Stardock CEO Brad Wardell interview on the PC gaming industry

Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 By Brad Wardell In Everything Else

I'm not sure how I missed but looking at it now it's kind of interesting to read how the interviewer, Jeremey Peel reacted to my interview responses. 

Broadly speaking, my belief is that people are people and should be treated well without qualification.  This does not, however, mean that you should feel obligated to absorb abuse.

For example, on our software, we will go to great lengths to help a customer.  But the moment they start making personal attacks on our employees, that's the end of that.

The same is true for employees who demand to be given special treatment.  I just have no patience for that.  There has to be one rule for all employees or you end up with chaos.

Steam and Steam Reviews

Published on Thursday, May 25, 2017 By Brad Wardell In Galactic Civilizations III

As some of you already know, Steam now only recommends games to others if they have high user review scores.

Stardock hasn't really done much to mobilize its community to go review its games.  Hence, games with 1/10th our sales numbers will often have twice as many reviews as our games (all positive of course).

In the past, I've made some mention that we'd love to see our community be more active in reviewing our games (even if they're negative, as least they're people who are from the community and not someone who just loaded up the game for 5 minutes and found it "boring" or "hard").

This is an issue you're going to probably see a lot wider coverage of in the coming months as the difference between a game with a Mixed review score versus a Very Positive review score, regardless of the quality of the game itself, can be a factor of 100X in terms of page impressions.

Worse, the review score system had its rules changed such that our best players, who bought Lifetime Founders editions don't even get their votes counted which has a pretty significant affect on our relative review score versus publishers who not only have the ability to mobilize thousands of players to go review never had a Founder's like program.

We at Stardock would really appreciate it if you haven't already reviewed GalCiv III on Steam to take a moment and do so.

Review GalCiv III here

Review GalCiv III: Crusade

As they say on YouTube, please like and subscribe.

GalCiv Journal: May 2017

Published on Sunday, May 14, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals


Long ago there was Galactic Civilizations II, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar and Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor. 

While Twilight of the Arnor is often considered the best of the GalCiv II series, for many it was really Dark Avatar that took GalCiv II from being a good to a great game.

This month, we released the second expansion to Galactic Civilizations III. Crusade is a similarly major change to the base game's replayability.

Continue Reading...

GalCiv III: Crusade - Ludicrous Game

Published on Sunday, May 7, 2017 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

The expansion pack to Galactic Civilizations III, Crusade, adds a new multicore job system for handling turns.  This means that turns are dramatically faster late game. 

When Crusade first game out, people asked for even bigger maps.  So the first update (due this week) has them.

Now, I don't recommend this map size.  I don't personally play it at this map size (or insane before it).  But many people really love these crazy large maps.

So here's a game of AI vs. AI I'm using for testing. 

Be warned: It uses 15 GIGABYTES of memory and is pushing my 10-core PC pretty hard.  At this size, turn times are not going to be fast.  In the map I'm playing, there are 64 players.  If you figure that each player is able to move in just 1 second, that's still a minute per turn and 1 second would be really fast given the size.

With those caveats, let's take a look..

Continue Reading...

GalCiv III: Crusade - LUDICROUS update changelog

Published on Sunday, May 7, 2017 By Brad Wardell In Galactic Civilizations III


We are very pleased with the reception Crusade has received so far! Glad you like it!  

We have also received a ton of feedback and, unfortunately, cases where the data from the base game crept into Crusade.  

The first update, includes a new map to replace the Insane map size for people who are not just insane but are ludicrously insane.

We expect to release this during the week of May 7th.



== Life destroying map size changes ==

Map sizes made bigger:

  • Tiny: 18 to 20 hex sectors
  • Small: 32 to 36 hex sectors
  • Medium: 40 to 50 hex sectors
  • Large: 75 to 90 hex sectors
  • Huge: 95 to 120 hex sectors
  • Immense: 240 to 250 hex sectors
  • Excessive: 290 to 300 hex sectors
  • Insane renamed to Ludicrous 
  • Ludicrous: 380 (insane) to 500 (twice the size)
  • MAX_SECTORS_PER_MAP_X / Y increased from 48 to 64 to support new map size
  • Map system saves updated to support new map size so we don't break saves (so yea, you can keep playing)


== AI updates ==

  • Deciding ships to build moved into the planning phase so that it can better keep track of its ship inventory
  • If Minor races get ahold of a ship (like constructors via ideology) they now will do something with them [hat tip: GalCiv Discord
  • AI less inclined to build war support vessels
  • Only expansive civilizations will try the colony rush strategy now. [hattip: GalCiv forums]
  • AI players that are at war with everyone won't bother to build freighters [hat tip: GalCiv Discord team:
  • Fixed a bug that was introduced in GalCiv 1.9 to improve muliplayer where credit transfers are sent as a message. This caused the AI to not be properly charged for rushing ships.  This issue is in GalCiv 2.x and will be back ported.  Only noticeable on abundant planets with abundant habitable planets on very large galaxies.
  • AI priortizes getting resources for its starbases over economic ones early game.
  • Better Spy handling
  • Broad, overall improvements to AI for dealing with player threats, creating bigger fleets, etc.
  • AI will not try to recruit various citizen types until much later in the game
  • AI does more evaluation on its economic status when determining whether to train a citizen as an Entrepreneur


== Recommended Player per map size changes ==

  • Tiny: from 4 to 3 (4/3)
  • Small: 6/4
  • Medium: 10/8
  • Large: 16/12
  • Huge: 20/16
  • Gigantic: 24/20
  • Immense: 32/24
  • Excessive: 48/32
  • Ludicrous: 64 (replaces insane)

== Hull Changes ==

  • Tiny Hulls:
  • Cost reduced from 11 to 10
  • Logistics reduced from 2 to 1
  • Small:
  • Logistics reduced from 3 to 2
  • Medium:
  • Cost increased from 56 to 60
  • Large:
  • Cost increased from 128 to 150
  • Logistics increased from 7 to 10
  • Huge:
  • Logistics increased from 10 to 12
  • Cost increased from 432 to 500
  • Starbase: HP reduced from 100 to 50

== Balance ==

  • Took away the Leader's +1 to raw production on every planet [hattip: GalCiv Forums]
  • Hull Reinforcement ship module HP boost reduced from 20 to 5 [Stop Brad's cheese tactics]
  • Scavenger Mission moved from Colonial Engineering tech to Interstellar Survey [hattip: GalCiv forums]
  • Military Academy cost reduced from 200 to 75
  • Matrix Improvements (synthetic tech) removed, population increases moved to tech.
  • Xenophobic race ability now provides 100% boost to social and research on a planet but a 75% penalty to ship production.
  • Wealthy ability provides +1 to raw production on every world in addition to the money it provides
  • Starbase cultural forum influence increased from 0.5 to 2
  • Starbase Information Hub increased from 1 to 4 influence per turn
  • Starbase Intersteller change influence increasd from 1.5 to 6 influence per turn
  • Starbase intersteller embassy increased from 2 to 8 influence per turn
  • Central bank now doubles colony wealth and increases +1 gold per turn for each level and also now provides a +2 neighbor bonus.
  • Reduced improvement maintenance.
  • Galactic wonders now generally provided an adjacency bonus.
  • Sneaky no longer gives you a spy turn 1, gives you espionage tech
  • Drengin forced to be Merciless (they have an image to uphold)
  • Commander now increases the logistics cap of a specific fleet
  • Synthetics granted trade techs
  • Mo money from missions
  • Gave certain wonders back to Amphibian races
  • Market Center provides 5% more of a wealth bonus for lever level (up from 1%)
  • Other wealth based improvements now match market center bonus levels.
  • Recruit citizen project and similar ones given a secondary type to allow the AI to better identify them
  • Conqueror Ability provides +1 to military construction and a 100% to legion quality. No longer gives invasion tech.


== Performance ==

  • AI calculates its stats during its own threaded turn rather than in a single update all players thread
  • Lots of late game performance improvements (hat tip: ZINGO!
  • Influence calculations moved to a background thread to keep the game from getting "jerky" on large maps late game.
  • Diplomacy updates now handled as a threaded job.


== Visuals ==

  • Cosmetic texture updates
  • Invasion screen prettier
  • Ongoing galactic events made less verbose
  •  Improved alignment for tooltips

== GOG ==

  • Lots of GOG prep stuff for GOG Galaxy

== Tech Changes ==

  • Significant layout change to the tech trees to make them not be so wide. [hat tip: AngryJoe]
  • Planetology now provides a +1 to raw production to all planets. [hat tip: Crusader team]
  • Hive technologies given to Time Traveler trait [hat tip: Steam forums]
  • Removed Spark of Life techs as they are redundant with Propagation (should have already been hidden but base game data interference)
  • Large scale building cost increased from 539 to 640
  • Invasion tech now rewards player with 10 free legions upon completion [hat tip: AngryJoe]
  • Xeno Archeology moved to the Culture tree
  • Govern tree label renamed to Culture tree
  • Path of Shadows provides a 10% boost to all planet influence
  • Shadow Enforces provides a 10% boost to all planet morale
  • Military Academy cost reduced from 200 to 75
  • Matrix Improvements (synthetic tech) removed, population increases moved to tech.

== Flavor ==

  • Updated text for various techs.
  • Lots of new insults

== Bugs ==

  • Changed tooltip for starbase upgrading to be more clear.
  • Crash fixes
  •  Upgrading a Transport no longer consume legions
  • Deleting a ship design template from the main menu ship designer no longer kills the game
  • Fixed the discrepancy between the net income tooltip and the govern stats.

== Multiplayer ==

  • Continued work to reduce the amount of data going back between players so we can have custom designed races in. (almost there)
  • Faster game start up



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