What we’ve all been waiting for since playing the demo of Gratuitous Space Battles (or longer if you played Strange Adventures in Infinite Space) is a campaign wrapper– and it’s coming according to the developers blog! Though it doesn’t look like it’s currently planned, the best thing about it is that GSB could work multiplayer. Unlike Master of Orion 2 and the like, the campaign wrapper for GSB would be playable as a multiplayer game because you don’t control the battles themselves: only the set up.
The main issue with all turn-based strategy games is that battles (even CIV) take so long that players that are not involved are off playing some other game by the time it gets back to their turn. Dominions and Ultracorps (and many other games) solved this by having tick based turns, i.e.: you put your orders in and at a set time, all player’s orders are executed and the new turn begins. Without this, multiplayer turn-based strategy games with battles simply doesn’t work due to time constraints. The way GSB has been developed, players can execute their turns, submit and after the next turn starts, they can watch each of their battles unfold. I may be getting ahead of myself here, as a large grain of salty skepticism needs to be applied to any Space 4X game since MOO3’s cascade of space pysse into my open mouth– the GSB campaign could suck a giant turd straight from the ass of Prosthetic Vogon Jeltz. That said, I’m going to get the full version of GSB to push some cash to the developers who may have our best interest in mind–and you should too.