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Siege of Centauri: Going North

Published on Thursday, April 18, 2019 By Derek Paxton In Siege of Centauri Dev Journals

We unlocked a new mission today, Chariah. Chariah is a remote location, cold with winding paths through the mountains. It is the biggest map in the campaign so far (larger ones will come later) and offers long paths with plenty of great points to place defenses (as well as an enemy that is going to ignore those roads entirely, but we will get to that later.

We have a Fission Reactor and a Metal Refinery here, on separate paths. And an ideal junction between the paths to place defenses, but building defenses there will mean abandoning either of the two buildings. We can build in the north, defend our source of radioactives but assume that the towers won't protect against southern attackers, or do the opposite and guard the refinery. Abandon both and make the most of our defenses by guarding the colony, or try some mix of the above.

Personally I love radioactives and my orbital abilities so I quickly build up defenses around the Fission Reactor and use Milton to help out.

Which 

Which is when the first of our first two new enemies shows up. Sparrows are tiny flying enemies that ignore the paths, but they come in large groups. Flak Cannons are the best defense against them since they do AoE damage against flyers. But in a pinch Icarus Missiles and even Gun Turrets can hold them off.

Later in the mission more powerful flying Punishers attack and will need more than Flak cannons to stop them. But there is an objectives (and a score bonus) if none of them manage to reach the colony).

Flying enemies ignore paths, but you can see where they will go with Scan Mode. You enter scan mode by holding down the ALt key. It will let you more clearly see units (by desaturating the terrain) show you HP bars for enemies and let you see the lanes Air units will travel on.

(spoiler: in a future update any unit you click on will have their full path displayed so you can see where they will go).

Chariah is also one of our longest levels so far with 11 waves. And ends with dual waves of Martyr's from both directions. By this point I have given up the more remote locations and I'm attempting to hold them at the last gate before they reach my colony.

Fortunately the last are killed and the colony is saved, even if I wasn't able to save the reactor or the refinery.

Chariah is up and able to to be played now. What do you think? Would you like larger, longer maps, or do you prefer the shorter missions like the earlier missions?

Siege of Centauri: Defending Malden

Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 By Derek Paxton In Siege of Centauri Dev Journals

Malden is the third mission of the Siege of Centauri campaign. It is the first mission to feature multiple entrances and a fission reactor that provides radioactives to power our orbital abilities.

So right from the start I have to consider where my enemies will be coming from, and how to defend two positions.

Mousing over the enemy icon in the wave panel shows me where that enemy will be coming from. In this case, this Reaper swarm is coming from the east. Good, that's nowhere near my Fission Reactor, so I can focus on defending my Colony without worrying about losing those sweet, sweet, radioactives.

I expect to kill a lot of enemies around my Colony, so I put a Scavenger Module there and a nearby Arc Projector. The Scavenger Module converts any enemy killed within its radius into metal that I can use to build more towers. I also put a Gun Turret along the path just to whittle enemies down a bit on their way to me. Gun Turrets are cheap, and I hate to waste good positions on them, but this remote part of the path seems perfect.

Since I only had enough metal for one real damage-dealing tower, I'm going to need some help when these Reapers get to my Colony, so I deploy Milton. He isn't permanent, but with his double chainguns and a backpack full of missiles, he deals lots of damage in a hurry (and makes my Scavenger Module very happy).

Meanwhile, the western path up by my Fission Reactor has its own problems. The metal from Milton's destruction comes in handy and I'm able to drop some towers that are better suited for dealing with the more hardy Destructors and Corrupted Healers. Two Plasma Cannons and a Corrosive Mortar help, but I also need to drop some reinforcements to keep them from wiping out the fairly fragile Fission Reactor.

The Fission Reactor does have some minor drone defenders of its own, but they won't survive long against a sustained assault from Destructors. I am able to defend the Reactor, so I will have more radioactives to play with for the rest of the mission.

Designer thought: I should really make it so that a Fission Reactor explodes when destroyed, damaging everything around it.

But metal spent defending the Reactor was not spent defending the Colony, and soon I have a rush of very fast Masochists trying to destroy it. A web of Arc Projectors eventually destroys them, but my Colony takes some damage in the process.

A larger wave of Reapers attacks my Colony from both sides. They seem to be ignoring my reactor for the time and focusing on my colony.

But the bonus radioactives allow me to deploy Milton again and fulfill one of the mission's secondary objectives of killing 100 enemies with Milton, which isn't too hard against the large swarm.

Which leaves one wave left. A Clutch of Eggs that has considerable defenses and decides to go toe to toe with Milton.

I drop another Plasma Cannon and Corrosive Mortar to help Milton out, the Clutch of Eggs is destroyed, and the Colony is saved.

How would you beat this mission?

 

Ashes of the Singularity is getting bigger

Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 By Frogboy In Ashes Dev Journals

Next month will mark the third anniversary of the original release of Ashes of the Singularity!

It's amazing how much things have changed since then.  I was looking at screenshots and gameplay video and the game has come so far from its first release.

This first image is from Ashes of the Singularity v1.0:

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And here is what today's opt-in update looks like.

image

The first thing tto notice is how much bigger the buildings and units are. 

Here's a screenshot that shows it off better

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We still have more work to do as the sizes are going to create some pathing and formation bugs which you will see for yourself if you try out the opt-in.  But the increased size makes the battles a lot more interesting and helps communicate the interactions between units much better.

Steam Early Access is Now Available for Siege of Centauri!

Published on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 By Tatiora In Siege of Centauri News

Earth's first colony is under attack by an unknown enemy

Siege of Centauri puts you in command of the defense of Earth's first interstellar colony.  Thousands of alien machines are descending on the helpless colony and only you, with your arsenal of fast-deployed orbital defense structures (FODS), can stop them.

Early Access starts today on
Steam or at www.siegeofcentauri.com for just $9.99

The enemy comes in all shapes and sizes, challenging you to counter them with the right defense in the right place. Siege of Centauri combines the best elements of classic tower defense games with the strategic depth Stardock has delivered in past titles, including Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion and Ashes of the Singularity.

Battle across the surface of an alien world through a series of story-driven campaigns or fight for survival in a doomed region to see how your skills match up against thousands of other players across the world.

Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri

 

Visit www.siegeofcentauri.com for more information.

Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution Journal #9 - Campaign

Published on Monday, April 15, 2019 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

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The new version of Galactic Civilizations III includes an updated campaign screen that shows the campaigns as part of a timeline. We wanted to help players know where different campaigns take place in the overall story.

It's hard to believe that the base GalCiv III campaign, Crusade, actually takes place in the middle of the stories that were released for GalCiv III!

Our story so far...

During the campaigns of Galactic Civilizations II, the story ends with the human main fleet teleporting to a pocket universe, but not before using a Precursor (Arnorian) artifact to protect the Earth from Drengin invasion.

Galactic Civilizations III deals with the fleet's return from the pocket universe with a new artifact. A powerful orb known as "the bane" that was a weapon used by the Mithrilar (the beings who created the Arnor in the first place). The Terran fleet, armed with Precursor technologies, swiftly frees the people of Earth, who have been busy building their own fleet behind their protective shield.

The humans go on a crusade to free the other civilizations from Drengin thralldom. Their campaign to free the galaxy starts to turn dark as the Thalan, a species introduced in GalCiv I, explain that they are travelers from an alternate future and that the bane exacts a terrible price for its use (which is why it was hidden in a pocket universe in the first place). The bane's user will begin to lose all manner of perspective, which will lead to the destruction of the galaxy.

Retribution is at hand

The Retribution campaign is a 4-part campaign. I will say, at the start, that Galactic Civilizations, being a space sandbox game, doesn't lend itself to story-based campaigns. I generally don't recommend that people play the campaigns until they are done playing the main game (as opposed to the other way around). The campaigns exist to help players know the lore for the world in which the game takes place.

With that warning said, let us begin destroying the universe.

Into the fire

The campaign introduces (or reintroduces) players to the Drath and Korath, who were both eliminated as major powers during Twilight of the Arnor and Dark Avatar, respectively, in Galactic Civilizations II. 

This campaign is the conclusion of the 23rd century era of Galactic Civilizations stories. While I won't promise you'll love the campaign gameplay (they're not my cup of tea), I hope you enjoy the story they tell.

______________________________

Retribution Journals

Journal #1

Journal #2

Journal #3

Journal #4

Journal #5

Journal #6

Journal #7

Journal #8

Journal #9 (Current)

Siege of Centauri Arrives for Steam Early Access on April 16th

Published on Thursday, April 11, 2019 By Tatiora In Siege of Centauri News

Battle hordes of enemies in Siege of Centauri
a new massive-scale tower defense game

Set in the Ashes of the Singularity universe, the player takes on the role of commander of the defense of Earth's first colony on Proxima Centauri.  Stardock's new take on the classic genre comes by leveraging its new game engine, first seen in Ashes of the Singularity™ and more recently in Star Control®: Origins.

"With tens of thousands of enemy machines pouring toward your base, we want to give players a very new experience of what it means to defend yourselves against overwhelming odds," said Derek Paxton, lead designer for Siege of Centauri. "The benefits between a rail gun that fires 1 deadly round every 10 seconds and a high-speed plasma arc array that does low damage, but to dozens of enemies at once, is obvious to players, especially when they see a huge mothership surrounded by hundreds of escorts coming at them." 

The veteran strategy game developer is also incorporating some strategic elements to the genre, such as defending resources and deploying fast response teams to battle, providing players with difficult choices about which areas to defend and which areas to let go.

In the early access period for Siege of Centauri, players will:

  • Defend Centauri: Gain access to new technologies and fight off enemy invaders from region to region.
  • Deploy Your Defenses: An arsenal of emergency rapid deployment defenses are at your disposal. Use them in strategic locations to halt the swarm's progress.
  • Strike From Above: When all else fails, use your ship's formidable capabilities from orbit to destroy your enemies.

Steam Early Access begins on April 16th for $9.99 and is designed to allow fans of the genre to get early input into game mechanics, pacing, and balance. You can add the game to your Steam wishlist or join the Founder's Program and get access to the beta today at www.siegeofcentauri.com

 

Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri

 

Visit www.siegeofcentauri.com for more information.

Siege of Centauri: Stardock's take on tower defense

Published on Monday, April 8, 2019 By Frogboy In Siege of Centauri Dev Journals

What is tower defense?

Tower defense is a genre of strategy game in which you have ever more daunting enemies trying to attack your base (or simply escape).   Your job is to place defenses ("towers") to stop them.

Each of your towers has specific strengths and weaknesses.  Some are fast firing but do little damage while others fire infrequently but do a lot of damage.  There are towers that do area damage and towers that can only target one individual at a time.  There are towers that can target just air and towers that can fire great distances but only hit the ground. 

Because you have finite resources, knowing what enemies are coming and where they are coming from is key as you will need to choose your towers carefully.

Stardock's take

Stardock has a new game engine that is specifically designed to handle massive entity counts.  By massive we mean like 100X more than what has been seen before.  That allows us to think of game designs that weren't previously doable (at least without an insane PC).  An entity is a full-on unit. Not a clone or a visual trick but an actual unit with its own AI, weapons, pathfinding, targeting, etc.  

Having more enemies isn't enough on its own.  We also wanted to bring some of our 4X strategy game experience into Siege of Centauri.  Here are a few examples of what we mean:

  • Maps have Metal Refineries which produce resources. They provide alternative locations that the player may, or may not, want to defend.
  • Scavenging.  Players don't collect resources from killing enemies by default. Instead, player-built scavenger modules will collect resources of units destroyed in their area.
  • Orbitals.  The player has a set of orbital abilities that can be called down to take a direct hand in the action in a pinch.
  • Map Objectives.  There are various achievements attached to maps that give the player additional twists in trying to solve the map.

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What Early Access is Missing (or what we're working on still)

It is important to stress that this is a BETA and not feature complete. This isn't some demo.  We have a number of features we have in various states of completeness that we may or may not add in based on player feedback.  That's the point of having early access.

Features that are definitely coming, just not ready yet:

  1. Voice-overs.  Lots of them.
  2. More enemy unit types.
  3. More weapon types.
  4. More orbitals.
  5. Survival Mode (maps where you will definitely, eventually lose but see how far you can make it)
  6. Equip screen.  Eventually we will limit your active tower types to 10 and you'll need to pick from your arsenal the 10 you want to use on based on the enemies that will be on there.
  7. Much better effects (we have lots of programmer art in right now).
  8. A lot more optional objectives.
  9. More battle locations (a lot more) on bigger maps.
  10. The Archive screen is still an early work in progress.
  11. More paths (general map pass with enemies taking out other buildings that aren't on a direct path to your base).
  12. Placement grid (makes it easier to place your towers).

Features we have in various states of completeness but want player feedback on beta 1

  1. Tower upgrade tree (versus linear progression). Again, this is one of those things that sounds good on paper but might make the game too busy.
  2. Destructible walls (place obstacles to force the enemy to either destroy them or find another way)
  3. Night maps (we had these but they weren't fun, you placed light beacons to see, seemed like a good idea on paper)
  4. Second resource (that is used for Orbitals rather than orbitals being set to a time out).

The take-away here is that Early Access here is designed to give players input into the game before things are locked down.  We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are excited to hear your ideas.

 

Siege of Centauri Founder's Beta Available Now

Published on Thursday, March 28, 2019 By Tatiora In Siege of Centauri News

Founders get to Play the Beta Right Now
They also get access to a private forum, all future betas,
a special forum badge, and access to the full game when it releases

Earth's first colony on Proxima Centauri is under attack by an unknown enemy. Take on the role of Commander and defend the colony against hordes of enemies in Siege of Centauri. 

Tens of thousands of enemy machines will pour toward your base, giving you a new experience of what it means to defend yourself against overwhelming odds. You’ll be able to test out the benefits of a rail gun that fires 1 deadly round every 10 seconds to a single target, a high-speed plasma arc array that does low damage, but to dozens of enemies at once, and more.

You’ll gather resources from enemies as they’re destroyed, dealing with balancing overwhelming enemy forces with having to make some tough choices on what areas of a given map you need to defend. Some areas, you’ll have to let go in order to safeguard your resource production.

Siege of Centauri Founders were emailed their Steam keys, alternatively they can go here to obtain their key. 
Ashes of the Singularity Lifetime Founders can find Siege of Centauri in their Steam accounts.

 

Play the Founder's Beta Today for $9.99

Join Now

 

Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
 

 

Visit www.siegeofcentauri.com for more information.
Note: Ashes of the Singularity Lifetime Founders received Siege of Centauri for free.

Ashes Dev Journal - Meaningful Base Building

Published on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals



Dawn of War 2 (DoW2) got slammed on launch by many fans of the original for its removal of base building. I found the base building in DoW1 to be shallow, so I never viewed DoW2’s removal of it to be a detriment and DoW2 is still one of my favorite RTS games. Base building in RTS is typically the manifestation of strategic investment, so it’s always meaningful in that you’re choosing to build an Armory over teching up into Tier2. Though base building isn’t always needed for strategy in RTS and DoW 2 clearly shows this. (Offworld Trading Company alternatively shows you don't always need units for strategy in RTS either!)

Continue Reading...

Siege of Centauri Founder's Program Launches on March 28th

Published on Thursday, March 14, 2019 By Tatiora In Siege of Centauri News

Set in the Ashes of the Singularity universe, the player takes on the role of commander of the defense of Earth's first colony on Proxima Centauri.  Stardock's new take on the classic genre comes by leveraging its new game engine, first seen in Ashes of the Singularity™ and more recently in Star Control®: Origins.

"With tens of thousands of enemy machines pouring toward your base, we want to give players a very new experience of what it means to defend yourselves against overwhelming odds," said Derek Paxton, lead designer of Siege of Centauri. "It takes little explaining to the player on the benefits between a rail gun that fires 1 deadly round every 10 seconds, and a high-speed plasma arc array that does low damage, but to dozens of enemies at once, when you can visibly see a huge mothership surrounded by hundreds of escorts coming at you."

The veteran strategy game developer is also incorporating some strategic elements to the genre, such as defending resources and deploying fast response teams to battle.

"Another feature we're pretty excited about is separating resource gathering from enemy destruction," said Paxton. "You are, literally, dealing with overwhelming enemy forces while simultaneously having to make some tough choices on what areas of a given map you need to defend and which ones you need to just let go in order to safeguard your resource production.”

The Founder's program is designed to allow fans of the genre to get early input into game mechanics, pacing, and balance.

"There are a lot of interesting questions that we want to engage with our fans with before final release," said Paxton. "And with this genre so popular, it presents such a great opportunity to tap into that collective experience.

The Founder's program will begin on March 28
Pre-purchase today and gain access to the beta when it launches in two weeks

Join Now

 

Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri
Siege of Centauri

 

Visit www.siegeofcentauri.com for more information.
Note: Ashes of the Singularity Lifetime Founders will receive Siege of Centauri for free.

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