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Stardock Game News

New Jupiter's Forge Expansion for Offworld Trading Company Arrives this Spring!

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 By Island Dog In Offworld News

Offworld Trading Company's new Jupiter's Forge expansion
takes you to the volcanic moon of Io and challenges you to thrive

You thought Mars was a harsh environment?

Think again.

Prudent business decisions take you to Jupiter's moon, Io, to harvest its resources and keep an edge on your competition. Io's 42-hour days and lack of an atmosphere means that you'll have to change your strategy and choose what to build very carefully! Radiation storms, sulfur frosts, landscapes, and tremors threaten your business model and force you to adapt in order to survive.

Jupiter's Forge introduces some new and exciting content:

New Location: Io
Explore Jupiter's volcanic and volatile moon where energy is plentiful, but life support is so difficult that it makes Mars look like a paradise.

New Resource System
On Io, production works a little differently. There are plenty of new sources of power, but basic human needs - like water - simply don't exist. Priorities for what you build and harvest on Io are vastly different from Mars or Ceres. New resources like basalt exist only on Io and will let you build new structures and adapt to the lack of other materials.

New Infinite Challenge
Compete against the rest of the community in this unique set of challenges. Each map evolves, becoming more difficult than the last - can you fight your way onto the leaderboards? Push yourself past the competition and see how many maps you can conquer before the harsh environments of space get the better of you.

New Campaign
Show that you have what it takes to build your business on the harsh environment of Io. Snag your resources before your adversaries do and prove to everyone that money talks: you made it on Mars, and you can make it here on Io too.

 

New Faction: The Diadem Trust
An elite business group with grand visions, they are ready to crush any other corporation that gets in their way. All of their advanced buildings - Hacker Arrays, Patent Labs, etc. - are top of the line and afford them an edge over the competition. For example, Hacker Arrays can create both shortages and surpluses at the same time. Oh, and the patent race? That means nothing to them - they can purchase a patent at any time, regardless of whether or not another player already controls it. It's all legal, they assure you - their lawyers challenge you to read the fine print.

New Faction: The Penrose Collective
Highly adaptable and influential, they intend to thrive on the harsh environment of Io. With the ability to found 2 headquarters at the start of the game (and upgrade them simultaneously), they are able to spread their operations across an already depleted environment in order to afford them easier access to more resources. They are also able to return 2 claims per upgrade, allowing them to trade in useless plots of land for something more profitable.

 

...and more!
This is Jupiter's Forge - you must adapt, or go out of business. 
 
Jupiter's Forge will release in Spring of 2017. 
 
Can you survive the harsh environment of Io?
Add Jupiter's Forge to your wishlist on Steam today!
 
For more information, check out www.offworldgame.com/jupitersforge
 

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion - Forging an Empire

Published on Friday, April 7, 2017 By Yarlen In Sins Developer Journals

Recently, Ironclad Games and Stardock released version 1.9 of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion to players, marking the 5-year anniversary of the latest expansion. I've had the pleasure of working on Sins of a Solar Empire since we released the original title in 2008, and it's been great to see fans continue to play both the base game and the many mods that have been created for it.

If you're new to the series, or looking to join in the fun, what is Sins of a Solar Empire all about? For this journal, I'm going to focus on my favorite race: the Vasari Empire.

A Quick History

Some 10,000 years ago, a powerful race called the Vasari dominated their region of the galaxy. They were a true galactic superpower, bending thousands of worlds to their rule. Vasari supremacy came to an abrupt and shocking end, however; for many players, what happened is the true mystery of Sins of a Solar Empire. All that we know is that one world after another in the Vasari's domain vanished from contact and all ships sent to investigate never returned. Fearful of this unseen threat and powerless to stop it, the Vasari packed what was left of their civilization onto huge ships and fled - something they've done ever since...

For a more complete history of the Vasari, check the the Lore section.

Empire Construction

As a Vasari player, you have a few key strategic advantages and disadvantages to work with in building your empire. For instance, you can field fewer ships, but they're a bit more powerfully than those of the other two races (TEC and Advent). The Vasari aren't very good traders, but they excel at collecting metal and crystal resources. Lastly, the Vasari are masters of phase space travel, which gives them the ability to move around the map practically at will late in the game.

In my game, I've started on the planet Peraga and 'liberated' the dwarf planet of Penza nearby. My scouts have detected two rival empires on my borders: the Trade Coalition and the Galian Rim Union. Both are TEC players attempting to encroach upon my space, but I've been careful to deploy defenses against them... or, so I thought.

Here's a great lesson to take from this diary: always scout ahead. I'll admit that I got arrogant because I thought the AI wasn't ready to deal with my fleet, so I decided to go on offense without looking. Having setup a forward base at the planet Charybdis, I made the decision to push on toward the Galian-held ice world of Sethos. Huge mistake. I ran right into a heavily upgraded TEC Argonov starbase and the Galian's new Ragnarov titan. 

Turning tail to retreat, my fleet was all but annihilated; I nearly lost both of my capital ships, escaping with only 117 HP on one as it managed to enter phase jump with seconds to spare. Licking my wounds with only a few ships left, I look up to see the Trade Coalition attacking from my flank!

Penza is now under assault from a modest enemy force, but it's not heavily defended. Until I can marshal reinforcements from Charybdis, only the starbase Oraskal is available to keep Penza under my rightful authority. Luckily for me, Vasari starbases can move!

Another good lesson here is this: everything has a weakness and nothing is invulnerable (at least, not permanently). Vasari starbases are monsters; they have lots of firepower, lots of armor, and can even be upgraded to regenerate. Plus, I mentioned they're mobile, right? All for naught against an enemy with the right counterforce.  

The Trade Coalition came prepared for my starbase with Ogrov torpedo cruisers. Equipped with high-yield warheads, the Oraskal fought well but didn't stand a chance. I couldn't help but cringe as I watched it explode into a million tiny fragments.

What Next?

Things look grim for the Vasari at this point, but I did manage to rally a new fleet to save Penza. Unfortunately, Charybdis did not fare as well - the Galian Rim Union opted to take their new titan for a test drive and sacked my world. I'll recover though!

The above gameplay represents only about 45 minutes of playtime in my current game of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Countless worlds await to conquer, subjugate or destroy as you forge your own empire amongst the stars. Join the hunt today!

CRUSADE DIARY 7: Conquest

Published on Thursday, April 6, 2017 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

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Let's begin this diary with the understanding that conquest is not the primary means to victory in Galactic Civilizations.

While warfare is commonly seen as politics via other means, it is not the only or even the easiest way to "win".  

That said, when you do go to war, you are dealing with battles on a scale that humans of the 21st century could scarcely imagine.  Invading a planet is an immense task.

Continue Reading...

Massive v2.2 Update for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is Now Live!

Published on Thursday, April 6, 2017 By Island Dog In Ashes of the Singularity News

Game Replays, Huge Balance Updates, New Maps, Modding Support, and More
in v2.2 of Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
New features, updates, and adjustments have been made. For a full list, see the change log below!


Game Replay 
You've been asking, and here it is! The game replays remove the fog of war so that you can see absolutely everything that went on during your game. Scope out what your opponents were building and how they were laying out their strategy and find out where you went wrong - or where you went right! Up to 3 replays will be automatically saved, but you can change the settings in order to save as many games as you like.

Balance Adjustments
Callum McCole of General's Gentlemen has joined the Escalation team and made some pretty extensive updates to the game's balance. In addition to adjusting many of the units for both the PHC and the Substrate, he has altered some of the core gameplay values in order to make the game more accessible. This includes refining the counter system, increasing strategic diversity, weakening "cheese" strategies, improving game flow, and much more! If you're curious about the details, you can find them in Brad Wardell's dev diary here.

Modding Support
Modders, rejoice! We have added the ability to mod game files, add maps and scenarios, and enable/disable mods for your game. You can see full details in our Modders Guide!

New Maps
v2.2 adds three new maps. Manannan, a 12-player Terran map and Aenghus, a 10-player desert map, are both excellent for free-for-all games. Brighid is a smaller arctic map meant for 8 players and is ideal for a tightly enclosed 4v4 or a more widely spread game of 4 teams with 2 players each.

If you've been playing Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation,
we want to hear from you! Join the conversation over at Steam.

For more information on v2.2, check out the full change log below!

 

v2.2 CHANGELOG:
Features

  • Replays- Watch a replay of your game, or go into the leaderboards and watch games from the top players.
  • Modding Support- We have added the ability to mod game files, add maps and scenarios and enable and disable mods for your game. For all the details checkout the Modders Guide.
  • New Maps- 3 new large maps added to support lots of players.
    • Manannan- A 12 player Terran map which is great for free for all games.
    • Brighid- An 8 player Arctic map that is ideal for 4 teams of 2 players each.
    • Aenghus- A 10 player Desert map that is great for free for all games.
  • Issue Orders to Multiple Factories- Selecting multiple factories will allow you to give the same order to all of them. If you select 3 factories and queue up a Brute all three will begin producing a Brute. If you hold the Ctrl key it will issue those requests out one at a time (ie: queuing a Brute will have the first factory begin queuing a Brute).
  • Period key now selects an idle engineer (just like the F1 key does).
  • Radioactive and Metal desposits without mines now show as grey in strategic view to make it easier to see which one's haven't been upgraded yet.

View the full changelog here

v1.9 Update marks 5 Year Anniversary for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion!

Published on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 By Island Dog In Sins News

v1.9 Modernization Update Improves
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion for Current PCs

Get Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion on Steam for only $10!*

Sins: Rebellion celebrates its 5-year anniversary with an update that brings significant changes to the game's engine, AI, graphics systems, and more! Modern gamers will enjoy an incredible remastered 4K experience, optimizations to late-game play, and improved memory capabilities.

Major Features

Graphics Optimizations
Sins: Rebellion gets a face lift in v1.9! The improvements to the memory system have allowed for a new "Extreme" texture setting that makes the game look better than ever. The difference is noticeable in everything from the ships and the planets all the way to shadow rendering. The UI will look incredible on 4K monitors now thanks to user interface scaling.

Memory Optimizations
Concern yourself with space battles instead of space restrictions! Previously, Sins: Rebellion's 32-bit process was unable to exceed 2 GB of RAM usage. New adjustments in v1.9 allows the game to use up to 4 GB of RAM, which reduces crashes and lets modders focus on their creations instead of worrying about hitting the 32-bit limit. Any mods that already exist will benefit from the engine improvements with an overall better look and performance.

Late Game Optimizations
Reduced stuttering and lag during late game battles let you focus on the fight! The Iron Engine has been improved so you can enjoy large fights without worrying about issues. The game's AI has also received some updates, making for more interesting challenges and gameplay.

For a full changelog of version 1.9, see here.

v1.9 is available and ready for you in the Steam Client!

Don't own the Award-Winning RTS, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion? 
Get it on Steam now for $10!*

*Sale ends at 1:00 PM ET on 4/6/17.

ASHES DEV JOURNAL: March 2017

Published on Monday, March 13, 2017 By Draginol In Ashes Dev Journals

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## ASHES OF THE SINGULARITY IS EVERYWHERE ##

We just came back from the Game Developer's Conference.   It was a great week for the Nitrous engine (the underlying engine used in Ashes of the Singularity).

Big News: AMD is bundling Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation with more and more CPUs  The hardware bundling keeps a steady stream of new players coming into our community.

Moreover, the AMD Ryzen chips, which are 8-cores, really show off the power of the game. As more people get 4 core machines and more powerful video cards (like the AMD Radon VEGA) the more people that can play the game which in turn allows us to increase the rate of development even further.

As you know, the up-front hardware wall on Ashes of the Singularity is fairly high.  If you don't have an SSD, loading the game is slow.  If you have low resolution, the fonts are blurry.  If you don't have at least a 2GB video card, the graphics are slow.  What players get in return, however, is that the game doesn't slow down, even late game. 

Thus, the faster AMD, Intel and NVIDIA can get mainstream high-end, DirectX 12 and Vulkan hardware out there, the quicker the adoption of Ashes of the Singularity.

Now, let's talk about what's coming in Version 2.2 this month...

Continue Reading...

v2.1 for Sorcerer King: Rivals is Now Available!

Published on Thursday, March 9, 2017 By Island Dog In Sorcerer King News

An anonymous note. A mysterious artifact.
An...unusually well-dressed Ogre. 

What adventures await in v2.1 of Sorcerer King: Rivals?

Powerless to stop the rise of the Sorcerer King, you've done your best to care for the people of your small and struggling kingdom. Even as you watched the Sorcerer King's sinister plans spread, you didn't dare step into the conflict out of fear of what he'd do to you if you defied him. Instead, you choose the bliss of ignorance, remaining within your kingdom's walls while the rest of the world is closed off to you.

...That is, until now. 

v2.1 introduces a whole new campaign that starts in a nearby inn with a single, mysterious letter. The writer has sent you an ancient artifact called the Crux of Az-Adoras, which is capable of piercing the magical wards that seal off your realm from the rest of the Sorcerer King's world. But, where did it come from? Who sent it? This isn't a world where things are ever done for free.

In order to solve those mysteries, you will need to explore the realm while taking care not to upset the irritable Sorcerer King. Each gate that you unlock with the Crux draws his attention as you explore territories that he’d previously barred you from. He’s willing to let you explore, but for a price - leave his minions be, and provide him with some of your life force now and again. Fair trade, right? Just ignore that pesky doomsday counter…

With a custom map and settings, hilarious quests written by Chris Bucholz, a new villain, and an unusually well-dressed ogre, v2.1 will provide you hours of additional amusement. The update is ready and waiting for you, so get going - the world isn’t going to save itself.

Sorcerer King: Rivals is available through Stardock or on Steam.
www.sorcererking.com

 

v2.1 for Sorcerer King: Rivals is Now Available!

Published on Thursday, March 9, 2017 By Island Dog In Sorcerer King News

An anonymous note. A mysterious artifact.
An...unusually well-dressed Ogre. 

What adventures await in v2.1 of Sorcerer King: Rivals?

Powerless to stop the rise of the Sorcerer King, you've done your best to care for the people of your small and struggling kingdom. Even as you watched the Sorcerer King's sinister plans spread, you didn't dare step into the conflict out of fear of what he'd do to you if you defied him. Instead, you choose the bliss of ignorance, remaining within your kingdom's walls while the rest of the world is closed off to you.

...That is, until now. 

v2.1 introduces a whole new campaign that starts in a nearby inn with a single, mysterious letter. The writer has sent you an ancient artifact called the Crux of Az-Adoras, which is capable of piercing the magical wards that seal off your realm from the rest of the Sorcerer King's world. But, where did it come from? Who sent it? This isn't a world where things are ever done for free.

In order to solve those mysteries, you will need to explore the realm while taking care not to upset the irritable Sorcerer King. Each gate that you unlock with the Crux draws his attention as you explore territories that he’d previously barred you from. He’s willing to let you explore, but for a price - leave his minions be, and provide him with some of your life force now and again. Fair trade, right? Just ignore that pesky doomsday counter…

With a custom map and settings, hilarious quests written by Chris Bucholz, a new villain, and an unusually well-dressed ogre, v2.1 will provide you hours of additional amusement. The update is ready and waiting for you, so get going - the world isn’t going to save itself.

Sorcerer King: Rivals is available through Stardock or on Steam.
www.sorcererking.com

 

CRUSADE DIARY 5: Spies & Saboteurs

Published on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 By Draginol In GalCiv III Dev Journals

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Spying on Aliens

Galactic Civilizations is a game that asks the question: What happens after we start colonizing other planets? For our purposes, we are going to assume that we will come into contact with alien civilizations.

Alien civilizations will have their own histories, cultures and ideals that we can only fathom.  In Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade, you will be able to train your citizens to learn more about these other civilizations and, if necessary, do very bad things to them.

Continue Reading...

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