SGJ Podcast #234 – A Deep Dive into 4X Games

Still the Best There Is.

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Podcast! This week, Jim, Hunter, Spaz and I sit down to discuss 4X games. We’ve been in something of a deluge of them, but so many of them follow the formula established by Master of Orion 2 over twenty years ago. We discuss which 4X games are unique standouts of the genre, why the MoO2 formula is so feverently emulated, what we’d like to see more of in 4X games and more! It’s a lively topic, one that we’ll likely revisit, and we hope you enjoy the show.

Next week on the show, we’ll be recording at a different time than usual (12:00 PM Pacific time) in order to accomodate our guest, one of the developers of the fantastic first person space flying and ground shooter game, Angels Fall First! As always, if you have a question or comment, feel free to drop them below, email us at or hit us up on the forums.

Show Notes

Games Mentioned

  • Distant Worlds
  • Stellaris
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Imperialism
  • Master of Magic
  • Emperor of the Fading Suns
  • Seven Kingdoms
  • Sins of the Solar Empire
  • Imperium Galactica
  • Drox Operative
  • Space Tyrant
  • Starpoint Gemini Warlords
  • Warpath
  • Sins of a Solar Empire
  • Eve Online
  • Spaceward Ho!
  • Space Rangers
  • Star Ruler 2
  • StarDrive 2
  • Birth of the Federation
  • Worlds of Magic
  • Planar Conquest
  • Reach for the Stars
  • Gratuitous Space Battles
  • Endless Legend
  • Mount and Blade Warband
  • Offworld Trading Company
  • Small World Games
  • Defect
  • Star Fleet Armada
  • D&D Lords of Waterdeep
  • Galcon
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Shores of Hazeron
Author: Brian Rubin

4 thoughts on “SGJ Podcast #234 – A Deep Dive into 4X Games

  1. Finally got to listen to this. Very good. You mentioned wanting a “Crusader Kings in space” type 4X. Take a look at Alliance of the Sacred Suns. It’s in Alpha but looks VERY promising :)
    It calls itself a 5X (former name was Imperia 5X)

  2. I really enjoy the “discussion” episodes with no guests so don’t feel that you have to have guests every week. But here is a suggestions for when you DO have a guest. Usually these are people who dedicate a significant chunk of their time working on a labour of love project with very little reward. I am always more interested in them personally then the game they’re working on. I would love to hear about what motivates them, what shapes their game design principles, when did they start playing games and how did they start thinking about making games, what are some of their favorite games and genres from their childhood, are their families supportive of their endeavors….etc. I believe you do take this interview approach sometimes (eg when you interviewed the guy who created Star Fleet games), but I believe every creator could benefit from a little backstory. Of course I know they are here mainly to plug a game they’re working on so by all means go into that well, but I feel that if we learn about the person first, it gives so much more context and makes hearing about their game so much more interesting as well. There are a few other podcasts who do pretty good game developer interviews and I find them all fascinating. IGN does one called IGN Unfiltered, there is one called “Designer Notes” done by Idle Thumbs..etc. It would be great to have something like this recorded for posterity for the Space genre as well.
    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    1. Hey man, thanks for your comment. I usually do try to do this, but sometimes the conversation (maybe that’s where I go off differently a bit, I see these more as conversations than interviews, at least I try to) goes in a different direction and it feels weird to stop and go back to the beginning, timewise, as it were, you know? I’ll try to hit this more though.

  3. No worries, totally understand. It’s hard to engineer this stuff precisely especially if you’re trying to have this free flow conversation. But regardless, thanks again to you and the rest of the guys for your time and effort. I listen to you almost exclusively as a podcast. Being 30-something with various life commitments makes it hard to tune in live on YouTube so I’m very glad my Pocket Casts app automatically downloads each episode.

Chime In!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.