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Offline Asid

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Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« on: July 02, 2019, 02:44:17 PM »
Conquer the galaxy! Astra Exodus has been announced!





Slitherine and Atomic Kaiser are partnering in the development of a new 4X strategy game, Astra Exodus.

Watch the trailer!




Astra Exodus is a single player turn-based Sci-fi 4X strategy game inspired by classics such as Star Control. It features a multiple-choice narrative driven epic campaign, top down real time tactical battles and an extensive semi-randomized research grid.

Take the chance to lead humanity back home, while uncovering the mysteries behind the Exodus, across a choice driven narrative campaign. Or otherwise, challenge yourself in the Sandbox mode, by leading any of the various alien factions to several possible victory conditions.

Throughout the strategic campaign you will find yourself fighting for supremacy against other alien empires. Experience intense deep tactical battles where you will need to outsmart and outmaneuver your opponents!

Starships in Astra Exodus can be completely customized at will. You can create your own ship designs by choosing from over 100 modules.

Moreover, Astra Exodus is built with modding in mind. Tinker, change and customize the game to your heart's content. Adding new or modifying existing starships, factions, troops, technologies, and virtually everything to the game.

Astra Exodus is due to release on PC and Steam later this year! For more information please refer to the product page.

Last but not least, we are looking for Beta Testers willing to give a feedback and help us hunting for bugs. You can join the Beta by applying here.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 02:44:55 PM »
reserved

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Offline SystemInShock

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 02:12:44 PM »
I actually signed up for the beta for this game.  It's been a while since I've done any beta testing, but this one looks like it will be worth the effort to help them make it excellent.
When in Danger, When in Doubt; run in circles, scream and shout.

Offline Asid

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 12:06:32 AM »
I actually signed up for the beta for this game.

Same here  :thumbsup

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Offline Asid

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2019, 12:26:14 PM »
Astra Exodus - Dev Diary #1 "Design"
24 Sep 2019





Hey everybody,

I am Fernando, from Atomic Kaiser studio, the Game Designer behind Astra Exodus. This entry will serve as the first of a series of dev diaries. Our goal is to show & tell you about some of the qualities of the game, design decisions taken for it and many more (hopefully) interesting tidbits of information regarding its development.

In the first dev diary we are going to talk about the main design philosophy behind the game and a bit about its story or lore, highlighted on the game’s campaign.

THE DESIGN

The game was first designed as a sort of love letter to the classics of the 4X genre, such as Pax Imperia and Masters of Orion, by trying to take the best elements out of those games and extrapolating them in the same direction a game designed in the 90s maybe would have. That means that if you played any of the classics from the 90s you will find many of the systems of Astra Exodus familiar. But of course Astra Exodus introduces many new features, like a large dynamic campaign, semi-randomized research grids, tactical ground battles, and much more!

A feature I’d like to highlight here, before moving on to the story, is real-time tactical space battles. Astra Exodus is not the first game to have them, but normally in other games they either devolve into intense high APM RTS systems or they sacrifice the tactical part. Astra Exodus aims to avoid these pitfalls, mainly thanks to two systems: A) a highly usable time dilation system and B) directional damage to defenses.

All battles start in slow mode, which is almost like a pause, here you can give your orders and speed up the battle only when ready. You can of course do this to your liking, speeding up or slowing down the game as you wish. With directional damage to defenses, position and angle of attack are paramount, as only by hitting unarmoured and unshielded ship sections can you damage the target’s hull and eventually destroy the enemy ship. In combination, these systems guarantee that you’ll have the time to make tactically important choices while in battle.



THE STORY

The story behind the game starts with a mysterious catastrophe on Earth, which forces humanity to embark on a massive exodus to survive. This is of course the reason behind the game’s title. Millenia after this event, the player takes the role of Commander in the Terran Republic, which is a government formed by the descendants of humanity, with the aim of rediscovering their history and most of all, their original home. You will be under the command of Marissa Garibaldi, a tough by-the-book High Admiral on the TRN, who is also an awakened: an Earth-born who was cryogenically preserved until awakened on Terra, millenia later.



I could write for hours on the story and the campaign, but in order not to spoil anything and since there will be another dev diary focused on the story, I will just close this first entry with the introduction to the game’s main campaign:

"They came out of the darkness, to the light of our progress, unstoppable and relentless; they crashed against our bravery. Then only thanks to the Keepers, the Exodus began and through the Great Eye, we found salvation from the Dark Ones.

However the curse followed us, as strife, conflict and fratricide plagued our ancestors, among the cold void. Then in a blink of an eye, lost to the stars, somewhere between the Great Eye and final salvation; our brothers were.

In the end, as our hope was almost extinguished, final salvation was found; when we set foot in what we know call Terra. Such is the tale of the Exodus, of the burning of our home, the tragedy of our brothers and rebirth of our people."


-
Leopold Garibaldi, First President of the Terran Republic

Extract from Terra's Exodus Legacy Archives



Come back next week, when we’ll be talking about the game’s Artistic Vision.



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Offline Asid

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 03:24:03 PM »
Astra Exodus Dev Diary #02 - Artistic Direction
01 Oct 2019




Hello,

Atomic Kaiser is here again for another dev diary, this time speaking of the game’s visual direction.


THE AESTHETICS

Following that sense of 90s reverence behind the gameplay, the game goes for a visual aesthetic inspired by the 90s, with a heavy emphasis on bright colouring, from how characters look to the universe itself. We feel this not only captures the decade well, but also makes the game stand out against other titles.

All of this of course reflects heavily on the user interface, which is designed to have large immersive panels and controls, which hopefully keep selling the theme we are aiming for. We also feel that the presence of advisors on all main panels, which are characters that give you tips on how to manage the many aspects of the game, will help players immersing themselves in a 4X playing style typical of the 90s.



THE CHARACTERS

Regarding characters themselves, the game adheres to a more Star Trek-like paradigm, where the humanoid type is the most common in the universe. So this is the case for most of the species represented in the main factions of the game.

This helps one to imagine all these different species interacting with each other in believable ways, like hanging out in a bar for example, instead of avoiding contact or outright exterminating each other. This is also based on some actual scientific theories.



THE STARSHIPS

There are multiple classes of starships in the game and each faction gets their own unique design style. In general my intention was for all ships to show at a first look (both in terms of shape and colouring) what faction they belong to. From the bulky irregular asymmetrical designs of the Veloran Horde, to the utilitarian almost freighter-like look of the Okli-to Consortium vessels, all designs aim to be iconic.



THE MUSIC

From a personal taste point of view (very partial towards classic science-fiction shows like Star Trek) I always prefer classical music with my space adventures. Thus in Astra Exodus, instead of going with the obvious space techno / electronic feel often offered by other sci-.fi games, you will find orchestral music more often than anything else. The music always tries to convey a sense of epicness and scale, even if only of the emptiness of space. It varies with how the game is proceeding, depending on whether or not you are peacefully exploring, you’re at war or even mid-battle.

Join us next week to find out more about the Skirmish and Campaign modes on the game.

If you're interested, we’re looking for Beta testers to help us refine the game and get feedback on it. If you feel like giving a hand, why not apply here. Thank you!




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Offline Asid

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2019, 02:33:41 PM »
Astra Exodus Dev Diary #03 - Game modes
Tue, 8 October 2019



Hey guys,

Fernando aka Atomic Kaiser here again to ramble about this little crazy thing called Astra Exodus. This time we are going to talk about the two gameplay modes: Campaign and Skirmish.

Before we start, I just wanted to say that we are looking for Beta testers. Your feedback is important to us, so if you’d like to have early access to the game, which is already fully playable, and offer your honest opinion about it, we’d be very thankful! You can apply here. https://www.slitherine.com/beta/astra-exodus


CAMPAIGN

It is not that often that you find a full fledged campaign in a 4X game, even less so one that is dynamic, which means that it reacts to player choices. You will affect the story in significant ways, depending on how you play each of the campaign missions. In the story you are a Commander tasked with finding out what happened during the Exodus and you’ll need to discover the location of Earth. That goal will be always present during the whole story arc, but how you get there and why will change depending on your decisions.

Each mission in the game has a set of objectives and some will be exclusive with each other, in the sense that you can only complete one of them. This presents you with choices you need to take and will inevitably impact which mission you get next on the campaign. In other words, you can never play all the missions of the campaign in one playthrough, since many missions can be accessed only by making certain choices.



Additionally, there are secondary and optional objectives to complete which grant rewards to those willing to tackle them. These can include special technologies and even additional debriefings with exclusive art, which expand the story behind the campaign and the game. The availability of these though depends on difficulty, meaning you will only get rewards from the Captain difficulty onwards. There might be an additional surprise as well, to those willing to beat the game on its highest difficulty...



SKIRMISH

So. You have reunited humanity in the campaign (or not) and you are ready for a different challenge? Then why not try playing as the Guardians of the Seed, expanding your roots across the galaxy, until you can achieve an Ascension Victory; evolving your population from vegetable bags to pure energy beings. This is just one of many possibilities in Skirmish.

Skirmish mode in Astra Exodus is all about giving the player options, from the galaxy map, to the game rules (including victory conditions) and factions involved; everything can be tweaked to your liking. You can set the galaxy size, shape, planets and their richness. There are also options to speed up or slow down research, adjust events frequency and even to start with a more primitive/advanced situation. You can also tweak the difficulty, frequency of galactic menaces and enable the Starmarine Mode - which is our name for the infamous Iron Man mode, in which you’re not allowed to save.



You can also set the Victory Conditions, which are probably the most important setting you can pick here. Astra Exodus has four: Galactic Conquest, Diplomatic Alliance, Evolutionary Ascension and Score Supremacy.

Beyond the obvious conquest and score based conditions, an alliance victory requires you to ally with most (all but one) of the factions in the galaxy at the same time. Finally the Ascension victory condition in turn requires you to research and build Ascension Chambers in your colonies, a very costly late game colony installation, which serves to transition your colonists to their next stage of evolution as energy beings.

Besides picking the faction you want to play as as well as those of your opponents, you can also customize whichever you choose; to be exactly to your liking. This includes changing the graphics, lore and traits that embody the faction. This can be done from within the game interface, without any external modding (which the game also supports). In any case you will get to pick how your ships look, the emblem / logo of your faction, name, etc. The most important system to mention here probably are the traits, which can greatly affect how the game is played. They vary from modifying how many resources per labourer you get, to the ability to start the game with the whole map explored or even for your colonists to be immune to pollution.



What do you think about this week’s dev diary? Let us know how you feel, and if you have any questions please feel free to shoot them.


We will be back next week on Tuesday with a new dev diary. This time we will talk about the Galactic map!


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Offline Asid

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Re: Astra Exodus Conquer the galaxy
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 11:38:50 PM »
Astra Exodus Dev Diary #04 - The Galactic Map
15 Oct 2019



Welcome back to another Astra Exodus dev diary! My name is Fernando and today we are going to talk about a little about the galactic map and everything on it: from anomalies to menaces and fleets.

But first I wanted to mention that we are now running the Beta for Astra Exodus, so if you're willing to lend a hand and give your honest feedback, please feel free to apply! We'd love to have you on board. You can apply here.


Star Systems

The main feature of the map are the star systems, which host the planets you’ll want to expand to. There are multiple types of stars, depending on which they can host different types of planets. This of course can be tweaked to your liking in the galaxy settings in Skirmish mode.

When a Star system is scouted, an Exploration Event might fire, with different effects for the first player that does so. For example you can come across an orbital terraformer, which when fired will terraform a nearby planet for you. However, we’ll talk more and in depth about these on a following dev diary.



Star systems can have up to 5 colonizable planets, out of which there are many types, each with different characteristics, like how much food or metals they produce. They also have a size and gravity rating, which will affect the Habitability of the Planet and thus the base Morale of any future colonists. We’ll cover planet types in more detail in a future entry.

Last but not least, planets can have a Peculiarity, something that differentiates it from all others of its class. One example would be the presence of Ancient Robots which automatically work for any colony settled there, giving it extra production. Another example is a Natural Wonder, which increases the default morale of any colonists on the planet.



Menaces

As you explore the galaxy you will eventually run into other non player factions in the form of hostile fleets that have taken over entire star systems. These are usually the most attractive systems for the player, as they might be mineral-rich and be abundant in resources, possibly even having a Peculiarity on a planet. This serves as a way to engage the player in space combat without entering a large-scale war against a major faction.

The threat these menaces represent and the form they take varies: it might be pirates, which focus on small strike-craft to harass your capital starships, or maybe highly shielded ancient probes, with powerful beam weaponry. It’s worth mentioning that the AI will face the same menaces as you do, so in that sense all players face the same challenge, when exploring and expanding across the galaxy.
 


Anomalies

We know that space is a vast and strange place in general, but sometimes it is even worse than we thought. In Astra Exodus you can find Anomalies, which show up on the map and alter the game rules in some way. There are several types of Anomalies you can find.

One of these types of anomalies are Wormholes, which connect distant star systems, allowing fleets to travel between them almost instantaneously (in only one turn).

Other more complex types of anomaly are Black Holes and Supernovas.

Black Holes greatly reduce the Hyperspace Rating, meaning the rate at which starships travel between star systems, of your fleets; when they come within a 10 sector range of them. This represents the immense gravity pull of these anomalies, which in the game extends beyond regular space into hyperspace.

Supernovas in turn hide all moving fleets from enemy sensors, making them both an asset and a liability when waging war. All of these adverse effects can be negated by researching the corresponding technology, if available on the Research Grid. We’ll talk more about researching and the grid on a future entry.



We will be back next week with a new Dev Diary on Construction and Resources! Let us know what you think, or if you have any questions, by posting on the forum.



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