshed-out version of Star Fleet 2’s planetary conquest module. I still need to play it.
Aw. I used to have that game. It was one of my first Tom Chick-sourced recommendations in my early days around here. It was a fun game and definitely before its time. I think that was even pre Xbox Settlers of Catan where my board game passion took off from.
Does this list include years of torture thinking that a game series was done for, and then having it come back in recent years? In that case, consider System Shock. Both it and its sequel were genre-influencing games, but the second in particular sold poorly and we never saw any more. OR SO I THOUGHT FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS. Now we have SS3, a SS reboot, and Prey which is SS3 in all but name and Shodan. I guess all those grey hairs were worth it.
There’s also Descent, same story. D1 and D2 were pretty successful, but D3 - while good - just didn’t sell. Early plans for Descent 4 were scrapped and turned into an FPS (the genre-du-jour) Red Faction. At least we got a tiny bit of D4 towards the end of Red Faction. And now, like SS3, we have basically the same dev team doing a new one (different IP though). Happy days!
I’ve noticed something, All the above were released in 1999. Brian, conspiracy theories go!
You mean Realtime Games? Rainbird was the publisher (part of British Telecom, which is a very strange thing to type these days). Realtime Games produced several high quality 3D games, the best version of Battlezone on the ZX Spectrum, then the Starstrike games (the first was a Star Wars rip-off, the second though was I think the first to introduce fast textured 3D to the Spectrum). And then they switched to the Atari ST / Amiga and did the Starglider games. Again it was the sequel which knocked it out of the park, Starglider 2 was so ahead of its time that I always wondered where they might go with Starglider 3. I think Carrier Command was their last game.
Because Jez San was stupid smart when it came to early 3D.
Imperialism I and II. I don’t know why it died but it sucks that it did.
Do I really have to say why I think the old Bioware died?
Because the answer is EA.
(ME, DA:O, KOTOR, I miss you dudes)