SGJ Podcast #59: Exodus of Sol, Stage Left


Hey folks, welcome to episode 59 of the Space Game Junkie Podcast! Wow, almost sixty of these things, can you believe it? ;) This week, Jim and I sit down with Chris Stockman, owner of Bit Planet Games. Chris and his crew are working on a re-release/re-imagining of SOL: Exodus under the new name Exodus of SOL. It’s a very vibrant discussion about the game itself, the nature of the gaming industry, and of course we veer off topic a bit, but it’s all in good fun. :)

Now, while we also did a video for this podcast via, we had some technical difficulties with Skype, so after maybe 25 minutes, you can pretty much only hear me on the video. We’re looking into making sure that doesn’t happen again, but because of this, I’m not going to embed the video below. You can watch it here if you want to try to sync up the audio, however. Thanks for listening (and watching if you’re brave), and enjoy the show. :)

Author: Brian Rubin

6 thoughts on “SGJ Podcast #59: Exodus of Sol, Stage Left

  1. Loyalty discounts are a sure sign of a Broveloper.

    I wasn’t able to listen to the whole thing in a single commute, but I sure hope they do something fresh with the hacking. Shutting down engines/guns/etc was a cool idea and got me hyped, but poorly implemented before.

    1. Spaceenthusiast,

      Thanks for your feedback. May I ask what you didn’t like about the way we implemented hacking before? Can you go into specifics?

      1. Ok, so I just finished the podcast(plus the post-patch game this time), and I’d like to clarify.

        On hacking, there was really no point to it as-is(both in terms of gameplay and lore). The Torchlight system seems dependent on distance from the Atlus, so why isn’t Cassie doing this, she can’t spot three letters? “Tear open that capital ship!” are words that every space junkie longs to hear, and it’s fun partly because of the tactical options. I noticed though, that a ship is basically invincible, and hacking(at a scripted moment) turns it to paper-mache. This isn’t really an option, it’s “hold X to win”.

        Consider instead if it were an always-available tactical option, and everything is fair game. This opens many fun decisions like “Should I help torpedoes get through by disabling point defense, or open bridge shields to make captain-less crew erratic?” Use on strike-craft comes down to personal talent; if I’m awful at dealing with darting interceptors I can slow them down. Or perhaps Brian/Jim dreads facing meatier craft, they could jam ordinance for a while. I feel this wouldn’t ruin dogfighting, because there is too much going on to do that x25. For more complexity, some things could be more vulnerable than others. Implementing this could mean a quick but very difficult QTE minigame(scoring 50% starts degrees of success).

        Point systems and persistent craft damage was mentioned near the end. Has there been any thought to combining these? Keeping wingmen alive, doing optional objectives, etc is a great setup not just for things like leaderboards but also as currency. For example, keeping supply chains intact might able say, either extensive custom ship upgrades for your personal craft, or allowing you to field better/more generic ship support when you really need it.

        On alternate game modes, I heard talk about wave survival? Even simpler then that though is custom skirmishes. I mean, I’m not exactly a fantastic coder, but it seems to me having a total-war style mode where you setup both sides and duke it out isn’t impossible. For added flavor, changeable modifiers on individual units.(faster fighters, fragile frigates)

        Sorry for making you read all that, just venting some personal enthusiasm. I wish you guys luck on the reboot.

        1. Thanks for the extensive reply. It’s very much appreciated.

          Re: Hacking. I agree with you that there needs to be more interesting choices. Initially, that was the general idea behind the system but we ended up simplifying the choices simply due to not enough development time to get it the way we wanted.

          re: the actual hacking system itself. I still think there needs to be some element of gameplay to it just because succeeding has pretty big ramifications to the mission.

          re: Persistent ships / points. Interesting ideas that are definitely worth thinking about.

          re: Game Modes. We know we need more game modes. We have survival in and working now. We’ve toyed with the idea of custom skirmishes and probably will add that in as well (probably in a subsequent patch though).

          Again, thanks for the suggestions and ideas!

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