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Designer's Diary

The links below will take you the Designer's Diary entries for indicated month and year. These are "stream of consciousness" notations that take you inside the mind of Alan Emrich as he wades his way through the Master of Orion III project.

Author's note: It amuses me to no end that this genre of strategic games has become knows as "4X" games (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate). That's because I first heard that term used by my co-designer on this project, Tom Hughes, and introduced it to the hobby vernacular in my numerous columns, reviews, and books. (I served a long and happy stint as the Strategy Games Editor of Computer Gaming World magazine.)

When I started reading other people referring to "4X" genre games, I smiled for days. When I started seeing the term used in ads for these kinds of games, I knew the phrase was coined for good.

It seemed only fitting to me, therefore, that Tom and I should be the first ones to try to raise the stakes and establish an evolutionary new genre of strategy games: that is, the "5X" variety (adding "eXperience" to the list). With Master of Orion III: The Fifth 'X', that's just what we've set out to do. We'll know we've succeeded if we start reading about "5X" games.

Master of Orion Official Web Site
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