The Adventures of a Noob – Star Ruler

The Adventures of a Noob is a recurring column in which I dive into a (potentially) complex game without reading the manual, FAQ, any help files, or playing a tutorial. I then catalog my first impressions and thought process as I attempt to figure out the game. This may end up being amusing, or it may end up being informative. Hopefully a little of both.

Note that in these types of articles, information in regular font represents my thought process/knowledge at time of first playing. Addendums in italics represent information I learned after the fact, inserted into the article to clarify which of my original thoughts were accurate and which were leading me astray.

Stuff I know going in:

Star Ruler is supposed to be huge, strategic, with lots of cool AI and randomization stuff.  Oh, and it's a space game with a silly name.  Yes, that's really about all I knew going in.  I don't even think I'd viewed the official page I just linked.

I choose to create a new game, and this is what I'm greeted with:

These are the options for starting a new game

It's not very heartening to see that one of the options is broken apparently.  Since doing this play through, Blind Mind has already released two patches, so perhaps it's fixed by now? I see the randomness of techs is an option. I leave it on, in fact, I leave everything alone.  The only option I would have wanted to change would have been a difficulty slider, as I have no idea what I'm doing.

Here's what I see after the game loads/generates:

My homeworld next to a couple other planets in the systemThe first thing I notice is that the clock counding down until I reach Particle Physics level 2 is ticking.  I'm trying to figure out what all the buttons do, and my enemies are theoretically building up their fleets.  I'm going to have to pause.  Unfortunately, space bar, p, and esc don't seem to do that.  This is not good.  I should have tried the actual pause button above page up, as that pauses.
Since it was the research that caught my eye, I go to that screen first:

The research tree isn't really a tree. Cool?

So there's no tree, it looks like.  I see no connections between various research categories.  As far as I know, there is absolutely no relation between them (turns out, proximity is an indication of the relationship between disciplines, and as you research one area, you get spillovers into the neighboring ones.  This is how the question marks eventually go away). Hovering the mouse over one of the fields, I can see smaller question marks for individual breakthroughs in those areas.  I can how close I am to the breakthrough (summed up as "guesses", or "hunches", so far), as well as how much more I need to learn in the field to make that development.  For whatever reason, I decide to go with general science (without even reading what individual sciences do for me, I was feeling the pressure of the ticking clock).  Later, when I come back and look at the various fields in more detail, it appears that all of them tie directly to ship development.  I am still unsure if any of the breakthroughs ever tie to planetary development.

At this point, I sort of just start going to each of the interface options across the top.  This gets me to the diplomacy screen first:

Hey, I'm the ZalnonI am apparently the Zalnon, with a bunch of goods and no food.  Maybe my people are photosynthetic.  I really hope they are.  I haven't got any sort of notification about people starving, so I'm probably not too screwed, but I still make it a point to work on my food production as soon as I figure out how to build stuff.  Diplomacy options seem a little bit spartan.  Some tech trading, resource trading, and peace/war.  I'm surprised I know the other factions, because I can't figure out any way to see where they are in the universe yet, so it appears that the game lets you know everyone without knowing where they are.  I can even communicate with them already.

Worried about the food, I start trying to figure out how to build a farm or something.  I discover that the mousewheel zooms, and I can rotate with the right click drag.  I can't figure out how to pan (nor can I remember what I discovered later, but I believe it's alt right click drag).   I select my homeworld:

What's up with the question marks down there?I'm really not sure what's going on in the interface at the bottom of the screen.  My planet is idle, and there's no way to change that at the moment.  I've got 3 full bars (2 question marks) and 1 empty bar (question mark).  The symbol for the non question mark isn't easily recognizable either.    Just about the only abbreviation I'm sure of on the right isn't an abbreviation at all:  ore.  Not sure what Adv is (adventurers? advertisements? ), but Elc is probably something Electronic related, and Mtl is probably Metal.

I click on the Blueprints button up top and end up here:

This interface was surprisingly intuitiveI can move systems around within the ship as I place them.  Presumably position matters, but it isn't clear how yet (it effects which units get broken when your ship takes damage, kind of like Galaxy Trucker).  As I add parts to the ship, the interface on the right updates with the ship's stats, as well as critical problems (this screen shot was taken when I really needed to add a power source to my ship).

So I go to the system screen:

What's up with all these empty planets?

While messing with the buttons on my only planet, I figure out how to make it build a Star Port and then other buildings (I could also do this from the Planet screen, which I didn't screen capture for whatever reason.  On that screen, I get to actually see what buildings do).  I then figure out how to build ships, and in so doing build a colonizer ship, which auto colonizes another planet in my system.  It has an automatic governor, and he goes crazy building things on that planet.

That's about when I decide I need to go play the tutorial, so that I'm not getting schooled at the game by my own auto governor underling.  I probably could have started over after another 10 minutes of learning or so, and done respectably in my first game, but I'd rather do some learning first.

<em>The Adventures of a Noob is a recurring column in which I dive into a (potentially) complex game without reading the manual, FAQ, any help files, or playing a tutorial.  I then catalog my first impressions and thought process as I attempt to figure out the game.   This may end up being amusing, or it may end up being informative.  Hopefully a little of both.</em>

<em>Note that in these types of articles, information in regular font represents my thought process/knowledge at time of first playing.  Addendums in italics represent information I learned after the fact, inserted into the article to clarify which of my original thoughts were accurate and which were leading me astray.</em>

Stuff I know going in:

This game is supposed to be huge, strategic, with lots of cool AI and randomization stuff

Options for new game:

I see the randomness of techs is an option.  I leave it on.  I leave everything alone.  Kind of wish I saw a difficulty slider

Starting out:

Time is ticking.  No way to pause?  space?  P?  esc?  crap.

Research first.  Change to general science.  Why?  Why not?

I am the Zalnon, and I am producing goods.  No food?  hmmm

Mousewheel zoom, rightlclick drag rotates

Selecting a planet and I have no clue what is going on.

Creating a blueprint for a ship is kind of intuitive, but does position matter?

Figured out how to build a space port.  What's it do?

Tried to build a ship, fail?  Success!  Have to click both buttons.  Autocolonized for me.  Good?  Great, it's auto governor is better at this game than I am.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • Google Buzz

Related posts:

  1. The Adventures of a Noob – Minecraft

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.