Interview

Sins of a Solar Empire Interview (PC)

Andy Alderson: Sins of a Solar Empire has done well in the states, reaching the top ten sales charts. How does it feel to secure the rights to such a well-regarded franchise?

Iron Clad Games: Kalypso is delighted to secure the European rights to Sins, which is proving to be a massive hit in the US and it is an honour to add the title to our portfolio. We are all very excited about the upcoming release date of June 6th in the UK.

Andy Alderson: What prompted the delay between the US and European versions of the game? Has it had any effect on the game's profile with reviews having cropped up on most sites back in March?

Iron Clad Games: Stardock spent most of 2007 searching for a European publisher for Sins without any success. At each turn we were told that the game looked good, but that space-based titles wouldn’t sell well in the German market. Given that Germany is the biggest market for PC games in Europe, this was always a deal-killer. It was great for us to find Kalypso, since they showed not only good business sense but genuine interest in building the franchise.

The delay from US release to European release has been positive in the majority, with outstanding reviews hitting the magazines early, creating a buzz and awareness, but with no information relating to an official European release date, our job is that much harder to promote the correct release and of course maintain the information flow up until June 6th.

Andy Alderson: Can UK gamers expect any new features in the upcoming European release? Will there be any new maps?






Iron Clad Games: Absolutely! The European release of Sins will be based off the latest version (1.041 as of this interview) and contain six new scenario maps. Even more new features will appear in the upcoming v1.1 update this summer.

Andy Alderson: Will the European version of Sins be pre-patched or will gamers need to download the existing patches from Stardock?

Iron Clad Games: See question 3 above.

Andy Alderson: Can you confirm a solid release date for the European version of Sins?

Iron Clad Games: Yes, the UK, Nordic, Benelux and all other English speaking territories will be June 6th with Germany, France, Italy & Spain all releasing on June 26th

Andy Alderson: How does Sins compare to Stardock's other space-sim franchise, Galactic Civilizations? Is it aimed at the same audience?

Iron Clad Games: This is a good question and is a little tough to answer. Sins is, by necessity, less complex than Galactic Civilizations since it’s a real-time strategy game, but is more robust than just about any other RTS I’m aware of. For gamers who’ve wanted more depth, but didn’t like the slow-pace of turn-based strategy, Sins of a Solar Empire will definitely be appealing. Likewise, real-time strategy players have loved Sins because it still plays fast enough to not be boring and has that extra 4X depth. Essentially, Sins of a Solar Empire meshes both types of strategy together and so is aimed at both types of audience.

Andy Alderson: How does the battle system work? Will players use a battle-viewer (like Lost Empire) or will conflicts play out on the main game screen?

Iron Clad Games: Battles play out in real-time on the main game screen. Players can seamlessly zoom right into battles as they occur and either let the AI commanders fight it out, or take direct control over each unit in their fleet. While it’s not necessary to micromanage combat, it is possible to defeat superior numbers through skilled tactics in Sins.

Andy Alderson: How versatile is the game's 'Iron Engine'? Will players with older PCs be able to run it?

Iron Clad Games: The Iron Engine is very versatile and scales extremely well between older PCs and those that are brand new. We’ve had players using 5 year old laptops write in to tell us that we placed the minimum requirements too high! However, thanks to some additional engine refinements that will start appearing in v1.1 this summer, Sins will run even better on lower-end hardware than it does now.

Andy Alderson: Stardock's Brad Wardell recently revealed that an expansion to Sins is in the works. Have you secured the rights for a European release for the expansion?

Iron Clad Games: Watch this space!

Andy Alderson: What multiplayer options will Sins feature? One of the main problems with 4X multiplayer games is that they often can't be completed in one sitting. Will Sins address this issue?






Iron Clad Games: Sins features multiplayer for up to 10 players over LAN or Internet via Ironclad Online, our free matchmaking service. There are a number of special setup options and map sizes for players to choose from that will either speed-up or slow-down a game to match their needs; on small maps games may last 45 minutes or less. Perhaps the best feature is the ability to save multiplayer games and continue playing them in the future.

Andy Alderson: It's often easy for non-experienced gamers to be intimidated by the wealth of options available in strategy titles. What efforts have been made to to ensure user-friendliness?

Iron Clad Games: We’ve designed Sins to be easy-to-play but hard to master. While the manual goes into a lot of detail on the game, we’ve also included four in-game tutorials to help players get started. There’s also a lot of helpful information online for new players who need more guidence.

Andy Alderson: This will be our last question, is there anything you'd like to add?

Iron Clad Games: Sins of a Solar Empire was a fantastic project to work on. We really hope that people enjoy it as much as we did in making it.

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Comments

By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on May 24, 2008
herodotus
Bring on the Expansion. I love this game...the detail is just terrific and one doesn&#039;t notice the little extras unless you zoom-in and see enhancements on your fleet realized in Real time. SP campaign is needed though.
By BlitzKrieg (SI Veteran Member) on May 25, 2008
BlitzKrieg
im really looking forward to buying this game for sure
By BlitzKrieg (SI Veteran Member) on May 25, 2008
BlitzKrieg
gotta get tis game/its rad
By lichlord (SI Core) on Sep 29, 2008
lichlord
its a good game i suggest you test the 7 deadly sins mod the game will even be better