Endless Legend: On Tropes With a Twist and Looking Good

Endless Legend: On Tropes With a Twist and Looking Good

We talk to Amplitude Studios' Narrative Director and Lead Writer Jeff Spock about the follow-up to the developer's 4x space opera Endless Space.

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Looks great.

I loved Endless Space, just picked it up, started playing without ever reading up on anything beforehand and easily got into it. In fact it was so addicting that I almost spent 20 hours going at it nonstop the first time I opened it up, few games have had that effect on me.

Hope they nail it again with this project!

I loved Endless Space. It was just fun. It had it's shortcomings, but it was a great game. I'm surprised there is no mention of Dungeon of the Endless. Great game, takes place in the Endless Space universe and is very good as well.

So... I was thinking "Man, these Vaulters look an awful lot like WH40K Space Marines..." And then I looked at their thing and sure enough, their unit is a "Marine".

Yep, that's what happened.

I actually love it to pieces though. So excited for this game. Wanna play as fantasy space marines...

Endless Space has the best UI I've ever found in a 4X game and I've played a lot. I'm praying Endless Legend is every bit as good in the game department as Space is, as well as looking as pretty as Space. (That was way too many "as" for one sentence wasn't it?) Though I'm also hoping that this time around the AI is less prone to declaring war on you just because they're inferior to you, especially early game.

With regards to ship design in Endless Space though, I do find it strange he mentions he wanted every ship to feel different, but the Vaulter Faction you unlock in Endless Space from supporting Endless Legend have ships that look almost identical to the Empire. Just felt like a bit of a waste when you have ships as striking as the Amoeba, Sophon and Sower ships they went with reskinned humans. This only really rankles for me as the Vaulters are my favourite faction now. That teleport is awesome.

Greg Tito:
We wanted Endless Space to stand out, to look different, to be beautiful, to take the players' imaginations someplace new. The same thing is definitely going on with the design and art in Endless Legend.

Endless Space is a great little game, and I'm definitely looking forward to Endless Legend, but let's be honest here. Endless Space is exactly as generic as every other space 4X game, and based on the images so far presented Endless Legend couldn't say "generic fantasy setting" any harder if it tried. A very pretty generic fantasy setting to be sure, but anyone who thinks it looks unique and new is seriously kidding themselves.

Shodan1980:
Though I'm also hoping that this time around the AI is less prone to declaring war on you just because they're inferior to you, especially early game.

There's a very easy solution to this - declare war on everyone first!

Kahani:

Shodan1980:
Though I'm also hoping that this time around the AI is less prone to declaring war on you just because they're inferior to you, especially early game.

There's a very easy solution to this - declare war on everyone first!

I would, but I play 4X games with a semi-pacifist way. I rarely start wars, but once the AI has decided to declare war, I punish them by wiping them out. It's a philosophy I adopted from Babylon 5 tbh. "Never start a fight, but if you find yourself in one by God finish it" and it's served me very well through 5+ iterations of Civ, both MoOs (Third never happened), both GalCivs. Played a bit of Endless Legend though and I doubt it'll work in that, definitely not in Alpha. The AI is an aggressive little toerag. Hoping they tone it down.

dragonswarrior:
I actually love it to pieces though. So excited for this game. Wanna play as fantasy space marines...

This is actually kinda bizzare - Vaulters are Fantasy Warhammer 40k Space Marines, but Warhammer 40k Space Marines are sci-fi versions of fantasy Knights. It's come full circle...

Jandau:

dragonswarrior:
I actually love it to pieces though. So excited for this game. Wanna play as fantasy space marines...

This is actually kinda bizzare - Vaulters are Fantasy Warhammer 40k Space Marines, but Warhammer 40k Space Marines are sci-fi versions of fantasy Knights. It's come full circle...

I don't really see the "Vaulters = 40k Space Marines" thing. Yes, the Vaulters look like space vikings, but that's only similar in concept to the Space Wolves, and even then the Vaulters are considerably less heavily armored, looking more like actual vikings in space than the power armor genetically engineered supersoldiers that GW sell.

Baresark:
I loved Endless Space. It was just fun. It had it's shortcomings, but it was a great game. I'm surprised there is no mention of Dungeon of the Endless. Great game, takes place in the Endless Space universe and is very good as well.

You shouldn't be surprised, just more thorough in your reading because it is indeed mentioned ;)

Jadak:

Baresark:
I loved Endless Space. It was just fun. It had it's shortcomings, but it was a great game. I'm surprised there is no mention of Dungeon of the Endless. Great game, takes place in the Endless Space universe and is very good as well.

You shouldn't be surprised, just more thorough in your reading because it is indeed mentioned ;)

Haha, I stand corrected. I missed that one. Too much skimming, not enough in depth reading.

Already got this on my wishlist. :)

Never picked up Endless Space though. Just didn't care for the card-based combat.

Mangod:

Jandau:

dragonswarrior:
I actually love it to pieces though. So excited for this game. Wanna play as fantasy space marines...

This is actually kinda bizzare - Vaulters are Fantasy Warhammer 40k Space Marines, but Warhammer 40k Space Marines are sci-fi versions of fantasy Knights. It's come full circle...

I don't really see the "Vaulters = 40k Space Marines" thing. Yes, the Vaulters look like space vikings, but that's only similar in concept to the Space Wolves, and even then the Vaulters are considerably less heavily armored, looking more like actual vikings in space than the power armor genetically engineered supersoldiers that GW sell.

Are you kidding? They literally have "bolters". The units name is a "marine". Of course they can't look exactly like Space Marines because GW sues the crap out of everyone and everything, but their character design is sooooo similar.

Of course I could be wrong. But I would actually bet money that I'm not.

Also, dreadnought/titan looking thing in the background. Naturally it looks almost nothing like a WH40K titan or Space Marine dreadnought, but again that's because they'd get the crap sued out of them if it did.

dragonswarrior:

Are you kidding? They literally have "bolters". The units name is a "marine". Of course they can't look exactly like Space Marines because GW sues the crap out of everyone and everything, but their character design is sooooo similar.

Of course I could be wrong. But I would actually bet money that I'm not.

Also, dreadnought/titan looking thing in the background. Naturally it looks almost nothing like a WH40K titan or Space Marine dreadnought, but again that's because they'd get the crap sued out of them if it did.

Those are crossbows. Yes, the basic ranged Vaulter unit is called a Marine, and they are essentially vikings in space. Since when are either of those GW trademarks?

And the Titan in the background is a traditional robot. Unless you want to claim that GW owns humanoid robots as a concept, none of this is a ripoff.

image

http://i.imgur.com/Fqb4VDK.jpg

Frankly, anyone who alleges that someone's stolen from GW's, remember this:

image

Word to the wise: pay attention to the minimum specs on this game before you consider buying it. I have a recent (5 months old) laptop with only an integrated Intel Iris 5100 graphics card, and the game crashes every single time I try to start it. I am not currently aware of any fixes (such as tweaking the .ini file or switching to 32-bit) that would allow me to run the most recent version, and I've had the same results with every previous version since it first showed up on early access.

Shame, too. Endless Space (2012) and Dungeon of the Endless (2014 - early access) are both super fun games from the same developer and I was really looking forward to their Fantasy take on the strategy genre. Oh well.

Mangod:
snip

Yes, crossbows. Which fire bolts. Like I said, bolters. Again, it COULD be a coincidence. But considering everything, I am willing to bet that it's not.

And the folks who made this game were clever enough to not make it a ripoff. Merely a... homage? A nerdy "wouldn't it be awesome if we could play as fantasy space marines? Oh yea! Let's put it in the game!" So of course it won't look like anything in 40k. They've already got the marines, if they went too far GW's twitchy trigger finger might go off. I'm saying that the simple fact that it's there, in a fantasy world, with the marine character design already looking so much like a 40k space marine, on top of everything else... *shrugs* It makes sense to me.

Oh and believe me, I personally am well aware that GW's idea that it owns the word "Space Marine" is total bullshit. It's just that GW doesn't seem to be aware of that.

Edit: It's nice to get in a debate about something like this for a change, rather than a politically charged topic. *smiles* Thanks Mangod!

Edit Edit: Their Dawn Officer unit literally uses power armor. I mean come on! It's just too many coincidences.

dragonswarrior:

Mangod:
snip

Yes, crossbows. Which fire bolts. Like I said, bolters. Again, it COULD be a coincidence. But considering everything, I am willing to bet that it's not.

And the folks who made this game were clever enough to not make it a ripoff. Merely a... homage? A nerdy "wouldn't it be awesome if we could play as fantasy space marines? Oh yea! Let's put it in the game!" So of course it won't look like anything in 40k. They've already got the marines, if they went too far GW's twitchy trigger finger might go off. I'm saying that the simple fact that it's there, in a fantasy world, with the marine character design already looking so much like a 40k space marine, on top of everything else... *shrugs* It makes sense to me.

Oh and believe me, I personally am well aware that GW's idea that it owns the word "Space Marine" is total bullshit. It's just that GW doesn't seem to be aware of that.

Edit: It's nice to get in a debate about something like this for a change, rather than a politically charged topic. *smiles* Thanks Mangod!

Edit Edit: Their Dawn Officer unit literally uses power armor. I mean come on! It's just too many coincidences.

... Are you seriously suggesting that a crossbow and a WH40K Bolter are the same thing? I'm not sure if you're serious.

Anyway, a crossbow fires bolts or *quarrels, which are basically small arrows. A Bolter in 40K is a 75. caliber automatic, rocket-propelled grenade launcher. How the former could be considered a ripoff of the latter... I'm sorry, no. Just no.

And powered armor is not exclusive to 40k either, **having originated in the Lensman series from 1937 and the appearing in tons of other Sci-fi series in all manner of shapes and sizes.

I'm sorry if I seem confrontational, but none of this is anywhere close enough for GW to claim copyright or trademark infringement.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarrel
** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_armor#In_fiction

Kahani:

Greg Tito:
We wanted Endless Space to stand out, to look different, to be beautiful, to take the players' imaginations someplace new. The same thing is definitely going on with the design and art in Endless Legend.

Endless Space is a great little game, and I'm definitely looking forward to Endless Legend, but let's be honest here. Endless Space is exactly as generic as every other space 4X game, and based on the images so far presented Endless Legend couldn't say "generic fantasy setting" any harder if it tried. A very pretty generic fantasy setting to be sure, but anyone who thinks it looks unique and new is seriously kidding themselves.

@Kahani: I would say that it's less generic then most fantasy games. especially with factions like the Cultists, Necrophage, and Broken Lords.
The Broken Lords I like especially because their armor isn't generic Medieval armor but indo-persian armor.
Necrophage aren't exactly new concept but it's an interesting one to use for fantasy since insectoid like races are mostly found in science fiction not fantasy.

 

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