Stardock is having a pretty good Summer and the good luck continues! Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is a huge hit! The Political Machine 2012 is due out at the end of July. And our new fantasy strategy game, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, is about to go into beta 4.
First, a brief catch up:
Elemental is a world filled with magic, monsters, and an epic history.
Fallen Enchantress is a strategy game that takes place in that world. It is approximately a century since a great cataclysm took place and now the world has been overrrun with monsters, bandits, and ancient terrors. It is up to you to build a kingdom from the ground up to bring civilization back to the world.
Fallen Enchantress Beta 4 is around improving the UI and making your cities more interesting and special. We’ve also continued to enhance the elements found previously such as the graphics, animation, balance, AI, stability, performance, etc.
Here are some screenshots that you might have seen online:
When a settlement reaches a certain population, the player can choose its specialization which determines what city improvements are available.
Cities in Fallen Enchantress use up multiple tiles based on what you build. In Beta 4, players no longer have to manually place where they put improvements. Instead, players choose an improvement and it is placed for them. Additional improvements will tend to replace an existing one. This solves a problem we found in previous betas where cities became sprawling across the world and made navigation tedious late game (and it saves a lot of memory too).
We revamped the main user interface to be more intuitive and yet provide more information at the same time. Now, what you see here is a later-gameish look so there’s a lot more “stuff” here. But as you can see, it’s overall a lot cleaner. You can look at it and get an idea of what is going on.
The cloth map has been revamped (planning on redoing the rivers too). Unlike most (as in, pretty much every strategy game out there), you can rotate and zoom in on the map any way you want. You can zoom in and see an individual peasant working on a farm or zoom out and see a strategic view of the world presented like a fantasy cloth map.
Beta 4 introduces a 3 core resource. Previously, there were two: Grain and Materials. Grain could be converted into food or other things that might build up your economy. Materials could be converted into production or other things that increase how fast you can build things. Beta 4 brings back the concept of Essence. When the Cataclysm nearly wiped out the world, the powerful magic users known as the Titans, were consumed and their essence spread about the world. Essence can be used by Sorcerers (which you are one in the game) to cast powerful spells, enhance cities, and build incredibly powerful improvements that can turn the tide in a war.
We don’t anticipate Beta 4 coming out until August 16th. Sorry for the wait on this but there’s a lot of polish, testing, balancing, and UI to get in there. And there will be a Beta 5 after Beta 4 at which point we’ll start thinking about a release date. We’re in no hurry. The objective here is to create the best fantasy strategy game we can possibly make.