Twelve Minutes Of Elemental

…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.


  1. Hmm says:

    That. Looks. Great. Take your time Stardock, you have a game full of potential here!

    By the way, Impulse Reactor will launch with this game, right?

  2. Laneford says:

    Wow. Turn Based. Sandbox. Lots of Stats. Magic.


    • Lars Westergren says:


      Indeed. And add to that, inspired by Master of Magic, and massively scriptable so players can create their own monsters, worlds, campaigns. Like Neverwinter Nights, but for strategy. Song of Ice and Fire, LOTR or Malazan empire anyone?

      If it is as good as it appears to be, I want to marry this game.

    • Azradesh says:

      Malazan! That would be awesome! But also take years to make. :(

  3. Senethro says:

    Brad Wardell said he was going to do some Civ5 modding after this after being impressed with the variety of mods produced for Civ4, but grumpily changed his mind after Civ5 came out as a Steam exclusive.

    • snv says:

      Oh noes! And i was soo looking forward to CivV

    • snv says:

      Seems like Elemental has to become a real substitude instead of a temporary fix – at least it looks very promising

  4. Larington says:


  5. HexagonalBolts says:


  6. Jesterrr says:

    Looking forward to this quite a bit now. Been playing Master of Magic over the past couple of days and it’s fun but has aged a LOT. I’m really impressed at how there’s no ‘city screen’ in this one. Clearly that’s something which CIv and Total War have both struggled with; providing as much information and control over a city without forcing the player to leave the global view to do so.

  7. Snall says:

    I’m in the beta, love this company, gonna be a friggin awesome game.

    • Wrongshui says:

      I enjoyed the beta 1 intro movie

      See if I can get this working…

    • Wilson says:

      @Snall – How is the beta at the moment for polish? I considered pre-ordering to get in on a new beta a while back, but thought I’d wait a while (since I think that was quite an early beta).

      I’m looking forward to this, I like Stardock games, and this looks to be especially good.

    • Phinor says:

      @Wilson – The beta is currently in a state of.. well, everyone is waiting for beta 2 which should start next week and that brings us 3D engine, multiplayer, AI, basically so much stuff that discussing the state of the current beta becomes obsolete in just about a week (if the beta schedule holds).

      Though maybe someone still wants to write a short ‘state of game/beta’ post. I haven’t been following the beta that closely so I wouldn’t mind reading what the general consensus is right now.

    • Colliic says:

      Careful, don’t fudge any NDA’s.

    • Archonsod says:

      At the moment it’s pretty much the max out map view (cloth map and counters, which is kinda cool) and the basics of research and city development. So about the only thing you can say is it looks promising.

      Next beta release should include the actual 3D engine and tactical battles (they’re autoresolved at the moment).

    • Phinor says:

      @Colliic – No NDA in public (=pre-order) Stardock betas. Even the forums are open for everyone to read and post (though I haven’t tested the latter one).

    • Collic says:


      Really? Time to check out the stardock forums then :D

  8. Antilogic says:

    Dying to play this, will hold me well in hand unitl Civ 5 :D

  9. Drexer says:

    Well, I know what I’m getting for my anniversary.

  10. Premium User Badge

    DollarOfReactivity says:

    Intriguing, and Stardock’s not led me wrong before. Looks like this fall is going to be a good time for turn-based strategy.

  11. Subject 706 says:

    Ooooooo, me wants!

    Strangely enough, I love most 4X games, EXCEPT the Civilization series. How weird is that? Should I be killed?

  12. pakoito says:

    I’m not keen on buying any Stardock games after the Demigod fiasco. I bought it for 6 months on beta and I couldn’t play more than one match because of buggy netcode who they just won’t solve “until release”. Then it was “no refound” time and the game was born dead.

    • roy7 says:

      Demigod’s rollout was a mess, yes, but they got it all sorted out within a few weeks. I’ve enjoyed hundreds of games of Demigod. They also gave refunds to people who emailed in and asked for them.

  13. Tei says:


    /I put on my robe and wizard hat

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      No! Bad Tei, bad Tei! *ahem*

      Now I have images of.. that all across the world of Elemental going through my head.

  14. Warduke says:

    Game looks fun but man put a little time into making a decent video. That audio quality was pretty poor. It’s just not that hard to do that decently these days.

  15. Colliic says:

    Oh yes please. I need this. Anyone know i theres a better quality version of this video floating around anywhere ?

  16. lhzr says:

    the game looks extremely appealing, but 50$? that’s pretty steep.
    also no price drop for people who would wanna support this by preordering??

    would get this right now for 20$. as it is, i’ll have to wait for it to get to the bargain bin :(

    • Jeremy says:

      The extra bonus user get for supporting the game is access to every level of the beta. Also, $50? That’s been the standard for… two decades.

    • lhzr says:

      standard? in some parts of the world, perhaps.

    • Jeremy says:

      The United States.

    • goodgimp says:

      My goodness, $50 for a new game release. Who’s ever heard of such a thing before???

      (Translated: The fuck???)

  17. Mavvvy says:

    I really, really hope that they include the (and I stress) optional “continuous turn-based combat system they were playing around with” Its A-la Neverwinter Nights esque.

  18. Vogon says:

    Wow, this looks much better in the video than what I thought it would be based on screenshots. Definitely looking forward to this…

  19. abhishek says:

    I was interested in this but the announcement of Civ 5 kind of caught me by surprise (although in retrospect, it should have been obvious that they were making another one). Between Civ 5 and Fall from Heaven, I don’t see myself getting this game now. Maybe when it’s on sale, but Stardock games take an incredibly long time to drop in price.

    • Hmm says:

      You know, as soon as I found out Civ 5 will use Steamworks, I basically lost interest in that game – and I was hyped for it, boy, was I hyped.

    • Vinraith says:


      Funny, I’ll be doing exactly the opposite. I’ll almost certainly buy this at full price, but since it’s got Steamworks there’s no reason not to wait for the inevitable 50-75% off Steam sale on Civ 5.

  20. malkav11 says:

    No time to watch the video at present. Have they backed away from the idea of the combat being in real-time? because that is a total interest killer for me.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Completely turn-based last I read. Be happy!

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Yup. From them:

      When two forces meet, players can choose to have those battles instantly resolve or go into a tactical battle mode to either watch the battle take place or control the action turn by turn. In battle, players can cast devastating spells, flank enemy positions, go for the high ground and much more.

    • Jeremy says:

      Yup, they made a definitive choice to move away from real time because they felt it was a disjointed experience to go from turn based to real time and back again to turn based. I was pretty happy about that.

    • Mavvvy says:

      I am still of the opinion that they should have kept it as a option. It would have been the middle option between autoresolve, and turn based in a large multiplayer game.

    • Jeremy says:

      That’s a huge amount of work for an option though.. it would totally change how the battles would need to be played. Can you imagine the framework necessary to fit both roles?

    • Fumarole says:

      Many other games have accomplished this exact thing: Fallout Tactics, Arcanum and Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 just to name some off the top of my head.

    • Jeremy says:

      I can only respond in regards to NWN 1 and 2, but that was more of a pausing of the Real Time combat rather to make skill choices rather than true Turn Based tactical combat. You were never changing engines, or how you interacted with that engine. How weird would it be in NWN if you suddenly changed screens and had your characters moving along hexes and using tactical pincers only to sweep back into the real time world after the fight was over?

    • Fumarole says:

      Of course what the game engine sees and what the player sees can be different. Just because you cannot see the squares or hexes does not mean they are not there.

    • malkav11 says:

      I can think of several games that offered a choice between turn-based and real-time combat modes. I can think of no games where this worked out well. At absolute best, one of the modes was playable and the other one wasn’t. More often, both modes were crippled by the need to accomodate the other. I include Arcanum, Fallout Tactics, and M&MVI in this, just off the top of my head. I found M&MVI especially unplayable in comparison to IV and V.

      Pausable real-time like in the NWN games and the Infinity Engine games is not at all the same thing.

      And that -is- good news that they’ve gone back to being entirely turn-based. I’ll probably purchase it then.

  21. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I totally trust Stardock to come with a great game. And Elemental: War of Magic is shaping up to be my game of the year. Well ahead of anything else this year so far — and, I suspect, well ahead of anything yet to show up.

    I liked everything in that video. I’m just eager to see some battle action taking place, because that’s still missing. The game artwork looks awesome to me. The game website screenshots section will also hint you into other features of the game. Worth going there. Among other things, you will see a map editor without your traditional windows UI. I’m all over it.

  22. Colliic says:

    Why do people say this? I hear this cropping up in various comment threads, and I’ve even spent time lurking in the Gal Civ 2 forums, and I’m still none the wiser. Just what is this based on, exactly?

  23. Colliic says:

    To clarify I mean why do people always crop up and say Wardell is a dick

  24. ChaK_ says:

    how the hell am I suppoed to manage time for CIV 5 and Elemental this fall?

    And crysis and brink and…oh well

  25. Subject 706 says:

    I believe it is because he has conservative political views, and therefore certain insecure people have to compare him to Satan, as some sort of an excuse that they like his games.

  26. colinmarc says:

    kind of a stupid point, but the 6 stats should really be arranged STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA, not STR INT CHA DEX WIS CON

    looks awesome!

    • Auspex says:

      I thought this also.

      I’m not entirely sure if it’s more or less worrying that it bothered someone else however…

    • Jason says:

      I agree, this is a travesty of stat arrangement. Boycott!

    • disperse says:

      In 1st edition D&D the attributes were ordered: Strength Intelligence Wisdom Dexterity Constitution Charisma. Grouping the physical and mental attributes together came later.

    • Vinraith says:


      Kids these days, I swear. That arrangement is the original D&D sorting of stats, from the old red book series. It’s the classic, unlike your new-fangled rock-and-roll resortings.

    • Vinraith says:

      Gah, I should never post right after I’ve woken up, especially with the edit button gone and forum integration (for back-door editing) gone. The old order I’m thinking of was actually STR DEX INT WIS CON CHA (IIRC) so actually either way they’ve gotten it “wrong.” Considering I apparently can’t keep it straight myself, though, I can’t really complain.

    • colinmarc says:

      @Vinraith well, if you read left-right instead of as columns, then it’s STR DEX INT WIS CHA CON…. so almost what you said. Don’t feel too bad, old-timer. Take a seat in this rocking chair, I’ll get you some prune juice.

    • Vinraith says:

      I remember when this part of the internet was all orange groves as far as the eye could see…

    • disperse says:

      Well, I’m being a pedant here but it’s a weird arrangement no matter how you read it:

      Strength Dexterity
      Intelligence Wisdom
      Charisma Constitution

    • Fumarole says:

      Don’t forget Comeliness!


  27. disperse says:

    This looks awesome. Where’s part 2?

  28. AwesomeGuy says:

    He’s got some pretty douchy ideas on politics but thankfully the douchiness doesn’t leak into the videogame part of his brain.

  29. Zenicetus says:

    I will buy this game. GalCiv was great, and I loved MoM.

    I wish they had gone in a different direction with the art style, though. And yeah, I know… strategy games shouldn’t depend on the graphics, yada, yada. I know that in my head, but my eyes still tell me it’s ugly with that olive/brown theme and the heavy black outlines. It’s supposed to be inspired by stained glass artwork, but it just doesn’t work for me. Well, enough of that. Looks to be a stellar game. I’ll get used o the way it looks, and maybe one of the user mods will do something different.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I actually like it… a lot! But sure, not everybody should.

      But don’t worry much. Moders will eventually make you (and Lewis, for more stuff to write about in is weekly column) happy. From all I gathered from the forums, game artwork, down to 3D modeling is entirely modable. All the game needs is to become a commercial success.

  30. undead dolphin hacker says:

    $10 shipping for the collector’s edition of Elemental? That scraps my plans of an Impulse preorder…

  31. goodgimp says:

    He’s not a dick, he’s just not shy of calling obnoxious internet twits on their bullshit. Said internet twits get all flustered by a company rep doing that instead of licking their boots.

  32. DuckSauce says:

    Very interesting game, spotted some awesome stuff on the website, lookie!:
    link to


    link to

  33. elbandito says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this. It seems to be shaping up nicely. When there’s a definite release date I’ll book some time off work :)

  34. Vinraith says:

    The question isn’t whether I’m going to buy this, but when. Gal Civ 2 was great, this looks like it will be even better.

  35. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    I am very excited about this.

  36. Astorax says:

    I can only speak to how he treated me and the other beta testers during the Demigod beta as that’s my only exposure to him directly.

    He basically told us we were irrelevant and our opinions were terrible. He accused us of trying to make his game worse with our suggestions (many of us were high level competetive DotA players at the time).

    He repeatedly made comments about how he didn’t want to please us as customers and we could go fuck ourselves.

    He’s an arrogant asshole that thinks he knows better than the rest of the gaming world what makes a good game and has repeatedly been wrong. His treatment of people taking their time to help him try to make a better game is all I need to know.

    I’m really intrigued by the concept of Elemental, but I’ll never give that asshole a dollar of my money.

  37. cw says:

    Add another “very excited about this game” to the list

  38. Spencer says:

    Indeed it will be!

  39. Mavvvy says:

    Exactly Fumarole.

    I lurves me turn based & me’s realtime, but it seems the developers have moved from integrating both mechanics due to turn based purest’s in the beta. Nothing wrong with that “he who shouts the loudest and all that jazz”.

    I’m sure the game will be great with or without, but I hate auto resolve with a passion.

  40. Decoy Crabtipus says:

    Man this better not be delayed from August to next year like they’ve been saying. I need my MoM fix so bad.

  41. Uhm says:

    Demigod wasn’t developed by Stardock, though. But it was all a bit strange.

  42. JM says:

    (many of us were high level competetive DotA players at the time)

    Ah, the most notoriously awful bunch of fuckheads known to mankind. I can just imagine you guys were all sweetness and light when dealing with Brad.

  43. flowersfloristsgifts says:

    These are some great tips Thanks