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The Political Machine 2020: v1.1 Now Available

Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 By redskittlesonly In Political Machine News

v1.1 is Now Available
Featuring Steam Workshop Support and New Candidates

Steam Workshop support and new candidates have been added in this major update for the Political Machine 2020. Bernie may be out of the race, but he is still available as a candidate in The Political Machine 2020 to play with or against. If you're looking to recapture the glory of former elections, grab Ronald Reagan or Al Gore and try to win in 2020.

Top Updates

Steam Workshop: Upload and download new Ideology Trees to use with custom candidates!

New Candidates:

  • Ronald Reagan
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Al Gore
  • Barry Goldwater

Election Night Speed Controls: Whether you want a long, drawn out reveal or a quick conclusion, you now have full control over the speed of the election night camera.

End of Game Scorecard: The Election Night polls now calculate and show you the score of you and your opponent.

Balance / Additions

  • New Issue: Public Option for Insurance
  • Establishment Democrat Ideology uses Public Option instead of Medicare for All
  • Increased Hillary Clinton's Experience from 6 to 7
  • Increased Catherine Cortez Masto Intelligence from 5 to 6
  • Reduced Donald Trump's Minority Appeal from 6 to 5
  • Score now uses Electoral Votes, not Popular Votes
  • Thumbs up / down thresholds lowered so you see more granularity & fewer 'neutral' thumbs

 

Haven't started your campaign yet?
Get The Political Machine 2020 today and join the race.

GalCiv III Dev Journal: March 2020

Published on Monday, March 30, 2020 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

I found a magic planet.

image

It’s not that it is a class 20 planet – it only started as a class 14 and I’ve upgraded it since.  It is that it had 6 fertile tiles with 5 of them ready to have something amazing placed in the middle.  In this case, Kimberly’s Refuge.  Combined with the planet being a fertile world the result is that this one planet produces 34 food. 

Of course, having the time to build this up required relative peace to be the norm which is the subject of this dev journal.

Leave me alone

One of the most common questions we get is how do you keep everyone from going to war with you? Can you play the game without having to build up a huge military.  The answer is, yes and…maybe. 

I’m playing as a benevolent civilization.  This means my polar opposite civilizations (malevolent) will be inclined to go to war with me.  If I were playing as pragmatic, they would also not like me but they are somewhat less likely to pull the trigger on going to war with a pragmatic civilization versus one that is their opposite.

So what’s the key to getting them to leave me alone?

Relationship factors

image

Here is the Drengin.  The biggest two things helping me with them are the fact we’re trading with them and they are relatively far away.

Tip #1: Trade with them  

When I play as a peaceful civ, I am careful to trade as much as I can.  You do take a hit due to trading with their enemies but it’s still a big benefit.

Trade helps in so many other areas too.  For example, the more you trade, the less easy of a target you are since they really want your money.

Tip #2: Treaties

image

Make sure you are setting up treaties with them.

Tip #3: Financial Aid / Tribute

image

You can give tribute to civilizations (give them money) which will make them happy. 

Tip #4: Don’t be an easy target

If a bear is chasing after you and your friends, you only need to be faster than the slowest friend.   You don’t need a big military to keep from being attacked.  But if you are absolutely defenseless then you are inviting conquest.

Tip #5: Use Diplomats

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If you have trained any diplomats, you can use them on the powerful civilizations that you want to leave you alone.  You don’t need them to love you, you just need them to hate someone else more.

Tip #6: Build up your diplomatic skills

There are certain planetary improvements and technologies that give your civilization more diplomatic points.  Your increased skills will cause other civilizations to like you more.

Tip #7: Spy with Freighters

A lot of players will try to keep an eye on what other civilizations are doing by building starbases and sensor ships.  But these can sometimes cause other civilizations to consider them trespassers.  But freighters don’t have that issue.

Instead, design freighters that have great sensor ranges.  Make sure you get an open borders treaty with them.

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Hopefully these tips will help you maintain a galactic peace…or at least long enough to either ascend or get a diplomatic victory!

NOW AVAILABLE: The final installment, Earth Rises, of the Earth Rising expansion for Star Control®: Origins

Published on Thursday, March 12, 2020 By Tatiora In Star Control News

Stardock Releases Earth Rising - Part 4: Earth Rises
for Star Control: Origins

Get the Earth Rising Expansion Now
The complete expansion with parts 1-4 is fully available and ready to play today!

The final installment of our 4-part expansion for Star Control: Origins is now available! Earth Rising - Part 4: Earth Rises will introduce you to exciting new adventures, including bar fights at Kapteyn’s Bar, the reluctant return of a God, a search for a missing Commander, and more.  

Humans have finally proven that they may be worthy custodians to the Spur, but they must still prove themselves to allies and enemies alike. Meanwhile, Commander Magara is missing, a faction of humanity is developing a dangerous battlecruiser, and the Mowlings’ God has reluctantly returned and asked you to help save them from destruction. Perhaps a stop at Kapteyn’s bar will give you some more information - if you can avoid getting into a brawl long enough to talk to someone, that is.

Earth Rising is a 4-part season pass that contains new quests, ships, rewards, and story that is tied to humanity’s quest for establishing themselves as a major galactic power. Explore new stars, solve newly discovered mysteries, and form relationships with new alien races and their leaders. 

Set in the late 21st century, Star Control: Origins places you as the captain of Earth's first interstellar starship. Your mission is to explore the galaxy, find allies to help protect Earth from hostile aliens, and find the resources necessary to help Earth expand out into the stars.

What mark will you leave on the galaxy? Will it be for good, or for ill? Answer that question and much more in Star Control: Origins and the Earth Rising expansion!

Highlights in Earth Rises include:

  • New Missions & Quests - Search for the missing Commander Magara, keep an eye on the humans developing a deadly Terran Battlecruiser, and stop the Measured from harvesting a sun and killing an entire civilization.
  • New Location - Visit Kapteyn’s Bar to hear the latest gossip, triumph in a bar fight, and pick up bounty hunting quests
  • New Battles - Lead your fleet into epic battles against massive space stations.
  • New Weapons - Take on enemies with an arsenal of new weapons like the Black Hole Array or the Charged Warhead.

Get the Earth Rising Expansion Now

The complete expansion is fully released and ready for you to play!

Set in the late 21st century, Star Control: Origins places you as the captain of Earth's first interstellar starship. Your mission is to explore the galaxy, find allies to help protect Earth from hostile aliens, and find the resources necessary to help Earth expand out into the stars.

Don't have Star Control: Origins? Get it now for for $29.99 on Steam, GOG, or at www.starcontrol.com

The Political Machine 2020 is Now Available - Let the Campaign Begin!

Published on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 By Tatiora In Political Machine News

The Political Machine 2020 is Here
It's time to enter the race!

Buy on Steam    |    Buy at Stardock

Win the hearts and minds of America’s voters and take the 2020 presidential election by storm in Stardock’s popular political strategy game. Choose a candidate and run against a computer opponent or a candidate controlled by another person over the Internet.

Candidates include current Democratic front-runners like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, as well as Internet favorites such as Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard. Republican candidates include Donald Trump, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. 

Don’t like any of the current candidates? No problem, just create your own! Or, if you believe everything is going to hell in a handbasket, play as the Giant Meteor and adopt some truly wild ideologies (ban all video games - they’ll rot your brain!). 

The Political Machine 2020 features brand new unique ideology trees for candidates, which allows them to play very differently from each other. Throughout the game, you’ll visit Town Halls to gain ideology points that you will be able to spend to own certain issues. For instance, Bernie Sanders has ‘Medicare for All’ as an issue he can own, while Donald Trump can use points to purchase the ‘Build the Wall’ issue.

Do you think you have what it takes? Take to the campaign trail and show the nation why you should be the next President of the United States of America!

Core Features

Spread your Ideology
Participate in Town Hall events to earn ideology points and solidify your position on hot issues with your voters.

Generate Enthusiasm
Use your power and money to purchase ads to discredit your opponent and influence voters. The greater enthusiasm your base has for an issue, the more effective your ad campaigns will be.
The Political Machine 2020

 

Participate in Interviews
Accept invitations to various talk shows across the country in order to share your opinion on issues important to the American people.

Choose your Candidate
Play as one of several candidates, each with their own custom stats like stamina, intelligence, charisma, media bias, and more.
The Political Machine 2020

 

Create a Candidate
Customize your own front runner and race for the White House.

Manage your Campaign Budget
Purchase advertisements, travel across the country to campaign, and hire operatives to enhance your PR or cripple your opponent. Be wary - if you overspend and need extra cash, it might come from somewhere that will shake voters’ confidence in you!
The Political Machine 2020

 

Practice your Politics
A sophisticated underlying simulation model uses census data and real issues to test your political savvy.

Check your Standings
With poll tracking and leaderboards, you can see how well people are playing as their candidates or what issues they are supporting over time.
The Political Machine 2020

 

Be Ready for Anything
Torrid affairs, natural disasters, email scandals, and other "breaking news" events can pop up and change the direction of the campaign for better or worse.
The Political Machine 2020

Run for President Today!
Buy on Steam   |   Buy at Stardock

Political Machine election roll-out schedule

Published on Saturday, February 29, 2020 By Frogboy In Political Machine News

For this election cycle we have a ton of updates in store between now and election day.

Below is a tentative schedule:

## Spring 2020 ##

Steam Workshop support for creating and sharing your own political ideologies.

This year is a total, 100% rewrite of the game and while doing so we revisited everything about the game. The feature we like the most so far are the ideologies which will bring immense replayability to the game.

Most of the candidates have their own ideology with them. We also include a few alternative ones like Fascism, Lunacy and Giant Meteorism.

But we suspect other players will want to try making their own and the Steam Workshop support will make it easy to do so.

Scoring Handicap.
Some candidates are easier to to win with than others. To this end, different candidates will get score bonuses based on how hard they are to win with. This will make adding lots of historical Presidents to the game without it totally breaking things.

Spring Issue Update
Every few weeks we'll be updating the campaign issues. Even during our internal beta we've had to make a lot of changes such with "Escalation with Iran" and now with "Coronavirus". We are constantly getting new issues as well as tweaking existing issues to try to keep things as current as possible.

Really Loud Crowder & Rachael Maddox
New podcasts and TV shows are going to be added as we go through this election cycle. The game includes several already but we are looking to add more during the cycle. Two we plan to add this Spring include one based on Louder with Crowder and one inspired by Rachel Maddow.


## Summer 2020 ##

Candidate Architect
We already allow players to create custom candidates. But we also would like to expand on this feature to allow serious political wonks to architect candidates to extreme detail and share them.

State Emergencies
Not national emergencies. Instead, these would be events that affect only a single state. Maybe your campaign can ignore giving support to a tree fungus in Idaho but can you ignore a water contamination issue in Ohio? This will be a feature that players can turn off but will ensure that various states will require special attention.

Throughout this election cycle, we'll be hanging out on www.politicalmachine.com and the Steam forums to listen to ideas and suggestions and see what we can get in before the November election!

## It's a new game ##

We're incredibly excited to get this to you guys. This is the first time we've done a full rewrite since the original 2004 edition.

We added a bunch of new features. Some features in the old game we didn't include. For example, we don't have a "randomize the issues" feature or playing on an alien planet.

We also didn't bring the variable length campaigns and instead focused on 21 so that we could nail down the pacing. Players of previous versions will, we hope, really appreciate how well paced the new version is.

The biggest change you can't really see. It's the underlying simulation. It is so much better. Your actions mean so much more in the game and the game just "feels" better as your actions just make a lot more sense.

Stay tuned!

COMING SOON: Star Control: Origins Earth Rising Part 4 - Earth Rises

Published on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 By Tatiora In Star Control News

Stardock announced the final installment of its 4-part expansion to Star Control: Origins today. Earth Rising - Part 4: Earth Rises introduces players to exciting new adventures, including bar fights at Kapteyn’s Bar, the reluctant return of a God, a search for a missing Commander, and more.  

Star Control: Origins is set in the late 21st century. The player is the Captain of Earth's first interstellar starship with the mission to explore the galaxy, find allies to help protect Earth from hostile aliens, and find the resources necessary to help Earth expand to the stars.

Earth Rises is the final part in a four-part expansion pack called Earth Rising. The expansion adds a host of new aliens, ships, adventures and destinations to the already rich universe introduced in Star Control: Origins. Because Star Control is a non-linear action/RPG game, the new content does not require the player to have already completed the main story arc from the base game.

Highlights of Earth Rises include:

  • New Missions & Quests - Search for the missing Commander Magara, keep an eye on the humans developing a deadly Terran Battlecruiser, and stop the Measured from harvesting a sun and killing an entire civilization. 
  • New Location - Visit Kapteyn’s Bar to hear the latest gossip, triumph in a bar fight, and pick up bounty hunting quests.
  • New Battles - Lead your fleet into epic battles against massive space stations.
  • New Weapons - Take on enemies with an arsenal of new weapons like the Black Hole Array or the Charged Warhead.

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising is now available for purchase for $19.99 on Steam. Currently, the first 3 parts are available to play until part 4 arrives. For more details, visit the forums.

Star Control: Origins is available on Steam, GOG, or Stardock for $29.99. For more information, visit www.starcontrol.com.   

 

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising, Part 4: Earth Rises

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2020 By DerekPaxton In Star Control Journals

Heir to the Scryve

In Star Control: Origins you had a chance to save the galaxy and meet some very dangerous, troubled, strange (and overly friendly) aliens along the way. There may or may not have been some cannibalism involved. After the successful completion of Origins, the threat was stopped and the galaxy was at peace. What is there for a snarky ship commander to do?

Expand the influence of Earth, of course. It's time to get out into the solar system and to start becoming a galactic civilization (that sounds like a great name for a game). That is the story of the Earth Rising expansion. Earth's first star base outside of our solar system is set up and the Earth is looking to create colonies on distant planets.

Of course, there are aliens to encounter, friends or enemies to make depending on your choices, and lots of battles and lore to uncover.

 

In Episode 4 the Scryve have been defeated, and though they were cruel, they maintained some order in this corner of the galaxy. It will be up to the player to determine if he wants to fill the roll of the vacant Scryve with the same iron fist they ruled with, or a more diplomatic method.

 

Along the way the player will encounter old friends, new enemies, and find that space has been populated with more locations than ever before. And these are available even to first time players, making the galaxy more full of life even for those who haven't completed the story line of Star Control: Origins yet. Head out to the space station that serves as a watering hole, or hang out with a mix of aliens in the Kapetyn's Star system and have a drink, recruit some new crew, accept some jobs, and experience the horror that is a Drenkend karaoke group.

 

Episode 4 also concludes the story line of Earth Rising as the player pursues the Lexites, investigates the disappearance of Commander Magara, and aids the space station Deep Horizons in building a fleet of colony ships to spread out to the galaxy.

Earth Rising adds over 200 new characters to Star Control, over 70 new locations to explore, and dozens of new quests.

Community Newsletter #9 - 1/31/2020

Published on Friday, January 31, 2020 By SchismNavigator In Stardock Community Newsletter

We're Only Just Getting Started

 

We are back everyone! For this edition of the community newsletter we have news on new games, new tournaments, new mods and well everything that is new for a new year, new decade and maybe I should stop with this whole new thing now...

 

The Horizon

 

The Political Machine 2020

 

 

This month we announced the latest and most hotly debated The Political Machine 2020.

 

Who are the candidates? What do they want with your family? Why is there one building a campaign HQ on your lawn right this instant?!

 

The Political Machine 2020 is a PC strategy game where you get to pick a candidate and go head to head against either an AI or another player to win the US presidential election.

 

Candidates include the current Democratic front-runners including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, as well as Internet favorites such as Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard.  Republican candidates include Donald Trump, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Players can also design their own candidates to take on the campaign trail to win the hearts and minds of American voters.

 

A new feature of the 2020 edition are unique ideology trees that allows each candidate to play differently from one another.

 

 

To learn more about The Political Machine 2020 you can read the full announcement here.

 

Continue Reading...

GalCiv III v4.0 Plans

Published on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 By Frogboy In GalCiv III News

The 'big cleanup' is in the works for GalCiv III 4.0.

Development on 4.0 is a work in progress as developer time becomes available (btw, we are hiring new C++ devs here..). So as we've discussed in the past, we'd really like to find a way to make modding more robust, though that's easier said than done because of the way we did our data structuring early on (there are tons of directories that the game pulls from, which all depend on which expansions you have installed).

When someone buys GalCiv III today from Steam, they actually get GalCiv III + Crusade + Retribution.  That's because we really want to focus on the assumption that everyone has Retribution going forward (or at least Crusade) which simplifies modding.  

We don't have an exact ETA on when v4.0 will arrive, other than it'll probably be this Spring.

COMING SOON: The Political Machine 2020!

Published on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 By Tatiora In Political Machine News

Let the Campaign Begin!

Stardock announced its new political strategy/simulation game today, The Political Machine 2020.  The PC strategy game allows players to choose a candidate and run for President against either a computer opponent or a candidate controlled by another person over the Internet.

Candidates include the current Democratic front-runners including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, as well as Internet favorites such as Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard.  Republican candidates include Donald Trump, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Players can also design their own candidates to take on the campaign trail to win the hearts and minds of American voters.

“This game takes politics and brings them to players in a way that is fun and interesting,” said Stardock CEO Brad Wardell. “We use current data to model the US and voters in the game. The game emulates some of the unexpected things a candidate might have to deal with -- natural disasters, national tragedies, economic crises -- and immerses the player right in the middle of the insanity.”

The game now features unique ideology trees for the candidates. This allows each candidate to play very differently from one another.

TPM 2020
TPM 2020
TPM 2020

“During the game, candidates will visit Town Halls which give them ideology points,” said Wardell. “They can then spend these points on owning certain issues.  For instance, Bernie Sanders has ‘Medicare for All’ as an issue he can own, while Donald Trump uses points to purchase the ‘Build the Wall’ issue.”

Each issue is modeled on a per state basis with their voter support based on polling data to allow for an accurate simulation of how those issues will play out in different states.

“Since the object of the game is to win 270 electoral votes, players have to focus on winning the electoral college, which means paying attention to what issues voters care about in swing states. What plays well in Texas or California might hurt you in Ohio or Florida,” said Wardell.

Previous editions of The Political Machine have predicted the winner of nearly every state since 2004 with the exception of the 2016 edition, which was infamously patched due to it predicting Donald Trump would win Wisconsin.

“The game relies heavily on simulating voter enthusiasm, minority turn-out, and what political issues are most important in a given state,” said Wardell.  “Sometimes the results surprise us, such as in the 2016 edition where the game was projecting Donald Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin. We assumed we had a bug and patched it but it turned out, the underlying model was working. Turn-out is key.”

The 2020 edition is a complete rewrite of the game with vastly improved graphics and a more sophisticated simulation that combines polling data, voter enthusiasm, and the most recent US census results to deliver a game that is both fun to play for casual players, and realistic enough for political wonks.

The Political Machine 2020 will be released this Spring.
Visit
www.politicalmachine.com to learn more or wishlist it on Steam today.
 

TPM 2020
TPM 2020
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