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ashbery76 Mar 20, 2017 @ 12:31pm
Horizon 2 Megathread
So these guys are making a sequel.I thought the game was not a bad effort apart from the dire colony management and 1990's 3D Aliens.Some changes and it could be good.
Last edited by DevildogFF; Dec 30, 2020 @ 10:36am
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Showing 1-15 of 47 comments
Long Dead Fingers Mar 20, 2017 @ 3:50pm 
Is there any info posted about it someplace?
Martok Mar 21, 2017 @ 7:53am 
Improved UI, modern visuals, and (especially!) less clunky combat... If the sequel did no more than this, I believe I would be quite content.
Anguille Dec 28, 2020 @ 12:51am 
I think the chances are good that we are going to have a lot more news this year. This and Distant Worlds 2 going to make 2021 a great year for space 4x.
Last edited by Anguille; Dec 28, 2020 @ 12:52am
Bou Dec 28, 2020 @ 8:21am 
Originally posted by ashbery76:
So these guys are making a sequel.I thought the game was not a bad effort apart from the dire colony management and 1990's 3D Aliens.Some changes and it could be good.
LEAVE THE 1990's 3D aliens ALONE....they have their charm.
1990's 3D Aliens = best aliens damnit!
Martok Dec 28, 2020 @ 8:46am 
Originally posted by Anguille:
I think the chances are good that we are going to have a lot more news this year. This and Distant Worlds 2 going to make 2021 a great year for space 4x.
Heh. Yeah, I just saw the dev's comments in the forums when I checked them this morning (hadn't poked my head in there in a little while).

If Horizon 2 gets released this year, on top of DW2, I'll be as happy as a clam in mud. And if Knights of Honor II is released as well, I might just flat-out explode. :D

Anguille Dec 29, 2020 @ 1:05am 
Maybe we should change the title in Horizon 2: Mega thread or discussion? Ashbery?
Last edited by Anguille; Dec 29, 2020 @ 1:06am
DevildogFF Dec 30, 2020 @ 10:37am 
Originally posted by Anguille:
Maybe we should change the title in Horizon 2: Mega thread or discussion? Ashbery?
I'll go through and consolidate all of these threads with nice titles :-)
Anguille Dec 30, 2020 @ 11:35am 
Originally posted by DevildogFF:
Originally posted by Anguille:
Maybe we should change the title in Horizon 2: Mega thread or discussion? Ashbery?
I'll go through and consolidate all of these threads with nice titles :-)
:steamhappy:
I will bring here a few things we already know about the game (as commented by the dev):

Borders:
Originally posted by "Zaimat":
Borders are based on influence, a colony or space installation can generate influence (based on various local factors) and that influence has a range and decay (curve) over distance. If two different factions have influence in the same region (border friction) the strongest prevails.

Movement and Path-finding for units respects borders and when traveling will go around other factions borders. There are of course the usual exceptions such as certain treaties or when they are attacking you, etc.

The thing that's different with how Borders are implemented in "H2" is they precisely demarcate territory and we have seamless open space travel/path-finding unlike others. In the games you mention as far as I know the shape and size of borders are visual approximations but have very limited (or non-existent) interaction with actual travel/path-finding which is point-to-point or star-to-star.

In "H1" we actually had the units travel in open-space (tactical view) but it was limited in that we didn't have a seamless map (tactical and strategic), so you couldn't zoom-in/out as they were moving, and the fact that all units moved at the end-of-turn like in MOO/MOO2. Now units move *during* the turn immediately when they receive an order. This makes it so much better in so many ways both visually and gameplay.

For colonization, the rules are that if another faction controls the system or if there are hostiles/threats in the system you cannot colonize until you remove those threats or take control over the system from the other faction. Borders affect movement, relations and influence but they don't dictate where you can and cannot colonize on their own. I think this is the right approach, what do you think?

The terrain and path-finding system is much more complex and robust in H2 so it's going to make a big difference having the different engine modifiers. Traveling through Nebulae, Asteroid fields, etc has a HUGE impact now, and your ships will path around to find the quickest route with their equipped engines.

One of the things we are improving with Weapons and Armor is resistances, weapons now deal a damage (or multiple damage) type(s) and armor resistances will only stop damage of that type (e.g: Physical, Energy, etc). There is a lot more to say about weapons, but that's for another time :)

By default, Ai players respect borders and will not enter or colonize in another factions territory without the appropriate treaty. But since this is not a hard rule, it is technically allowed, so a player can do it but it will incur a diplomatic and perhaps a military response.

The only hard rule is that no one can colonize in a system where another faction has a colony or there are hostile forces. All threats have to be taken care and the system "safe" before anyone can colonize or even survey (which is required before colonizing).

Definitely, this will be accounted for in the relations system. If they are hostile to you or don't respect you, they can ignore your borders.

The new relations system is now defined largely by disposition (which is how one faction views and feels of another), approval and power differential are big factors in how they will react and interact.
Last edited by Anguille; Jan 7 @ 8:42am
Victory points, strategic resources, travel and races:

Originally posted by "Zaimat":
Strategic resources - These are rare depleteable resources and they can be extracted and traded not unlike regular resources and allow for special (or better) ship components among other things. We also added a Market system to allow a faction to manage (Buy/Sell) resource excesses/shortages, albeit at a cost (based on the circulating supply in the galaxy and market fees).

Jump point travel - This was a long-time coming and a especially complicated system integrated into our open map pathfinding system which now allows us to do things like worm holes, jump point modules and star gate travel.

I can't emphasize how big a deal the pathfinding is to the new game, most space 4x games limit you to travel star-to-star or like in Horizon1 sector-to-sector. This is a big reason why galaxies don't feel large in scale or cramped, why the Ai can't be smart in pathing around hot spots or hard to cross terrain (nebulae/gravitational fields) that can be used strategically (unlike terrestrial 4x games which don't have to deal with the pathfinding scale problems). The only reason we can do this now (beside the programming challenges) is because of multi-threaded/multi-core CPUs that allow continuous Ai processing necessary for each and every unit to find it's way to it's objective in a smart and realistic manner.

Our initial target is to have 4 galaxy map sizes which will encompass from 400.000 to 1.200.000 units (u) square on the largest map, which is quite vast.

To give you a sense of the scale of the game: Planetary systems are approx. 16.000u in diameter, large ships can be up to 80u, small ships 10u, fighters and missiles in the 1-2u range.

The current largest map preset is for 240 stars (with up to 10 planets per system). Higher number of stars are possible (up to 500 or even 1000) but there are performance and gameplay ramifications. So we only want to focus on the current preset targets, at least for the launch version.

Just to add further about the Galaxy Map size and how to capture that grand expansive feeling, we will have a full 3d visualization of the game map while keeping a planar (2d) interface. And because it is a seamless map (no transitioning into systems or combat) it is way bigger and more immersive. The additional benefits will be made obvious with more things visible directly and precisely on the map showing the actual game play at all times and also game play is not being limited to just within star systems.

Performance with this setup and units having an open-map true path-finding (vs. star-to-star travel) at this scale means it's much more PC task intensive. Luckily CPUs and GPUs have improved a lot with multi-core and multi-threading becoming mainstream and so this all helps make this possible.

Faction customization is something we plan to add for sure but currently there is no interface support for the creation and saving of faction templates in-game, whether we can do it for launch remains to be seen.
Right now we are spending more of our time in this regard toward making them as unique as possible, this will also add toward more possibilities for customization later.

As for the number of factions/empires that we can have in the game: Initially we plan to have 8 major empires and several (3-4) unique minor factions. Additional factions like Pirates, space monsters, etc are on top of this. The game can also generate minor factions dynamically to further populate the galaxy, but this is something that will be fleshed out later to make them unique enough and interesting. So yes, I'd like to add a lot of variety and interesting factions, something that will keep growing over time.

We currently have standard alliances so you can have minor factions in your alliance through diplomacy. In the future the plan is to support sub-factions under the control of a main faction, to allow other formats such as vassals and/or federation type alliances with different rule-sets.

"Minor factions" are technically treated just like regular factions by the game, limited only for game play reasons. So we can turn on/off any feature for them. So they will have relations and a history of how they are treated with every other faction which can influence all manner of things including how other factions feel about you/them.
Last edited by Anguille; Jan 7 @ 8:49am
Victory conditions:

Originally posted by "Zaimat":

Conquest : This will always be a big part because our games are designed around Tactical Combat and Strategic warfare. So we can hopefully make it more entertaining through all stages of the game.

Diplomacy: Just as important and a designing principal remains for the new game to allow exerting significant pressure on other factions to the point where it is possible to win diplomatically via coordinated actions where a single or group of factions can act against another. These diplomatic actions will become more potent mid-to-late game.

Story quests: I think there is more we can do with these to enrich the game experience while also opening new victory paths as in Horizon 1. Still it's important to keep them open-ended and organic (vs. linear campaigns). Horizon 1 showed the way in this regard, other space 4x games have since adopted our approach with recent games. I can't speak too much more about this right now because our focus is to build the game mechanics first (which are much more in-depth) and we will only be able to really focus on this later, perhaps in DLCs.

Late game events: I like these a lot personally, probably we will add them later through expansions or DLCs for the same reasons as story quests so we keep our focus on the core game play mechanics.

Victory points system - Previously I had mentioned about how I had some qualms about it but I've since had a change of heart and implemented it, as it does give you more ways to play (and win) a game by driving the gameplay toward a faction's strengths as defined by their traits.
Martok Jan 7 @ 10:33am 
Thanks for putting all that together, Anguille! There were a few nuggets of info that I myself wasn't aware of until now. :)

I never played the original but just reading the devs plans for the sequel have me interested in following the development.
Nasarog Jan 11 @ 5:24am 
Should be interesting.
Anguille Jan 21 @ 2:48am 
First race design concept posted in the Horizon 2 forum:

http://forum.l3o.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=4865&p=10751#p10751
Last edited by Anguille; Jan 21 @ 2:49am
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