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Ashes of the Singularity: Road Map 2019

Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 By Frogboy In Ashes Dev Journals

Greetings!

Lots of exciting things happening with Ashes of the Singularity.  With Star Control: Origins released, we've been able to give Ashes some new attention and I wanted to use this post to update you on where we are.

Engine porting

Under the game is the game engine which in Ashes 1.0 was pure Nitrous.  These days, we have taken the Nitrous engine and integrated all the cool stuff we've developed over the years (Game engine wise) to create a game-specific engine we call Cider.  So right now, we're porting Cider to Linux with Ashes being our first test.  

The good news is that we have Ashes kind of sort of working natively on Linux.  The bad news is that the performance isn't quite there yet.  Vulkan is the graphics platform we're targeting and it's still very young.

New entries in the universe

We are working on a new game in the Ashes of the Singularity universe that we will be announcing next month.  Ashes founders will get it either for free or at a steep discount depending on what type of Founder they are.  

Ashes sequels

So the short version is that we aren't going to be making new expansions for Ashes of the Singularity I.  There might be more DLC but the changes we want to make are a little too radical to have as an expansion.   My next post will be talking about what we have in mind for the sequel so you guys can opine on it.  But if you liked SupCom or TA then you will really like where we want to take the sequel.

Stay tuned!

 

NEW EXPANSION for Galactic Civilizations III ANNOUNCED: Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution

Published on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 By redskittlesonly In GalCiv III News

What started as a crusade has become a war of retribution.

GC3: Retribution Key Art

Add to your Steam Wishlist

Stardock's award-winning space strategy game, Galactic Civilizations III is about to get its biggest expansion yet.  Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution adds new playable civilizations, a story-driven campaign, Precursor artifacts, Hypergates and much more.

Across the galaxy, ancient alien artifacts are being discovered, giving civilizations powerful new capabilities. Meanwhile, as civilizations try to carefully balance building an economy, funding an ever growing war machine, and engaging in diplomacy, the humans of Sol III have invented a game-changing new technology - Hypergates - which, when connected, allow for rapid transit across the galaxy.

With two new major civilizations and the concluding campaign to the Galactic Civilizations III backstory that serves this massive space 4X sandbox game, Retribution asks the question: How will you rule your galaxy?

The new features in Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution include:

  • Artifacts - Powerful items buried on planets across the galaxy will give your civilization instant-access to new abilities.
  • Hypergates - Construct powerful gateways that, when linked, allow your fleets to travel rapidly across hyperspace.
  • Major Civilizations: Drath and Korath - The manipulative Drath pull the strings across the galaxy while the Korath rely on extermination. Each has its own set of special abilities, bonuses, and ship parts.
  • Supply Ships - Supply ships can be constructed to deliver goods and services to your other planets to aid in their development.
  • New Technology Tree - A top to bottom overhaul of the technology tree adds depth and sharpens the strategic choices in your research options.
  • Retribution Campaign -The malevolent Drengin Empire made a terrible mistake underestimating humanity’s strength, and the climactic battle that will follow may end in their extinction.

 

GalCiv III: Retribution GalCiv III: Retribution GalCiv III: Retribution GalCiv III: Retribution GalCiv III: Retribution GalCiv III: Retribution

 

Add to your Steam Wishlist

Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution is coming this Winter!
For more information, visit www.galciv3.com/retribution

Galactic Civilizations III is the largest space strategy sandbox ever made. Start with a single world and expand across the galaxy through diplomacy, trade, cultural hegemony, or military conquest in this single or multiplayer 4X strategy game. How will you rule your galaxy?

At long last, Reiche and Ford state what they think they own.

Published on Thursday, January 3, 2019 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

This past week, Activision executives, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford sent DMCA notices to Steam and GOG demanding the removal of Star Control: Origins on the grounds that Star Control: Origins violates unspecified copyrights of theirs.

Finally, after many months of requesting from them what, specifically, in our game that they they believe they own they finally posted a table outlining their justification for taking down our game.

For those not familiar with copyright, here is a really simple outline of what copyright covers and doesn't cover.

The table is right from their website.  Our comments are next to it.

Next time you play a game, any game, consider how many ideas in it appeared in other games.  For the record, Star Control: Origins is not a clone of Star Control II.  For obviously reasons, it's a 25 year old game and as we have stated countless times, it wasn't commercially viable to continue that story.  We were interested in licensing the ships from Star Control II to include in Fleet Battles but they declined to so we didn't include them.   But even if it were a "Clone" of the gameplay of Star Control II, that doesn't fall under copyright protection. See here for more information on that.

So at long last, the meat of their complaint.  They think they own the ideas listed.  

 

UPDATE: No, we did not make up this chart.  You can find their chart here.  These are their claims and words. We have not edited their claims.

 

As a reminder, this table was made by Reiche and Ford.  Not us.  We aren't putting words in their mouths here.  This is what they actually believe.  This is their justification for filing a DMCA to take down a shipping game.

As for their argument that game ideas count as expressions and can be copyrighted, the copyright office already admonished them for this erroneous misinterpretation.

 

 

Paul Reiche and Fred Ford issue DMCA take down

Published on Monday, December 31, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

We have received news today that Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, contractors on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade and widely credited as being the "creators" of Star Control II have issued a DMCA take down notices to Valve and GOG to take down Star Control: Origins.

(this is the one sent to GOG)

As some of you may know, there is a legal dispute between Stardock and Reiche and Ford regarding the trademarks and copyrights pertaining to Star Control.  Stardock owns the copyright to Star Control 3 and the trademark to Star Control overall.  Reiche and Ford claim to own the copyright to Star Control 2 (though it's not clear what within it they own outside source code).

You can read the history here:
https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/article/487690/qa-regarding-star-control-and-paul-and-fred

Unfortunately, rather than relying on the legal system to resolve this, they have chosen to bypass it by issuing vague DMCA take-down notices to Steam and GOG (who, btw, Reiche and Ford are suing using GoFundMe money).

Steam and GOG both have a policy of taking down content that receive DMCA notices regardless of the merits of the claims. 

To my knowledge, never in the history of our industry has anyone attempted to use the DMCA system to take down a shipping game before. For example, when PubG sued Fortnite for copyright infringement, they didn't try to take Fortnite down with a DMCA notice.

For those not familiar with copyright law, you CANNOT copyright ideas, individual or short phrases, concepts, mechanics, game designs, etc. 

Star Control: Origins does not contain any copyrighted work of Reiche or Ford. We spent 5 years working on it making it our own game. It very much plays like you would expect a Star Control game. But that has nothing to do with copyright. 

We have assurances from GOG and Valve that already purchased games will continue to work.

Unfortunately, without the income from Star Control: Origins, Stardock will have to lay off some of the men and women who are assigned to the game.

We will do our very best to continue to support the game and hopefully Star Control: Origins will return as soon as possible.

NEW Minor Factions DLC for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is Now Available!

Published on Monday, December 17, 2018 By redskittlesonly In Sins News

Earn the loyalty of 15 New Minor Factions in BRAND NEW DLC for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Add a whole new level of strategic dimension with the Minor Factions DLC! Fight against your enemies to exert control over upstart forces that have emerged outside the boundaries of the great powers. Crush them if you desire, but it might be wiser to let your diplomatic envoys persuade them to join your cause - their unique capabilities may prove to be the difference between your victory and your defeat!

Get the new Minor Factions DLC today
LIMITED TIME ONLY: Save 10% through 1PM ET on 12/19

Sins: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC Sins: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC Sins: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC

Features

“Minor Factions” Gameplay Option - Enable the spawning of minor factions! A new set will spawn each match, keeping your games varied and interesting.

15 new minor factions - Persuade factions to join your empire so that you can cultivate their unique bonuses and abilities! Send your envoys to convince them to side with you and boost your empire through new strategic opportunities. Factions include:

  • Nilari Cultists: These fanatical cultists command waves of suicidal martyrs, sacrifice their people for devastating effects, and indoctrinate nearby populations to accelerate their cause. Be careful, though - with the end being near, they don't always discriminate between friend and foe and it won’t matter whether you’ve won them to your side or not!
  • Viturak Transport Cabal: Some Vasari technology is difficult to get ahold of, but this faction manages! Gain access to black market Vasari travel tech, including phase engine improvements and the ability to execute covert raids. If they let you into the back room, you may even find yourself with a stolen Antorak Marauder that you could pair with their local phase stabilizer...
  • Grost Scrappers Union: Credits don’t discriminate, and neither does this faction! These underground human entrepreneurs accept payment from anyone. If you need an armor retrofit, a quick field repair, a great deal on resources, or even a place to convert those obsolete frigates into profitable scrap - these are your guys!
  • 12 additional minor factions: No two are alike! Each provides abilities and advantages unique to their themes and roles, including mercenaries, xenophobes, pacifists, used ship dealers, demolition experts, resource miners, resistance fighters, arms dealers and more!
Sins: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC Sins: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC

Sins of a Solar Empire blends the epic strategy and empire management of the 4X genre with the fast-paced and tactical elements of real-time strategy. You are the leader of a civilization embroiled in a galactic war, fighting for the survival of your entire race against relentless foes, and every decision you make (and every second that you take in making it) counts.

Get the new Minor Factions DLC today
LIMITED TIME ONLY: Save 10% through 1PM ET on 12/19

Don't have Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion? Get it now!

www.sinsofasolarempire.com

NEW Minor Factions DLC Releases for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion on 12.17.18

Published on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 By redskittlesonly In Sins News

Stardock and Ironclad Games will release a brand new DLC for their popular real-time 4X strategy game, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Monday, December 17. Minor Factions adds 15 brand new minor factions, bringing a whole new strategic dimension to the game. Players will need to compete against their enemies to exert control over upstart forces that have emerged outside the boundaries of the great powers.

In Minor Factions, players will need to persuade the factions to join their empire through the use of diplomatic envoys. Convincing these factions to ally with them will grant the player access to their unique abilities and advantages.

The DLC includes 15 new minor factions like the fanatical Nilari Cultists, who indoctrinate nearby populations for their suicidal rampages, or the Grost Scrappers Union, which can perform armor retrofits and convert obsolete frigates into profitable scrap, and the Viturak Transport Cabal, who will grant access to black market Vasari travel technology.

Each of the 15 factions provides abilities and advantages that are unique to their theme and role, including mercenaries, xenophobes, pacifists, used ship dealers, demolition experts, resource miners, resistance fighters, arms dealers, and more.

Sins of a Solar Empire blends the epic strategy and empire management of the 4X genre with the tactical elements of real-time strategy. You are the leader of a civilization embroiled in a galactic war, fighting for the survival of your entire race against relentless foes, and every decision you make counts.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion - Minor Factions is $5.99 and will release on December 17, 2018.

To learn more, visit: www.sinsofasolarempire.com 

Contact: press@stardock.com 

Preview Screenshots:

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion - Minor Factions DLC

 

v3.2 for Galactic Civilizations III is now available!

Published on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 By redskittlesonly In GalCiv III News

Galactic Civilizations III v3.2 takes faction personality traits
into account, improves game AI, and more

We're launching a version update today that increases the effects of a civilization's personality traits on diplomacy, conversations, and what ships to build. The Intrigue AI has also hired an accountant to better manage its taxes, and we've made a few adjustments to the Heroes of Star Control: Origins DLC. More details on the changes are below!

GalCiv III v3.2 GalCiv III v3.2 GalCiv III v3.2

v3.2 Changelog Notes

Base Game

  • Stars are placed a slightly further apart than before in order to make each system independent from others.
  • AI more aggressive at sending out constructors to build starbases
  • Personality traits are given much greater consideration when deciding what topics the civilization wants to discuss.
  • Personality traits are now given much greater consideration for deciding what types of ships to build when at peace.
  • Personality traits are now given much greater consideration when deciding what kinds of treaties and offers to give to the player.

Crusade

  • Diplomacy ability bonus to relations reduced from 2 to 1.

Intrigue

  • AI manages its tax rate more effectively.
  • Changed default # of colonies before a government is allowed from 3 to 2.

Heroes of Star Control

  • If you don't own the either the Mercenaries or Intrigue expansion packs, you can now still get Jeff
  • Jeff is already perfect and shuns your attempts to "upgrade" him
  • Added custom Starbases for Mukay, Tywom, and Free Trandals (Mowlings starbases are unchanged)
GalCiv III v3.2 GalCiv III v3.2

 

Don't have Galactic Civilizations III? Get it now!

Owners, the v3.2 update is ready and waiting for you in your Steam client. 
Don't forget to pick up the Intrigue Expansion and Heroes of Star Control: Origins DLC!

www.galciv3.com | www.galciv3.com/intrigue

NEW "Earth Rising" for Star Control: Origins is Now Available!

Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 By Tatiora In Star Control News

Establish humanity on the galactic scene among their
newfound friends - and enemies in this 4-part expansion

The story of Star Control: Origins continues today with Earth Rising, a 4-part expansion that covers humanity's expansion into the galaxy. Part 1: Aftermath is available to play today, while the other 3 parts will release over the next 6 months.

In Aftermath, Star Control has ordered the construction of a new Star Control base in Epsilon Trireme. Not every alien is happy about the prospect of an expanding human empire, however, and already the efforts there have run into trouble.

Meanwhile, a group of suspiciously helpful aliens have informed you of a potential new ally: the Gloosh, who are, quite possibly, the laziest aliens in the universe. On top of it all, a new enemy appears in the shadows, one who seems to have their own long history with humanity...

Get Earth Rising on Steam for 10% off*, and play Aftermath right away!

Steam Midweek Madness: Get Star Control: Origins for 25% off

 

Major Features in Aftermath

New Quests

Aftermath includes six new major quests, including several large, multi-stage quest chains, that chronicle the beginning of humanity’s first steps onto the galactic stage. Some of these quests are available during the main campaign, while some others take place after the main adventure is completed, so there’s something for everyone whether you’re just starting out or have already beaten the game.

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising

 

New Alien Faction

Located in a previously undiscovered region of space, the Gloosh are almost unbelievably slow moving, lazy aliens. It’s honestly astounding that they’ve managed to survive in such a harsh region of the galaxy. But, the Observers - shifty as they are - seem to think that they’d make good allies for your cause, so surely there’s more to them than meets the eye...

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising

 

New Ships

The Gloosh, Lexite, and Kzanti factions have all had new ships added, some of which can even be recruited for the player’s fleet. The Kzanti have also somehow managed to obtain themselves a massive new Factory Ship, which, as is so often the case, is probably going to need to be destroyed during a long and dramatic battle.

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising

 

New Precursor Mysteries

Throughout the main campaign, events will cause Precursor Starbases to restore power to their multi-manifold sensor systems. These systems have revealed the location of a number of new items of interest throughout the galaxy, including ancient (and recent!) relics.

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising

 

More is on the way!
Following Aftermath, three more parts will release. Purchasing the Earth Rising expansion will
give access to each part as they become available.

Part 1: Aftermath (Now Available)  |  Part 2: The Lexites (Winter 2019)

Part 3: The Syndicate (Spring 2019)  |  Part 4: Earth Rises (Summer 2019)

Get Earth Rising on Steam for 10% off*, and play Aftermath right away!

Steam Midweek Madness: Get Star Control: Origins for 25% off


*Sale ends December 18 at 1PM ET.

FREE Reinforcements DLC and v1.3 update is now available for Star Control: Origins!

Published on Thursday, December 6, 2018 By Tatiora In Star Control News

Send in the Reinforcements!

Stardock has released a new FREE DLC and v1.3 update for its space adventure game, Star Control: Origins.  The DLC, Reinforcements, adds a dozen new ships to pilot in Star Control's combat mini-game, Fleet Battles.

Challenge your friends, annihilate your enemies (and your friends for that matter, you do you!), and climb in the ranks of online competitive play with diverse and exciting new ships.

Prepare for battle! Everyone will find something that suits their playstyle in this free DLC that almost doubles the amount of playable ships in the Fleet Battles mode for Star Control: Origins.

From the lithe Harmony Fighter and its flame turrets all the way to the Vulzon Galley with its rows of powerful missiles, you’ll enjoy devising a wide range of new strategies for commanding and battling against these ships.

All of the new vessels have been carefully balanced and are available both in single and multiplayer matches of Fleet Battles. Challenge your friends online and see who can master these new ships and claim victory!

Download Reinforcements for FREE
and jump into some Fleet Battles right away. See you online!

 

Norast Diamond

Pilot the Norast’s finest attack vessel! Equipped with a highly damaging dual laser, this ship has a huge range and high DPS. Be careful to watch how much energy you consume, though.

  Norast

 

  Inamorata Strike

Actions speak louder than words, usually in the form of an explosion. Created by aliens of action, the Inamorata Strike is one of the more mysterious ships in the new collection. These actions seem to come in the form of tracking Destiny Missiles and a devastating rear-shot.

 

Menkmack Opportunist

In space, no one can hear you scream… but that doesn’t change the fact that you can still make some money! Barrage your enemy with deadly dumbfire missiles and canister mines and turn your foes into Swiss cheese. Very, very lucrative Swiss cheese...

 

 

  Muaertreaze Fighter

Just...hold...still! The perfect drone vessel for drive-by ship destroying, this Fighter can drop immobilizing mines to stun the enemy long enough to release an onslaught of laser spurts with its Flank Blasters.

 

Harmony Fighter

Nothing says 'harmony' like zipping around dropping flame turrets to scorch your enemies from wing to wing. We’re not sure who exactly it’s harmony for, but we’re pretty sure it's not your enemies! Aim your vessel carefully, then unleash your Eradication Ray. While you’re zooming across the map, plop down some of those ship destroying turrets to ensure your victory.

 

 

  Radiant Angel

This angel will bring a beautiful light - beautiful, murderous light, that is. Burst open enemy ships with a bubble of light and then get away quickly to recuperate before your next attack.

 

Scavenger

Come just a little closer! Pull your enemies in close using your deadly tractor beam, then tear their ships to bits. Though the Scavenger is simple, it’s robust, and holds its own well in a fight.

 

 

  Xelnathi Conqueror

Hole-y yikes, this thing is dangerous! A stylish new vessel loaded with Xraki tech, this machine shoots triple lasers. Bolt Casters are also ready to slow down some unwary foes.

 

Trandal Overwhelmer

Aiming is optional with this vessel! This little scout ship shoots three bolts at once and has a pretty good chance of hitting any enemy that flies too close. A fine example of Trandal tech, the Overwhelmer is also equipped with a destructive phasor.

 

 

  Vulzon Galley

Old doesn’t always mean outdated! Although this vessel is a little old-fashioned, this floaty, heavy ship still packs quite a punch. The Vulzon Galley shoots a line of missiles from either side of it - though, it’s up to the pilot to remember which button shoots which missiles where. Good luck.

 

Shantid Destroyer

Looks can be deceiving! This ship may look a little strange, but it shoots plasma bolts that track over quite an impressive distance, so your enemies should beware

 

 

  Xraki Horror

Surprise! Looming in the shadows, this ship will attack you with deadly black hole mines. But beware, it’s fairly small so it doesn’t have much crew or shields, which renders it fairly unprotected. So if you’re going in for an attack, you better sink that ship, or else...

 

Download Reinforcements for FREE
and jump into some Fleet Battles right away. See you online!

 

Star Control: Origins - Reinforcements DLC Star Control: Origins - Reinforcements DLC Star Control: Origins - Reinforcements DLC Star Control: Origins - Reinforcements DLC Star Control: Origins - Reinforcements DLC 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NEW in v1.3

Accompanying the free DLC, v1.3 adds a few fun features to entice more exploration during the main game.

Highlights

  • Uncover the rumors of a Scyve super weapon that can destroy planets, and seek it out before they can use it against you
  • Evasive manuevers! Improved controls on the Vindicator make it feel more responsive to your inputs
  • Investigate alien ruins and crashed spaceships to discover powerful new weapons for your ship
  • Preapre to fire! Several new weapons have been added to the Crafting Menu, including the Frag Missile, Rapid Laser, Flame Thrower, and the Heavy Gatling Laser

Changelog Details

  • Added option to disable AI fleet coordinator for fleet battles before a battle starts.  You only get to pick once as after that things are all setup and there is no UI again.
  • Added a "replay battle" option when you lose a campaign battle thus allowing you to continue the game without doing a reload. Also works if you surrender.
  • Increased the deceleration of the Vindicator, making it more responsive and less drag.
  • Increased the rotation speed of vindicator by 25% in Solar System/Hyperspace.
    Increased rotation speed of Vindicator (in combat) and the free pickup ships to make them feel more responsive.
  • Added new weapons that can be found by investigating alien ruins and crashed spaceships throughout the galaxy
  • Added new weapons to the Crafting Menu including the Frag Missile, Rapid Laser, Flame Thrower, the Heavy Gatling Laser, and more.
  • Fix for a broken/crashed Jeff.
  • Fix for a scripting bug with the Free Trandals where you could leave their initial conversation
  • Added additional inventory popups when you get a Pink Lorris Egg.
  • Adding a popup to notify the player their crew is replenished when they visit human colonies.
  • Correcting  typos
  • Added more detailed Captain's Logs for new human colonies.
  • Fixing a minor Objective bug for a Free Trandal quest.
  • Reduced collision box of Harmony ship.
  • Added hints of a Scryve super weapon that can shatter planets.

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising Announced

Published on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 By redskittlesonly In Star Control News

The story of Star Control: Origins continues next week with Earth Rising, a 4-part expansion that covers humanity's expansion into the galaxy.

The first part, Aftermath, will release on December 11, 2018. Earth Rising will add dozens of missions, new alien races, and a variety of ships.

As Captain of Earth's first interstellar starship, your primary mission is to ensure the safety of Earth from hostile alien forces through a combination of diplomacy and combat skill, while acquiring the materials and technologies Earth needs to begin growing beyond its home solar system.

In the first part, Aftermath, players discover that not every alien is happy about the prospect of an expanding human empire. There are unknown enemies lurking in the shadows seeking to undermine Earth's ambitions, while others begin to react to the recent successes of the Earth captain and his primitive ship.

While the expansion adds a great deal of content for those who have already completed the major events of Star Control: Origins, much of the new content greatly expands the richness of the Star Control universe for first-time players, including many new side-quests, new alien species, and new ships to recruit.

Star Control: Origins - Earth Rising is $19.99 with Part 1, Aftermath, available on December 11. Part 2 will be released this winter, Part 3 this spring and Part 4 this summer. 

To learn more, visit www.starcontrol.com

Contact: press@stardock.com

Screenshots:

Meet the Gloosh, a new hidden power of the Scryve sector.

 

New map areas are unlocked in Aftermath to explore.

 

Not everyone is pleased with the rapid ascension of the primitive humans from Sol III.

 

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