Posts Tagged ‘Stardock’

Alpha & Benchmark Tool For Stardock’s SupCom-like RTS Ashes Of The Singularity

Ashes of The Singularity [official site] is the Stardock-published, Oxide-developed uber-RTS in which you control thousands of units. I can barely keep control of one toddler and one cat, so I’m already scared. Apparently the trick is to “build “meta-units” that act together as a single, coherent, massive unit” though, so I guess I’ll try a cut’n’shut on my household’s junior lifeforms and see if it works out. Anyway, this ‘first 64-bit RTS’ looks pretty spectacular, but the finished version is a long way off and specs look a little scary to anyone with a humbler PC. A paid alpha’s been available for a couple of months, but it’s now joined by a benchmarking tool with which you can a) splatter pretty scenes all over your screen and b) compare genital sizes.

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Wot I Think: Sorcerer King

Stardock’s latest finds the sweet spot between boardgame-inspired strategy design and the Elemental series’ traditional 4X roots, and it mostly manages to stay within that sweet spot during its post-conquest play sessions. “Post-conquest?” you might be thinking. It’s unusual for a strategy game to start anywhere but the beginning – be that the beginning of a war, of history or of a new age of exploration – and Sorcerer King’s [official site] unusual setting is integral to an understanding of how and why it works.

Like Firaxis’ upcoming XCOM 2, Sorcerer King is the sequel to a game that you lost. Here’s wot I think.

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Galactic Civilizations III Adds Steam Workshop Support

Ah, the old Bugknife - a classic ship design.

That there Galactic Civilizations III [official site] is pretty good, our Adam thought, though he noted it could do with an expansion or two under its spacebelt. It may have launched out of Early Access two months ago, but that doesn’t mean development’s done. Yesterday brought a patch adding two new difficulty levels (high and low: Incredible and Easy) along with Steam Workshop support for sharing your custom factions and ship designs and easily downloading others. Good news: people have already created almost heaps of sci-fi movie and TV ships and factions for you.

In other, slightly less warm news, a map editor has arrived, but as part of a £4 map pack DLC.

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Stardock’s Sorcerer King Launches On July 16th

Stardock’s turn-based strategy game Sorcerer King [official site] has been hanging around in Early Access for a while now. But now it is taking the next step. It’s growing up. It’s graduating. It’s getting a mortgage and losing its childlike innocence in favor of grown-up cynicism. It’s finally doing that thing all the big games are doing: it’s getting a release date. (July 16th, in case you were wondering.)

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Wot I Think: Galactic Civilizations III

Galactic Civilizations III [official site] is the long-awaited sequel to the 24th best strategy game of all time. I’ve spent a week looking to the stars and planting my flag in every planet in sight in order to understand the changes that have been made, and the improvements and failures at the heart of this behemoth. Here’s wot I think.

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T-minus 22 Days: Galactic Civilizations 3 Gets Release Date

If I’m going to blast off into the far reaches of the galaxy, I’d probably rather the technology be perfected first. There’s a lot to be said for going up in a multi-billion dollar fireball and raining ashes over the Pacific, but perhaps that’s not for everyone. By the same token, you might not be willing to attempt galactic conquest while a game’s on Steam Early Access.

If so, good news: Galactic Civilizations III now has a launch date for blasting out of Early Access and becoming a proper fancy full video game, whatever that is. Start a countdown: t-minus 22 days. Or May 14th, if you find that easier to understand; you probably do.

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GalCiv III Adds Custom Factions & Mod Support

Tch, why conquer space for anyone else? Why march under the banner of the Krynn Syndicate when you could be The Confederacy of Ian? Who could stand up to the economic power of The Michael Empire? And imagine the terror enemies would feel lining up against the Aliciance fleet.

You can now make that happen in Galactic Civilizations III, as the latest update on its way through Early Access added custom factions, not to mention mod support.

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Interview: Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company [official site] is a competitive, multiplayer RTS set on Mars, but instead of fighting with lasers, players compete to dominate a fluctuating commodities market. The winner is the person who buys low, sells high and uses their gains to launch hostile takeovers of their opponent’s companies.

At GDC, I spoke to designer Soren Johnson (formerly of Civilization IV) and artist Dorian Newcomb (formerly of Civilization V) about Early Access, how player’s had surprised them in the months since its initial release, why they wish the game was hidden on Steam, and what small companies can do that big .

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Ashes Of The Singularity Looks Beautiful (And Expensive)

A rather impressive Ashes of the Singularity screenshot

Footage of the so-recently-announced-we’ve-not-yet-covered-it Ashes of the Singularity [official site] has emerged from GDC and gosh, does it look impressive.

Ashes of the Singularity is a forthcoming RTS from Oxide Games. It’s apparently aiming to wow us in the same way that Supreme Commander did all the way back in 2007: with impressive scale and gorgeous sci-fi warporn.

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Early Impressions: Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company is a combat-free, sci-fi real-time strategy game from the lead designer of the sumptuous Civilization IV.

A great concept with a great pedigree – can it possibly be as good as it sounds? But enough about Snickers More Nuts, let’s talk about Soren Johnson’s new game, an Early Access version of which was released this week.
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Gal Civ III Beta Update: Watch Your Fleets Burn

Have you been playing the Galactic Civilizations III beta? If so, you may be excited to learn that it’s been updated to include some gratuitous-looking space battles. Try not to sear your retinas with laser beams as you watch this short trailer:

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Diplomatic Opportunity: Gal Civ 3 Beta 2 Adds Lots

Update: Stardock have now released a video showing the diplomacy feature in action.

When Brendan looked at Galactic Civilization 3‘s beta back in August, he deemed it not ready for consumption. It’s a 4X series that’s beloved for the anecdotes it creates for players through its personality-driven AI and the ability to conquer galaxies not just with superior numbers but by, say, destroying all the stars or broadcasting better television. None of that choice was in the game at that point, despite the £30/$45 price tag.

Now there’s a lot more of it. Beta 2 has just gone live, which adds diplomacy and trading and personalities and a ton of new ways to win the game, including through influence, alliances, ascension and research. The full list of changes is too vast to list here, but I’ve picked out a few below.

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Sorcerer King: Stardock’s Surprise New 4X Strategy

'Things are heating up around here,' says the fire demon. No one likes that guy.

Oh, those Stardock scamps! Skipping the post-announcement, pre-release build-up of people muttering how they hope new Stardock games are less buggy than Elemental’s initial release, they’ve jumped straight to release with their latest. Or Early Access release, anyway. Yesterday Stardock both announced and released Sorcerer King. It’s a 4X strategy, as you might expect and hope from Stardock, with the twist of pitting players against a Left 4 Dead-ish AI director. Rather than fighting similar AI civilisations doing similar things, it’s an asymmetric war against the mighty Sorcerer King.

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