Elemental–the two year anniversary nears

By on August 13, 2012 9:57:09 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1477

Our story so far…

Many many years ago while developing the universe for Galactic Civilizations we started working on a fantasy world. This world became known as Elemental.  The plan was to create a trilogy of games:

  • Elemental: War of Magic plus 2 expansion packs (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Elemental: Fallen Enchantress plus 2 expansions (2013 originally, 2014, 2015)

and

  • Elemental: (not announced) plus 2 expansions (the future if FE is successful).

War of Magic was Stardock’s first attempt at a land-based strategy game. It didn’t end well. But there was a silver lining, we learned a lot and rather than try to patch/enhance War of Magic with 2 expansions, we just moved directly on to doing a new game in the Elemental universe – Fallen Enchantress.

Here are some screenshots of War of Magic:

image image image

 

And below is Fallen Enchantress with the most similar screenshots I can make to use as a comparison:

image image image

We have tried where possible to keep with the artistic flavor and spirit of War of Magic even though the games are radically different. 

People on various forums always ask me if they should buy War of Magic.  I tend to say no since Fallen Enchantress really is superior in every respect and getting War of Magic won’t really give you a leg up in Fallen Enchantress because the game mechanics are so different.

But for those of you who do have War of Magic, you might find it interesting to load it up and play it a bit before Beta 4 of Fallen Enchantress comes out this week so that you can get an idea of just how different it is.  It just goes to show that when you’re making a fantasy game, there are a lot of different design directions you can go even if it’s in the same world.

Locked Post 25 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 13, 2012 9:56:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can't wait for beta 4!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 13, 2012 10:19:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know I'm in the vast minority with this, but I actually liked the merchant/road function from war of magic and kind of miss it, though I'll stop short of asking for that to be added back in FE...  anyways my reasoning is that it wasn't a trivial function.  You actually had to protect your trade lines and establish your connections, which were fairly beneficial and worth some of your attention.  The problem was that it became tedious to defend your roads after a while due to how every unit had to be moved manually.  If the city had say an add-on function or like a special set of "city abilities" in which one allowed you to commission patrols that would walk the roads and ward off creeps of a lesser level in a certain range, these would not have to be moved by the player but you still have the very real danger of something stronger wandering in occasionally that must be dealt with by your army.  Also, something that told you where your dead merchant was from and where he was going.  That was another layer that had potential, I think, but I can totally see why it was done away with.  Ok, I've talked way too much about a hated function, sorry for wasting your time

 

Can't wait for the beta, you guys have been doing great things.  I've actually been staying away from the game so I don't burn myself out.  SMITE has been gorging my free time happily...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 3:09:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow 2 years already?  Thats awesome!  I still have great memories of waiting for WoM to come out...getting the book and the CE.  And I still played it for many, many hours.  Im also psyched about FE as it has been fun too, even with all the bugs, im enjoying the betas and cant wait til 4 comes out.  I work in the oil fields and my job gives me quite a bit of time to use up.  Games take a big chunk of that...Civ 5, Warlock, SWToR, Sins, World of Tanks, and FE 4 when it comes out.  The new remake of Xcom will also(Enemy Unknown) will also occupy lots of time come October.  Though the biggest thing that will be hitting my life in October, will be the birth of my first child...a girl!!  So as I look back on these last 2 years, I cant believe how fast they flew by!!  Im a Stardock fan, so I cant wait to see what else you come up and how uber FE will be.  Im also kinda hoping a return to GC comes out, because thats the game that really made me fall in love with Stardock.  That and making comics up using GC along with Star Trek ships...fun stuff!  Keep up the great work and cant wait to see where we are 2 years from now...if the world doesnt end in Dec that is...but if it does, im sure in heaven Ill still be gaming!!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 3:17:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I gotta say, although I love the new additions and features of FE, I do think WoM had it's charm and somewhere down the line, I would love a 1.5 patch, if FE does well enough to keep the series alive (which I hope it does!). 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 3:19:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Although FE will need to be judged on its own, for the "legacy" players of Elemental what Frogboy is suggesting is actually a great idea. I recently went back and played E:wom. EVERYTHING has been improved in FE. It gives some good perspective on how bad E:wom was, and how good FE is starting to become.

I am obviously excited for beta 4.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 5:07:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 10:11:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

*Looks at Screenshots* City, City, Cloth map.

Nice work!!
You should have included combat screen-shots too though! and meaby a close up of a monster!
(didn't play war of magic)

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 12:42:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This looks great, I saw the presentation for the BETA 4 and that looks cool too, I hope I will have time to play it.3d

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 2:52:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another Good Thread!  Thanks for the history lesson, Frogboy ... and, no, I am  NOT  being facetious.  I find it interesting to get this snapshot of what your original plans were; and to get a better insight into how things have reached the stage they are approaching now.  It is informative ... and it is fascinating ...

Also, I commend you for your candor once again!  Seriously, this is one of the principle reasons why I enjoy watching (and to some extent participating in) the development of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress.  Your candor, and this ever-improving evolution of the Elemenatal World, is one of the most encouraging aspects of the whole experience.  These are the reasons why I continue to believe that Stardock, and the E:FE development team, is headed down the path to greatness.  You guys just keep plugging away!

         E:FE is a good game now; it keeps getting better; and I believe in time it will be a Classic!    

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 3:35:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Has it really been 2 years since I wanted to throw my laptop out the window?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 3:48:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


          " Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window. "   --   Steve Wozniak

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 3:50:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's been a long time. I remember even farther back when Elemental was just a twinkle in a frog's eye. Thems was the days.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 5:02:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I remember how terrible WoM was, it's kind of funny to think about now.  The AI controlled sovs would walk themselves in a corner of the map and just stay there for the rest of the game.  in battles, they would just chase one guy mindlessly. So many bugs and bad design choices, I just kept thinking, "what the fuck? did people play this game before it was released" over and over again  I still had fun with it though, although I can't even touch it now.   I hope they figure it out by the time of FE's release.  I would hate to see such a good company falter twice in a row.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 7:31:31 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I liked one of the earlier versions of Elemental where units had their own manna - this encouraged the use of magic in combat whereas with the new system you always want to conserve manna.

 

it is my observation that whenever the version of Elemental changed, some bad features disappear along with some good features and then some new good features appear along with some new bad features each time.

The perfect term to describe this process is 'whack a mole' whereby the developers whack both good and bad moles and new good and bad moles immediately pop up only to be whacked again and so on and so forth!!

This 'whack a mole' process severely handicapped the development of the game and prevented it from becoming something fantastic.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 10:02:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mystikmind,


The perfect term to describe this process is 'whack a mole' whereby the developers whack both good and bad moles and new good and bad moles immediately pop up only to be whacked again and so on and so forth!!

This 'whack a mole' process severely handicapped the development of the game and prevented it from becoming something fantastic.

 

 

 

This is so true, I wish I had thought of that.  That's exactly what it felt like as new patches rolled out.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 10:19:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Definitely coming out Thursday, Froggy? 

Because I just can't wait any longer. 

Any hope for a changelog to tide us over until then?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 14, 2012 10:30:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DevildogFF,
Because I just can't wait any longer.

Any hope for a changelog to tide us over until then?

Amen

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 1:23:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can hardly wait as well.  I honestly thought about taking a vacation day this week...but I didn't...and now it's too late.

Looking forward to Beta4 and the success of FE!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 1:56:45 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

Quoting Mystikmind, reply 15

The perfect term to describe this process is 'whack a mole' whereby the developers whack both good and bad moles and new good and bad moles immediately pop up only to be whacked again and so on and so forth!!

This 'whack a mole' process severely handicapped the development of the game and prevented it from becoming something fantastic.

 

 

 

This is so true, I wish I had thought of that.  That's exactly what it felt like as new patches rolled out.

 

Possibly the reason 'whack a mole' happened can be described with another saying "too many cooks spoil the broth" Stemming from the devs listening to too many different people on the forums.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 7:49:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't know about that, they often made choices that no one on the forums asked for and were baffled by.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 10:38:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's already been two years? Wow, time does fly. Elemental has changed a lot since then, well, War of Magic itself changed a lot in a few months, but still, I appreciate that you didn't give up. 

Now let's see Beta 4 in action and beta test the hell out of it! 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 1:58:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Yup... Looking forward to Beta 4. I know I'll be playing it as soon as it is released.

Keep up the great work people!!!

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 7:03:43 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I don't know about that, they often made choices that no one on the forums asked for and were baffled by.

 

What your talking about probably has far more to do with resources/time rather than stupidity. I think it still falls under 'too many cooks spoil the broth' .... too many cooks with too many ideas and not enough resources/time forcing some horrible compromises.

Not that there weren't some people on the forums with horrible ideas that did get implemented! At any given time, there are always enough people with enough differing opinions to destroy any game in history!! Especially 'Elite' players, those guys know how to really f--k up a game for everyone else! i have seen that happen many times.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 15, 2012 9:21:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be honest, I bitched a lot and looking back at my bitching topics, I can actually see that the Devs did listen to what we had to say and implemented quite a bit from those topics.  I don't think that Stardock just blindly listens to forum posters, I think they weigh the value and worth of ideas solidly.  I think the problem with what happened with WoM was what brad said, a lack of focus and leadership for the project.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 16, 2012 12:28:01 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
To be honest, I bitched a lot and looking back at my bitching topics, I can actually see that the Devs did listen to what we had to say and implemented quite a bit from those topics.  I don't think that Stardock just blindly listens to forum posters, I think they weigh the value and worth of ideas solidly.  I think the problem with what happened with WoM was what brad said, a lack of focus and leadership for the project.  

 

Sounds reasonable,

You can make a brilliant movie with either a brilliant budget or a brilliant director, but you can never make a brilliant movie with both an average director and an average budget (how many brilliant script's/stories have we seen ruined this way???). Same could be said for games?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0004516   Page Render Time: