Friday, March 08, 2013

StarDrive Beta Preview

I'm playing the beta of StarDrive, a 4X space strategy game by Zero Sum Games and Iceberg Interactive.

The game is in real-time, but features five-second “turns” when resources and production are processed. You can customize your race or pick from some pre-designed templates. The game has a focus on optional, helpful automation: units can be assigned orders (defend, transport goods or colonists, explore) and will carry them out without additional intervention. Designing a fleet will automatically queue up ships for that blueprint, and designating a planet for colonization will also construct a colony ship if needed. Resources (food and production) can be shipped between planets using freighters, and AI colonial governors can be given general directives (such as develop industry or research) to reduce tedious management of large empires. Designing ships involves placing various modules onto a ship hull, and combat destroys individual parts based on the location of the damage. StarDrive also has ground combat (which can be automated, if desired), and you can take direct control (using the WASD keys) of individual spacecraft. Diplomatic options are very basic (for now?), but you can assign agents to steal resources or sabotage the enemy. A beta for the game is now available on Steam for those who pre-order.