May 24th, 2001
There's been a bit of hubub in the post-E3 shuffle in regards to the whole issue of race and species in MOO3, so we thought we'd clarify matters with an official announcement.
Master of Orion III will be released with 16 races instead of the originally planned 32. There are two very good reasons for this. The first one is time. We're doing something very ambitious with the political depictions in MOO3 and while the results are worthwhile, creating them up to the quality that we want takes A LOT of time. We'd rather have 16 unique races that all reach a jaw-dropping level of quality and speaking to you in their own language than 32 that are so-so.
The second is, quite frankly a lack of uniqueness in 32 races. Some species lent themselves very well to multiple races. Others... well, it was pushing it to come up with four viable races when the only reason to do so was to meet the keep a specific number. "Oh here we have the 'pumice' Geodic... " It was just becoming silly. Instead we decided to concentrate on those that were truly unique and we felt were going to be exciting to play. If you still want more variety you can always customize your races just as you did in Master of Orion I and II.
So, there are 16 races that will be fully fleshed out. This does not preclude us putting in more races in the future, but 16 is what we are committing to for the released product.
We've also made one change to the number of planets in the game. Due to screen real estate we've adjusted it so that there are 8 planets in any given solar system rather than the originally planned 10. The reason for this is that it became very difficult,, due to the size of the screen, to tell the difference between moons and planets, without making the moons little 8 pixel specs.
You can still have up to 256 stars, each having eight planets, each planet having five moons. That's a potential 12,288 worlds to colonize and fight over. The galaxy of MOO is still plenty big, the only difference is that you'll be able to tell the difference at a glance now between the different sizes of system bodies.
QSI Management and MOO3 Development Team