Category Archives: New Version

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.

Stellar Monarch version 1.30

Version 1.30 released

December version introduces a new ironman mode “Surrounded by Traitors” which makes maintaining loyalty of imperial officials much more tricky. Especially over time since the loyalty degrades more when time passes when this ironman mode is selected. This version also introduces a new event related to loyalty and interface improvements.

– [feature] Ironman mode: Surrounded by Traitors. Every 100 turns starting Loyalty of new imperial officials (courtiers, governors, officers) is reduced by -1 (up to -5), except political officers who are unaffected. Much higher chance for “Loyalty decreased” event. “Loyalty increased” event will never happen.
– [feature] New very rare event “Loyalty decreased”. Each imperial official has 50% chance for Loyalty -1. Note that this event is much more frequent if Surrounded by Traitors ironmode is selected.

– [interface] Summary of governors/courtiers/officers on Empire/Summary screen now also displays average competence/loyalty/corruption.
– [interface] Additional accessories for imperial officials portraits (more earrings for females and a new data visor for males). Note that with old saves you might have some existing portraits changed and might see some odd overrepresentation of certain accessories, it’s just a cosmetic thing and affects old saves only.
– [interface] Increased chance for accessories for female portraits.
– [interface] Reverted back to the old faction icons (while the new ones were more sharp and visible, I have to agree with some concerns raised on the forum that the old more blurry ones are more consistent with the style of portraits and since factions icons are displayed mostly on portraits making them look good with portraits is a priority, plus the imperial eagle which is displayed on governors portrait is a blurred one, so I suppose it’s more consistent to make all over portrait icons with blurred versions).

Stellar Monarch version 1.29

Version 1.29 released

November version focuses on two things. Making native alien population actually provide some in-game effect and replacing remaining icons with the new pixel perfect style. Also many icons/buttons were fine tuned and improved in terms of consistency, intuitiveness and visibility.

– [feature] Native alien population provide bonus to Farms and Mines output proportional to the number of natives.
– [feature] Advanced Customization option for extra native alien population.

– [balance] Presence of native population chance and quantity redone. Natives are never present on Terra (since Terrans are the original natives of this planet). Never on Barren and Lava, unlikely on Ice. Abundant (both chance and quantity of natives) on Jungle, Swamp, Terran planet types. Note this does not affect old saves since native population is generated on game start.
– [balance] Overall native population is more abundant in the galaxy. Note this does not affect old saves since native population is generated on game start.

– [interface] Faction symbols replaced with hand crafted pixel perfect art.
– [interface] Population icons (Terran, Civilized Aliens, Hostile Aliens, Natives) redone. Now it shows “heads” and overall is more intuitive (hostile aliens not only are marked red but also have vicious faces which should incite your natural urge to exterminate them on sight which is consistent with game effects :D). Also done used pixel perfect art.
– [interface] Interface elements (scroller, close, help) adjusted.
– [interface] Improved population display on planets (no 0m Terrans listed if there are no Terrans, which means a less cluttered interface).

Stellar Monarch version 1.28

Version 1.28 released

October version got improved graphics and interface. The small stuff that was considered too low priority until now. Also a new nameset (Eastern ethnic group).

– [interface] Top menu icons redone (credits, upkeep, stormtroopers, minerals, food, gas, etc). These were redone by a proper pixelartist.
– [interface] Scroller up/down icon buttons, close button icon, help button icon redone.
– [interface] Adjusted minimap bottom buttons sizes and position.

– [misc] Eastern ethnic group got a new nameset (Czech-like sounding). This nameset will be put in to courtier random name generator when Eastern ethnic group is selected (Ethnic Customization option available upon game start).

Stellar Monarch version 1.27

Version 1.27 released

September version introduced ethnic groups. A purely cosmetic feature which allows you to choose the feel of the names for your courtiers and other imperial officials. All namesets have been divided into 3 ethnic groups. Western group which holds names typical for Western Europe and North America, Eastern group which holds names typical for Eastern Europe and Oriental group which holds names typical to Asia. Also, if you want all of them at once you can use Mixed group. It allows you to adjust the feel of the game and it has no impact on the gameplay. In addition there are traditional small improvements, fixes, etc.

– [feature] Ethnic customization button added to the new game screen which holds cosmetic adjustments options.
– [feature] Ethnic groups introduced (Ethnic customization button). Now you can select Western, Eastern or Oriental ethnic group for your empire which determine the names for all characters. You can also select Mixed ethnic group which will use all those at once.

– [misc] Better names for characters (name generator prefers shorter first name + last name combinations so those fit better and a bigger font can be used in most cases).

– [balance] Different starting stats based on courtier’s faction (Economists tend te be less corrupted, Cancellists more loyal, Traditionalists more competent; Warlords and Genetechnologists no changes). It should add a bit of immersion (like Traditionalists who are the descendants of the old aristocracy being more apt to rule but not so loyal while Cancellists being bureaucrats who want no trouble and therefore being more loyal). It also allows you to predict slightly what to expect when you look at the faction affiliation of a courtier.

– [interface] Additional accessories for males (goggles, monocles).

– [fix] Emperor’s genetic makeup list in the chancellor screen not matching the genetic picks (it was a cosmetic problem only since the perks were accounted properly, so this fix just repairs the list of perks display).
– [fix] Small fixes.

Automobile Tycoon version 1.00

Version 1.00 released

Today Automobile Tycoon leaves Early Access with the release of the final version 1.00. All bugs and issues reported during the EA have been fixed and the game is ready to be played by regular players now. I would like to thank all players who participated in the EA for their reports and comments and for trying the game of course.

The game is getting a standard post release support, like my other games, for the upcoming years. It means especially critical bug fixes.

– [misc] Polish and cleanup preparing for the final release (upgraded engine, removed remaining testers notices and options, minor alterations of the interface, final testing)

Stellar Monarch version 1.26

Version 1.26 released

August version is all about interface. Numerous small changes aimed to make it more consistent, intuitive and easier to use. There is also a new “find planet” option on the list of planets screen, useful if you remember only the planet name and wish to find it quickly.

– [misc] default names for all fleets (a small thing but it’s more consistent for all fleets to have a default name upon game start).

– [interface] Reports tabs remember their position (requested by players).
– [interface] Find planet by name input box on list planets screen.
– [interface] New input text boxes (rename planet, rename fleet, save filename, etc). More intuitive and consistent with the one you have in your OS.
– [interface] Mouse cursor changes when hovering over a hyperlink. More intuitive and consistent with the one you have in your OS.

Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown

I would like to announce a new game I’m working on. It’s a classic, old-school, party-based RPG for PC.

Inspiration:
The game is a classic western RPG inspired by the games from the 90s. Basically, it’s the kind of game I personally find missing nowadays. Light, fairy tale, epic, heroic and slightly humorous. One that does not take tons of hours to complete or require endless grind to progress. Something that caters to players like me who don’t have 40 hours to beat one game but still like to play and have a sort of nostalgia for the way games were made in the old days.

It was inspired by Dungeon Master, Eye of The Beholder 2, Might & Magic 3-5, Crystals of Arborea (a not so well known prequel to Ishar series), GoldBox series (Champions of Krynn, Dark Queen of Krynn, etc).

Core design choices:
1) Classic, 90 degree rotation, FPP, turn-based, tile movement RPG.
2) Party-based (7 party members assembled upon start).
3) Open world with a big overworld to explore.
4) Fast paced combat. Quick travel. Easy inventory management. No grind.
5) Light, fairy tale like fantasy, epic story about heroes on a noble quest.

Mechanics:
Mechanically it’s 100% turn based (so you can go and make tea in the middle of a fight) with grid movement and 90 degree rotation. All this very fast paced, both combat and travel is really fast. The goal was to cut down the boring parts and flesh out the fun parts. Also, there is no loading screen when changing locations or other slowdowns 🙂
Overall, the mechanics are pretty traditional and straightforward with modern additions like equipment encumbrance system.

World and Storyline:
Storyline is a fairy tale, mythical heroic fantasy. You are the good guys on a quest to fight the forces of evil (no moral choices). The world is non linear, with very few locked areas. You basically can go anywhere and do things in different order. In addition you can choose a different set of quests to finish the game (but those are not mutually exclusive, so you can finish all quests if you like). It’s more like a world driven than a story driven. The priority was to make the world feel alive and let you explore it as you wish than follow a linear list of quests.

The game starts when the royal wizard finds out about an old crown that belonged to the royal family since generations. Yet, strangely no one ever heard about the crown and there was just a single mention of it in the royal annals. Upon further study he discovered that there has been cast a powerful spell of forgetfulness of unknown origin which caused everyone in the whole land to forget the crown ever existed. Without knowing who or why went into such trouble to conceal the existence of the crown he decided to investigate it. He summoned a party of noble heroes and tasked them with finding whereabouts of the mysterious crown and the origin of the spell.

Release date:
The game is planned to be released around 2018 – 2019.

Stellar Monarch version 1.25

Version 1.25 released

July version includes a lot of behind the scenes work, most of it won’t be noticeable since it affects small & rare glitches and make internal mechanics more logical and consistent. In addition a bunch of interface improvements, especially the long requested sorted battle reports.

– [misc] Automated fleets now behave more like manual ones in terms on when those make decisions and move. So those will enter the battle instantly (like manual ones) but will react slower to the operational situation (like retaking planets) since they no longer can see what AI will do next.

– [interface] List of battles sorted. At the top space battles you lost, then stalemates, then won space battles. At the very bottom ground battles (sorted by invasion progress).
– [interface] ESCAPE key closes the current screen, only when nothing is open it opens/closes quick menu.
– [interface] Tractor Beams explanation added to Fleet/Shipyard context help.
– [interface] Ships in reserve count added to Fleet/Squadrons.
– [interface] Minerals used for ships production added to Industry report.

– [fix] Excess industrial facilities on some planets. Also improved the facilities building algorithm to make it a bit more intelligent.