Brad Wardell's Blog


My first mod

Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Modding

This is a really simple one.  I made a new star system (Ross 248).  

Once I was done, it showed up automatically in the Multiverse and the "upload" button appeared allowing me to share it with others.

The Multiverse DLC is expected to go out next week.

 

 

 

 

Star Control: October 2018 Blog

Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

Hello...BEST FRIENDS!



We are currently working on version 1.1 of Star Control: Origins and the first free DLC called the Multiverse.  We expect to have a beta version of v1.1 out this week for those who want to try it out.  

Multiverse

The Multiverse DLC will open up Steam Workshop to modders who want to create their own stories, maps, custom settings, aliens, etc. for people to play with.  This DLC will obviously evolve over time and get more features as we learn what kinds of things players like to share.

The Expansion

We will be announcing the first expansion in a few weeks which will be released as a single season pass so that we can release it as a series of micro-expansions.  It will introduce lots of new aliens, new places to visit, new quests and will benefit both players who have finished the main storyline as well as new players.

As always, let us know if there's anything you'd like to see.

Cheers!

Fleshing out the universe

Published on Saturday, October 13, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

Our first DLC goes up this week. It’s free, but focuses on modding and letting players share their own contributions to the universe.

But overall, in what ways would you like to see DLC expand on Star Control: Origins?

Star Control: Planet Brainstorming Thread!

Published on Monday, October 1, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

With the release of Star Control: Origins is at the beginning of its journey as we have many years of expansions planned.

We are taking notes on what things players would like to see added over time.

First up: Planets.

Please share your suggestions, ideas or requests for things you believe people would enjoy doing on planets for future expansions.

Examples (brainstorming): Air combat. (You bring aircraft with you) Invading Cities (You bring troop transports with you to invade)

Just remember: YOU are the Captain. Star Control: Origins is an adventure/RPG game, not a strategy game.

We are listening.

Mindfulness

Published on Monday, October 1, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Life, the Universe and Everything

One of the challenges I face in my role as the CEO of a company is that I always live in the future.  My job is to project things that will happen 1 year, 3 years, 5 years from now.  As a result, I tend to worry about things all the time.

Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, wrote a book I highly recommend called Only the Paranoid Survive. It's been a boon and a curse to me because I have learned a lot from it but at the same time, it has resulted in me constantly focusing on the future and not the present which is, frankly, not a very good way to live.

So what can be done? There is a concept called Mindfulness.  It is, in essence, about focusing on the here and now.  Many of us are aware of the advice to appreciate what you have today but that's easier said than done.  The question is...how?  Mindfulness is not advice, it is a series of techniques to try to focus more on the here and now to appreciate the moment, to live more in the moment in order to find a better balance between planning for the future and thinking of the present.

My question to you guys is, how many of you struggle with this as well and what techniques have you used to address it?

Star Control: Origins - Expansion plans

Published on Friday, September 28, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals

Greetings!  With Star Control: Origins out and having already sold nearly 50,000 copies after only a week of availability we are now ready to talk about...THE FUTURE.

sco_mukay

We will be making an official announcement after version 1.1 (the big modding release) is available but we didn't want fans, especially those who are starting to finish the Origins adventure, to have to wait to know what's next.

Needless to say, we've gone back and forth on the best way to deliver new stories, quests and features to players in a way that fits in.  Now, keep in mind, the base game will continue to be updated and improved for free.  But obviously, new adventures and content are a different thing.  So what's the best way?

SCO-Sept18-5

We looked at 4 options.  I'll list the 3 we rejected and why.

Option 1: Traditional expansion.  This is what we've done with our other games.  You make a single big expansion and release it.  Fans tend to like these in our strategy games.  However, the problem here is that this would mean waiting a year to continue the story in any meaningful way.

Option 2: DLCs.  DLCs make sense in many ways but they have a lot of issues too.  Many players will say that they feel "nickeled and dimed" when they see lots of little DLCs.  We ran into this with Galactic Civilizations III where we'd just release a few DLCs per year.  That sounds reasonable right? But after 3 years, there's now 12 of them and people get upset seeing all those DLCs.

Option 3: In-Game transactions.  Believe it or not, a lot of people do like these.  However, I personally don't like this.

Vindicator_Perspective-web

So what's left?  We look around at other adventure/rpg games and a Season Pass works the best.   I won't get into too many details but the plan is to release 6 mini-expansions for $19.99.  The micro-expansions will be released one at a time and they will add new missions, new characters, ships, stars, map areas, features, etc.  

I wouldn't call these mini-expansions "episodes" because much of the content doesn't require that you have completed the Origins mission (plenty of it does follow the end of the Origins mission).  

The first mini expansion would be made available in November and they'd continue on a set schedule with all of them and a general (non-spoilery) list of features that each one will bring. 

SCO-July18-6

When the first micro-expansion is installed, if you have finished the Origins story, the next stage in our multi-year story arc will continue.  So after the "credits roll" you get a new cut scene that introduces you to the new state of the universe.  On the other hand, if you have not finished the story or for those who have never played the game, they'll just see the galaxy a little more filled out.  New side-quests, just a bit more "stuff" to bring the universe alive.

What will effectively happen is that players will have more and more paths to choose from in deciding how best to help Earth and have a richer, deeper universe to play in.

Please let us know your thoughts.

Star Control: WEEK TWO news!

Published on Sunday, September 23, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals

Greetings!

Wow! What a fantastic week! Like many of you, we weren't sure what the reception would be. How many people are into space adventure/RPG games? I've even seen debates on what exactly is an RPG?

Here's what we have planned for this week:

Translation (Перевод)

Russia is the #2 market for this game. With German a close #3. The translations came in a lot hotter than we expected due to the star and planet names.

We are hoping very much to have a package from Moscow waiting in our inbox with the final translations so that we can get those up. We will also be updating the other languages as people find issues. Humor...is not always easy to translate.

Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese are also supposed to get in but they might slip to the v1.01 update to get more QA time. Finnish and Norwegian are also currently in QA. 

Stability

Overall stability is looking pretty good. But we have definitely encountered a few really baffling things and we know some of you are into this sort of thing like we are so we'll keep you up to date on the detective work. But here are the biggies:

1. Some people have reported not being able to load and save games. That's obviously a huge issue. But it dies immediately upon trying to open that dialog. 

2. Crash on start up. This is, so far, 95% because people have altered their page file size to be smaller or fixed. Don't do that (I used to do it too). Windows 10 commits memory based on your core size if the game loads assets via that core. So yes, no matter what, if you play long enough even though the game might only be using 2G, it will commit 16Gigs. It's not leaking, the OS is caching it. So you an imagine what happens if you have a fixed page file.

3. Random locks/pauses. So far, this is largely due to CPU or GPU throttling (mainly GPU throttling). Your NVIDIA or AMD GPU can get very hot playing this game because the engine will use multiple CPU cores to send data to your GPU. You might need to make your GPU fans more aggressive.

For the update, we're going to put a tiny throttle to prevent this issue (don't worry it won't slow things down).

Usability and buglets

1. Fix for SUPER-ULTRA wide monitors. (32x9). You crazy people! We love ya, BEST FRIENDS!

2. Some of the alien meeting achievements aren't working right depending on timing. Fixed.

3. The game will let you know that you don't need to land on every crummy planet if you're landing on a bunch of crummy planets. #1 negative review source has been people landing on thousands of planets and thinking that's the way to make money. SC doesn't have a sand based (silicon) based economy.

4. Improved AI for the fleet controller module.

5. Updated UI for turning on and off the fleet controller module during battle.

6. Mappable E for interact.

7. Talk to MS (again) about whitelisting Star Control from Windows Defender so that it quits scanning all our files (for those experiencing load time pain).

8. Auto-Pilot will warn player that their destination is beyond their fuel range.

9. Typos. (removing them, not adding them).

10. Option to remove movie subtitles.

More to come!

Thank you everyone for your support! And as always, we would appreciate it a lot if you would review the game on Steam (good, bad, ugly). We read all the reviews and your posts.

Cheers!

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