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Star Control: Origins - Screenshot Friday 2018.5.11

Published on Friday, May 11, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Star Control: Origins continues to head towards its September 2018 release date!

Here's the week in screenshots!

The galaxy is a busy place

We will be keeping these journals spoiler free.  With that in mind, the year is 2088.  Earth exists in a part of the galaxy called Orion's Spur ("The Spur").  It has recently become a much busier part of the galaxy and you will be uncovering why that is.

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Star Control is a single player RPG where you command a single ship but the galaxy is filled with characters with their own agendas.

 

Players travel from star system to star system via Hyperspace.  Hyperspace is a hyper dimension that forms an alternative space-time adjacent to what we call "true space".  It can be a bit..trippy to travel through it but it allows for travel between stars in a faction of the time it would take to go via true space.

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This week we updated the visuals in hyperspace to give a better sense of movement when no stars are around.

There are a lot of different alien species in the Scryve sector alone (let alone the outer spur).  Humanoids are quite exotic due to their rarity.  Beings are fascinated in seeing a hairless bipedal ape.

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The Phamyst are the classiest aliens in the known galaxy. 

Much of our focus right now is in polishing and iterating on the story and the AI.   There are thousands of planets but also thousands of other ships running around doing their thing as well. 

On a personal note, this week my design work has been spent on helping with story and pacing which meant I have to...gasp, travel the worlds without any cheat keys.  This was particularly enjoyable but also embarassing because the AI controlled aliens really want nothing to do with us because...well, we're newbies on the galactic scene.  This means that they tend to avoid us and our early game ship just can't intercept them because..well, we're newbies.  But it's highly enjoyable to see the subtle but definite effort the aliens put in to avoid me.  It's so effortless and insulting simultaneously.

 

FREE WEEKEND: Try Offworld Trading Company on Steam through 5/6!

Published on Thursday, May 3, 2018 By Island Dog In Offworld News

Play through the single-player campaign or join us online
all weekend long for exciting multiplayer games

The free weekend runs from 1pm ET on 5/3 through 1pm ET on 5/6.
Load up Steam and check it out for yourself!
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You can also snag Offworld Trading Co. for 50% off or
Complete your collection with the Gold Edition for up to 65% off
Live streams
will be running all weekend on the Offworld Trading Co. Steam page, too.

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Take on the role of entrepreneur and travel to Mars for an economic showdown against
other companies in Offworld Trading Company! Buy out your competition and take control
of the Martian market in a strategy game where money, not military force, is your greatest
weapon
. The real-time, player-driven market is the foundation of the game, allowing you to buy
and sell resources and materials - even the food and water that the colonists need to
survive. Build up enough capital and gain access to the lucrative offworld markets so that
you can buy out your rivals and claim the Martian economy for yourself.

Claim victory against other corporations 
Leave Earth behind and start up a major corporation on Mars to claim your fortune! Establish yourself as the dominant offworld company in a game that's unique every time you play.
 
 
  Use the Black Market to trip up your enemies
Battle isn’t limited to the board room; you can employ some more... underhanded methods for victory. You - and your opponents - should prepare to deal with pirate raiders, or hackers trying to disrupt production, or a covert electromagnetic pulse to your base, and much more.
 
Play solo or connect online with friends
Play online in games for up to 8 players, or try one of the single player campaigns, skirmishes, or daily challenges.
 
 
  Check out some of the special livestreams
Soren, other members of the dev team, fans, and staff will be streaming live on the Offworld Steam page all weekend to showcase the game throughout the weekend. Stop in, say hello, and play a game or two, then share your thoughts with us!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

You can also snag Offworld Trading Co. for 50% off or
Complete your collection with the Gold Edition for up to 65% off
Live streams
will be running all weekend on the Offworld Trading Co. Steam page, too.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dev Journal: The Challenge of Balancing an RTS

Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals


Balancing an RTS is difficult. It’s a long, iterative process and, inevitably, there will be mistakes along the way.

Today, I'll be exploring what makes balancing an RTS such a challenge, and explain my intentions for some of the changes I've made throughout my time with Ashes. In a previous Dev Journal, I discussed why balance matters, so read that first for additional context.

Continue Reading...

Fleet Battles Beta 2 is here - let’s get ready to rumble!

Published on Thursday, April 26, 2018 By redskittlesonly In Star Control News

Attention, pilots - to your stations!

Fleet Battles just received a massive update and we can't wait to see you online to try it out.
We've added some new alien ships, a few devastating new weapons, and customization
options for your matches. Buckle up - it’s time to fly!

For full details on the updates, view the changelog at the bottom of the post!

Star Control: Origins Key Art

Download this for your desktop wallpaper ]

 

TOP CHANGES IN BETA 2

New Ships
Greegrox Swarm 
They might look squishy, but these space jellyfish are not to be underestimated! Each ship within their swarm represents a single unit of crew that fires an individual microbolt. Did we mention that the swarm can heal itself, too? They must go through a lot of band-aids…
 
 
  Mu’Kay Grasper
Don’t make them ink! It gets messy. This giant squid-ship can throw down ink blobs that both damages and sucks energy from their enemies. Unlike most other ships, the Mu'Kay don’t use any projectile weaponry - they rely on getting up close and crushing their opponent with their ship’s tentacles.
 
Lexite Interceptor
Be careful with these guys - they’re hardy! This fast-moving ship has “dual-shot” blasters and an extremely tough-to-penetrate shield. When the shields are engaged, the ship is pretty much invincible - but, it drains energy. You’ll have to time your attacks carefully in order to achieve victory against them.
 

 

 

New Weapon Components

  • Heal: Restores lost crew. Does that make them zombies, or..?
  • Death Ray: The name explains itself. You probably don’t want to get hit with this one.
  • Dual Shot: Fires a fast double shot. Hey, two for the price of one!
  • Ink Blob: Drops an inky blob that drains energy and crew. Clean-up on aisle three!
  • Shield: Holding down a button makes you invincible... until you run out of energy. Suggestion? Don’t run out of energy.

 

Custom Matches

First things first: you can now use your own custom ships in multiplayer mode. Woo-hoo! You can also customize your battle experience with the following knobs and dials:

  • Enable custom ships in multiplayer
  • Create a private, password protected lobby for multiplayer
  • Set the arena size
  • Adjust the number of asteroids, wormholes, and ion storms
  • Adjust the Fleet max size
  • Choose from one of three different arena maps

 

Other Improvements

We’ve made a lot of other tweaks and adjustments to Fleet Battles in order to continue bringing you the best experience! Beta 2 includes things like: 

  • Pilot Graphics - Many ships now have custom animations for their pilots. More will be coming later!
  • High-Resolution UI - Fonts and UI graphics now look better on high res displays.
  • Balance Updates - Almost all of the ships and weapons have been updated for a superior experience.
  • Improved Performance - Substantial improvements have been made to memory use and visual effect performance.


Haven’t gotten into Fleet Battles yet? Pre-order here to join the beta today!


We’ve been working really hard on the development of Star Control: Origins and are excited to show it off!
Please enjoy some of these
bonus screenshots from the game and let us know what you think. See you online!

Exploring Planets Fleet Battles Scanning a Planet
 
Jupiter Exploring Mars Meeting Strange Aliens

 

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OFFICIAL CHANGELOG

Custom Matches

Choose "Custom matches" to enable the following customization options

  • Enabled custom ships in multiplayer
  • Create a private, password protected lobby for multiplayer
  • Set the arena size
  • Adjust the number of asteroids, wormholes, and ion storms
  • Adjust the Fleet max size
  • Choose from three different Arena maps.
  • "Invite" friends to join your multiplayer matches

Gameplay

  • New ships
    • Lexite Interceptor: Dual Shot, Shield
    • Mu'Kay Grasper: Harpoon, Ink Blob
    • Greegrox Swarm: Microbolt shot, Heal
  • New weapon components
    • Heal -- restores crew
    • Death Ray. The name explains itself
    • Dual Shot -- fires a fast double shot
    • Ink Blob -- drops an inky blob that drains energy and crew.
    • Shield -- hold down to be invincible until you run out of energy
    • Note: Harpoon and Microbolt are not available for custom ships.
  • Full balance pass on all of the ships and their components
  • Custom hull sizes have been modified for better balance.
  • Changed the planet in the "Super Melee" map (the original one) to be Mars.
  • Updated names of many of the ships and their components.

Graphics / UI

  • Many of the ships now have custom animations for their pilots. Animations for additional factions will be added over time.  Pilot animations change based on the state of their ship.
  • Improved font appearance, especially on higher resolution displays.
  • Updated UI to work better at high scaling factor.
  • Improved appearance and framing of custom ship thumbnails.
  • Adds tooltips to mounts in ship editor.
  • Players are now set to "Great" graphics quality settings by default.
  • Increased the length of "Ship Design Description" text field.
  • Better looking 'Flak Cannon' explosion
  • Ship death explosion and Scryve Flak cannons VFX are now less likely to crush your frame rate.
  • Significant reduction in memory usage.
  • Updated credits with help from the community.
  • Updating gradient swatches for Tywom-style ship parts so the parts don't look so dull.

Bugs

  • Fix for rogue gravity fields persisting between matches which were causing the universe to collapse to a singularity.
  • Fixed a race condition crash in the animation system.
  • Fixed a random graphics crash.  Die "swap-chain" crash die!! Good.  It's dead now.
  • Ships with invalid components are now disabled on the fleet picker or crafting screen.
  • Killing another player in multiplayer with your secondary weapon no longer has a chance of crashing the game.
  • Entering and exiting the ship designer more than 8 times no longer crashes.

Ashes Dev Journal: April 2018

Published on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals


Hello Ashes fans!

**2.75 Update**

I've been very active with play testing on the upcoming 2.75 update and it's gone through a few iterations. Thanks to all the community members who have been testing it with me and offering me great feedback, Chronopolize in particular. Most of our updates don't have the opportunity for this much play testing, so I'm really excited about these changes and how the community will receive them. There's some other cool things happening in 2.75 that I haven't yet mentioned in the March Dev Journal.

Continue Reading...

Star Control: Secret Briefing #2 - The Precursors

Published on Friday, April 20, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

April 2086

Good afternoon.  Thank you for attending this meeting.  We have been taking your questions via the Google document.  If you will enable your FaceGoog implants to turn to the topic of Precursors from the 2085 lecture we can begin.

We will assume you have gone over the classified materials from the recent Emdrive test.

As a reminder, the general public has not been brought up to speed on everything that was found on Ceres.  The rumors of the so-called "Arilou" consultant working with Darius Robotic on the emDrive remain just that -- rumors.  Today will focus only on the facts and not rumors. Suffice to say, we do not have little green men running around Darius Robotics.

image

Prototype EmDrive powered ship "Discovery"

Continue Reading...

Ashes Dev Journal: Why Balance Matters

Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals

To this day, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is still receiving balance updates. You may be wondering - since Ashes is not a competitive game like StarCraft - why there is all of this effort being put into balance. There can be a misconception that balance is esoteric and only matters to high level players, but I don't think that's accurate. Today I'll be exploring why balance matters for all players and how it's crucial in making an RTS fun.

Continue Reading...

Star Control DEV DIARY #1: Our little corner of the universe

Published on Monday, April 16, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

You know the phrase, “Space is big”.  Today, let’s walk through just how big space really is, and how its scale fits into the Star Control multiverse.

Star Control: Origins takes place in a sector that is 120 by 120 light years.  This is a staggeringly big area, but it is nothing compared to even our local super-cluster.

Let’s zoom out. Way…way out, and we get to Lanikea:

image

Continue Reading...

Ruling the Galaxy Takes a Massive Leap Forward with Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue and New v3.0

Published on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 By Island Dog In GalCiv III News

Galactic Politics and Government Have Arrived in
Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue

Galactic Civilizations III is one of the largest strategy sandboxes ever made. Start with a single world
and expand across the galaxy through diplomacy, trade, cultural hegemony, or military conquest
in this single-player or multiplayer 4X strategy game. Send spies to infiltrate enemy civilizations,
encounter mysterious anomalies and events across space, let your citizens help
lead your civilization into a golden age, and so much more.
Get GalCiv III for 66% off now!

Choose your government, lead your civilization through terrible crises, and earn
the trust and faith of your people in the newest expansion, Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue!

The free v3.0 update brings support for Intrigue’s new features while providing a richer
experience with the same unrivaled scale. View the details below.

Intrigue Expansion


Also available on Steam

 

GalCiv III + Intrigue Expansion


Also available on Steam

 

INTRIGUE'S KEY FEATURES

Form your own government
Rule with a gentle touch - or,
with an iron fist

Choose from 20 available government styles and set your civilization on a path to greatness. Each style of governing has advantages and disadvantages. You can rule democratically, but you’ll need to make sure to keep the favor of your people so you don’t lose the next election. You can also adopt an Owner Aristocracy to enslave your working class, or choose an Interstellar Plutocracy and allow your corporations to rule, and then the opinions of your people don’t matter! Of course, there’s the potential for civil unrest, but you can handle that - right?

 

 

  See your people through crises
Choose your own adventure

Special events that have certain triggers throughout the course of gameplay can pop up and throw a wrench into your plans for your civilization. These events, called "Crises," are navigated through a series of choices that you make. You might have to quell a group of violent revolutionaries, or rally your forces against a massive space creature lurking at the fringes of your empire. How you decide to handle each situation will affect what events, options, opportunities, and rewards become available to you.

 

Establish a commonwealth
Put your colonies on a path to self-sufficiency

As your empire grows, worlds on the outskirts will want to become independent.These subject-states will do as they're told without you having to lift a finger. By granting these worlds a status of commonwealth, they will be converted into an ally with a favorable disposition and will be inclined to implement your requests on the galactic scene, as well as provide a substantial stipend back to your home civilization.

 

 

  Trade on the Galactic Market
There's always a good deal at the market

Well, maybe not always, but that’s what they’ll tell you, anyway. Sell Durantium before extensive mining drives down the price, or pay a premium to get some Elerium to construct that new prototype flagship you’ve been wanting. How steep the price gets depends entirely on how much is (or isn’t) available, so buy and sell with care!

 

Stay informed with the Galactic News Network
In space, there is no biased reporting - that's because we've hired a robot to handle it

Check the news to monitor who's allying with who, who's declared war on each other, and many other activities that are going on across the galaxy. Keeping up with current events and galactic happenings is the best way to stay one step ahead of your opponents.

 

 

  Explore exciting new content
Be prepared for anything

From famine to protests, you’ll face new events that challenge your leadership and test your people. Certain governments and crises will award you with brand new ships that can’t be obtained through any other means. Your choices determine your path and what rewards and penalties you’ll have to deal with, so choose wisely.

 

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Galactic Civilizations III v3.0 - Top Features

  • Taxes - You can now set your tax rate on the govern screen. Increasing it will decrease your civilization's morale, but it will provide more income for things like war or infrastructure. 
  • New Tutorial - The game is now more accessible for newer players! v3.0 features a brand new tutorial and a re-worked user experience, while still retaining the depth that Galactic Civilizations III is known for.
  • Tourism - Planets and starbases generate influence that will grow over time and capture a percentage of travelers that pass through the player’s area of control.
  • Farming - All planets will come with arable tiles where farms can be built in order to generate food. Food will help to grow the population, which in turn will increase production.
  • Extreme Worlds - The frequency of extreme worlds has been substantially increased. Certain species can now colonize particular worlds without tech - for example, carbon-based lifeforms can settle on a corrosive planet, but synthetic life can't.

To learn more about all of the new improvements in v3.0, view the full changelog here.

 

Get the newest expansion to Galactic Civilizations, Intrigue, today!

Intrigue Expansion


Also available on Steam

 

GalCiv III + Intrigue Expansion


Also available on Steam

Missing some DLC in your collection? Get the rest for the complete experience!

Mercenaries Expansion |  Revenge of the Snathi | Precursor Worlds | Rise of the Terrans

Lost Treasures | Altarian Prophecy | See the rest here!

Galactic Civilizations III: Walkthrough 2018

Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

Remember when you bought a game at the store, took it home, devoured the user manual the first evening, and then played a game that you would slowly master?  Those were the days.

Today, games are much more sophisticated and today's gamers want to see their games evolve and improve based on their feedback.  That brings us to this walk-through of Galactic Civilizations III v3.

For the purposes of this walk-through, I will be using v3.0 with all expansions installed.  Your experience will differ some depending on what you have installed, but assuming you have the Gold Edition, you should be set.

Chapter 1: Setting up your game

  1. Galactic Civilizations is a sandbox game.  That means each game is different.  We include a series of campaigns, but other than the tutorial, we recommend choosing "new game" first.
  2. For your first game, choose the Terran Alliance.  Each alien civilization plays somewhat differently, but presuming you're human, the Terrans are probably the most relatable.
  3. For galaxy size, stay with MEDIUM or less for your first few games. Medium requires a system with 4GB of memory.  Memory is the price we pay to avoid having "space lanes".
  4. For everything else, keep to the default, and into the game you go.

Continue Reading...

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