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Community Newsletter #6 - 07/26/2019

Published on Friday, July 26, 2019 By SchismNavigator In Stardock Community Newsletter

Heat of Summer


Happy Friday! We hope everyone is staying cool during these summer months and drinking copious amounts of H2O. All of us here at Stardock have come back from vacation and are working on some exciting new things that are coming your way soon!


The Horizon


The Turinium Cup 2019

             The what: A 1v1 round-robin style tournament for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  The when: Rounds begin August 12th and the Finals conclude on August 18th
                                   The where: Users must have the Steam version of the game in order to join lobbies and participate
The why: Why not? Join us for some fun and a shot at fleeting internet fame!

Sign Up for the Tournament here!*
*The tournament signup page is powered by Toornament and is not affiliated with Stardock

After you have signed up on Toornmament, make sure you join the main Stardock Discord server.
Send a direct message to Schism Navigator to ensure you have been assigned
the proper access for the tournament channels.

Tournament Details

Map Pool

  • Mirach
  • Urich
  • Ross 128
  • Italia
  • Merga


General Rules:

  • The map for each match will be chosen at random, selected from the map pool.
  • No 15+ language allowed to be used during matches.
  • No death threats or similar personal threats.
  • Any attempts made to cheat will be cause for immediate removal.
  • You agree to have matches you participate in streamed and recorded.

Attendance Rules:

  • Players are expected to allow 15 minutes before official match start.
  • Failure to attend a match will result in an automatic loss and possible elimination.
  • Failure to attend 3 matches will result in automatic elimination from all future matches.
  • All participants must have a Discord account and joined the main Stardock Discord server.

Game Settings:

  • Metal Income: Normal
  • Radioactive Income: Normal
  • Quanta Income: Normal
  • Map Visibility: Revealed
  • Capture Speed: Normal
  • Air Units: Enabled
  • Juggernauts: Enabled
  • Orbitals: Enabled
  • Build Speed: Normal
  • Defensive Bonus: None
  • Neutral Creeps: Normal
  • Victory Points: Map Default
  • Supply Lines: Required

Siege of Centauri



Work on Siege of Centauri has been moving along at a rapid pace. Whilst we are not yet announcing an official release date, it is enough to say it is getting very near now.


Your feedback on the forums, Steam, Discord, and more has been invaluable in helping us make key changes that we hope everyone will enjoy.


While you wait for the next update, check out some of the recent dev journals, including a preview of the new map Plutus and an implacable new foe called the Hive.


The Video Game Machine



The Video Game Machine continues work behind the scenes. A lot of the focus has been on expanding player options whilst updating a lot of placeholder graphics (and more!) with shiny, new, still-not-16-bit, graphics.


Remember, the work you see above is still a work in progress. But, things are coming together nicely and we look forward to talking more about the next stage in The Video Game Machine's evolution very soon.


And More



The Forge


Sins of the Prophets



Today we are highlighting one of the most long-running and impressive mods for one of our games. The passionate folks behind Sins of the Prophets have worked for years creating new original assets and working on new and very asymmetrical game design ideas using the tools and rules provided by Sins of a Solar Empire.


Some of the amazing features of this particular mod include:


  • Asymmetrical gameplay based upon quantity vs quality of units.
  • An original soundtrack and ship models.
  • Custom maps to playout a variety of scenarios in either PVE or PVP.
  • A unique survival "Flood" mode.



The Uplink


#5 - Sins of the Prophets - Idio & Cole


This edition we talked with two of the lead developers for the storied total conversion mod, Sins of the Prophets. SOTP brings the expanded Halo universe of space warfare into the Sins of the Solar Empire.


You can listen to the full conversation on Podbean here!


Questions & Answers


Q: Who are you? Tell us a little about yourselves!


Cole: Greetings! I am Cole, I’m one of the design leads and programmers on Sins of the Prophets. For the most part, my work involves getting into the nitty gritty of Sins’ scripting and persuading it to serve the mod’s needs. When I’m not doing that, you’ll likely find me working on particles or making promo art for the mod. As you can see, I bounce around quite a bit, but I am definitely most at home when programming things.


Idio: Hey there, I'm Idio, QA Lead for Sins of the Prophets! Among other things, my main duties include yelling at our play testers - ya'know, to keep them fresh on their toes, always on the alert for new bugs. It’s also for my own amusement. Seriously though, my goal is to ensure that there's a team of individuals constantly testing for issues prior to any of our releases. There's always a few, but sometimes there's less due to their diligent testing and excellent feedback.



Q: Tell us a little about Sins of the Prophets?


A: Sins of the Prophets is a Halo themed total conversion mod for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, and one of the longest running projects on SoaSE – going all the way back to the days of its freshly released infancy. Our mod allows players to experience Halo from a broader perspective, showcasing the brutality of its space combat as described across its varied media. The mod is thick with lore from the books to the comics, accurately portraying the fast paced and vastly scaled carnage that make Halo’s universe so unique, but which has never been extensively seen within the games sandbox. We bring the battles to life, whether it be fighting for survival against a genocidal alien collective as the UNSC, or the complete obliteration of a heretical foe as the Covenant… only to attempt holding out against an undying ravenous wave in the Flood.


Q: What is your all time favourite spaceship design and why?


Cole: Don’t think I could pick just one, but if I had to keep it to Halo, it would be the CCS-class. It’s, well, as practical(?) as an alien spaceship could be, to me anyway. Something very unique and unnerving about its’ dark purple armor and luminous lighting as it cuts through the stars.


Idio: Space Battleship Yamato. Old school anime did some incredible things, and one of the craziest of those ideas was the Yamato. It’s a WWII-era battleship. It’s in space. It’s amazing.


Q: What challenges have you had to overcome, creatively, technically, or otherwise?


Cole: Creatively, the biggest thing for me would definitely be fitting all of Halo’s lore into one little game. Halo is, simply put, massive, and servicing it all is something we want to do but are always trying to figure out how. Technically? I adore Sins as a game and as an engine to work out of, but it does have some restrictions to it that are products of its time. Working inside of those to create a project that feels true to how Halo is described can be challenging at times.


Idio: There’s lots of hurdles we’ve had to stumble past when it comes to this mods development. The biggest are usually the less than elegant solutions required for recurring technical problems and bugs inherent within SoaSE. There’s not too many of these issues, but sometimes we have had to make unfortunate concessions to the games own foibles. A great idea could be quickly brainstormed by the team, only to shortly thereafter realize we cannot functionally do it… then dies a great idea.


Q: Proudest moment?


Cole: By far, my proudest moment would be when 343 Industries featured us in a canon fodder post a few years back. Since then, our interactions with Halo’s developers have not only been more open, but much more rewarding. I think its at that point we realized our work was really doing something.


Idio: Getting featured on Halowaypoint, for sure. It was like all the time spent on the project by everyone involved was finally validated. Looking back, it was a paradigm shift for the Halo fan project community, that paved the way for a much more transparent relationship between fans and 343 Industries.


Q: Any special request for the future of modding in games? (Sins or otherwise)


Cole: Mod. Tools. Capitalize it, bold it, we need it. Developer support mod tools completely and totally change up just how easy it is to work with a game. This comes at now big surprise of course, but it still needs to be said. Sins has a handful available to it, and those alone let us do some wacky stuff. Even more integrated modding tools lets us do our best work. Dev teams, make more tools!


Idio: Developers, please just give us good modding tools for your games. When you have proprietary engines without documentation or tools, but have a modding community, what you actually have is an incredibly dedicated fan base. These people have typically poured countless hours into figuring out how your games work, for the sake of being purely creative. Indulge in that creativity for your games by giving us functional tools that let us mod with limited hassle! It’s a big ask, but the payoff is years of additional support for games that might have otherwise been forgotten to time.


SOTP's Discord






Minor Factions Early Look [ 1 ] Star Wars: Ascendancy - Sins of a Solar Empire Mod



Sins of the Solar Empire Rebellion - Enhanced 4X Mod - Ep 3 (Advent)



DGA Live-streams: Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - Co-op (Ep. 15)



Siege of Centauri review (early access) - This is more like it!