Posts Tagged ‘Stardock’

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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Surf Solar Sins: Diplomacy Beta on Pre-Order

By Jim Rossignol on December 9th, 2009.


As much as I dislike the beta-access for pre-order trend, this is one case in which I’m sorely tempted to just slap down the cash. Sins Of A Solar Empire’s second expandy update thing, Diplomacy, will open its beta (currently in progress) to anyone who pre-orders via Impulse. It requires the original game and Entrenchment to play, but I have been playing the crap out of Entrenchment over the past few weeks. Diplomacy pretty much adds everything I’ve been lusting for in the 4xRTS, which means diplomatic tech tree, diplomatic ships, and a host of other non-violence options for your Solar Empire. The problem of course, is that I haven’t really got time to be playing another reinvigorated RTS. Anyone else’s finger hovering over the button?

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Demigod v1.2: Demon Assassin

By Jim Rossignol on November 23rd, 2009.


The v1.2 patch for Demigod is out, and it can be picked up on Impulse. It features a new character, the Demon Assassin, as well as a bunch of other fixes and features, such as AI options and a mod-manager. The second scheduled demigod, Oculus, will apparently appear “in the coming weeks”. The full change log for the patch is here, along with some videos and screens of the new demigod in action. I really should go back and play this online at some point, I’m pretty sure I’ve promised to about half a dozen times. That said, my guilt is assuaged by the fact that I’ve managed to get snared by another Stardock game, Sins Of A Solar Empire, while playing it for a retrospective last week.

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Only 23% Even Attempted To Play Multiplayer

By Kieron Gillen on November 19th, 2009.

I totally played multiplayer. And won! Yay me!

Stardock are an unusual company in a whole load of ways. One of them is that despite being a privately hold company, they do a report to the public. No financials, but there’s a mass of transparency here. The full document is worth at least a skim read, but there’s plenty of information worth picking over for industry watchers. The details on Impulse’s success are fascinating, but the fact which most immediately screamed out was that only 23% of the people who actually bought Demigod even tried to play online multiplayer. I stress tried. If you attempted to log onto the server, you’re part of the 23%, not matter whether you succeeded in actually playing a game or not. I’ve quoted the section below in full…
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Demigod Demo Has Risen!

By Jim Rossignol on July 30th, 2009.


The Demigod demo has finally, suddenly emerged from the storm of patching that was post-release Demigod development. Siphon its 598mb from here.

While we’ve not been back in recent weeks, we’ve had a few reports that the connection issues are now largely solved, making the internet multiplayer of the demo a rather interesting prospect. Will the demo kick off a second wind for the game? I hope so, as it was a fun time. Anyway, this cut-down version of the god-thumping strategy features a single arena, called The Cataract, and four of the eight Demigods (Regulus, Rook, Sedna and Lord Erebus.) No Oak, alas, for he is a splendid being. Still, you’ll get a kick out of Rook and Erebus. Additionally, you can check out the four game modes (Conquest, Dominate, Fortress and Slaughter), which are all contained therein.

I’ll try and revisit Demigod over the weekend and see if we can’t get some more idea of how the battle for the pantheon is going, all these months on.

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Demogod: Divine Updates For Demigod Inbound

By Alec Meer on May 20th, 2009.

That there wasn’t a demo of a game that proved so hard to describe in a single sentence is one of several perplexing decisions around the launch of Gas-Powered Games/Stardock’s action-strategy thingy Demigod. Stardock’s Brad Wardell has shoved up another of his irregular state of play updates, and alongside another apology for those awful multiplayer problems in the game’s first week, he reveals plans for a demo and two new Demigods. Waroo!
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Divinely Disconnected: Demigod Unreviewed

By Jim Rossignol on April 21st, 2009.


What follows can’t really be said to be a review. The plan was that I would write up a “Wot I Think” discussion of Demigod for the week it was released, but that didn’t work out. Having suffered quite a bit of upset on launch, Demigod – which has been heavily patched and continues to evolve – remains troubled. The trouble is nothing to do with game design, it’s to do with the internet. A technical issue. I’ve only been able to connect to a single online game in countless hours of trying, troubleshooting, tweaking, crying. Alec seems similarly blighted. What follows is therefore is the incomplete account of an unhappy soul. But it should also be clear that I think this – in spite of it all – a brilliant game.
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Demigod: The Saga Continues

By Alec Meer on April 18th, 2009.

As Jim alluded to in the comments thread for our Demigod discussion last week, one of the many interesting issues around writing for the web instead of for print is that a verdict passed on a game doesn’t have to stay static in the event that game’s problems improve/worsen. Demigod’s a fine example – if one of us had written it up on compressed tree-matter and shoved a number at the end, that number would reflect its enormous netcode screw-ups, and would sit as a faintly damning judgement upon it for all time (of course, damnable parasite-site Metacritic means that problem still exists for a lot of web stuff too).

While releasing a game that was problem-riddled in the first place is scarcely something that should be condoned, as GPG and Stardock (I’m becoming increasingly confused as to who’s really in charge of DG now) have been frantically racing to patch the thing up over the last week, such a judgement would already have been innacurate. Especially as it appears – oh dear – piracy may have significantly exacerbated DG’s multiplayer problems….
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Demithoughts on Demigod

By RPS on April 15th, 2009.

Gas-Powered Games’ (with a little help from Stardock) Demigod enjoyed an unexpected early release yesterday, thanks to a silly snafu by Gamestop. Jim’s feverishly working on a full verdict on it to be posted in a few days’ time, but unfortunately it’s been held up by the release version suffering some pretty flaky netcode. It wouldn’t do to judge a game that’s almost entirely multiplayer only on the strength of its offline skirmishes, so while we wait and pray for an ultra-patch, Jim and Alec had a brief chat about their impressions so far… If they both seem a little surly, it’s because their clever brainwave to try and get the damn thing working in LAN mode over Hamachi had also just failed miserably…
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Demigod Released Early

By Jim Rossignol on April 14th, 2009.


Well that cocks up my release-day review, doesn’t it? Thanks to Gamestop inexplicably releasing the game early at retail in the US, the release of digital download versions of Demigod have been brought forward to yesterday. Brad Wardell explains the kerfuffle over at his Impulse blog, as well as pointing out that this whole mess should, in theory, “maximise” piracy rates:

“…it was Easter weekend. And many of us had just finished a good solid 8 weeks of massive crunch and were looking forward to the weekend to recover. Instead, we found ourselves back at work having to turn on and configure the multiplayer matchmaking servers… we’ll get to actually see the effects of piracy. Since we know Demigod is an outstanding game with a wide appeal with equal retail and digital distribution to other titles that came out this year with similar demographics we can see how well it sells compared to them.”

Thoughts? I’m liking Demigod very much. Rook SMASH! And if you’re going to get it before you read a more sophisticated verdict than that, buy it on Impulse. We’ll post some more detailed thoughts later in the week.

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Earth, Wind and Footage: Elemental In-Game

By Kieron Gillen on April 1st, 2009.

Little red thing, sitting on a level, being little and red. You are the little red thing. Let none mock you.

When listening to the latest Three Moves Ahead about Demigod, I found myself over on Troy’s blog nosing around. In it, I find something fun from GDC which we missed – namely, Stardock having released a little walkthrough video including the first public (if early) footage of Elemental: War of Magic. You’ll remember Elemental from the memories laid down inside your noggin when we interviewed Brad Wardell for our Unknown Pleasures feature. Anyway – as the Elemental beta inches closer, time to see the fantasy/strategy/RPG malarkies Stardock are working on. Video beneath the cut.
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Demigod “Oak” Developer Walkthrough

By Jim Rossignol on March 5th, 2009.


The mighty Brad Wardell of Stardock has done a lengthy narration of in-game footage for Demigod, and it’s been hosted over at GameTrailers. I’ve embedded that after the jump for your eyebrow-raising consideration. Wardell is playing as one of the demigods we’ve not seen before: the Oak, who has some splendid necromantic talents. The man from Stardock also talks about the Pantheon, which is Demigod’s “persistent world” battle tracking system. That will basically allow you to put your efforts into fighting for a particular faction, pushing one of the demigods towards ascension to full godhood.

Anyway, go take a look. Demigod is due to ascend to digital retailhood in April.
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