As mentioned recently, I occasionally get flame mails from people who don’t realize I work at Stardock. They think I’m trolling against Elemental.
So to be clearer, my point is simply that we have all year or years to get this game where we want it. I’m in no hurry. I bloody want a game that if I hung out with the guys who made Age of Wonders Shadow Magic, Master of Magic or any of the other games of the genre they’d say “That’ll do, Frog, that’ll do.”
As Boogie mentioned, we’re working on the discussion system. Now you might wonder why a strategy game would have such a sophisticated conversation engine under the covers. Well, for one thing, what if 5 years from now some guy wants to make an RPG that uses the Elemental engine? We need to be ready for that. We need to support that.
Plus, as the AI developer, the AI shouldn’t just play intelligently, it should let players know it’s playing intelligently. Though, admittedly, this time, the text is being written largely by our friends at Del Rey (Random House) rather than my meager abilities.
I don’t want to sound like the game has some sort of utopian vision behind it. I know at some point we’re going to release this game – probably next Summer or Fall but the point is that that is going to based on a consensus of the beta testers.
I look at Elemental at something we’re going to work on for years to come. So yea, I’m saying right now that the release date is a bit arbitrary because I plan to keep working on it years after released. Don’t expect any sequels to it any time soon either.
The engine being made for this game is just such a joy.
From 1997 to 2006 we had one engine called “Pear”. It was a 2D sprite engine that got updated to support some 3D for Galactic Civilizations II. Working with Elemental is just ridiculously enjoyable.
Now, for those of you not in the beta program, don’t feel bad. Right now the “game” is so bad that several users have reported hemorrhaging. We hope they make a full recovery. If I had had my way, they wouldn’t have gotten the cloth map even but rather an Ultima IV style map. Green dots on a black background should be more than enough I say.
The next beta, due out the Thursday after Thanksgiving, is the first one with any diplomacy or AI in it. We’ll see how it goes. After that, we start supporting multiplayer.
Some users have asked us about a console version. It won’t be happening. I love my Xbox 360 but until 1080p is allowed as a minimum standard and mouse support normal, a game like Elemental won’t be happening on the console.
Have a great weekend.