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The next game from the mind of veteran Civilization designer Sid Meier has been revealed. 2K and Firaxis Games have announced Sid Meier's Starships, an interstellar strategy game.Scheduled to arrive in early 2015, the turn-based game is coming to PC, Mac, and iPad. Pricing was not announced, nor were any details about a possible Android version.In the game, you'll control a fleet of starships as you journey through the galaxy to complete missions, protect planets and their inhabitants, and build a planetary federation.As you trek through the stars, you'll be challenged to expand your federation's influence and reach. You'll also amass futuristic technology and take part in turn-based combat using a deep roster of customizable ships, some of which you can see in the image gallery above.2K adds that the missions you'll take on have their own unique maps, featuring "dynamically generated tactical combat" that should boost the game's replayability."When designing Starships, I was intrigued by the idea of exploring the next chapter in the story of Civilization: Beyond Earth," Meier said. "What happens after we colonize our new home and eventually build starships to take to the stars? What has become of our long-lost brothers and sisters from the planet Earth?""My goal was to create an experience that focuses on starship design and combat within a universe filled with interstellar adventure, diplomacy, and exploration."2K also teases that Beyond Earth and Starships will feature cross-connectivity for people who own both games. The developer isn't talking specifics, but says that this integration will "enhance and expand upon both game experiences."Starships was developed by Meier and a small team at Firaxis. Check back later this week for an in-depth interview with Meier about his new development team, and lots more.
I think there was another game like this I was going to play if I didn't only have another eighty more years.
Meier headed the Firaxis Megapanel alongside Beyond Earth designers Will Miller and David McDonough. Gamespot's Chris Watters was the panel moderator, and he walked the Firaxis guys through a few questions about the development of Starships before handing it over to Sid so we could see a quick demo.Starships ties into Beyond Earth in that it continues the story of your Beyond Earth colony beyond that game's conclusion. Each game of Beyond Earth (hopefully) concludes with your colony becoming prosperous on an alien world. Starships focuses on a wider question - what happened to the other colonies launched to other planets?(Spoiler alert: it's not all sunshine and roses...)Instead of taking the role of a "leader" you assume control of your civilization's spacefaring fleet. Each ship in the fleet can be upgraded, giving it more firepower, armor, shields, cloaking, sensors, and so forth. You fly the (singular) fleet from system to system, undertaking quests and trying to add new planets to your empire. Meanwhile, other factions are also vying for control of systems, which inevitably leads to Civilization's staples of diplomacy and combat.The aforementioned combat takes place on a 2-d hex grid that is unique for each system. Asteroids and other obstacles block ship movement and provide "cover" against enemy attacks.Unlike Civilization titles, the tech tree is not a tree at all. Rather, your research directly improves primary attributes of your ships. From what we saw in the demo, it's a bit more like allocating skill points than researching new technology.The overall game skews more towards Heroes of Might and Magic or XCOM than classic Civilization - raise a fleet, capture outposts to fund your expansion, and engage in tactical combat, rather than manage the intricacies of an entire empire.Starships looks interesting - certainly worth keeping your eyes on if you're a Civ or tactical combat genre fan. The video of the panel and the demo is supposed to become available next week on Youtube and elsewhere. Starships is slated for a "spring 2015" launch on iPad and PC.
@Geo: Too early, or... too late for you?
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