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Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter

Here's a Kickstarter for Timothy Zahn's Parallax, a retro 4X space strategy game by Prototype X Software and acclaimed science fiction author Timothy Zahn (thanks Ant via Slashdot). They are looking to raise at least a half-million dollars, and here's why:

Parallax will be a turn-based strategy game in keeping with the classic 4X genre (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate). The player, as the leader of a fledgling interstellar civilization, will direct just about every aspect of their civilizationís development, including galactic exploration, expansion of the empire, exploitation of resources and technologies, and extermination of any competitors that refuse to join their empire.

It will be a 2D, almost retro-style game, that will be available on multiple platforms: cell phones, tablets and PC and (if possible) some of the console game systems. Because it needs to run on a cell phone, the graphics will be fairly simple, and the focus will be on making it a fun, interesting experience, with interactive storytelling taking top priority.

Timothy Zahn will be co-creating the game, and bringing 5 of his favorite aliens along for the ride: the Zhirrzh from The Conquerors [Trilogy], the Qanska from Manta's Gift, the Kalixiri from The Icarus Hunt, the Modhri from the Quadrail series, and the Pom from Spinerret. We're also creating two all-new alien races just for this game, and the backers will help define the details and bring them to life. In fact, every single backer gets to be part of the game creation process, from the beginning, right up until the game is finished.

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28. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 18, 2013, 20:20 Wraith02
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 17, 2013, 06:43:
I send the dude an lengthy email Let's see if he replies, but no concept art is indeed pretty damning. It means he has absolutely no idea how the game is going to look. Game design by committee will also always end up in mediocrity.....

I specifically asked how he can possibly think AI programming for a 4x game where backers can add technology willy nilly is "not complex" ... ;p

Hi Guys,
I'm Wraith02, recently been announced as a Community Manager for this project.
I just wanted to thank you for your comments here, we have taken on board your criticism and have started by reworking the complete description, Abram (the developer) has also included some of his early concept art aswell.


Having spoken to Abram quite a lot over the past few weeks, I know that he responded to your email eRe4s3r, and I believe his response was quite in depth, I hope that it answered any of your concerns.

Since we have updated the description on the kickstarter page, if anyone else has any comments, criticisms or questions we would be happy to address any points you want to bring up.

-Wraith
 
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27. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 17, 2013, 06:43 eRe4s3r
 
panbient wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 11:12:
Everything about this pitch sounds rooted in idealism with no regards to the pragmatic reality of larger scale software development. Especially the constant flow of BS about needing backers to make decisions about the base aspects of the product.

Concept art? Need backers to help make the choice... for concept art...

I send the dude an lengthy email Let's see if he replies, but no concept art is indeed pretty damning. It means he has absolutely no idea how the game is going to look. Game design by committee will also always end up in mediocrity.....

I specifically asked how he can possibly think AI programming for a 4x game where backers can add technology willy nilly is "not complex" ... ;p
 
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26. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 23:41 Dev
 
Creston wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 23:15:
Dev wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 20:37:
Prior to that I bought basically every star wars book that came out. After they started (spoiler text highlight to see) blowing away planets and the rebel alliance, and killed chewie and having luke's kids go dark and kill each other it just was blah IMHO.

The whole Yuuzhan Vong saga is utter crap, but the series after that (Legacy of the Force) is actually really good. It goes on for way too long (could have easily been four books instead of nine), but it's a very good read. Really the only thing that really made me angry about them (major mega spoiler. Do NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOKS!!!) is that they kill Mara Jade, who was quite frankly the most awesome character in the entire EU.

But everything else about the series is pretty good, though Jacen's whinings to himself can get tedious.
Ok thanks Creston. Maybe I'll pick up the star wars books again and give them a try.
Right now reading through the Myth Inc series again before I read the new 2013 book (original author did a bunch, then co-authored with someone, then died, so now the co-author is finishing things up). I've re-read like 8 books in the past week
 
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25. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 16:12 eRe4s3r
 
gilly775 wrote on Sep 15, 2013, 14:36:
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 15, 2013, 04:27:
RaZ0r! wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 16:23:
Another 4X game?

Endless Space, StarDrive, and Distant Worlds: Shadows released recently, and Horizon, Star Lords, Endless Legends are in development.

I love 4X games and having a lot of choices is fine with me, but I just don't know if there is enough demand for 4X to support that many titles. Backing one on Kickstarter would be out of the question for me.

Kickstarter is a great tool for bringing games to the market that don't currently exist and big publishers don't want to make, like Star Citizen, but not for another 4X game. That would be like Kickstarting a Call of Duty title.

None of the games you listed are *good* 4x games, (turn based) 4x games at all (Distant Worlds), or; out yet to judge them properly.

And when I look at the 4x space genre I get cringes and contortions. Make Total War Space based on (Legend of galactic Heroes) (with a working AI for a change). And that would be a great 4x game.

I just want to put that here... listen to this to understand why 4x genre is nearly dead. Despite dozens of offerings

https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/lost-in-space

20 Years of development, and all people do to this day are bad and uninspired MOO clones

I am just totally disillusioned with this genre by now.

I hate to tell you this but Distant Worlds is a 4X game. If it weren't, it wouldn't be labeled so on the publisher's page.

I know what you are trying to say here because of its pausible, real-time gameplay, but it meets everything in the "4X" definition.

Nah, I know Distant Worlds is a 4x game. I meant it's not turn based ;p I have something against real time 4x games... they don't scale well. The mechanics also never work so well, and I HATE waiting in games without a good reason. When I end turn the reason is logical = AI calculations, but waiting 4 minutes for my fleets to get somewhere in Distant Worlds or 30 minutes to see them being built ain't very inspiring or entertaining.
 
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24. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 14:36 gilly775
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 15, 2013, 04:27:
RaZ0r! wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 16:23:
Another 4X game?

Endless Space, StarDrive, and Distant Worlds: Shadows released recently, and Horizon, Star Lords, Endless Legends are in development.

I love 4X games and having a lot of choices is fine with me, but I just don't know if there is enough demand for 4X to support that many titles. Backing one on Kickstarter would be out of the question for me.

Kickstarter is a great tool for bringing games to the market that don't currently exist and big publishers don't want to make, like Star Citizen, but not for another 4X game. That would be like Kickstarting a Call of Duty title.

None of the games you listed are *good* 4x games, (turn based) 4x games at all (Distant Worlds), or; out yet to judge them properly.

And when I look at the 4x space genre I get cringes and contortions. Make Total War Space based on (Legend of galactic Heroes) (with a working AI for a change). And that would be a great 4x game.

I just want to put that here... listen to this to understand why 4x genre is nearly dead. Despite dozens of offerings

https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/lost-in-space

20 Years of development, and all people do to this day are bad and uninspired MOO clones

I am just totally disillusioned with this genre by now.

I hate to tell you this but Distant Worlds is a 4X game. If it weren't, it wouldn't be labeled so on the publisher's page.

I know what you are trying to say here because of its pausible, real-time gameplay, but it meets everything in the "4X" definition.
 
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23. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 13:25 nin
 
Lord Tea wrote on Sep 15, 2013, 06:53:
$500k for a retro 2D 4X space strategy game.... good luck with that!

With only 10 grand in the first few days, they looked doomed anyway.


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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22. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 06:53 Lord Tea
 
$500k for a retro 2D 4X space strategy game.... good luck with that!  
UPSA = United Police States of America
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21. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 04:27 eRe4s3r
 
RaZ0r! wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 16:23:
Another 4X game?

Endless Space, StarDrive, and Distant Worlds: Shadows released recently, and Horizon, Star Lords, Endless Legends are in development.

I love 4X games and having a lot of choices is fine with me, but I just don't know if there is enough demand for 4X to support that many titles. Backing one on Kickstarter would be out of the question for me.

Kickstarter is a great tool for bringing games to the market that don't currently exist and big publishers don't want to make, like Star Citizen, but not for another 4X game. That would be like Kickstarting a Call of Duty title.

None of the games you listed are *good* 4x games, (turn based) 4x games at all (Distant Worlds), or; out yet to judge them properly.

And when I look at the 4x space genre I get cringes and contortions. Make Total War Space based on (Legend of galactic Heroes) (with a working AI for a change). And that would be a great 4x game.

I just want to put that here... listen to this to understand why 4x genre is nearly dead. Despite dozens of offerings

https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/lost-in-space

20 Years of development, and all people do to this day are bad and uninspired MOO clones

I am just totally disillusioned with this genre by now.

This comment was edited on Sep 15, 2013, 04:53.
 
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20. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 04:21 eRe4s3r
 
Creston wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 14:35:
I LOVE Timothy Zahn, but his involvement alone isn't enough to get me to cough up money for a dev I've never heard of who lists cell phones and tablets first in their list of supported devices.

This is one of these things..... PC first, or no funding from me. Also 500k for a RETRO 4x game? This better be the best damn 2D 4x game ever made at that price level. And sorry, but a good story writer does not make a good 4x game developer.... so many things need improvement in this stale genre. And you need someone who played ALL 4x games to even know what things that are
 
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19. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 15, 2013, 01:20 Cutter
 
The Thrawn trilogy was pretty awesome. I admit I'd like to see those made into a movie(s).
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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18. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 23:15 Creston
 
Dev wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 20:37:
Prior to that I bought basically every star wars book that came out. After they started (spoiler text highlight to see) blowing away planets and the rebel alliance, and killed chewie and having luke's kids go dark and kill each other it just was blah IMHO.

The whole Yuuzhan Vong saga is utter crap, but the series after that (Legacy of the Force) is actually really good. It goes on for way too long (could have easily been four books instead of nine), but it's a very good read. Really the only thing that really made me angry about them (major mega spoiler. Do NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOKS!!!) is that they kill Mara Jade, who was quite frankly the most awesome character in the entire EU.

But everything else about the series is pretty good, though Jacen's whinings to himself can get tedious.
 
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17. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 21:13 gilly775
 
$30 to get the game? F that. I seem to recall Stardrive and other 4X games being cheaper on KS with much better graphics.  
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16. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 20:52 Dev
 
I agree, very amateurish look, especially pimping out so many screenshots of another casual match 3 kinda game and saying its just as complicated as this 4x game? WTF?  
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15. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 20:40 Silicon Avatar
 
They lost me at "cell phones and tablets".

 
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14. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 20:37 Dev
 
Tumbler wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 11:30:
Timothy Zahn? Didn't he write that heir to the empire trilogy!? *checking* FUCK YES HE DID! Take my money!
Yes, and those are my exact feelings about the books and the man. He's a great author. My favorite star wars books are his trilogy.
The Half Elf wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 12:12:
The man that rebooted the Star Wars expanded universe!
Yes, and the books have gone down hill since then. Especially in the last 5 or so years. Prior to that I bought basically every star wars book that came out. After they started (spoiler text highlight to see) blowing away planets and the rebel alliance, and killed chewie and having luke's kids go dark and kill each other it just was blah IMHO. I wanted to see something happen, not that, seeing that made it look like everything that happened before was pointless. And that combined with the silly virgin birth and midichlorians thing that lucas threw in the recent movies just completed turning me away. Maybe if we are lucky, Disney will do a better job, they can't hardly do worse.

Anyway, I'll probably do the minimum on this just because of his name, but not looking like I'll be doing more unless he impresses me with this project in particular, not just his name.

This comment was edited on Sep 14, 2013, 20:51.
 
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13. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 16:59 Iurand
 
panbient wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 11:12:
Everything about this pitch sounds rooted in idealism with no regards to the pragmatic reality of larger scale software development. Especially the constant flow of BS about needing backers to make decisions about the base aspects of the product.

Isn't it the way Amplitude made Endless Space?

Optional Nickname! wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 13:10:
There is a similar MOO inspired 4x space game on Kickstarter titled M.O.R.E. - Military, Organization, Research, Exploration.

There's also Predestination.

RaZ0r! wrote on Sep 14, 2013, 16:23:
Another 4X game?

Endless Space, StarDrive, and Distant Worlds: Shadows released recently, and Horizon, Star Lords, Endless Legends are in development.

Also Star Ruler 2.
 
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12. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 16:23 RaZ0r!
 
Another 4X game?

Endless Space, StarDrive, and Distant Worlds: Shadows released recently, and Horizon, Star Lords, Endless Legends are in development.

I love 4X games and having a lot of choices is fine with me, but I just don't know if there is enough demand for 4X to support that many titles. Backing one on Kickstarter would be out of the question for me.

Kickstarter is a great tool for bringing games to the market that don't currently exist and big publishers don't want to make, like Star Citizen, but not for another 4X game. That would be like Kickstarting a Call of Duty title.
 
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11. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 16:16 Agent.X7
 
We have NOTHING, but, but...TIMOTHY ZAHN! You love him, right? Give us MONEY!  
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Origin - JStarX7
STEAM - Agent.X7
PSN - JStar_X7
Xbox Live - Agent X7
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10. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 16:01 Sho
 
Sadly I have to agree, especially the dev-related parts to the end about this "not being a complicated project" make me think they're vastly underestimating the effort. A 4x space strategy game is a non-trivial piece of software to write.  
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9. Re: Timothy Zahn's Parallax Kickstarter Sep 14, 2013, 15:13 Cutter
 
Yeah, one of the worst pitches I've seen on KS. Sounds like a fund my dream pitch if I've ever heard one. Definite pass.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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28 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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