Too ruggedly professional to die, 2008 sleeper hit Sins of a Solar Empire has returned. Titled Rebellion, this third expansion comes in a new, expandalone format, and adds just about everything except actual rebellion. Silly developers!
Sins of a Solar Empire publisher Stardock has announced that the 2012 version of its recurring presidential campaign strategy game, The Political Machine, will be available on "most digital distributors" this summer for $9.95 USD (about £6, if directly converted). The players are Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, or a custom candidate, and the goal is to "win the hearts and minds of America’s voters" against a human or AI opponent.
Galactic Civilization 2 is now available on Steam. If you have any interest in strategy, or space, or conquering space using an army of customisable doom ships then you'll definitely want to check it out. It also has incredibly smart, creative AI. A full sized game can take weeks and weeks to complete, a fact our own Tom Francis knows all too well. We'll be posting his Galactic Civilization 2 diaries shortly.
The Steam version is the Ultimate Edition, that means it comes with both expansions, Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor which add new campaigns, enemies, tech trees and even spies to the original. It's on sale at 25% off for the first week until December 9, meaning you can own all the space war you'll probably ever need for just £9.74 / $14.99. Go go go!
Now that Stardock has sold its digital distribution business to GameStop, it was only a matter of time before we saw games like the stellar space war strategy Sins of a Solar Empire pop up on Steam, where it'll find a whole new universe of customers who might never even have heard of Impulse.
According to a Stardock press release, Sins is the first of several Stardock games that will be making their way to Steam in the near future, though the specific list of games has yet to be confirmed or denied by Stardock PR.
Chris leads the team as Logan, Dan, Evan and Lucas discuss Minecraft's profits, GameStop buying Impulse, Logan's scandalous Reddit tell-all, a new spin on Truthiness and Falsity, a major videocard listener question, and much more!
PC Gamer US Podcast 267: IAmA Podcast
Yesterday, the world's largest physical game retailer announced that it would buy its way into the online PC game distribution market by acquiring Stardock's Impulse service. On the other end of that deal is Stardock founder and CEO Brad Wardell, who started up Impulse in 2008. We got Brad on Skype to discuss what this deal means for him, for you, and for all of PC gaming.
Game retailer GameStop has apparently decided to buy its way into two PC game-selling technologies at once. In a single press release, the retail giant announced that it will acquire both Stardock's Impulse download service (a competitor to Steam) and Spawn Labs' streaming service (a competitor to OnLive). The release indicates that Impulse will continue to function as normal, but will be fully integrated with GameStop.com within the next few months.
With GameStop's backing, Impulse could suddenly become a real threat to Steam, which currently dominates digital PC gaming sales. Founded in 2008 by Stardock, it's currently a respectable but distant competitor that's gotten some attention through Stardock's own games like Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, and Elemental.
(Note that GameStop isn't buying all of game publisher/developer Stardock, only the Impulse, Inc. subsidiary.)
Brad Wardell, president of Stardock, has revealed at GDC how Metracritic has a profound impact on developers. Talking about the companies less-than-well-recieved title Elemental: War of Magic, he stated that the game achieved a “Metacritic score of 56. 56 means it gives you cancer."
Elemental didn't quite get the reception Wardell had hoped, with mediocre reviews and a poor response from players. "I had people telling me I should die of cancer," revealed Wardell.
Stardock have released a preview trailer for the upcoming Elemental expansion, Fallen Enchantress. The video takes us through some of the combat changes that the expansion will make, and introduces us to some of the new wandering monsters, including Morian the Ruin of Summer. I thought rainclouds were the ruin of summer, but I was wrong. It's actually a twenty foot tall half swamp, half bear monster.
Fallen Enchantress is due out before summer, and will be free to anyone who bought Elemental before October 31 2010.
Stardock's founder and CEO Brad Wardell - believes that the full-price retail game system is on its way out, and that free-to-play games will soon be the leaders of PC gaming revolution. Stardock have previously published grand space-faring strategy Sins of a Solar Empire and its upcoming expansion Rebellion.
Talking to Gamasutra, Wardell said: “The idea is that the PC game market is slowly moving over to a model that is more akin to what you're seeing on mobile device, which are much less expensive. In an age where you're used to spending only five, six bucks for a game, it's really hard to go back to the PC and pay 60 bucks for a game, especially if it's becoming increasingly loaded with features and content you'll never make use of.” Read on for more details on Stardock's plans for the future.
Elemental's first expansion has been announced. It's called Fallen Enchantress, and is set to add new weapons, spells, magical equipment, creatures and lands to the game. The expansion is due to arrive in the next few months, and will be free to those who bought Elemental in 2010.
Stardock's CEO Brad Wardell has said that Stardock expect Elemental: War of Magic to make a loss for the company in the long term, but that it's worth pushing ahead with development and expansions to restore PC gamers' faith.
Josh, Evan, Dan, Chris and Andy break in the new year with an action-packed podcast, covering news fresh from CES like Razer's Switchblade concept and Intel's Sandybridge CPUs as well as what we think of Sid Meier's Civilization V lead designer, Jon Schaffer, moving to Stardock. We also interview Jim Lee, DC Comic's co-publisher about his time as a hardcore MMO player, and how his playtime helped shaped DCUO, which is set to launch next week.
PC Gamer US Podcast 254 - Cool Story Bro
Stardock today announced that they have hired Jon Shafer, the Lead Designer on Civilization V, and that he will be working on saving the troubled Elemental: War of Magic before starting up his own project within the company. Stardock have also hired fantasy and science fiction author Dave Stern to work on storytelling across all of Stardock's games.
Last week I played Elemental: War of Magic for the first time in months. And I saw something I had never seen before--a defeat screen.
I've spent a few days vetting the phonebook-length list of changes made in last week's 1.1 patch to the game, an experience I've converted into words about what's improved, what still needs work, and most importantly, if Elemental is worth your time yet.
Stardock's turn-based fantasy strategy game Elemental, released in August, has finally received the enormous patch we've been waiting for. The game launched with some serious technical and AI issues, and creator Brad Wardell called it "catastrophic poor judgment on my part". Since, Stardock have been updating the game regularly with fixes and balance changes, but it's all been leading up to a massive overhaul of the game's fundamental systems and AI: patch 1.1.
The change list is over 7,000 words long, includes 350 separate changes, and alters things as basic as what character attributes like 'Strength' actually do. If it does what it sets out to, this will be a new game - consider it Elemental's second stab at a launch. We'll be having a thorough play of it and letting you know what we think soon. Elemental players should see the patch in their Impulse games list, check for updates if not.
Elemental: War of Magic was released earlier this year and was troubled by shocking bugs and AI issues. Stardock have since been working hard to bring the game up to scratch, and are preparing for the release of patch 1.1 for the game. To reward early buyers, they're offering the first two expansions for free to anyone who buys the game before October 31st.
Stardock have re-released Total Annihilation on Impulse, their digital distribution platform. Interestingly, they've has promised "ongoing updates" for it. Brad Wardell said, "We’re treating Total Annihilation similarly to a newly released title with ongoing updates wherever possible."
Speaking on the official Stardock forums, Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock has revealed that the problems associated with Elemental's disastrous launch were nothing to do with the game being pushed out the door early. In fact, Wardell says that releasing a game early is "an easy thing for a company to 'fix'... If the game had come out in February, it would still have been a disastrous launch because lack of time wasn't the issue." Wardell says he had his "head in the sand."
The full post, below, makes for extraordinary reading.