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GalCiv DEV Journal: You're in for an AI treat

Published on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 By Draginol In GalCiv III Dev Journals

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Just in time for Christmas we released version 2.71 which is almost strictly about AI tweaks based on player feedback and saved games.  Now, someone might ask "Why do you need save games to make the AI do [obvious thing]?".  The answer is that with so many different ways of playing the game (both in terms of game setup and in-game strategies) it turns out people play the game very differently from one another.  It's one of the reasons why you have most people who think the AI is really good and some people who think the AI is a total push-over.  It's not that the latter group are cheating or even exploiting, they have simply discovered a strategy that is unbeatable.

But as much as version 2.71 improves the AI, I'd like to give you a sneak preview of 2.8...

Continue Reading...

ASHES DEV JOURNAL: December 2017

Published on Friday, December 15, 2017 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals



Hey guys! This week we launched the opt-in for the 2.65 update which when released, will wrap us up for the year.

Today I'm teasing some more info about the upcoming DLC and I'd like to send out best wishes to everyone for the holiday season!

**Upcoming DLC**
 

Part of the upcoming DLC will include a number of Scenarios and Skirmish/Multiplayer maps which I've been working on for the last two months. Many of the maps are in response to types that we currently lack such as symmetrical team-oriented 5v5/6v6/7v7. Here's Caldera, a Large 6v6 map!

Continue Reading...

Galactic Civilizations III: Triumph of the Fans update!

Published on Thursday, December 14, 2017 By Island Dog In GalCiv III News

Newest Updates Bring Players What They Asked For:
New Fan Requested Features, Reduced Wait Times,
Improved Game Balance and More

For a detailed list of updates, view the changelog at the bottom of this post.

v2.7 Highlights:

Faster Load Times
Data management used to be handled by an external, single-threaded process. This caused some headaches with certain anti-virus programs that would flag the behavior. Our adjustments merges the new data manager with the game and multi-core, making your wait time fly by when loading up a new game.

AI Improvements
This update also includes our first pass at procedural planet building for the AI. Essentially, the AI looks at the state of the galaxy, its empire, and its planets, then uses this data to prioritize what should be built on its planets.

Fan Requests
The majority of the update has been dedicated to fixing issues that come back to bite players way late in the game. If you enjoy multiplayer, you'll be especially happy about some of the adjustments! Also, we've worked in some commonly requested features like being able to toggle between turn number and date, making planetary improvements more destructible, additional balance updates, and more.

 

The v2.7 update is ready and waiting for you in your Steam client!
If you haven't already joined the Crusade, the expansion is available at 
Stardock, GOG, or Steam.

www.galciv3.com | www.galciv3.com/crusade

v2.7 Changelog:

Important!
We've removed the need for bat files in the game to compile data. Data is now compiled by the EXE. The big upside is that updates won't be flagged by AV software as suspicious. A bonus side-effect is that it also improves the startup time.  
Modders: The game now scans both your base game and Crusade folder on startup. Previously, it would scan just the Crusade folder.

Gameplay

  • AI increases the odds of building farm improvements if it is running low on food
  • AI more aggressive in terraforming tiles.
  • AI more aggressive in building up planets before switching to durational 
  • General AI improvements to what citizen type it will choose based on galactic conditions
  • Minor balance pass on Crusade tech tree costs based on recent changes on benefit from improvements.
  • Made many of the planetary improvements destructible again based on player feedback
  • Removed Megapolis improvement as it is now redundant
  • Balance pass on costs based on community feedback
  • Increased the money/power cap to 1 million
  • Updated the Entertainment Center to use the same stats as Crusade
  • Administration Centers now provide the correct additional administration
  • The AI no longer queues starbase modules it can't afforded

UI

  • Added game option to show Turn as a date. Can also click on the date/turn string to toggle between them.
  • Fixed issue where you couldn't use the mouse wheel to scroll the startup popup unless the mouse was over the scrollbar itself
  • Fixed sorting issue for ship designer functional components
  • The UI is now more responsive while doing stuff with the Steam overlay.

Bugs

  • Fixed issue where asteroid system was checking for ownership changes constantly, instead of at the beginning of each turn This was producing false alerts for asteroid bases culture flipping
  • Fixed crash at the end of the game. On large maps and/or long games, the game was still processing turn stuff in the background while it was trying to upload game results.  
  • Fixed issue where global modifiers were not being applied to the player (eg. Galactic Events like Blood Lust)
  • MP: Fixed a desync that happened around turn 200.
  • MP: Fixed a desync related to mining bases and influence areas.  
  • Fixed a few crashes related to the game to access hidden screens

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - v2.65 Update is here

Published on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 By Island Dog In Ashes of the Singularity News

This Update Improves Maps, Adjusts Campaigns,
and Provides Highly Requested Multiplayer Fix

Update also adds new splash screens for campaigns,
scenarios, and benchmark

For a detailed list of updates, view the changelog at the bottom of this post.

 

v2.65 Highlights:

Quality of Life Changes
Fans of multiplayer are going to love this one! Regions owned by players who disconnect during a multiplayer match can now be claimed by others. Additionally, damage status updates for Dreadnoughts, Juggernauts, and the Nexus will always play immediately so that you can respond to an attack right away.

Campaign Improvements
Changes in recent updates have caused us to re-evaluate some of our campaigns and how they flow. To ensure a more balanced and intuitive campaign experience, we've made several adjustments, including adding some advanced defenses to certain missions, updating grammar to fit with the voiced dialogue, granting access to certain units, pacing changes, and more.

Map Updates
The call for more strategic diversity in our maps was loud and clear! We have made adjustments on certain playing fields that fix the proportion of Radioactives, which was previously too low. We also fixed some of those pesky spawn points and areas that were unbuildable on some maps.


The v2.65 update is ready and waiting for you in your Steam client!

www.ashesofthesingularity.com

v2.65 Changelog:

New Scenario Splash Art

We have updated the thumbnails for most of the Scenarios so that each one now has their own unique image, instead of having a few shared among them.

New Benchmark Screen

We have improved the layout and appearance of the pre-benchmark screen.

Quality of Life

  • Regions can now be claimed from players who have disconnected from a multiplayer match
  • Damage status updates for Dreadnoughts, Juggernauts and the Nexus will always play immediately

Balance

In 2.5, we reduced the health of the Assembly to make it weaker than the PHC Counterparts to compensate for its versatility. Since it can no longer produce air units, we are restoring some of that health. 

  • Increased Health of Assembly from 1200 to 1600 
  • Orbital Nullifiers (Structures) will no longer block capturing of regions

 Campaign Changes

  • Avatar and Sapper advanced defences now available in most missions
  • Juggernauts and Nexus Health upgrade now available on King of the Hill scenario

Imminent Crisis

  • Fixed some inconsistent grammar between the audio and text in Deneb
  • Medic is now available in Deneb
  • Falcon is now available from the beginning of Calethaon
  • Removed Dialog about Smarties in Calethaon as it felt abrupt and out of context. (Due to lacking another now obsolete line to preface it)
  • Delayed the arrival of the Overmind on Artorius when playing on lower difficulties, to varying degrees
  • Barrager is now available on Roceda & Silgul
  • Increased starting Quanta on Decanus to compensate for increased cost of Incursion 

Escalation

The changes to Substrate air production in 2.6 created some issues in the Escalation campaign which we are now addressing. We are also removing some outdated dialog that now provides incorrect information.

  • Aviary is now buildable in Betelgeuse and Rosette with Pan, Dominator and Punisher unlocked
  • Removed obsolete dialog about Harvesters in Betelguese
  • Removed obsolete dialog about Saboteur in Rosette
  • Removed obsolete dialog from Lagoan revealing the Brute Mk2 and Hera 
  • Removed confusing and misleading mention of Harvesters from Leo

Map Changes

We're fixing some map issues and changing a few maps that had too low a proportion of Radioactives, which limited strategic diversity.

  • Fixed unbuildable Radioactives Deposit on Lyra
  • Fixed unbuildable Metal Deposit on Aenghus
  • Added additional Radioactives Deposits on Shredded
  • Added additional Radioactives Deposits on Manannan
  • Added additional Radioactives Deposits on Anishanaa
  • Balanced all 6 spawns on Anishanaa
  • Fixed a disconnect between two regions in "Crack the Shell"
  • Adjusted Turinium requirements on several team game maps to reduce outliers that were set too high or too low

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed several tooltip errors
  • Fixed a bug where "Turtle Wars" Scenario had invulnerable turrets. 
  • Fixed a bug where Medics were still running towards buildings, despite no longer being able to repair them
  • Fixed a bug where multiple Engineers were losing their build speed bonuses after the first structure
  • Fixed a bug where hotkeys weren't showing up on Quantum Upgrade icons
  • Fixed a bug where pending Logistics warnings were not showing up for peers in a multiplayer game.
  • Fixed a bug where the Pan didn't have an icon on the Empire Tree
  • Fixed an issue where holding down the mouse click when using attack move would instead box select 
  • Fixed a bug where Juggernauts would do low damage after obtaining huge amounts of levels and upgrades
  • Improved the visual weapon alignment of the Sentinel, Carving, Falcon, Serpentine, Starburst and SkyEnder turrets. 
  • Fixed a bug where Nano Mesh Barrier could be cast on dead units which would then lock out the ability

Legacy Changes

  • The following was implemented in 2.6 but was not documented in the changelog
  • Disruptor Tower can no longer target air units.

Long-Time Microsoft Veteran Kevin Unangst joins Stardock's Executive Team

Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 By Island Dog In Stardock Dev Journals

Stardock Welcomes Kevin Unangst as Vice President
of Global Marketing and Strategic Partnerships

Kevin Unangst is a nearly 30-year veteran of Microsoft where he has helped lead Microsoft's product marketing and partnership efforts for Windows (including Windows 95, Windows XP, and Windows 10)  as well as Xbox 360 and Microsoft’s games portfolio - from Halo 4 to Kinect.  Most recently, he led the product marketing and partner marketing for gaming on Windows 10, including DirectX 12.

Naturally, the question arises, what would draw Mr. Unangst away from Microsoft to Stardock?  While Stardock is known for being very innovative (including many firsts:  ZIP folders, OS/2 Warp 4 desktop design, first 32-bit commercial game, first commercial multithreaded game, first digital distribution platform, and the first DirectX 12 game) the company seems an unusual choice for someone who, with his experience, could have made a very different move.

Kevin's answer to that question is as simple as it is complex.

"I’ve been a customer of, and partner with, Stardock for many years.  Stardock has regularly been ahead of the curve at various transition points in our industry.  Most famously, Stardock was way out in front on digital distribution platforms with Impulse®.  Time and time again, Stardock has led the way in technologies we take for granted today but they’ve generally not been able to take full advantage of that lead.  My experience in building partnerships and creating product awareness will help transform Stardock into the industry leader their technological vision makes possible."

The entire Stardock crew is excited to have him join us - and so is our resident "Stardog," Arrow. Welcome, Kevin! 

ASHES DEV JOURNAL: November 2017

Published on Monday, November 27, 2017 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals

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Hey guys! November was a busy month for us at Stardock due to our launch of the Star Control Origins beta. 

A couple of things to talk about today including an announcement!

##2.65 Update##
The next update we're working on is mainly focused on bug fixes, some introduced in 2.6 and some that have been around for a while but weren't prioritized because they were low impact. You can expect 2.65 to be out sometime before Christmas. 2.65 won't be as big or as interesting as our past updates, which is why it's not referred to as 2.7. That's because of:

##Major DLC/Minor Expansion##
We're working on a Major DLC/Minor Expansion that is currently scheduled for the first half of 2018. We're not yet ready to reveal much info about this, but what I will say is that air transports are planned as the main feature. We've already got some cool content lined up which I'm excited to launch! 

##From Classic RTS to Living Worlds##
This isn't directly related to Ashes, but this is an amazing video featuring insights into Stardock's vision for the future of strategy games. Maybe some of this vision will make it into an Ashes sequel? 

So that's it for now! Thanks again to everyone passionate about Ashes and active in our community.

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