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Stardock Game News

A preview of Escalation at PCGamesN

Published on Thursday, September 15, 2016 By Frogboy In Ashes Dev Journals

PCGamesN has an exclusive preview of Stardock’s upcoming expansion pack to Ashes of the Singularity called Escalation.

IF I had a time machine, which I don’t…yet…I wish we could have called the game just Escalation. I love that title for an RTS.

Anyway check it out here:

http://www.pcgamesn.com/ashes-of-the-singularity/ashes-of-the-singularity-escalation-strategic-zoom

Ashes: SEPTEMBER 2016 Dev Update

Published on Thursday, September 1, 2016 By Island Dog In Ashes Dev Journals

The Goal: Create the biggest, best real-time strategy game ever!

## Performance tuning ##

We haven't set up a specific version number for the next set of updates. Internally we're calling it the 1.5 series. But there's development and then there's marketing.

Right now, we're putting a lot of effort on performance tuning. Ashes is a big game and it's a new engine.

We would really like to get the base game of Ashes of the Singularity down to working on 1GB video cards as well as making sure it runs really well on 4K resolutions. 

While most of you reading this know your hardware, it's important to remember that most people have no idea other than insisting that their 3 year old PC is state of the art still and no amount of posting will persuade them that there 3 year old machine isn't a mega machine just because it plays GTA V just fine.

## The New Units ##

Both The PHC and the Substrate are going to get a mobile quantum jammer. It'll be a very expensive, very late game unit. It's not something players will be spamming out with all their armies. Instead, think of it as a T3-level costing unit that will be very hard to kill.

The problem we run into late game on the bigger maps is that you can nuke enemy armies to death as they cross. 

After the expansion is released, we want to bring over the Barrager upgradeable defense and the Heavy Annihlator so that there is a bit more turtling available to players.

## Escalation is coming!!! ##

Speaking of the expansion, Escalation is coming. This is the first expansion that adds:

  • 9 new units
  • 12 new defensive structures
  • Volcanic planets
  • Crystaline planets
  • Strategic zoom
  • A prequel single player campaign
  • Updated version of the Imminent crisis campaign
  • Escalation single player campaign
  • Doubles the number of players from 8 to 16
  • Doubles the maximum map size
  • Updated soundtrack
  • Changes to the Substrate economy system
  • Visual and UI update
  • Upgradable defenses
  • New orbital abilities
  • Substrate gains a Harvester unit that can steal resources from regions
  • New game setup options


It's $19.99 for Ashes players and $39.99 for new players.

It's being released as a stand-alone expansion. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we would have made this a DLC instead of stand-alone given some of the anger that we've seen regarding releasing the expansion as a stand-alone.

Somewhere between our release of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes and now expandalones have gone out of favor. 

We prefer explandalones for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it lets us have a new install directory. I wish I had a better reason than that but it didn't occur to us that anyone would care one way or the other since all the other RTS games do their expansions that way (StarCraft: Legacy of the Void, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, The various Dawn of War 2 expansions, the various CoH expansions, etc.

Anyway, lesson learned, people prefer their expansions released as DLC. We'll keep that in mind in the future. 

We're really excited about Escalation. We've listened to player feedback since release and created this in response.

It'll be released in November.

You can pre-order it here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/507490/


## Steam Reviews ##

I'm going to rant about Steam reviews for a second. I won't get into whether reviews are "fair" or not. They are what they are. 

Games with review scores less than 70% become "mixed" and that kills sales. Ashes is at 70%. You can read the reviews and decide if they're legitimate or not. 

What I can say is that the market is the market. Our ability to keep working on Ashes is dependent on sales. If people don't like Ashes, then it won't sell and that'll be the end of it. 

RTS's are expensive to develop. We want to continue to develop Ashes for years to come. But we can only do that if enough people want us to. While sales of the game remain quite strong, there is a very strong correlation between Steam reviews and sales.

The recent review score is based on 99 people's reviews. That's a tiny number of people. The game has only been reviewed by 1300 people. That's less than 1% of the player base.


## Increasing Replayability ##

One of the major projects for after version 1.6 (Fall) is to implement features that will further increase replayability.

The sandbox game is something we think is very strong. But Ashes isn't a 4X game which are the kings of strategy replayability. And while we love multiplayer, only a small percentage of people play Ashes multiplayer. We are adding more features for MP (such as replays) to help on that end. But we want people to want to play Ashes daily for years to come.

We'd like to hear your thoughts on that.

That's all for now!

Cheers!


Originally posted by Brad on the Steam forums.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/228880/discussions/1/350540780276858218/

 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation increases map size, player count, unit types, adds strategic zoom and more

Published on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 By Island Dog In Press Releases (Ashes of the Singularity)

Plymouth, MI. - August 24, 2016 - Stardock revealed Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation today. The stand-alone expansion includes everything from the base game while adding features and content requested by players.

Escalation increases the player count per map from 8 to 16, doubles the size of the largest map type, introduces two new story-driven campaigns, adds strategic zoom to manage world-sized battles, includes many new units, supports upgradeable defensive structures and much more.

"Bigger, better, bolder - that’s what Escalation is," said Brad Wardell, president and CEO of Stardock. "We listened carefully to the feedback the players gave us on the release, rolled up our sleeves, and have created what we hope is one of the most epic scale real-time strategy games ever."

The original release of Ashes of the Singularity was praised for both its innovative game mechanics and as being the first game to support Microsoft's DirectX 12, enabling the game to deliver high scale with high fidelity.  With Escalation, Stardock and Oxide have focused on making the game support a much wider user base.

"With Escalation we've been able to use Oxide's Nitrous engine to deliver stunning visuals while lowering the hardware requirements," said Wardell. "Anyone running Windows 7 or later with a decent hardware setup who likes real-time strategy games becomes a potential player."

The game, set in a post-technological singularity future, puts the player in the role of the commander of either the post-singularity humans or their AI opponents called The Substrate.  That game supports map sizes ranging from small, arena-style all the way up to world spanning massive maps with up to 16 players.

All the races from Ashes of the Singularity get new units and buildings in Escalation.  For example, the PHC gains some new defensive structures, a strategic bomber, a gunship, new combat vehicles and more. Meanwhile, The Substrate gain defensive structures including an anti-air cannon, as well as some new flying units and a unit that bolsters their economy, among others.

While Ashes of the Singularity has many strong multiplayer features, Stardock expects most people to play the game exclusively single-player.  To that end, Escalation adds two new campaigns that provide players a host of new custom challenges in addition to the already excellent single player sandbox game.

Escalation will be available for pre-order on 8/25/16 and will release Fall 2016. At release, existing Ashes players can upgrade for $19.99 and new players can get Escalation for $39.99. 

For more information, visit www.ashesgame.com/escalation, like it on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.


Screenshots

Screenshot 1  |  Screenshot 2  |  Screenshot 3  |  Screenshot 4  |  Screenshot 5


# # #


Please contact press@stardock.com for all media inquiries.

About Stardock: Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software founded in 1991 by nationally recognized technology expert Brad Wardell. Located in Plymouth, Michigan, Stardock is a powerful leader in the video gaming and software development world.  Its PC games include Sins of a Solar Empire, the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series, and Ashes of the Singularity. Stardock puts the user experience first through software that enriches the Windows experience for everyone from casual computer users to highly technical professionals. Products offered by Stardock include Start8, Start10, Fences, WindowBlinds, Multiplicity, and more at www.stardock.com.

About Oxide Games: Oxide Games is an independent digital entertainment studio focused on delivering revolutionary leaps in PC and console gaming. Its groundbreaking Nitrous engine provides industry-leading visuals and powers its first game, Ashes of the Singularity. Oxide Games is based in Timonium, Maryland. Learn more atwww.oxidegames.com.


Stardock Releases Altarian Prophecy DLC for Galactic Civilizations III Today

Published on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 By Island Dog In Press Releases (GalCiv III)

Plymouth, MI. – August 23, 2016 - Stardock released the new Altarian Prophecy DLC for Galactic Civilizations III today. The DLC contains a brand new campaign that focuses on how the Terran Alliance and the Altarian Confederation first met and united against a common enemy. New ship parts and some familiar ship styles have also been added with this DLC.

"The campaign has three missions that center around the alliance between the Terrans and the Altarians," said designer Paul Boyer. "The players will have to work together with the Altarians to fend off the encroachment of the Dominion of the Korx. And as usual, there’s the Drengin to worry about too," Boyer adds.

The Altarian Prophecy also contains some classic ship styles. These styles will allow players to model their ships after the Drath and the Korx. In addition to the new styles, the DLC adds dozens of classic ship parts to allow for further customization.

"We always enjoy seeing what kinds of custom ships our players create," said Boyer. "We like to give them the tools to keep coming up with unique and interesting designs. It’s really cool to see the process."

The Altarian Prophecy DLCis now available on Steam or through Stardock for $4.99. For more information about Galactic Civilizations III, please visit www.galciv3.com.  

Screenshots
Screenshot 1 | Screenshot 2 | Screenshot 3 | Screenshot 4 | Screenshot 5

# # #

Please contact press@stardock.com for all media inquiries.


About Stardock: Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software founded in 1991 by nationally recognized technology expert Brad Wardell. Located in Plymouth, Michigan, Stardock is a powerful leader in the video gaming and software development world.  Its PC games include Sins of a Solar Empire, the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series, and Ashes of the Singularity. Stardock puts the user experience first through software that enriches the Windows experience for everyone from casual computer users to highly technical professionals. Products offered by Stardock include Start8, Start10, Fences, WindowBlinds, Multiplicity, and more at www.stardock.com

Ceres Initiative DLC

Published on Monday, August 22, 2016 By Island Dog In Offworld Dev Journals

Originally posted by Soren Johnson on the Mohawk Games blog.

 

Today, we released the Ceres Initiative DLC, which is a entirely new location to play Offworld, with new terrain and even a new resource tree.

The rule changes are the following:

  • Resources diminish over time (a High resource tile becomes Medium and then Low)
  • Uranium is a new resource (it’s a metal, like Iron and Aluminum, so it is produced by with the Metal Mine)
  • New building: Nuclear Plants, which converts Uranium and Water into Power
  • New terrain: Salts, which boosts Farm production by 50%
  • New terrain: Caves, which gives mines, quarries, and pumps access to resources in adjacent tiles
  • New patent: Liquid Batteries, which allows Solar Condensers to work at night
  • Water Ice can be found on all maps
  • Days are shorter (9 hours), so buildings turn on and off more frequently, and debt can accumulate faster
  • No Wind Turbines, Geothermal Plant, Dust Storms, or Superconductor

Stardock Releases Ceres Initiative DLC for Offworld Trading Company Today

Published on Monday, August 22, 2016 By Island Dog In Press Releases (Offworld Trading)

Plymouth, MI. - August 22, 2016 - Stardock and Mohawk Games released a new DLC for Offworld Trading Company today. The economic strategy game from Civilization IV lead designer Soren Johnson now offers a new battleground for economic warfare with the "Ceres Initiative" DLC, which includes the new asteroid location, Ceres.

"Our players love the random maps of Mars," said Soren Johnson. "But they’ve also wanted to explore beyond Mars. This DLC will allow them to do that by traveling to the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. It’s the perfect place to found a new mining colony and experience new challenges."

The new DLC contains new features that are only available while playing a game on Ceres. Uranium, a resource that hasn’t been seen before in the game, can only be mined from the frozen and rocky terrain on Ceres. This resource powers the new Nuclear Power Plant building, which generates energy for players to use to power their colonies.

In addition to new resources, some of the terrain on Ceres provides new bonuses to the player's colony if certain buildings are placed there. The new "salt" terrain allows farms to produce 50% more food, while the new "cave" terrain allows for mines, quarries, and pumps to access resources in adjacent tiles. 

"We’ve also introduced a new patent that can make or break a stock battle on Ceres," said Johnson. "The Liquid Batteries patent allows players to keep their solar condenser running at all times, which is a vital source for water on Ceres. Managing your resources is essential to staying out of debt and dominating your opponents."

Ceres poses one more huge challenge for the player: depleting resources. Players must always be on the lookout for other resource points, since the ones they choose to mine will start to diminish over time. A quarry that starts with large amounts of iron, for example, will eventually trickle down to only trace amounts, forcing the player to either buy what they need or find a new place to mine.

The Ceres Initiative DLCis now available on Steam or through Stardock. For more information about Offworld Trading Company, please visit www.offworldgame.com.  


Screenshots
Screenshot 1 | Screenshot 2 | Screenshot 3 | Screenshot 4 | Screenshot 5


# # #


Please contact press@stardock.com for all media inquiries.


About Stardock: Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software founded in 1991 by nationally recognized technology expert Brad Wardell. Located in Plymouth, Michigan, Stardock is a powerful leader in the video gaming and software development world.  Its PC games include Sins of a Solar Empire, the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series, and Ashes of the Singularity. Stardock puts the user experience first through software that enriches the Windows experience for everyone from casual computer users to highly technical professionals. Products offered by Stardock include Start8, Start10, Fences, WindowBlinds, Multiplicity, and more at www.stardock.com.


About Mohawk Games: Founded by acclaimed game designer Soren Johnson in 2013, Mohawk Games is built on the principles of iterative design, deep gameplay, and community involvement. Mohawk’s first title, Offworld Trading Company, uses the Unity engine and is being published by Stardock.

New Ceres Initiative DLC takes you off Mars and brings new resources, buildings, and more!

Published on Monday, August 22, 2016 By Island Dog In Offworld News

Travel Beyond Mars in The Ceres Initiative DLC
The largest asteroid in the belt has chartered its first colony and there's money to be made...

Humanity proved that we could thrive on Mars… but, now we need to learn how to survive on a dead rock.
Enjoy the brand new scenery of Ceres while mining for Uranium, a resource unique to the landscape of the frozen asteroid.
Use it to power the new Nuclear Power Plant building and fuel your colony while you fight for
dominance of the stock market once again!

Features

New Location: CeresThe largest asteroid in the asteroid belt, Ceres presents great challenges to colonization with its vast spans of ice and rock. Enjoy some new scenery as you crush your competition to remain on top of the stock market. Some of the terrain on Ceres also provides additional bonuses:

  • Salt Terrain: Farms produce 50% more food.
  • Cave Terrain: Mines, quarries, and pumps can access resources in adjacent tiles.

New Building: Nuclear Power PlantThe new power plant is an excellent source of energy for your colony and can be built on any tile. This building is powered by Uranium and is only available on Ceres.

New Challenge: Depleting Resources - On Ceres, resources deplete as they are used. Over time, your plots will start to decrease and you will need to be on the lookout for new resource points since even the best of them won't last forever.

 

New Resource: UraniumOnly available on Ceres, this mineable resource provides power to Power Plants and is just one more way to manipulate the stock market in your favor.

New Patent: Liquid BatteriesThis new patent could be critical to the success of your colony on Ceres. Liquid Batteries will allow you to keep your Solar Condenser running no matter what time of the day it is, collecting valuable water so you can keep your operations running smoothly.


The Ceres Initiative is now available on Steam or through Stardock
www.offworldgame.com 

Stardock Releases New Oblivion DLC for Ashes of the Singularity

Published on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 By Island Dog In Press Releases (Ashes of the Singularity)

Plymouth, MI. - August 17, 2016 - Stardock released the Oblivion DLC for Ashes of the Singularity today. This new downloadable content contains new maps, as well as a new scenario involving a rogue Substrate that has even turned against its own kind.

The new maps in the Oblivion DLC include a large, resource-rich 2-player map called Walbright that is ideal for lengthier duels, a tiny 4-player map called Barcia that is ideal for a quick match, a medium 6-player map called Crawford meant for fast and intense large group games, and more.

"We are continuing to add variety with new maps so that players can enjoy a different experience every time they play," said Brad Wardell, CEO and President of Stardock. "These new maps are varied in sizes and the way games will play out on them changes based on how many people play, which sort of sets the pace for it all."

In addition to the new maps, the Epic Map Pack DLC includes a brand new scenario called "Oblivion." In this scenario, the player and their PHC ally Valen are faced with a rogue Substrate entity who has gone mad with power and is even destroying other Substrate bases.

"As we continue to release scenarios, players will learn more about the Substrate," said Wardell. "They’ll start to see more of their entities pop up and understand how they function and what happens when their power starts to become too much."

The Oblivion DLC is now available on Steam or through Stardock. For more information on Ashes of the Singularity, please visit www.ashesgame.com.


Screenshots
Screenshot 1 | Screenshot 2 | Screenshot 3 | Screenshot 4 | Screenshot 5


# # #


Please contact press@stardock.com for all media inquiries.


About Stardock: Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software founded in 1991 by nationally recognized technology expert Brad Wardell. Located in Plymouth, Michigan, Stardock is a powerful leader in the video gaming and software development world.  Its PC games include Sins of a Solar Empire, the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series, and Ashes of the Singularity. Stardock puts the user experience first through software that enriches the Windows experience for everyone from casual computer users to highly technical professionals. Products offered by Stardock include Start8, Start10, Fences, WindowBlinds, Multiplicity, and more at www.stardock.com.

About Oxide Games: Oxide Games is an independent digital entertainment studio focused on delivering revolutionary leaps in PC and console gaming. Its groundbreaking Nitrous engine provides industry-leading visuals and powers its first game, Ashes of the Singularity. Oxide Games is based in Timonium, Maryland. Learn more at www.oxidegames.com.


Sorcerer King: Rivals gives fantasy 4X players the option to play god

Published on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 By redskittlesonly In Press Releases (SK)

Sorcerer King: Rivals gives fantasy 4X players the option to play god
New stand-alone expansion from Stardock provides a twist on the classic genre

Plymouth, Michigan - August 17, 2016 - Stardock Entertainment revealed their stand-alone fantasy 4X expansion today. Sorcerer King: Rivals gives the player a new path to victory: godhood.

Designed to attract new players to the series, the stand-alone game expands on the elements that were most praised in the original game. Sorcerer King: Rivals also adds a host of new features, including:

  • Two new civilizations to play as, including the Dwarves of the Frozen Realm

  • Nearly a dozen hand-crafted maps to go along with the procedurally generated maps the game is well known for

  • New, well-integrated quests that are one of the most unique features of Stardock's Elemental-world games

  • Three new boss monsters (the base game included two) who roam the world and will punish those who cross their paths

  • A user-friendly quest editor where game developers and/or writers can come up with their own quests that automatically become part of the game when saved

  • Tightly integrated Steam Workshop support that lets players quickly share their creations as well as download worlds and quests created by others

Most importantly, the expandalone flips the original's premise on its head:

"In the original Sorcerer King, the player's mission was to round up allies to defeat the malevolent Sorcerer King before he can collect enough Doom Essence to cast the spell of Ascension," said Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock. "This time around, you, the player are able to collect your own Ascension magic in an attempt to reach godhood with everyone else having to try to stop you from doing so.  You and the Sorcerer King are now rivals."

Stardock, well known for their award-winning strategy games including Galactic Civilizations, Sins of a Solar Empire, Fallen Enchantress, Offworld Trading Company and Ashes of the Singularity, is hoping that Sorcerer King: Rivals will attract 4X strategy gamers looking for a fantasy civilization building game that is designed to be expanded on and replayed for years to come.

The release date for Sorcerer King: Rivals is set for late Summer 2016 and will list for $29.99.  Players who have the original Sorcerer King can upgrade to it for $14.99.

For more information, visit www.sorcererking.com/rivals, like it on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.


Screenshots:
Screenshot 1  |  Screenshot 2 |  Screenshot 3  |  Screenshot 4  |  Screenshot 5


# # #


Please contact press@stardock.com for all media inquiries.

About Stardock: Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software founded in 1991 by nationally recognized technology expert Brad Wardell. Located in Plymouth, Michigan, Stardock is a powerful leader in the video gaming and software development world.  Its PC games include Sins of a Solar Empire, the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series, and Ashes of the Singularity. Stardock puts the user experience first through software that enriches the Windows experience for everyone from casual computer users to highly technical professionals. Products offered by Stardock include Start8, Start10, Fences, WindowBlinds, Multiplicity, and more at www.stardock.com.



Sorcerer King: Rivals Expansion Releases this September!

Published on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 By Island Dog In Sorcerer King News

Decide the fate of the world this September
in the new Sorcerer King: Rivals Standalone Expansion
Only you can save the world... or destroy it.

Stardock has revealed the stand-alone expansion for its fantasy 4X strategy game, Sorcerer King.  Sorcerer King: Rivals flips the original game's premise on its head by giving the player the ability to become a god with your rivals trying to stop you through any means necessary.

Rivals has two new playable races complete with new sovereigns, spells, units, and abilities. Three new lieutenants join the Sorcerer King's army, each with new and unique abilities to challenge you. A new quest editor and Steam Workshop support allows you to write your own epic quest lines and share them with other players around the world.


Sorcerer King: Rivals introduces some new and exciting content:

New Ascension Victory
Learn the Ascension spell and consume the shards before the Sorcerer King gets to them first. Amass ascension points to become a god before the Sorcerer King casts his spell, and win the game.

New Factions
Turn the land into frozen mountainsides and enhance your warriors as Bazzal the Dwarven King, Sovereign of the Frozen Realm faction or collect bone fragments from vanquished foes and raise armies of the undead with Valemor the Archmage, Sovereign of the Necromancer faction.

New Lieutenants
Three new lieutenants of the Sorcerer King wait to challenge you! Two lieutenants out of the list of five will appear randomly every game to oppose you. Face down against the Shadow Dragon Nabunihr, test your might against the Crystal Serpent Abeix, or train your bows on the great bird, Corvos, Bringer of Storms.

 

New Quests
Experience brand new adventure by embarking on never-before-seen quest lines! Enjoy the witty writing and light humor in the face of the world's destruction as you gather unique ingredients and recipes to craft better weapons and armor for your army.

New Quest Editor
Become the author of your own adventures with this user-friendly quest editor! Write the quest text, craft your decisions, and decide on the rewards. Your quest will automatically become part of the game when saved.

New Steam Workshop Support
Tightly integrated workshop support lets you easily share your creations with the rest of the world! Download maps and quests created by others and explore all of the new possibilities for adventure.

In Sorcerer King: Rivals you will be faced with new challenges of moral and heoric proportions. 

Will you save the world - or will you aid in its destruction?
Sorcerer King: Rivals will be available for pre-order on August 25th.

Sorcerer King: Rivals is now available for pre-order for $29.99,
or $14.99 for existing Sorcerer King owners.

For more information, check out www.sorcererking.com/rivals 
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