Legends of Amberland version 1.27.1

Version 1.27.1 released

A trivial update to fix one bug. The previous version had third party libraries upgrade which turned out to contain a bug which was fixed in the next version of the library. It affected only v1.27 since it was the only version which had the specific library version which contained the bug. The bug was causing problems with audio playback. This version upgrades that library to the newest version and therefore removes the problem.

– [fix] Updated third party libraries to the newest version which fixes the audio bug introduced in the third party libraries update introduced in v1.27. In short, there was an audio problem which occurred only in v1.27 and this fixes it.

Legends of Amberland version 1.27

Version 1.27 released

This version focuses on gamepad support and SteamDeck support. Now the game can be fully played using gamepad without the need for mouse or keyboard, this includes built in virtual keyboard for entering text into input fields (which does not rely on Steam API and can be used standalone). In addition load/save interface was fully redesigned and made more clear and convenient to use.

Note that the exact gamepad model support might vary, so it’s not guaranteed your gamepad will work and/or it might require configuring first.

– [misc] SteamDeck start with Gamepad enabled by default (PC plugged gamepads still require experimental features enabled).
– [misc] Exposed gamepad configuration in “data/gamecontrollerdb.txt”, so you might attempt to reconfigure your gamepad if it’s not mapped correctly.
– [misc] Technical update (the newest version of third party libraries).

– [interface] Title screen updated to make the title font consistent with the fonts used in the new banners.
– [interface] Main menu bottom buttons and text auto resized (useful for very high resolutions).
– [interface] The input field to enter hero name can be selected via keyboard (so able to create party without using the mouse).
– [interface] Launches the virtual keyboard when attempting to enter hero name if a gamepad is plugged in.
– [interface] Redesigned Load/Save screen. Now fully keyboard and gamepad friendly (and also slightly more intuitive).
– [interface] The text input field on New Save launches the virtual keyboard if a gamepad is plugged in.
– [interface] Load/Save screen has now disabled scrolling when a confirmation box is active.
– [interface] Various small improvements of the Load/Save screen.
– [interface] Now “LT” is listed as fists on the buttons combo (to avoid confusion, since it needs to be held first).
– [interface] Center gamepad hints position on buttons (prettier in some rarer screen resolutions).
– [interface] Gamepad hints for movement buttons (when held the “RT” help button).
– [interface] More gamepad hints in various places (on all Back buttons, notice on new game that “RT” shows help, etc).

– [fix] Incorrect position of input box on load/save screen.
– [fix] Incorrect mouse clicking zone on levers interaction via mouse when facing some directions (not that anyone uses mouse for it, but still).

Stellar Monarch 2 version 1.12

Version 1.12 released

This is a pretty boring update with a few low priority fixes, interface improvements and some technical stuff. The only item from the list below that could potentially make you mildly excited is the optional notification when you accumulate enough legislation points to pas a new law. That is unless you play on SteamDeck or have a bad eyesight, in such case you might find this version revolutionary due to the font sizes adjustments. Basically all texts were reviewed on the size criteria and many texts that were very tiny became upgraded to a decent font size.

– [misc] Technical update (newest version of various libraries).

– [interface] Increased font size in several places, especially the very small font was increased significantly, so now everything is readable even on SteamDeck. Basically all tiny texts were enlarged significantly.
– [interface] Fleet details screen improved (displayed average statistics and officers centered).
– [interface] Optional notification when you have enough legislation points to enact a new law. Can be disabled in options.
– [interface] Other small improvements.

– [fix] Incorrect Stability instead of Centralization on Victory/game over screen.
– [fix] ESC key now always closes any open confirmation window (in some rare circumstances the confirmation window stayed open blocking the whole interface).
– [fix] Reforms priority button glitch.

You can follow my Steam Developer Page if you wish to be notified each time a new game or expansions is being released.

Also, if you have a moment to leave a Steam review of the game it would be appreciated. It makes a big difference to an indie developer like me. Thanks!

Legends of Amberland II platforms and date decided

The next instalment of the Amberland series comes to Steam, GOG and Nintendo Switch in 2023!

In the last month I was signing papers, negotiating, discussing schedules and planning stuff. So, here it is, the release plan of Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees.

– The game comes to Steam (PC). Store link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/2110840/Legends_of_Amberland_II_The_Song_of_Trees/
– The game comes to GOG (PC). Store link: https://www.gog.com/game/legends_of_amberland_ii_the_song_of_trees
– The game is basically guaranteed to come to Nintendo Switch (console). I have signed the letter of intent with Pineapple Works, the guys behind the excellent port of the predecessor, to port and publish the game on Nintendo Switch. So, based on my prior experience with them, I would say there will be no problems.
– The game might be ported to other consoles as well. It’s being examined if it’s feasible technically and financially, so maybe. In case the game were to be ported to additional consoles it would be done after the release.

The planned date of the release is 2023. It’s not decided yet if this will be a simultaneous launch on all platforms or maybe PC version would be done first. Not sure yet. Similarly, it’s not decided yet to which languages the game will be localized yet (but English, German and French localizations are guaranteed) and if the localization will be ready upon release or as a patch later. Still, all of those (Steam, GOG, Nintendo Switch in at least 3 languages) are planned to be concluded by the end of 2023.

If you want to know more, here is the presskit.

Dropping support for Windows 8 and 8.1

Windows 8 and 8.1 is no longer officially supported (all games)

Historically, most technical problems reported were related to Win 8/8.1. By this I mean like more than 50% reports total among all games, ever reported. I would say, it’s the most troublesome system ever released. In addition a very minuscule number of people use it nowadays, and even those who do, seem to have a second OS on another machine anyway. Which also means, I have harder and harder time to find testers to test it on that machine. The last thing is, I use various third party software for the engine and, well, let’s say that the maintainers of this software do not treat Win 8/8.1 support as a priority. All this combined lead me to decide it’s time to stop supporting this OS.

Note that Windows XP is still supported (at least for now).

Currently supported:
Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP.
Linux (flawless emulation on Linux via any compatibility layer, especially Proton, regularly tested).
Mac (unconfirmed, but I got reports it runs without problems on M1 Mac via emulation).

Stellar Monarch 2 version 1.11

Version 1.11 released

This version is intended to address various points raised in the “What do you find confusing” forum topic. While I tried to explain various concepts, I got a few times an idea how to better implement the thing that was confusing. For example governors’ statistics were adjusted heavily (instead of an unintuitive security rating boost now competence of governors simply adds a bonus to cities output and infrastructure points generation). There are now more descriptive tooltips and extended manual with more details. In addition, several changes were made which were at the border between a feature and a fix (mostly related to aliens). The last thing is an improvement of the interface, mostly aimed at better visibility on high resolutions (bigger fonts and dynamic sized fonts where possible). Overall, there is a bunch of changes but all those are very intuitive.

– [feature] Mechatrons implemented (can activate at an unspecified turn).

– [misc] Updated in-game help (added Rebellion chapter and listed all effects of all statistics of personnel).
– [misc] Arachnians will no longer wake up if their homeworld is lost, they will also instantly hibernate in such case.
– [misc] CyberMarch will become inactive (no more offensive operations) if their capital is lost.
– [misc] Governor’s Competence grants a bonus to cities output and infrastructure points generation. Governor’s Competence no longer affects Security rating of the planet.
– [misc] Fleets Loyalty affects SpecOps during rebellion.

– [balance] Extra defenses for CyberMarch near their capital. Also increased their power.

– [interface] Help improved (back buttons on all pages, bigger default font size).
– [interface] Ministry expansion naming unified (in some tooltips it was called level, in some called expansion and in some extension). Also added a better explanation that it increases effective Competence of the minister.
– [interface] Improved Aliens overview (list peace/war status, bigger fonts, more colors, etc).
– [interface] Bigger font size on Aliens description screen (will auto shrink to a smaller one if does not fit on the screen).
– [interface] Bigger font size on aliens portrait name (will auto shrink to a smaller one if does not fit).
– [interface] Bigger font size on Resources and Astronomy minimap planet highlight.
– [interface] Governor’s tooltip lists all effects of all statistics.

– [fix] Charisma of governors had no effect whatsoever. Now it’s added properly as a source of happiness from government. For clarity, the happiness from government on the happiness tooltip was split into two sources, one for Court and one for Governors.
– [fix] CyberMarch marking all planets as ready for conquest after losing their capital.
– [fix] Incorrect display of research points from blue sun on the Astronomy minimap tooltip.

Stellar Monarch 2 version 1.10

Version 1.10 released

This version is intended to address the early v1.00 feedback, mostly related to things which are confusing when playing the first time and some minor features. In addition AI was fine-tuned and it contains one fix which altogether will make Admirals and Imperial High Command react to your orders better. There was also reset modernizations button added.

– [feature] Reset modernizations option (on ships screen) to let experiment freely with ships setup.

– [misc] Emergency reinforcements for planets under invasion made a higher priority than conquest/retake lost planet orders.
– [misc] Improved Admirals & High Command AI to better prioritize targets.

– [interface] Made granting honorary titles more intuitive (now all noble born have “Grant honorary title” button, but greyed out if ineligible, also with a tooltip explaining who and why).
– [interface] Rename noble house option (on houses screen).
– [interface] Help supports colored “bold” text.

– [fix] Admirals AI not sending emergency reinforcements to planets under ground invasion.
– [fix] Small spelling fixes.

You can follow my Steam Developer Page if you wish to be notified each time a new game or expansions is being released.

Also, if you have a moment to leave a Steam review of the game it would be appreciated. It makes a big difference to an indie developer like me. Thanks!

Stellar Monarch 2 version 1.00

Version 1.00 released

Finally, the day has come. The final version 1.00 is out! It does not mean the development has ended, but from now on the focus will be different. No more experimental drastic changes and crazy ideas, but more polish, balance adjustments, interface improvements and so on. This version has very few changes compared to the v0.90 since almost no bugs were reported in the meantime.

I would like to thank the early access community, all the people who provided comments, saves, bug reports, etc. It was a pleasure making this game with you all! Thanks!

– [feature] In-game manual (replacing the old encyclopedia).

– [balance] Event with 10’000 administrative points cost adjusted to make it cost less.

– [fix] Rare Absolute Monarchy bug not removing “red” agendas when those triggered the same turn the Absolute Monarchy went into effect.

Compatibility note: All savefiles from Early Access are incompatible with the full release version. Note that all E.A. beta branches will stay for around a month to let you finish any potential game in progress and then those E.A. betas will be deleted. From this point on saves compatibility is considered a high priority and it’s very likely those will never change.

Stellar Monarch 2 version 0.90

Version 0.90 released

The long, long adventure of Early Access is coming to an end. Unless something drastic happens this will be the last Early Access version. This version focus was on finishing various unfinished parts, redesign of planetary orders, redesign of strategic weapons and command and control redesign. Overall, a lot of smaller but interesting tweaks were introduced.

Early Access is planned to conclude at the beginning of the next month with release of v1.00. This, of course, does not mean the end of the development. It’s more like from now on the priority would be on content, balance and interface improvements rather than addition of major features and experimenting with what would be most fun. Just like with my previous games.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all participants of the Early Access adventure. For all the posts, feedback, sending me saves, testing, etc. It was a pleasure!

– [feature] Planetary orders redesign. No more “Conquest” orders, now you just “Claim” the planet and the military will do the rest. With additional prioritization options, withdrawal orders, etc.
– [feature] Strategic weapons redesign (chemical and biological weapons merged into bio-chemical weapons, heavy radiation effect reduced, no need for orbit control to drop bombs now just space forces presence suffices, made strategic weapons cheaper). Overall, those are now less potent but can be used in many more situations.
– [feature] Encyclopedia (basic but functional, contains essential information and beginner tips).
– [feature] New event “Absolute Monarchy” triggered at Centralization 11 which adjusts some game rules (Votes counting procedure, Reasonable political agendas, Fiefs supervision). You will be presented an option to take those or not.

– [remove] Removed context help, instead Encyclopedia is used (hotkey “H”).

– [misc] New effect for Centralization, now it decreases slightly Opinion of noble houses.
– [misc] Authority and Monarchism can never fall below 1 (to avoid negative voting power and other strange side effects).
– [misc] Glorious achievement “Crush rebellion at least once” and “No rebel worlds” replaced with “Never let any rebellion to happen” and “Do not let rebellion to happen more than once” (in order to reward preventing the rebellion in the first place).
– [misc] Final score now also takes Centralization into account (not that anyone actually cares about score).
– [misc] Redesigned Command & Control (max active squadrons). Now houses provide squadrons command directly to their fleets and Border Guard and Strategic Reserves use separate Commands with separate pool of C&C. This makes it a bit more complex but more intuitive and easier to explain.

– [balance] Adjusted honorary titles generation chance to make the higher titles more likely to be generated.
– [balance] AI technological level now have a cap (useful for very long games at high difficulty levels).

– [content] All science perks implemented.
– [content] Added 3 new glorious achievements related to noble houses.
– [content] Additional mid and late game events.

– [interface] Military section of planet screen redesigned.
– [interface] Combat starmap markers redesigned.
– [interface] Improved crew skill tooltip to make it more intuitive.

– [fix] Various small fixes.

Compatibility note: NO CHANGE, this version works with v0.84+ savefiles (note that each time a savefile compatibility is broken a new Beta branch with the old version is created so you can always finish your game in progress).