What’s better than one real-time strategy game? Two, of course! Stardock announced Servo and Ashes of the Singularity. Servo, developed by Bonus XP, pits war machines with interchangeable parts against each other. This ties into an RPG progression mechanic that lets you open up more tactical options.
Designing your ideal team of giant war machines is only the first step in Servo. The parts you earn after every battle can be freely swapped on all your Servos between matches, opening up new strategies and team compositions with every game you play.
Ashes of the Singularity features Oxide Games’ new Nitrous Engine technology to render thousands of units on the screen at once with their own A.I. routines. Players with less-than-fond memories of roping tanks together and hoping they don’t wander off can rest easy. In Ashes, these units can be combined into “meta-units” for easier control.
By grouping units together into a meta-unit, you make them aware of each other and alter their behavior to fight intelligently together and support one another. Because a meta-unit can take care of itself within its means, your attention is freed to direct the overall war effort – a good thing, as Ashes of the Singularity’s maps and unit counts are an order of magnitude larger than in a traditional RTS.
That’s a tall order Stardock. Previous demonstrations of Nitrous have been promising, so let’s hope they are able to deliver on the concept.
I’m not in the habit of recommending, much less playing, early access games. I’d just as soon wait until a game is finished before playing it. It makes no sense to me that I’d jump into some form of entertainment while it’s still being made, any more than I’d eat lasagne before it’s been baked or move into a house before the roof was in place. “Hey Tom,” Joss Whedon might ask, “do you want to watch Avengers 2 now? I haven’t shot all the scenes, and the ending isn’t in yet, and there’s no CG yet for The Hulk. But here, you can watch what I’ve got so far!” What kind of deal is that? Why wouldn’t I wait until the movie comes out? Besides, I have plenty of finished movies I could watch.
It’s no different with games. So why would I play Offworld Trading Company, which enters public beta today and is available for $40 on Steam?
After the jump, it just takes one moment of weakness. Continue reading →
This week Soren Johnson of Mohawk Games sits down to chat about their latest economic RTS Offworld Trading Company. Oh hey, Offworld Trading Company is available via Early Access today! What a coincidence!
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Playing the bounteous Fall from Heaven mods for Civilization IV was a steady progression of “I can’t believe they even put this in here!” moments. But it wasn’t enough to come up with crazily imaginative factions, game bending concepts, and so many revised and refined rules that you forgot you were playing a variation on Civilization. Creator Derek Paxton even built into Fall from Heaven a deck building game called Somnium. You could play against the other factions for a diplomacy bonus or penalty, depending on how well you did. It was simple but hearty. It was the sort of thing you wished you could get for your tabletop. Or, years later, your iPad.
After the jump, it’s years later Continue reading →
Stardock Entertainment has announced that they have promoted Derek Paxton to vice president of games development and production. Paxton, the creator of the Fall from Heaven mod for Civilization IV, has been working at Stardock as the lead designer on Fallen Enchantress and Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes since 2010. Brad Wardell, CEO and president of Stardock, praised Paxton’s project management skills.
“Derek has really transformed the game studio. His experience at managing multiple projects combined with his amazing design skills has resulted in not just better games but a better working environment for our teams.”
In an interview with PC Gamer, Derek Paxton spoke about what he plans to do with his newly gained powers. Crush his enemies? See them driven before him? Hear the lamentations of their loved ones? Nothing so mundane!
The big change that I would like to make at Stardock is really organizing those roles. Once you have as many people as we have now, and as many different teams as we have now, making sure there’s a producer devoted to that job, somebody scheduling things out and talking to all the various people and seeing what can be done to make their jobs easier, really, producers are what allow the wheels to turn at companies. And that we have dedicated designers, so the designer isn’t doing that as a side job along with something else. Someone, every day, should be playing the game and focusing on, “Is this fun? Is there a better way that we can do it?” That would probably be the biggest change that I’ll be making at Stardock.
Tom’s review of Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes can be found here.