Brad Wardell's Blog

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.


Life in our solar system?

Published on Saturday, June 30, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Everything Else

So we may have a candidate for life around one of Saturn’s moons.

Looks like we will need to make sure we look closely at this moon for the new Star Control.

There are some very interesting articles and videos at just how terrifyingly it would be if it turns out life is pretty common. Because if that’s the case, where is everyone?



Star Control: Now and Forever of the galaxy

Published on Friday, June 29, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

This is a crude image of star densities in the Milky Way galaxy.

Star Control: Origins takes place in the yellow dot.

Post-release, we'll be expanding into the red and purple areas which are immensely huge areas of space (the yellow dot alone has thousands of unique worlds with lots of alien species).



Star Control: Origins Prelude 1 of 13 - The Living Universe

Published on Friday, June 29, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals


We now have an official release day: September 20, 2018!  Almost five years since we began our adventure with Star Control. 

For this occasion we have begun to number these journal entries to count up to week 13, which is when the game gets released!

13 weeks...Not much time.  So even though it's a Sunday as I write this, and my birthday, I'm pleased to share this blog to let you know where we are.

Continue Reading...

Actions / Consequences

Published on Sunday, June 24, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Life, the Universe and Everything

One of the less pleasant trends I've seen in social media is the lack of recognition that actions can have consequences.  It never ceases to amaze me to see grown adults behave in a beastly way and be shocked, shocked that their actions have resulted in consequences that were almost entirely predictable.

One exercise that I think many people would benefit from would be to consider what someone else might do in return.  Rather than trying to guess what they might possibly do, consider what they can do in response to something done to them.

Star Control: Origins - June 2018 Status Report

Published on Friday, June 15, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals


Lots of exciting things happening!

Star Control at E3

Stardock had a big presence at E3 this year where it announced the release date for Star Control: Origins - September 20.  The last day of Summer!


Stardock's Patrick Shaw on stage at E3 presenting Star Control: Origins!

You can watch the trailer here: 

Continue Reading...

A few thoughts on E3 and Star Control

Published on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

Was I the only one who noticed how games seem to be really focusing on multiplayer? Even games that have traditionally been single player?

I'm curious to hear how our communities feel about this.   Stardock is taking a big bet on Star Control: Origins.  It is a single player game (other than Fleet Battles of course).  The game is about you.  I personally have no interest in multiplayer RPG games these days.  

So what's the deal? What do you guys think?

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