"By breaking this rule, we accept that our game will probably not be very well balanced in the end. But that's ﬁne, because once the player's aware of that, it lets them go crazy."
- Co-founder of Amplitude Studios Romain de Waubert on embracing imbalance in faction designs
In an interview with PC Gamer, Co-founder of Amplitude Studios Romain de Waubert and narrative director on the Endless Space series Jeff Spock discuss how the design philosophy of creating imbalance among factions led to a new take on the on 4X strategy genre.
Each faction in Endless Space is incredibly different, and that's on purpose. "With every other faction [apart from humans], we try to break at least one major rule," explains de Waubert.
"They have to break the game, otherwise the whole imagination of the sci-ﬁ universe is broken," Says de Waubert. These extremes exist among many factions, where the groups have caveats that limit their actions. The Riftborn spend industry to reproduce (because they're manufactured and can't reproduce) whereas The Roving Clans can't declare war but exert their power through the Marketplace instead.
De Waubert admits that the imbalances make the game seem intimidating to new players, but Amplitude tackled the game with new players in mind. “When you’re starting on a blank page, you can do things differently."
The design philosophy Amplitude established for the Endless series is in large part due to community feedback given to the studio over a number of years. “We had a bunch of ideas, but didn’t know how to make 4X,” de Waubert explains.
Devs curious to learn more about the design philosophy driving the Endless series should check out the full interview on PC Gamer's website.