Posts Tagged ‘Stellaris’

Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn DLC adding proper robot civs

It’s robo a go-go with the next Stellaris [official site] DLC, Paradox announced today. Due later this year, the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC will let players start as mechanical men, with new events, ships, traits, story beats, and so on. The spacefaring strategy game already lets players transcend their flesh and become synthetics deep down a tech tree but ick, who wants to have ever been meat at all? Shameful.

As is customary, a big free update will launch alongside this paid expansion. Update 1.8, nicknamed ‘Čapek’ after the Czech writer who popularised the word ‘robot’, brings changes to habitability, hive minds, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Paradox giving games to customers affected by regional price rises

Paradox have started handing out games as compensation to those affected by their recent surprise regional price hikes. Prices went up by only a few percent for some people but almost doubled for others. Paradox have reverted the prices now. They had thought they might be able to give partial refunds but that’s proved unworkable.

Instead, anyone who bought Paradox products at the higher prices — which were between May 17th and July 6th — is eligible to claim a game from a list including Stellaris and Crusader Kings II, or alternatively two bits of select DLC. Read the rest of this entry »

Civ 6, EUIV and Endless Legend designers on how their strategy games create the illusion of a world

Big, slow, sweeping strategy games expose their rules in a way no other game does. Call of Duty doesn’t have floating numbers above enemy heads, telling you their movement speed, for example. But in most 4X and grand strategy games, there is no attempt to hide exactly how everything works: the stats, their interactions, are all laid out and plain to see. Yet these games are utterly dependent on their ability to evoke a sense of place, scale, and history – they have to be much more than just a fancy chessboard, they have to feel alive, or they’re just not much fun. How can these games survive and thrive under such conflicting pressures? I spoke to three of the world’s top strategy game designers, from Firaxis, Paradox and Amplitude, to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam summer sale: our giant recommendations list

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

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Paradox reverting recent regional price increases

Paradox Interactive, the gang behind games including Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron, have pledged to undo their recent increases to regional prices across much of the world. While many of the price rises were minor, others were huge. For example, the price of Stellaris in Russia went from 699₽ to 1199₽. Paradox had said the increases were “to make our prices match the purchasing power of those areas” but have since decided they communicated this poorly, so they will roll the prices back. Read the rest of this entry »

13 recent games that run well on terrible laptops

‘Terrible’ only in the sense of their gaming capability. Honestly, I’m sure your laptop is lovely to look at and it was definitely a extremely sensible idea to spend all that money on it instead of buying a holiday or helping to save the pandas. Truth is, though, that playing recently-released games on the vast majority of laptops is about as effective as starting an online petition to uncancel your favourite television show.

A little discretion goes a long way, however. Sure, you may be denied the glossiest of exploding viscera, but it is entirely possible to keep up with the Joneses even on a Terrible Laptop that has no dedicated graphics card. Here are but twelve contemporary games – either recently released or still-evolving going concerns – that will indeed run on your glammed-up toaster. Additional suggestions below are entirely welcome.
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Fight me! Stellaris beta patch fixes AI not declaring war

War has returned to the galaxy with a hasty hotfix for Stellaris [official site], clearing up some big problems created by the recent update 1.6 (nicknamed ‘Adams’). Here’s the biggest one: AI factions were not declaring war. That’s a bold utopian vision of our spacefuture but a bit wonky for a game full of spacewar. That’s a mighty embarrassing bug, both for developers Paradox and for me. I’ve been feeling chuffed about my diplomatic skills in my current game but, er, nope, my spacepeacocks flourished because my rivals were entirely unable to spacepunch me in my beautiful spaceface. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris launches Update 1.6, hands out birthday DLC

Happy birthday, Stellaris [official site]! To celebrate the first birthday of their space strategy game, Paradox have released a new update and are giving all spaceguests party favours in the form of free cosmetic DLC. The pack of species portraits offered as a pre-order bonus are now free to all players, and Paradox have thrown in some colourful new ones too – like that ↑ spacepeacock. As for Update 1.6, nicknamed ‘Adams’ after the interactive fiction writer, that’s smaller than many updates but still brings some good changes. The game has come a fair way over the past year. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Stellaris for just $12 through Humble Monthly

Stellaris header

Grand strategy game Stellaris [official site] throws up some pretty wild space stories – just read Brendan’s account of being a galactic robot dad or his tale of a peaceful race of multicultural turtles and you’ll see what I mean. It was one of the best games of last year and the recent expansion, Utopia, has taken it up another level.

The base game will set you back £40 on Steam but this month you can pick it up for just $12 through Humble Monthly, the Humble’s subscription service for a package of mystery games that releases (you guessed it!) once a month. That’s a sweet deal – and don’t worry, you can cancel after the first bundle.

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Stellaris: A utopian race of multicultural turtles, part 2

Last time in this diary on grand space strategy Stellaris, my species of sugary, democratic Tortals invited everyone to their space nation regardless of race, creed or culture. It was a burgeoning multicultural utopia called the Open Gates. Then a terrifying horde of transdimensional beings arrived and started to eat everyone like a rack of saucy ribs, which is against the rules.

The Tortals and their compatriots have now escaped in a flotilla of refugee ships to the Shell, a corner of space where they hope to be safe. They are far from the Unbidden, the aforementioned interdimensional gatecrashers, but now they have new neighbours in the form of of two very large despotic empires. And, as any cultured dictator knows, shells usually contain something tasty and soft inside. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris: A utopian race of multicultural turtles, part 1

“It will all take care of itself” – infamous Tortal saying

Welcome to the Open Gates of Tortal. All are welcome here. Are you a slithering conformist lizard looking for employment? Come and work in our power plants. Maybe you’re a consumerist mollusc seeking some retail therapy? Then visit our pleasure districts. Are you a titanic ocean beast of uncertain origin? Join our defensive military academy, you’ll fit right in. The Open Gates are for everyone. Wait, who are you? Oh, an aggressive inter-dimensional collective of carnivorous energy? GET OUT. SPACE IS FULL.
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Steam charts: no funny business

He was a boy.
She was a girl.
Can I make it anymore obvious?
He wrote the weekly Steam charts.
She read them.

What more can I say?

Other than that these are the ten Steam games with the most accumulated sales over the past week, obv. See ya later, boy.

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Wot I Think – Stellaris: Utopia

Utopia is the first major expansion for Stellaris, Paradox Development Studio’s 4X, grand strategy space hydra. It’s a term that normally conjures up images of a perfect society, all green and chill and maybe a little like Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets. That’s nice, I guess, but what if your idea of perfection is building a civilization on the backs of robotic slaves? And what about a monstrous hive of ravenous beasties that won’t rest until all matter in the universe has been consumed? What would its utopia look like? I’ve been experimenting with a galaxy-sized petri dish to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris launches Utopia expansion and Banks update

Today’s a big day for Stellaris [official site], as developers Paradox have launched its first proper expansion and a big game-changing patch. Headline features for the Utopia expansion include space habitats, dreadful new forms of enslaving and purging species, and ‘ascension perks’ to customise and shape species towards mechanical, biological, or psionic final forms. Update 1.5 (nicknamed Banks), meanwhile, reworks the government system, adds a civics system to make empires more unique, improves AI, fixes bugs, adds technologies, and changes plenty more. Exciting times in space. Read the rest of this entry »

Paradox are bringing devs and games to Rezzed

in my experience, paradox always arrive by blimp

As long-time readers will know, I don’t believe there’s any possibility of a party unless someone brings a strategy game to the dancefloor. This year, EGX Rezzed is going to be party central. For the first time, Paradox will have a presence at the show, in the form of three playable games (including the just-announced Steel Division: Normandy 44’s multiplayer) and two developer sessions. They’re both on the Friday, with Cities: Skylines up first at 12PM and Stellaris following at 2PM. In the former, you’ll hear Colossal Order’s CEO on continuous development post-release, and working with a large community, and in the latter Stellaris’ game director will talk about the first year post-release, and the major expansion, Utopia.

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Stellaris: Utopia expansion blasting off on April 6th

The first proper expansion for Stellaris [official site] will launch on April 6th, Paradox announced today. Utopia adds shiny futuristic features like buildable Dyson spheres, ring worlds, and habitat stations (very utopian), psionic, biological, and mechanical ‘Ascension’ paths (also utopian), and a variety of new ways to oppress and enslave other races (very… Omelasian). Well, utopias are always meant to be rhetorical, aren’t they? While Utopia is a paid expansion, the big update ‘Banks’ will launch for free alongside it with a load of handy new features. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris’ New Horizons mod is the best Star Trek game

Everything was in place for the Romulan invasion of the United Federation of Planets. Warbirds screeched out of the shipyards of Romulus and Remus on a direct course for the closest Federation worlds, those belonging to the chilly Andorians. The real goal, of course, was neighbouring Vulcan. This was a symbolic war.

As my jade vessels bombarded the frozen Andorian homeworld, the Tal Shiar informed me that yet another Federation ship had been successfully sabotaged. When my Reman shock troops’ boots hit the icy ground, I realised that Star Trek: New Horizons, a Stellaris [official site] mod, was my favourite ever Roddenbery-flavoured game.

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Stellaris: Utopia expansion to blast off with Banks update

Having previously launched a few DLCdribs and DLCdrabs into Stellaris [official site], Paradox today announced Utopia, the first “major expansion” for their space strategy game. It will introduce Dyson spheres and ring worlds, let starlords shape their empire’s future form such as going cybernetic or reaching a higher plane of existence, and more.

As is customary with Paradox strategy expansions, Utopia will be accompanied by a free update with important new features of its own. Changes in update 1.5, nicknamed ‘Banks’, will include expanding species rights, reworking ethics, and adding refugees. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris sends love letter in new story by Alexis Kennedy

“I love you” means different things when said to your cat, your parent, your emperor, someone who’s just sat next to you on the night bus, and a pint mug of foaming warm advocaat. What does love mean when it’s declared by an unknown entity in the depths of space? Ah. Maybe it’s best not to find out. But if you’re spacecurious or a spaceromantic at heart and you play Stellaris [official site], you can now get loved-up with a free new story update written by Failbetter co-founder Alexis Kennedy. Read the rest of this entry »