Stardock's sci-fi 4X Galactic Civilizations II might be a little long in the tooth (especially as GalCiv III is a thing), but even 11 years on from its release, it remains a solid offering in the genre. Still, I can understand why you might pass on it at $US19.99 ($26)... but what about zero dollars?
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The space fighter series Star Control is at the centre of a new dispute over who owns the franchise, and what that means for the future of the series. In a recent series of posts, Star Control creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III have called on the publisher Stardock, which purchased some of the rights to the series from Atari back in 2013, to stop selling the games.
It hasn't really been on the radar much, but in the next year or so I'd be surprised if the Star Control reboot doesn't start to capture the imagination. It's coming from Stardock, makers of the Galactic Civilizations series, Sins of a Solar Empire and Ashes of the Singularity. And according to them, it's their biggest game with their biggest budget yet.
Ashes of the Singularity, a new sci-fi RTS, was released last week. Long famous for being a benchmark for DX12, I've been playing the actual game for a few days now, and have thoughts.
The most stringent warning I've seen on a game in Early Access so far has been the all caps WARNING THIS GAME IS IN EARLY DEVELOPMENT description for DayZ on Steam.
Stardock's approach with Star Control is far less cantankerous, but certainly eyebrow raising all the same. Rather than trying to get people to flood in for early access through their founders program, Stardock wants only those who are absolutely dedicated. And you'll have to take a survey to prove it.
Star Control is now in the hands of Brad Wardell's Stardock and although the studio has some chops in the 4X department with Galactic Civilizations, it's a tall ask to replicate the magic of the original games -- especially SC II. Where before we had little to no information on the modern retelling, we now have some, thanks to an FAQ on Wardell's blog.
Reading the comments on my current survey about how publishers have violated gamers' trust, it is clear that business practices around downloadable content have left a bad taste in many gamers' mouths.
For Early Access games -- and alphas in general -- the trend is to offer the game at a lower price to entice people to pay for the privilege of playing / testing a busted version of your work. Stardock's Galactic Civilizations III is one of a number of recent titles that's drifted away from this model -- instead, you'll need to fork over more than what the final version will likely go for, in Stardock's case, this the rather heavy amount of $US100.
The Star Control franchise? If you're not up-to-date with the latest, the rights are currently in the hands of developer Stardock, best known for its Galactic Civilizations series. We know the company hasn't been sitting idle with the property, but it's only recently that CEO Brad Wardell has spoken about what plans it has for creating a new, modern instalment.
Last week, the rights to Homeworld, a beloved old RTS series by Relic, went under the hammer as part of an auction following the closure of former publisher THQ.
Every year, the people at PC developer Stardock (Sins of a Solar Empire) release a report to tell their customers and fans how it's doing. Here's the 2013 edition. But before you hop over there, check this out.
Elemental: War of Magic was not a rousing success of a game. The 2010 strategy title was a buggy, muddled mess at launch that even publisher Stardock felt was a broken game, badly in need of mending.
Stardock is now fighting a legal war on two fronts. Only a day after news of its case against a former employee emerged, the publisher is now being taken to court by Rebellion, the developers of games like Sniper Elite and the original (and awesome) Alien vs Predator.
Sometimes when you leave a job, it's mutual, and everything's cool! Other times, you may want to feel the need to punch out with a little "fuck you" scrawled on your former place of employ. That can be fine, sometimes, but there are limits. And Stardock, the developers of Sins of a Solar Empire, are accusing a former staffer of pushing way past those limits.