Overlord asked what we’d like in a Wargaming version of Master of Orion. Well, this would be my first pass at designing it.
Possibility the First : 4x turn-based strategy game. Start out by copying Moo2 (and forgetting Moo3).
One think I loved about MOO1 was the ability to use thousands of little bitty ships to take on Leviathan class dreadnaughts. This has tended to disappear in the latter 4x style games, so I’m hoping they’ll remember to balance the tiny with the big.
Another item is the abstraction of factories. MOO1 abstracted all production in this all consuming number. Moo2, I built individual items which each had a certain amount of production points or whatever. Why should I build an isotope factory, interestellar harvester, and all of that just to get additional industry points ? This would be better abstracted. Same with food, and laboratories. Don’t make me build tons of individual doo-dads on each planet, I find that boring.
What’s fun, is the idea of taking that radioactive rock and turning it into a terran paradise. Go deep with the ideas of terraforming, and unlock this stuff before the final stages of the game. Let me play the galactic virus, expanding the universe and creating it in my image.
Much of the other stuff is pretty obvious. Useful difficulty levels, from Newbie to Impossible, build up over time until you war with other empires, and a fun variety of ways to win as in the other games of the genre.
DLC could include ship packs – where the game ships with, say 8, and you can use many different ones for cosmetics if you’re willing to buy. And different lifeforms; most space games seem to assume oxygen/nitrogen atmospheres on a certain narrowly defined temperature. What about methane breathers – or creatures floating around in gas giants ?
Possibility #2 – A MooMmo
My experiences playing Evony-type games give me pause on a grand strategy game with other players against you. The organized groups destroy you, people who gather outside of the game in guilds and then all flood a certain area and cooperate you to death. And how did I play these games ? Try to get in with a bunch of players who abandoned the game early, then you could take them over. Yeah, that tends not to be fun.
You could do some kind of loose confederation, ala realms play. Pirates of the Burning Sea had you as French, English, or Spanish. If you expanded into your realm as Race1, or Race2, or Race3, with some kind of war against other races, but with soft war possible within your race. Such as becoming the leader of Race1. These things tend to suffer from unequal distribution of players though. And which of the classic Moo races would you leave out ?
Now what could really work would be the ideas of the multiverse. What if you played a MMOSPG MOO ? All worlds created on 8/10/13 would be seed XYZ. Whoever ended their game (in a reasonable time) with the highest score, best replay, most technology, etc, would be memorialized in a high score leaderboard. Or would get some kind of meta-points, which would increase their abilities in-game by a tiny bit.
And with meta points, you could steal an idea from World of Tanks – Crew Skills. With an obviously much faster progression, let your warships have crew skills acquired through meta points. Or bonuses to your race’s abilities, et cetera.
Either method, I think the trick is having the Intellectual Property gets you interest. Without a good design you get Moo3. So design it well and implement carefully. Any kind of an MMO might allow you to tweak your ideas as you go along, while a single player game is a smaller one-off project. And who’s to say it has to be one or the other ?
Resurrect the MOO franchise for the younger gamers in a single player form, and wait until later for the MooMMOSPG. Oh I love that – a “Mooooo MMMMMM oooooo SSSSSSSS PiG”