Ghosts of the Precursors

Published on Monday, October 09, 2017 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

Four years ago Stardock acquired Atari's rights to Star Control.  I soon got to meet my hero, Paul Reiche.  He was, more than anyone else, the person who inspired me to become a game developer over 20 years ago.

Over the past 4 years, we have communicated regarding the progress of Star Control: Origins.  He asked us not to try to make a sequel to Star Control 2 and said that he hoped one day to be able to return to the universe he and Fred Ford created.

Recently, Paul told me the good news: Activision was going to let him do a true sequel to Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters (i.e. Star Control III is not canon for that universe).  

Today, they posted the news publicly:  https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/

It's still very early but they will have all the characters from Star Control 2 plus new ones.  It's going to be called Ghosts of the Precursors. 

For 4 years, people asked me why we weren't going to touch the Star Control 2 story.  Now you know.

As soon as they have an official site for it, we'll let you know.

 

GalCiv III: Beyond version 2.6

Published on Monday, October 02, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

Greetings!

So the team is starting work on the next major expansion pack.  But we also want to keep an eye on the base game.

Right now, the recent Steam reviews for GalCiv are pretty awful with most of the people reviewing it doing so because they don't like some of the changes in v2.5.  So if there are changes you would like in 2.7 and beyond, this would be the place to ask.

The Steam review system is something I have and will continue to complain about because frankly, it absolutely destroys games.  When it's less than 70, a game might as well not exist.  So I'll be explicit, if you want us to keep working on GalCiv III, please leave a Steam review.  If not, don't. If you already have, thank you!

As many of you know, I am AI biased. But I know I'm in a minority because there is another space strategy game outselling GalCiv III and, suffice to say, AI is not its focus. 

It is clear that narratives in games matter.  GalCiv has a quest system ala Fallen Enchantress/Sorcerer King.  But we have tried to avoid doing that because we don't want the game to be a series of scripted narratives.  We don't plan to change that position in the base game but we are looking at releasing DLC that will do that if players want it. 

Now, the next major expansion pack focuses on politics and government.  So we'll set all that aside for now.  Otherwise, it's all open. What would you like to see?

Star Control: October 2017 update

Published on Monday, October 02, 2017 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals

It's been a year since we posted the last big public update on the new Star Control.

Last year, we began the Founders Program!  Thank you all that joined.  In the next two weeks, we will be ending the Founder's Program as we prepare for a public Beta program.  If you want to join the Founder's Program it's not too late yet.

A new tier

Right now, we have Founders and Lifetime Founders.  Both get access to our internal vault of stuff.  Lifetime Founders get everything we ever make for Star Control: Origins.  Those who are standard Founders get Star Control: Origins and everything we release for a year after.

Development schedule

Our original release date was going to be November 2017.  That's exactly 25 years from the release of Star Control 2 (The Ur-Quan Masters).  Some design changes we made have extended the development time (which I'll be talking more about soon) but we will be releasing the Super Melee beta in time for the anniversary.

Some screenshots

 

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Super Melee in action

 

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In engine, animated, voice synced conversations with aliens and of course the commander of Star Control.

 

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Design your own ships, share them, and fight with them either against the computer or your friends online or on the same PC.

 

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The writing team, led by Cracked.com's Chris Bucholz, has a compelling sci-fi story that is also very much in the style you expect from a Star Control game.

 

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We are working on a host of tools that will make it easy for people to create their own universes to share and play in.

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Explore worlds for minerals, Precursor artifacts, hidden bases, and more.

We will have a lot more information in about two weeks!

GalCiv III: I hope you're having as much fun as I'm having

Published on Thursday, September 21, 2017 By Brad Wardell In Galactic Civilizations III

I'm really liking the direction the version 2.6 opt-in is going.

That said, I feel like I'm really only touching the surface of where we're going with this game.

Do you guys understand that the engine is state of the art and brand new? As a game developer, it's very exciting.

The next big thing on my plate is all the political stuff.  That's what the next major expansion will be about but the main game and Crusade players will benefit as well as balance continues to get more and more interesting.

From the AI side, the next major effort for me personally will be the ship design AI.  I'm going to be tossing out the "modding" stuff that no one uses and instead have the AI procederually design its own ships which I think will be a lot more interesting anyway.

Meanwhile, lots of interesting editors are being made for you guys to actually access the 11,000+ files that make GalCiv III.

I promised you some years ago that for GalCiv III we were in it for the long haul.  Well, I can say for a fact that here at 2017, we're not even warmed up yet.  There's so much more we can do.  

The only real question will be whether people WANT turn-based strategy games.  I have nothing but joyous feelings about Stellaris and Sins of a Solar Empire.  But there does seem to be a preference for real-time games over turn-based.   Real-time makes pacing a lot easier since you just speed up or slow down the game as needed.  But I feel like RT games (and yes, I mean Sins too) lose some of the crisp game mechanics that turn based games can have.

In any event, we have a lot of exciting stuff coming up!

GalCiv Journal: September 2017

Published on Sunday, September 17, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

The big GalCiv III v2.5 update went out.  Most people like it.  Not everyone of course (it breaks save games).  If you're liking it, you know the drill "Like and Subscribe" as they say on YouTube or in Steam's case, please leave a review.  Even if you've left a review in the past, you can delete your old one and leave a new one which will have the "Recent reviews" which matters a lot (a lot more than it should imo but hopefully Valve will update their algorithms in light of recent review abuse on Dota2 and other games).

Anyway...

Playing with the look and feel

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Continue Reading...

Exporting your space ships to share with others with Galactic Civilizations III

Published on Friday, September 15, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

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You may not have noticed this before but in the Ship Designer of Galactic Civilizations III you can take the ships you have designed (or downloaded) and export them as a .OBJ file.  This can be used by 3D printers but also on a cool site called Sketchfab.  It's super easy to set up.

Here are a couple I've already uploaded:

 Have fun!

p.s. Bonus one:

https://skfb.ly/6tIOy

 

GalCiv III: Drengin/Human Wars VI

Published on Sunday, September 10, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

Last week I did a one on one test against the Drengin AI set at Normal. It was on a tiny map in which I rushed for invasion tech and killed them.

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This time, let's bump the AI to Genius...

AI at Genius

The 2.5 GalCiv III AI is a lot smarter than previous iterations. It handles fleets better. It researches better. It builds up planets more intelligently.  But it is really difficult, even in human 1 on 1 games, to deal with a rush.

Now, at Genius, the AI starts out with more money so it's not quite a "fair" game but then again, I'm not playing fair either.  Let's see how it goes.

Continue Reading...

GalCiv III: Drengin/Human Wars V

Published on Saturday, September 09, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

 

Our story so far...

Every once in awhile, Do a 1 on 1 test on a relatively balanced map to see how well the AI is doing.   I play on Normal or Gifted as that puts the AI on roughly equal terms with me.

I choose  the Drengin because they are a vicious, evil civilization that has few redeeming qualities and they play the game very differently than most people do (they are absolutely amoral).  Their strategies aren't always ideal but they do tend to be interesting.

And so it begins...

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Both humans and Drengin start with a class 14 world (a very nice planet) as well as two habitable nearby worlds.

Continue Reading...

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