The power of iteration in game development

Published on Sunday, July 1, 2018 By Brad Wardell In PC Gaming

One of the things Stardock is, unfortunately, known for is releasing games as soon as they are "complete".  That is, complete from a technology point of view (i.e. not buggy, feature complete, etc.).

Star Control, however, is our first RPG.  Unlike strategy games, RPGs have to be played over...and over...and over to get them to feel just right.  Which means that Star Control: Origins was complete back in May but our release date is September 20.  

To be sure, there are other factors weighing in.  For example, you do not want to release your game in June (Steam sale).  July is right out (no one buys game in July).  August is iffy.   So September it is.

This has worked out so well for Star Control: Origins that you have to see it to believe it:

Same planet.  Less than 30 days different.  And as proud as we are of this shot now, it'll likely look a lot better in another month. Such is the power of full iteration with the full team.

And in fact, this development process has worked so well that it will be carried onto all our future games (you may recall that Galactic Civilizations III was released in May...under the new process it would have been set to September instead).

While it doesn't really affect gameplay that much, it has a dramatic effect on the visual and polish quality of the resulting game.