After two decades of waiting, a new Star Control game is finally coming! Pre-order today to get a special discount on the game and access to our “Super Melee” beta in November. Learn more here.
Stardock Game News
Hungry for some Star Control info? Ars Technica gives you a new taste of what we've got in development! The article features a new dev trailer, exclusive screenshots, and an in-depth interview with our CEO Brad Wardell.
STEAM DAILY DEAL: Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is on sale for 66% off. Or, get the base game and all DLC in the Gold Bundle, which is also on sale! Hurry, sale ends Wednesday at 1pm ET.
From the desk of Manuel Valencia
CEO, Icarus Investments Contractor, Seneca Inc.
Losing Icarus Investments was a blow, and by most accounts should have been the end for me.
Lucky for me, my mama ‘didn’t raise no quitter,’ as the saying goes. It took some time, and more than a little convincing, but I finally found someone who didn’t see my previously failed venture as a bad thing, but rather a stepping stone into something greater. I preferred being my own boss, but joining Paulo Rubini at Seneca, Inc. wasn’t a terrible alternative.
Adjustments to trade routes, colony events, and game balance are among the improvements in v2.6 for Galactic Civilizations III and the Crusade expansion. Learn more about the update here.
From the desk of Silas Crichton
CEO and Founder, New Meridian Corporation
Antarctica was nothing compared to this.
Yes, I used the “frozen north,” as my assistant liked to call it, in order to run trials of what would be necessary to sustain life on Mars. While my research was successful and my findings accurate, I wasn’t fully prepared for what it would actually feel like when I finally got here.
Conspicuous Consumption brings cosmetic
upgrades for advanced buildings
Add some flare to your game with custom art, animations, and audio lines.
Check out the changelog at the bottom of the post to learn more about the update!
Check out the new building versions:
To learn more about Offworld Trading Company, visit www.offworldgame.com
Patch 1.16.17762 adds 4k support and a large number of UI optimizations to Offworld Trading company. The team also continues to support the game with balance, stability and performance updates to continue to improve the game for all players.
- Increased profit from Elite Pleasure Domes by +50%
- Return Claim black market now gives 2 items
- Patent time penalty is lowered with >4 players.
- Lowered base market demand slightly
- Fixed some AI sabotage bugs and AI is less likely to target human in Practice Challenges
- Fixing built-in mods failing to register on start up
- Buying out an unfounded player no longer gives them shares after they found
- Fixing bug where loading a map doesn't check if a mod is required.
- Fixing replay's overwriting previous match history
- Fixed an issue where some text elements were not updating due to being enabled and disabled in one frame
- Disabling claim canceling in the last two tutorials to fix a bug related to doing that.
- Fixing strange map number return on the infinite challenge screen
- Fixing issue with lobbies not refreshing properly because Steam thought we were still in a mod
- Optimizing Tile network message performance by 2x
- Reduced network message sizes by 50%
- Loaded games now wait for the loading screen to finish before progressing
- Optimizing AI found performance by 2x
- Added 4k support
- Game Option size is no longer hard-coded
- Fixed random prices bug, added warning when player has X% of the money to buy you out
- Added Options Toggle for muting the menu music when application is out of focus
- Made location nodes on io appear less blurry
- Adjusted ceres lighting fog
- Made sure Banner Notification scales uniformly as it animates in and out
- Fixed splotchy outline text on banner notifications by scaling uniformly
- Added higher poly version of io
- Adjusted scaling for glowing text on tutorial check buttons
- Adjusted "Compare Players" text to scale correctly in the charts and graphs screen
- Added layout element to pagination text on daily and infinite map challenge pages so they scale properly
- Slight adjustment to Infinite Map Challenge updating leaderboard current page (so it stays the same when a button is pressed, and switches to first page onEnable)
- Fixed scaling issues for the auto sell indicator and the espionage arrows
- Patents now highlight for perks in campaign mode
- Clicking on the Infinite Map Challenge Leaders will now take you to that map number
- Mod dropdown menus now have tooltips so users can read long mod names
- Adjusted credit text and unity image to scale with larger monitors
- Changed width of object so the help button (campaign screen) would display onscreen in 1920x1080 and other resolutions
- Fixed alignment of banner notification text
- Styling Loading Screen progress bars
- Adjusted auto sell icon to scale with aspect to prevent squishing
- New text-tutorial info regarding placement of scientific buildings on ice (text provided by Dorian)
- Fixed tooltip blocking map number for infinite map challenge
Today, Stardock and Mohawk Games released the Conspicuous Consumption DLC, a prestige pack of cosmetic upgrades for select buildings. Players can add “flare” to their game with the custom art, animations, and audio for each version. Learn more here.
To Boldly Go
Why Stardock Loves Space Strategy
Stardock has a long history of strategy games set in space. Starting with the original Galactic Civilizations back in CEO Brad Wardell’s college days all the way to the more current Galactic Civilizations III, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, and Offworld Trading Company, we have continued to bring the stars to 4X fans everywhere.
But, why is outer space so alluring to our Michigan based studio? It’s a question we're asked a lot, one our devs are more than happy to answer.
“I think people like the idea of being out there in space,” said Paul Boyer, the lead designer for Galactic Civilizations III. “They just want to go out there and explore. And when you find that great world, that perfect planet that you uncover...that’s what [you would] call a ‘second of fun.’”
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation lead designer Callum McCole says that making games set in space is “very useful for designers.” The flexibility to make units feel different to each other as well as visually intuitive is possible because while some things in science fiction are influenced by reality, there is plenty of room for creativity and application of the imagination.
While some designers enjoy the wide possibilities offered by pure sci-fi, others prefer an approach that’s more familiar to people. The CEO of Mohawk games and lead designer for Offworld Trading Company Soren Johnson got his start with games based in history (Civilization IV) and tends to stay a little closer to proven science. “I’m not really super comfortable as a designer making up this brand new fiction from whole cloth,” Johnson said. “I wanted Offworld to be - even though it’s set in the future - pretty grounded, which is why we set the game in the solar system. It’s attached to things that people know.”
“Sometimes it’s a question of ‘how can we fill a role that the game needs?’ but we also want something that’s unique and isn’t just a larger version of existing units,” said McCole. “That is the good thing about sci-fi is that you don’t always have to think about the physics or the realism. You can do what you want and what’s good for other parts of the game without having to stop and think about whether it’s realistic or not.”
All of the designers at Stardock agree on one thing, though: it’s all about what makes gameplay fun. While some level of realism is considered when determining what kind of resources are required to build something within the game - for example, needing thulium for certain types of weapons in Galactic Civilizations III - ultimately those types of design decisions are of secondary importance to the question of, “is it fun?”
Stardock has been making space strategy games for over 20 years and we're not stopping anytime soon. We continue to release DLC for our most popular space titles and we're also working on Star Control: Origins, a long anticipated continuation of the beloved Star Control series.
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?