Posts Tagged ‘Stardock’

Elemental: Wardell Opens His Bally Veins

By Alec Meer on September 6th, 2010.

In what is hopefully the final word on the sorry release saga of Elemental, Stardock bossguy Brad Wardell has issued another remarkably frank public mea culpa, following the weekend’s awful news that several Stardock staffers were to lose their jobs and a future project may be axed as a result of poor reviews and lower-than-hoped revenues for the roleplaying strategy game. While it’s by now scarcely any secret that the man’s publicly holding himself accountable for the release of a rickety game, the sum total of information and apparent self-flagellation offered has been extraordinary.
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“Blindness” Caused Elemental Release “Fail”

By John Walker on September 3rd, 2010.

It looks quite nice from here.

Stardock’s Brad Wardell has given an extraordinary mea culpa in response to the furore surrounding the release of Elemental. Posting on the official Stardock forums, he explains that he doesn’t think people have yet to “fully realize the completeness of Stardock’s fail on Elemental’s launch.” He goes on to say that, “Elemental’s launch is the result of catastrophic poor judgment on my part.” The problem, he says, is not one of having released unfinished or buggy code, but of the development team having lost sight of the game, of “blindness”. It’s a fascinatingly honest comment, and one that must surely affect so many teams after years working on a game. Wardell has gone on to write more on the subject, while still on his holidays, here. In it he explains that there will be no new Stardock game next year – just more Elemental content. He promises more on this matter when he gets back to a proper internet connection.

You can read the original comment below. Don’t forget Kieron’s thoughts on the game, over here.

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Impressions Of: Elemental – War Of Magic

By Kieron Gillen on August 30th, 2010.


In my time so far with Stardock’s Elemental I’ve come to hate one thing above all overs. As in, its name. Which seems strange, because it’s a name with a certain grandeur to it. It also pretty-much close to Google-proofs it when I’m scouring the Internet, trying to find out whether it’s possible to do obscure and arcane things like – say – upgrade your units. I’m left without a clue, and pressing on anyway. And doing really well, but there’s the nagging sense that I’m missing something and could be doing better. That said, the AI seems to be in the same boat, so perhaps it all evens out.
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Wardell On “Unfinished” Controversy

By Jim Rossignol on August 26th, 2010.

The Stardock logo is nice and uncontroversial.
Following yesterday’s energetic discussions of Elemental’s release state, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has issued a statement which can be read in full below. In it Wardell addresses comments made on the Quarter to Three game forum, saying that the remarks about people not buying Stardock games if they disagreed about their state of completion were simply a heated remark to a friend: “This comment was totally out of line and I apologize for it. It was made in the heat of a ~2000 comment long thread and is not how I honestly feel.”

On the issue of the Gamer’s Bill Of Rights, which we initially thought deleted from the Stardock site due to a broken URL, Wardell says: “We stand by it. It is, with some irony, our commitment to no DRM on our DVD release that ultimately caused the rough pre-release experience of Elemental. Several retailers broke the street date and we felt we needed to release our gold version to our customers who had pre-ordered from us as well as to our beta community that helped make the game the outstanding strategy game that it is.”

RPS remains uncomfortable with industry practices that involve shipping incomplete gold code, requiring – and assuming – day zero patches as a standard.

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Stardock In “Unfinished” Game Drama

By Quintin Smith on August 25th, 2010.


UPDATE: Stardock’s own Gamer’s Bill of Rights is no longer to be found on their site, which looked a bit odd. But actually you can still find it on its own site here. So that’s that stuff out the window. Anyway, there’s more… That’d be the Bill of Rights featuring the proud bulletpoint:

2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.”

Fantasy strategy epic Elemental: War of Magic was released by Stardock this week, a day ahead of schedule. We’re still waiting on our code (as are most other online gaming sites, judging by the game’s barren metacritic page), but the metaphorical word on the digital street is that it’s broken to the point of being unplayable, having never convincingly left the beta that was available to pre-order customers. Here’s people being upset right on the RPS forum.

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Elemental’s Stylish Launch Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on August 19th, 2010.


Elemental – War Of Magic arrives next week, bringing with it a feast of 4X fantasy strategy-RPG happenings. Stardock have released a launch trailer which gives you a flavour of the game, and you can see that below. Personally, I’ve found it fascinatingly intricate, but a little tricky to get to grips with in the beta of the game. I’ve found the pace of things and the escalation of a events a little overwhelming, and I hope the balancing and tweaks that have been going on over the past few weeks will ease that. We’ll have a properly detailed look at the game soon, nonetheless, hopefully with some time spent examining the game’s multifarious multiplayer.
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Impulse & GamersGate Demand Respect

By Alec Meer on July 24th, 2010.

Some people aren’t at all happy about those NPD charts listing the most successful digital distribution services. Those people being, specifically, the bosses of two of the biggest services, which rather oddly didn’t make the top five – it instead being dominated by Valve, EA, Blizzard and Direct2Drive. Impulse and Gamersgate think something is rotten in the state of down-chart….
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Elemental Beta Two, For Pre-Ordererers

By Jim Rossignol on June 14th, 2010.


We’re itchy for access to Elemental, Stardock’s massive 4X fantasy strategy with delicious and nutritious RPG bits. Why? Read this. Pre-ordering types can get access right now, thanks to the second beta of the game, which is detailed over on the mail site. Also this beta guide goes into some of the detail that wasn’t quite clear from Wardell’s epic twelve-minute ramble from earlier in the month, and it’s just making more desirous of the game. Release for all is August 24, a date which Stardock describe as “firm”. And we like firm.

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Twelve Minutes Of Elemental

By Jim Rossignol on June 4th, 2010.


…as narrated by Brad Wardell. We’re pretty excited about Stardock’s forthcoming role-play strategy, not least after this interview, and this video gives you a bit more of a taste of what to expect. It’s going to be a great big feast of a game, albeit for a slow-eater. This is not going to be a game for impatient folk, but it’s almost certainly going to be for Kieron. The big nerd.

The game is having a beta of sorts over the summer, and is set for an August 24th release. Anyway, go watch the video, below.
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GalCiv II Ultimate Edition: Is Quite Cheap

By Jim Rossignol on May 18th, 2010.


It really is. For the alterna-prices of $10/£6.21 you, a person who owns a computer, could get GalCiv II and its expansion packs – on Impulse, obviously. Why would you want to do such thing? Well, in short, it’s a brilliant strategy game that has few peers in the gaming world. It’ll indulge your galaxy-grabbing fantasies like no other. In long? Well, PCG’s Tom Francis has that covered, at length. Great length. Anyway, go get it, unless you already have it. Or you don’t like strategy games. You freak.

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Stardock’s Wardell Explains Elemental

By Jim Rossignol on March 23rd, 2010.


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.
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Brad Wardell On The Future Of Impulse

By Jim Rossignol on March 22nd, 2010.


Last week I had a chat with Stardock boss Brad Wardell, and I’ve chopped the transcripts into two bits to be posted today and tomorrow. In this first part we talk about Impulse and Stardock’s attempts to rival GFWL and Steamworks with its Impulse Reactor tools. It’s an interesting response to living in the shadow of both Steam and Games For Windows Live, and it’ll be even more interesting to see how many developers and publishers now adopt them. Does all this promise, as one reader mailed in, “Steam, but better?
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Sins Of A Solar Sieve-brain

By Jim Rossignol on February 17th, 2010.


Aha! I knew I had downloaded something interesting and then forgotten about it. That something, I now realise, was Diplomacy, the latest expansion for Sins Of A Solar Empire. It came out last week, and I had a nagging feeling there was something I was meant to be playing… just couldn’t put my finger on it. Anyway, it looks a lot like this expansion finishes off the SOASE experience, with a range of political options for this real-time space strategy – envoys, pacts, missions in multiplayer. Rather than wait for another week for me to get around to playing a full game, I thought I’d open it up to you lot. Who’s playing it? Any thoughts on worthiness of the new features?

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