Welcome to the second edition of the Stardock Community Newsletter.
We have a lot of exciting things to go over, ranging from new game updates and releases, to events, and more. So let's get started with what is new and coming up on the horizon.
Everything will wrap up with Respawn, a new section that was not in the first edition, where we get to highlight what has been going on and follow up on anything big.
Earth Rising Part 2: Return of the Lexites
We released Part 2 of the expansion to the new Star Control game on Wednesday. In it, players will finally come face to face with the very beings who inspired the formation of Star Control in the first place -- the Lexites. Earth Rising - Part 2: Return of the Lexites introduces players to the post-singularity species called the Lexites whose mysterious motives to stop Earth’s expansion into the galaxy will require all the player's efforts in order to stop them.
Set in the late 21st century, the player is the Captain of Earth's first interstellar starship with the mission to explore the galaxy, find allies to help protect Earth from hostile aliens, and find the resources necessary to help Earth begin to expand to the stars.
The expansion pack, Earth Rising, is being released in 4 parts. It adds a host of new aliens, ships, adventures and destinations to the already rich universe introduced in Star Control: Origins. Because Star Control is a non-linear action/RPG game, the new content does not require the player to have already completed the main story arc from the base game.
Check out the trailer below!
Siege of Centauri Beta Update 5
This week we skipped making an update for Siege since we are working on a larger update this coming week alongside a bunch of polishing up. Some of the big things that are coming in this next expansive update include:
- New pause mechanic! Chronoshifting will put the game into a bullet-time or "Matrix" style slow mode where you can make decisions. But this is a limited ability. On easy difficulties we expect you to chronoshift constantly but for higher difficulties we put much harsher limits on how often it can be used.
- Outposts are added. These are non-combat civilian structures. If you can defend them you will get a large score bonus.
- New missions, including: Dule, Ascent and Malebolge!
- New orbital abilities.
- New towers.
- A host of new music and sound effects.
- 9 difficulty levels with a new unlock system.
We are still in early access and listening to feedback, which is going directly into shaping the game.
DOTR Community Game
This weekend the guys at the Dawn of the Reapers mod will be hosting an event for people to get on and experiment with the Newtonian laws of blowing the other guy up! Details below.
Time: 11th May, 9 PM GMT
Where: Prolific Studios Discord
- Maximum of 10 players.
- Large Fleets.
- Reapers are banned.
- Aeolus Fleet Call in ability banned. (Currently causes a minidump)
- Absolutely no random events or rampant militias.
- Not intending to use pirates or random events, but again, up to players preferences.
- Normal ship speed, build speed and culture speed settings. (2 bars) (WILL NOT BE CHANGED)
- Normal income rate and research rate settings. (2 bars) (Up to player preference on a shorter or longer game)
- Teams subject to number of players and player preferences at the time.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes gets a major update
We released a major update to the fantasy 4X strategy game, Fallen Enchantress, today. The new version incorporates many months of fixes, performance optimizations, AI enhancements, balance tweaks and a host of other improvements.
Enhanced 4X Mod
It is probably safe to say that most players approach Sins of a Solar Empire as an RTS first and foremost. Certainly the PVP portion of the community loves having games focused on total annihilation done as efficiently as possible. However, for those who are looking for more options, greater diversity between the factions and expanded depth from research to planets, look no further than the Enhanced 4X Mod.
This mod is mainly led by GoaFan77, who also makes the excellent Interregnum mod. But that is something for another time. Let us go over the list of features of E4X taken from their own page includes:
- Faction Diversity - Exploit all new racial and subfaction bonuses and techs to crush your enemies.
- Hero Units - Lead your race's champions into battle with powerful new abilities to base your strategies off of.
- Random Encounters - Keep your eyes peeled when scouting, new challenges and opportunities await you in the distant parts of space.
- Embassies and Espionage - Adds more depth when dealing with other Empires and removes some of the annoyances of the old system at the same time.
- Ship Upgrades - Customize your capitalships and titans with unique upgrades.
- New Planets - Your Empire will never look the same again with 10 new colonizeable planets. Meticulously balanced for competitive play.
- New Skyboxes - 12 unique skyboxes provide a fantastic backdrop to your conquest of space.
- New Artifacts and Bonuses - Your Empire contains great secrets to be found, if you take the time to look...
- Civics Matter - Almost all civic structures have an impact on your Empire. You must develop your planets wisely to get the most out of them.
- Culture Matters - The hearts and minds of the galaxy can now assist you greatly in your quest for victory.
- Customization - Play the game the way you want it with a growing library of optional mini-mods and enhanced mapmaker support!
So if you are looking to expand your Sins experience without doing a total conversion, this mod is probably the one you should check out first!
Uplink is the part of the newsletter where we speak to one of those people we like to call "community members". Once we have either bribed or tricked them into joining us, we ask them pointed questions like: who they are, what they do, what is their favourite colour?
#2 - Volasaurus
In today's interview we spoke with one of the oldest Star Control fans, who has been both an active founder and a volunteer moderator for Star Control: Origins. We spoke about Star Control (of course), RPGs and aliens. Below is the super professional question and answer session, but if you want to listen to the unvarnished audio interview you can check it out on Podbean.
Questions & Answers
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do in the community.
A: I'm Vol, I guess I'm a bit of a jack of all trades with a degree in game design. I've been a volunteer moderator for the Star Control discord for over a year now, and I've been known to dabble in fan music for the classic Star Control games, as well as providing new ambient loops and themes for Serosis' Megamod suite. (I have tentative plans to start remixing the SCO soundtrack soon).
Q: What is your history with Star Control?
A: I don't think there's a way to answer this without sounding a little conceited. My dad worked at Accolade in the early 90s, and Star Control was basically my obsession as a result when I was very young. (I was about 2 or 3 when Star Control 2 was released). I drew the ships in chalk on the sidewalk, my vocabulary grew exponentially as a result of playing the games over and over again, which in turn accelerated my reading comprehension. Dad went on to become one of the chief audio engineers for the black sheep of the series, Star Control 3 ("Kessari"), so I was on-site for quite a bit of the development of that. Star Control (in conjunction with Doom and Starcraft) probably shaped my philosophy and feelings on game design as a whole, even with its flaws.
Q: What do you think makes role playing games so popular?
A: Roleplaying video games give players an opportunity to play out selected flavors of fantasy (sci-fi, post-apoc, traditional fantasy, etc). Maybe the player doesn't have the time or the energy to play a pen and paper game, maybe the player doesn't have a circle that shares this interest. But as a whole? Roleplaying games are satisfying because they give players a sense of making vague and nebulous concepts like progression and adventure in some way into a tangible experience.
With Star Control, I think what's cool is that it doesn't draw from the cookie cutter sci-fi experiences. It's not Star Wars, it's not quite Star Trek, it's not quite Battlestar Galactica. It falls into this great category where you can be Captain Kirk in command of the Red Dwarf while fighting evil space empires that feel real and alive. It draws from the absurd in a believable way.
Q: All-time favourite alien?
A: Hands down, it has to be the Pinthi. I think the idea of a living weapon that's fully aware of its function and purpose and living in existential dread of that is just so cool.
Q: What did you think of the communication and usefulness of the founder program? (speaking in general terms)
A5: I have mixed feelings about the Founders Program. I like that fans can contribute directly to the initial funding of a project and watch it grow, but I think that some founders get the idea that they're somehow "shareholders" or something because of this status. Suggestions and requests are valid, but try to remember that devs are people too, you know?
Q: Got anything to plug?
I'm currently working on a game project of my own in conjunction with some members of the Star Control community. Ko-Fi Link
To wrap up this week's edition of the community newsletter we want to highlight some things that have been happening. And what better way than through the magical medium of video?
Note: These only represent a portion of the things going on over the week and weekend.