Derek “Kael” Paxton Joins Stardock to Lead Games Development

By on October 12, 2010 3:05:43 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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DerekStardock Entertainment, developer and publisher of award-winning PC games, announced today that Derek Paxton has joined the studio as senior producer and will oversee Stardock's ongoing development and expansions of the recently released fantasy strategy game, Elemental: War of Magic. Paxton is the creator and lead designer of the Fall from Heaven series of fantasy strategy games. Prior to joining Stardock, he was an external consultant for Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword and contributed to several of Firaxis's games including the recent Civilization V.

"This is the opportunity to marry my professional project manager career with my passion for game design," said Paxton. "I'm especially excited to work with the talented people at Stardock who have always been focused on creating great PC strategy games. I'm currently immersing myself in the world of Elemental, and I think everyone will be excited to see what is coming from Stardock Entertainment."

Stardock CEO, Brad Wardell, will serve as the executive producer and lead AI developer on Elemental.

Wardell stated, "Stardock has experienced continued growth from its various gaming and enterprise products as well as our digital distribution platform, Impulse. As a result of our loyal fan base and successes, we have been fortunate to be able to attract some of the top talent from across the industry. Derek brings to Stardock a unique blend of strategy game design knowledge and a great deal of project management experience from his non-gaming career."

As with all Stardock releases, the company is dedicated to providing post-release support for Elemental: War of Magic with free updates to enhance game play and ensure that the game evolves over time to its potential.

www.elementalgame.com

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October 12, 2010 4:53:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Das123,
Ummm, quick question please. I bought Civ 5 mainly for the next FFH mod in that series. Does Derek's appointment mean that I shouldn't hold my breath for any development now in this direction? Or was part of the deal to allow Derek to also work these sort of products?

Not that I'm complaining. This is such awesome news I just hope that Derek will be allowed enough rope to get the changes made that need making within Elemental.

Don't take this as an official response as it's all secondhand, but on the CivFanatics forums I've seen a few of the FfH/FfH-modmod makers state that there are no plans to port FfH to Civ5, as "it wouldn't be FfH without Kael." However, Valkrionn (maker of FfH modmod Rise from Erebus) has mentioned plans for an original Civ5 fantasy mod not connected to FfH. So it looks like no "official" Civ5 FfH, but perhaps other fantasy mods, and I wouldn't be surprised [read: unsupported speculation] if Valkrionn's new mod showed some FfH influence.

And on topic: great news, congratulations to Kael and to Stardock.

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October 12, 2010 4:55:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Annatar -- there's a time and place for everything.  This thread should be a time and place for Elemental (and SD) fans to welcome in someone who'll hopefully help achieve Froggy's vision for Elemental, and help get SD back on its' feet.  Please to respect that.  Your purpose can hold for another day.

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October 12, 2010 5:04:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i have heard very good things about the FFH mod, so i am excited to see where this goes.  so, good luck mr. paxton and lets bring this puppy home.

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October 12, 2010 5:12:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cool, looks like a wining team

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October 12, 2010 5:27:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Welcome Kael!

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October 12, 2010 6:02:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Whoa malley!!  Never in my wildest fantsy did I think this was going to happen.  I can see only long term success from here on out, congratulations Kael!!!

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October 12, 2010 6:34:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As a long time fan of FFHI and II and Elemental, I can't imagine a better choice to help with the next phase of Elemental.  Hearty congratulations to Derek and Stardock. Great choice!  Definitely excited to what good things will come...

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October 12, 2010 6:52:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Welcome, sir Kael.

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October 12, 2010 7:11:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Congrats! Best of luck! 

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October 12, 2010 7:18:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I may not agree with everything kael's team did regarding use of other peoples' intellectual property in his days modding civ4, specifically, FfH2, (and the first one).

However, I still recognize what an awesome mod his team created for civ4.  I downloaded FfH before it had manual, when every few weeks (or was it months... lol) a new version of the mod was released.   Patch t, and u, and v.  Sometimes a 'new' version would do really strange things.  The journey through those various versions, however, was a ride well worth taking. Thank you.

I have two things I wish Kael to really consider.  And these two things come from someone who started on the pencil and paper game called "Chainmail"  - the precursor to Gary Gagyx's D&D.  I'm retired, aged (but having fun), and I have a long perspective on what created the 'gems' out there.

FIRST:  The concept your team implemented in FfH2, of each civilization being unique, distinctive, and having abilities and units functionally different from that of the other civilizations was a stroke of genius.  Each civ had to be played in its unique way.  (Or become fodder for archeologists.)  Please bring this to EWoM, if frogboy so permits.

SECOND: Create a player (user) customization tool (page, whatever) that will allow non-modders (like me) to access many of the attributes of everything in the game, so we can adjust and re-weight various values.  Adjust the cost of casting each spell, modify the line up, and prereqs, in the tech tree, change the mp, cost, str, etc of each armor, weapon, etc.

Lead your team in bringing the very best of FfH2 to EWoM.  Be inspired by Alpha Centauri. Please continue Frogboy's practice of (mostly) paying attention to these forums.  There is a lot of gold to be mined here. (Yes, my posts are buried here, somewhere, too - LOL - ever hear of pyrite?)

I hope it is a great ride for you.  And I hope the journey you take all of us on becomes a trip of a lifetime.

 

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October 12, 2010 7:18:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My first reaction at reading the news was: "Quoi?"

Hopefully Derek Paxton will have enough lattitude to bring significant changes to the design of Elemental. If so, I would be confident in his abilities (proven by FFH) to make a fun game with a restrictive engine (which should be much less a problem here than it was for FFH).

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October 12, 2010 7:39:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i have to say that EWOM has gotten better since it came out... now its still far away from where it needs to be...needless to say in all categories. now then from todays announcement i have to say bring KAEL aboard he can inject this game with some new perspective and really make this game FUN. imo ffh2 funnest mod for civ4 (still play it). so im very thrilled to see him here. i gotta say i have now a renewed excitement in Elemental from this announcement. GOOD LUCK KAEL you getting the chance of a lifetime in 4xgames. Be the leader and form the game into what we all wish for it to be. an addictive fantasy 4xgame that serves lts of fun!.

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October 12, 2010 7:48:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Alstein,
The artwork may have been lifted, but it was not a for-profit mod.  Fanmods and piracy-for-profit are two different beasts.

 

 
This is still a bit of gray area, I agree that he will not get litigated due to it being not for profit but technically speaking if an IP owner asked him to not use his IP and it was not complied with then there could be grounds but I think there are bigger issues to deal with here and SD needs someone who can get things done.  

I suspect he did not have SD's resources available to him for making FFH, so considering Elemental is For Profit and the resources available I think things will be done fully on the up and up legitimate like. 

Thanks Annatar for voicing your concern and we heard you.

 

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October 12, 2010 7:56:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
There's no crusade, I'm only expressing my opinion and not trying to convince anyone. The facts speak for themselves, there is no disservice in the truth. Last I saw the list on the forum's site, there were 13 "credits" for artwork/music, 3 or 4 of which were labeled as having been used with permission, and at least one of the ones that were not used with permission requested that the artist be contacted to work out licensing if anyone wished to use his art. If this list is false, then obviously I'm wrong. But if it's not, then yes, he did pirate other people's art. Hell, he credits Enya for using one of her songs. He surely hasn't contacted whichever label owns her music for permission to do so. Even Youtube has to take down videos (or make people take the music out) where people use music for their personal videos because it's unlicensed use even though it's not-for-profit.

As I've said, he's good with design, and in this Elemental benefits from having him on board. But the irony of it all is there nonetheless.


Oh good grief, Annatar11, climb down the high horse already.  He didn't "steal" everything.  He credited everything that was used, posted contact details, and was very willing to take down/remove anything that the artists objected to.

And none of that was the right thing to do. One of the artists requested to be contacted to work out licensing for his art. Did Kael do that? Seems he did everything except that. Sort of like "Yeah I know I'm not supposed to do this and it's wrong, and I'll take it down if I get caught". Sorry, but, that's not how it works. Just because nobody bothered to ask him to stop using their stuff, doesn't imply they gave permission for him to use their stuff.

In any case, my views are my views, everyone is welcome to theirs

Somebody needs a hug

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October 12, 2010 8:18:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting falconne2,

Quoting Annatar11, reply 25There's no crusade, I'm only expressing my opinion and not trying to convince anyone. The facts speak for themselves, there is no disservice in the truth. Last I saw the list on the forum's site, there were 13 "credits" for artwork/music, 3 or 4 of which were labeled as having been used with permission, and at least one of the ones that were not used with permission requested that the artist be contacted to work out licensing if anyone wished to use his art. If this list is false, then obviously I'm wrong. But if it's not, then yes, he did pirate other people's art. Hell, he credits Enya for using one of her songs. He surely hasn't contacted whichever label owns her music for permission to do so. Even Youtube has to take down videos (or make people take the music out) where people use music for their personal videos because it's unlicensed use even though it's not-for-profit.

As I've said, he's good with design, and in this Elemental benefits from having him on board. But the irony of it all is there nonetheless.


Oh good grief, Annatar11, climb down the high horse already.  He didn't "steal" everything.  He credited everything that was used, posted contact details, and was very willing to take down/remove anything that the artists objected to.

And none of that was the right thing to do. One of the artists requested to be contacted to work out licensing for his art. Did Kael do that? Seems he did everything except that. Sort of like "Yeah I know I'm not supposed to do this and it's wrong, and I'll take it down if I get caught". Sorry, but, that's not how it works. Just because nobody bothered to ask him to stop using their stuff, doesn't imply they gave permission for him to use their stuff.

In any case, my views are my views, everyone is welcome to theirs
Somebody needs a hug

 

Indeed. Say, are you the same Falconne as the one on Civ Fanatics that shares my immense dislike of ciV?

People are sure happy for Kael over there anyway. I hope Kael can make Elemental into a game comparable to FFH2.

 

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October 12, 2010 8:22:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
There's no crusade, I'm only expressing my opinion and not trying to convince anyone. The facts speak for themselves, there is no disservice in the truth. Last I saw the list on the forum's site, there were 13 "credits" for artwork/music, 3 or 4 of which were labeled as having been used with permission, and at least one of the ones that were not used with permission requested that the artist be contacted to work out licensing if anyone wished to use his art. If this list is false, then obviously I'm wrong. But if it's not, then yes, he did pirate other people's art. Hell, he credits Enya for using one of her songs. He surely hasn't contacted whichever label owns her music for permission to do so. Even Youtube has to take down videos (or make people take the music out) where people use music for their personal videos because it's unlicensed use even though it's not-for-profit.

As I've said, he's good with design, and in this Elemental benefits from having him on board. But the irony of it all is there nonetheless.


Oh good grief, Annatar11, climb down the high horse already.  He didn't "steal" everything.  He credited everything that was used, posted contact details, and was very willing to take down/remove anything that the artists objected to.
And none of that was the right thing to do. One of the artists requested to be contacted to work out licensing for his art. Did Kael do that? Seems he did everything except that. Sort of like "Yeah I know I'm not supposed to do this and it's wrong, and I'll take it down if I get caught". Sorry, but, that's not how it works. Just because nobody bothered to ask him to stop using their stuff, doesn't imply they gave permission for him to use their stuff.

In any case, my views are my views, everyone is welcome to theirs

This is pretty much entirely false. FfH is a non-profit bit of shareware (even provides it's sourcecode), so no, you do not need permission. Legally or otherwise. I am quite sure that he asked to use the art (as have I, and even had an artist decline... The vast majority, however, see it as a way to get their art out to a wider audience. IE, a good thing), and has given credit for it. The stickied post does not have the full credits list, unfortunately, but I guarantee you that if you dig through the forums you can find it. And Kael likely has a list on his pc; He seems to have one for most things.

Quoting Austinvn,

Don't take this as an official response as it's all secondhand, but on the CivFanatics forums I've seen a few of the FfH/FfH-modmod makers state that there are no plans to port FfH to Civ5, as "it wouldn't be FfH without Kael." However, Valkrionn (maker of FfH modmod Rise from Erebus) has mentioned plans for an original Civ5 fantasy mod not connected to FfH. So it looks like no "official" Civ5 FfH, but perhaps other fantasy mods, and I wouldn't be surprised [read: unsupported speculation] if Valkrionn's new mod showed some FfH influence.

And on topic: great news, congratulations to Kael and to Stardock.

Interesting to see my name popup in a forum where I'm not even registered...

Eden won't be much like FfH in terms of setting. We opted to go an entirely different route specifically to avoid comparisons between the two. However, we will most definitely be taking what we learned from Rise from Erebus, and Fall from Heaven in general, and applying it to the new mod.

 

 

As for the real topic... Hopefully Kael will be given free reign to modify Elemental. Without that, I don't see it competing with FfH, let alone Civ5. Far too many mechanics that may look good on paper, but when implemented... Lack character, lack cohesive bonds, and are just unoriginal and uninteresting. Sadly. Potential is here, but massive changes must be made for it to shine.

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October 12, 2010 8:51:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Glad to hear about Eden, Valkrionn. I loved FFH2 Fall further plus. Absolutely wonderful.

Sounds like it'll be great and very welcome news considering the massive disappointment ciV was.

Hopefully Kael is given carte blanche to make the changes he feels necessary to make Elemental into a super game.

I loved Age of Wonders and hope that Elemental can be as fun as that one was.

I need my fantasy 4X fix. Hee hee.

 

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October 12, 2010 8:56:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Thormodr,

Indeed. Say, are you the same Falconne as the one on Civ Fanatics that shares my immense dislike of ciV?

People are sure happy for Kael over there anyway. I hope Kael can make Elemental into a game comparable to FFH2.

 

Yes. Someone on the SD forums grabbed my preferred username before I got here. If I ever find them, there will be words.

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October 12, 2010 9:17:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love FFH and I love Elemental! This must be a dream...pinching arm...

Excellent choice you could do no  better!

Welcome Kael

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October 12, 2010 9:47:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

fantastic news... welcome aboard Kael!

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October 12, 2010 9:51:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is exactly what EWoM needed - creative inspiration.  FfH2 was undoubtedly one of the best mods I've ever played and signing this guy is a windfall for Stardock.  Now, they just have to let him loose on this largely unfinished game.  I'm really excited to see what he cranks out.  Good luck, Kael!

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October 12, 2010 10:06:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes! Much congratulatoriness to Stardockians and the Kael. Really congrats to all, as this promises to be what the company, the game, the Kael, and the customers need. Win win and drinks all around!

Cheers.

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October 12, 2010 10:10:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Having seen FFH I am looking forward to what Kael can add to EWOM.    I hope we get a blend of the best from both.   Congratulations Stardock and wlecome Kael!

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October 12, 2010 10:44:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing I'm hoping to hear soon, is what exactly Kael's ideas are.

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October 12, 2010 10:57:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frankly, I doubt you could have picked a better person to have filled this job and to bring back Elemental. Brilliant choice here.

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