Years ago, Random House asked me to write a book around the Elemental universe. As a first time author, I was assigned an editor, Dave Stern, who soon became a good friend of mine.
Over the course of writing the book, now sold on Amazon, Dave and I would go back and forth on the story along with Random House's requests to ensure that the book was commercially successful. I will be the first to admit that my vision of the story may not have been as commercial vi...
Some years ago Stardock developed a game called Elemental: War of Magic. We loved it. Unfortunately, it was a bridge too far. Too ambitious and it largely collapsed under its own tech. The name Elemental was tarnished and we moved away from using it.
The original plan was to have:
Elemental: War of Magic (2010)
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress (2012)
Elemental: Legendary Heroes (2014)
Elemental: Sorcerer King (2016)
Ah the bes...
I’m going to do a follow up article soon on how I almost killed myself with cough suppressants. Long story short, I came down with a bad cold in January but I’ve been traveling like crazy so to function, I just took a bunch of cough suppressants to control the cold. Unfortunately, that led to a pretty severe case of bronchitis which has basically taken me out for the past 3 weeks.
Lots of stuff going on in the Elemental universe though. An additional year of development ef...
64bit operating systems (like Windows 7-64bit) pave the way to expanding games in interesting ways. Bigger worlds, more players, more unit types, more stuff. It wouldn’t be fair to those who don’t have 64-bit OSes to have to pay for features and content they can’t use.
So the question is, would you support the creation of future DLC that is only available to those who have 64-bit?
To vote, go here: http://www.elementalgame.com/journals
As some people know, the initial release for Fallen Enchantress will not have multiplayer enabled. It was decided early on that 100% of the design and development focus for Fallen Enchantress would be on delivering a world class single player experience.
But after release, lots of things become possible. Advocates of multiplayer tend to be vocal. To gauge genuine interest, how many Fallen Enchantress players would be willing to pay a dollar to support the development time for a multipla...
Hour long AI test video for the truly die hards who want to see all the mistakes:
I see all. I know all. At least, when it comes to this map.
In the top left we have Markin, leader of the AI civilization of Gilden.
In the bottom right, we have me, Draginol, leader of Pariden.
How many turns will it take me to wipe them out? What mistakes will the AI make that can be exploited (and fixed)...
We’ve got N resources and M things to work on. Based on your experiences with beta 2, where would you like N to go the most?
This is a play through of version 0.85 of the upcoming PC strategy game, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. For Fallen Enchantress, Stardock reunited the Galactic Civilizations II team and brought in the Fall from Heaven creator, Kael to design a new strategy game that exists in the Elemental game universe. The game’s campaign is designed by Jon Shafer, the lead designer of Civilization V.
Tomorrow, February 23, beta 2 of Fallen Enchantress will be unleashed on the...
One of the big but largely under-appreciated features of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is the new random generation.
In Elemental: War of Magic, the maps were random but the continents were not. This meant, after awhile, players knew “the lay out of the land”.
Now, having a random world generator is a non-trivial thing as those who have written them can tell you. Especially if you want a map that is “fun” (i.e. no one cut off, reasonably fair, and always interesting).
In every Stardock game ever, from 1993 on, the “flavor text” was done by whoever had a moment to throw something in there.
Often times, it meant I did it since I type 120wpm and could crank out a lot of stuff. The GalCiv technology descriptions are notorious for this.
In War of Magic, we decided that we would keep the tongue in cheek text to a minimum which in reality just made it dry and boring.
Since we didn’t enjoy doing it and our fans really wanted to see our games sta...
Derek and his team have been busy working on the sequel to Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, the sequel to last year’s War of Magic.The final release date for Fallen Enchantress hasn’t been set yet but we do expect to go into beta around Thanksgiving.
Beta and Release
The initial beta will only be available to those who already have War of Magic. A later beta will be available to anyone who wants to pre-order it. The beta will be available via Stardock’s new digital store. We plan t...
I had the story for Elemental: Destiny’s Embers in my mind for over two decades. Twenty Years. That’s a long time.
And when Random House asked me to write it, I had no problem providing them with my first draft. Then a second. And so on. What ended up being printed and available to purchase at your local book store is nothing like what the original drafts were. The story is the same. Make no mistake, I didn’t have to sacrifice the story. But the way it was writte...
Once upon a time…
A city level in War of Magic had two key game mechanics attached to it.
First, it determined what improvements you could build. The higher the level, the more powerful improvements you could construct.
But secondly, it limited the number of improvements you could build as well.
Unfortunately, this had the effect of being very frustrating to users who quickly discovered that they couldn’t get their settlement to the next level without wrecking somethin...
Most of the excitement in the Elemental universe has been about Fallen Enchantress. But War of Magic continues to move forward too, albeit in a different direction.
There’s a lot of changes in v1.3 to gameplay that I’ll talk about later but one change that I’m working on is the scaling of costs of things in terms of population.
As many people know, in “the real world” it’s one thing to find one specialist nearby for your company but it gets progressively more difficult to f...
You hear about executive producers sending “notes” down to the director or producer of a movie. That’s what I’m doing these days. “Maybe we should have robots in this scene instead of a dragon?” I’m leaving the dream.
I assume a lot of people read these journals because they like seeing what happens at a game company that they would normally not get to find out about because most game companies these days are publicly held and thus there’s a strict PR leash on everyone. So today I’m ...