Recent Articles In Elemental Dev Journals » Page 2
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?

v1.6 of Legendary Heroes seems to have gone well and we’re now moving on to v1.7.  I’m not sure what the rest of the team has in store for that (it’s Kael’s team, I’m just a floater).  But I’ve got 16 engineer hours of my own time for v1.7 and want to make sure every hour is spent well.  I don’t know how many of you are interested in the sausage factory side of game development but if you are, this is a good chance to see it ...
We’ve been blessed with a lot of fantasy 4X games in the past few years.

Besides the Elemental games we’ve gotten Warlock, Age of Wonders 3, Eador, and soon Endless Legends. If you like fantasy games, I highly recommend checking them all out (except War of Magic which is inferior to all of them).

Unfortunately, as game designers, we have an unusual challenge: Magic.

Magic isn’t fair

It is really really hard to write good AI in a game that literally allows players to conjure u...
We had a great discussion about what features of LH players liked the most.

Now, let’s turn it on its head.  What parts of Legendary Heroes do you like the least?

This doesn’t have to be a feature list either, it could be elements of the game (or parts of the game) that you just find boring or frustrating or poorly thought out.

Let us know!
April 20, 2014 by Derek Paxton on kael

This will be a fun week for Legendary Heroes.  On Tuesday we will be release the 1.6 patch as well as updated to the Quest, Loot and Dead World DLC.  Overall this is a balance patch based on lots of playing (this is a process that can go on forever in games like this).  But we also have a few good things in store.

There is a fix that improves the randomness of item generation which is a significant fix, especially if you have the DLC’s (the more items you have, ...
Greeeeeeeeeeeeetings my friends!

This post is more for indie developers who want to know how much money things make. 

First some basics on game budgeting:

Every person on your game you should budget at $10,000 per month. It’s a good rule of thumb.  You should target a 25% “profit” on your game to cover the unexpected as well as for future growth Steady State income represents the gross income of your game without sales, promotions, new releases, etc. Stead...
Lots of cool stuff going on around here.

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes 1.6 is due out in April and there will be a new DLC released shortly after that.  It involves spouses. That’s all I’ll say.

Legendary Heroes 2.0

Also, as some of you may have heard, Legendary Heroes 2.0 has been approved and budgeted. This will be a free update of some significance.  I don’t have a due date for it yet but it does have some interesting changes in it including ZOC for monster lai...
First off, for those of you not familiar with our forum structure, I go by 2 handles: Draginol and Frogboy.  Draginol came from the old idea that when I posted from home, I’d use a different handle. Bah. Now I never get them straight.

Anyway, I need your help. 

As concisely as possible, can you list the things in Legendary Heroes that you find the most FUN.  Not unique. Not stand-out. But FUN. Can be something that you love in many games.

After a few posts, I’ll l...
I’m going to do a follow up article soon on how I almost killed myself with cough suppressants.  Long story short, I came down with a bad cold in January but I’ve been traveling like crazy so to function, I just took a bunch of cough suppressants to control the cold.  Unfortunately, that led to a pretty severe case of bronchitis which has basically taken me out for the past 3 weeks.

Lots of stuff going on in the Elemental universe though.  An additional year of development ef...
Derek (Kael) has been super busy with the general expansion of Stardock Entertainment over the past 3 years.  AS I type this, there are 7 concurrent game projects going on.  Back in 2008, I dreamt of having a second team.  Here we are, 6 years later with seven teams.  I’m writing this from the airplane on my way to visit one of the new studios (one that hasn’t been announced yet).

So what does that mean for fans of the Elemental universe?  The answer is, lots of goo...
Introduction These collected notes are are often sketchy. Much has been lost over the years.  To the best of my ability, I have put together the hints, scraps and rumor together in order to give you a somewhat coherent history of the world of Elemental.  Some of this may just be myth as much of it seems fantastical and unbelievable. It is, however, the best I can do and will, I hope, allow us to predict what events may occur next.

The Lost History In the beginning there we...
Over the past 20 years there has been a lot of changes in how games are made.   When I first got started, I had Deluxe Paint, Vista Pro and graph paper as my non-compiler tools.

My latest, favorite gadget is the Wacom Cintiq which lets me, very quickly, whip up UI designs to pass on to the team for critique.  Below is a screenshot of a UI mockup for something we’re working on.


For those of you not familiar with our Elemental game universe here it is in brief:

Elemental is a fantasy world made up of many different civilizations vying for control the world. There is a great deal of history and lore to tap into and we decided to begin making games in this world back with 2010s release of War of Magic.  Unfortunately, when it came out, it was pretty buggy and got some negative reviews. We fixed the bugs but the game itself was still pretty meh.

 Deadly Foes update released!v1.4Stardock is proud to announce the release of v1.4 of Legendary Heroes, the expansion to Fallen Enchantress. Version 1.4 adds dozens of significant enhancements to the game including but not limited to:The original Fallen Enchantress scenario has been addedA host of new summoning spellsEnhanced AI for handling the new summoning spellsSignificant improvements to late-game performance for multi-core PC playersRebalancing of monstersStability improvementsand...
I was playing Galactic Civilizations II last night. I hadn’t played it in a very long time and was stunned by just how much…awesome it has in it.  That awesomeness didn’t come from the original design. It came from years and years of iteration and frankly, labors of love.

The problem I see with Legendary Heroes is that it’s really hard to do iteration like that.  After all, it’s technically Elemental: Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes. It’s a mouth full.  No one cal...