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Star Control: Week 4 Blog

Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 By Island Dog In Star Control Journals

Hello...BEST FRIENDS!

We are currently working on version 1.1 of Star Control: Origins and the first free DLC called the Multiverse.  We expect to have a beta version of v1.1 out this week for those who want to try it out.  

Multiverse

The Multiverse DLC will open up Steam Workshop to modders who want to create their own stories, maps, custom settings, aliens, etc. for people to play with.  This DLC will obviously evolve over time and get more features as we learn what kinds of things players like to share.

The Expansion

We will be announcing the first expansion in a few weeks which will be released as a single season pass so that we can release it as a series of micro-expansions.  It will introduce lots of new aliens, new places to visit, new quests and will benefit both players who have finished the main storyline as well as new players.

As always, let us know if there's anything you'd like to see.

Cheers!

 

Originally posted by Draginol here.

Ashes Dev Journal - King of the Hill Analysis

Published on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals

 

King of the Hill is a scenario for Ashes Escalation where the player has to hold out as long as they can against endless waves of enemies. It plays out like a Tower Defense game; establish a strong defense and continue to place more turrets and upgrade them to bolster your position. Tower Defense games can be quite simple with limited options, but King of the Hill is complex because it's inside of Ashes with all the mechanics and content that the game contains. RTS games, and their cousin Tower Defense, are all about weighing up opportunity costs and making meaningful decisions. 

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Star Control: Origins - Expansion plans

Published on Friday, September 28, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Greetings!  With Star Control: Origins out and having already sold nearly 50,000 copies after only a week of availability we are now ready to talk about...THE FUTURE.

sco_mukay

We will be making an official announcement after version 1.1 (the big modding release) is available but we didn't want fans, especially those who are starting to finish the Origins adventure, to have to wait to know what's next.

Needless to say, we've gone back and forth on the best way to deliver new stories, quests and features to players in a way that fits in.  Now, keep in mind, the base game will continue to be updated and improved for free.  But obviously, new adventures and content are a different thing.  So what's the best way?

SCO-Sept18-5

We looked at 4 options.  I'll list the 3 we rejected and why.

Option 1: Traditional expansion.  This is what we've done with our other games.  You make a single big expansion and release it.  Fans tend to like these in our strategy games.  However, the problem here is that this would mean waiting a year to continue the story in any meaningful way.

Option 2: DLCs.  DLCs make sense in many ways but they have a lot of issues too.  Many players will say that they feel "nickeled and dimed" when they see lots of little DLCs.  We ran into this with Galactic Civilizations III where we'd just release a few DLCs per year.  That sounds reasonable right? But after 3 years, there's now 12 of them and people get upset seeing all those DLCs.

Option 3: In-Game transactions.  Believe it or not, a lot of people do like these.  However, I personally don't like this.

Vindicator_Perspective-web

So what's left?  We look around at other adventure/rpg games and a Season Pass works the best.   I won't get into too many details but the plan is to release 6 mini-expansions for $19.99.  The micro-expansions will be released one at a time and they will add new missions, new characters, ships, stars, map areas, features, etc.  

I wouldn't call these mini-expansions "episodes" because much of the content doesn't require that you have completed the Origins mission (plenty of it does follow the end of the Origins mission).  

The first mini expansion would be made available in November and they'd continue on a set schedule with all of them and a general (non-spoilery) list of features that each one will bring. 

SCO-July18-6

When the first micro-expansion is installed, if you have finished the Origins story, the next stage in our multi-year story arc will continue.  So after the "credits roll" you get a new cut scene that introduces you to the new state of the universe.  On the other hand, if you have not finished the story or for those who have never played the game, they'll just see the galaxy a little more filled out.  New side-quests, just a bit more "stuff" to bring the universe alive.

What will effectively happen is that players will have more and more paths to choose from in deciding how best to help Earth and have a richer, deeper universe to play in.

Please let us know your thoughts.

[ German Version ]  [ Russian Version ]

Star Control: WEEK TWO news!

Published on Sunday, September 23, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Greetings!

Wow! What a fantastic week! Like many of you, we weren't sure what the reception would be. How many people are into space adventure/RPG games? I've even seen debates on what exactly is an RPG?

Here's what we have planned for this week:

Translation (Перевод)

Russia is the #2 market for this game. With German a close #3. The translations came in a lot hotter than we expected due to the star and planet names.

We are hoping very much to have a package from Moscow waiting in our inbox with the final translations so that we can get those up. We will also be updating the other languages as people find issues. Humor...is not always easy to translate.

Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese are also supposed to get in but they might slip to the v1.01 update to get more QA time. Finnish and Norwegian are also currently in QA. 

Stability

Overall stability is looking pretty good. But we have definitely encountered a few really baffling things and we know some of you are into this sort of thing like we are so we'll keep you up to date on the detective work. But here are the biggies:

1. Some people have reported not being able to load and save games. That's obviously a huge issue. But it dies immediately upon trying to open that dialog. 

2. Crash on start up. This is, so far, 95% because people have altered their page file size to be smaller or fixed. Don't do that (I used to do it too). Windows 10 commits memory based on your core size if the game loads assets via that core. So yes, no matter what, if you play long enough even though the game might only be using 2G, it will commit 16Gigs. It's not leaking, the OS is caching it. So you an imagine what happens if you have a fixed page file.

3. Random locks/pauses. So far, this is largely due to CPU or GPU throttling (mainly GPU throttling). Your NVIDIA or AMD GPU can get very hot playing this game because the engine will use multiple CPU cores to send data to your GPU. You might need to make your GPU fans more aggressive.

For the update, we're going to put a tiny throttle to prevent this issue (don't worry it won't slow things down).

Usability and buglets

1. Fix for SUPER-ULTRA wide monitors. (32x9). You crazy people! We love ya, BEST FRIENDS!

2. Some of the alien meeting achievements aren't working right depending on timing. Fixed.

3. The game will let you know that you don't need to land on every crummy planet if you're landing on a bunch of crummy planets. #1 negative review source has been people landing on thousands of planets and thinking that's the way to make money. SC doesn't have a sand based (silicon) based economy.

4. Improved AI for the fleet controller module.

5. Updated UI for turning on and off the fleet controller module during battle.

6. Mappable E for interact.

7. Talk to MS (again) about whitelisting Star Control from Windows Defender so that it quits scanning all our files (for those experiencing load time pain).

8. Auto-Pilot will warn player that their destination is beyond their fuel range.

9. Typos. (removing them, not adding them).

10. Option to remove movie subtitles.

More to come!

Thank you everyone for your support! And as always, we would appreciate it a lot if you would review the game on Steam (good, bad, ugly). We read all the reviews and your posts.

Cheers!

Get ready for an epic space adventure in Star Control: Origins

Published on Thursday, September 20, 2018 By Island Dog In Press Releases (Star Control)

Explore the galaxy, investigate unique worlds, contact new civilizations, and battle hostile aliens in Star Control: Origins! Take command of Earth's first interstellar starship in this exciting open universe space-adventure RPG and save the Earth at all costs and by any means necessary. Learn more.

The Star Control: Origins adventure begins today!

Published on Thursday, September 20, 2018 By Island Dog In Star Control News

Explore exotic new worlds, meet unique alien civilizations, and battle hostile fleets in Star Control: Origins!

(and try not to get eaten)

Take command of Earth's first and only interstellar starship in this exciting open universe space-adventure RPG!
Your mission? To save Earth... at all costs and by any means necessary. 

The villainous Scryve have discovered humanity's existence and they're not too happy about it.
They want to revoke our permission to exist, and we'd like to live. As a Captain of Star Control,
your job is to make sure that doesn't happen.

Star Control: Origins - $39.99
(Includes a Star Control: Origins Steam key)


During your adventure, you'll:

Explore thousands of new worlds
Don't run out of fuel on your way there, bad things may happen if you do...

Journey through a massive universe of thousands of planets across hundreds of solar systems! Travel to different worlds to complete quests, collect resources, and encounter unusual creatures.

Some worlds you find may have active volcanoes, or be shrouded in toxic gas. Others might have dangerous sentry robots guarding hidden bases, or terrifying whirlwinds. Equip your lander with upgrades in order to survive the varied planets you’ll encounter to complete your mission.

  Explore exotic new worlds

 

Strange Aliens   Meet strange new aliens - and fight terrible enemies
Try not to make them all so angry that they want to help blow us all up, ok?

Travel to distant stars and make friends (or foes, we're not terribly picky) with the aliens living there through unique dialogue choices and quests. There are thousands of planets just in the Scryve sector of space. Find out where potential friends and enemies are living and deal with them as you see fit.

Engage in exciting ship-on-ship combat as you take down dangerous aliens to complete your mission. Or, you can try and run away, but that's not nearly as much fun, and aliens will definitely laugh at you.

Take your battles beyond the adventure mode into multiplayer! Fleet Battles lets you face off against other players online or locally. Assemble your fleet from an assortment of provided ships (or customize your own) and get ready to rumble! Ranked play could earn you a spot on the worldwide leader boards and some bragging rights.

 

Secure Earth's future
Some aliens want to destroy humanity. We'd like you to prevent that.

Your first mission for Star Control is to save the world from the malevolent Scryve who, for some reason, have interpreted our radio broadcasts to indicate that we are a very dangerous species that must not be allowed to fully realize its potential. There are dozens of known species in this part of the galaxy, not all of whom are the Scryve’s thralls - maybe some of them can help us...

Face down the ominous threat of the Scryve Empire and stop them from wiping Earth off the galactic map. How you accomplish your mission is entirely up to you - be a hero, or be a villain. Every decision you make may have far-reaching ramifications. The Scryve already have several ward species who may or may not help you fight back. It will be up to you to convince them to help...one way or another.

 

  Save earth

 

Upgrade your ship   Pilot Earth's most powerful (and only) starship
Please upgrade it. The aliens are unimpressed.

Star Control has spared no expense in constructing the most advanced space vessel in history. Its modular design means you can update the technology on it with modules you find, borrow or steal from others.

From shiny new hyperdrives, to a higher cargo or fuel capacity, you will be able to customize your ship to fit the way you play. Lander upgrades are also important so you can survive missions onto dangerous worlds.

 

Complete your mission...no matter the cost
Your orders are to not die. If they fire lasers, fire nukes back!

Earth is hopelessly outmatched by alien forces that are seeking to destroy us, and you are the only chance we’ve got. You can go wherever you want, but you have a mission to accomplish - by any means necessary. Help or harm - you decide.

  Fleet battles

 

Ship designer

Build Planet

  Create custom ships, worlds, and adventures
You can have the world - lots of them, in fact - at your fingertips!

The game never ends with infinite customization options. Make your own ships to use in Fleet Battles or in entirely new quests that you create. Outfit your vessels with weapons, defenses, and engines, then share them online using the Steam Workshop!

Create completely new worlds, aliens, and even dialogue in the Adventure Studio. Make, share or just play new quests, stories, and adventures.

___________________________________________________________________________

Star Control: Origins - $39.99
(Includes a Star Control: Origins Steam key)

Star Control: Origins Prelude 12 of 13: The Critters of Star Control

Published on Monday, September 17, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

In the previous Prelude, I mentioned that, early on, there was an expectation that a lot more time was going to be spent exploring planets than we ultimately chose to execute on.

aquatic_terrain

Today, let's take a look at the menagerie of creatures we had considered back when we believed that the planets would be where players would spend most of their time.

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Ashes Dev Journal - What RTS can learn from Chess

Published on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals

 

Chess is one of oldest strategy games of all time, and the most successful having been passed down across generations for two millennia. Depending on how you define esports, Chess could now be considered one via platforms such as chess.com, with computerization and AI having increased accessibility and the scope of what's possible within Chess as a product. The long-term thriving and proliferation of Chess is a consequence of incredibly elegant game design both regarding depth but also simplicity. Today I'll be analyzing Chess through the lens of my RTS perspective, praising its design and drawing lessons that RTS games can learn from its success. I'm not a Chess expert, but I have a great appreciation for it, growing up with it and still enjoy playing it casually. 

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