Orion Sector now has a new section on Slitherine Strategies "Spartan" and "Gates of Troy", two relatively new TBS games set in ancient Greece. This includes an in-depth review of both games by myself and Wraith. A forum section will be coming soon. We've also decided to update the page width. As most gamers these days probably have a monitor capable of displaying greater than 800x600, we went to a width designed for 1024x768 or greater resolutions. Feel free to comment in the forums if you like or dislike the new look. RH
"Lancia" on the GalCiv2 forums recently had a lot to say about how he feels that recent copy protection schemes -- the first in some time to actually do their job, but at the cost of royally annoying just about every paid customer and doing nothing to actually prevent piracy -- are destroying the computer game industry. Do you agree or not? Have your say on our forums, or visit the original thread on GalCiv2.com.
The Orion Sector Review of Stardock's Galactic Civilizations 2 is up and ready for public consumption. Don't want to take my word for the game's quality? If so, I'm hurt that you don't trust me, but very soon we'll have other opinions on the game up too!
*Update*: NetAddict's portion of the review is in, and the OS review has been updated accordingly.
The OS staff is working on two more reviews at the moment, one for Galactic Civilizations 2 and one for Spartan and Gates of Troy. Hopefully those will be completed and released before too much longer. As always, if you know of any other good TBS games we don't cover yet, please feel free to let us know through the forums or contact page. RH
It seems we had a bit of a miscommunication and the interview on Space Empires 5 became an interview with Aaron Hall. Which actually appears to be a good thing, because he gave us some very informative answers that definately has whet my anticipation of the game significantly. I suspect they will do the same for you. Check out our newly enhanced SE5 section and the interview, and as always comments are welcome in our local Space Empires forum. RH
GalCiv II has gone gold, and will be released in stores February 21, and also available for download on TotalGaming.net on the same day.
It appears likely that in the near future the Space Empires V section will get a bit more information. We arranged an interview with the Beta Testers through Malfador, so hopefully that will go forward in the near future. RH
Something else we've had in the works for awhile, but now finally are able to unveil, is our new TBS Developer's Alliance. It is designed as a loose confederation of TBS game developers, including both professional companies and fan-projects of note. The rules of membership are fairly simple, and are covered in detail on the Developers Alliance Membership page. To find the latest news about any project in the alliance, check the Developer's Alliance News page frequently! RH
For those who've been coming here for awhile, you may notice that the site looks a little different. We've redesigned the look to use more modern standards and a cleaner font (Times New Roman just looks ugly on some browsers). We've also added some fancy new features to improve site navigation. With our redesigned "Featured Games" section we now have virtually unlimited room to expand and cover any TBS that we want. We've also got the RSS feed set up, if you want to pull the OS news feed for your "personalized google page" or whatever, just use www.orionsector.com/rss_OS.xml in your favorite RSS reader. And most importantly we've got the Developer's Alliance all set up and ready to accept new members. I'll leave the details on that for the next post. RH
The Orion Sector staff has begun work on a new RSS feed system for OS news. Hopefully in the near future we will have the ability for anybody who wishes to pull our news to display on their own pages.
We also hope to have a lot more news sometime soon. As it's still in the planning stages I'll have to wait on trying to give out any further details.
The staff of the Orion Sector is proud to announce we have added a couple more games to our repertoire here -- the Space Empires series games Space Empires IV, Space Empires V, and Space Empires: Starfury. Congratulations to Wraith for his excellent work on getting this section started for us and writing up a comprehensive review of SE IV. And more improvements are on the way. I hope to shortly expand the Starfury section with a small strategy guide to help those who find the game more difficult than it needs to be. The possibility also exists of a SE IV strategy guide -- if you think that would be useful, please let us know in our new Space Empires forum section We don't have much yet on SE V but we hope to expand that in the near future. RH
I quit Pardus about a month ago now, and have rarely regretted it in the least. While my initial impressions of it were quite high, as time wore on the fragile state of the alpha grew extremely annoying. It wasn't just the frequent changes. Those are understandable -- the game is an alpha after all. But the way they were implemented consistently stank, at least IMO.
Since my departure, news of what sounds to me like blatant developer hypocracy has moved me to remove their link from my frontpage. I have now posted my final thoughts on the matter in the forums, which you can find here. To be fair, I also invite any who disagree to post their opinions, but my final recommendation is short, simple, and to the point. Stay away if you aren't in yet, get out if you are.
The Orion Sector is proud to unveil our new Horizon section. It's small now but we hope to grow it over time as more stuff is released in advance of release.
If you like what you see about the game, chat about it in the forum. The more you guys post there, the more I know people are interested and the harder I will work to obtain extra info on the game and improve that section of the site.
And check back frequently -- the lead designer, Zaimat, has hinted we may be getting some new tidbits released soon!
The Orion Sector has finished our move to new servers. l3o has graciously offered to host us on their servers, and we have completed moving our files. At present, http://forum.orionsector.com will not get you to the forums. I'll see if we can get that changed in the near future. Use http://www.orionsector.com/forum/ instead.
There are a few missing posts on the forums, and a few users I deleted because they had never bothered to activate their accounts, but hopefully the vast majority of both current and historical posts were transfered over. If anything was lost you wanted to keep, repost or re-register as needed.
Thanks to all for your patience while we went through our changeover. The forums are now open again and you may resume yakking. :D
It's been a while since our last update, but for those who may be interested, Galactic Civilizations is approaching it's one year anniversary. Stardock has recently released the latest update on their website, and work is progressing on the Altarian Prophecy expansion.
There has even been talk of plans for GalCiv 2.
Details can be found at the GalCiv website.
Why the sudden interest you may ask? Well, I've recently started playing the game again, and enjoying it. Plus I'm working on a major mod, the first beta of which will soon be available. Check our GalCiv forum if you're interested.
Ron Lugge has volunteered to take over the section, so after a long hiatus the archive has been reopened to new submissions. If you have been writing a fanfic and have been interested in having a nice, well formatted version of your story posted on a website without the clutter typically found in a forum setting, this is the place for you. Please first (re-)read the posting rules, then email it to him at ronlugge [at] orionsector [dot] com and he'll try to get it posted as soon as his spare time allows.
( Please pardon this non-MOO3-related news posting by the former administration :-)
The very first AXIS milestone (with subsequent bug fixes) has been released! This represents over six months of work and many, many spare-time hours pushing pixels and being deeply immersed in an ever-growing heap of C++ code. This version is a tech demo, it's not a playable game, but it just goes to show what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. The focus here is to have everyone interested to get a feel for the demo and read the newest design docs to be able to give feedback and ideas for future development.
We have spent some time revamping and adding to the design docs. It is now in OpenOffice.org format and PDF. The new docs include a lot of new information as we start working towards AXIS v0.2. The old web-based design documentation has now been archived as we move to a better-maintained distributable format.
All of the above items can be found in the downloads section of the AXIS website
We'll be having a lot of discussion in the AXIS forum (hopefully) on new issues in the design. Feel free to join in. AXIS development is moving along very fast and we would like as many as possible to share in it!
The time of year when we have to decide whether to renew our server contract for another year is coming up. If you use the site (and especially the forums) but haven't noticed the discussion in our forums about this topic, please drop by and add your two cents. The thread can be found here.
Since there seems to have been some confusion in the thread, I will attempt to provide a clearer synopsis here. We don't have to renew our contract just yet, we've got a few months yet. But it's time to start thinking about it and deciding what to do.
Last year we didn't do very much for the contributors who helped us keep the site up (except, of course, for keeping the site up!). This year, for those who want it, we would like to do a little bit of something extra for those who help us out. Please submit your opinions of our ideas in the thread.
See this thread for the official announcement and mirror list. Or grab it from our local mirror here
Subscribers of Drengin.net are now able to play a Beta of the upcoming GalCiv: Expanded Universe. So far the reaction seems be be overwhelmingly positive, most of those who have it seem to love the new changes.
QSI Programming announced today that a final candidate of the 1.2.4 patch has been sent to Atari QA and the beta testers. If the beta patch was any indication, this means we could see it released within the next couple of weeks, if all goes well in QA.
A few more fixes have also been released, so check the Latest Patch Info thread for details.
The first unnofficial GalCiv strategy guide to be completed (that we are aware of) has been released. Version 1.0 can be downloaded (MS-Word doc) here. A PDF version is also available here, and an HTML version will follow soon.
Comments? Found an error? Please let us know here.
QSI Programming has announced some more details of the upcoming patch, along with the fact that they plan to send a final candidate to Atari QA, "no later than Friday, June 27."
As always, you can turn to our Latest Patch Info thread for details and commentary.
GalCiv 1.05 Stand-Alone now available.
The folks at stardock put a new manual into the download section at www.galciv.com.
For Stardock Central Users: This seems to be the old update we wrote about on 05.29.2003 you'll probably have it already.
Also the new version of the game via Stardock Central is 1.05.
A Stand-Alone patch to GalCiv 1.04 is now available for download at www.galciv.com. This allows players not willing to use Stardock Central to update to the latest version.
Ladies and Gentlemen (and small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri), the moment you've all been waiting for... drumroll please...
Master of Orion III version 1.2 (the 'code patch') is now available, both Windows and Mac versions! Download it here.
*Update: The Quicksilver servers have been swamped recently with people downloading the patch. If you're having trouble, the Windows version is now available on MOO3Mods.com, as well as by direct download from our site. Enjoy.
Stardock has just released its latest patch (version 1.04.60) for GalCiv, avaiable for download via Stardock Central.
For such an apparently incremental patch, there is quite a list of new features and enhancements. This thread on the offical Galactic Forum has a full list of the changes.
Chantz (Constantine Hantzopoulos, Atari's Senior Producer for MOO3) just announced on the official board that the code patch is done, and will be released sometime tomorrow (June 6th, 2003) Pacific Time.
The full thread can be found here, on the Atari MOO3 discussion board.
Stephen Roney, Senior Software Engineer for QSI (and the face behind 'QSI Programming') has started a discussion on the Atari MOO3 board about what we can expect from the patch, and after. This could shape up to be a very interesting topic to watch.
So far, Stephen has explained in more detail just what changes have been made to the AI to make it more challenging in the code patch, and a little of the work that still needs to be done. I think by now you know where to find the discussion of this, and all things patch-related, in our forum.
More as this story develops...
QSI announced today that they are expecting to receive the code patch executable 'any day now' from Atari QA. If the gaming gods are kind, that means we could see the long-awaited code patch as early as sometime this week.
As usual, you can find details, and a (somewhat rambling) discussion of the patch contents in the 'Latest patch info' thread in our MOO3: General & News forum.
Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has released a partial list of features and a rough timeline for the upcoming free expansion pack. It appears that a beta version of the expansion will be available sometime in June for subscribers to Drengin.net, with the public release coming later this summer.
Full details can be found in this thread on the offical GalCiv forum.
For those who care, today marks our official second anniversary! We've made it through two whole years and are now embarking on a perilous and uncharted third. Wish us luck.
GalCiv has been updated to 1.04.59. Improvements concern diplomacy and trade goods.
Also the first offical update of the manual is available now.
These files are still only available to users of StarDock central. Hopefully they will be available for general download shortly.
Tom Holsinger just posted in our forums that a second code patch is not the impossibility we once thought. How likely it is will likely depend on how much sales pick up after the first code patch.
The offical Galactic Civilizations update to 1.04 is available via Stardock Central.
Most new features improve the handling of the game. For a full list of features, bug fixes and tweaks go here.
Amazon has Master of Orion III listed for $20 USD with a $20 mail-in rebate offer. If you do the math, $20 - $20 = $0 = free game. So, if you want MOO3 for free, check out Amazon.com. Who knows how long it will last.
For all those who have heard good things about GalCiv but have been afraid to make the purchase, the official GalCiv 1.0 demo is now available for free download. It's a 50MB download that has cinema and some graphics removed for size. Highly recommended.
QSI Programming posted a complete and well organized list of changes in the upcoming MOO3 code patch earlier this evening. We have reposted this information in our forums for any who can't/don't visit ATMOO.
A huge thank you to KebZero for graciously providing the Orion Sector with some more screenshots. This batch contains several non-critical but highly desired features, including picking your player color, MP chat, and more. View the screenshots and tell us what you think in our forums.
A Beta of 1.04 is already available for subscribers of drengin.net (an online offer by stardock containing GalCiv and other games).
The other players will have to wait for the official patch which will be available soon. GalCiv 1.04 will be the last patch before the free Expansion pack as Brad Wardell alias Frogboy explains in the official Forum:
"There will be a stand alone 1.04 also. Think of the Expansion pack as GalCiv 1.1. So we're going to do 1.04 and then we'll start putting full effort towards the expansion pack. So there won't be a 1.05, 1.06 and such, it'll jump to 1.1. Then after the expansion there will probably be a 1.11, 1.12, and so forth.
There will be another beta of GalCiv 1.04 and then if that gets the clean bill of health it'll show up for the general public."
The current public version of Stardocks recent GalCiv is 1.03. You may either download a "classic" patch to 1.03 from www.galciv.com or via Stardock Central (an updating tool with other features like chat, etc.) also provided on this site.
Well, we don't have a release date on the first code patch yet, but it hit 'code lock' last Friday (May 16th), so it should be out (with luck) as early as the end of this month.
In the meantime, this thread on the official Atari MOO III discussion board contains some new screenshots from the patch, generously provided by Kebzero.
For details and discussion of the many items slated for this patch, check out the 'Latest patch info' thread in our own MOO3: General & News forum.
Earlier today, the Orion Sector recieved confirmation from a beta tester that the nefarious PD bug in MOO3 appears to have been fixed. Is this an important bug fix for you? Have your say in our forums in this thread.
The new management of the Orion Sector would like to improve on and expand our GalCiv section. In order to do this properly, we are seeking some help. Please go here for the details or to post suggestions and ideas.
As you may have noticed, things around here are getting slow. Leiavoia, who started this site, is making a gracefull exit from the Orion Sector project to pursue other things,but will retain control as a shady figure in the background. The run of the mill, however, will now be run be Klemeroni with Robert Huntingdon and his band of merry men. If you would like to help push this site in a new direction, please give the new staff some suggestions or even volunteer to help. We would collectively like to expand the Orion Sector to include other games such as SEIV, Homeworld 2, FreeOrion, and GalCiv which we kinda/sorta already have. Comments, suggestions, and volunteers are welcome here.
The official data patch has been released today. From Quicksilver:
"The Data Patch is [here] Do not expect miracles. There is nothing here that couldn't have conceivably be fixed by a mod (although several items would have been unlikely)."
Keep in mind that this is just a data patch. A full code patch will follow, but not necessarily soon.
The OS Forum reached 10,000 posts early this morning! Congrats to tacpprm, whose simple "yes." put us over the mark.
The May issue of Computer Gaming World (shipping to subscribers now) contains a two page review of MOO3. The final verdict? They gave it 3/5 stars. "This almost brilliant game demands too much and provides too little to win the hearts or minds of any but the most patient gamer."
The brand spankin' new website for the Free Orion project is now up. You can read over the project and get the version 0.1 specs as well.
Galactic Civilizations is now for sale. If you can't find it on the shelf at a local retailer, you can download it directly from Stardock.
We've been kicking GalCiv around for about two weeks now, and after wading through Drengin starbases and Terror Stars we've scraped up some opinions on it. Weighing in at a pretty impressive 55kb of text and written up by three different reviewers, we think our GalCiv review covers all the bases and we also think you'll like the game. We even threw in over 20 hi-res screenshots. Discussion on the game and the review can be found here.
There is a movement gathering momentum to create an open source version of Master of Orion. There is already an active board and a website in the pipe. If you are interested in game design or would like to help out or make suggestions, your input is welcome.
Galactic Civilizations is scheduled for release wednesday, but if you are eager or just curious to see what this game is all about, you can check out the latest in a string of game play examples. It shows you don't have to be a warmonger to win GalCiv
You can read what all is going into the first MOO3 patch here. Highlights include saving and loading dev plans and getting the planet names to not disappear when you zoom out a bit.
The Orion Sector has now added the Galactic Civilization section. It contains screenshots and links to a wealth of information about the game. It's all very good reading. Enjoy.
A variety of things to report:
First, The Orion Sector is advancing from "large fan site" to "small gaming site", taking our focus up a level to space/strategy/gaming instead of strictly Master of Orion III. As such, we haved shuffled the directory structure so you may notice a few broken links here or there. The navigation system has been replaced by something that is not quite as cool, but much simpler, expandable, and modular in design. It makes maintenance much easier and faster.
You may notice a "GalCiv" label on the nav bar as well. We are starting a whole Galactic Civilizations section, hopefully headed up DeadDireWolf. He would post some content, but alas, he is deeply immersed in his review copy :-)
Did we mention review copies? Yes! We are doing a GalCiv review much like our previous MOO3 review from the 3-point perspective. Look for it on or around March 23rd. GalCiv is scheduled for official release March 26th.Initial impresions are very positive. That's all we're really allowed to say!
Lastly, we've removed the Mods section in favor of just linking to the new and promising moo3mods.com site. That, and leiavoia accidently deleted the entire directory when adding the new navigation. Oops..
Over the weekend the Mod Box was filled with about a dozen or so new or updated mods. I've posted eight of them, but still have more emails to sift through. One, in particular, I'd like to test before I put online. There's some bad news, though.
Thanks to the prolific modders out there, I can no longer test each one that comes in. I will, however, post most of those submitted and try to test each of the graphical mods in order to get good screenshots.
Also, for the ease of the non-technical folks' use of the mods, some uniformity in the mod submissions is needed.
Faced with even more expansion or a slow death, we are wondering if the Orion Sector should cover other games besides Master of Orion III, in particular, Galactic Civilizations. We've started a poll and a discussion here, so please drop by and plunk down your thoughts.
Gamespy's new interview with Rantz and Cory of the MOO3 design team talks about what went right and what went wrong on the project over the last 3 years. I wee little bit is mentioned about patches but no release dates.
The Mod section is growing! In just a little over a week since the game was released, we've added almost a dozen mods to the Orion Sector. You can thank both the ease with which MoO3 can be modded and the talent of the individuals out there putting time in to enhance your gameplay experience. The latest mods include:
I've tried several of them, but not all. Remember, too, that these mods don't overwrite your original files, and are easily removed, if you just wanted to try them out. Enjoy! -GP
A number of different sites have posted reviews in the last few days, check them out! Gamespot, Stratos Group, and Quarter to Three (Warning! Harvester picture on the first page for those who don't want to see them yet!)
GameSpy posted their review of MOO3 today. They had lots of good, and also lots of bad things to say about the game. In the end, "There are things to like about this new version, especially as a multiplayer game, but in the end there are too many issues, big and small, for it to reach the nearly unreachable standard set by its predecessors."
Not only is MOO3 officially released today, there's so much going on! For starters, we've done some slight rearranging here at the Orion Sector. You will notice that the FAQ and MOO3 Data sections are missing from the navigation. They have been moved into the Miscellanea->Old Stuff section. We are also starting several brand new sections including, but not limited to:
And coming soon, we have a section for fan-submitted articles with our first topic probably being Reviews.
There are two important threads opened on the forums: If you have just purchased MOO3, take a moment to post in the "I Got MOO3!" thread. If you've already played it, you can give your 2 cents in the First Impressions thread.
And to top it all off, Chaos Avatar has posted a 5-part tutorial series for new players.
In the official press release, Infogrames has stated that Master of Orion III is slated for release Tuesday, February 25th. If you are wondering why IG has waited so long from gold to street, it's because MOO3 is being released globally tomorrow! It would appear that there will be no delay for non-US residents (unless you intend to play on a Mac, of course). If you've nabbed the game already, please let everyone know.
You saw the winners, now see the other 70 finalists as well as 15 more we threw in for fun. We'll be releasing the official download shortly, as soon as the installation instructions get finished. Discussion can be found here.
Avault's turn for a review. Avault gives MOO3 3/5 stars - a mixed bag, citing lukewarm graphics & sound, and difficult to comprehend AI actions. Review contains light spoilers for those who are concerned about that. [also - the review contains some factual errors regarding planetary AI and a few other aspects, so take it with a grain of salt]
About as bad as they get, Tom Chick's review of MOO3 has absolutely nothing good to say about the game. Long story short (in his opinion): bad AI, boring game, no feedback, empire runs itself.
You can find out if he's right or not in just a few days.
Here they are, the Finalists:
The winners have already been sent emails. If you didn't win, you may still be in the 70 or so runner-ups. The powers that be are still sorting through the top 100 flags making any changes on technical grounds (if it won't look good in the game, we can't use it no matter how cool it looks). We will be posting the runner-ups either later today or into the weekend, depending on how long it takes, so please stay tuned.
After we have all the flags collected, we will be asking winners if they wish to have their flags auto-converted into the 20px format or if they wish to hand-edit their own flags.
It should also be noted that the #1 winner (the Rantz thumb), belongs to James Lowe (aka Grand Potato), but was gracious enough to give up his prize since he is also a beta tester. So whoever authored the last flag up there better send him a very nice thank you note!
DeadDireWolf's comments have now been added to the Orion Sector's Master of Orion III Review (he had pneumonia). That makes our triple-review complete. Weighing in at 50 kilobytes of raw text without all the bla bla other reviews have added, its about as thurough a review as you are going to get.
If you just can't get enough of the AARs and reviews, you might want to check out James Lowe's (Grand Potato) blog page where he has been talking about his recent game(s).
A few days behind the others, but it's a good one and we hope you'll agree. Our site's official review is now up. It's a good size, so go get something to eat or drink, then come back. After you're done, let us know what you think
The recent IGN Review has been opened and is publicly available now. It's a pretty extensive 6 page beast. Bottom line: "sky-high replay value" and a great game once you're past the learning curve. Overall score: 9.2/10.0
UGO has posted their MOO3 review with mostly praise and a final rating of an A-. Also includes a bonus interview with Quicksilver President, Bill Fisher.
We are no longer taking submissions for the custom player flag contest. You may be interested to know that we had 331 artists registered and a total of 760 flags submitted that followed the format rules. Judging will begin sometime tomorrow, and we'll let you know who won near the end of the week. Good luck.
Confirmed: Master of Orion III will run in Linux! Leiavoia has tested MOO3 installed via windows and accessed using WineX. Everything appears to work flawlessly and with zero configuration. The test was made on a Mandrake 8.2 system with an Enlightenment window manager. There is a base Wine RPM installation, and a WineX 2.2.1-1 RPM installed. MOO3 runs off the default Windows installation directory on a Windows98 FAT32 partition. Further tests need to be made in order to determine if MOO3 can be installed on a native Linux partition without Windows and also to see if it will run on the desktop in a windowed mode.
Leiavoia has posted a MOO3 walkthrough called "A Typical Game". It's not quite an AAR like the beta testers have posted, it's more like the diary of a game, as it is being played. Contains screenshots and gives a good feel for the game. Consider this a mini-review, while the real Orion Sector review should be posted Monday-ish.
In a slight oversight, we realize that some of the judges are not going to be at their desks until monday morning and who wants to be looking at 700 flags one-by-one on your precious weekend time anyway? So, we are pushing back the deadline to Sunday the 16th. Lucky you.
The flag contest ends tonight. We've received somewhere in the ballpark of about ~530 flags so far and we feel we've got some good selection to pick winners from, and certainly to collect our 70 inclusion flags.
If you want to improve your chances of winning or atleast getting included, here are a few last minute tips:
Feel free to touch up your images while you have a few moments left. We'll be closing up late Friday night PST or even early morning Saturday depending on how the judges feel.
The final installment of Apolyton's MOO3 Preview has been posted. Without going into detail and trying to be very vague about it, it covers everything the other 5 parts did not.
Penny Arcade has been playing MOO3 for the last week or so, and have given a short review-so-far. The lowdown: great game if you can hike the learning curve.
We are now about to break the 300 barrier in flag count. That's pretty good, but more would be better. The quality of the submissions has also gotten much better as tutorials have circulated on the various bulletin boards and image creating advice has spread. The contest deadline is Friday the 14th, so if you haven't submitted anything, you still have plenty of time. Let's shoot for 500 submissions.
RobHunt is heading up a new fan fiction section here at the Orion Sector. If you are interested in submitting your own works or would just like a good read, please stop by. This section should be updated regularly so check in often.
Rantz actually took the time to put one together himself (getting bored perhaps?) So for those of you who "don't get it" or who would like a step-by-step for designing your own flags, check out the official flag guide from Quicksilver.
In addition, there has been a samples thread started on the board which shows a few examples of some actual flags we've received put through a simulated MOO3 grinder.
We've received about ~100 flags so far that meet the requirements. We're hoping for a gajillion more, so keep 'em coming. We've noticed some trends however, and would like to reiterate a few rules:
Yeah, you know the drill: Part 5 is up now.
We're now hosting an official contest for custom player flags, with prizes! Our favorite 5 flags will get free copies of Master of Orion III, possibly before it even hits the shelves. Runner-ups can get into a downloadable flag pack or even an official patch. First read the rules, and after you've got some worthy candidates, go to our registration and submissions page. The contest ends Friday the 14th, so you've got the whole weekend. Have fun!
Last week we had a thread on the discussion board asking for fan questions you might want answered by the beta testers. We rounded up a dozen or so of the interesting ones and got some feedback from the beta testers on them. This should make an interesting read while you wait for Master Of Orion III.
Two new pages have been added: an "about us" page where we explain who we are and where we came from, and a donations page which should explain the How and Why of making contributions to our site. Since we have moved to our newest home at DarkSky, donations will be a large part of our funding and we depend on other fans to keep this site by fans, for fans, and commercial-free.
As you've already figured out, Apolyton has posted Part 4 of it's 6 part preview, this part on diplomacy and a bit on random events.
Apple.com gives a short and sweet Review of MOO3 so far. It's very clean cut without too much in the way of extras. It comes with a Reader's Digest version of the backstory and a rundown on all the races.
Grand Potato James has finally finished his flag-hacking guide for creating and inserting your own custom player flag images into Master of Orion III. So if you are going to be waiting for a while for MOO3 to be released, start designing your own flags now and we'll probably have a flag maker's contest shortly.
Yes, we have moved again to a new host. We are now most graciously hosted by DarkSky Web Solutions with special thanks to Rob MacKay. What does this mean? Well, bandwidth should not be a problem unless this site goes into orbit, so our forum, OSMoo, is now back online, and we have plans to set up a chat or two as well. OSMoo should be just like you left it.
Master of Orion 3 has gone GOLD! Check out the main site for a cool pic and here for more info! Rantz posted a little bit about the release date over at Apolyton.
Apolyton's Preview Part 3 is up with a rundown on the User Interface. Highlights include an audio clip from the intro movie, nearly 3 minutes long!
We've been exploring our options as to our bandwidth issue. The good news is that we've found a very good solution which would provide the bandwidth we need as well a reduction in expense to acquire it. OSMoo, as well as many other site expansions, could be back up in as little as a week, but no guarantees. Details are forthcoming...
We've also been exploring certain aspects of donations. What we've settled on is a donation system with certain "Orion Rewards" for contributers. Exactly what we plan to reward contributers with is still in the works, but we look forward to getting your own personal ideas as soon as the board is back up.
First of all, OSMoo is now officially down. The good news is (if good fortune strikes) it will be back up in as little as a week. However, we are still considering options and reprioritizing some things.
Second, Infogrames Germany and many retailers are pushing release dates for Master of Orion III back to late February. There is still no official release date and won't be until the game goes gold (rumors indicate a few weeks from now). So, it would appear that late January is probably shot.
And last, The Orion Sector is not privy to advanced beta copies of MOO3 and we are not doing a review/preview, so stop holding your breath.
The unthinkable has happened: we've run out of bandwidth for you all. Long story short: we can't afford a large bulletin board or other bandwidth hogging features without some help. We need to get The Orion Sector a dedicated server to offer that kind of thing, and dedicated servers are not cheap. We've slurped up a month's worth of traffic in less than a week with OSMoo up and running, and we'll max out our host privider's bandwidth allotment in a mattter of days if we keep it up. So, we've reluctantly decided to suspend the forum until further notice. We've typed up a comprehensive article detailing our situation, what we have to offer you, and what you might have to offer us. After you read the article, go and vote in the SOS Poll. Your honest opinion would be valued.
Thanks for already making this the best Master of Orion III site online!
Apolyton's Review/Preview Part 2 is up. Looks like one of the most solid reviews around, this part dealing with race picks and all the customization goodies you get to tinker with before starting your game. Lots to read. Part 3 will be up next Thursday.
The OSMoo Discussion Board just opened 24 hours ago and already there are over 100 users! And nobody even posted a hint on IGMoo. Just thought you would like to know.
Tired of people whining about release dates? Wish there were some place not so loud as the Infogrames Forum to yack about MOO?
We are happy to announce the grand opening of the Orion Sector's Bulletin Board, affectionately dubbed "OSMoo".There is also a link in the "community" button up top.
Before you join the board or post anything, please read the rules and guidelines first. We allow a bit more freedom with regards to avatars, sigs, and custom tag lines, but we also run a tight ship. There are moderators on our board who enjoy "creatively editing" posts rather than banning trouble-makers, so please respect them and they will respect you.
With that said, please enjoy the forums!
Apolyton rolled out it's first of a 6 part preview. You'll find plenty of info on the races, mostly from a background point of view.
Wargamer reviews Master of Orion III. This review reads more like an overview, and is big on facts, small on judgement. In fact, there is no "bottom line", but it does a thorough job of explaining all the game's elements.
If you are reading this, it means that our domain name successfully transfered to our new host. We now have quite a bit of new space and bandwidth at a fraction of the price. We have also posted a rough draft of the new multiplayer suite (without the tournament yet) and are working on a new bulletin board which should open in a few days. If you find any strange bugs or broken links that occured during the move, please contact us
It's not technically "out" yet, but you can read GameSpy's latest review of the "98% complete build". The low-down:
"Master of Orion 3 looks ready for primetime. The build we tested is nearly final code, with just a few tweaks to the multiplayer side of things remaining before launch. This is a deeper game than any of the previous versions, but it also has the potential to be much more satisfying, which is saying a lot considering the classic status of the series."
And here's the State of the MOO [excerpt]:
"Our internal testers are leaving for QSI again for the final regression push.
External beta testers will be getting a new build sometime mid next week.
The good folks at Aployton will be posting an in-depth hands on preview sometime next week, so look for it.
...We've also ramped up the internal tester effort (added more) to cut down on regression turn around time, (which is down to about a week now)."
This is just to update everyone on the fact that there aren't any updates, nor will there be for the next two weeks. The Quicksilver office is moving to a new building, so official site access may be sparse for a few days, then to resume with the normal sparseness.
GameSpot got a hold of a nearly complete Master of Orion III build and gave it a nice review. The things said were mostly positive. In summary: graphics were lacking, but the gameplay is great. Should be a very deep strategy game and will easily please even hard-core MOO fans.
We were saving it for release day, but since it looks like that isn't going to be for a while, we thought we'd put up the new site design now. Comments? Bug reports? Please contact us and let us know.
Well, Constantine updated the boards again this Friday with more of what we already know: the game has not gone gold. It does not have a release date set. They are still persuing bugs.
What follows is speculation and not official: Most of the game sites and retailers have pushed back the release date in their databases to about mid January. Some even as far as February! Of course, their release dates offer some nice padding over the real release date (when it is made available, which it isn't), so they don't give a very good projection. However, you can probably expect to be playing something other than MOO3 over Christmas :-(
PS - For those that feel frustration or anger, please express it elsewhere than on the official Infogrames board. They have enough already, and more does not get the game out any faster.
When you play multiplayer games against others through The Orion Sector, you get a chance to record your scores as a permenant record of your skill (or lack thereof). Which statistics would you like to record and keep track of? Take our multiplayer statistics poll and let us know.
Grand Potato was kind enough to post a few juicy new screenshots of his first victory among other things.
Constantine has no comment on the release date (though all but says it will be a few weeks late as previously mentioned). However, he is permiting some of the beta testers to give their thoughts on the game. Keep an eye on the thread over the next few weeks. It may be the only news you get.
While there is no official information on the subject of release dates, there are many reports from gaming websites, retailers, and online shops that suggest MOO3 will not be released on the 4th of December. Most of these sources indicate a December 17 / 18 release date. The developers have refused to comment unless they have a "gone gold" announcement, so don't expect any news releases tomorrow. Best you find something else to do for a few weeks.
As the title suggests, GameSpot interviewed Constantine, and while the general tone is positive, it also indicated that yet another release date slip is likely to happen. This is mostly due to "multiplayer crash bugs" and both Quicksilver and Infogrames want multiplayer to work right out of the box, not after a patch.
The rumors are true: The Official Master of Orion III Strategy Guide has been released early and is showing up in stores now. Initial reports indicate there are NO Harvester pictures. However, there are lots of other things to absorb about them and the rest of the game as well.
The design team politely asks that any Harvester info be kept to yourself if you should come across it. Revealing posts to the official forum will result in an immediate ban.
An excerpt from the "race bible" was released today, featuring the Saurian species.
Constantine updated the MOO3 community again. Things are going well. There are a few multiplayer bugs still left to polish off and some issues with "late saved games" that need attention. That doesn't mean the new release date will slip again, however, and will probably hold for now.
MOO3 release has been bumped (again) to December 4th. Constantine says the game will probably go gold by this friday and that the beta testers are pretty confident the game can ship as is. There are only a few multiplayer bugs to iron out, most of which already have been, but need a bit of testing to make sure. You can read constantine's announcement on the official boards.
Not the announcement you were looking for, we're sure, but part 1 of the "new" backstory was posted here as well as the Official Site's buy page being updated.
Constantine speaks out on the official forum about the box art:
The one on the right is the final box art [this one]. I would *also* have preferred blue, but it *does* stand out on the shelf. Also, i have an influence on the box, but not in *that* kind of way, for me, it's what is IN the box that counts. Like -
- MOO3 2CD set
Retooling that stuff costs major cash. I sunk that cash into the *game*, where it is better spent.
And actually, I don't think it's that bad. And yes, it does fold out...into a very nice....BLUE!
Never judge a book by it's cover, eh?"
GameSpy had a chance to preview the almost-complete Master of Orion III, and were very positive. Matt Chandronait (reviewer), writes:
"MOOIII certainly has a legacy to live up to, but from what I saw it will have no trouble satisfying or even surpassing expectations."
We are posting an article on our plans for the future of this site. It's quite ambitious, but we're on track so far. The Orion Sector will be a very different place after Master of Orion III is released, but will be much more active and involved. Please take a look and give us your thoughts on it.
If anyone ever wanted MP3's of the music from MOO2 (that's 2, not 3), we've got a great link for you:
Now you can stop asking about it!
Rantz made a small comment on the official board that the MOO3 box art is being redesigned... again.
"we have no idea what the box looks like, supposedly, it's going through another redesign, but what the end result is, your guess is as good as ours at this point." - Rantz Hosely
Go download the latest MOO3 MP3 sample: some nice war music by Brian Williams
Congratulations "Vorinoch"! You are the 300th member to join the White Pages for Master of Orion III. That's 300, and the game is still a month away from release. Joining the White Pages is free, so take a look around that and the other multiplayer features you'll find under the MULTIPLAYER tab on the navigation bar.
The official Infogrames MOO3 board is closed until late Thursday (with some luck) for hardware upgrades, so don't feel it's just you who can't get through. Hopefully, this will let more people on the boards at once instead of getting a "Server Busy" error.
Homelan interviews Bill Fisher, QSI President, on wrapping up Master of Orion III. Not a lot of new information here, but we know you'll read it anyway, huh? Bill comments that the beta testers have been very pleased and the game is now very solid. MOO3 should go gold in about a week or so.
A new Dev Diary has been posted on GameSpy. Go check it out!
[EDIT] GameSpy has taken down the page because it was not intended for release until Sunday, October 27th, and was never officially released in the first place, simply stumbled upon by a lucky MOO fan (thank you lucky MOO fan!). Look for it again on Sunday.
Apolyton posted another 19 new screenshots, all worth a good look. Apolyton also points out that Rantz says we're about 2 weeks out from going gold on MOO3.
Apolyton released an informative interview with Constantine Hantzopoulos today, detailing some history and focus in the MOO3 project over the last several years. Constantine also gave our nice little site a plug! As a side note, he also mentioned that beta testers have already figured out how to hack the leader names and empire flag pictures. Nice going guys.
Screenshots were also released today from Apolyton. 16 for now, with more on the way soon. Lots of interesting new never-before-seen items here. Certainly worth a look.
The official site released a few new Foreign Office screenshots including more [borderline evil] jests by Rantz Hosely. Also on the IG boards, you'll find another progress update and manual excerpt from Constantine.
Many people have asked if MOO3 will work with their newer versions of Windows including XP and 2000. The Official Infogrames page for MOO3 now lists XP on their list of supported OS's. That also implies that Windows2000 should work as well. Visit the Infogrames page for more details.
For the curious, Constantine posted two excerpts from the Master of Orion III manual, which is on it's way to final editing as we speak. He also tells us it's about 250 pages (illustrated) !
Check the official site for four new screenshots. Of special interest is the Foreign Relations Matrix and a (very small) pic of the New Orions.
A new bit of music from the game: "Bad Hair Day" (speculation: probably the Evon diplomacy background music). Get it from the official site.
25 bright, shiny new beta testers were selected from the contest entries. Their names can be found at Apolyton or the official forum at Infogrames. If you haven't received a personal email already, you did not win a spot, but you might want to know who did. And if you didn't get a spot, don't cry too much...
"Beta testing is hard work" - Rantz
The Beta Test Contest has ended at Apolyton. There were over 1600 entries by Friday at noon. 25 winners will be selected and announced on September 25th. Stay tuned.
The moment you've all been waiting for... Submissions for the official MOO3 External Beta-Test are now being taken at Apolyton. Beware: you must be over 18, live in N. America, and be able to match races to their pictures (and no, we won't help you cheat). There will be 25 winners chosen at random from among the qualified entries. The contest closes Friday at noon Pacific Time, so hurry on over and submit your entry.
Constantine speaks out on the Infogrames board about release dates, beta tests, and interviews. The Avault interview he was not too happy about... However the following is BIG NEWS: The official tentative release date for Master of Orion III is November 26th! That may slip a week or two, however. MOO3 is just about to hit "feature lock" and no new code is going to be entered, just beta testing. Beta testers will be chosen in a contest "on a website" (un-named) with a total of 25 people in it. Expect an interview and a suite of new screenshots at Apolyton next week.
An interview with Constantine Hantzopoulos by Avault confirms our suspicions: MOO3 is not coming out in Quarter 3. Rather, it should be in your hands "by the Holidays" (late November according to the Infogrames website). The interview also includes some updates screenshots.
Rantz Hosely gave a project status report yesturday. Basically, things are going well, Quicksilver is still alive, and they are on the "home stretch" with extensive bug testing and play-balancing. Read it here.
Since there isn't much else to say in the MOO3 news vacuum, we thought we'd mention that MacGamer posted a strangely positive, though short, review of MOO3 in it's current state. They seem to be very optimistic about it's ability to keep your attention. All this in a kind of rebuttle to Gamers.com's article a few days ago that really trashed on MOO3, saying it was rather bland and left them "unenthused".
There is a full 60-second Gamespot MOO3 video of the User Interface and combat floating around. Put your MOO3 fears and doubts aside and download this one, if you do nothing else today. MOO3 is starting to look pretty darn cool again. You can find a download at James' very nice "Orion Shadows" MOO3 audio/video download archive.
Rantz posted a brief update on the current state of the project on the official forum. You can read it here: State of the Moo-ion.
Some may have noticed that EB Games has relisted it's release date for MOO3 as 1/1/2003. Quicksilver Software is denying a postponed release date at this time.
You may also note that EB Games has player reviews and ratings for a game that isn't even released yet. AND they're still hocking IFPs on the preview page...
So we will say it again: "It ain't official 'till Quicksilver says so!"
For those who have been wondering what MOO3 will sound like, you can get a minute and a half taste of Brian Williams' music from the official site.
GameSpy has a new preview posted. It includes screenshots of the new user interface, an Elerian render, and a clip from the intro movie!
The Multiplayer White Pages just passed it's 200th member. Keep 'em coming!
The offical Cut List was finally posted today. Most of it has been seen before, and that which hasn't is not too earth-shattering. Here it is in all its glory.
The official Quicksilver MOO3 site released a new diplomacy animation of the Klackons today.
The FAQ has been reincarnated (or atleast updated). It can also be downloaded now. You'll find it in the usual place.
Apolyton.com get some exclusive new screenshots of the revamped MOO3 User Interface.
Artwork from the rest of the art crew has been posted on the official MOO3 site.
Gamespot posted a medium-sized review/interview with Constantine @ Infogrames about MOO3's current progress. You'll also be happy to know it includes a suite of (official) combat screenshots!
Cory Nelson @ Quicksilver released this statement about the Alpha version [the "KangaMoO"] that has made it's way to the public.
Master of Orion III's Lead Designer, Alan Emrich, has officially "untied" his relationship with Quicksilver Software Inc today. He has resigned as a payed designer but may stick around for further input on the MOO3 project if needed. Alan is now moving on to greener post-MOO pastures. Thank you Alan for your hard work and dedication on the project and for sharing it with the fans!
The FAQ will be down temporarily (as much as several weeks) to be overhauled in light of recent changes. Expect a complete re-write. While some wanted to completely ditch the FAQ in it's entirety, many newcomers would have nowhere to go. So it's simply being majorly updated.
Cory Nelson @ QSI posts the announced changes thus far for Master of Orion 3. you can read the list here or the original Delphi post and subsequent replies here.
Alan Emrich, who of recent has been banned from the forums for saying some things he probably ought not to, has posted a very reassuring note on the MOO3 developement from a high-level perspective. Everyone should definitely take a look.
There has been a lot of talk about MOO3's "overhaul" in the last few days. If you just dropped in and don't know what's going on, we suggest you read this overview of the current situation. It's not as gloomy as you might think.
Bill Fisher, Executive Producer - Quicksilver, give a brief State of the Game address concerning the development of Master of Orion 3. Read the post at the Official MOO3 forum.
Constantine Hantzopoulos, Senoir Producer @ Infogrames, announced today that the release date for Master of Orion 3 would be moved back to 3rd quarter 2002. You can read the official statement here.
Quicksilver released some 3d art of the Tachidi race. Check them out here at the Orion Sector or visit the official Master of Orion webpage to get a look.
Rantz Hosely leaked an encouraging bit of news today. Due to fan complaints and several polls and surveys, both official and unofficial, the MOO3 boxart is being redesigned. To what exactly we don't know yet, but at least we can say goodbye to the ol' bit of rusted metal we've all grown to know and love [or hate].
We've made a few small website-specific changes lately. The first is regarding the FAQ: As of today, we will no longer be accepting new FAQ questions (since most of them aren't new at all). We've also un-databased the FAQ so it should load a tiny bit faster for some folks. We have frozen the MOO2 Ship and Race Design archives because we no longer wish to maintain them. They are still up for viewing, but we are not accepting new submissions. If anyone is interested in adopting them for another website, please let us know since we would be happy to shed them and save some bandwidth.
And MadHiro is our new (virtual) champion! The tournament sim was played to its conclusion and MadHiro came out the winner by a head (Lincoln's head to be exact, but the coin flip race was tight I tell ya!) The purpose of all this was to work out script bugs (in the old MP code) and we did. Now If only we could actually play MOO3...
Round two of the tournament sim has been "played" and the three finalists of the three games in Round 2 are: Xentax, DnKr, and MadHiro. See who wins the tournament (to be determined completely by coin flips) next week some time.
Too many people bugged Rantz apparently so he divulged this new screenshot. Thanks Rantz.
The first level of play has been finished in our internal Tournament Simulation. To see who made the cut and got promoted to Level 2, check out the current tournament status page (under the multiplayer button). Again, winners and scores were semi-randomly chosen on a whim and represent little more than blind chance.
The Quicksilver's own Four Horsemen - Bill Fisher, Cory Nelson, Alan Emrich and Rantz Hoseley - discuss Master of Orion III. For the story of how the development team was gathered to a new screenshot of the Eoladi race, read the interview at Gamespy.
Krikkitone gives a short state of the game address after he had a chance to see the current build and take it for a test drive. Read his impression here.
The unofficial internal tournament simulation is now underway. Everyone in the white pages been registered for the tournament and we will be scheduling games between y'all and entering fake scores to go with them. You can keep an eye on how it goes by exploring some of the new pages under the "Multiplayer" tab to the left. This should give you a general idea of how a real tournament would go. You will see games being scheduled on the calendar and concluded throughout the week (read: like when i have time). We'll be bringing you progress updates when they happen.
An interesting pic was released today from Quicksilver showing 14/16 races that we know of standing next to eachother in a height-line for comparison. You might be very surprised at who the biggest and smallest races are! It's also our first look at the Eoladi.
Alan Emrich gives a project update on the forum. Things are starting to tighten up and basic internal playtesting is changing some previous opinions on certain game aspects. Read the post to learn about what's changing with Factions and how the strings on IFPs are being loosened.
2.9.2002 - Cynoid Movie
The official MOO3 Quicksilver site has posted a new quicktime movie of the Cynoid diplomacy. It's only second or two long, but still interesting to see.
2.3.2002 - New Interview @ Gamespot
Gamespot had a small chat with a few of the Quicksilver staff recently. Again, not a lot of new info, but if you are still desperate you can find it here.
Can you guess what it is? (Note: if you are offended by hairy-chested aliens, please don't follow the link)
Well, after a bit of downtime the Orion Sector is back up and running with a brand new web host. What does this mean? We now have much more disk space, a higher traffic limit, and a public FTP bin, among other things. We now have lots of room to grow in the future. However, in our transfer, we lost the last 2 members from the Multiplayer White Pages (you know who you are). If you just signed up recently, please go back to see if you "made the cut." We may not be able to go back and get the old database file and we don't want to lose anyone either.
We got our 100th Member signup for the Multiplayer White Pages yesturday! It will probably get much higher than that once MOO3 is released, however. Just thought everyone might want to know.
Bill Fisher gave an interview to Blue Monday and it includes some new screenshots, which of course have already been nabbed and pasted on to The Orion Sector's growing database. Go see our screenshots section under "MOO3 Data".
Stormhound has posted the beginning of a series of "data dumplets" on Technology. You'll learn a bit more about what it actually takes to research certain things here. We'll post it here at the Orion Sector when it is more or less complete.
Let the picture do the explaining...
For those who still haven't read it, we are posting the content of the "Voxels are not Polygons" thread as a new data dump. It explains a lot about the technologies used to create and render graphics to be used in MOO3. A pretty informative read.
We've also posted the new (old really) concept art pix of the Antaran and Tachidi in the races art section and another goody at the bottom of the "screens" art section.
If you are looking for a way to contribute to the making of MOO3, here is your chance: Stormhound is looking to compile a list of leaders' nicknames in various catagories. Stop by and read the rules and feel free to plunk down a few of your own ideas on the delphi forum thread.
You'll find out about research DEAs and how to convert your scientific efforts into something usefull in the new data dump. Enjoy.
In a new Spanish interview with Quicksilver (do they all speak spanish?) at maristation.com, you'll find a few new concept art pix of the Tachidi and Antaran, and also a video capture that includes the guardian. We'll post them here locally whenever we get around to it.
The rumors are true... the official release date has slipped a quarter back to Second Quarter 2002. Dedicated fans can take that as good news that they won't be getting a half-baked project on release.
Xentax managed to squeeze some info out of designer Alan Emrich about the War Department sections of MOO3. We are posting the contents of it here in a mini data dump. Learn about how your empire controls conflict when you are not the one directing it. You can also find the Delphi discussion on it here.
A small outgrowth of the multiplayer projects in developement here at the Orion Sector is the just-completed Email Invitations section. With this, you can send invitations to random people in the White Pages, or up to 7 other specific (selectable) players in the White Pages. This way, if you want to start a game up, but don't know who to play with, just hit "Random" and off go the invitations. You can even invite people to a specific game. One idea being toyed with at the moment is random invitations to people who are in your desired date/time only, but don't hold your breath on that one. Anyway, you can check it out here (removed). It's just for show, however, so please don't use it until MOO3 is released. We don't all want pretend invitations filling our mailboxes!
Hey MoO lovers. There are currently a lot of guesses as to how IFPs are going to be working on the boards, but that should be all cleared up after the new IFP "Big Picture" data dump has been read. This is a must read if you plan to conquer galaxies. Keep in mind that IFPs are going to have to be the center of your game strategy.
We are giving our new site design a trial run. Please take the vote on the right and tell us what you think. Why a redesign? Mainly for two reasons: 1) we wanted to get rid of the old navigation buttons because no one but the designer himself can interpret them, and 2) allow adjustable spacing to contain wider content if it's needed. The background image is also much easier to read against than solid black with stars. A point of interest: The backgrounds in both the navigation bar and the "deep space" of the page background are taken from hubble images of the Orion Nebula. How very appropriate! Please let us know if the design does not look right in your browser. Bug reports, if any, would be very appreciated.
PS - Welcome to "First Quarter 2002"!
So far over the winter break, the Tournament Organizer has been created, and the Scoreboard for recording game scores played online has been tweeked. Also the White Pages was overhauled so it is now filterable AND sortable (for instance: 'find all players with a cable modem connection and sort by accumulated point totals' - no problem) By the end of this time off work, the hope is to have all the multiplayer aspects up and running smooth so that we can conduct a Tournament Simulation and be ready for MOO3's release.
In other news, you might want to check out the "Voxels are not Pixels" thread on the delphi forum for some interesting technical information on ship graphics from Executive Producer, Bill Fisher.
Another data dump brought to us from the team at Quicksilver, this time describing the manufacturing of colonies.
On the side, Rantz (our beloved god of art) has just had his birthday... happy birthday to Rantz from The Orion Sector!
What was gathered of the official chat yesturday has been posted. special thanks to Joe @ moo3planet. Despite some technical hassle, there are several key points that you may want to know about including who the new music composer is and when we'll be seeing some combat screens. It's a long read, mind you. Get it here
For all of you who can't get enough info (there never seems to be enough for us fans to feast on) before the release; for those of you who have resorted to reading the copyright notes on the bottom of Moo3 webpages, here is something to relieve the anxiousness for a while. The new Bioharvesting data dump from Alan Emrich has arrived!
If you are getting bored with your current desktop, grab the new moo3 wallpaper.
Quicksilver is going to be kicking off their first fansite chat this friday (the 15th). It will be the first big chat for Quicksilver in a while and is accessible to the public. If you attend the chat, you will be able to ask Quicksilver questions about Moo3. So, show your support for the game and plan to log into the chat. They will most likely have a very good show-up from all around the world, so don't miss it!
The chat will start at 11:00 am PST (20:00 MET) on Friday the 15th, here.
This isn't really new, but we're posting a Weapons: Basic Design data dump. It has been on the Delphi boards for a long time, but we thought that people new to MOO3 might be somewhat intimidated by the 750+ replies in the thread to stop and take a look at it. So now it's here.
Computer Games Online has a small 3 page review on MOO3. Unfortunately, long-time fans won't find anything really new in it.
Not technically any new screenshots, but our screenshots and artwork section has been organized and updated with the newest pix, including the Orion Guardian, the Harvester Cruiser, Grendarl artwork, and more. Go see if there is anything you might have missed.
Well, some of it is a bit late, but the latest is from Computer Gaming World magazine. The December issue has a nice article on MOO3 with new screen shots and artwork, some of which has been released on the Official Site and mirrored here. We are not posting the contents of the article here, so go out and buy your own!
moo3planet interviewed Quicksilver with some release date details slipped in. A pretty good read.
Also, someone has spotted some new screenshots, including a shiny blue Harvester ship. Check them out here .
We are in the process of overhauling our screenshots section to include absolutely everything made public to date, so stay tuned.
The reason the news is getting a bit late is because our "staff" is dissolving, so if you are interested in helping maintain the Orion Sector [ in particular, we need a screenshot harvester, and a data dump poster ], please contact us.
Yet another data dump, this one on mining.
We've posted the new data dump on Pollution, as well as three others that were missed some time ago: Spying, Sector Government & the Reserves, and "The Speech". Visit the Data Dumps section for the big picture.
The Population section is up. Get up to date on how population effects the economy and what determines maximum population levels.
The Overview section has now been posted. Learn about different DEA uses and effects, as well as employment.
Part one of the planetary economics model has been posted on the Delphi forum and mirrored here at the Orion Sector. Part one deals with terminology used throughout the model so read up and be ready for part two next week sometime.
Alan has stated that he intends to post the Economic Model data dump some time next week, most likely in weekly installments. Stay tuned for further details. We'll have it archived here as soon as it is released.
Quicksilver continues with part 2 of the interview with MGON. Alan, William and Floyd talk about alien animation, diplomacy, technology and their opinions of the game.
Alan and company give separate interviews to HomeLAN and MGON covering topics from the graphical approach to design, research and multiplayer to a brief state of game address. Visit the forum for the latest and join the discussion.
A bit late, but the Population Growth datadump has been posted, as well as the newest QSI post compilations.
Yes, we're planning way ahead here, but best to get started early. We would like to get your thoughts on some tournament specifics and how they should be played here at the Orion Sector. Hit the "ETC" button and find the Polls & Surveys section to lend us your opinions.
Even though the scoreboard is not complete yet, and many cosmetic details need attention, the multiplayer Game Calendar and Game Manager are being posted under the multiplayer button on the navigation bar. These allow players to schedule games, create new ones, join games, cancel, or change games on any date in the next two months. It also lets you check scores on old games from the last two months (however the score feature is not done yet). Feel free to tinker with it, schedule fake games, join, change, cancel, whatever. Please give us some feedback for how it looks, usability, and for bug reports. Have fun!
Alan has posted the Events Engine straight out of the design doc! It's an open invitation to , once knowing the rules, submit your own ideas for events in MOO3. See the original thread here and download the instructions from the design doc here (78k zipped .doc files). Sencho will be heading up the submissions, so email him with your ideas. See the Delphi boards for more info.
More screenshots have been released including the Select Race and Planetary Management menues. Head over to our screenshot section right away and get another closer look at what is to come.
We're looking for volunteers to help maintain the Orion Sector. The current maintenance people (including myself) are too busy and/or tired. What we need: someone to update news when it happens, update other pages as needed (like screenshots, inside info), and if Harel ever tires of it, someone to update the FAQ which is really pretty easy. That said, you need decent HTML and FTP knowledge, and atleast know what SSI is (but we can teach you that one if need be). If anyone is interested, please email leiavoia or use the contact page on the website.
New screen renders of the Humans, Nommo, Raas, and Silicoid are up, as well as concept art for the Grendarl. Visit the "Screenshots and Extras" and "Race Concept Art" sections of the webpage under the MOO3 Data button. Also, word has it that another QSI post compilation will be out soon (that is a relative term of course!)
Besides other recent sad news, there is a bit more concerning MOO3: Several features had to be cut from the game for business reasons (that's time and money). Among those on the cut list are the ship combat simulator, space monsters, the History of Your Empire feature that sums up your progress through the game when you win, allied victories, and the entire Ethos system (not a joke). While we can only hope that they make it back in the form of another sequel or expansion pack, Quicksilver says don't hold your breath. Once again, visit the boards for more details.
For lack of any earth-shaking news, i'm just posting a blurb about how the multiplayer projects are going. The Game Scheduling Calendar is finished (but not posted). It will allow players to create (schedule), join, quit, or change any game in the next two months. It also allows you to check scores on games in the last two months. In the end, it will include a scoreboard feature where the game's players can post the scores of the game and who won. As soon as the scoreboard is completed, the whole thing will be put online. The calendar features include: date, players and their team affiliations (for team play), time from and to, galaxy size, what to play over, tournament or regular game, kind of tournament game, and more.
Feedback would be appreciated on the White Pages so far made. Comments have been made about the iTime and the "Available to Play" box being too lengthy. The iTime is planned to be replaced with 24-hour GMT with, perhaps, a pop-up calculator to translate that into your timezone. If anyone has any further suggestions, ideas, or critique, please let us know!. Visit the contact page under the "etc" button. Thanks to everyone testing out the white pages so far.
The first of 3 multiplayer projects was launched under a new multiplayer button. The multiplayer white pages can help you find people to setup a game with. Right now though, it's pretty much just for show. Stay tuned for the Game Scheduling Calendar and a Tournament Setup in the next few weeks and months.
Rantz continues his discussion of the User Interface, with lots of diagrams and even three new video clips of the UI (including the galaxy screen!) in motion.
The issue of whether or not to let being a starting senate member on the Race Picks screen "cost" pick points has gotten a lot of attention in the last two days. So a poll has opened up with four choices available. We would like to know how many people are for each choice. Find the poll under "Surveys and Polls" in the ETC. button.
Alan has posted a long awaited Race Picks data dump! Not only that but he's looking for last minute suggestions. Hit the discussions board and get your two AUs in before Monday, or you'll be too late!
11 new screenshots were nabbed from Gamespot while Quicksilver's server is down. New screens include 4 menu screens, 3 ship renders, and diplomacy pix of the Psilon, Evon, Meklar, and Cynoid. See them all here.
Xentax on the discussion board has been chosen to head up a new "name that spy" list of possible spy names in two catagories: Moles and Operatives. Drop by and plunk down a couple of your own names.
Alan has posted the latest in data dumps, this one one High Finance and economics/currencies.
To pass the time until MOO3 comes out, we are hosting a MOO2 Ship Design and Custom Race Archive, open to everyone. Submit your super-cruiser or the undefeatable race you created so others can test them out too. We are also test driving some of our scripts we plan to use with the Online Strategy Guide (for MOO3, not 2) when the game is released, so please tell us what you think on our contact page. You can find the archive submission page under the new MOO2 button up there on the navigation bar. Please keep in mind we just opened this, so don't expect there to be too much in the actual achive just yet!
Alan has posted a new datadump about the "heavy foot of government" which you can read here locally or you can view the original post on the discussion board.
All you ever wanted to know about IFP's... plus achieving Unity in multiplayer games and the summery of the "MOO3 Economic Model (Preview)" discussion, and tons more
A new 3 page datadump was releases today on Victory Points and Conditions. Learn about how to win and how to score big along the way. Also, check out the brand new screen renders of the Klackons and the Imsaeis!
The latest of interviews with Alan Emrich, this one from GameZone. A few new tidbits about point scoring and victory conditions are included. Worth a look.
There's currently an interesting discussion going on in the forum. Alan has posted the basic layout for the MOO3 Economic and Planetary model. Check out the ongoing discussion for latest info.
...and just for fun, the subpage logo was modified. Feedback appreciated...
When the survey results for Macs shot up from 2% to over 40% in a few hours today, first I wanted to know who was the inconsiderate and spiteful Mac user who bombed our humble little survey. But no, Inside Mac Games gave our site and survey a shine of attention and the flood gates were open! Suddenly, Mac users everywhere where streaming in to cast a vote... Thanks for the attention guys! We appreciate our MacFriends :-)
Well, it's been almost a week. You might be interested in the (still premature) results of our web survey. Long story short: the average MOO enthusiast is 15-20 years old, has a 300-400mhz PC on Windows 98 with 128-256 mb RAM and is connected via a standard 56k modem. Follow the links for the full scoop, and if you haven't spoken yet, were not closing the survey any time soon so go make yourself heard and fill out a survey real quick! If you would like to know more about your MOO community, write to us about what you would like to ask everyone.
Another diplomacy shot, this time for the Trilarians.
New render of the Sakkras from the diplomacy screen. Check it out here.
In light of the the several reoccuring threads on the boards, we're hosting a survey to find out about our little MOO community here and possibly provide Quicksilver with some interesting info. It'll only take a minute. We'll start posting the results in about a week or two. You can find the link on the left.
Although it really won't make much difference for users, the entire FAQ was compiled into a database. Now all the web pages for it are generated, more or less, on the fly. What does this mean? Updating and adding questions will take only seconds, as opposed to all the time to download, add links, add html, upload, etc. More importantly though, we are making downloadable versions of the FAQ ( in either HTML or .txt format, your choice) freely available. These will be updated "on the fly" as well, whenever new questions are added. This way, you can keep it on your hard drive as a handy reference.
For the sake of completeness, the entire background fiction, game history, overview, and the "special combat fiction" were all uploaded today.
The compiled posts were updated again here.
UGO had some things to say about MOO3 so far made. Not much new information, but lots of praise!
GameSpy's Developers Diary #9 is finally up. Rantz talks about the new user interface for MOO3 here. If you just want the new screenshots (yes, new screenshots), go to the "E3 Extras and Screenshots" section under the Data Button.
You'll find out about that and a lot more in the newly compiled QSI Posts here.
The latest from the boards is up here.
The entire FAQ was updated and revised today. New questions were added and more are on the way.
The Top FAQs page (or main page) was added to the FAQ section. These are the most frequently asked, discussed, hashed, and re-hashed topics about MOO3. If you just found out about MOO3, this should be your first stop.
Today, unfortunately, cowssaymoo.com officially loses its domain name. However, it's also the grand opening of The Orion Sector, which will be the new home for the FAQ. If you are looking for the FAQ, you can find all the catagories in the FAQ button on the menu bar. We (the current team here) are planning an overhaul of the FAQ shortly, along with a new batch of up-to-date questions and answers in all catagories. So stay tuned. We will be adding more to the site in general in the next few weeks, but just about everything is already up. Enjoy!
Well, after a long wait, orionsector.com is finally up an running! The bulk of the info is online with more being added as we ramp the site up to 100%. Right now the FAQ, data dumps, artwork, QSI posts (the essentials in other words), and a few other things are up. The rest will be added shortly. Why do we need another MOO3 website? Click the link on the left to read our mission statement.
Concept art, screen shots, game graphics, information and other assets are provided courtesy of the games' respective developers. No company has reviewed or approved any content on this site except where noted.