Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

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Daniele
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Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by Daniele » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:39 pm

For someone 4x games aren't in a good shape:
“Fundamentally, 4X games are stagnating because they are ultimately games about progress that nevertheless have nothing whatsoever to say on the subject. Their version of progress is almost universally boring.”
(From: Rock, Paper, Shotgun)

Here at Slitherine we are pretty sure that 4X games still have a lot to say. We also believe that Polaris Sector can bring a breath of fresh air to the genre.

What's your view about it?
Discuss here and let us know your thoughts!

winterfox
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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion.

Post by winterfox » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:50 pm

Not sure of he question?
Please be more specific.

CSSS
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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion.

Post by CSSS » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:32 am

4X is growing! If you look at the 4x games coming out in 2016 it is one of the biggest years for releases in a decade. Also 4x turn based is making a come back!

snowstorm
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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion.

Post by snowstorm » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:53 am

Eh...what is 4x games? Some of us don't understand what it is. :?

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion.

Post by Daniele » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:29 am

4X is a genre of strategy-based video and board games in which players control an empire and "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate" :-)

snowstorm
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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by snowstorm » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:57 pm

In that case, I'm all for it. I'm still waiting for someone to create a game where you can colonize and develop the USA, starting from 1600 and go from there....

Eizo
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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by Eizo » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:32 pm

snowstorm wrote:In that case, I'm all for it. I'm still waiting for someone to create a game where you can colonize and develop the USA, starting from 1600 and go from there....
This perhaps? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilizat ... lonization

snowstorm
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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by snowstorm » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:54 pm

Yeah, I'm aware Sid Meier created Colonization as an offshoot to Civ, but to me it did not go far enough with the premise, nor continue into the present age either. I'm sure someone could do a great job of it now. Maybe one of the development teams at Slitherine might pursue it.... :wink:

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by bru888 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:58 am

That article (From: Rock, Paper, Shotgun) is hard to read but on the second or third try, I found meaning to which I could relate.

The author is looking for the newness, excitement, and enjoyment of Civilization in the old days and he's not finding it. Why? Because the paradigm of making money to research, researching to build, building to fight, fighting to conquer, has been used over and over again in many other games since. (Sid Meier should have patented the concept, not just the game.) So yeah, I can see the guy's point. Behind the sophistry, he's basically saying that the paradigm needs to be jazzed up a bit because it's getting/gotten boring.

I agree to some extent. I take Civilization siestas that may last months, maybe even a year or two, but I always return to it. But only to it for Civilization-style games. I have rejected others that seem merely to rehash the style to suit the subject matter. Example: Galactic Civilizations. Space mumbo-jumbo superimposed over Sid's creation. That game I dumped a long time ago.
- Bru

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by jomni » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:11 am

Anything that is not related to sci-FI / Space would be more welcome.
The genre is over saturated.

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by Asberdies » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:46 pm

snowstorm wrote:In that case, I'm all for it. I'm still waiting for someone to create a game where you can colonize and develop the USA, starting from 1600 and go from there....
do you know Europa universalis IV from Paradox Interactive?

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by MikeMarchant » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:35 pm

Asberdies wrote:
snowstorm wrote:In that case, I'm all for it. I'm still waiting for someone to create a game where you can colonize and develop the USA, starting from 1600 and go from there....
do you know Europa universalis IV from Paradox Interactive?
An absolutely first class game, much more detailed and authentic than many other 4x games, and with a lot of accurate historical content too. Not really for the casual Civilisation player, though.


Best Wishes

Mike

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by RVallant » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:45 pm

I don't think the genre is stagnating, just the developers blindly stick to the usual formulas. Civilization, or Civ in space, it's the usual, colony rush, build, war (or whatever victory condition) end. Boring, done to death.

Polaris looks similar to that (Sowwy devs!) but I'll admit I'm not really paying much attention to it, and I've heard nothing but good things about Distant Worlds - even if it isn't to my tastes, however, my attention in terms of space 4x is going towards Stellaris (again, sorry!)

Why? No idea, just the Dev Diaries over there are interesting, well thought out, and seem to want to go beyond the usual cookie-cutter 4x build. There's some interesting ideas there, and the price point and the balance of mico and macroing seems to be a break from the conventional sprawling micromanagement-fests that 4x can turn out to be, - the alternative being 'small and tall' empire building, which isn't for everyone either.

I'm banking on Paradox to throw another curve ball, like they did with the "City sims are dead!" crowd by turfing out EA and their complacent, lazy SimCity series with Cities: Skylines.

Basically then, what I'm trying to say is, a genre only stagnates as far as the ambitions and creativity of the developer reaches. And as companies get successful and become bigger, both those factors get limited in some form, resulting in that until a plucky young upstart comes along. I'm sure that in the future, Paradox will go the same way, and maybe one of the Devs under Slitherine's wings will chunter along and become the new star! Though, in a perfect world I'd be happy with both Paradox and Slitherine doing well at the same time. ^_^

Just my thoughts, no offence devs! :)

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by bru888 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:50 pm

RVallant wrote:I don't think the genre is stagnating, just the developers blindly stick to the usual formulas. Civilization, or Civ in space, it's the usual, colony rush, build, war (or whatever victory condition) end. Boring, done to death.

Polaris looks similar to that (Sowwy devs!) but I'll admit I'm not really paying much attention to it, and I've heard nothing but good things about Distant Worlds - even if it isn't to my tastes, however, my attention in terms of space 4x is going towards Stellaris (again, sorry!) . . .

Just my thoughts, no offence devs! :)
Ban this person ^^^! Just kidding. :wink:

But hey, the question was posted by a principal here from what I can gather. If that is true then obviously the developers want the feedback, to their credit.
- Bru

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by Kevin2k » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:35 pm

Strangely I haven't put many hours in 4x games. But did play these:
- Master of Orion (1) (DOS, 1993)
- Conquest of a new World (DOS, 1996)
- Space Empires IV (2005)
- And some games with 4x elements such as Alien Legacy (DOS, 1994)
Yeah, I don't mind old games at all. ;)

I did not play Master of Orion 1 (MoO1) until 2012, and I must say: they nailed it back then. It is a great game.
An important characteristic is that a MoO1 game with the smallest galaxy already lasts me 3 to 6 hours, and I cannot afford it to last much longer. The key to keeping the game time acceptable is the avoidance of micro-management. Sounds simple enough but every 4x game since MoO1 seems to introduce more micro-management, and call it a 'desirable new feature'. In MoO1 the only micro management is the ship design, and optionally the ship combat phase.
MoO1 is now old software, despite the unofficial patches. The interface is limited by its 320x200 resolution. Though I doubt the upcoming Wargaming (World of Tanks) MoO-remake is gonna be the answer here, it is so bloated already.

Note: There are now two simultaneous 4x-game topics, which does not help.

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by Strategiusz » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:38 pm

Yeah, the AAA games by the richest producers are all the same, very slow changing, or just worst copies of the best selling games.
But there is a couple of indie games like Conquest of Elysium, Dominions, Pocket Space Empire (in progress), Imperia (in progress), At the Gates (in progress), that shows new ideas.

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Re: Is the 4x genre stagnating? Join the discussion

Post by BlackeyeVuk » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:00 am

I do believe 4x is stagnating.
Older generation of gamers (myself included) have fond memories of past games in 4x format. That was due to limitation in both hardware and software at the time. Yet attained high level of complexity,variety and progression.
Nothing much have changed since. Its a very niche genre and didn't really expend beyond that. Failing to appeal broader audience.
Mostly because offered little actual progression in said progression.
Players like progression, feeling of empowerment , seeing things grow,prosper. But also they want more connection with the game.
Im gonna give few examples.
The key of Panzer Corps that actually glue player is unit cores. How they survive, how they gain exp, and after set period of time eqp upgrades. You have that basic RPG element that feeds player ego keeping stuff interesting. But if you take all of that, game is bare bones. Its enough to keep me interested. But not broader audience.
It has very limited interaction with the lore perhaps, settings, theme that such game represent. Maybe it needs more RPG elements, more graphical variety, perhaps it does not need more units , but details. Or perhaps needs an Avatar that will represent you , and such Avatar(commander) could gain exp, unique units and weapons. That would give game personality and way for player to connect . But wait, not only you, but AI as well. Making things personal, creating drama and action without need for graphical improvisation other then few pictures and stats and wall of words.
Those are just examples, there are many examples to improve the game without taxing the dev team. And adding 100.000 lines of codes.
And not just with Panzer Corps. Every 4x game including.
You can listen perhaps on internet about Skyrim being perfect game, yet you can hear that fundamental flaw in such game is that despite you being a legendary hero of great prestige, NPCs does not follow it. Making things very bland. And that kind of empowerment (feeding player ego) is fundamental thing to have in a game in my honest opinion. However on atop of all that , sandboxing.
Fine example of sandbox game is Factorio , EUIV . Taking things either on the action, or grand strategy. In case of PnzCorps grand strategy. Progression into that would be natural . Turnbased game. Wouldn't alienate itself to already established community.

I would mention one other in my opinion perfect RTS game ever created Kohan 2. That had massive potential , but failed to influenced the RTS communty with their at that time brilliant "resupply line" and squads of units that can replenish itself entirely , saving bar one unit in it.
Yet we have a game that attained pinnacle in form of 4x having even some of those Kohan 2 gimmicks.
Distant Worlds.
A pinnacle in every form. Except for playability. Very clunky , full of bugs, unpolished, using obsolete formats. You get the idea.
So I agree with that article. 4x is stagnant , yet active, close and small community that should be much more.

English is not native. So bare with me.
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