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Game OverviewMaster of Orion III: The Fifth 'X,' First Impressions of the Design Document as Told by the Newest Team Members

What People Say After They "See the Elephant"

You know, I thought I would share this with you. Every few weeks, it seems, we add a new person to this project. As part of their "getting up to speed on the game" process, they have to pour over the design document. Now, that means about 200 pages of pretty intense reading. (Fortunately, it's written more like one of my strategy guides then a technical manual, so it's a lot less boring than most of the design documents I've read over the years.)

But what amazes is the various "first reactions" I get from these new team members after they start to "see the elephant" and finally get to see the Big Picture that is the Master of Orion III: The Fifth 'X' game design. To that end, I thought I'd start archiving and sharing their comments with you. Hopefully, they'll give you an impression of what you can expect when the game finally ships.

First Impressions

David "Stormhound" Craft, when asked, replied: "My initial impression was the size of the document... back then, a mere 150 or so pages. I sat down to read it, but found myself getting up frequently to pace and consider the implications of one section or another. The more I read, the more excited I got; MOO3 is a very clever and ambitious design, and even at that stage contained quite a bit of subtlety. Overall I was quite impressed; not only did the design doc go into details of game play, but also details of the rest of the player experience... it was apparent that the planning that was already in place was pointed toward making the game as enjoyable as possible for as many people as it could be, right down to the way in which we would navigate the game screens. I felt then... as I feel now... that MOO3 is going to raise the bar for all future 'space conquest' games, and I've been proud to contribute to it."

Jacob Ossar, an out-of-house writer on the project, said: "It really is as huge as they keep telling us, and I haven't even seen the Race Bible and all the charts and tables yet! The Quicksilver team has thought of almost everything and, when it comes to the few things they've overlooked, they're not shy about incorporating good ideas from the Delphi forums. There's also plenty of cool stuff in there that nobody has brought up yet, e.g. the way they plan to have technology work, which sounds like it will be simply astonishing. The overall structure for the game is already well worked-out and integrated, but there's still a lot of room for details to fill the design doc out, and I for one look forward to doing my share to make the damn thing even longer than it already is."

Irene Macabante, an artist on the project, said: "I'm very impressed by the sheer amount of thought that went into this game. What details! My initial impression was that this is like Star Wars multiplied by 1000 and being able to control the outcome to a certain extent! I think MOO3 is going to blow people away. It will thrill the fans, at the very least, but I also think that if I can play the game, have my curiosity provoked and enjoy playing it, then other impatient gamers like me will stick with it too. (I'm the epitome of the impatient gamer — 'Screw the manuals! Who cares about what order things go in! Let's just wipe out these people here to see what happens! Give me the info I need right now!') I'm already thinking about who's going to benefit from a MOO3 gift when it's released...

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