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PC Dyson Sphere Program

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PC Dyson Sphere Program

Unread postby icycalm » 26 Sep 2020 12:08

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The Chinese are making PA2!!!!!!!

It has factories and a tech tree like Factorio! And your commander flies between planets! And it has neutron stars, white dwarfs, red giants and black holes!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ3fDcm5qaQ

Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOy3SRfJKtg

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Only there's no multiplayer and not even any military units apart from your mech, apparently (though I do see some stuff flying around in the trailer, but I suppose it's just transport units). It's basically interstellar Factorio. They even call it "Alien Factorio" themselves on their Kickstarter. So it's the city-building PA that Universim was not quite, because it only has one planet (though I think they added an asteroid recently, so that's something). It's frustrating as fuck because they have added the one thing that a PA2 should add above all: free space travel, meaning space battles; but without giving you any units to fight with, or even an enemy. Aaaaarrrggggh!

It's on Kickstarter now, 43 days to go, €103 of €8,630 goal lol.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/20 ... ndbox-game

But that's because they screwed up the KS timing:

Youthcat Studio wrote:Dear Kickstarters,

“Dyson Sphere Program” Kickstart project is planned to start in mid October, but we made a mistake on the schedule setting, and the project started from today.

Currently, we don’t have the contents and product ready yet, so please do not backup us with actual money yet.

Right now we contacted the Kickstarter support already, we will be able to share more information in the future after we got the reply.

Thank you for liking Dyson Sphere Program.


Steam page is already up: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1366 ... e_Program/

A bunch of people in the Steam forum are already asking for multiplayer, but that's kinda pointless if you don't have proper war mechanics, so I made a thread asking for precisely that. Post in that thread or in the other threads or make your own thread, and make some noise if you want to see this project change direction. It probably won't, but it's worth a try anyway.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/1366540/ ... 990562535/

I wrote:You should be making Planetary Annihilation 2
You guys should add military units and multiplayer. This game begs to be a true RTS, it begs to be PA2. Read this review to understand PA:

Videogame Art: Planetary Annihilation (2014)
https://culture.vg/reviews/videogame-ar ... ation.html

Looking forward to trying your game day 1!

Please add war and multiplayer!


TBA 2021.
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Unread postby Agentx » 27 Sep 2020 00:49

Was getting very excited before scrolling down as you started describing it there. I watched the trailer first and mistakenly thought those railgun cannons were weapons!

Anyone could make that mistake, right?
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Unread postby icycalm » 27 Sep 2020 01:03

There is still hope. Factorio has extensive PVP options, officially and via mods. I think they started out as mods and then were made official, or something along these lines.

If this game is mod-friendly, it should be possible to turn it into an RTS as long as the devs put in even a rudimentary multiplayer aspect, and then the scene will explode I think. All the PA guys will move over, mikey will have no control over it, I will put on insane events. It will be the next stage in real-time strategy.

It has a 4X fucking TECH TREE and simulates A UNIVERSE!

Fingers and toes crossed!!!
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Unread postby icycalm » 27 Sep 2020 20:53

I've had second thoughts about the prospects of this game.

It is hopeless.

When did the Chinese make a good strategy game? When did they make any strategy games at all? All they make and prefer is mindless, grinding MMOs where they can be little ants endlessly acquiring stuff and never spending them or destroying anything. And that's EXACTLY how they are building this game: they have this massive flying robot in (because they copied it off PA), and it doesn't even shoot anything! WTF China!

They call their game "Alien Factorio" but WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE ALIENS?!?

Ok, I get it, you like copying things, BUT AT LEAST DO A GOOD JOB WITH THE COPYING! The aliens in Factorio are a huge part of the damn game!

The truth is that adding war to the game is a MASSIVE undertaking. It's not as simple as adding a few military units. This studio has just five people but Uber had 25 people working on balance for ages. Getting all the war simulation stuff in, and uncapped multiplayer, and uncapped units, and complex tactics etc. requires MASTERS of the genre, and indeed Uber was filled with people who'd been working in the genre since the '90s, since Total Annihilation! Meanwhile, these five Chinese dudes look like they've never played a strategy game in their lives. How the fuck will they suddenly top the best strategy game ever?

Look at their director in the second video. He's a tiny skinny dude who looks like he'd be afraid of his own shadow. He looks like a child. Why is he so skinny? Don't they have food in China? Meanwhile, Jon Mavor is a fat Canadian who was talking excitedly on his Kickstarter about wars with A MILLION robots blowing up ENTIRE planets. That guy eats enough red meat to have the entire Chinese dev team for dinner over a week; they barely have any meat on them!

Sorry to be so racist, but this is beyond depressing. They have the technical skill to take the base PA engine and expand it over an entire universe, but they are too much of a bunch of little faggots to have any interest in war, or in ANY conflict of any kind! Not even economic conflict like in the Tycoon games! Not only is their game strictly single-player to avoid competition, but you are not even competing against an AI or any kind of goal! Fuck you guys. Your game is shit.

So the only way anything worthwhile will come out of this is if they license their engine to me. If that happened, I swear to god I'd learn to code. I might email them at some point. God this is so depressing.

On the bright side, this is a good technology demonstrator, and it shows that PA2 is possible within this decade. It demonstrates the most important part of a PA2: free space flight. Someone just has to step up to the plate.
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Unread postby icycalm » 27 Sep 2020 21:05

There aren't even any space stations or space ships ffs...
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Unread postby icycalm » 27 Sep 2020 22:21

I sent them this email:

I wrote:Hello, I am writing you about Dyson Sphere Program. I learned about this game recently, and I am very interested in it. I believe you have done excellent work so far, but I worry about the direction of the project. You call your game "Alien Factorio", but where are the aliens? The aliens are a huge part of Factorio, and without them the game would be boring. Players need competition, they need goals, they need challenge to enjoy a game, and your game seems to have none of it. Have you heard of Satisfactory? It's a 3D Factorio, and it has no enemies and challenge either, and that's why players enjoy it less than Factorio, and the game has sold less.

Your game is a mix of Planetary Annihilation and Factorio. It takes the spherical planets and the commander robot from Planetary Annihilation, and it mixes them with the factories of Factorio. That is an excellent mix! It's really the future of real-time strategy. However... there is no strategy in your game. No enemies, no weapons, no goals, and no challenge. You have not even put in any economic goals in your game, like in the business management Tycoon games! Technically, your game is fantastic, but in terms of the design and the player experience, your game is bad! It's boring! There's absolutely no reason for a player to build anything in your game, and even if you gave him a reason, it would still be boring because your universe is dead since there is no life in it. Where is the life in your game? A single robot that doesn't even have any guns?

Please read my essay on Planetary Annihilation: https://culture.vg/reviews/videogame-ar ... ation.html

Planetary Annihilation is the best strategy game ever—it's really one of the top 5 games ever—and Dyson Sphere Program has the potential to be even better! You are so close to making one of the best games of all time, but you don't seem to know how. All you need is some advice, and some more hard work. I want to help, and I can help you. I know exactly what you need to do to make Dyson Sphere Program one of the top 5 games of all time. I am not asking for money. I would GIVE you money to follow my advice, that's how passionate I am about your game. I would move to China to help you out, if necessary. You have here an opportunity to create one of the best games of all time, and to be remembered as legends of the videogame and art worlds. You have already done most of the hard work! It would be a terrible shame to stop now, and release a boring "sandbox" piece of crap that will be forgotten almost immediately on release. Don't make this mistake. Talk to me, and listen to my advice. At the very least, add multiplayer and a few war units—some space ships and small space stations, some tanks and airplanes and small robots. Then allow people to mod your game: if you don't want to make a good game, at least let the modding community do it. But I hope that you will follow my advice, accept my help, and together create the best strategy game of all time.

Best regards,


Alex Kierkegaard
Editor in Chief
Insomnia | Videogame Culture
http://culture.vg
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Unread postby icycalm » 10 Oct 2020 06:35

Dyson Sphere Program looks like an interstellar Factorio
https://www.pcgamer.com/dyson-sphere-pr ... -factorio/

Fraser Brown wrote:Youthcat reckons it'll be in Early Access for around a year, with the team introducing more planets, custom mechs, the ability to build in space and monster attacks.


So there will be enemies, but in the typical city-building mild form of "monster attacks" inherited from SimCity... It's not great, but it's better than nothing, and as long as there are enemies in, maybe you'll be able to mod them to be a real challenge, or mod more types of them in etc. Also, building in space will be awesome, and together with free spaceflight is precisely what a PA2 should have, as I mentioned earlier. Custom mechs is a cool feature but not very important. Still waiting to hear about multiplayer.
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 Nov 2020 16:22

Kickstarter is live and has another 19 days to go: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yo ... box-game-0

They're only asking for €8,525 and have already got €6,836. Life must be cheap in China where they live.

One new screenshot:

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The camera is way more versatile than PA's at least.

I was hoping that multiplayer would be in their stretch goals, but no such luck. The most they have is an "online leaderboard in a shared galaxy". Doesn't seem like you'll be able to interact with others, but they'll be "in the same galaxy" and ranked on that leaderboard: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yo ... ts/3024500

Youthcat Studio wrote:The Community Galaxy would be a visible galaxy in your universe where each star represents a player who is online, playing the Dyson Sphere Program just as you. The more developed their factories are, the more bright their stars will be. It’s a nice touch to give your universe some connection with others’, offer a sense of progress, and give you a pulse of how far you are lagging behind (or souring ahead!) compared with other players. We’re thinking of other ways for the Community Galaxy to become a hub of some sort connecting your efforts with those of other players – don’t hesitate to send us your ideas!


lol how about freakin' combat morons

In short, they are using the typical Chinese philosophy of grinding/MMORPGs, where competition is indirect, with each little ant slaving away in its own little corner, prohibited from touching any other ant, and only able to starve it or outcompete it on some score board. It's disgusting.

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The third goal is cool though. You'll be able to assemble stuff in space, which is what was missing from PA. Trouble is I don't think they'll reach that goal... However, if the game does well on Steam they might put it in anyway, so all hope is not lost as long as the feature is on their drawing board, which it is.

https://steamcommunity.com/games/1366540/announcements

Youthcat Studio wrote:Stretch Goal III: $24,000 ─ Assembly Space Module
You asked for a Space Station and here it is! Starting from a small cube, create and customize your own floating base in the vastness of space, choosing between different modules that will provide you with different abilities. In Dyson Sphere Program you can only build facilities on the surface of a planet, so it can’t escape its gravity – but with the Space Module you can shoot their components to space and put them together up there!


The last goal is retarded though:

Youthcat Studio wrote:Stretch Goal IV: $42,000 ─ Wandering Sun
Build thrusters so powerful that they can move a whole star. What could you possibly do with your own wandering sun...?


I don't know, maybe smash it against other stars, thereby ANNIHILATING them? Just an idea. But I am sure you'll pick something lame instead. You can see the utter paucity of their ideas as they don't even seem to know what to do with their own stretch goal. Partly it must be because they don't believe they can reach it, and partly that they're just not very inventive people.

But the worst part about all this is their opening of their KS pitch.

Youthcat Studio wrote:Humanity is ready for a new era, but it needs more energy than ever. That’s why we, the space agency COSMO, started the Dyson Sphere Program. What was only a dream a few decades ago, is now possible thanks to our cutting-edge technology. But that does not mean that it will be an easy task: only a galaxy-wide production system will allow us such an extraordinary task. Fortunately, someone with remarkable organization skills will be in charge of this mission, and that’s you!


Their vision for humanity's future is literally about consumption. They can't think of anything higher for man to do than to consume. If someone was trying to parody Chinese mentality, he couldn't have done a better job than this. Further down their pitch it gets even more ridiculous:

Youthcat Studio wrote:And of course, you will get to build the dream of all science-fiction fans, a Dyson Sphere, a massive device that orbits around a star and is capable of harnessing all its power.


Yeah buddy, that's why the greatest sci-fi movies and novels are about Dyson Spheres...

The devs are literal morons.

Some new play footage they put together:

Gameplay Trailer Sec 2.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8F6uOMGhTg

Looks very smooth in its space-to-planet transitions. What a shame.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Dec 2020 12:19

Let me add something positive amongst all this negativity, something VERY positive.

When the PA Kickstarter achieved a couple of million dollars, Chris Taylor said that Uber didn't have "a snowball's chance in hell" of making the game for less than ten million. In the end, including Early Access sales, perhaps Uber DID make ten million, and they certainly made that, and probably a lot more, over the game's lifecycle. But the fact is they STARTED it with only a couple of million, something that Chris Taylor wouldn't have done, and they successfully completed it.

And please note that Uber was comprised of 20-30 developers, that eventually grew to over 40 if I remember correctly, many of whom had been veterans in the industry, participating in the making of games all the way back to the '90s, including all the games Chris Taylor had made.

And now, a few years later, a team of half a dozen Chinese with no experience in the industry and a laughable Kickstarter that only asks for 10,000 dollars are delivering a game that in many respects looks better than PA and with increased functionality. So even if they are clearly botching it, it's clear that modern development techniques have rendered the technical aspect of a game like PA FAR EASIER AND CHEAPER, which means that eventually SOME tiny group of poor devs WILL get PA2 made. Hell, it may even be a single developer, eventually. And if no one steps to the plate, it may even be me lol.

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Remember the FLOOD of spherical planet games on Steam in the past half a decade since PA's release, with Universim chief among them, whose engine is FAR BETTER than PA's in many aspects (planet detail, weather effects, underwater rendering, etc.), though of course also inferior in some aspects, as Dyson Sphere Program's doubtless is. These engines can probably even be LICENSED with the right amount of money. Hell, I should get a quote from the companies and start a Kickstarter to buy the license. If I could do that, all I'd need is an AVERAGE programmer, fairly inexperienced even, since the hardest part of the technical side of things, the engine, would already be done. At that point he'd be doing mostly the equivalent of modding, and we'd just need some artists to make assets for us, which can even be enlisted on Fiverr, not to mention that, once this project got going, and demonstrated even a tiny bit of real progress, a whole community of volunteers would spring up around the project, and would pretty much get everything done themselves for free. I would certainly not care about making any money off of this, and would make the entire project open source. If anyone reading this can help get this started by offering some decent capital to purchase the engine and get the crowdfunding started, and/or some decent technical knowledge to get a prototype going after we get the engine, let me know.

My point is PA2 is coming one way or another, and perhaps sooner than we imagine. Most certainly within this decade. And you best believe once this happens I'll be there to put on the best Clan Wars for it ever.
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Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2020 18:33

A bit more zoomed-in, detailed play footage.

Gameplay Trailer Sec. 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoqkAqZqfog

What's there looks good. Here's the game's formula in an equation:

Dyson Sphere Program = Planetary Annihilation + Factorio + Herzog Zwei - Dune II
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Unread postby icycalm » 19 Dec 2020 00:31

Steam Early Access January 21.

Release Date Announcement Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh-voJ3TSt8

Building is demonstrated more fully than ever before in this trailer, and it's fantastic. It really is Factorio + PA. Or I should rather say Satisfactory + PA, since it's 3D, and lacks threats.
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Unread postby icycalm » 06 Jan 2021 14:31

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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Apr 2021 19:56

Game is out and the response from the Factorio-type community has been extremely positive. It's even sold well. All of which is extremely promising for the prospects of the game serving as the base for PA2.

Btw, it's worth mentioning that a few years ago I emailed Factorio's director to tell him to stop dicking around with little updates and make Factorio 2. And the formula for its design I gave him was Factorio 2 = Factorio + PA. He replied and we talked for a bit, but he basically ignored my idea and stuck with his pointless updates. And now five Chinamen have upstaged him and his team of like 20-30 people or whatever. He could have taken a mere FIVE of them out of Factorio and put them to work on the sequel if he'd had his head screwed on right! I've been meaning to email him to gloat. I'll do it and then publish our entire correspondence.

Back to DSP, the problem with the game of course remains the lack of multiplayer and war units. However, the devs have made it clear they are merely at the start of their Early Access journey, and they plan to address these concerns. Notable also is that many in the game's community are asking for these features, which is a relief because they could have easily been like the typical city-building and Minecraft autists who DON'T want these things. It's also worth pointing out that the devs are poor. This can be seen by their KS which asked for something like a mere 100 dollars or some shit. So now that they've sold well on Steam and gotten a taste of money, it probably means that they're very motivated to keep building the game up. After all, the Factorio devs have been raking in cash merely by updating the game for like a decade. The DSP devs could probably do the same, and since the cost of life wherever the hell they are in China is nothing compared to Prague, it makes even more sense for them financially (though I doubt DSP will ever have the same level of financial success as Factorio, given how much more complex it is or can potentially get).

But there's more good news. Because there is already a working multiplayer mod for the game! Apparently they've run some co-op tests and it works fine! (though with lots of bugs). I've known about the MP mod for weeks, but I only just found that it now works.

The mod is called Nebula (nonsensical name given its content, but we'll roll with it): https://github.com/hubastard/nebula

Get in the devs' Discord to show your support and get the latest updates: https://discord.gg/UHeB2QvgDa

Keep the game's reddit on your radar too, for all kind of official news and modding news: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dyson_Sphere_Program/

What's really encouraging to me is how fast these guys were able to get MP up and running. MP is a massive feature, and I doubt that a modder could have put it in PA if it wasn't there from the start, so this tells me that perhaps DSP is more moddable than PA (which was already very moddable). So this bodes very well for the possibility of adding war factories and war units in the game. And we can always just rip out PA's assets (or SupCom's for that matter) and have ready-made fantastic art: hundreds of units' worth of it. I am just a little apprehensive about whether DSP's engine can handle scaling up to a lot of units. And are the projectiles in DSP even simulated?

However that may be, it's understandable if DSP, even fully modded, does not outperform PA in every metric. It wasn't intended to anyway (which is a bummer). But it brings so many new things to the table, and clearly btfo PA in so many ways, that accepting whatever its deficiencies end up being shouldn't be hard. Above all it has SPACE BATTLES! This was, as I think I've mentioned before, the number one feature that a PA2 would have to contain to really be a sequel. And we have that here out of the gate. You can apparently build in space too. And your mech can fly between planets as in a sort of Herzog Zwei 2! And there are black holes and shit. The game has even been getting rave responses also for its looks, just like PA. I've been meaning to finish my PA review and explain why that is so (if you want a preview, find Ebert's review of 2001).

I am contintually in awe of this game...
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dyson_Sphere_P ... this_game/

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So in view of all the above, I have taken the following steps:

  • I have moved DSP's thread to the Cosmic War subforum
  • I have renamed the #planetary-annihilation Discord channel to #cosmic-war

My project is called Cosmic War. The base game it runs on has been PA so far, but hopefully we'll soon be able to switch that out to a modded version of DSP, and perhaps to other games in the future, if DSP gets superseded like PA appears to be about to. And there won't be any petty tyrant to put an end to the events, as there was in PA, which means the events should be even greater rip-roaring successes than our PA events were!

So jump in the modders' Discord to show your support, and make sure you add the clan tag to your name so we can represent as The Cult too. We need to get the community thinking in that direction, and start forming their own clans.

This will be biblical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW4joxNf51g


P.S. If DSP delivers, expect PA to become a ghost town, mikey to stay all alone, and all our good friends to migrate over lol. Then mikey might start trying to mod DSP lol, and the cycle of life will begin anew.
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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Apr 2021 23:47

lol imagine trying to play PA while building this:

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No idea what this is. I'll go with nanomachine swarm:

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More incredible images:

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The increased complexity in factories and celestial objects bring a new dimension to the spectacle that wasn't in PA. On the other hand, the lack of vast armies of war machines and explosions take away a dimension that was present in PA.

Lots more pics here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/1366540/ ... r=toprated

I only scrolled down a little bit.
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Unread postby icycalm » 31 May 2021 03:21

Mod directory: https://dsp.thunderstore.io/

There's nine pages of them so far. Not a bad start for such a new game.

Haven't gone through them to see what they do. People are still waiting for the devs to add some SimCity-like enemies, and maybe then we'll start seeing some cool mods that up the challenge.


EDIT: Skimmed some of the mod descriptions. They have a very PA-like feel to them lol. There's even a mod manager you need to install. So many possibilities with this game. Gotta give it a try soon.
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