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Everything You Need to Know About Io

Published on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 By Zultar327 In Offworld Dev Journals

Hello everyone, and welcome to our second dev journal about Jupiter’s Forge. Today we’re going to begin digging into the meat of the upcoming Offworld expansion, starting with the most obvious place, Io itself.

As we talked about last week, Io is not a pleasant place to be. A good look at the moon’s surface should reveal why. Immediately alarming is the fact that Io is covered in lava flows and volcanic pits. However, most of this lava is composed of basalt. This is in fact very good news for your budding company, as newly developed basalt platforms will be able to harvest these flows and pits. These facilities will convert basalt into substantial quantities of iron, silicon, and uranium, then will ship these raw materials back to your headquarters for whatever purpose you may require.

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Another use your company may have for these lava flows is likely going to be less direct. The flows have carved out caves all across the surface of the moon. As on Ceres, these caves can be very valuable to own, allowing a new point from which you can access nearby resource deposits. This can let you expand your own infrastructure around the resource to improve output, or even set up shop right next to a competitor and use their resources yourself. Keeping an eye out for these valuable cave systems can help you prioritize claims more effectively, and potentially avoid races for resources that initially appear sparse.

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Also as on Ceres, resource deposits are small and difficult to access. Even the largest veins of minerals will dry up quickly, diminishing in value the more they are mined. As production is lost, we will need to either reduce our consumption or find new sources to mine.

Once again, ice will be present in some form. However, the ice of Io is different from what is found on Mars or Ceres. Io’s “ice” is in fact not ice at all - it is a sulfur dioxide frost. Thankfully, we still have a use for this and can pull oxygen from it in much the same way that we collect other frozen resources (at least as far as your company is concerned).

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Finally, and most importantly, Io has no water. Nothing on the surface, no ice to melt, and nothing underground that you could dig out. Instead, you’ll have to collect hydrogen from the radioactive atmosphere, and oxygen from the sulfur frost. Combining these is the only way you’ll acquire water - and through it, food - on the harsh surface of Jupiter’s Forge.

Join us next week as we talk about the buildings you’ll need to survive on Io.

Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!

ASHES DEV JOURNAL: April 2017

Published on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 By GeneralsGentlemen In Ashes Dev Journals

Hey guys, Draginol posted a Dev Diary last night and there's a few things I'd like to add!

The massive 2.2 update, one of our biggest to date, launched a week ago and this sets the precedent for the momentum we want to maintain moving forward in 2017 and beyond. Unlike Draginol before me, I'm not a CEO and head of multiple projects, so with me at the helm of balance and the design direction for Ashes we'll be getting more done in a shorter amount of time and with more community interaction.

 

##REPLAYS##

While replays are now fully functional, we aren't done working on them and down the line we want to give players more tools to extract important information out of the match. This would involve being able to open up different panels to compare different values such as the upgrade disparity or what is currently being produced by each player. We have made a new section on the forums for people to share their replays

As an example, here's a mock image I made up in Photoshop to demonstrate what I'm hoping we can get with the Production tab.

 

##2.21 Patch##

We have a small patch coming out next week to fix some issues which were causing crashes. The Gunships are also receiving a cost increase as they are over performing in 2.2 

 

##Gameplay Intentions For Next Major Update## 

With 2.2 launched, we'll begin gathering feedback and getting to work on continuing to improve the game in next patch. As 2.2 was the first major update I had been a part of, the primary concern for the gameplay changes was to address the urgent and unfair balance problems while making the game more intuitive and welcoming for new players. With those out of the way, we can focus on some more fundamental reworks to really shake things up for the better. On top of general balance changes, these are we have our eyes on for the next major update.

  • 5 new maps to be included for free in 2.3 thanks to community member Luxlupus. Maybe we'll have even more ready by then!
  • More map improvementsSo far we've got improvements to Frosthaven, Kralon, Thuban, Espana and Regulus, with more maps likely to be touched up.
  • Counter system revamp: We are reworking and standardising the health to armor ratios of most Cruisers and Dreadnoughts so that the counter system is more robust and allows for emphasis on managing your unit composition instead of just massing Maulers and Athenas with little consideration,
  • Cost ratios adjustments: The current cost ratios of Metals to Radioactives limits strategic diversity. For example, Air units are not as much a deliberate strategic decision as they are an eventuality due to needing a way to spend all of the excess Radioactives. We are looking into the cost ratios of Cruisers, Dreadnoughts, Air Units and buildings and seeing how they can be adjusted to create more strategic depth.
  • Dreadnought rebalance: Ontop of the health/armor rework for Dreadnoughts, we have lots of other changes to Dreadnoughts and some of the their abilities to better balance them and refine each Dreadnought into their intended role.
  • Base defense survivability: Base defenses were far too strong against armies, but then were very easy to clear with artillery units. We want to mitigate this discrepancy by removing armor so big enough armies can force their way through base defenses much easier while increasing health on low tier defenses so it takes a bit longer for artillery units to clear.
  • Substrate energy rework: We want to make energy consumption less crucial for Reapers while more of a consideration for other units types while so Capacitors have a more consistent role to play amongst different unit compositions.
 
##New Features and QoL##
 
A few weeks back I made a thread about which features and QoL would the community like to see implemented. With the launch of 2.2, we can get started on some of them. Most of them will take a while to get implemented as the team already has their hands full working on other things such as Juggernauts and Modding, but we should be able to get a couple of QoL changes implemented in 2.3 and work on ticking off more of them as we move forward. We've already got one heavily requested QoL change completed and on the way!
  

##UPCOMING DLC##

 

Co-Op Map Pack:

This DLC adds 8 new maps specifically designed for playing cooperatively, whether it's against AI or against players. Players spawn right next to their team mates and many of the maps have shared pathways to allow for combined attacks and strategies. 

 
##Tournaments/events##
 
The sweeping changes in 2.2 have helped put Ashes in a great spot. Because of this new balance patch and replays support, I plan on running some tournaments with small prizes on the line to showcase high level matches. I'll start off with very small events such pro player showmatches and scale them upwards over time depending on success. Tournaments can also be a very valuable tool for assessing balance. 


##New, Better Tutorial##
 
The current tutorial is long, boring and doesn't even teach the player much useful information. I would like to change this by creating a new, better tutorial as a good tutorial is crucial when introducing new players to the game. This will most likely take a while in between everything else that we'll be working on.

So that's it for now, there's lots on the horizon to look forward to!

Cheers
-Callum
 

 

Introducing Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 By Zultar327 In Offworld Dev Journals

We’ve built a new home on Mars. It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been simple, and it hasn’t been safe. But for those with the will and cunning, it has been profitable.

From Mars we went to Ceres, and created a refuge for belters across the system. Completely devoid of atmosphere and with a scarcity of resources that made Mars seem plentiful, Ceres was a challenge for even veteran Offworld entrepreneurs. And yet with all the resources of the belt flowing through, we once again had a lucrative operation.

Now it’s time to raise the stakes again as we venture to Io, Jupiter’s Forge.

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Io will not be a home. Io will not be a refuge. Io is toxic and irradiated from its orbit around Jupiter. Covered in sulfur and the most volcanically active body in the system, this is not a place to tread lightly. However, leaders with the stomach for it see new opportunities on Io, and so this is where we will travel to next.

Over the next several weeks we’ll be instructing you on how to prosper on Io, beginning with more details about the moon itself. You might already be aware that Io has no water. This means that in order to survive you’ll need to be able to make your own. Next week we’ll tell you about how to accomplish that, along with everything else you could want to know about Jupiter’s fifth moon.

Even once we’re done with that there will be plenty more to discuss, so feel free to check out the upcoming schedule below.

April 19th - Jupiter’s Forge, everything you need to know about Io

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April 26th - OTC Anniversary, a recap of OTC’s first year

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May 3rd  - The Penrose Collective, Nomads of Io

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May 10th - The Diadem Trust, Elite Entrepreneurs

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May 17th - Trial by Toxin, Io’s Campaign

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Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!

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...

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...

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