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Old 12-15-2010, 06:53 PM
LeeDot LeeDot is offline
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Default Empire of the Eclipse - An online strategy game of epic proportions.

Hi everyone, here's the official press release and full feature description!
__________________________________________________ ___________




Zarksoft Games Announces Empire of the Eclipse


First True MMO Strategy Experience for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
Available Q1 2011


(San Francisco, CA) January 4, 2011 -- Zarksoft Games, comprised of developers credited with working on the Unreal, Diablo and Star Trek franchises, is pleased to announce Empire of the Eclipse, an online real-time strategy game of epic proportions that can be played anywhere, anytime. By handcrafting Empire of the Eclipse for Apple's iOS family of devices, Zarksoft has achieved a level of interactivity, depth and responsiveness not found in the App Store to date.

"As long time fans of games like Civilization and Master of Orion, we've worked diligently to make a game that lives up to the standards set by those milestone titles," said Lee Dotson, President, Zarksoft. "Empire of the Eclipse also brings accessibility and massively multiplayer capabilities to mobile devices."

Key Features:
  • Massively Multiplayer: Fight, trade, scheme and vie for universal domination with up to 1500 other players per game.
  • Epic Universe: Games can range in size from 2,500 to 90,000 sectors. Explore, conquer and exploit hundreds of thousands of planets.
  • Explore: Fog of war and dynamically generated universes require exploration and reconnaissance, key components of the empire building experience.
  • Streamlined Interface: Jump to any controlled planet or fleet from anywhere in the galaxy with just a few touches.
  • Diplomacy: Enact a state of Peace, War or Embargo with other players. A rich array of interpersonal player dynamics awaits.
  • Many Ways to Win: Win by the application of brute force or economic superiority. Transcend the stars or collect ancient alien artifacts. Whether warmonger, diplomat or explorer, there are always ways to win.
  • Skill Trees: Utilize a diverse and flexible selection of 40 skills to uniquely tailor and individualize an interstellar empire.
  • Player Communication: Robust in-game mail and chat systems feature private channels and item attachments to better facilitate trade and covert operations.

Retina Display: Stunning visuals are tailor-made to support both Retina and traditional iPhone displays.
  • Universal: A single account may login from any i-device you or anyone else owns.
  • Fair Play: Players cannot purchase their way to victory. Robust server side gameplay ensures a fair and competitive play experience for all.

Set in the distant future, Empire of the Eclipse tasks players with establishing an interstellar empire and using diplomacy, economic acumen and conquest to thrive. Empire of the Eclipse will be available Q1 2011 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mobile devices.

Click to view the full retina display images.





ABOUT ZARKSOFT
Zarksoft was founded in 2010 by industry veterans Tina Lawton, Lee Dotson, Jeff Lawton, and Jeff Williams whose previous work includes contributions to Diablo 3, Unreal Championship 2, American McGee's Alice, Anachronox, Hellgate: London, Star Trek Online and more titles. Zarksoft retains a passion for creating dynamic multiplayer environments and has a fierce commitment to independent development.

www.zarksoft.com

Last edited by LeeDot; 01-05-2011 at 12:39 AM.. Reason: Updating to include official press release.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2010, 07:42 PM
Juicebox_R Juicebox_R is offline
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Well that looks amazing but I hope you add an option to play against computers. Hopefully this is like GalCiv and I will be following this one closely!
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2010, 12:42 PM
LeeDot LeeDot is offline
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Hi Juice -

In terms of what the game is like I'd place in somewhere between GalCiv and Neptune's Pride. We've tried to aim more for depth than complexity so while there are things like tech trees, resource gathering, trade, and building of various type of ships and orbitals around your planets you won't have to worry about controlling pollution levels and population morale for every planet, etc.

As for AI opponents we're currently focused on making an in depth online game that revolves primarily around player interaction. What is it that makes AI opponents a more desirable option for you? (ie. Limited connectivity, player cheating / griefing, limited time commitments, etc..)
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:02 PM
dansu dansu is offline
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Your screenshots look nice but I would also like to see a single player mode. It's difficult for me to get nice, big chunks of interruption-free game playing time (I'm part of that dad gamer demographic someone mentioned in another thread ) so it's nice to be able to save a game in progress and then pick up where I left off sometime later.

Also, if this game has the depth of something like MOO, wouldn't it be kind of difficult to finish an online game in realtime? You might need to implement some kind of turn-based game playing mechanic for players who can't commit to huge amounts of continuous playing time.
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2010, 06:46 PM
Juicebox_R Juicebox_R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeDot View Post
Hi Juice -

In terms of what the game is like I'd place in somewhere between GalCiv and Neptune's Pride. We've tried to aim more for depth than complexity so while there are things like tech trees, resource gathering, trade, and building of various type of ships and orbitals around your planets you won't have to worry about controlling pollution levels and population morale for every planet, etc.

As for AI opponents we're currently focused on making an in depth online game that revolves primarily around player interaction. What is it that makes AI opponents a more desirable option for you? (ie. Limited connectivity, player cheating / griefing, limited time commitments, etc..)
This game sounds great! For me sometimes I don't have time or the patience to play against other people. I want to be able to start a game and then play it at my own leisure. Also I want to be able to play the game when there aren't people online.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:43 AM
CerenPL CerenPL is offline
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Game looks great but sadly no singleplayer no buy :/
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2010, 03:54 PM
LeeDot LeeDot is offline
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Ah, ok - I think some of the issue may be a matter of miscommunication on my part. So while Empire of the Eclipse does run in real time it's over a period of weeks/months and the game world is persistent much like EVE - the key difference that your fleets continue to en route to their destinations, harvesters and freighters run their trade routes, etc. even when you're offline and of course unlike games like EVE someone eventually wins and that instance of the world ends. Another example would be to think of it as playing Civ but your moves are based on timers instead of waiting on other people to take there turns. Given that there can be up to 1500 people playing on a server I really don't think you'd want to go with the turn based method.

So in terms of time commitment it's very much intended to be something where you log in on a coffee break, check on your empire, set a few things in motion and then go back to work. Hopefully with that kind of pacing EotE should work out well for 'Dad Gamers' - which is fortunate considering that two thirds of our developers fall into that category and it would be really sad if we couldn't play our own game.

One of the other issues with having an offline single player version of the game running along side the online version is that it would open us up to all kinds of hacks/cheats that could ruin the game. As it currently stands the game runs entirely server side with the iphone/ipod touch/ipad acting merely as a client that doesn't have any information about the universe layout / locations of players, etc.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:51 PM
Marcus70 Marcus70 is offline
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Looks like a fun strategy game and I like the artwork of the ships. Alas, it's no purchase for me either, unless you put in a single player option.

Last edited by Marcus70; 12-17-2010 at 05:04 PM..
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2010, 09:31 PM
dansu dansu is offline
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Oh, your game is different from what I expected but it still sounds very interesting. I guess you are borrowing elements of game play from Farmville, We Rule, etc.?

Playing against 1,500 players sounds fun, especially since there can be only one eventual winner. (Highlander, anyone?) But how can you make sure everyone starts out on equal footing if people are joining a game at different times? I guess you would group players together who start at roughly the same time?
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:05 PM
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BravadoWaffle BravadoWaffle is offline
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This looks incredible! I'm loving the casual Massive multiplayer strategy vibe it has going for it. Would work well as a F2P game with ads and/or with an in game store (though this would have to be done carefully I'm sure)

It's exactly the same kind of vibe for a game I was looking to design as well. Gonna keep close tabs on this one!
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