In addition to the details on Civilization III, MacSoft also offered up some information about Master of Orion III, the new spacefaring civilization-building strategy game currently in development at Quicksilver Software.
“When the thousand year Dark Age of Antaran rule was brought to a startling end, the indigenous races of the Orion Quadrant once again reached out to the stars,” reads the information offered by MacSoft. “Rebuilding their empires from Antaran-imposed backwardness, they reached out beyond their lonely home worlds seeking new planets, moons, and other heavenly bodies to survey and settle. The great question concerning the sudden leadership vacuum surrounding Orion is ‘who will rise to fill it?'”
Master of Orion III incorporates the concept of the “five Xs” — explore, expand, exploit, exterminate, and experience. “Where the usual four-X game galaxy is full of numbers for players to manipulate in disorienting detail, MASTER OF ORION III’s ‘eXperience’ leads players to think, act and react like the head of a galactic empire,” writes MacSoft.
Players of Master of Orion III introduces a new event system that throws new plot twists into the mix, new characters, quests and social “orders,” as well. Players must judge what’s important to control and what’s not by managing their “Imperial Focus,” a resource that limits them to only the most vital issues affecting their empire.
Master of Orion III will support multiplay by up to eight live players, and will be set in a galaxy that’s more than three times larger than what Master of Orion II fans are accustomed to.
Master of Orion III implements a turn-based game engine, but space combat itself is performed in real-time as players use information to maneuver task forces of interstellar spacecraft to intercept and eliminate enemy forces.
Master of Orion III is slated for a release in early 2002, and Quicksilver president William Fisher says that Mac game development is happening concurrently with PC game development.