Author Archives: Chris

Legends of Amberland version 1.13.2

Version 1.13.2 released

This version fixes two bugs, one of them being quite annoying and adjusted the map a tiny little bit to allow you to uncover 100% of the overworld. Plus standard improvements.

– [misc] Slightly adjusted the map to allow you to uncover the whole map (cosmetic change which allows you to uncover the whole mountain range). It does not affect the gameplay in anyway, just changed some mountains to water tiles, it does not open any new routes or anything. It’s purely for people who want to uncover the whole map.
– [misc] Improved monster dying animation.
– [misc] Changed description of two locations.
– [misc] Spelling fixes.

– [interface] Adjusted the color of an unselected button.

– [fix] Hit icon sometimes not being displaying if the monster attacks.
– [fix] Highlighting non-existant characters during combat if less than 7 characters are selected upon game start.

Legends of Amberland coming to Nintendo Switch

It’s official now, Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown is coming to Nintendo Switch this year!

In the last year I was pestered by various individuals about the Nintendo Switch. They claimed it would be a sure hit on Switch. For me, never really playing on consoles, it was a black magic and I was kind of sceptical. But why not I thought, if it was to be someone else doing the port I could go for it. Shortly after I started looking for someone to do the port, I was contacted by a mysterious company called Pineapple Works. They preyed their eyes on Amberland for a while and were just waiting for the right time to make the offer. They were quite enthusiastic about it and the deal was fair and decent. So, I went with it.

Soon after, when we met at GIC in Poland, they handed me their Nintendo with Legends of Amberland running. I started to play and… then it instantly struck me, IT MIGHT WORK! No, IT WILL WORK! If someone like me, who never owned a console could instantly go into it and play it and it was so flawless, and mind you it was just a quick dirty tech version for my eyes only, then how it will be perceived by people who know how to play and after it’s finished and polished? That’s the time when I believed in it.

Many months later, after a long and uneasy journey they said the Nintendo Switch version is ready. One thing I would like to mention and assure you is that I was involved in the process and I can guarantee that the story and gameplay was not watered down in any way. It is a faithful and a very accurate port, just as the author envisioned. The people from Pineapple Works made a really good job! It’s a fine port for sure.

The Nintendo Switch release is planned for late March 2020 and it will be localized to several languages. The exact date and exact languages will be disclosed later.

Stellar Monarch version 1.43

Version 1.43 released

A big autonomous fleets overhaul. I the last month or so I was brooding over how autonomous fleets should be tweaked to make them more intuitive and efficient. There are two big changes, one in how the offensive fleets process conquest orders and second is the introduction of patrol squadrons which are used by defensive fleets. As usual, all this is explained in tooltips ingame. One more change for the expansion, now you can prioritize planets for Astro Engineers which gives you more control over which planet is going to be terraformed next.

– [feature] Redo of autonomous fleets conquest orders processing. Now fleets can not “reserve” the conquest order but instead the first eligible (which has the target planet within area of responsibility) fleet that is ready will execute the order. So, now multiple fleets can prepare an offensive vs a target planet and the first one that’s ready will execute it. The remaining fleets that targeted that planet will retarget.
– [feature] Added patrol squadrons which are used as a fast reaction/reserve forces for defensive fleets. Those will be sent to newly colonized/conquered planets in order to strengthen the defences till the regular guard squadrons can be properly created and reinforced.
– [feature][expansion#1] Now you can prioritize a planet for Astro Engineers (for all purposes, Terraforming and satellites). A planet that is manually prioritized by the Emperor has a much higher priority on the Astro Engineers task list. The priority AE marker is shown on the starmap (similar to prioritize exploration marker).

– [engine] No more forcing dedicated GFX card if two cards are present (while it fixed wrong configurations on some machines it disallowed use of integrated card if the player wished so which was desired in some situations). Now it reacts to system configuration.

– [interface] New patrol squadrons selector on Fleet/Orders.

– [fix] Incorrect Stormtroopers gain.
– [fix] Game version was sometimes displayed incorrectly after loading an old save.

Stellar Monarch version 1.42.1

Version 1.42.1 released

Another quick update, mostly related to the expansion and spelling fixes.

– [balance][expansion#1] Double AE costs for all Astro Engineers actions (satellites, terraforming, megastructures). Note you can adjust some of those (via Advanced Customization settings) for example if you want to have earlier megastructures.
– [balance][expansion#1] Astro Engineer’s asteroid fields mining is scaled to the number of planets now (more intuitive and balanced).

– [misc][expansion#1] Now Astro Engineer’s asteroid fields mining will be auto enabled even if selected None priority if there are no other valid tasks available (zero waste policy).
– [misc] A lot of spelling fixes.

– [fix][expansion#1] Astro Engineers bug.

Stellar Monarch version 1.42

Version 1.42 released

A quick update based on the early feedback from the expansion players. I tried to improve here the most confusing and unclear things. The base game got small interface improvements as well.

– [interface] Small improvements and beautification of the interface.
– [interface][expansion#1] New technologies option moved to a separate box to make it more clear and visible.
– [interface][expansion#1] Added terraformation table explaining all the terraformation rules (on astro engineers screen).

– [fix][expansion#1] When all megastructure projects are done the event to select a new one still pops up during an audience.

Expansion for Stellar Monarch “The Age of Technology” available 9th December 2019

In a few days the long time ago promised expansion for Stellar Monarch is out. Here is the list of features.

ABOUT THE EXPANSION:
The Age of Technology expansion focuses on technology and science. New optional research mechanics (random technologies, hidden technologies, additional technologies), terraforming mechanic, new alien races, astro engineers, construction of megastructures and a few minor additions.

There is an option to disable the expansion for people who prefer to play without it and an option to enable only some of the features of the expansion, so everyone can customize the gameplay to his/her own taste.

MAJOR FEATURES:
* Research mechanics improved (hidden technologies option, random technologies option, new technologies)
* New asymmetric alien races (Hyberians, Mechatrons, Exotrians) activating at random
* Astro Engineers who can construct megastructures and terraform planets
* Megastructure: Imperial Battlestar (fearsome mobile battle station to stregthen your defences to ensure internal security)
* Megastructure: Homeworld Reconstruction (turn Terra into Megacity planet)
* Megastructure: Subspace Inhibitor (deal with those pesky The Hive once and for all)
* Terraformation mechanic
* Satellites mechanic
* New planet types (Toxic and Steppe)
* New Scientific Glorious Achievement

Stellar Monarch version 1.41

Version 1.41 released

This version contains a lot of rebalancing, an option to bribe pirates and an improved starmap generator. I was continuing to examine the savefiles you sent me, especially then ones at higher difficulty levels and I was trying to find out why it’s too easy at difficulty 9, that’s when I found a kind of “bug” or to be more precise a dubious design decision regarding difficulty calculations made at an early stage of the development. Basically, not all races were scaled to the difficulty (like pirates) and some races were scaled quite gently (like The Hive). After some deliberation I decided to rewrite that part and unify the difficulty calculations for all races. Now all races scale by more or less the same magnitude based on the difficulty. The intended result is that if you play at the Normal difficulty you should not notice much of a difference but when you play at Hard/Insane it should really shake things up. I also added you an option to bribe pirates with an interesting cost formula which scales to time and number of planets so it should be affordable at the beginning but not so at the end. The next change was the starmap generator. There is a subtle change regarding galactic rim. Now there are fewer connections between edge systems and there are no very long connections (which allowed you kind of “fast travel” if you controlled the galactic rim). Now the edges of the galaxy look much more interesting (shape wise) and is better gameplay wise.

– [feature] Bribing pirates option (intelligence screen).
– [feature] Extra difficulty settings for those who still find it too easy even at the highest difficulty. To enable it go to options and enable “Experimental features”, then, when you select difficulty 9 you will see additional options to make it even harder (note it’s totally not recommended, it’s just an extra option for people who know what they are doing).

– [balance] Changed military power formula (for all races). Now they all scale to the selected difficulty level (previously pirates were not scaled, The Hive was only minimally scaled, etc). This greatly changes the balance at difficulties other than normal.
– [balance] Rifts open much earlier at difficulty 7+ (previously at 8+).

– [misc] Changed starmap generator (nicer looking edges, fewer connections at the galactic rim, no long connections on the galactic rim).
– [misc] Transdimensional aliens and all other races which do not use reinforcements mechanic will disband zero units squadrons (a cosmetic change to avoid clutter of empty units in some very rare cases).
– [misc] Small spelling and linguistic improvements.

– [interface] Added warning notice when selecting difficulty 8+ on the new game screen.
– [interface] Small interface improvements.

– [fix] Added fallback to ugly planet names when nice planet names list is exhausted. It fixes a very rare cosmetic planet names bug on huge galaxies.
– [fix] Open rifts (via audience) was not working properly.
– [fix] Trade with self bug fixed (although, for a moment I was considering if that’s a bug or a feature :)).

Stellar Monarch version 1.40

Version 1.40 released

While I was making the expansion I also took the opportunity to review all the game rules and mechanics. This version includes a lot of changes, tweaks and improvements, usually small ones, to existing mechanics.

Overall there are 4 bigger changes:
1) New “suppressed” mechanic. Now The Hive and Parasites can not launch offensive operations from Barren or radiated planets. It adds to your disposal several strategic options, like nuking planets to prevent invasions from those race, make a sanitary cordon around Parasites homeworld or to plan your borders according to presence of Barren planets buffering you from The Hive.
2) Planetary development level works slightly different now, most races will only increase the development level and never decrease it (except some vicious primitive races which will devastate planets they live on). This is a subtle change but it opens new strategic considerations, like you can now hunt for higher development planets than your level so you clam them for yourself (you no longer will degrade those planets to your level) and you will be more conscious what the Hive and other primitive races do in the areas you wanted to conquer eventually.
3) Introduced limit to the number of subsidized planets. It was a bit too micromanagement heavy in some cases, now with the limit it’s more of a strategic choice which planets to subsidize.
4) I was looking through the save files you were sending me (actually, only like 2 people answered my call for those :)) and I examined what was unbalanced, especially in terms what was too trivial to accomplish. With this version I introduced a bunch of balance tweaks based on this examination. Things like trade value, loyalty of planets, resources, budget, glorious achievements, etc.

Since this version introduced a lot of gameplay chanages, I have added Steam beta branch “v1.3”, you can enable it if you liked the old rules better or want to finish your current game under the old rules.

– [feature] Now when you gain the ability to close transdimensional rifts you also gain an ability to open them and trigger the invasion. You can do so by an audience action event (a scientist will attend with this option).
– [feature] You will claim the title of ‘Defender of the Galaxy’ (via audience event) if all rifts are sealed and transdimensional invasion is not possible anymore.
– [feature] All races that use bio ships (The Hive & Parasites) are suppressed on Barren or radiated planets. Being suppressed means those races can’t launch any offensive operations from those planets. So, you can use nukes to hold off invasions of some primitive races or position yourself better if you stop your expansion just before a Barren planet (or you can preemptively nuke an uncolonized planet near The Hive borders to keep a buffer zone).
– [feature] Planetary development level is not decreased by races anymore (only increased). Some primitive races got “Devastating” trait which allow them to lower the value (the old way). This makes development level changes more meaningful and allows hunting for planets with a superior development level since it’s retained after conquest.
– [feature] Limit of subsidized planets introduced which is 8 + 1 planet per 100 prestige (it was too micromanagement heavy since some high income empires tended to subsidize planets massively, now you have a limit on number of planets you can subsidize at once, so it’s more of a strategic choice which one to subsidize).

– [misc] The Hive overmind will never spawn on a Barren planet.
– [misc] Renamed difficulty levels (1-2 Easy, 3-5 Normal, 6-7 Hard, 8-9 got a new designation “Insane”).
– [misc] Altered starmap generator. Outer rim planets (the very edge of the galaxy) have significantly lower chance for rare resources also the best planet types (Terran and Megacity) will never be generated there (to give the feel of inhospitable & dangerous galactic rim).
– [misc] Spellcheck and text cleanup.

– [balance] Planet’s life quality can now fall to 0 (previously minimum 1). It can affect some Barren planets orbiting certain sun types.
– [balance] Slightly reduced planetary loyalty from happiness, reduced planetary security rating from governor’s competence, reduced base planetary loyalty from 20% to 10% (the planetary loyalty/security bars were too much to the right overall, diluting the need to care about those, plus planets were too insignificant when it comes to rebel points generation compared to the court and military).
– [balance] Solar energy works on Barren now (unusable on Ice and Tundra only) which is more intuitive.
– [balance] Blue stars grant +2 research points instead of +1 (the previous effect was too small for you to bother).
– [balance] Planetary development level changes made slower (0.25 to 0.10 per turn) but faster if a very low development level.
– [balance] Nuke also eradicates The Hive’s Overmind if present.
– [balance] Farms, refineries and factories output reduced.
– [balance] Services output doubled (there was not enough income from those to make those a viable focus).
– [balance] Trade income tripled.
– [balance] Increased cost of exerting budget also the cost now scales to number of planets under imperial control.
– [balance] Increased base difficulty for difficulty levels 5-9.
– [balance] Additional rule (difficulty: 8-9 only) Transdimensional aliens open rifts much earlier.
– [balance] Adjusted number of planets for glorious achievements (cosmetic change to make the numbers look nicer).
– [balance] Adjusted number of population for glorious achievements (both a cosmetic change and rebalance, overall, much higher numbers are required for the last two population glorious achievements).
– [balance] Ironman mode: Superstrong Alien Armadas now also affects armadas cooldown (reduced from 50 to 30 turns).

– [removed] Removed Insectoid Tunnels (those were useless anyway).

– [interface] Simplified planetary development level display on Economy page (it was a bit too detailed for the needs here, especially when a full information is given on the planet overview level anyway).
– [interface] Added ”Find” to some reports (Rebels take over, Hive Overmind killed). NOTE: reports might be slightly messed up the first time you load an old save (next turn those will be displayed properly)
– [interface] Rearranged minimap buttons (Astronomy moved before Specialization map mode) and adjusted descriptions.
– [interface] “Strategic Bombardment” button renamed to “Strategic Action” and enabled for all planets.
– [interface] Hotkeys for Conquest order [e] and Strategic Action [q]. Also hotkey to cancel Priority Exploration order changed to [e].
– [interface] Hotkeys 1-5 to switch options (so options behave like the rest of the interface).
– [interface] Planetary tabs can by switched by pressing 1,2,3 keys (consistent with the rest of the interface).
– [interface] Separate markers for planets with Overminds (brain icon).
– [interface] Small interface adjustments.

– [fix] Planetary development level tooltips were inconsistent (one took into account moon and one did not).
– [fix] Empire age was unchecked after changing map size on the main menu.