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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsStellar Monarch 2 (feudal space empire, 4X)
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Author Topic: Stellar Monarch 2 (feudal space empire, 4X)  (Read 2048 times)
Chris Koźmik
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« on: December 10, 2020, 05:48:19 AM »

I'm working on a sequel of my older game (Stellar Monarch, 2016). It's my first sequel ever Smiley We will see how it goes.
Here is a forum topic of the predecessor: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=46247.0

It's a turn-based grand strategy where you play as an emperor of a feudal space empire. It's asymmetric (AI plays by different rules) and strictly single player (which saves me from tons of issues plus allows interesting mechanics).

The game is designed and coded just by me (with exception of a few tools, mostly regarding localization and integration with 3rd party services) with the help of several freelancers (mostly artists). It will be PC only.



Here is a first official post:
http://www.silverlemurgames.com/2020/12/10/im-making-a-sequel-to-stellar-monarch/

Game's website:
http://www.silverlemurgames.com/stellarmonarch2

Steam page:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1437750/Stellar_Monarch_2/
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 03:11:35 AM by Chris Koźmik » Logged

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Alain
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 10:56:09 PM »

Hey Chris! I think is really cool you are making a sequel. From the screenshot it appears that the visuals already look amazing. The predecessor looks nice, but you seem to have a more defined color palette and style now that I reallly dig!
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2020, 01:48:21 AM »

Hey Chris! I think is really cool you are making a sequel. From the screenshot it appears that the visuals already look amazing. The predecessor looks nice, but you seem to have a more defined color palette and style now that I reallly dig!
I assume you meant the portraits? And/or starmap? It all of it?

I worry/obssess over the interface (windows and buttons) Smiley What colours? Keep it brownisch? What shape of those elements? Etc :D
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 02:50:46 AM by Chris Koźmik » Logged

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Alain
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2020, 10:34:39 PM »

I meant especially the portraits and UI. In my opinion it is a good choice to have che characters look straight at the camera and from what I can see the art has improved. The brownish grey color of the UI provides a nice background for the colorful art and the the color coding (ministers, advisors, bureaucrats) is very clear.
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2020, 12:42:54 AM »

I meant especially the portraits and UI. In my opinion it is a good choice to have che characters look straight at the camera and from what I can see the art has improved. The brownish grey color of the UI provides a nice background for the colorful art and the the color coding (ministers, advisors, bureaucrats) is very clear.
I see. I was obsessing over the greyish vs brownish background :D So you say keep the brownish one? Anyway, thanks for the feedback, after looking so much at the gfx I lost my perspective totally and I was unsure what to think anymore Smiley
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Alain
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2020, 10:26:11 AM »

I see. I was obsessing over the greyish vs brownish background :D So you say keep the brownish one? Anyway, thanks for the feedback, after looking so much at the gfx I lost my perspective totally and I was unsure what to think anymore Smiley
I totally get what you mean. When working on my game, I also totally have the feeling I am way to deep in to see what is good and what is not. Actually, I was talking about the UI on the last picture you posted. The UI background looks brown greyish there and it fits nicely in my eyes. To be frankly, I think it would not matter too much if it was 100% grey or has a brownish touch. It is the contrast to the colorful portraits that I like and provides good readability.
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2020, 05:34:06 PM »

I'm working on a sequel of my older game (Stellar Monarch, 2016). It's my first sequel ever Smiley We will see how it goes.

Nice to hear that. Doesn't happen very often to Indie Games, that they can get a sequel. I hope I can say the same about my upcoming game Cheesy

Regarding the game itself. As a designer and game developer, I disagree with Alain, in regards to the visual appearance. For a futuristic space game, I think the UI design doesn't fit. But no worries I didn't comment to make you feel bad :D, I just want to give you some advice. In general, I would go for a turquoise, blue, or green color theme, which better fits for a futuristic space game.

Look at the search results of this site: https://www.freepik.com/search?dates=any&format=search&page=1&query=futuristic%20interface&sort=popular

Most results have a blue or green tone. By the way, you can learn a lot about how a nice looking futuristic UI can look like, by studying graphic resources pages like this one, or by simply doing a google search for it.

Apart from the color, there are two other, very important things that could improve your visual appearance dramatically. The first is using transparency, the second is using rounded corners, instead of straight ones. It really helps in putting your UI in the right theme. It is also a good idea to avoid using bold and bulky looking outlines and instead, try to go for thin lines and a generally more subtle design.

I did apply those rules in a game I did a while ago, you can find it here. Maybe it can give you some inspiration: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1323350/Corona_Simulator

Those are my two cents about your UI. Hope it helps and best of luck with your game!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 06:15:23 PM by Phodex Games » Logged

Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2020, 03:42:13 AM »

Most results have a blue or green tone.
Yeah, but... all the space games use bluish thingie. I mean, those all look the same. Plus I was aiming for a more steampunk-like feel, or Dune like, or feudal one. I mean, in the game there are no teleporters (except for nobles and those take like half a planet), no holovision, no clealiness of Star Trek. It's more like rusty, dirty, untidy feudal universe where old techs mix with high techs.

So, I thought brownish would convey this better... Still I wonder which side to join on the old-looking brownish dirty one vs modern bluish roundish UI war Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2020, 06:03:21 AM »

Yeah, but... all the space games use bluish thingie. I mean, those all look the same.

Yes, I understand that for you as a creative person that appears to be a bad thing, but actually people like conventions. If you use the theme and techniques I described, you instantly know that the game plays in a futuristic environment. It will attract people who like the setting. That's why I think it makes sense.

In the end, it of course is up to you, just my recommendation. I think this brownish color makes the game look old and outdated. You can still go for a more steampunk look of course, but then it would look like that: https://bit.ly/34dqFkZ
I think that's a bit too much. If you are trying to find a balance between steampunk and futuristic, that's going to be difficult as both styles are pretty much the opposite of each other.

I would recommend you to try out different color schemes and appearances and show them to people you want to be interested in your game and let them decide what they like better.

You could also take inspiration from the Stellaris UI: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DlEENtvX4AIHWBN.jpg

I think it looks cool and modern and maybe it even works if you use a brown color theme. Generally, from a UX designer perspective, you don't really want to break conventions, because it confuses people. However, from an artistic side, you can do whatever you want.

Again good luck with the game!

« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 06:09:17 AM by Phodex Games » Logged

Alain
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2020, 02:16:48 PM »

When I took a look at the picture you posted, Chris, I felt immediately drawn to it. Your portraits made me think of Dune 2, which is a great thing. In my opinion, you can allow yourself to walk off the beaten path. Despite having a Sci Fi setting, Dune 2 had a yellow brownish interface and many people love it for its looks. I'm not at all saying Phodex is wrong. The things Phodex says about current Sci Fi aesthetics are very true. But maybe there are different truths. You, Chris, seem to be very capable of defining your own style. If you want my vote: old-looking brownish dirty Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2020, 07:03:05 PM »

...Dune 2 had a yellow brownish interface and many people love it for its looks. I'm not at all saying Phodex is wrong. The things Phodex says about current Sci Fi aesthetics are very true. But maybe there are different truths.

Yes, you are right about that. Also, I don't know who his target audience is. If he is aiming at players who adore Dune than it might be just the right way to go in that direction.

I just wanted to give my input, from a mainstream design perspective, that I have learnt in design school because, in that regard, the points I mentioned do apply.

If you want to attract a broader strategy player audience, it may be a good idea to go for something more conventional, people can easier recognize and feel attracted to.

By the way, generally, the icons, portraits, etc look very good. Nothing wrong with that.

Also VERY important as mentioned before, ask the people you want to attract with the game, what they find best because that's all that matters in the end. For WHO are you making the game? And then go for what those people want.
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Alain
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2020, 11:22:43 PM »

I just wanted to give my input, from a mainstream design perspective, that I have learnt in design school because, in that regard, the points I mentioned do apply.

If you want to attract a broader strategy player audience, it may be a good idea to go for something more conventional, people can easier recognize and feel attracted to.

By the way, generally, the icons, portraits, etc look very good. Nothing wrong with that.

Also VERY important as mentioned before, ask the people you want to attract with the game, what they find best because that's all that matters in the end. For WHO are you making the game? And then go for what those people want.

Very true, I could not agree more!
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2020, 03:23:04 AM »

Thanks Alan and Phodex Games for all the input regarding interface & colours!

After considering all the things I think I will most likely stick to the browns...
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2021, 02:40:00 AM »

Started a Dev Diary if anyone is interested:

http://www.silverlemurgames.com/2021/02/19/stellar-monarch-2-dev-diary-1-colonies-core-worlds-and-megalopolises/
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2021, 03:23:24 AM »

Thanks for the update Chris. I am always quite hesitant to head over to other websites to read a devlog, although it is only one click away. But I didn't regret this click Wink
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2021, 08:43:49 AM »

And a second dev diary Smiley

https://www.reddit.com/r/4Xgaming/comments/n180du/stellar_monarch_2_dev_diary_2_the_creation_of_the/
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2021, 11:09:14 PM »

Demo (barebone but should give you the feeling of the game) available for the duration of the Steam Festival.

Check the small "Download Demo" button:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1437750/Stellar_Monarch_2/
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2021, 05:12:13 AM »

Dev Diary #3:

http://www.silverlemurgames.com/2021/09/30/stellar-monarch-2-dev-diary-3-ships-squadrons-fleets-and-the-imperial-high-command/
also on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/SilverLemurGames/comments/pyjemy/stellar_monarch_2_dev_diary_3_ships_squadrons/
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Chris Koźmik
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2021, 03:21:04 AM »

Early Access starts 6th December 2021 (in two weeks).
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2021, 08:31:26 AM »

Early Access starts 6th December 2021 (in two weeks).

Wow, that is very soon! Good luck for the launch!
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