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Sins Interview

February 6th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 13 Comments · Design, Interview, Ironclad

Don’t miss Kieron Gillen’s interview with Blair Fraser, lead designer of this month’s addiction, Sins of a Solar Empire and Stardock’s Brad Wardell.

Highlights from the interview:

On why they focused on what they focused on:

I can’t count how many times I’ve looked at that list during a game purchase only to be disappointed that bullet point X wasn’t all that fun and was obviously shoveled in to receive the checkmark. The game would have been better off by dropping it. In a sense, things done poorly are worse than not done at all – especially when the resources involved could have made a “good” feature “great”.

On backstory:

You have to provide a certain minimal level of lore, immersive detail and backstory so that players have a foundation on which to create their own story during single player. In this sense Sins provides a lot of material. Every ship’s appearance, abilities, and voices, all research trees and the specific topics themselves every music track, every sound effect – well basically everything in the entire game is based around the story and lore behind the three races and the rest of the Sins Universe.

On things that suck:

I’m I’ll about planet suckin’. I love when the Vasari’s Jarrasul Evacuator (aka the floating mega city) powers up its Drain Planet and you watch all the debris fly up from the surface into its gaping maw in a giant, swirling, vortex of destruction.


13 Comments so far ↓

  • Scott R. Krol

    So when are we going to start seeing some more Flash of Steel interviews? The only one so far seems to be with Martin Campion.

  • Troy

    When people start talking to me?

    I kid, but yeah, it has been a long time. Months since my last interview. I don’t beat the bushes enough for them, mostly because they can be a lot of work and I’d rather get paid for it.

    But for my loyal readers, I should try to get an interview done every month.

  • Bill Abner

    Sins is just fantstic. Seriously fun.

  • Troy

    I’d almost go as far as to say that it is the best original, non-franchise strategy game since the first Europa Universalis.

  • Bill Abner

    I dislike the pirate mechanic, but other than that..few complaints

  • James Allen

    Strong words. I guess World in Conflict is Ground Control 3 and Company of Heroes is Warhammer 1942. Here are some other favorites to consider:
    the Airborne Assault games (Conquest of the Aegean, Highway to the Reich)
    the SSG Decisive Battles games (Battles in Italy/Korsun/Normandy)

  • James Allen

    Oh, and I think the pirates are great…rewarding strong economic players by directing military assaults on other players. You just need to save up and pay them instead of building ships or structures right before they attack.

  • Troy

    I was speaking off the cuff, so I’ll give you Company of Heroes, James. Best RTS in a long, long time.

    But I think Sins is much better than World in Conflict. I like it more than Kohan, which is another great game and quite similar to Sins in many respects. And I think it’s more rewarding than Defcon, which is great fun but not as absorbing.

    I like the pirates, too. As one friend said, it’s the epitome of game theory. There is a lot of uncertainty, risk taking and deciding whether there is a payoff in being attacked instead of attacking. I wish the diplomacy were more transparent, and a little deeper, but there’s a chance that this would make the piracy choices a little too obvious.

  • James Allen

    I concur with pretty much everything you just said.

  • Philippe Tetreault

    Hi, the game look fun, when the review is coming up Troy.
    And is there a demo of the game around. I’ll like to try before bying!!!

  • Scott R. Krol

    Supposedly there’s a demo coming. Seems strange that they waited post-release to put it out there.

  • Troy

    If I can’t sell a review, I’ll have one here in the next week or so. Maybe even get a guest reviewer or two in, since I think this is the kind of game that can provoke a lot of discussion. One person whose opinion I respect has made a good case that this is closer to a traditional RTS than to a 4x game, though I think it’s old school 4x.

    A demo is planned, but I have no inside dirt on when that will be.