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BIF
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Need ideas for my next game...

Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:37 pm

Hello!

I'm crazy about strategy games, both turn-based and RTS. More the former and less the latter.

I've been playing Civilizations VI and Galactic Civilizations III about equally and I enjoy them both.


Questions:

1 - I'm looking for two or three game suggestions in each genre (Turn Based and Real Time).

2 - Can be Steam or GOG (I think; question below). Prefer not Origin.

3 - I don't mind if they're expensive, and I know that some bundles could be expensive. However, I am strongly anti-subscription, so I need to know if your suggestions are pay-to-play and you'll have to tell me why it warrants a subscription.

4 - How is GOG? It sounds great, and I know some games are available on both GOG and "other", but don't know if there are any fundamental differences that would make one or the other better. If I see this, then which service is generally better?

5 - I prefer single-player. I'd like to avoid all the drama, especially the drama with people getting mistakenly/unjustifiably banned. I hear that happens a lot, and I just don't need that in my life.

In no order of preference, here are the titles that caught my eye on Steam:

  • XCOM2
  • Cities:Skylines
  • Kingdoms and Castles (a city builder with cartoonish graphics)
  • Homeworld Remastered
  • Oriental Empires (Early access RTS (I think it's an RTS))
  • Medieval II Total War Kingdoms
  • Stellaris
  • No Man's Sky
  • Caesar IV
  • Cold Waters
  • Endless Space ... I see ES2 and another one called "Endless Legend", but I don't know what's what here.
  • Pharaoh + Cleopatra (I've played Pharaoh and I liked it a lot)
  • Battlestar Galactica Deadlock (I think)
  • Dark and Light - I'm so NOT into MMO, so I'm surprised that this one really looked amazing...but has mixed reviews.

And then there are tons of Star Wars, Star Trek, and other franchises.

Obviously, I can't play all of these and remain a contributing member of society. Got any suggestions to help me narrow down this list or build a better one?
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:56 pm

The big draw to GoG at least was that it's DRM-free. You don't have to install their launcher (to my knowledge, anyway) and the games you buy just work. I have several titles and even now I can just download them and install.

As for the games, I can't help you there. I haven't heard of half of them...I rarely PC game anything other than Blizzard these days.
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BIF
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:13 pm

Yes, they push the no-DRM thing on their site. I'll tell ya, I like that idea a lot.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:57 pm

I can't say much about most of that list, but Homeworld Remastered is amazing.

In my book, HB-style direct distribution and GOG are the best, Steam is close behind, and those three are miles ahead of basically everything else. GOG isn't always quite as polished as Steam, but they win on general transparency, and the lack of DRM lets them give you options that Steam never will (like GOG Galaxy being entirely optional).
 
Ari Atari
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:06 pm

Stellaris is great if you use the game elements to make a story.

Like in my first game, we were a race of scientists looking to explore the galaxy. For 50 years we searched for extra terrestrial life finding nothing but some bacteria until one day an unidentified science ship came our way. Soon afterward we found that the galaxy was teaming with life... some of it however just wanted to kill everything. With our advanced battleships we kicked their butts, enslaved them, and made allies with those more willing to cooperate. Eventually, our empire grew to almost a quarter of the galaxy. In the vastness of space we can across an ancient ring in space, a HALO if you will, with ancient beings calling themselves the forerunners, protectors of forbidden knowledge. We had upset them by researching synthetic robots and with just a few ships they wiped out hundreds. Their psionic abilities were unmatched, but thankfully they were not interested in destroying us, only in teaching us a lesson. That lesson however, was just to build more and better ships. We perfected laser technology to rival theirs, only lacking their mobility and shield strength, when we got a signal from outside the galaxy. It made no sense, but we knew where whatever it was would arrive. We were busy colonizing planets and preparing for war with the ancients so we did not pay much attention as a few small "ships" warped in to some empty systems. That was a costly mistake. "Hostile fleet detected." Huge organic things began to warp in. The group was about 20% of our fleet, so we let them go thinking we could deal with them after we finished our current tasks. We took a small crew that could easily dispatch them. "Hostile fleet detected." Ok, now they had 40% of our fleet. "Hostile fleet detected.""Hostile fleet detected.""Hostile fleet detected." Ok, now 120%. It went on for what felt like forever as each group warped in with another mothership. (It just reminded me so much of the final moments of HALO Reach were, with much sacrifice the final Spartan takes out the mothership going to claim Reach and right afterward six more jump in.) It was awful, but we found that we could trick them. These intruders used a slow form of FTL travel that left them immobile after jumping. This allowed our ships which used the superior hyperlane network to outmaneuver them and jump in on top of them, shredding them with our short range railguns. With the knowledge learned from those aliens we were ready to defend ourselves should those forerunners attack again. But what is this? A new creature from inside the forerunner's territory seems to have learned about space travel all on their own. They call themselves "humans" from the Federation of Earth. As the forerunners do not allow travel in and out of their boarders, the humans are trapped, unable to expand and colonize another world. Collaboration with their species did bring an unexpected opportunity. While experimenting with some humans we found the secrets of psionics ourselves. We could now take the fight to the forerunners and free the humans from their captivity! We fought hard, what seemed to be even fights always turned against us. For every ship we destroyed, they took five. Then four, then three. To our amazement and for all their technology, they could not build ships. Eventually, and at a great cost of life (not our lives, those slaves worked just fine) we defeated them and took control of the HALO. From then on, we helped humanity spread itself among the stars. And that's how humanity got into space.

Even when you think that you've run out all the possible stories, some new event can change everything and much like Pony Island or The Stanly Parable, you will remember the first time you played it. Unlike those however, a game of Stellaris can take 20 hours and suddenly end if something comes along much stronger than you. So maybe not the best choice if time is limited.
 
TwistedKestrel
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:18 pm

Duskers is sort of an RTS? I love it
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:02 am

defend the beautiful community of women against sex crazed motorcycle gangs
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:29 am

For turn-based, why not get into historical wargames like Panzer Corps?

Players devise ways to exploit unit capabilities using combined arms tactics on surveillable 2D hexagonal maps. There's no elaborate mining and grinding, the focus is on setting up and executing operational sweeps that earn you bigger recognition and budgets going forward.

Like GalCiv, Starfire, and other phased strategy games, you will be preplanning through series of campaign scenarios and tech trees, although based on historical events. Unlike those warp-line-and-node battlegrounds, you must constantly figure out unit pathing, combat odds, and exploitation through chokepointed and corridored terrain, under weather/logistical conditions that vary as the game progresses.

To progress, your order of battle must be continually tailored and replenished for force efficiency in each scenario. Unit traits, experience, and leaders carry over and upgrade (at increasing cost) over the course of long campaigns. So, it's best to phase multiple simultaneous operations in ways that minimize core losses while maximizing points gained from the destruction and capture of enemy units and objectives. All while retaining flexibility as to your choices of upcoming scenarios, deploying in each just the types of units needed to win economically.

The level of phased strategy is mentally involving and can get fiendishly complicated, but does offer very satisfying payoffs down the line. The series will eat your brain time on- and off-screen like no other, though.
Last edited by trackerben on Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
rahulahl
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:55 am

Kinda surprised not to see age of empires, age of mythology or even rise of nations absent from the list.

I would strongly recommend the age series if you are a RTS fan.

If you want something a bit different, age of empires online just got resurrected with a private server. Its an RTS game with RPG and MMO elements.
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Kougar
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:20 am

Stellaris is a must. It is so much better than Civ, so much more effort was put into adding depth to that game and fixing issues with it. After playing Stellaris for dozens of hours Civ VI felt half-assed to me with it's litany of AI bugs. Games can be super fast or super-long depending on how you set up the galaxy and your own race/empire. One of the best 4x's I've played.

Not sure if you include tower defense style games on your list as those can fall under RTS/TBS. Defense Grid was really good, and Space Run Galaxy was an interesting twist on tower defense in general. The tiniest change in build strategies could have an amazingly unexpected change on the outcome for either game, which leaves considerable room for build strategies in general. Both of those have sequels/predecessors already if you liked them.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:40 am

Medieval II Total War is a stone cold classic, and it's currently discounted. I'd highly recommend it! I've played a ton of it, and absolutely love it. Got to love assassinating the Pope so you can install your friendly Cardinal instead.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:33 am

Unworldly scenes and themes are quite common in the gaming world. I'd been always a fan of reality themed games. Something that is inspired from real life challenges and scenarios would be nice.
 
BIF
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:08 pm

I'll add Duskers to the list.
Point taken on Panzer. I will evaluate!

The short list right now I think is Stellaris, Cities:Skylines, Homeworld Remastered, and I'll probably get Pharaoh+Cleopatra because it's less than $10 plus I never got to play the Cleopatra add-on.

Wow, some of these bundles are upwards of $70 to as high as $150. I guess I'll have lots of googling to do to keep from overspending.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:38 pm

I buy almost exclusively from GOG due to the no-DRM thing. I got sick of publishers treating me like a digital peasant, and am actively voting with my wallet rather than just whining about it. Service is fine, selection trails Steam by a bit but it's a lot better than it used to be. Really just the big publishers that aren't well represented there, for reasons that should be obvious.

As for what you're looking at:

XCOM2: I only played the first remake but liked it a lot as a turn based tactics game, so I'd expect XCOM 2 to be more of the same. If you liked Wasteland 2 and/or Shadowrun Dragonfall, you should like this as well.

Homeworld Remastered: The original Homeworld series needs no introduction, it's arguably the best story driven RTS ever made. HW Remastered is basically a prettied-up HW2 with a HW1 mod, and also comes bundled with the original two games. Absolutely get this if you managed to miss the original, if you already have the original and aren't into the no-DRM thing you may not be getting much new here. Note that GOG recently brought Cataclysm back from the dead in un-remastered form, too; it may not be considered canon by purists but it's still a pretty solid game.

Medieval II Total War Kingdoms: As NTMBK said, absolute classic along with Rome TW, get this if you care at all about turn based strategy and/or big glorious historical battles. Loads and loads of mod options, too.

No Man's Sky: This game got a lot of hate at launch but it's actually pretty good at what it does, especially with recent patches. The problem is that what it does is not the same as what many of its hyped-up fanboys thought it was going to do. If you like wandering around looking at cool scenery, colorful spaceships and adorable dinosaur-squirrel things while not doing a whole lot, this is the game for you. If you're looking for intense action, memorable characters, or deep game mechanics, look elsewhere. Personally I'm all about the dinosaur-squirrels, especially when I've been drinking. Note that it's currently in the middle of another big patch increment and is a little bit unstable; expect them to have it sorted out in a few weeks.

Caesar IV: Not as good as Caesar III, but not bad and better than I'd expect from Tilted Mill given their future work. Worth a shot if you're into the genre.


Other games to consider:

Wasteland 2 and/or Shadowrun Dragonfall: in case you missed one or both of them somehow

Divinity Original Sin: It's an RPG but it features strong turn based combat mechanics not unlike XCOM/Wasteland/etc.

Xenonauts: For a more hardcore XCOM experience.

Starpoint Gemini 2: It's slightly outside of your optimal genre, but this Eve-meets-Freelancer space game may push many of your buttons. They have a more strategy-oriented spinoff game now, too.

Rimworld: A kinder, gentler Dwarf Fortress with a space-western ambiance. If you buy direct from the developer you can name a character or something.

Banished: Another survival/citybuilder crossover, not very deep but good at what it does.
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:54 pm

BIF wrote:
4 - How is GOG?
GOG works well. It's a great place to pick up older games. You will want to install the and run GOG Galaxy client to make downloads easier.
BIF wrote:
5 - I prefer single-player. I'd like to avoid all the drama.
Amen.
BIF wrote:
[*] XCOM2
XCOM and XCOM 2 are great remakes of the original series. I recommend the first one highly. The second one is noticeably more challenging.
Have you played...
The remake of Master of Orion?
Might & Magic Heroes VII?
The Making History series?
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southrncomfortjm
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:38 pm

For turn based strategy, check out Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2. They are also heavy RPGs, but the combat is top notch turn based strategy you can't get elsewhere.

Other than that, it's hard to beat XCOM 2. Don't really have real time recommendations since I'm all about turn based.
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BIF
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:15 pm

Wow, I had no idea that there were so many other turn-based fans out there. That's awesome!

No decisions just yet. The evil red triangle with an "!" inside it showed up on my dashboard yesterday, so I'm sitting in a waiting room. I want to see how much it will take to fix my car before I spend any money on a new game. Especially since the games/bundles I'm interested in all run upwards of $70.

Point of interest...the VR devices on Steam. The immersion available is remarkable. There's a Star Trek bridge game that looks like it might be interesting. It's all too much right now, but I love seeing manufacturers and software companies pushing the envelope.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:49 pm

I love strategy games as well. With all the recommendations I will have to check out Stellaris. I have actually put off buying Civ 6 after reading reviews, its the first time I have not bought a Civ game within weeks of it's release since Civ 2.
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:19 pm

Homeworld is a great game, and you should definitely play it, but play the original. The Remastered version is not good since it simplifies combat and makes the game much less fun as a result.

Let me also recommend an oldie: Majesty The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. It's not a true RTS in that your kingdom kind of does what it wants, but it has an RTS feel without any micromanaging of units, just resources, buildings, etc., and isn't as complicated as other true sim games.

For the place to get games, I prefer GoG. It's simple and easy to use, and there's no DRM, no servers to connect to, just plain old games. It's like having the original disks to a game. I have Steam as well, but I still wait for GoG to get my games these days.
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:29 am

Another vote for Stellaris. Homeworld RM is good, but since they use the HW2 engine for all the remasters the difficulty curve is borked a bit.
 
DPete27
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:10 pm

I'm currently playing XCOM2 and enjoying it. Apparently it's up there on the all-time list of most hours of gameplay available. There are intermittent periods of difficulty and ease, which is nice. Makes you plan out your upcoming moves and in what order to shoot, etc.
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BIF
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:39 am

Update:

I picked up the Cities: Skylines bundle and have since added all available DLCs and some of the user made content from the Steam Workshop. I LOVE this simulation; it's well done. Some fussy UI behavior, but a lot of people are making mods.

I also got Homeworld and several add-ons. I like this one almost as much as C:S above. I'll look at XCOM and Stelaris probably around the holidays.

BTW, I do like Civ 6. Being able to set up districts adds a new dynamic and really, I think it was time for Firaxis to do something new to make cities more believable.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:49 am

How has no one mentioned HoMM III on GOG? https://www.gog.com/game/heroes_of_migh ... te_edition

I still find myself coming back to that game all the time, it is a classic that I've sunk more than enough hours into. HoMM V is the only other one I'd recommend, it's a really nice improvement from HoMM III. Also another set of oldies but goodies that I enjoy are Disciples I and Disciples II, both on GoG. They aren't necessarily strategy heavy, but they are just fun to play.
 
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:00 am

SecretMaster wrote:
How has no one mentioned HoMM III?
I got HoMM III HD edition (with updated graphics) in the bundle with Might & Magic Heroes VII on Steam. I don't see the bundle today.
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SecretMaster
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Re: Need ideas for my next game...

Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:03 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
SecretMaster wrote:
How has no one mentioned HoMM III?
I got HoMM III HD edition (with updated graphics) in the bundle with Might & Magic Heroes VII on Steam. I don't see the bundle today.


I was a little disappointed with the HD Edition. The "Complete" edition that you can get on GoG comes with the additional expansion packs, which added a lot of really enjoyable features (plus the new campaigns are much more challenging). I never tried VII, but I heard it was a lackluster product and I believe Ubisoft cancelled all future development anyway.

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