Fallen Enchantress: So it begins!

By on October 24, 2012 7:18:23 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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And on the 23rd of October, the classic strategy game design concepts returned

When I think of classic strategy games, I think Civilization, Star Control, Ultima, Wing Commander, Master of Orion, Baldur’s Gate and of course Master of Magic.

Because of the…unusual nature of Stardock, we have the luxury of trying to make a game that, we hope, is a love letter to that classic age.  The user manual, the lore book and that the game itself will keep showing new things each time you play for months in advance are all things we wanted to emphasize as being part of the overall experience. Our industry just doesn’t make games like this anymore. The “ROI” just doesn’t work out.  But we can. Because for us, Fallen Enchantress isn’t a “product”. We care about it. It matters to us. We want to make a game that not only we want to play but others will play for years to come.  We want a game that even if there were no expansion packs or sequels (and there will be), would, on its own, provide months of enjoyment. We wanted a game that you would never have to update if you didn’t want to. We wanted to make a game that you’d never need to buy an expansion pack if you didn’t want to.

So what’s next?

Of course, we haven’t forgotten we live in the age of digital distribution. We embrace that and plan to take full advantage of it. The 2-week code lock down we have has been lifted by old man Paxton and we can begin to check in “Stuff”.  You have to understand, I stalk you people. You think that French language forum stops me from reading what strategies get used? You think because the forum is in Russian and someone is mentioning a cool way to outflank the AI that I can’t use Google translate? Smile So there’s always new things we can put in and thanks to digital distribution, we can, painlessly.  So expect to see new AI strategies, UI tweaks based on customer requests, and of course bug fixes.

It’s a great time to be a PC gamer. Our employers – you guys – can tell us what you’d like to see. We can see what we can do and add it in and push it out. For us old gamers, this is truly a golden age we’re in.

I would expect to see a v1.01 download patch in the next week or so.  I can’t list everything that’ll be in it. I have a lot of new AI ideas I want in. I’d like to make the battles a bit more multithreaded. I am sure there’s plenty of bugs out there that the guys will be fixing. The date will be heavily dependent on when the server loads come back down to earth.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

As I type this, there’s a lot of outstanding games that have recently come out. Let me use this space to advertise some of them.  There’s XCOM, Dishonored, Borderlands, Torchlight, and a bunch of big games coming out in a few weeks.  I’ve used my +1 boots of groveling with the media to try to get reviews. And they’re trying. But there are only so many gaming journalists and so many games. As a practical matter only the player base can save the day.  We have lots of advertising lined up. But we’ll need people to give honest reviews of the game on various sites as well as just tell your friends and neighbors about the game.

The good news is that despite all the competition, we’re in the Steam and GameStop top 10 best sellers. And we haven’t even started getting the big reviews yet. That’s a good sign. 4X strategy gaming appears alive and well.  And since we’re giving away just under 100,000 copies of the game, it’s going to be a real challenge to be a “top seller” (that’s $4 million in free games).  Since most games only sell a third that number in their life time, it’s going to be a difficult hurdle to jump for this game to be listed as a best seller.

The fun is just beginning

I like to say that games are never truly “finished”. They simply ship. I don’t like to think that Fallen Enchantress is "finished”. There’s so much potential here. And together, hopefully we’ll be able to build on the cool game we’ve got today into something that really does (to quote one of my favorite games) “Stand the test of time”.

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October 24, 2012 7:17:14 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Woot!

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October 24, 2012 8:00:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am enjoying it so far , seems snappy and and more "Produced" than EWOM, I can't wait to get into a sandbox game the AI. Ai always handles me anyway unless on milk toast setting but I liked the Beta, never got too far into a game though. Like you said Frogboy, a wealth of cool games to choose from. FTL, and Minecraft have chiseled into my Elemental testing time !!

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October 24, 2012 8:00:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well done and I am enjoying the game a ton. Ive been trying to get the word out as much as a small YT Channel guy can...by putting videos up and linking them on Steam forums and other places etc. If a ton of little guys like me help......well....every one counts.

If you have a friend...let them know. Heck you can link them to my videos if you want ( http://www.youtube.com/user/TekkorGJC ) or to the great ones by Stardock and others. 

Brad and Company....youve done well and I personally want to help push this game as much as possible. 

 

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October 24, 2012 8:03:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


This may be small, but it may change the game at the tactical level:

Something I always liked only "halfway" is the tactical battle in Stardock's games... halfway meaning that it is indeed a very good solution to the battle part of a 4X (I wish some people at Firaxis would have learned that before engaging in the for-me-at-least biggest desing error of their latest Civ, but that is another story), but the other half remains lacking for me...

Yes, I know, what half you ask? To the cheese: have you ever considered retreating from a battle as an option (for both the AI and the player)? It's been years since I wanted to see that option (since the first Galciv 2, in fact)... it would make the tactical dimension so much more realistic, and perhaps interesting... I never liked battles that are do or die, and both Galciv and now FE have them.

So, is there any chance that you will implement retreats?

cheers,

 

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October 24, 2012 8:27:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I love making maps and this was one of the things in EWOM that i loved, I waited for FE to come out just so I could make my own maps.... But the map making system does not work very well, when i try to load the map i made it just kept loading different maps i have never seen before. And the Map placement buttons dont really work either, i could not put down the starting locations. Anyway I give the game a 10.0 I love it just like i loved EWOM, I just hope someone will fix the map maker.. Please..

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October 24, 2012 8:50:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well I don't have a big audience of devoted followers... but I can definitely make a youtube video "Everything you need to know about FE" that people can link to : D

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October 24, 2012 9:01:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

First time poster here, been a fan of Stardock since GalCiv 2: Dread Lords was on the shelf in my local EB Games.

I was impressed with the current game as it is, much less any expansions, Frogboy.  I've always have been a strong believer that privately owned companies can take risks that publicly owned ones cannot ever take, and you're taking full advantage of it.  I was one of the ones who was so hyped about Elemental: War of Magic and was telling all of my friends about it.  Then it came out, but it didn't hook me in like Civ 5 would later on.  It crashed every 200 turns or so.  The AI was lackluster.  I filed it away in my brain, and took it as a miss.  $60 did not dissuade me that much since I had a fair amount of spare money, and I still believed that the sequel to Galactic Civilizations 2 (which was super amazing) was going to make up for it since you have gotten your Kumquat engine housebroken (which probably caused the lion's share of bugs).  I still believed in Stardock, but was going to be cautious next time by waiting for reviews and such.

Then you apologized on your forums about the issues, took full responsibility on it, and assured that you would try to fix it.  You and your team did this by 1.offering the improved game and beta free for those who purchased the game early or pre-ordered it.  2.did not try to push the old game any further, and was honest about it  3.but still improved the old game to a point where it was decent (haven't touched it yet though, and am not planning to, I just hear that it is decent from third party sources)

I was into the beta of the new game, and while I only attempted to find one bug, and am not sure I even reported it (Until recently, I have an aversion to posting), I still tried to see what the game would morph into.  I got locked out of using the beta at some point probably due to technical issues with the server, I probably could`ve started again in a month from now, but I'd decided to wait.  When the game went almost gold, I tried the beta again.  I know that the beta is mostly used for bug hunting and fixing game balance, but it had a third purpose as well.  I had to find out if the game was worth my time or not (even if a game is free, it may not be worth my time, which is more valuable than mere gold).

I was impressed by the AI.  It brutalized me on 'challenging'.  I liked that all of the civilizations had noticeable differences in gameplay.  I appreciated the fact that while you could no longer support older PCs, it still worked decently in cloth map mode on my 3yr old middle-tier laptop.  Improving my champions felt good with the perks system you applied when leveling up. Leveling up and adding `classes` to cities was, I admit, a touch of brilliance, and being the 'build awesome things type' (rather than using war or magic), it was sorely appreciated.  Placing a city meant more since it's not the general area, but the specific spot you put your city.  That gave the opportunity for interesting choices (ie: do I want 2 essence instead of one, but will be closer to a bear's army which is a medium threat?).  It finally had that gameplay crunch that I expected from Elemental: War of Magic.  Of course, having Derek become the lead designer was a great choice.  It feels very civ like, and while I wanted hexes instead of squares, my concerns were moot since the rest of the game was shaping up so well.

This is why I believe in privately owned companies like Stardock and Valve.  They can focus on long term efforts for their companies instead of doing things that will only appeal to the short term.  I'm not saying that it is the be-all and end-all argument for belief in a company (ie: Google is publicly owned, and still manages to innovate and have a great work atmosphere), but my faith in Stardock has been restored, and you can look forward to me preordering anything that Stardock comes out with (provided Steam will allow preorders from you guys).

Hopefully you'll put out some official thread of how to utilize xml to make advanced mods.  Even if I don't get the time to mod, it'll still be an interesting read.  But I`m aiming for adding more `sub-classes` of cities.

I can't wait until I see what you and your team comes up with later.  You can also look forward to me posting more.  Ciao.

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October 24, 2012 9:12:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

>Here< are a few links I'm finding useful in enticing various groups of friends and sites to give the game a try.

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October 24, 2012 9:21:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tekkor,
Well done and I am enjoying the game a ton. Ive been trying to get the word out as much as a small YT Channel guy can...by putting videos up and linking them on Steam forums and other places etc. If a ton of little guys like me help......well....every one counts.

If you have a friend...let them know. Heck you can link them to my videos if you want ( http://www.youtube.com/user/TekkorGJC ) or to the great ones by Stardock and others. 

Brad and Company....youve done well and I personally want to help push this game as much as possible. 

 

I really enjoyed your first fallen enchantress video, very well done, informative, and fun to watch! Cant wait to see more, it's stuff like this that makes it all worthwhile

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October 24, 2012 9:37:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting UmbralAngel,
Well I don't have a big audience of devoted followers... but I can definitely make a youtube video "Everything you need to know about FE" that people can link to : D

You don't!! 

~ K

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October 24, 2012 9:42:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I haven't posted much on this forum as I'm more of a lurker type, but I want you to know that even though I qualified for a discounted copy, I bought it at full price through Steam because I've so thoroughly enjoyed reading your development journals, it's definitely worth the extra $$.  Hopefully some of the full price comes back to you over and above the discount price.

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October 24, 2012 9:45:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for your support! 

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October 24, 2012 10:03:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fallen enchantress has brought me back to Stardock.  I was p'ed off with the 4X space games and wanted something more/else.  I play Xcom Enemy Unknown and very much like it.  However I came across FE during a trip to Steam and, oh boy, it sounded just like the kind of game I have wanted to play since "World of Wonders", "Master of Orion" etc.

Knowing about FE's predecessor I was a little wary and borrowed a copy from elsewhere to try out.  Trying the game, reading the manual/forums and watching Vids of Beta play, I was quickly impressed by the depth and clarity of the UI and game and decided to buy it.

I havent regretted my decision at all.   True there are some niggles and small bugs but nothing gamebreaking.  The biggest disappointment is the short sharp and very abruptly ending Tutorial.  I really feel that more thought should have gone into that.

Having said that I learnt far more by just jumping into a few games and feeling my way along.  I havent gone all the way through a game yet but each play takes me further through with increasing fluid and knowledgeable play - more fun that a tute anyway

I know that this game will be well supported by Stardock and the Fanbase and look forward to Mods, Scenarios and Expansions - Long may FE rule the 4X genre.... 

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October 24, 2012 11:29:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I write few good words about FE on polish forums : http://lotronline.pl/forum/off-topic/fallen-enchantress/new/#new   http://mmorpg.pl/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=40258  and here http://www.gog.com/en/forum/general/fallen_enchantress/page2   http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2571256&page=9

Frogboy do you talked with GOG about adding SD games to their site ?

 

Can some one add FE (and mods) on this site ? http://www.moddb.com/   Many players buying games only if they have good mods.

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October 24, 2012 11:39:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nekromanta,
I write few good words about FE on polish forums : http://lotronline.pl/forum/off-topic/fallen-enchantress/new/#new   http://mmorpg.pl/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=40258  and here http://www.gog.com/en/forum/general/fallen_enchantress/page2  

Frogboy do you talked with GOG about adding SD games to their site ?

 

Can some one add FE (and mods) on this site ? http://www.moddb.com/   Many players buying games only if they have good mods.

I'd like to put the GalCiv games on GOG.

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October 25, 2012 12:50:13 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
I'd like to put the GalCiv games on GOG.

That would be awesome.

 

Also, while I have NEVER touched WoM, and I was NOT in the beta for Elemental ... I've purchased, installed, and played Elemental: Fallen Enchantress and I am absolutely blown away by just how crisp, responsive, and immersive everything is. I think I'm going to sink a couple hundred hours into this without any problem what-so-ever.

 

To top it all off, the music is just stunningly beautiful. My wife is enjoying listening to it while I click around and play the game, so that's a plus as well.

 

Stardock, wow. Very very awesome product you have here!

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October 25, 2012 4:59:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The thing I really liked about GalCiv 2 was that you could customise your units.  Fallen Enchantress has a similar depth of customisation which allows you to become attached to your units and get a little more immersed in the game.  Let's not forget the customisation and modding support available in other areas of the game.

A few annoying things.  If you really like units to have a particular weapon (like daggers, for the initiative bonus) then you have to be careful not to upgrade their weaponry or they'll end up with slower swords.  Some more advanced unit upgrade options would be cool.  Also, the context windows which shows the unit actions just isn't wide enough to fit upgrade options, but I have the screen real estate to show them.  Not bragging, just wishing I could get some use out of it.  Oh yes.  A hotbar for frequently-used spells out on the world map would be handy.

I really like the random choices when champions level up.  One of the things that makes TBS games like Civ 5 dull is that you tend to follow a particular stretegy for promotions.  But the heroes in Fallen Enchantress can develop in all sorts of interesting ways.  Don't like getting mangled by spells?  Then pick the Spell Resistance trait.  Want to unleash truly amazing spells to destroy your enemies?  Choose a new spell level or pick the Evoker trait.

Fallen Enchantress is a great addition to Stardock's line-up of games because your choices (and events which happen during the game) can lead to all sorts of interesting results.  And if you're going to play a few hundred turns of it in one sitting, interesting helps a lot.

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October 25, 2012 8:06:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So it begins!

You have watched too much Babylon 5 , Froggy! 

I guess the person who posted last before me (MarvinKosh) knows what I mean.  

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October 25, 2012 8:21:23 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Well all my gamer friends will not get the game for a couple of reasons:  1) No MP   2) No sea units of any kind.  Once these are put in the game (if ever) then they will get the game (And all of them has said this.)  Hey I tried. But with other games lik Warlock, CIV 4 and 5, Shogun 2, and Age of Wonders:SM (oh and Star Wars Online) there is no time for another SP only game in their lives.

 

But I will keep bugging them

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October 25, 2012 8:23:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

B5 for the win

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October 25, 2012 8:29:59 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Star Adder,

So it begins!


You have watched too much Babylon 5 , Froggy! 

I guess the person who posted last before me (MarvinKosh) knows what I mean.  

There is no such thing as watching to much Babylon 5. That show was just awsome (and this is coming from a Trekie fan)

 

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October 25, 2012 8:36:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don´t have a youtube channel, twitter, facebook or anything else what is called "social media", but all of my friends know about FE. I think i convinced one or two of them. But only because FE is a damn good game.  

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October 25, 2012 8:40:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tekkor,
Well done and I am enjoying the game a ton. Ive been trying to get the word out as much as a small YT Channel guy can...by putting videos up and linking them on Steam forums and other places etc. If a ton of little guys like me help......well....every one counts.

If you have a friend...let them know. Heck you can link them to my videos if you want ( http://www.youtube.com/user/TekkorGJC ) or to the great ones by Stardock and others. 

Brad and Company....youve done well and I personally want to help push this game as much as possible. 

 

Thank you for the link.  I did just that, passed it on to a bunch of Turn Based gamers I know.

Beem playing the scenario for a couple of hours . . . so much to do, so little time . . .

 

Thanks to the team at Stardock for a game that should have a long time potential.

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October 25, 2012 9:18:13 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I will have to remember and dig Babylon 5 out at some point.  I haven't actually watched an episode in some time.

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October 25, 2012 9:54:42 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

If someone wants to write a review and put it up at VideoGameGeek.com, that would be spectacular.

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