Stardock’s Wardell Explains Elemental

By Jim Rossignol on March 23rd, 2010 at 9:00 am.


Stardock’s forthcoming strategy game, Elemental, is looking rather interesting. It kicks off with the player mooching about, alone in the world, and ends up with you directing a colossal dynastic 4X empire-building game with user-generated content and a hefty multiplayer offering. Last week we talked to Stardock CEO Brad Wardell to get a bit more information about the user-generated content, multiplayer sessions lasting six months, and the world-building collaboration with publisher, Random House.

RPS: So Elemental is the sort of proof of concept of the Impulse Reactor stuff. What does that mean?

Wardell: All the multiplayer stuff, all the online functionality [from Impulse Reactor, which we talked a bit about yesterday] will be in Elemental. If we do it right then users won’t be able to tell what is an overlay and what is actually a game.

RPS: So the game is scheduled for the summer. What should we expect?

Wardell: Elemental is a fantasy strategy game set in a world that was previously left in ruins by a war of magic. When you arrive in the game you do so as the single player character, you design your character, setting out his strengths and weaknesses, how they look, and so on, and then you are set down into this devastated world. It’s like the start of many RPGs, but from there you build up a kingdom by founding cities and building up those cities. You expand the kingdom by designing new military units and using those to increase your reach and power in the world. You can learn spells, start familie – you can start dynasties with your offspring having magical abilities and becoming heroes within the game world. Overall you win through supreme conquest, or through completing a master quest, or by getting enough power to cast a spell of domination on the world.

RPS: So essentially a 4X game with more of an RPG heritage?

Wardell: Yes, it’s a 4X strategy game with a little Baldur’s Gate in it. The closest game I can think of is Master Of Magic, that’s been a bit of an inspiration for us. What we wanted to do with Elemental is to make it more of a personal experience. We really want you to be a presence within the game world, with your dynasty, with the way you design your units. When you go and zoom in and look at a unit you can see them all in the world, and they’ll all be a little different. And we want to move away from it being abstract. If I have a village with fifty people I can’t just click on it and ask for a legion of people. Those people have to come from somewhere. If spear-men come from a particular village, then there are less people left living there. It’s more personal in terms of you not just being this over-arching power, than other games in this genre.


RPS: Right, so what’s the sort of scale we’re looking at? How big is the game world, for example?

Wardell: Well that largely depends on how large the player wants it to be. Out intention is that in the training levels you should be able to win within an hour, especially if you’re playing multiplayer. If you’re playing the really epic maps, then we hope for the game to be able to last six months, on a map that is just beyond anything. Actually, we are going to come up with a 64-bit edition that could allow you to have even crazier-sized maps.

RPS: Six months! And that’s multiplayer too?

Wardell: Yes, you can go and save that and come back to it. It’s client-server, so there are no connectivity issues there. Someone can set up a custom server for their “Middle Earth” game or whatever – obviously we’re not going to set that up! – and then they can play from there with their own customisations. The idea is that the games remain persistent so you can play with friends over a weekend, and then you can come back the following weekend and the savegame is still there and you can continue.

RPS: So how much of the game is customisable?

Wardell: There’s a whole lot. You can make your own races, for example. There are no elves in the game world, but someone could make them if they wanted to. Or orks, or gnomes, whatever. We’ve tried to stay away from the high fantasy type stuff. Our ten races are five from races of men, and five from races of “The Fallen”, which are like a mix of goblins and trolls, except not actually that, they’re our own thing, The Fallen. In terms of customisations to the game generally we have what we call “the workshop”, in which people can make their own land tiles, there own spells, their own effects. They can submit that and then it goes into our cloud. People will be able to select that online and make the world richer and richer as we go. That’s all part of the game out of the box, and it’s the same kind of tools we are using to make the game in the first instance.

RPS: How finished is it if you’re looking to release in the summer?

Wardell: Well it’s in a private beta right now. Anyone who pre-orders will get straight into the rolled out betas that we are doing. And then at the end of the summer it should hit on Impulse and at retail.

RPS: Has Elemental presented any other challenges, other than the obvious ones in creating these kinds of tools?

Wardell: I’m writing a book! Wow, that gives me new-found respect for writers. I am usually a technical writer and so I thought “oh I know how to crank out 90,000 words” but then you realise how much more that actually is when you’re being creative the whole time. And rewriting! And rewriting…


RPS: The editing is the killer, it’s true. I think we went back seven times on This Gaming Life. I was so tired of it by the end.

Wardell: That’s where I am now. It’s the Devil’s Bargain: “how would you like to write a book? How would you like to write it over and over, forever?” But yeah, there’s a lot to do. Random House’s editors are working with me on it, and they’ll send it back with notes and oh, that same scene again… It’s exhausting.

RPS: And that’s all tied into Elemental?

Wardell: Yes, Random House has been working on the in-game fiction with us. One of the things we thought would be really important is to have something different for the single player campaign. Just having that “you have to eventually kill the Dark Lord” quest didn’t really make sense for this game, something hackneyed really wouldn’t work. We wanted something special and interesting. It really changed my opinion of this stuff, because I thought “well, anyone can write a fantasy quest”, and then they challenged that, because we were looking at just standard heroes’ journey stuff, and they’ve thrown all that out. You know, that’s something really significant for us.

RPS: That’s the value of experienced editors, I suppose. They’re smart people, they do bring ideas in.

Wardell: It’s amazing how many things in game they’ve changed. Little things like them asking “what’s your unit of currency?” Well it’s gold. Obviously it’s gold. But then they pointed out: “No one actually calls their currency gold. Not ever.” That’s how it’s done in other games, sure, but that doesn’t make it right. And its up to use to fix it. In fact, the currency name needs to be based on a reason generated by the game world. You don’t need to explain it, the explanation didn’t need to come up within the game, it just needs to make sense. So we went ahead and did that, and it works a lot better.

RPS: How did working with a book publisher come about then? It seems pretty unusual for two creative companies to working at that level with each other…

Wardell: They came to us, actually. It’s the same team that has been doing the Star Wars expanded universe. They now want to collaborate with game studios. We’re their test run, working with a smaller studio, getting into the game-making process. What they wanted was create a fictional game world and allow stories and games to come from that. So the book is not of the game, it’s of the world. And the game comes from that world too. It’s a world for generating this stuff that is collaborated on by both of us, books and games.

RPS: A world-building exercise across two companies.

Wardell: Exactly. When we first spoke to them I had this timeline of the world for backstory, and by the time they were done with it we had this vast Tolkien-esque backstory with a full history of the world! This flowed through the entire team, like the art team, once they had seen this, started coming up with stuff. They were able to create things that they could sprinkle through the world, artifacts, buildings and so on. The collaboration has made it so that the game was not generic. We knew it couldn’t be “oh the orks again” and instead we’ve made it so that players can make that stuff if they want to include it.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

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90 Comments »

  1. Flameberge says:

    Another very interesting interview.
    I do like Stardock, and I do like what they’re doing, consistently trying new things. I hope this game is sauccesful for them, looks like the type of thing I will buy if they pull it off.

    • Damien Stark says:

      I agree – love Stardock, but they need more sauce.
      I always want to like their games (I’ve bought and played GalCiv2, Sins, and Demigod), but they always feel board-gamey to me. Meaning that the content/story is generic and unimportant, and that the single-player larger consists of random skirmish with the AI subbing in for humans.

      Strategy is pretty much my favorite genre, and I’m a big fan of the company, but I’m still holding out hope they’ll produce something with a richer or more enjoyable single-player experience. It sounds like Elemental just might?

  2. nine says:

    Did you deliberately start the first three questions with “so”? :P

    More seriously, it’s great to have been reading all these interviews. Keep it up!

  3. Dlarit says:

    Looking forward to an epic RPS 6month multiplayer Diary! :-)

    • Chris D says:

      That would certainly be awesome but given the recent goings on in Neptunes Pride I’d expect it to be called off at around the three month mark, maybe four if they’re really good at hiding bodies.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Haha. You’d have to delve into the court records to piece the rest of it together. It’s a node-led cross-media narrative!

  4. Memphis-Ahn says:

    I’ve pre-ordered the game a while ago, and it’s not in that “playable and fun” stage just yet; hopefully soon when Beta 2 rolls out.
    What kind of irks me a bit is that I HAVE to be a city ruler person, so much for RPG there. I mean, if it were up to me, I’d be a lone hero going around slaying monsters and helping (destroying?) other kingdoms with my powerful artifacts and spells. Hell, add in the “Master Behind the Throne” feat from Solium Infernum and the ability to be a knight for a king and you could get some cool stuff going.

    That was a bit of a tangent; but yeah, it looks great. Very reminiscent of Age of Wonders, which I loved.

    • DMcCool says:

      I agree, being able to RP anyone would be ideal. As brave/exciting as this game sounds it is one step away from perfection still. I’d add a total layer of customisaton to the “Perfection” criterea actually: being able to change the name and graphics for ANYTHING if you so please and even set up a campaign to start any way you like. Then toss in the ability to inhabit this world in different ways, playing different characters from the same save. Like in Dwarf Fortress.

      Every game could do with more of Dwarf Fortress. And the great thing is when you look at it and games like this, that golden combination can’t be far off, right?

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      When I thought customization in this regard, I thought immediately of what Spore should have been.

  5. DMcCool says:

    That sounds …wonderful. Customisation + Huge Campaigns with Emergent storytelling is a wonderful combination. The six months stat is jawdropping, or more its jaw-dropping that they think they could get away with that. When it comes to games like this where the player is going to invest ALOT of time in the story the game is going to invent, the more customisation the better. If we want to set up a game far longer than we could ever imaginably complete, having the bravery to let us is commendable. Me owning this game is looking to be inevitable.

    Though what we are REALLY waiting for, of course, is what happens after Tom Francis gets his hands on it, right?

  6. Trite says:

    Dlarit, exactly my thoughts. Actually, make that the 64 bit edition, with a decade long game or so.

    • Tei says:

      Re: long game

      you can make a very long map, with a river in the center, and call it “river world”.

  7. frags says:

    You spelled Orcs with a K!

  8. SWOne says:

    I have to admit, it’s the Random house collaboration that actually gets me excited about this. It’s a fantastic idea.

  9. CMaster says:

    Be interesting to see how these long multiplayer games actually work out. Does the server just sit idle until everyone playing signs in?

    And agreed, a world where you could, but didn’t have to become a faction ruler would be nice, but then you get to the state where you are almost making two games.

    • Collic says:

      I’d imagine the saves are client side, which then ‘synch’ the gamestate with the server once a game is resumed. Just a guess, but i don’t see how else you would do it.

    • godwin says:

      I think it’d be somewhat like Sins’ multiplayer, where someone could save (the file stays with this someone) and continue another time. If I remember correctly you don’t even need all the original players to be there to continue the game.

      I’m pretty sure the 6 months isn’t talking about duration of the game but rather how long in terms of real-life time a game might drag on for, i.e. importance is more on how long interest (in a single instance!) might be sustained.

  10. Scypher says:

    First I’ve heard of this, but certainly not the last. I’m on the optimistic side of skeptical… I really hope I’m going to love this as much as I think I will.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      My feelings exactly. Or a skeptic with hope.

      I hope the game to be as good as they say. The premises are just right. But I’m a little skeptic it can be pulled off. I’m not sure if they are asking too much of themselves, or if I’m going to be dissapointed with the single-player version. One of them will probably happen.

    • Feste says:

      My main concerns are that while I’ve always wanted to like the GalCiv games, I’ve never really got on with them. Not sure why, I think it was just so streamlined that I slid right off them. Still, this is a new series with some different goals and I used to really, really love Master of Magic.

  11. K. says:

    Really looking forward to this. Loved the old Master of Magic and Age of Wonders games, had many a happy multiplayer-match there.
    Heroes of Might and Magic and King’s Bounty don’t do it for me – too fixated on few heroes, need more stuff to level up. :)

    Elemental would be pre-ordered by now, but for their insistence on credit card or paypal payment.
    C’mon, Stardock! Even Solium Infernum got my money via direct wire transfer.

    Amount of strategy games named in this message: 6

  12. Tei says:

    “Actually, we are going to come up with a 64-bit edition that could allow you to have even crazier-sized maps. ”

    I smell a “1:1 europe” map? or “1:1 middle earth map” ?

  13. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    Is it just me or does the armour in preview pic look like Al from Full Metal Alchemist?

  14. Saul says:

    Me too! I’m an editor, and THAT’s the job I want.

  15. Wulf says:

    I think I might be feeling a little disappointed right now. Not in the game, not at all, but rather in myself.

    Anyone who’s even barely acquainted with what makes me tick knows that I love a good story in my games, it’s very important to me and I can smell a bad storyline, and once perceived I have a great deal of trouble overlooking it. A poor storyline can impact my enjoyment of a game pretty badly, which is usually why I prefer games that don’t require strong a storyline with a cleverly managed narrative, or games that have a strong storyline with cleverly managed narrative.

    From what I’ve read in this interview, I can see that this is going to have a well-written lore, attention to detail, it’ll properly consider continuity, and it’ll be quite, quite interesting, unlike most RPGs of the past year or so. I want that. The only problem is that I absolutely stink at games of this ilk, that’s not to say that I don’t play them anyway as I remember loving Shining Force back in the day, but I do wonder whether I’d get very far with this. I’m great with city-builders, but combat strategy just… baffles me. Usually I lack the motivation to fight.

    Regardless, I’m going to keep an eye on this, I think… this might be the kind of game that’ll make me want to persevere with this genre. So, I’m disappointed that I might not be able to enjoy this, but I’m also quietly hopeful that I just might.

    Oi, Stardock! Demo!

    • Winterborn says:

      Well if it’s not your genre it’s not your genre but from what’s said in the interview and from playing plenty of other 4X games you should be able to win without having to deal with much combat. Play defensive and work at casting that ‘spell of domination’ to win.

      I concur that the lore looks like it could be tasty.

    • Clovis says:

      Or just play on easy. I’ve definitely resorted to easy difficult on games where I just didn’t like the basic combat mechanics but wanted to finish the game for the story and images.

      If that doesn’t work, cheat.

    • Feste says:

      Also, that’s what auto-resolve is for. If tactics don’t catch your fancy just treat it as Civ and play from the map.

  16. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Nice interview, though something cute I noticed a while ago… That horse-riding knight is quite similar to Final Fantasy VI’s logo:

    http://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh33/terrorfromabove/Final%20Fantasy/FinalFantasy6.jpg

    Not Stardock’s fault per se, since it’s a staple of any medieval fantasyish game to use recurring themes, visual or otherwise.

  17. TheApologist says:

    This sounds amazing. But finding friends to play a long game with…not so sure.

    They should experiment with money off on multiple copies, or buy one copy and get a code that allows friends to play on a limited-time trial – something like that.

  18. Gothnak says:

    Not that i’m building this up much, but if they pull off the updated Master of Magic, it’ll be the greatest game ever!

  19. JKjoker says:

    will this game have a hotseat feature ?

  20. Plinglebob says:

    This is the first time Elemental has come onto my radar and if it wasn’t for the fact I’m at work I would have pre-ordered it already. I really enjoyed Gal Civ and Sins and the idea of a fantasy game with turn-based combat (more games need turn-based combat) from Stardock really makes me excited.

    DAMN YOU RPS FOR HELPING ME SPEND MONEY!

    @JKjoker – I really hope so. I have fond memories of a MTW:2 game that lasted 18 months that my best mate and I played during uni holidays.

  21. Ginger Yellow says:

    But then they pointed out: “No one actually calls their currency gold. Not ever.

    Well, the Dutch did, more or less.

    I’m really, really looking forward to this. I’d pre-order it, but I understand the beta is very limited at the moment.

    • Tei says:

      Almost all america (buth USA, Canada and Brasil ) call his money “plata” (Silver).

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      Just rembered: the Polish zloty has the same etymology as guilder, but Slavic obviously.

    • JB says:

      Ah, you beat me to it GY, I was just about to mention the zloty. =\

    • Pijama says:

      Tei: you surely mean Pesos?

    • Tei says:

      Pijama:
      Humm.. not, “plata” (silver). Anyway, this is second hand information, I am not american.

    • Rugged Malone says:

      I’m a Canadian and I’ve never even heard of the term ‘plata,’ we call our money ‘money.’ =T

      Generally in english-speaking America you have ‘cash’ and ‘coins’ and ‘bills’ and ‘quarters’ and ‘dollars’ etc.

      Canada-specific, you can add the ‘loonie’ and ‘toonie’ which is are the popular names for our $1 and $2 coins.

      (Googling ‘plata’ doesn’t seem to indicate anything money-related either…)

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I understand the possible confusion, Tei. Although I don’t have knowledge on Spanish custumes and language, it’s quite common for money to have non official denominations, which source are almost always attributed to the history and culture.
      The word gold, for instance in its Portuguese translation (“ouro”) was the name given to a coin during the 15th century representing 500 reais (“real” being the Portuguese currency back then, meaning “royal”). This coin was entirely made of gold, hence why it got that unofficial name. It was a valuable piece, only to the reach of the nobility, so there’s a funny here if you think of some highway robber in the 15th century stopping a noble’s coach and saying “give me all your gold!” ;)
      So it’s not entirely correct no one names their currency Gold, although it’s true I know of no official denomination as such. But it’s possible, if one digs well enough that the word Plata comes up as an unofficial denomination of some coin or groups of coins in some time and place in Spanish speaking countries. You came upon that once and can’t remember.

  22. Grunt says:

    Things I liked:

    – The premise: rebuild a shattered world!
    – The persistence of worlds/levels – six months playable sounds amazing (and astonishingly foolhardy in this era of games designed to last no more than 10 hours!)
    – Customisation options

    Dislike Brad Wardell if you must but you have to admit that Stardock have an admirable dedication to producing well-crafted games with interesting and creative designs. Long may that continue, I say. This is going on my purchase list, with a fair modicum of excitement. :)

  23. Premium User Badge

    Flimgoblin says:

    I’m very tempted to pre-order, but I figure if it’s as good as my imagination over-hypes it to be I’ll lose enough of my life playing it at release that I don’t want to get into the beta…

    • Feste says:

      I was tempted by beta access, but I also figured that I don’t want to demystify the game as much as playing it in beta would.

      I also had a slightly bad reaction to the beta access to Gratuitous Space Battles; I love the game, it’s great fun, but I pretty much ‘completed’ the set challenges and had unlocked everything before the game was officially release. When things got relocked due to changes in the way the game worked, I didn’t quite have the stamina to go through it all again.

  24. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    I’ve been quietly waiting for this game for a while now. I’m starting to get impatient. :D

  25. klumhru says:

    Looks good.

    Oh.

    Darn, Turnbased :(

  26. Billzor says:

    “If you’re playing the really epic maps, then we hope for the game to be able to last six months, on a map that is just beyond anything. Actually, we are going to come up with a 64-bit edition that could allow you to have even crazier-sized maps. ”

    Man, imagine that AAR. : \

  27. seras says:

    looks pretty neat

    and yes, i’m of the “been waiting 15 years for a master of magic remake” persuasion :)

  28. invisiblejesus says:

    Strategy isn’t usually my cup of tea, but I may have to check this out anyway. After the horror stories about the Demigod release I think I’ll be holding off until reviews roll in, but I’m hopeful. I could see some insane multiplayer fun coming out of this game, especially with really long games.

    • Spoon says:

      Remember, Stardock didn’t dev Demigod, Gas Powered Games did. When it became apparent that there were widespread netcode problems with Demigod, Stardock helped them fix it, gave out 50% discount coupons, etc. Stardock is a pretty classy company with good customer service, and I would be surprised if they repeated mistakes from Demigod, honestly.

    • Chris D says:

      I believe the problems with Demigod were mainly due to them using peer to peer networking. As the interview mentions Elemental will be client-server I don’t think we should see a repeat of the same mistakes.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      You may both be right, but I don’t make the kind of money where I can afford to shell out $40-50 for a game and have it suck. These days anything not budget-priced or on some ridiculous discount has to be a sure thing for me. With any luck that’ll change by the time Elemental comes out, but you never know.

  29. Taillefer says:

    Only interested inthe single-player, but really looking forward to this one. And all the support for customisation excites me, but more because I know I can rely on other people being more talented than I am.

  30. Rhooke says:

    I’m just starting to get into the Civ4 mod Fall from Heaven 2 (which sounds more than a little like this), thanks to a previous post on RPS. Hopefully it can tide me over until Elemental gets a little more… cooked. Or, y’know, released. :)

    • Wilson says:

      @Rhooke – Yeah, Fall from Heaven 2 is excellent. I’m probably looking forward to Elemental more having played FFH2. Fantasy does have some excellent possibilities for 4X style games to exploit, and it’s a shame that there aren’t more out there. I’m half tempted to pre-order this to get in the next beta (currently scheduled for 1st April I think, but it could be pushed back) even though I gather that it’s very much unfinished.

  31. terry says:

    This sounds very intriguing and I’m interested to see how it works in practice, one of the great attractions about such cloud-based content is the seamlessness with which user-generated quests and such could populate the world, though of course that’s heavily dependent on the tools and what tools are present to sort it. The idea of logging in, grabbing some nice quests and tiles to my single player game and find holy hell some enormous tree has sprouted and it’s choking my villages with mutant hedgerows and I must deal with this NOW is very appealing to me.

    Also, it looks a little like I’d imagine an updated (Lords of) Chaos to be. This is not a bad thing.

    • Wulf says:

      And looking at it that way I’m even more excited about it. It’s writing of a high-calibre combined with a dynamic world, and I do love me a dynamic world. The best attempt at combining the two I’ve seen thus far is probably Gothic III (with the community megapatch, of course), which even went so far as having an ecology. I hunger for more of that sort of thing. And user created content that could further add to that dynamism is an exciting concept, because–of course, as should be expected–a user can be more risque and take something in ways that the game’s developer wouldn’t have even considered. This is usually par the course.

      I’m even more intrigued by this, despite it being a genre I stink at.

  32. Vinraith says:

    I’m a huge fan of Gal Civ 2, but I’m fundamentally suspicious of any strategy game that appears to have focused its attention towards adversarial multiplayer, as that’s a mode I’ll never use. After the debacle that was Sins, and avoiding the Demigod mess altogether, I’m going to have to wait and see whether the AI is strong enough and the SP/co-op game interesting enough to make this one a worthwhile purchase.

    • cyrenic says:

      @Vinraith

      I’m pretty sure the focus for this game is still on single player. I haven’t been following the game as closely as I was a few months ago but the focus then was definitely on single player. I’m expecting the AI to be better than GalCiv’s (which had quite good AI, mind you), and I remember reading a dev journal about how the AI will be easily moddable by players so that should be cool.

    • Vinraith says:

      @cyrenic

      I certainly hope that’s the case, the potential here is enormous.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Is there any info on whether it’ll include a coop mode? That’d definitely add appeal for me and make it an easier sell to my friends.

    • Vinraith says:

      @invisiblejesus

      Co-op mode in a TBS like this is usually just a matter of allying with your friend as soon as you’re able and not screwing each other over. I’ve never seen a 4X TBS with dedicated co-op, but neither have I ever seen one that prevented it. I don’t see any indication this game is going to be an exception to either rule.

  33. Farewell says:

    Just the mention of a worthy successor to Master of Magic was enough for me to let out a orgasmic squeal :D

  34. Karthik says:

    Alphonse was bound to a medieval suit of armor. (So yeah.)

  35. karthik says:

    I wish they would include a singleplayer campaign with their games. Sins would have really benefited from one.

  36. LionsPhil says:

    Dat just means dey got some propa appresheatshun of MORE CHOPPA!

    WARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

    • LionsPhil says:

      FFFFF-

      Seriously, this reply system. That’s obviously in response to the “Orcs with a k” comment.

    • Feste says:

      Na worries, they just needs to get some more sprokits and gubbinz on da site! ‘Ere we go! ‘Ere we go! ‘Ere we go!

  37. SpinalJack says:

    Sounds like Spore: the 4X game

  38. Maerduin says:

    I’ve been following Elemental and am really looking forward to it, especially after this interview. I’m particularly interested in the modding potential–I’ve been modding Dragon Age recently, which is rewarding but hard going, and before that modded NWN2. It would be nice to mod something a little different–but not *too* different–in terms of genre.

  39. Hmm says:

    Yes, turn based. That’s the major selling point for me, I love Civilization, Jagged Alliance 2, Silent Storm, Temple of Elemental Evil – they’re TURN BASED. Real time games are a dime a dozen, do we really need one more? Holy hell, how many TB games are out there these days?
    Do you complain about chess being TB, too? Chess are awesome because they’re TB.

  40. Nickosha says:

    OOOH! OOOOH! I have a story!

    I actually complained to Brad Wardell once. I complained on the Demigod in game chat about the manual and he started talking to me, because they had a few people keeping an eye on the chat at the time. He was like, “I know what the manual says, I WROTE the manual.”

    I proceeded to my complaint, which was that the manual noted that one could return Demigod for a full refund, even “if you bought a retail copy in Boyne City, Michigan (Just kidding, no one lives in Northern Michigan)” My first complaint was that I live about 10 minutes from Boyne City, Michigan, on a road that comes off of Boyne City Road! The 2nd complaint was more of just letting him know that there isn’t any place to buy PC games in Boyne City, so obviously it would be impossible to return a retail copy.

    Anyways the whole thing was just me goofing around, but I did get to talk to Wardell, find out that Stardock is in downstate Michigan, and that Mrs. Wardell is from Boyne City, Michigan. Apparently several of the manuals poke fun at this part of the state.

  41. Unspeakable Horror says:

    “Money” means “Plata” in spanish :)
    For example if you want to ask someone if he has money to buy something you say: “Tenés plata para comprar…?” -> Do you have money to buy…?

    Also “Plata” means “Silver” but I don’t know of any country that named their currency like that in the past.

    I guess it’s something like a generic term for all currencies since just like with “money” you don’t specify which currency you are referring to.
    I’m not sure I’m helping with this or confusing you even more but there you go :p

  42. Anonymousity says:

    I found this comment particularly interesting because I’m reading a financial history of gold at the moment. While no one called their currency gold during time post monetisation, using actual gold in their currency meant that they had to either work using debasement (sometimes disastrous) or balance the amount of gold in their country using trade and conquest to keep inflation in check. So while the coinage was often named the strength of the currency during times of gold or silver standard was often based around purity and weight. Calling your currency gold instead of a set currency democratises it.

  43. MadMatty says:

    Looks good! Im more than happy to do away with the elves and orks-
    and the graphics style is interesting- looks like cell shading.
    Also the promise of well written quests and background leaves me salivating… the last decade has been overflowing with this sub-pulp Tolkien rip-off shite.
    I mean, i still played the games, coz they were GAMES and good game mechanics usually mean you can have fun anyway- but to think of what it COULD have been!
    This probably won´t be it (feel free to prove me wrong, Stardock) but sounds like a step in the right direction, by some people who seem to have a clue.

  44. Hamsterfury says:

    And yet all I can think…….. When is the new Dwarf Fortress out? This game really has ideology ties to it.

  45. Le Codge says:

    After playing NWN2, the one thing that always bugged me was how little you could do with Crossroads Keep – you’re granted this fort to build up etc, but you can’t really do anything with it. If the budget and resources had been there, it could have represented the start of the game proper, expanding into a Total War style Faerun epic.

    From what i’ve read, this sounds like it could be the game wishing for. Start at level 1 with your humble adventurer, eventually get granted a small holding, expand, get granted / claim more land until the scope truly blossoms.

    The main thing I hope to be able to do with the game is to arm my villagers to the teeth with all the +1 longswords and suits of plate I’ve managed to pick up and have no use for. That would be awesome.

  46. Davie says:

    That sounds really awesome. We need more strategy games like this, that are willing to try new and interesting things. What I was unable to gather about this: Is it turn-based? Because that would ruin everything. For me at least.

  47. correnos says:

    At least for Sins the backstory boiled down to “yadda yadda, they attacked, etc. And that’s why we’re having an intergalactic slugfest Right Now.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for intergalactic slugfests, and the backstory allowed for plenty of fan fiction, but it’ll be interesting to see how stardock manages a full-fledged storyline.

  48. Gorstagg says:

    You all should get on over to the Elemental: War of Magic website, http://www.elementalgame.com and explore this further. Stardock is creating an incredibly immersive world for all of us to explore or simply the tools to create our own epic fantasies.

    Can you really ask for more?

  49. Gorstagg says:

    You all should head on over to the Elemental: War of Magic website, and take a look at how far it’s come. http://www.elementalgame.com

    We should consider ourselves lucky that Stardock is the company behind all of this, due to their commitment to great games. That and they are providing an epic tableau for you to explore their fantasy world or one of your very own, with your own enemy races, so you can have your own world of magic at your finger tips.

  50. Gorstagg says:

    You all should head on over to the Elemental: War of Magic website, and take a look at how far it’s come.

    We should consider ourselves lucky that Stardock is the company behind all of this, due to their commitment to great games. That and they are providing an epic tableau for you to explore their fantasy world or one of your very own, with your own enemy races, so you can have your own world of magic at your finger tips.