So what’s on the agenda for 2010 at Stardock? Anything cool? Of course! That’s what we do!
Let’s walk through some of the items on our list…
In March, WinCustomize 2010 will launch. It will go into beta this month.
The new site is a total rewrite and represents a great deal of development labor to clean things up to be faster and present information a lot more easily.
Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy
If you like Sins of a Solar Empire, you’re going to love the Diplomacy expansion pack. Not just because it adds two new AI levels, not just because it adds a new multiplayer speed option, not just because of the new ships. No. The reason it’s turning out so well (besides the open beta where we’re getting lots of good ideas) is because it makes the game feel truly rounded out.
Given able to give the pirates or other factions missions or send over envoys to get more money and resources and have other means to win the game rather than simply blowing everything up as fast as possible has really helped the game feel more well rounded.
Of course, I can’t just go without a little live battle. With diplomacy, this scene belies my Palpatine like strategy of making the AI do my bidding.
Another big thing for this year will be Elemental which we expect to release this Summer or Fall if all goes on schedule (which we make no promises on because Elemental is “our baby” and it won’t go out until it’s awesome).
The above screenshot is not really representative of what the final version will look like. The final version will look vastly better than this. But for anyone who has ever wondered what an epic turn-based strategy game and an role playing game put together might be like, Elemental is what we’re going for. It’s our most ambitious game ever and has the longest beta program we’ve ever done in order to ensure we nail it down.
If you haven’t checked out WindowBlinds 7, you will definitely want to look at it. Even if you’re not into “skinning” the subtle improvements it can do to the Windows GUI can be quite nice.
Sorry, no screenshots yet but this is going to be a major effort this year too. There’s a lot of new improvements to Windows 7, Vista, and XP we will be making this year. Users of Object Desktop get all our desktop goodies first. And this year, there’s going to be a lot.
At the very end of last year, our animated wallpaper program, DeskScapes, got a major new version. Last year was to get the foundation set. This year, we can go to town with this technology.
What’s magic about DeskScapes is that on Windows 7/Vista it uses the DWM to deliver animated wallpaper. So what does that mean? It means the cool stuff happens on your video card rather than your CPU. The only time your CPU gets touched is if you’re running a video as your animated background (and even then, it’s just the decoding of the .WMV or MPEG or whatever).
For this year, a lot of new effects and features are being added so that even your existing “static” wallpapers can get cool effects done to them – either kept static with effects or animated.
Impulse: Phase 5
It’s hard to believe that Impulse is barely over a year old. In the past year, Impulse has gone from being a fairly primitive download utility with only Stardock software on it and a handful of indies to a full-blown digital distribution platform with titles available from Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubi Soft, THQ, and so on.
Impulse: Phase 5 might as well be called the “community release” of Impulse. Because Phase 5 will be a nearly complete revamp of the platform to greatly expand its community features. Moreover, a lot of work has been done behind the scenes to open up Impulse to third party developers to integrate community features into their applications and games as well as streamline their publishing and distribution onto the net.
The big theme for this year is probably “Community integration”. We will show screenshots of some of this stuff as we get closer.
That’s not all
Of course, this year we’ll still have plenty of updates to lots of other things from Demigod to DesktopX to new Object Desktop programs and so on. Plus we have some unannounced projects that we hope to finally be able to make public this year.
It’s going to be an exciting year and we can’t wait to spend it with you guys (and gals!).