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Empire Deluxe Combined Edition

The latest in the classic Empire Series of games, which has spanned almost five decades. · By Killer Bee Software

Waiting Patiently

A topic by Top Think created Sep 17, 2017 Views: 1,001 Replies: 39
Viewing posts 1 to 23

Good to see this game is getting a breath of new life.  Very fun.  Addicting even.  


It will be here soon (ish).  ;>   Testing is going well.  I hope to stream some of the testing progress soon. 


I got my Empire Deluxe in 1994. Still have the floppy and the box. Nice beach picture. Late 90's upgraded to EDIE. My computer crashed in 2014 and I lost it. Makes me real happy to see it coming back. It a simple game that gets really involved by 3 o'clock AM and I have a cramp in my mouse hand but I won't let go! Just one more round I LOVE IT

Around that time, I worked in another town and had a couple friends who worked there with me.  We all played the game over the local telephone lines...two at a time.  If I remember correctly, we could chat with a line at the top of the screen and we would chat and play for hours...sometimes late even on work nights and sometimes all weekend if things permitted.  That was before any of the big MMORPGs.  The "How to play" wasn't too hard although strategy took a bit of getting used to...especially against other humans.  GREAT fun !!!

That mode of play always interested me, but I had no tech for it back in the day. Now, of course, we're in the Megabit bandwidth range-- this could be very hot for live play and chat.

(2 edits)

I'm excited to see this classic evolve but preserving its charm,  without "chroming" it. 

Although, it might be fun to hear that 80's 8-bit score start up-- and then morph into a 72-piece orchestral version!  (Some of us may recall a video analog to this when the first laserdisc of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" started playing-- as a direct transfer from horrible VHS-- which suddenly stops after a few seconds -- and is replayed in pristine laser format.)

Do we still support a "Group move" protocol? (I guess the PDF manual will answer this.)  For those who never used it, this involves expanding the selected piece marquee to include other similar pieces (such as infantry),  and then mousing  in the desired re-direction, such as to another city, or region, and watching the entire group make its way there automatically, turn by turn.  Also handy with fighters, or any other group of materiel which needs a massive change of battle orders.

I also love the fact you support keyboard shortcuts as well as mouse, and hopefully all on-screen controls can disappear leaving only the map with say, a tap on the TAB key, a handy toggle.


Group mode was added in during testing.  A bunch of stuff is now in.  I don;t think it is in the manual yet. Certainly not the one for download. I hope to update it soon. So busy!

But I will put out a blog post very soon.

That's great, Mark.  Thank you for all your work.

- Loren

Hi all, Just stumbled upon the new release last week. Great game, great times (I also played it a lot in the late 80's/90's) Looking forward to the latest iteration.  I have a question regarding the difficulty/handicap tweaking. [The 80's version had a % slider where you could change production/combat handicaps precisely. The latter games had a preset advantage/disadvantage option that I didn't find as satisfying.]

How will the handicap system work in EDCE? Adjustable %, presets or customizable?

Really looking forward to the end release. Thanks Mark.

Cheers David


Hi David, I am afraid those are on the settings that you do not like. However, there are additional settings that temper this a bit. Another handicap which deals with just the positions combat odds against Neutral cities is added. You can tweak the AI so that it is immune to drain effects (if you remember what that is), you can set the number of cities the AI starts with, you can give the AI "Buy points" to spend, and then of course you can  hack the ugly open source C# AI source code to make him smarter. 

Thanks for the reply Mark. Don't get me wrong, the handicap setting isn't a deal breaker! I'm looking forward to playing Empire again.



I believe an updated manual was uploaded this morning. Let me know if you don't see it.

Gday there, thanks for the updated manual.  In game when a city is captured the units inside are destroyed. Are the units listed (eg 1CR, 2AR). It's always satisfying to know what units were destroyed when they are caught in a city. I did see in one of your videos that the number of units destroyed is listed quite boldly, which is a good improvement over previous versions. Cheers David


Actually, the traditional way it has been done is to just announce "...destroying 3 units" or something like that. You don't get exact intelligence on what the enemy lost, though you can probably figure it out from the updated status page.

I was thinking that since we captured the city, we would see the destroyed units (eg.burnt out AR, half submerged TR, routed IN) and know exactly what we destroyed. Just hoping.

Always bugged me that when captured, everything invested in taking the city is lost: ships, planes, infantry.  What if you have a land, sea, or air patrol configured to emerge from and return to,  span, or encircle a city?  Shouldn't that ameliorate destruction?  The city might be captured, but some  infantry or a troop transport anchored within may escape and be applied toward an insurgency to recapture it.  An incentive to patrol your important cities?  

I always loved setting up an 8-plane radial patrol from my AC's and having them cruise past an important city.  Used fast moving 3-space destroyers  for patrols too.

G'day Mark. I have gone back to playing EDEE again, which is quite enjoyable, having not played it for quite a while.  I have a couple of questions

1/ In EDEE if you mouse over a City/Transport/AC you would see what is carried. Is that still a feature?

2/ In EDEE if I Right Click the mouse on a city the "Activate" tab opens. In EDCE, could Right clicking be set to go straight to the city production menu with options dealing with units etc. underneath like in the Mobile version I have. It would save a click each time, as usually I want to check how long I have  to wait until a unit is ready. It could even be good to have the number of turns remaining  for the unit to be displayed in the mouse over feature, so there is no opening of other menus needed.

Another question.... The advantage 1 etc. difficulty settings in game set up. Is it listed somewhere what exactly are the % increments of advantage 1 or disadvantage 1 etc. For example if I played my first game and I had no combat/production handicap, but gave my opponent no combat advantage, but advantage 1 in production and it was too easy, next game I could give him production  advantage 2. Would they decrease production times by 10% increments, 15%? It would be handy to know.

I have started watching your youtube videos, but they are long and I haven't listened to them all yet. I apologize if these questions/topics  have been covered elsewhere.

Cheers David


I can't believe you have not watched all of the videos...every minute! Yeah, the videos are long, winding, and I am such a dynamic character. ;> Essentially just twitch streams, I wanted people to get a feel for how it is going, that there is something there,  and most of those are August/September. I need to do another as by your questions the interface has changed to where what you are asking about is covered.  For the specific questions:

1)You don't get a tool tip, instead there is an info box in the lower right (or left) corner which gives some info for any location your mouse is over, more than I think EDEE did. there is also the status bar and a lower section which provide info on the current active unit.

2) The EDEE  side window was admittedly clumsy,  so for this version there is a right click menu, and it can be used to do things like command a unit or open production. The right click menu is an optional thing as you have most commands/actions available without a right click. However, the nature of clicking as a whole is varied now. My testers really worked on me to facilitate several different styles. There are four ways to set what your clicks mean. I think some of that is explained in this update blog.

3) The handicaps.  These percentages are masked as they are actually weights that work in formulas that are not that straight forward. My recommendation is to use one and see what the impact is on building a simple army or fighter at 100 to get the impact. I frankly cannot off the top of my head tell you the percentage impact. In EDCE there is this concept of an "account" (completely offline and internal to the game), and you can set up an account just for experimentation and such, and mess with the game not worrying about impacting the play stats for your other account(s).

And man we are getting closer. I just played the game on Steam the first time yesterday.  Hard to believe but release is coming. The pre-sales period is going to end very soon. And I am still having fun.

Wow, sounds great. Have converted video to audio so I can listen to your "Dynamic character" commentary 😁 while driving! So looking forward to it. Thanks for the clarifications Mark. It will be a pleasure to play from the looks of it. Cheers

PS. I experimented with the difficulty level in the Mobile edition (EDEE has a % input)

Normal difficult BB = 60 turns

Adv 1 = 45 turns

Adv 2 = 30 turns

Adv 3 = 15 turns

Checked out the Steam store! Looks great. You're going great guns. Cheers

Go Team !!!

I've just begun wading through those videos, Mark, and its a hidden treasure chest. You've have done a humungous amount of work. 

One thing I don't see-- and I'm not done watching yet-- is Escort function, assigning one ship to tag along with another, such as a destroyer or sub supporting a troop transport into dangerous waters.

Hey, you had Group Mode running since before I discovered Killer Bee!!  AND the ability to hide all controls with a keypress to give us full map immersion.  Woo hoo!

Oh, here's something I'll be looking for:  the ability to center screen over the active piece?

I was concerned by the Out of Range warnings popping up constantly in your demo.  I assume these can be squelched?

Epic enhance.

Best, as always.


Well, Escort is there, I rarely use it - and when I do, it is usually to send a bunch of ship to a far away location with the "escortee" as the leader.  But it is there. Center is also there, I use that a lot.

I think there was a demo where I was showing out of range warnings now for Carriers if they are leaving planes behind.  That is probably what you saw. That's a new feature, as I am often a victim of stranding my planes with my carriers.  For out of range warnings, they do popup and there is no way to keep that from happening, but only if the air unit is going out of range. There has been an added feature that helps this, and that is a box outlining the "Half Range" distance when the air unit is at base, so that is easier to mark, and when it is out and about there is a box showing its remaining endurance, which also makes it easier to tell when you are reaching its limits.  MY habit before the box was to just send it way out in a dir until the warning came up, which is also probably why you saw them a lot.

"MY habit before the box was to just send it way out in a dir until the warning came up, which is also probably why you saw them a lot."

Yeah, that's something I was watching you do-- you had me literally wincing!  

I am very conscious of fuel limits and I don't need annoying messages obscuring the map. This is why I use Patrol mode for planes, or when transporting them to the front along a movement path, I make sure cities are within fuel distance.  

Warnings are important but veteran players really don't need them.  IMHO, all you need is a global Squelch Warnings messages command, or a dialog with warning checkboxes.

My .02.

Just got back from a month of international travel and finally able to get lined up for this (and love the quote option!)    Great game and great to see the reboot since like many others I have bought every version ever put out in the past, but also over time and recycling computers (along with a wife who is a bit less focused on packing my old game collection when we move) I had lost this focus.   Pumped to get back on the horse and play another decade of games!


As I continue to watch YouTube demos I'm increasingly impressed with KB's work.  Like, it seems all there!

But I'm encountering Info Overload from three separate game status displays, in different font sizes, addressing separate info sets, scattered to the corners of the screen.  Hashtag: distraction!

Strikes me these ought to be completely consolidated into a single comprehensive screen. 

I really like the pop-out displays for Victory Conditions and the like, and I'm suspecting users would like to see unit, city, or command info at certain times, and not at others, and those slide outs are sexy.  The screen borders are exactly the place for these.

But I also value the classic status bar at top left.  Body memory takes my eye there for summary unit particulars like name, current orders, strength and damage.

The larger pop-out could duplicate this summary info but also also contain Unit Order History, Originated at____, and other Unit info, such as name changes, latte preferences and the like.

Selected City Info would appear on the same slide out, summarized in the status bar, Name, When Taken.  If an enemy city has been sailed past or flown over by your planes or satellite, intelligence reveals what it's currently manufacturing and its timetable.

Command Info would appear there with a function summary, plus any keyboard shortcut assigned. Those are identified here as "key bindings."

Player profiles would appear here too, for network play.

But the main point: reduce visual clutter and train the eye where to go for all info.

Any thoughts?

My .02

I guess we would have to play it and see for ourselves and see what works best. I have listened to the audio on the 3 YouTube videos, but not seen them. He does say the tabs are customisable.

Another question for Mark: Any more news on the AI? In the videos you mention the differing types of AI, but which will be the "best" to play with in the complete unit set and enhanced rules?



All three sets can go enhanced, but the "Classic AI" and "Expanding"  will not try to use all the units.  You have to really define "best"... as the interesting phenomenon is they are "different", which is really cool in that the same approach does not work as well with a different AI, and you could find you are actually in trouble in some games.  Don't just think one AI fits one set.

The AI's are limited, but there is definitely room for improvement.  But the community is really going to have to encourage AI development to make it happen.

My hope is we will get further AI's with different personalities...maybe even one that has distinct play styles inside it.

OK, so the AI isn't a simple " One size fits all"- Got it.  I've played some EDEE and mobile edition in the last couple of weeks (2 games of each) and I haven't noticed the AI's  AC  using fighters for projecting air power/ convoy screening (The AI did build them). Is that the sort of  tactic you are hoping to be added by the community? Also in EDEE the AI used AA and artillery to some effect, which was challenging.

So how much has changed since your last video (Sep 23)?  Meaning, have the Testers prompted you to make any more changes? Following that- If there are changes is a video coming, or are you waiting for the big unveil on release?


Well, from the perspective of "the game" (rules, units, etc), there have only been tweaks to the enhanced set. These are due to rare combat situations. The enhanced set is a little different in that supply is now abstracted (no supply unit) and there is no movement capture combat. It is kill only (except for city capture of course).

From the perspective of the interface, a great deal has changed since the KS.  Not the whole look, but many more commands have been added, other data is customization has been presented. Yes, I do need to do a stream for this.

You mean we could select bots reflecting generals like Patton, slapping soldiers and trash talking, ignoring orders and other behaviors which might effect the enemy's performance? Or a cautious general like Bradley, who would likely prefer patrols to wedge attacks? How is it some AI's cannot use all units?  You might have to do a video seminar on this, Mark. Break it down so idiots like me can understand what I'm engaging when I select one.


How is it some AI's cannot use all units?

Well, first code has to be written to use the unit. If the AI player does not understand the function of a unit, it cannot use it.  The brain must be developed.

This will actually be something Unit Set creators have to be aware of - that if they make a brand new unit - the AI will not understand it as a concept. A brand new unit is very different than just "making the tank faster/tougher".

The only AI currently in the mix that is capable of understanding something new would be the Enhanced AI. But even still you have to explain it in a script to him so that he understands what context he can use it in (define Rules of Engagement, is it good at exploring? do it reduce drain? etc.). It is all very involved actually. and the results are not always what you hope for.

Now the exciting thing is that the three existing AI's can be changed to understand more concepts. I would think the "Classic AI" would be pretty hard to modify, as there is some legacy with the way it is setup. If you wanted to add the concept of a Satellite and what to do with it, it could be done.

The "Expanding AI" is very minimalist in getting its job done - and it is quite effective imho. It can kick your ass if you make a wrong move. But I have kept it minimalist for a reason so that hopefully others can come in and add to it.  It is not a very complex set of code for that reason.

AIs are very challenging. and it is hard to do and quite time consuming. If we have members of the community that are up to the challenge (and I know we do), we should all cheer them on.

I wish I had the chops to help on AI, Mark.  Alas, my brilliance lies in UX and information design.-- when I'm not editing film.

P S. In addition to my last questions is weather still  included in EDCE as it is in EDEE?


Unfortunately, there were issues with the weather rules that made them unfair, and weather would have complicated the game to where I left it on the cutting room floor for the moment. So short answer is no weather rules currently.

Studying Manual release III.  I wonder if,  when an enemy Specialty City is captured, is there any instant economy of scale in producing the same unit?


No sure I follow the question, but Specialty Cities produce a particular specified unit type type of city faster, and others less than normal. The actual speed depends on the "Efficiency" of the city. So to get the specialty bonus that city must produce. Be aware that capturing a city also reduces the efficiency by 10%. The city not producing anything is how it regains efficiency.

I'm asking if a Specialty City, when I capture it, can be made able to produce the very same units produced by the enemy , using the enemy's former plants and equipment located there-- because of strategic bombing to preserve infrastructure!  This provides a real incentive to capture certain cities over others! I guess I'm asking if there's a legacy value to capturing a Specialty City.  A legacy game somehow informs current play with previous play history.  Providing the concept of a Speciality City, you've already laid pipe for it, so it came to mind.  All existing Efficiency rules can apply, even reduced efficiency of 10%, but perhaps restoring production of a unit the city was known for should provide a faster than usual ramp up in efficiency which makes such captures a real lure, not to mention a mine field and patrols for protection.


ah I see -  There's no history of production when capturing a city. When you take a city, you review the production, but it is reset to nothing and you make adjustments from there. There's no bonus for producing what was produced before. So you don't get to piggy back on production time already spent. But if a city is marked as a specialty for a certain unit type, that specialty is not lost on capture. So you would still get the percentage advantage/disadvantage depending on what you decide to produce there.

Great, thanks, Mark.