I am indie game developer with some successes and think about creating new, great, classic SF experience.
The question is "What makes FA unique and fantastic game?".
Fragile Allegiance is rather not known but I find out this game as the one of the greatest games in SF genre, unique and inspiring as well. Have some thoughts about this but I need your help to know if i am correct for sure. And to know what do you expect from classic SF game. Why do you play FA? What feature do you find most important or/and making the game memorable and powerful? Help me, and maybe one day this knowledge will help create great gaming experience :)
I think if you're looking at developing a 4x game, you would be best served looking at what is out there already, and what works and what doesn't. Now, obviously, a lot of that will be personal choice, but here's some of my feelings on the topic:
Turn based, hot seat or play by email.
Pros: Good fleet interface, ships customizable, planets can be remotely mined (not needing a colony to extract resources). Lots of automation options for fleets in particular (patrol, assign tasks per patrol point, with repeat options), multiplayer support (not real time, PBEM, but still good). Good tech tree.
Cons: Zero diplomacy options. Every race is trying to kill you, and the only way to win is to exterminate everything.
Game: Master of Orion 2
Turn based, no multiplayer.
Pros: Good fleet interface, ships customizable, Good tech tree, diplomacy is fantastic, as well as allowing for alternate ways of winning (council vote). Great story to go with it as well, regarding the Antarens and Ancients; unique races.
Cons: Only way to get resources from planets is via colonizing. AI is limited and usually 'cheats' to be competitive. No multiplayer.
Game: Fragile Alliance
Real time; multiplayer (in theory)
Pros: Very different universe; quasi-real time (I play with time pause during menus); Decent tech, but it's all available from the start (given enough cash); No worries about being able to colonize. Can issue multiple orders to ships (but not repeat).
Cons: Clunky interface; no real variety in colonies; very limited ship design/tech.
Then there are the real time games like Sword of the Stars
, the Homeworld
series, and others like that. Alpha Centauri would also be a good one to look at, but I haven't played that one.
I'll out line my dream 4X game (because this is something I've thought about for a long time):
The colony and production aspects would be turn based, similar to Stars! and MoO2. Once the right tech was achieved, fleets could intercept other enemy fleets in deep space (like Stars! and unlike MoO2). Ships would be customizable. The battles would be fully 3D and take place in real time, with options for full control (think Homeworld), or opt for automatic battles with each fleet having a number of settings that control their strategy (formation and attack/targeting order), and when/if they retreat. Remote mining or colonization would be available, and automatic trade routes could be set up (again, like Stars! has). Diplomacy would be a must (I've heard great things about the diplomacy in Alpha Centauri, but MoO2 does it very well). Diplomacy should be one means of winning, as well as no 'winner' but getting all the races to agree to alliance or peace...something like that.