Recent Articles In Elemental Dev Journals
Overview

Years ago, Random House asked me to write a book around the Elemental universe.  As a first time author, I was assigned an editor, Dave Stern, who soon became a good friend of mine.

Over the course of writing the book, now sold on Amazon, Dave and I would go back and forth on the story along with Random House's requests to ensure that the book was commercially successful.  I will be the first to admit that my vision of the story may not have been as commercial vi...
September 16, 2016 by Draginol on Brad Wardell - Opinionated Techie
Author’s note

Some years ago Stardock developed a game called Elemental: War of Magic.  We loved it.  Unfortunately, it was a bridge too far.  Too ambitious and it largely collapsed under its own tech.  The name Elemental was tarnished and we moved away from using it.

The original plan was to have:

Elemental: War of Magic (2010)

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress (2012)

Elemental: Legendary Heroes (2014)

Elemental: Sorcerer King (2016)

Ah the bes...
Sorcerer King Beta 4 is starting to come together. We expect to release it in early February.  There’s a ton of changes coming to it, most notably the new crafting system and summoning system. 

Below are two screenshots that give you a taste of some of the visual changes coming too.

 



I need more analytics in the game to do this properly but this is a start.

How long should a game last? That depends on the game. 

Sorcerer King, for me, as the designer, is meant to take elements of Master of Magic, Star control and FTL and put them together.  While those games may seem dissimilar, they each have key ingredients that I think can be blended together to create something really spectacular.

And Sorcerer King is turning out spectacularly.

Map Size Ran...
Years ago the world was at war. Ceresa, The Fallen Enchantress, had unleashed an army of the undead upon the Kingdoms and Empires of Elemental.

The adventurer, Relias, managed to acquire the necessary pieces to build the Forge of the Overlord and with it, defeated Ceresa and her allies.

For a time, there was peace.

Then, one day, a powerful Sorcerer named Mirdoth found the ancient artifact, Curgen's Bane.  It was thought that the bane had been lost in the cataclysm. This was...
The tentative name for the next DLC for Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is Battlegrounds.

A little background on the world

When a map is generated, we use tiny pieces of land called “stamps”.  The stamps were one of the first things we made when developing Fallen Enchantress and haven’t bee touched since. 

Needless to say, if you’ve played the game enough you start to recognize pieces of the world.  Moreover, in the years since they were made, we’ve found that...
A pet peeve of mine of fantasy strategy games is how weak magic often is.  It makes sense if every side is supposed to be equal. Can’t have 8 players wrecking the land, it would be a pure luck of the draw on who won.

But in Sorcerer King, it just you, the Sorcerer King and the peanut gallery.  The other players are effectively as powerful as they are in other 4X games. But you are incredibly powerful (and so is the Sorcerer King).

The player in Sorcerer King starts out, on tu...
The below spells are ones that I think can be implemented that have come from players.

Spell that creates a Swamp tile (slows movement) Spell that turns a group of tiles into ones that do damage if you walk through them. Meteor Strike – spell that destroys everything in it, leaves crater. Wall of Fire – tiles do damage to anyone who walks through them. Tsunami, huge wave of water is conjured up that wipes out units Your spell idea here… (will be reading comments, I have ...
All he wants to do is give you presents.
Simple example of the Dungeon Master punishing me for being a total jerk in the game.

http://screencast.com/t/tYwgUWtpc

http://screencast.com/t/WvqCML5VJD
Once upon a time there was Master of Magic Back in 2008, Stardock was just finishing up its work on Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor.  We had been in negotiations with Atari to acquire the Master of Magic rights (to the point that we actually own the domain www.masterofmagic.com).  We had a game design all planned out for it complete with Halfings, Gnolls, High Elves, the works.  To be safe, we were not going to stray very far from the original design other than t...
Q: What's the deal? There's a ton of awesome 4X fantasy strategy games to play. How is your game different?
A: This game assumes you’ve already played those games. And lost.


Q: Wait, what? I already lost? I haven’t even loaded up your game.
A: Yea, sorry about that.


Q: What the hell happened?
A: So to recap, in games like Fallen Enchantress, Age of Wonders, Worlds of Magic, Master of Magic, Warlock, Endless Legends, etc. you are trying to build an empire fro...
Okay guys! I'm out at the lake for the next couple weeks. I only plan to be on working when the weather is crummy.  I just checked out source code for E2015 and will be working on that during the rainy days.

While I'm out. please DO NOT burn down the place. I know it's tempting. I realize now that leaving the ammo dump and the fuel depot together in the same area of the forum were mistakes but resist! Just resist.

Thank you!
It looks like, with any luck, LH v1.7 will be going out a week from this Thursday (July 17th).

This is possibly the biggest update we’ve done to Legendary Heroes since its release.

You can read up on what’s new in it here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/455808/

Besides a ton of tweaks to the game itself, new features, new content and improved AI we were able to diagnose some crash bugs and fix them as well. So not only should it be the funnest update we’ve done but the most stabl...
All games, even the games that looked amazing when they come out eventually start to look “dated” visually.

The challenge isn’t determining whether a game’s graphics have started to get dated looking but what specifically makes a game start to look dated.

Let’s use Legendary Heroes as an example:



What parts of the game look dated today? What parts do you think will look dated in the near future?