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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.


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




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.


CRUSADE DIARY 5: Spies & Saboteurs

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


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...

Escalation v2.1 Update is Now Available!

Published on Thursday, February 23, 2017 By Island Dog In Ashes of the Singularity News

Tons of Map Rebalancing, Single Player Observer Mode,
and More in Escalation v2.1!

Map Rebalances are a huge part of v2.1! One of our partners, Callum McCole over at General's Gentlemen overhauled some of our maps and streamlined them for better gameplay. Stardock's CEO Brad Wardell details the adjustments in a recent dev diary over on our community site. Check it out and let us know what you think of the changes! 

v2.1 also adds Single Player Observer Mode! In this mode, you can set up your own custom game and watch the AI battle against itself with any maps and settings that you'd like. It's a great way to study how the AI plays, plus learn some new strategies that you can apply in your own matches.

The new Supply Lines game option lets you turn off the setting that requires regions to be connected to your Nexus in order to provide resources. This, plus all of the other gameplay options already available, leaves you with over 4.7 million configurations possible when setting up a game. 

Escalation now has an Unranked Match mode where you can play a 1v1 multiplayer game against someone of similar skill, but without the fear of affecting your ranking! This is great for players who'd like to play more casually or practice some new, untested tactics. Try out some unranked matches on one of our three new maps for v2.1: Espana, Rus, and Italia.

v2.1 also brings some additional updates and fixes. For more details, check out the
full changelog at the bottom of the post.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is available through
or on Steam and is 50% off from 2/23 - 3/2! 

v2.1 Changelog:



  • Single Player Observer Mode- Ever wondered if the AI was better as the Substrate or the PHC? Or if a dozen normal AI's can beat an Insane AI? Setup your own games and watch the AI battle against itself with whatever maps and settings you want.
  • Supply Lines Game Option- Disable this when starting your game to remove the requirement that Regions have to be connected to your Nexus to provide resources. There are now over 4.7 million configurations of map options to play a game with (and that doesn't even count all the possible maps or player settings).
  • Unranked Match- Allows you to play a 1 versus 1 multiplayer game that is automatically matched, but your results don't effect your ranking. Good for practicing new tactics or playing a more casual multiplayer game.
  • Espana- New Medium Arctic map available for skirmish, multiplayer and ranked games.
  • Rus- New Small Desert map available for skirmish, multiplayer and ranked games.
  • Italia- New Terran Medium map available for skirmish, multiplayer and ranked games.


  • Cygnus victory points reduced form 1500 to 750
  • Deneb victory points reduced from 1500 to 750
  • Europa victory points reduced from 1500 to 1000
  • Maurn victoyr points reduced from 1500 to 750
  • Proxima victory points reduced from 2000 to 600
  • Pulaski victory points reduced from 2000 to 1000
  • Pyn victory points reduced from 1500 to 600
  • Spica victory points reduced from the 1500 to 600
  • Thuban victiry points reduced from 750 to 600
  • Tortuga victory points reduced from 1500 to 750
  • Vega victory points reduced from 2500 to 600
  • Canopus map update: 
    • Created additional routes between each peninsula to allow for more strategic diversity and flanking routes
    • Reduced the size of the impassable terrain in the middle
    • Added a metal relay in the middle of the outer pathways
  • Ceres map update:
    • Added two metal deposits to one of the nearby empty relays
  • Deneb map update:
    • Reworked the terrain layout in order to be more symmetrical
    • Symmetrized the resource layout to be fair and balanced for both sides
    • Replaced the side Turinium Generators with Radioactives
    • Centralised Turinium generators to make Turinium acquisition more viable
  • Knife Fight map update:
    • Equalised the travel time from starting locations to first two resource points
    • Opened up an additional pathway on the sides of the map
    • Opened up an additional pathway on the top and bottom of the map
    • Connected the resources points on the sides of the map
  • Monaco map update:
    • Moved player starting locations to map corners
    • Reshuffled some of the resource layout to replicate a more standard starting location
    • Created a wide Pathway in the centre of the map
    • Centralised all the Turinium Generators to make acquiring Turinium more viable
  • Regulus map update:
    • Created a pathway at the top and bottom of the map with an empty relay
    • Moved the starting locations to map corners to account for additional pathways
  • Ulrich map update:
    • Created a pathway between the centre of the map
    • The middle now only has a single centered Turinium Generator
    • Added Metal Deposits onto one of the empty relays near the starting locations


  • Fixed visibility related to elevation changes on some maps
  • Crash fixes
  • Fixed an issue where Oblivion and Eliminator Turrets weren't showing up under light fog of war
  • Fixed connection issues when starting a matchmaker game


  • Main Menu rescaled to look better and be more clear

Destiny's Embers: Part 1

Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 By Draginol In Elemental Dev Journals



Years ago, Random House asked me to write a book around the Elemental universe.  As a first time author, I was assigned an editor, Dave Stern, who soon became a good friend of mine.

Over the course of writing the book, now sold on Amazon, Dave and I would go back and forth on the story along with Random House's requests to ensure that the book was commercially successful.  I will be the first to admit that my vision of the story may not have been as commercial viable as theirs.  After all, the editorial team assigned to me was the same team managing the Game of Thrones series who, fortunately for me, had a lot of extra time to spend with me due to a Dance with Dragons being late.

The end result, however, is that what is on store shelves is dramatically different from the original story I wrote.

Thus, for the first time, I will share with you the original draft of the book with you. 

I hope you enjoy it.

Continue Reading...

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