SGJ Podcast #21: Down and Dirty with Distant Worlds

Such a Pretty, Busy Galaxy...
Such a Pretty, Busy Galaxy…

Helllooo friends, and welcome to another awesome (we like to think) episode of the Space Game Junkie Podcast! This week, Jim and I sit down with Matrix Games Director of Product Development and Business Relations, Erik Rutins and Code Force founder and Distant Worlds creator/lead developer, Elliott Gibbs to talk (or in my case, gush) about Distant Worlds, as well as some businessy talk about Matrix Games too. It all made for a lively and spirited discussion, and we all hope you enjoy it. :)

As always, we welcome your comments below and invite you to subscribe to us through RSS or iTunes. Thanks for listening, and have an awesome day!

Episode #21 Show Notes

Space Games Mentioned:

Non-Space Games Mentioned:


Author: Brian Rubin

10 thoughts on “SGJ Podcast #21: Down and Dirty with Distant Worlds

  1. It was the pre-warp that sold me. So much easier to grasp what’s going on when 100 ships aren’t buzzing around the screen and popups are flying like storm troopers facing a Jedi.

    You are a dirty enabler, Brian.

    I’m still grateful. (My wife, however…)

      1. I’ve really struggled with DW. I think I’d like the game (and I’m not bothered by the complexity) – but everytime I start I’m like “WTF is going on.” The Pre-Warp start condition sounds really appealing because you start off at a more basic level.

        1. Yeah, a lot of folks who struggled with it before are apparently finding it much easier to grok at the pre-warp level. Have you tried the one-ship method as well?

        2. I’m sure it’s been said on the forums but for me, it was easiest to remove automation from one function at a time. Not sure about ship design? Let the AI handle it!

          I still automate taxing and most construction ships, because neither one is fun to micro.

  2. I have a legion of folks wanting this game, but they DONT WANT it unless it’s on STEAM. Can you please ask them for reasons why do they defy offering it on steam? Fricking endless space and stardrive, far lower games then distant worlds are there and earned millions, and this fantasy come true is unavailable!!!! Erik’s replies in terms, he knows his buyers demographics is laughable. Is he afraid of success? Or that Matrix might loose devs directly to Steam??

    1. Welcome to the comments, Mario, and yeah, I too would love to see DW on Steam as well, but it sounds like they feel they can better serve their base on their own site. I don’t fully get it either, to be honest. :/

      1. you are the member of the press, so press on, ask them to explain! I am positive the fear of being left out as a publisher has to do something with it….cause the sales numbers they would get would outburn any “explanations”. Ask them for details; shitload of people want to know….Game is so awsome, it’s a Geneva convention violation to reduce it only to matrix games and not on steam! a War crime! of Galactic proportions!

        1. We did ask if they had plans for that. They sorta sidestepped it, but said that they’ve experimented with their games on Steam in some instances. Now, Brian and I sat at that press conference last week and they made some really bold statements about “People say our pricing is crazy but it sure does work, doesn’t it?” And I feel they’re missing the point. The problem is visibility. Steam has a much larger user base than anything else, and they’re making a tradeoff between high margins and high volume. I personally think they’re making the wrong decision. That’s for unique titles like Distant Worlds. They also are kicking out expansion packs for games that were new in 1996. Panzer General, I’m looking at you! (It comes out on iOS next month too.)

          I think another FINE game they are making a non-Steam mistake with is Combat Academy. Holy crap. It’s a $20 iPad game, and worth every bit of it. Looks just beautiful, and is an excellent introductory to mid-skill wargame. Why in the hell is this not being widely distributed? Beats me. But I threw down the $20 on the iPad and I love it. They’re pivoting VERY heavily into the iPad market, fyi. We saw a good bit of that motion at the press conf.

          Personally, I use Steam and Amazon as my trusted portals to purchase things online. It takes a LOT of convincing to get my credit card out of my wallet for any other e-shopping portals. They need to get with the program. If you sell 100 units at $20 on Steam or 10 units at $100, well… do the math. They need to find that sweet spot where they can move maximum units at maximum price. Steam has made a scientific study of that shopper psychology for the past several years with these quarterly sales. They’re CERTAIN of the correct numbers by now.

          I think they need to change their marketing. They, however, seem tickled with how they’re doing and aren’t going to be changing any time soon. Maybe the iOS storefront experience will prove to them that selling through your OWN portal is a thing of the past.

          1. well, lets hope so. Distant worlds is awsome. Should they get a few mil $ they could have upgraded animations and graphics to heroes6 quality level (I hate that game, I love the graphics though), get AI to superb levels and implement MP with possibly tactical real time battles.
            I hate watching potential spill or lay to waste….due to “shadow” interests….

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