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.
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.
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.
Marches are a new type of subject that can be created from existing vassals. By designating your vassal as a March, you are giving that vassal greatly expanded autonomy in exchange for greater military service. A March does not pay taxes to its Overlord and cannot be diplomatically annexed. However, they get a 25% bonus to manpower, a 30% bonus to force limits and have 20% better fort defense, making them useful as military buffers against enemy states, or when you simply need additional soldiers more than you need the income from those territories. March status can be retracted, but doing so results in a stability hit and a very large opinion penalty with the vassal whose autonomy you just revoked.
Unrest & Rebels
The old system of revolt risk, with a chance of rebels spawning in a province by random chance every month has gone the way of the dodo. It was a system that has served us well through many versions of Europa Universalis, but we think we have something better.
The new concept reflecting unhappy subjects is called unrest. Unrest in a province will affect how quickly regiments and ships can be recruited there, but it has no direct impact on your economy, since we've introduced Local Autonomy to cover that side of the ledger.
Every province is aligned with one possible rebel faction. Each month, every province has a chance (depending on its unrest level) to see an increase in the progress of an uprising from the local rebels. When the progress reaches 100%, the faction rises up in revolt with as many stacks it has support for, and the unrest is reduced in those provinces - they have expressed their anger through arms and it's up to you to put them down.
Because unrest can happen anywhere, building courthouses and employing theologians is now a good strategy to reduce general unrest, not to mention adopting a few policies to placate the masses. The old tyrannical standby of Harsh Treatment now targets rebel factions instead of provinces and reduces the progress towards an uprising from that faction at a cost in MIL points, scaled to the size of this particular rebel faction. This change means we should get less micromanagement and more direct control of popular satisfaction in the hands of the player.
There is also no longer a distinction between accepted and enforced demands from successful rebellions. A rebel faction's demands are always the same.
In a more positive change, any Rebels that are friendly to you, either through culture or support will lift Fog of War for you.
It also goes into detail about how they're going to improve certain regions of the world. In this case, Caucasus, Persia, and Afghanistan. These all have new provinces and new nations, both starting and emergent.
Clockwork Empires is now in Earliest Access, which is basically just buying access for the game a month before it hits Steam Early Access. For Earliest Access you pay $29.99 and you will receive a Steam key for use on Early Access.
Firaxis' Civilization: Beyond Earth's product page has been updated with a release date: October 24th.
In case you've forgot what it's all about, Beyond Earth will be a standalone Civilization game set in space. Kind of like Alpha Centauri, I assume and hope.
Sid Meier's Civilization®: Beyond Earth™ is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a collapse of modern society, a new world order and an uncertain future for humanity. As the human race struggles to recover, the re-developed nations focus their resources on deep space travel to chart a new beginning for mankind.
As part of an expedition sent to find a home beyond Earth, you will write the next chapter for humanity as you lead your people into a new frontier and create a new civilization in space. Explore and colonize an alien planet, research new technologies, amass mighty armies, build incredible Wonders and shape the face of your new world. As you embark on your journey you must make critical decisions. From your choice of sponsor and the make-up of your colony, to the ultimate path you choose for your civilization, every decision opens up new possibilities.