BEDLAM. Got a nice ring to it, doesn't? Well, it also looks rather spiffy. Sci-Fi roguelike with tactical combat and a postapocalyptic setting that has you racing across the wasteland in a massive Dozer. Them using the Banner Saga engine and specifically naming FTL, Banner Saga and the venerable X-com as influences really does peek my interest. And I do love that comic style. Check out the BEDLAM kickstarter.
Europa Universalis IV: Art of War has a new developer diary. This one focuses on new diplomacy options, a revamping of the Catholic Papal Influence system, and on some of the changes they're doing in Indochina.
We’ve removed the subgame of investing papal influence to gain cardinals. It wasn’t interesting, and though automating the spending of influence to dominate the curia made things easier, it did nothing to address the underlying problems with the system.
Cardinals are no longer just a person. They are a title permanently tied to one Catholic province. The game will generate new cardinals until there are 49, so you could have a cardinal in Paris or Vienna. These cardinals give benefits to whomever controls their province, as long as that province is still Catholic. If there are less than 49 cardinals, such as at the beginning of the game or when they start converting to new religions, a new one will be spawned each year, with rich European provinces being most likely to be chosen.
There is still papal influence, and this is generated by the number of cardinals in your territory, so there is some randomness you will have to deal with. Your relation with the Papacy also has an effect, as do events and other game decisions. You can store up to 100 papal influence points.
The Curia controller is now determined when a new Pope is elected and the controller will remain in charge until the Pope dies. At any point during the game, you can spend papal influence in an effort to strengthen your chance of a friendly candidate winning the next election. If France spends 70 total papal influence, Poland 40, and Spain 30, then France has 50% chance of winning the next Papal election and controlling the Curia.
You can now also spend your papal influence on other actions in the Papacy View. For example, you can spend papal influence to increase your monarch’s legitimacy (a handy blessing from the Pope for rulers with tenuous claims), or to persuade the Pope to send you money.
Tim Schafer has taken to the Steam Community page to answer questions and concerns about the sudden hiatus of development on Spacebase DF-9.
“How about an ACTUAL explanation of what happened behind the scenes?”
We started Spacebase with an open ended-production plan, hoping that it would find similar success (and therefore funding) to the alpha-funded games that inspired it. Some of its early sales numbers indicated this might be the case, but slowly things changed, and it became clear that this was looking like a year and a half of production instead of five or so. With each Alpha release there was the hope that things would change, but they didn't. We put every dime we made from Spacebase back into Spacebase, and then we put in some more. Obviously, spending more money than we were making isn’t something we can afford to do forever. So, as much as we tried to put off the decision, we finally had to change gears and put Spacebase into finishing mode and plan for version 1.0.
This is a game with a brutal difficulty curve and as such, it demands tenacity and perseverance in equal measure in order to be enjoyed to the fullest extent. Like the best examples of the RTS genre, Stronghold Crusader 2 deftly embodies that colossal balancing act that it demands from its players; economy, populace and war must all be given equal attention for victory to be attained.
Certainly though, for all of the great work that Stronghold Crusader 2 does in welcoming newcomers, stalwarts of the 2002 original will find that a lot has changed and just about all of it is for the better.
The biggest and most obvious change is the shift from the 2D isometric perspective of the first game to the fully 3D worlds and battlefields that are on offer here. Sure enough, a roving 3D camera is something that RTS games have had for years now, and truth be told, while the visual upgrade is welcome, Crusader 2's visuals tend to err more towards the satisfactory than the spectacular.
The development page of Spacebase DF-9 has been updated with the following text, indicating a halt in development once the game hits version 1.0.
Future development plans
Spacebase’s 1.0 release will be its final major update. In addition to lots of bugfixing work, it will add the following features:
Tutorial Mode: Start with a basic pre-built base and learn the ropes via a series of tutorial messages.
Goals: Track and work towards various objectives, such as “Reach a population of 50 citizens” and “Research all technologies.”
Looking at the same webpage through web.archive.org reveals a much longer list of features - many which seem to have disappeared in the 1.0 reveal. One can deduct that they have been cut from the game.
This doesn't necessarily mean that the game will never see any future content updates, as they're giving the community some development tools:
We’re also pleased to announce we’ll be releasing the game’s full Lua source code a short time after 1.0, which will allow the community to create potentially far-ranging mods that add content, new features, and change some fundamental game behaviors. We’ll of course be sticking around a bit for bug fixing and support, but any new content for the game will now be in your hands. We’re eager to see what people do with this game!
You can read more about the 1.0 update in their Road To 1.0 news post.
Spotted at NeoGAF.
Norse is called German Paganism, as during this time period it was much more spread out into Germanic territories. You will not be able to do Viking expeditions from the start, but such things will be available as time passes.
Several older cultures are now represented. Frankish is a culture now, which will slowly develop into French, much like how Norse can develop into different cultures in Old Gods.
Most startling is the addition of a new pagan religion, the Zunist in Afghanistan. They are surrounded by Muslims and Hindus and are basically screwed.
SteamWorld Heist has been announced, a sequel to SteamWorld Dig, but unlike the previous game which was a platformer that debuted on the 3DS, this one is a turn-based strategy game that will launch on the PC.
Esteemed community member Deuce Traveler has played SSI's strategy game Sword of Aragon and is here to tell you all about it.
So, despite these disappointing final battles, do I still recommend the game? Emphatically, yes. Sword of Aragon is a linear enough affair that it is fairly obvious to the player which problems need to be be tackled first, yet with enough randomness in how events unfold to ensure replay value. It has enough flexibility to allow you to play as a benevolent ruler or as a terrible tyrant. The quests are varied enough to be interesting, with choices and consequences that must be taken seriously. Sword of Aragon is an experience like no other, and since there don't appear to be any Kickstarters or indie developers intent on reviving it, the only way you are going to be able to experience it yourself is if you suppress your prejudices against older games with primitive UIs and limited graphics and sound, and download it today from your favorite abandonware site.
TROPICO + PARADISE ISLAND– You rule over a desolate banana republic. Fight poverty, corruption and rebels. Take care of your people, keep them happy and establish your power with a strong military force. But don’t forget to stash a few dollars away for your personal retirement bank account.
TROPICO 2 – PIRATE COVE– Reign as reckless pirate king over your own island nation. You will have to keep buccaneers and prisoners under control whilst sending your ship off on raids to get more treasure. This unique Tropico sequel offers a completely new setting alongside many gameplay improvements,advanced features and scenarios.
TROPICO 3 + ABSOLUTE POWER– ‘El Presidente’ returns - seize power over the small island state of Tropico. Atmospheric like you’ve never seen before – a modern and detailed 3D graphics engine, an amusing radio presenter and many different buildings all add to the new ambience of Tropico.
TROPICO 4 + MODERN TIMES– Steer Tropico into the glorious future it deserves: Even as the most experienced dictator you will be kept busy with the giant skyscrapers,tourist temples, internet censorship and new super powers. Explore new buildings and face up to the challenges of the 21st Century.
No price has been announced yet, but it will be released on September 12th.
Slitherine has announced Pike and Shot, a strategy game taking place during the 16th and 17th centuries.
The game features 30 historical scenarios that cover the main battles of three of the most important conflicts of the 16th and 17th centuries:
* The Thirty Years’ War (1616-1648)
Pilgram-Lomnitz, 1618; White Mountain, 1620; Wimpfen, 1622; Lutter, 1626; First Breitenfeld, 1631; Lutzen, 1632; First Nordlingen, 1634; Wittstock, 1636; Second Breitenfeld, 1642; Roccoi, 1643
* The English Civil War (1642-1651)
Stratton, 1643; Adwalton Moor, 1643; Edgehill, 1642; Storming of Bristol, 1643; Nantwich, 1644; Cheriton, 1644; Marston Moor, 1644; Lostwithiel, 1644; Second Newbury, 1644; Naseby, 1645
* The Great Italian Wars (1494-1559)
Seminara, 1495; Fornova, 1495; Ravenna, 1512; Novarra, 1513; Marignano, 1515; Bicocca, 1522; Pavia, 1525; Ceresole, 1544; St. Quentin, 1557; Gravelines, 1558.
Dropping 32bit support was a huge change for Galactic Civilizations. On the one hand we know that it means that there is a percentage of potential customers that won't be able to play the game. On the other, we are able to do things we could never do before, such as play a game with 100 players, which is exactly what I did this week. The following is the results.
*** Disclaimer ***
The following if from a super early version of the Beta 2 build. You will see some bugs and partially added features. The most noticeable bug is that the font text looks a little wonky and isn't showing special characters. This is because we are rewriting the font code, some players had issues using DirectWrite (the old solution), and performance was pretty bad. The new font code fixes all of that, but you will see missing character and font alignment issues in the following screenshots.
*** Disclaimer #2 ***
I am a modder and I did this as a mod which required 3 new xml files. One to add all the new factions, one to add names for the factions and one to add new colors for the factions. I didn't go as far as giving the factions all unique planet names, icons, etc. Which would have been cool, but this is really just to put the engine to the test.