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***** Master of Orion Revenge of Antar *****

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Old March 21st 18, 11:11 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia
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Default ***** Master of Orion Revenge of Antar *****


I will write a short review of "Master of Orion Revenge of Antar".

I have played this game for a few days now on two differnent laptops one bit faster and one a bit slower (iCore3).

So my gaming experience wasn't the best.

But I can tell that this game is among one of the best games ever produced and I have not yet even experienced multiplayer.

I am already convinced that some day this game will go down in history as a legendary game which belong among the following:

1. (Original/ms-dos) Master of Orion.
2. Civilization.
3. Company of Heroes
4. X-Com
5. Tie Fighter
6. Battlefield 2
7. Call of Duty
8. Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
9. Aliens vs Predators 2
10. World of Warships

Anyway when I first played the game for the very first few minutes I had some doubts... the menus looked extremely beautifull... so I was quite suspicious... was this just a beautifull facada/fore front or was there an actual game behind it ? Also the combat at first made little sense to me.

But now after having played the game extensively I know and can assure you this game is a pearl/a diamond. A very sweet game which will be played a lot in the coming years.

Before I tell you what is so great about the game I would first like to point out some technical problems which may prevent people from experiencing this create game.

1. To start of with, this game requires a special instruction called "Fused Multiply Add" or I could be wrong and it could be some other instruction but it's definetly using some kind of "instruction set extension" like SSE4 or SSE5.
This means the game will only work on more recent processors like iCore.
Otherwise the game will fail to load/start and will crash back to desktop.

2. The game requires installation of Visual Studio Redistributables version 2012 and 2013 possibility both x86 and AMD64 versions, so 4 redistributables must be installed.

3. Fused Multiply Add instruction consumes a lot of energy and produces a lot of processor heat. This can cause laptops/PCs to run hot and even crash because the system is consuming so much energy it actually has to drain the accu/battery s well or causes some kind of bug/battery failure... though the battery is fully charged... this crash/bug can happy after some hours of playing even while laptop is connected to a power outlet. HP reports error 601. I will have to investigate this error in the future.

4. Even on suited computers (iCore/SSE and distributeables installed) the game can still fail to load or hang the first couple of times it's started. Perhaps it's trying to figure out graphics settings and it takes a while not sure about that. But the point is, only the die-hards out there... the persistent people will eventually get the game to run.

It's highly worth it though to get the game to run because of the following reasons:

1. The menus/icons are incredibly beautifull as I already wrote before.
2. The graphics for the main characters are incredibly unbelievably beautifull and represent the original vision of the game exactly. The artists understood the original game... and what your brain would normally do and interpolate the 320x200 pixels these artists have scaled up to todays resolutions. It's pretty unbelievable beautifull !
3. The voices for these characters are pretty amazing and cool !
4. The graphics for the rest of the game is very great as well.
5. The sound effects are great.
6. The music is great.
7. The combat system needs a bit getting used to.... it's pretty brilliant.... it can real-time or semi-real-time-turn based by pausing.
8. Travelling between galaxies is now a bit different somewhat more constrained via jump gates/warp points, though later in the game these can be circumvented/cut short via more directly jump to jump gate buildings.
9. Another difference, systems have planets which can be colonized, this does require a bit more work to build up a system though some of it can be automated.

The ships do offer enough variety to be interesting I was worried at first. I would like to see the game have more different ship designs though, maybe a mod can solve this. Each race only has limited ammount of ship designs something like 8x2 or so in total 16, a bit limitted.

The GUI is adequite but could be better, some buttons could have been omitted.

Also some actions require indiviual opertions which could have been done based on lists/groups. Like applieing an operation to an entire selection. Sometimes there is "upgrade all" and such but sometimes such functionality is missing.

Another example is not being able to change the "number of items" to produce.
It must first be cancelled and then reproduced to set the number of items.
These are slight omissions from this game which can improved in a future version for example the work flow should be as follows:
1. First select the type to build, enter it into the queue.
2. Then set the number of items to build if more than is desired.
3. Then further types can be queued.
(This is an advanced future in the game at first build queues will be disabled and auto build is also disabled auto build is an AI helper to build up colonies/planets automaticlly.)

The weapons/technologies/descriptions are pretty great. Even my mother liked the music and thought it was beautifull.

Now the most important part about my experience with this game:

It was bliss, it was beautifull, it made me very happy, it was fantastic, it was like a dream come true, a long lost dream has returned and has become reality.

It has been a very long time ago that a game made me this happy made me this relaxed made me this warm inside, a joyfull warmth. It's almost undescrible.

The dutch word for it is: "zaligmakend". Blissfull I think it would be english translation, may translate this later on translate.google.com.

Now comes the weird part. This game is made by an unknown developer and published by WGLabs. Both never heard of it.

This game was made with love, it was made with vision, it was made by people who completely understood the original, that will become very apperent to you as you play the game simply because it's brilliant remake of original and it goes a bit beyond it.

The diplomacy, espionage, leaders, planet overview, fleet overview, etc it's all pretty brilliant, score, stats/graphs, it even allows "time travel" by loading any turn before it. It would be neat if the game allowed you to change something in the past, and then the game simulates it into the future and then you return into the future to see what impact it had. Basically this Master of Orion is a universal simulator. It could have been the first game which actually implemented time travel both into the passed and the future that would have been cool ! There could also have been "god or external" mode where you just watc and cause events to occur that would be funny, but perhaps would offer to limited gameplay reminds me of a c64 game called people or something.

Though I do miss some stats about my own empire like:
Number of marines/droids/tanks stationed on planets.

I also miss how much does it cost to purchase an item when I design it.
It would have been cool if "ship designs" of enemies could be stolen via spies.

The funny fact is spies die when an empire is destroyed and they were spieing/infiltrated and they get bombed too .

Captured spies can be exchanged with each other or other stuff.

The cool thing is there is a "battle AI" which can be enabled by clicking the alien head icon top left.... "admiral ai" it's called it will make the battles somewhat more dynamic especially with flanking tiny fighter ships... though it can be risky I think, big ships might focus to much on little ships.. not sure yet if that is a problem but it might have been problem".

Some weapons can be configured to fire from the front, rear, left or right.

This is kind cool I tried one setup with torpedoes firing from the back first it would work but not entirely sure if second time it would work again.

I am still unsure if I should left click or right click to issue an attack order this seems weird, but seems to work. Maybe right click allows multiple target selection for missiles not sure. This is the only tutorial I really needed, there is even tutorial mission but I did not play it.

There is also advisor tips which I did read which explain the "empire building part" of the game.... but there is no real tactical advisor or maybe I missed it or it was to limited. This is the only aspect of the game which is significantly different from original so for old time players this would need to be seperate tutorial so I can skip the rest.

I have not yet played multiplayer or any other race than humans. I did take a peak at other races to see what they are like.

This game is pretty fascinating.

Some slight frustrating things though:

1. Travelling is a bit slow, even with the fastest engines it can take 5 turns or something just to get to the second or third system, this should have been a bit faster.

Fortunately the game has all kinds of setup settings if so desired at the start of new games, not sure if "ship travel speed" has setting I would guess not but maybe it does.

2. Building up planets can take somewhat long time to do, but now I have become much better at it, but ofcourse now I have access to tech.

My advise would be: focus on food, in combination with some production and ultimately also some income/economy, only last tech, defense, general etc though moral buildings should also be done soon to keep workers happy and avoid indiviual workers from striking, fortunately not entire planet goes on strike

The build menu has nice option to only show certian improvement types like production only or a mix of economy and so forth there is even drop down box to selection buildings only or ships but didn't really need that one.

It is unfortunate that these type selection are not stored/saved per planet.. This is kinda annoying because for some planets you were doing income and for others production... and those it makes sense to focus on what you were doing but the game "forgets" the settings per planet... it's simply not stored... very unfortunate indeed.

I hope a next version of this game will improve in this regard or perhaps a patch or mod might make this better.

It may also help if the tabs show that nothing exists so that you don't have to click it to find out. It may also help if nothing is shown at all if nothing was selected. Instead now it shows everything if no types were selected.

This is slightly annoying cause it makes the screen flicker with nothing and then some other structure which I am not interested in for example.

Suppose all research structures are built and I want to know if this is indeed the case or if something new cause of tech invention showed up.

I would go as follows:

1. Select none.
2. Select research.
Nothing shows up.
3. Select none again.
Everything shows up - this is kind annoying cause I want to check production too and food and so forth.

So I don't want to see everything instead I want to see nothing and only sometime if it shows up for the type I am interested in the rest don't interest me.

This would safe some performance this switching can slow down a bit and makes it a bit messy. Anyway this is an advanced form of play.

For noobies showing all is probably better. Perhaps game could have switch for

Seeing colony ships land on planets is cool and all but an option to disable this would be nice. Galatic News Network can be disabled but have not down so yet.

I find it unfortunate that the "space monsters" do not travel from system to system to scare the **** out of the players. The only travel inside a single system from planet to planet. I find this idea of "space monsters" kinda retarded/unbelievable but it was in the original so it's now in the game, I feel this is more for kids, keep it in for them, they can be disabled though.

As soon as I have better ships they offer no challenge, perhaps these space monsters should evolve or even duplicate/breed... that could be cool if they slowly start to infest the galaxy, small/young ones like in "Aliens" the movie nd then lter on you discover the source... the big ones... the queens and daddies/kings ! =D Only to scare the pants out of you with immense aggression and fire power were you to locate them and then to be uttler butchered by you in big show down. There should always be some ships damaged. There exact strength should be kept secret to induce fear factor and trail and error. Rate of success depends on percentage investment of entire fleet strength plus some minimum fire power level to defeat it. Plus no matter what you do the create will be always strong enough to at least kill some ships to punish you and give you a sense of "sacrifice" for the greater good.... cleansing the system for colonization and expansion perhaps even tactical/strategical positioning.

There are also some mini civilizations which consume a single planet but they were pretty passive, no contact, nothing just some bonusses. Not to bad.... perhaps some more interaction could be done... for now I have not destroyed them... the bonusses are probably too sweet do do so which is a good thing/decision.

The psilons are pretty awesome as one of the main races...they get all the tech.

The game is now such that when sometime is invented a choice must be made between different reward/inventions/weapons. The psilons get ll though... I worry that this might make them a bit too powerfulll... but that is kinda the fun part of playing the psilons which look like typical green mars aliens =D

They will be spied on a lot though... probably worth a lot to invest in spys for counter spieing and special anti spy structure and such.

The emotional bar is also in the game describing how they feel towards you....

It's still 1 dimensional... perhaps this could be expanded on a bit... there are probably more emotions than just a single bar. Though that might give away a bit too much what they are thinking so mybe that s a good thing this is for you to figure out... will they backstab me ? Will they be loyal ? Will they go ape**** if I backstab them etc ?

Some things will come as surprise like "scientific" victory... there is nothing that can be done to stop that ? that s kind weird.

Economic victory works in conjuction with buying shares... wasn't sure at first how this works, but it requires you to enter in number into oblivion/box and then simply "buy". The shares are created out of thing air.

Buy is not the correct financial term to use for this. It may have been called "write your own shares" or "write" or "create shares".

But for now this will do... unfortuntely there is not much too it... not real fluctations... no other actors acting upon it... it's kind stale until another race buys it but even then it's kinda stale.

Some fluctuations/actual real world buying mechnisms would have been nice but ofcourse you do not want moo to turn into a stock trading game now, do you ?

Though I was kind hoping for "dividends" to mke some profit from my investments... that should have been implemented but unfortunately as far as I know it was not.

Another big grieve of mine is "trade deals" How do those exactly work ? This is unclear.

It doesn't specify how long these trades last it says "annual" but there is no such thing ??? or is there... there are just turns ? I am guessing it's probably 20 turns like in original.

It's hard to tell what kind of profit you will make... it requires a certain one time investment... the profit is unsure but apperently there will always be profit ? This is a bit strange. This should have been a bit more clear. But it's a nice and cool feature to have.

Automaticlly re-doing trade deals after the expire is missing which is kinda annoying. Many players will want a feature to automatically continue trade deals. Some may even want some option to "set credits aside" for future trade deals with specific entity. When the time comes game may ask: "trade deal expired, renew ?" There could also be an option box somewhere on special trade deal tab or diplomacy tab which has checkbox, automtically re-new trade deals.

Ofcourse events like war or disfavor could influence this.

The one thing I don't understand is how to build "advanced jump gates" ? Maybe they should be build on worm holes or far away ? Somehow this option is not available to my space factory work unit. I wonder if perhaps some invention was missing/skipped ? But I stole all tech from psilons so this seems not to be the case... unless somehow they cant invent it ? Huh ? Will have to google this after this posting.

So far I have not encountered the "antarans" thank god for that... sounds like plague, I have also not reached their homeworld yet through ruin research and portals apperently... I have my hands full on defeating the bullrathi =D a cool bear/ape like race (which was also in the originl ) There are also some new races. I look forward to playing the alternative version of humanity... the "dark side" of humanity. Khan or kales or something can't remember the name... but the advisor voice seemed very cool and dark ! =D and race traits seemed nice or perhaps it was the color well more fun is to be had with this game.

The space fights so far seem to be a bit short... it's all or nothing. Either one is destroyed or not... So far only one space fight which lasted a bit longer. I guess we can call this the "hard-core" version of Master of Orion.

Mistakes are punished harshly and tech can be uneven or simply designs totally different which is kinda interesting.

Massive missile setups instead of additional shield or whatever... build cheap disposable ships fully equiped with fire power but no survivability just to take out emergency enemies coming in... I call these emergency setups.... just taking out as much of the enemy as possible before they reach my planet to bomb it =D

That was kinda cool. I will need a much better/faster computer to play this well on though. So far my mother has the faster laptop will try to play there sometime again.

Currently all main/powerfull computer chips from Intel and AMD and their chipsets can be hacked, subdued, infected so this is not a good time to buy a new computer unfortuntely. All computers from the past are somewhat vunerable too and there are plenty of bugs. Especially FMA3 can be buggy on Ryzen.... and can be hot on Intel.

Playing this game on laptop/embeeded intel graphics chip is almost mental torture and should not be tried it is beautifull though, just be glad if it runs =D

This game seems to be a little bit ahead of it's time it's from 2016, it's now 2018. This game will probably become more popular over time 2020, 2022 up to 2025 maybe even 2030 as people buy better computers which can actually play this game.

This is definetly a computer game to keep in mind for people on older systems which cannot play it yet.

It's also highly recommend that these silly instructions are replaced or appened with alternative paths for older systems/processors. For now my guess is that these are used for bit masking or something. Though it could also be something different though... would like to know what these instructions are used for ?
One possibility could be that's only the intro video which uses a codec which uses these instructions. There is an option to disable the playing of the intro video. Perhaphs if this option is enabled the game may actually work on older systems too... this is worthy of a try so I will look into it if this works.

If it does work I will report back to bring you to joyfull news !

(This bitmasking I mentioned above can probably be done with opengl or maybe even cuda or opencl techniques.)

For example when "personal" is dragged and dropped from research to food there is a huge slowdown on the laptop... it's struggling with something which seems simply enough... it basically does that every time not sure what that is about is it doing other calculations food related or is it bitmap masking that is the problem or some shader effect which is slow ?

(There I filled in the A's my keyboard on left side is dieing =D left shift key gone, A working badly... apperently I strafe more to the left then to the right =D in shooters).

Anyway. There is probably more fun to be had with this game definetly and certainly single player... maybe even multiplayer.

Maybe a multiplayer community will occur, maybe it already existed on tunngle or might exist in the future on game ranger.

Or perhaps it will never happen cause this game does take a long time to play... but there are setup options for faster play.

This game also requires noobs/people none familiar with it to invest some time into learning this game, learning what it is about, learning how to play it... but it is probably time well spent.

Just like the other top games require like civilization and x-com.

These games are not games for people looking for a quick "bang" or action.

These games are for people who want to play something interesting something intrueging, something more deep, something more long term fun =D

For a quick bang I highly recommend Company of Heroes (ww2 tactical game) or shooters like (wolfenstein) or tactical shooters like World of Warships - teamgame.

Both types of games can be enjoyable and I will definetly continue to play both.

It's kinda weird that Master of Orion was published by a WG related company.... this game may eat into their profits for other games like World of Warships.

But apperently one of the owners of WG loved Master of Orion so much that he/she didn't care and just wanted an awesome remake of this awesome classic..

I think him much for this for now ! =D

Perhaps some day there will be a "Galaxy of Orion" in the style of World of Warships.

Where players can play online with their own system/planet and designed aliens/avatars like Star Trek Online.

This could be very cool.

I have feeling that this might exist one day !

I have played a game like that once... it was bit odd... AI would take over if players offline.

Perhaps multiple players can work together to "run system" consisting out of multiple planets where they can take over each others planets if one goes offline.

So running an empire with multiple people to distribute build tasks and combat/conquering/conquest could be quite a cool idea (mostly instead of AI) ! Though even AI my take over basic defense operations.

It could be a first in the "World Of" series/concepts... "massively online" games not focussed at arcady/cartoony like action... but massive online empire building... that could be a cool new concept.

Needless to say this remake gets 5 out of 5 stars and 10 out of 10 points.

It's great/awesome even if it has things which could be better.

For a first remake/expansion pack for this classic it did awesome much better than expected !

It's not yet the ultimate Master of Orion but it gets very close to being totally perfect/forfulling =D

Perhaps another expansion can correct these "tiny flaws/ommissions" to create the ultimate moo experience.


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