Desktop Wallpaper of a Solar Empire
TomChick - News - 02/02/08 - Link

Today I did something I've never done before.

I don't usually mess with desktop wallpaper. I have George Bush on my laptop as a lark, but most of my computers have a clean black field and minimal icons. I used to have a picture of Shodan on one computer, and sometimes my friends think it's funny to put up gay porn or pictures of Matt Damon when I'm not looking, so that I'll turn on the computer and go, 'Ha ha, gay porn!' or 'Ha ha, Matt Damon!'.

But one thing I've never done is put up a screenshot from a game I'm playing. That would be just...I dunno...stupid, right? Who would put up a screenshot of a game he's playing? Not me.

Until today. I've spent a lot of time admiring the graphics in Sins of a Solar Empire, which has a pace so stately and camera control so slick that you'll be frequently tapping the PrntScrn key.

Today, I lined up a really nice shot of a front line TEC system bracing itself for an attack. Behold, my wallpaper!

It looks like a cross between an inspirational Christian poster and something from Star Trek, but prettier than either of those. My wallpaper version is much higher resolution, but now it's got icons splashed all over it for things like Hellgate: London, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Microsoft Word, and TurboTax. Oh, the indignity.

If you're curious what you're looking at beyond the fact of the matter that it's a bunch of space stuff, here's the deal: The vertical structures in the center of the screen are broadcast centers that send culture out. Since this is a front line system, rather than attack from here, I'm setting up a culture system to destabilize the other guy's economy and hopefully force him to attack me.

The formations of specks in front of the broadcast centers are about fifty Javelis missile frigates. The ribbed structure above them is a frigate factory. Off to the sides are Gauss cannon turrets, and to the far right is a repair bay that heals buildings and ships. This is the edge of a planet's gravity well, and I'm set up to hit hard any ships that phase jump into this system.

To the far left is the rump of the Pissed Civet, which is what I've named my Dumov battlecruiser, a grand capital ship with a powerful EMP burst. Capital ships have a variety of skills you can level up, much like the heroes in Warcraft 3. But unlike Warcraft 3, you can name them whatever you like. What you can't see here is the planet behind all this, as well as the phase jump inhibitor that will slow down any ships that attempt to jump out after they've jumped in. And that light in the back? That's God, shining his divine light on the coolest RTS of year. So what if it's only January yet.

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