Brad Wardell's Blog

Through the eyes of the Galactic gods

Published on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv III Dev Journals

Over on the GalCiv III Steam page, I asked players to post their saved games so I could check them out.  And what I've been finding has been amazing and horrifying simultaneously.


Players are able to do things that I wouldn't have thought of.  This is why saved games are so valuable.  Many times I get feedback from players who say "The AI needs to do X" and my answer is, "well of course, it already does that!" But there is some other thing that it has decided needs to be done instead and the trick is to find out why.  That's where save games come in.


IceMania sent me a genius game where he's kicking the AI's butt.

Looking at the stats, the things I'm noticing is how aggressive (and how powerful) the relics are.  Not over-powered just  that he was good at getting them.

Now, let's look at the AI players...

The biggest difference I see is the # of citizens.  Human players tends to be much more aggressive at acquiring citizens than the AI. In this game, the player has acquired 13 citizens by turn 61.

Here is an AI player on the same turn:


Look at that production difference.

Another big area I'm seeing is that top players are extremely good at expanding.  Seeing players with over 10 colonies in 60 turns makes me a bit sad because it means that we still haven't done enough to reward playing tall.

I'll be updating this entry as I go through more saves...

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


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.  


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.


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.


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  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.


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?


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.


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. 


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.

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