Posts Tagged ‘Stardock’

Impulse Sale Good For Indies Say Stardock


We’ve just spoken to Stardock’s boss regarding the story we just reported, that GameStop has purchased Stardock’s digital download service, Impulse. And no, it’s not an April Fool. The megacorp plans to integrate Impulse into their own website in the coming months, although Stardock say that at least for the foreseeable future Impulse will still be run by its current staff.

This is certain the case in the “near-term”, explains Stardock CEO Brad Wardell to us, who thinks that the purchase could be good for independent developers’ profiles. You can read his comments below.

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Repentance: Sins of a Solar Empire Returns

This isn't a Rebellion screenshot. But let's all pretend it is, so I don't look so bad

Stardock might have broken a few hearts with the whole Elemental launch fiasco (for which they recently offered a remarkably earnest mea culpa), but it’s clear they’re still well aware what’s important. Specifically, an epic comeback for Sins of a Solar Empire, the space strategy game that got RPS’s hive-heart all a-flutter back in 2007. It is to return, in the form of standalone expansion pack Rebellion. Immediately standing out in the list of planned features is “New Titan-class ships: Massive warships for each race that dwarf capital ships, these deadly new monsters are capable of wiping out entire enemy fleets single-handedly.”

Massive. Dwarf. Deadly. Monsters. Single-handedly. These are all mighty promising words. These, truly, are words of space war.
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Elemental Expansion Is “A New Game”

Stardock have had some more to say about Fallen Enchantress, the recently-revealed expansion for their fantasy strategy game, Elemental – War Of Magic. The game, which will be free to everyone who bought Elemental before 2011, will be a standalone title, and should, Stardock have said, be regarded as a new game. Not least because it has a new team behind it: “Fallen Enchantress gives us the opportunity to have a very different fantasy strategy game than War of Magic. While the original intent was simply to eliminate an unnecessary SCU (we can simply have Fallen Enchantress with an upgrade price for people who have War of Magic), in this case, it lets us make an even bigger break from War of Magic because it has a new Lead Designer (Kael instead of myself) with Jon Shafer helping as well as we begin pre-production of Jon’s new game along with many other changes. It’s still Stardock but it’s a very different Stardock than what made War of Magic (or GalCiv II for that matter).”

More here.

Civ V Designer To Work On Elemental

BigDownload scooped the news, using their giant info-bagger (which gnaws endlessly at the heart of the ever-growing internet), that Civilization V designer Jon Shafer has been hired by Stardock to work on Elemental, the turn-by-turn strategy game that appeared last year to a chorus of mixed frowns, but is now probably fine after a bunch of patching, we still haven’t had time to check. Apparently awesomeness is planned for Elemental, so that sounds awesome. Go awesome! That’s what I say, like when a guy playing American football says “Go deep” or whatever. I say that to Quinns when he is racing another blog post to the blog line. Anyway, the Stardockians have also used their cash to hire Dave Stern, a novelist and editor, who will apparently be working on Elemental’s lore. There’s life in the old lich yet, it seems.

‘Ello: Elemental – War Of Magic 1.1 Update

I couldn't find any screenshots of Elemental so I just used this photo of Bath.

Were you interested in Elemental: War of Magic but put off by all the reports of it being buggy? Did you instead choose to spend your week’s shekels getting proper bum-guzzled on the danger liquid at your local alcobuilding? Well, perhaps now is the time to reconsider that lifestyle of yours. Stardock has released its monster 1.1 update for the game, fixing a whole hive of bugs, adding spells and upgrades, changing the mana and population systems, updating the UI and rebalancing everything else. As always, a changelog of this size holds plenty of gems, including “Balanced Children” and “You can no longer drink some quest items (like the magic flute).” Version 1.2 is apparently already underway, and we can look forward to a demo in January. Latest trailer follows…
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Elemental: Wardell Opens His Bally Veins

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”

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

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

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

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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