Well, the kinds of games Zack and I are talking about fit into the real
time strategy genre. If you have ever played SoundRTS that's a simple
example of what we are talking about, but, of course,the mainstream
games of this type are far more advanced than SoundRTS. For example,
let's look at Galaxy Civilization.
In GC you start out by picking an alien race to rule. When the game
starts you will have a few farms, a factory, and I believe a simple
spaceship to explore the galaxy with. Basically, the very beginning of
space exploration. As you play the game you basically have to build more
factories, build research stations, build farms, create a fleet of
starships, perform upgrades, make first contact with alien races, and
settle colonies on alien worlds. Obviously your empire building will
bring you in to wars and trade alliances with different alien species
so you are really building a galactic empire up from the ground. You
are literally playing hundreds of years of galactic civilization in a
game form, and to do so it can take hours and even days some times to
complete one of these games.
I for one feel these games are really fun, because a game like that
takes you from the age of rocket ships to warp drive technology in a
matter of hours. As you play things like force fields, laser weapons,
warp drive, cloaking devices, etc are all researched and added in
stages. You might start out with one manned starfighters and eventually
be able to build super battleships capable of leveling entire planets
with super laser weapons. I do recall someone mentioning in the more
advanced games they were able to build world ships, planet sized
spaceships, with super laser cannons that remind any sci-fi fan of the
Death Star in Star Wars. Bottom line, these games are very cool for the
strategy and civilization type fan.
As mentioned above these games are played in real time with AI
commanding the various ships and stations under your command. You might
order a fleet of cruisers to enter a certain sector of space and the AI
handles the actual combat, and attack for you. In this respect you are
more like a general who plans when and where to attack the enemies, land
troops, whatever but each ship and station is commanded by an AI bot.
You don't take turns, draw cards, roll dice, anything like that. It is
all played in real time, and you have to pretty much tell the ships,
factories, research stations, whatever to do and they carry out your
orders as best as they can. Does that make sense?
Put another way you know in GMA Tank Commander when you order a tank to
enter the woods it just heads that way, and if it sees an enemy tank it
automatically attacks it. Well, these real time strategy games work like
that. You tell the ships where to go, what to do, and if an enemy is
arround the AI takes over and engages the enemy forces without you
needing to take direct control of the ships, stations, and planetary
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