Recent Articles In Elemental Dev Journals » Page 3
Been working on the tactical summons code for v1.4 of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes!

Should be some fun. 

While I was in there, I made some tweaks that should let the AI perform magic just generally better.  This is one of those things that just takes a lot of play time to master.  Knowing WHEN and WHERE and WHY to cast spells is not an “AI” thing. It’s a human judgment call that has to manifest itself in AI.

So keep those posts coming. It ...
October 1, 2013 by Island Dog on ID's place to speak
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes was released earlier this year and has proven itself to be a hit among fans of the series.  Players have been busy immersing themselves in the world of Elemental, building their empires with the characters you can create and customize.

Over the past few months we have released several DLC packs to keep the excitement going and provide more content for players. I run into people all the time who don’t realize these packs are available, or don’t...
I’ve ready a lot of comments on Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes AI.  I feel confident in saying that most people seem very satisfied with it overall. But I think most people would say it’s not quite as good as GalCiv II’s.

In some respects, the GalCiv series is an anomaly.   I’ve been programming AI on GalCiv games for 20 years.  Let’s put that on the table for a moment and consider the ramifications. Can anyone think of a game, any game in the history of game devel...

So here we are! July 2013.  Next month will mark the 3 year anniversary of the launch of the first Elemental game!

2010: Elemental: War of Magic

2012: Elemental: Fallen Enchantress

2013: Elemental: Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes

Could we worse. Could be like Star War: Episode 2: Attack of the Clones!

So where do we stand?

Legendary Heroes v1.3

We are still working on v1.3.  The AI got a major overhaul for v1.3 and so there’s a...
I’m going to try to keep this as brief as I can.

One of the most common complaints I see about strategy games is that the AI doesn’t play well.  That is, in fact, a reality and there are a lot of reasons for it which I want to talk about in this blog.

The biggest factory today against good AI is the bell curve.  If you can make the AI “good enough” to beat 90% of the players on a reasonably high difficulty, it gets very tough to justify the extra expense in making it better....
Since the beginning of Fallen Enchantress, people have claimed that the AI monsters will sit next to any enemy city and not attack.  They concluded that the monsters were giving AI players a pass. 

I have responded that I have looked at the code over and over and the monsters do not treat computer players any differently.

Well, tonight I’m seeing the behavior very starkly.

These ogres should be wiping out this AI city.

The code says that the ogres want to wipe...
With Legendary Heroes out, I can finally start reading how people are playing the “finished” game.  Kael’s gotten me tons of reports and I’ve started tackling them one by one.

I am hoping to have the first batch ready for the next update (perhaps as early as next week). But that won’t be the end of it.  I plan to take care of some low hanging fruit strategy suggestions first and then go on and deal with the more challenging aspects that will require a lot more play testing to do. ...
May 31, 2013 by Island Dog on ID's place to speak
Since FE: Legendary Heroes launched last week, the reviews and fan responses have been very positive and we appreciate the sharing of news and that you are enjoying the game.  I wanted to post a roundup of some of the reviews that have come in so far.

IGN (8/10) -

Game Informer (8.5) -
May 19, 2013 by Derek Paxton on kael
The full story of Legendary Heroes is a long one, but it started with a promise.  In November of 2010 War of Magic had shipped, it wasn't doing well and Brad promised to provide 2 free expansions to anyone who had purchased it.  This is a very unusual thing for a company to do, but as an outsider it impressed me that Stardock was that committed to their games and their customers.

So I went to Michigan to meet with Brad and I accepted a job at Stardock making video games for a li...

This is an example of a game of Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. For my own personal enjoyment, I create my own backstories and motivations for what occurs in a given game.  In reality, Fallen Enchantress games are played in a “sandbox”. That is, the world is randomly generated and what happens changes from game to game.  This story is about one particular game. The world you see described here will never happen again nor will the events ever be repeated because e...
May 10, 2013 by Island Dog on ID's place to speak
Stardock's Brad Wardell is on the latest podcast from Geeks with Wives. A wide range of topics are discussed from gaming to comics, so be sure to head over and download and listen to episode 83 at the link below.

Once upon a time… Thousands of years ago, the world of Elemental was filled with magic.  This was the time of the Magi.  In their quest to create ever more powerful magical devices, the Magi foolishly created The Forge of the Overlord.  It allowed its users to bend the fabric of reality entirely.  It also brought their world to the attention of the Dred'nir, immortal Titans who lived beyond the world.   They arrived and utterly destroyed the Magi and enslaved manki...
Stardock’s lead game developer, Cari “Elf” Begle, who led the effort in Galactic Civilizations I, The Political Machine, Galactic Civilizations II and part of Fallen Enchantress (until she went on maternity leave) will be leaving us on May 1 to focus on being a mom.  She’s one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. She’s an amazing developer, a kind hearted person and is always eager to take on new challenges. She was the one who did most of our network programming (including the multi...
A Promising Start

It was 165 years since the cataclysm which had wiped out nearly all civilization in the world. In that time, monsters, thugs and other beasts had taken over the land.

In the far wastes of Ishira, a land long forgotten in the world of Elemental, a young adventurer named Thalan had risen and intended to bring civilization back to the land.

That summer, Thalan founded Aduron, which means “Civilization” in the ancient tongue of the Magi.  The land around A...
Doing nothing but AI work today.