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Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:40 pm
by Philkian
After decades of exploration, mankind has finally found a new hope. A new planet to conquer and colonize. They call it Pandora. From the frozen ice lands of the north, to vast deserts and lush tropical forests in the south, the planet is vast and hosts a wide variety of eco-regions. It is the perfect last resort for mankind. But it is far from being desolate, with indigenous life already covering the planet, but how will they react to alien invaders?

Pandora: First Contact is the latest science fiction 4X turn-based strategy game published by Slitherine ( and Matrix Games ( and developed by Proxy Studios ([url][/url]. The game follows in the footsteps of classics like Alpha Centauri and Galactic Civilizations, but it also creates a completely new world of its own, with hundreds of creatures, settings, technological innovations and a never-seen-before range of deadly weapons. In development for now more than two years, Pandora: First Contact is something really novel in the genre of civilization-style games.

“We are very excited about this new project”, said Iain McNeil, development director of Slitherine. “This year’s line-up is shaping to be very attractive to a wide range of players and we are proud to bring such an intense, immersive and engaging sci-fi strategy game to our audience worldwide”.

The game is set to release towards the end of spring, with the open beta now available for registration at

For more information visit the product page

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:41 pm
by idjester
Very excited about this game and can't wait to check it out, infact so excited that If I'm chosen to be a beta tester I am willing to post gameplay video action on my youtube page to get other people introduced to it.

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:53 pm
by Barnacle_Bill
I signed up for the open beta, but how does one go about downloading the program?

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:20 pm
by idjester
I'm assuming that if you are chosen they will be sending you a link in an email but that is just a guess....

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:57 pm
by Barnacle_Bill
"Open beta" generally means there is no choosing - you want in, you got it.

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:20 am
by IainMcNeil
Hi guys

when the beta version is ready we'll release it to a small group and add more as we go. The feedback will come via a private forum. By open beta we mean it is an external beta test with the public.

We're recruiting testers and will select the first batch next week and get the beta out soon after that.


Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:38 pm
by gschelz
Sounds good, and the game looks great. Just a small point, you may want to post this information on the beta sign-up web page. I, as I imagine others, spent a bit of time trying to download the game by pressing the "Pandora PC" button. :D g

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:38 pm
by bbmike
I've been playing Alpha Centauri all week after reading about Pandora! :mrgreen: I always forget how much I love AC and can't wait to try Pandora.

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:14 pm
by idjester
Well as Duke Nukem always said..... "Let's get it on..."

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:22 pm
by Vicarius
bbmike wrote:I've been playing Alpha Centauri all week after reading about Pandora! :mrgreen: I always forget how much I love AC and can't wait to try Pandora.
This is an excellent idea. I've been bouncing around between Distant Worlds, Eador: Genesis, Age of Wonders SM, and Crusader Kings II. It's been 5 years since I last played Alpha Centauri. I think I might start up AC again!

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:03 pm
by bbmike
I'm checking my inbox every day like that little kid from A Christmas Story waiting on his decoder ring. Did you already notify the first group of beta testers? :shock:

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:58 pm
by SephiRok
Mails should be going out about now.

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:50 pm
by bbmike
Aw, crap. I didn't get in! I probably would've just shot my eye out anyway. :o
Back to Alpha Centauri. Maybe I'll do an Alien Crossfire AAR while I patiently wait... :wink:

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:09 am
by SephiRok
Look at the bright side -- that means it'll be so much better when you do get your hands on it. :-)

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:37 pm
by bbmike
So..... How's the beta going? Need any more testers? :P
At least give us some screenshots or something! :mrgreen:

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:15 pm
by Longasc
It's looking very promising, I just tried "Conquest" and if it is an indicator how Pandora will be, it's VERY promising indeed.

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:05 pm
by Eyesadi
To anyone who's waiting......

It's TOTALLY worth the wait........

In an era of failed EVERYTHING.......this one is a winner.

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:17 pm
by Monaldinio
Hello everybody!
I signed up for the beta test of Pandora, I hope I get an email. :oops:
Perhaps it is helpful to know that I'm a Civ 4 modder and im modding my Mod "Conflict on Chiron".
You can find it in the german
Civ4 - größere Modifikationen (Projektthreads) - Conflict on Chiron.
I tried to combine in this mod own ideas, as well as ideas from Call to Power and Alpha Centauri ...
Perhaps you'd like to risk a glance ... :-)

Sorry for my english, it is not the best!

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:03 pm
by jdmillard
Here are my thoughts:

This game will be a big hit among 4x fans if it trumps the competition in a few ways.

It needs good AI. One of the problems of many 4x games is that AI factions will often times start off weak and stay weak the whole game until someone comes along and steps on them like a bug... and I'm thinking, "what happened? They had 400 turns and they twiddled their thumbs." In their defense, they started on a tiny island... but so have I... and other factions and we had no problems.

It also needs a good end-game. All too often I find myself hitting what I call "the threshold of dominance." It usually occurs right after I obliterate the first or second opponent. Even though I am not extremely powerful yet, I just absolutely know without a doubt that nobody will be able to stand up to me for the rest of the game.

There needs to be some version of a feedback loop that controls AI/environment to do both the following: 1)prevent factions from having what I call "retarded starts" in the beginning and 2)also fixes the boring second half when we become powerful. (Maybe a strong "comeback" from a group of allied factions???)

Now, I know what you are thinking... just increase the difficulty. right? simple solution, right? Wrong. Another common flaw in 4x games is that increasing the difficulty is code for increasing the annoyingness (it's a word I invented). Think of it like a chess game. When you increase the difficulty in a chess game, the computer actually makes smarter decisions. In 4x games they just adjust the odds during battles, the native lifeforms strength, angrier citizens, and other mathematical coefficients. I have no problem with that, but it needs to be paired with better AI too. Imagine if increasing the difficulty in a chess game simply increased the odds of a piece successfully taking another piece. That's just stupid... one piece will always take another piece if it lands in it's square. So how does a chess game get more difficult then? Smarter AI.

"More aggressive" does not equal "more difficult" either. Sometimes over-aggressiveness is the greatest weakness of AI factions. Aggressiveness is only difficult when they have the guns to back up their words. A weak faction would be a greater threat by using derisive-covert-espionage-tech-stealing rather than talking too much. I'd like to see a weak faction trick two larger factions into war with each other and then picking one of them to be allied with in order to make all sorts of progress under the radar. Or steal tech from both the warring factions under the radar.

I've done enough programming to know that it's hard work programming a robust, dynamic, and stable system. But it can always be worked on for future patches over time. For the record, I am really rooting for Pandora. I'm excited and I hope it pulls a David-and-Goliath and blows the competition out of the water!

I can't wait to beta test it (if they open it up to everyone, that is).

Re: Next destination, Pandora!

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:21 pm
by jdmillard
So each faction has a research/technology output each turn. What if the 3 weakest factions automatically add their tech output together and they each benefited from the sum.
Faction A tech output: 13
Faction B tech output: 12
Faction C tech output: 11
They would each get 36 (perhaps multiplied by a coefficient so the bonus isn't over-powerful). This is DIFFERENT from tech sharing because they are each doing their own research and may trade if they choose to do so. Also, this could phase-in over the game, gradually accumulating so that the effect is nonexistent in the beginning, when everyone is essentially equal. The coefficient could start at 0 and gradually increase at a rate based on the map size, or military units on map, or money, or tech, (or some other realistic value). It could fade-out as factions are eliminated. I don't have the details figured out... I'm simply presenting the principle. Perhaps this could be an option for weaker factions to decide if they want to do it.

Or what if there was a "back against the wall" bonus for factions that are getting obliterated. When you only have a few bases left and you are "back against the wall" your units get a morale boost that expires after a number of turns, thus making it a little harder to eliminate a faction entirely (though still certainly possible).

I like the feature that allows factions to unconditionally surrender and swear an alliance to serve you. I know that others prefer to just kill them off, but I enjoy just adding them to my fan club. haha.

I would like a "hardcore" mode where you can only save upon exiting. Some ask, "What if someone exits during the computer's turn?" I think it would be cool to save in the middle of the opponent's turn, So that you can't just get out of the game and come back to replay the computer's turn.

I also think there should be many factions to pick from. Perhaps a faction editor?

I know the concept of designing your own units exists, but I think it would be cool to have different appearance options too. It could be a little box to check for an alternative appearance. Many alternative appearances would be better. Colors too. It would really make for some personalization which is big among the kind of people who play this game. In my opinion.

I think if the right features are used and you don't botch the AI, this game will draw a lot of people away from the Civ bandwagon and really put the company on the map (I guess I should say... on a bigger map). All these features are things that people will talk about when the topic of Civ comes up. Someone will always say, "have you tried Pandora? it lets you do xyz..."

I am rooting for Pandora, I can't wait to try it.