Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
Postmortem: Ironclad/Stardock's Sins of a Solar Empire
View All     RSS
July 16, 2019
arrowPress Releases
July 16, 2019
Games Press
View All     RSS







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 

Postmortem: Ironclad/Stardock's Sins of a Solar Empire


April 28, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 6 of 6
 
4. We were unable to secure as much preview coverage as we wanted.
In the fall of 2007, it was difficult getting the general PC gaming media to give Sins of a Solar Empire the time of day. Only physical trips by the CEO of Stardock to particular game magazines secured any serious game coverage in some cases.

Left: Concept drawing of the Vasari Vulkoras Desolator.
Right: Vulkoras Desolator as it appears in the final version of the game.

5. Stardock failed to get Impulse, its next-generation digital distribution platform, completed in time for release with Sins of a Solar Empire.

Impulse takes all of Stardock's first-party applications and all of the games it sells (both first and third party) and combines them into a single platform.

It was hoped that Impulse would be ready for release by Sins' launch and included in the retail package. Instead, Impulse's release was pushed back to this month.

6. Multiplayer gaming on the PC remains a challenge.

On the PC, there is no standard way for games to interact with other users over the Internet. As a result, users inevitably have to configure routers to port forward.

Stardock and Ironclad hoped to make this experience as seamless as possible. Even with a six month long multiplayer beta, there were still users who had a hard time dealing with personal firewalls and their routers (99% of users have no problem but 1% of thousands of users is still a lot of people).

The good news is version 1.1 will include groundbreaking new network technology that should eliminate this problem altogether.

Conclusions

The biggest lesson we learned is the importance of making sure that the developer and publisher are compatible. If Stardock and Ironclad hadn't gotten along so well, the game itself would likely have been very different with very different results.

From Stardock's perspective, the experience on Sins of a Solar Empire cemented its commitment to ensuring that any games it publishes are developed by studios that view game design as an iterative, collaborative process where the strengths of both teams are combined.

Most of the "what went wrong" with Sins of a Solar Empire are tied to budget and time. Could Sins have gotten higher scores if it had waited another six months and incorporated a single player campaign, stronger AI and more content? Probably. Would it have sold better? A release date of August 2008 would have put it 30 days out from the release of Spore as well as other major titles.


Article Start Previous Page 6 of 6

Related Jobs

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts — Madrid, Spain
[07.16.19]

EA Sports Madrid - UI Software Engineer
Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States
[07.16.19]

QA Tester
New Moon Production
New Moon Production — Hamburg, Germany
[07.16.19]

User Interface Artist - New Moon Production (all genders)
Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. — Tokyo, Japan
[07.15.19]

Experienced Game Developer





Loading Comments

loader image