Space Empires V Demo

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utilae
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Space Empires V Demo

#1 Post by utilae » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:02 am

Hey everyone,

Space Empires V demo is available:
http://www.malfador.com/se5demo.html

Download it and try. :)

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#2 Post by marhawkman » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:09 pm

AWESOME! I have noticed several things to point out though.

At least one(unidentified) crash issue.

Some sort of bug that keeps you from trading tech....(you choose what to give them and what you want in return, but what actually happens is the opposite) If you enter a treaty that require you to share research you do get their techs though.(that rocks)

the above mentioned research treaty causes an erroneus message to appear whenever I research new technologies.(it says that I got it from my ally instead of developing it myself, and vice-versa)

There is no button for "I don't want to attack"...... If you bump into a ship from another empire you'll automatically battle, whether you want to or not. The only way to avoid a fight to the death is to run away.(not always effective)

the good news? I found an exploitable bug!!!!! If you have two ships in the same hex, one with movement and one without, highlight both simultaneously and you can move the pair of them as if they both had the same movement as the one with higher movement.(this doesn't work if you simply give them orders and let them do it themselves)
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#3 Post by utilae » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:34 pm

marhawkman wrote: AWESOME! I have noticed several things to point out though.
It is an awesome game. My normal preference is a Moo2 type setup, where travel across the system is instant and you spend time travelling between stars. But I was quite good, being able to explore systems like that. The game is quite slow overall though, ie it took so long for me to meet the enemy. Research is in decimals (it makes it seem like ages).

I do think the research screen is a little bit annoying that it is a list that keeps getting bigger and bigger, though I think that is better than a tech tree style like what FreeOrion has or sigh SOTS.
marhawkman wrote: the good news? I found an exploitable bug!!!!! If you have two ships in the same hex, one with movement and one without, highlight both simultaneously and you can move the pair of them as if they both had the same movement as the one with higher movement.(this doesn't work if you simply give them orders and let them do it themselves)
Yes, I found that as well. But it didn't spoil my fun.

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#4 Post by Moriarty » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:56 pm

What limits does it impose compared to the full game?

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#5 Post by Impaler » Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:25 pm

Only 4 races for one, striped down game options, no Senarios, Uterly no documentation (you basicaly have to have played SEIV inorder to know what your doing) and I think theirs might be a turn limit as that was done in the SEIV demo.

I'm also giving this Demo a try. I played a demo of SEIV years ago and thought it looked promising but never bought it, I also played their StarFury Demo and can see how that game was esentialy a testbed for some of the combat and graphics here.

3D system maps that pan and rotate (and have the option of goind flat 2D) is very smooth and well done. My only complaint their is that it can be hard to identify your ships because of their small size, the little Icon over them it a bit poor and uninformitive and should have given you some mouse over information. I dislike the move away from the SEIV / HoMM style of movment in which you can click down a path for a unit but it only executes in when you press a button. The button first then click is clunkier and more error prone.

Menu-ish user Interface is good and solid considering the information load that needs to be displayed. Their are a few things I would like displayed differently (like why dose the Build Quee not grey out Buildings once a planet is out of Buildable space?)

Combat Engine from what I've seen in the simulator (I only just now after a day of playing encountered another race and was not interested in attacking their homeworld with my completly unarmed scout) looks great. I'm not shure how they handle multiplayer or how well you could manage a chaotic mass melle. The battleField did seem rather small so battles did seem to end quickly if one side runs.

I'm dispointed the Ship Building system is so unevolved from SEIV (90% of components are directly lifted as well). They have an "Inner" "Outer" "Armor" slot system but dont realy make much use out of it because as far as I can tell everything which is not armor can go Inner or Outer and as ships dont last very long Inner/Outer lay out is of little strategic significance. The Hulls are all rather un-inspired, boxes with total arbitrary limits on how many engines/crew/components it must have. For example the "Large Transport" and "Colony Ship" are basicaly the same except one requires that you fill half the space with Cargo Cells and the other requires that you put a ColonyPod on it. Stars! used its tecnicaly more rigid system to make the design process interesting, SEV has a lot more low level flexibility but exploits it poorly. The three Deck system looks like some kind of half implemented feature (were they planing to have 3D combat and ships would actualy take damage dorsal/ventraly?), all it dose it confuse the designer. I was also hoping they would keep the PowerPlants introduced in StarFury. The only real evolution seems to be the addition of Ordinace in additon to Supply (aka fuel) and this looks promising as a potentialy strategic factor, for one it seems to put some major limits on fighters, I built some rocket pod equiped firghters and it seems they pack a major whallop (I could estroyed a Space Station in the simulator with about 20 of them and a frigate with just a handfull) but only have about 5 shots each.

I was trying to build long range scouts and realized that a supply pod "aka fuel" costs as much as an Engine and get this HOLDS HALF THE FUEL OF AN ENGINE, its only redeaming value is its half the mass. I tried to do some text file editing to correct this bone headed design flaw and now when I try to load the game it complains a about the edit and wont start. I hope the modability is better in the full version.
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#6 Post by Moriarty » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:17 am

I thought the SE games were very well renouned on their modability. Either you made a snaffu or they're ensureing that you can't mod the demo into a more complete game.

One important note is that they are very good with patches - see:
http://www.malfador.com/se4dwngp.html and you'll note there are 8 patches to SE4 "standard", 5 for "Gold" and 1 for "Deluxe", and it seems you you can patch upgrade from standard to deluxe (as the only difference is the release date it seems) so if you purchased the standard you've got a full 14 patches there! Most games only seem to get to 2 and still have a ton of unfixed bugs.
As such I wouldn't have any trepidation in reporting bugs/minor suggestions to them.

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#7 Post by marhawkman » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:33 pm

Impaler wrote:Combat Engine from what I've seen in the simulator (I only just now after a day of playing encountered another race and was not interested in attacking their homeworld with my completly unarmed scout) looks great. I'm not shure how they handle multiplayer or how well you could manage a chaotic mass melle. The battleField did seem rather small so battles did seem to end quickly if one side runs.

They have an "Inner" "Outer" "Armor" slot system but dont realy make much use out of it because as far as I can tell everything which is not armor can go Inner or Outer and as ships dont last very long Inner/Outer lay out is of little strategic significance. The Hulls are all rather un-inspired, boxes with total arbitrary limits on how many engines/crew/components it must have.

I was trying to build long range scouts and realized that a supply pod "aka fuel" costs as much as an Engine and get this HOLDS HALF THE FUEL OF AN ENGINE, its only redeaming value is its half the mass. I tried to do some text file editing to correct this bone headed design flaw and now when I try to load the game it complains a about the edit and wont start. I hope the modability is better in the full version.
If you wanna try out a mass melee you can simulate one with their design testing feature. using the stop/start buttons is essential there.

Inner hull doesn't get damaged until the outer hull gets blown away.

Supply pods only give half if you haven't researched how to improve them :p
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#8 Post by Moriarty » Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:22 pm

marhawkman wrote:Inner hull doesn't get damaged until the outer hull gets blown away.
It's been like this since.. well SE3 certainly (first one I played) and it worked back then. But its getting a little old now. At least IMHO.

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#9 Post by Moriarty » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:35 am

Well having played the full thing I'm a little disappointed at all the bugs / UI issues.

I've played three games so far. Two of them ended abruptly near the start (around turn 20-30) when the game hit the "processing after players turns..." screen, and just sat there doing that for 5 mins before I killed the thing (theres no way around it). Anyone else have this? Both games were 12+ players.

The other game I played got to about turn 100 and I must say showed the AI to be rather disapointing (it was on "medium"). Basically I was something like an order of magnitude higher in score/resources/whatever than any of the AI players. In most games I'm "equal" to the AI until the end when I release my super-tech-fleet-of-death.

I also noticed a number of pathfinding bugs. It seems that the SE devs don't specialise in AI unlike a certain other 4x (GalCiv).

But the game certainly looks like it has potential, and it has _lots_ of very nice tech (unlike SOTS, and even though (as already pointed out in this thread) much of it is nabbed directly from SE4)).
I'm going to try and play another game later today and see if that goes any better.

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#10 Post by marhawkman » Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:50 pm

Moriarty wrote:Well having played the full thing I'm a little disappointed at all the bugs / UI issues.

I've played three games so far. Two of them ended abruptly near the start (around turn 20-30) when the game hit the "processing after players turns..." screen, and just sat there doing that for 5 mins before I killed the thing (theres no way around it). Anyone else have this? Both games were 12+ players.
That's not a bug. It means the AIs were fighting it out. I've had it happen rather often and don't worry about it.
The other game I played got to about turn 100 and I must say showed the AI to be rather disapointing (it was on "medium"). Basically I was something like an order of magnitude higher in score/resources/whatever than any of the AI players. In most games I'm "equal" to the AI until the end when I release my super-tech-fleet-of-death.
I've found the ultimate strategy would be to research research for the first few tech levels, then you can research pretty much anything you want.
I also noticed a number of pathfinding bugs. It seems that the SE devs don't specialise in AI unlike a certain other 4x (GalCiv).
I've only noticed one. It happens when you tell a ship to fly through a system with a blockaded warp point.
But the game certainly looks like it has potential, and it has _lots_ of very nice tech (unlike SOTS, and even though (as already pointed out in this thread) much of it is nabbed directly from SE4)).
I'm going to try and play another game later today and see if that goes any better.
Hehe... It's called SE5 for a reason.... :p

Personally I've found it to be ridiculously easy to out-research the AIs.

Oh and I've found another exploitable bug.

If you have found two systems and know there's a warp point connecting them, you can simply order a ship to fly to the other system and it'll automatically plot a course straight through uncharted space.

Also, It's not really a bug but it's sure as heck exploitable....

On the main map you can see tic marks indicating the existence of warp points that haven't been explored. The previous games had it so that the location of a warp point in a system had no bearing on where it went. That's not true in SE5. You can easily figure out the location of warp points in uncharted space by looking at the tic marks on the galactic map and exploring the cooresponding location in a system.

I gotta say I'm seriously thinkling about getting the full game.
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#11 Post by Daveybaby » Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:07 pm

marhawkman wrote:
Moriarty wrote:I've played three games so far. Two of them ended abruptly near the start (around turn 20-30) when the game hit the "processing after players turns..." screen, and just sat there doing that for 5 mins before I killed the thing (theres no way around it). Anyone else have this? Both games were 12+ players.
That's not a bug. It means the AIs were fighting it out. I've had it happen rather often and don't worry about it.
If the game sits there doing nothing for 5 minutes without letting the player know why... thats a bug. If the game routinely pauses for that long as part of its normal behaviour... then thats just bad design.
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#12 Post by Moriarty » Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:13 pm

That's not a bug. It means the AIs were fighting it out.
The AI's fighting? At turn 20? Don't make me laugh.
The AI in this game is so pathetic it's entire fleet would have trouble stopping a spit-ball. Half of the time their units are weaponless, half the time there's a ordinance bug that stops ships from attacking and thus they run away, the other half of the time they struggle to build a fleet of more than 10 ships. (minor exagerations, but the premise remains).

I have had the game take several mins with one AI player or another taking their turn and I'm not at all sure why because in this game the AI's are all allied to try and supposed to be fighthing me - note use of the word "supposed".

I've found the ultimate strategy would be to research research for the first few tech levels, then you can research pretty much anything you want.
...
Personally I've found it to be ridiculously easy to out-research the AIs.
Ditto. Actually my strategy is this:
Set it up so everyone Starts with 100,000 research points. Spend 48% on Applied research and 48% on sensors. The other 4% on whatever.
Turn 2 you have lvl 7 sensors which will greatly aid in exploring plus improved research capabities.

I'm presently on turn 150 or so. I have about 2.5MILLION research points. If you add all the AI RP's together they probably have about 200k. And that's with me helping them cheat by modding the game so that all INtelligence centers actually create RP's!

I think I'm going to further aid the computer and give him a massive RP bonus. Try and even things out.

[of pathfinding bugs...]I've only noticed one.
You're either not very perceptive or you're very lucky. :)

Let's put it this way shall we.
I've come across 50 bugs MINIMUM since starting to play it. That's not an exaggeration, I really have and I've documented and reported over half of them so far.
The game should have been in beta for a couple more months at least. Seems to have been rushed for Xmas.


I gotta say I'm seriously thinkling about getting the full game.
Do that.
But wait a year or two. As I stated earlier in this thread, SE4 has recieved lots of patches. I don't doubt SEV will too. It certainly needs them. If its anything like SE4 they will release a "deluxe" version which is just a patched up edition with a fancier name.

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#13 Post by marhawkman » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:57 pm

Moriarty wrote:
That's not a bug. It means the AIs were fighting it out.
The AI's fighting? At turn 20? Don't make me laugh.
The AI in this game is so pathetic it's entire fleet would have trouble stopping a spit-ball. Half of the time their units are weaponless, half the time there's a ordinance bug that stops ships from attacking and thus they run away, the other half of the time they struggle to build a fleet of more than 10 ships. (minor exagerations, but the premise remains).

I have had the game take several mins with one AI player or another taking their turn and I'm not at all sure why because in this game the AI's are all allied to try and supposed to be fighthing me - note use of the word "supposed".
Hmm... I've only noticed pasuses when the AI were attacking each other.
You're either not very perceptive or you're very lucky. :)
So what pathfinding bugs have you found?
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#14 Post by Moriarty » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:33 pm

Several - I can think of three off the top of my head that I've experience first hand.
1) Units plot courses through uncharted warp points
2) Units go stop and then backwards and forwards repeatedly for an indefinite number of turns if they find a hostile unit is on their plotted course.
3) Units don't necessary follow the charted (white line) course.

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#15 Post by marhawkman » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:00 pm

Hmm... Well those I've seen.

I recently had it freeze during turn generation. But this was after the part where the AIs take their turns.

EDIT: Discovered something that's probably a bug. Apparently if you build those crystal tech solar generators they don't do anything. nothing, at all.

And I discovered a very cheesy strategy. Space Parasites! the things have such long range and high power that it's ridiculously easy to pick off enemies without taking damage.
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