SE v1.25 Hazards & Hardships Update!

At the moment of writing, it is now more than three years since the original and initial Matrix release of Shadow Empire.

The number of patches, additions and upgrades applied to Shadow Empire since release have been staggering in quantity and scope. I have to admit I have never been so enthusiastic about doing continued work on an already released game. 

With OceaniaI I even launched my first DLC ever and hope to follow up with at least one more DLC in the future. Note that I am putting in at least as much hard work into upgrading the Core Game as in doing DLC work. The current major new Core Game version 1.25 has been in the works for almost half a year for example. 

The version 1.25 Hazards & Hardships Update brings many changes that make the game more interesting, more diverse and more challenging. With the modeling of water salinity, dissolved heavy metals, PH levels (acidity-alkalinity), notably Food and Water production will not be as obvious on many Planets anymore. Ammo-usage has been completely revamped, resulting in making, especially offensive, warfare with heavy and/or mechanized equipment quite expensive and a logistical challenge. On the contrary: Infantry has now become relatively much more economical to use.  Energy weapons, once developed, will still be powerful, but Ammo-based weaponry should not be ditched that lightly anymore, especially on Planets with low air pressure and/or gravity. Ensuring adequate Energy production, especially in the early game, will also be more challenging. The Tech Tree has received an additional 20 Techs, including Furnaces, Ammo Factories, Landmines, Ablat Coating and Techs to obtain Hide Points for your Models.

The version 1.25 Hazards & Hardships Update also brings completely new features. As the Battle Report, that is accessible through the History Window and it allows you to inspect the battles fought during the other player’s turns in much more detail than previously. There is now also a Blue Prints feature that allows you to design new Models with a much better interface, especially if you like experimenting with all the possible variations. The Private Economy has been reworked and the addition of Farmsteads and the ability of your Population to go into debt will now allow very small groups of Population to eventually scratch out a viable living in a new Zone.

And the Artificial Intelligence (AI) has received a lot of love as well and should prove more of a challenge than in v1.20. Notably it is handling its economy better, more likely to use Tanks and it is also able to use its Air Forces now.

I wanted to update this manual not only to sing my own praise, but especially to take the opportunity to thank the larger Shadow Empire community. The hundreds, if not thousands, of issues posted in the Tech Forums over the years have made it possible to polish Shadow Empire to a very high degree. All the discussions about the mechanics in the forums, wish lists, youTube videos and the balance issues found notably by PBEM players organized on Discord have helped me balance and fine tune the game more and more.  Without you it would not have been possible to get Shadow Empire where it is today! A big thank you to all of you who took the effort to bring me feedback!

And let’s see if we can get Shadow Empire even better in the years to come. Many plans still remain on the drawing board. Enjoy the game and see you on the Matrix or Steam forums!

For more information hop on over to Matrix Games:

Best wishes,


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SE Portrait style poll

Hi all,

Got a few weeks while I am still fine tuning the latest and rather enormous balance-difficulty changes to the open beta… so right now I am picking up the new portrait graphics where I left them before the summer holidays. Before I start work again I thought it might actually be a good idea to touch base with the community… The question is which graphical style the players (yes, you) actually prefer. Feel free to point me to other style options in the Matrix/Steam/Discord forums.

5 styles to choose from… And yes A+E and B+C have similarities. Style D is the current SE style.

Which portrait graphic style (not the actual character! the style plz) appeals the most?

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Thanks for your time guys!

Best wishes,


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Advanced Tactics Development Poll

As some of you might have noticed a new AT update has been shaping up in the open beta (Matrix & Steam). It will soon(ish) be released as the new release version. This is all courtesy by Phoenix Team / Erich Ormand, big thanks to them, as AT deserves the updates, but I cant find the time myself.

Now if… no promises… but if it would be possible that we get some more major work done on Advanced Tactics, which direction would you like development to go?

You can only pick 1 answer, because we want you to force to commit :) That being said, I think we’ll do a follow-up poll to get a bit more in detail later. It’s also possible to post here or on the Steam/Matrix forums to share any thoughts you might have for reinvigorating AT.

If only one aspect of Advanced Tactics could be improved, which one would it be?

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Thanks for your time guys!

Best wishes,


Posted in ATG: Advanced Tactics Gold | 1 Comment

Pymous Shadow Empire Vidcom Artpack

Big thanks to Pymous!

Pymous, the well known modder, who also did the great Strategem Artpack, has recently released a HD sized graphical mod that replaces the vanilla Shadow Empire Vidcom screens.

Surf to the Matrix forums for more info:

And don’t forget to buy Pymous a coffee if you like his work :)

Best wishes,


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Shadow Empire v1.21 (d) released

Version 1.21d has gone out of open beta and is now the current release version. Big thanks to everybody that has been helping me out with testing the open beta’s!

I have been focusing development on addressing a number of long standing complaints with Shadow Empire. The AI has been much improved and is now actually using air forces and doing a much better job managing its economic and military composition. Its also choosing its formation type/research/design priorities much more precisely. This should result in you facing more diverse AI armies with more heavy equipment (tank/air) than before.

Furthermore the Blue Print (tab) feature has been added to the Management Screen. Blue Prints allow you to experiment with Model Designs before you actually order them to be designed. This is especially useful for aircraft design.

You can now also call your research director to give him/her a specific Discovery Focus area, useful if you are missing a specific discovery.

Alien Critters and Free Folk (that can share non-aligned hexes) are no longer semi-cooperating and are now actually combating each other when they find themselves in the same hex. The Free Folk Marauder Units are more diverse now as well in composition and behavior.

Furthermore the Statistics Tab has been improved and you can now disable/enable specific dimensions (left click on dimension to highlight one / right click to select multiple).

As always a big update like this one also brings dozens of smaller improvements, fixes and finetunings (see changelist for all details).

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Sketch of my design plan for Shadow Empire

Hi folks,

Mid April I did a poll and said I would share an outline of my Shadow Empire development plans with you in a few weeks time.

Well that took me a bit longer, due to various reasons. But here we are. First of all I would like to thank you for your participation in the last poll and your discussions on the various forums (Steam,Matrix,Discord). I have had the time to evaluate and organize your wishes as well as my own.

I could be secretive and only announce things when I am a 100% sure, but that would keep everybody in the dark completely. So please do consider this “development plan sketch” like at best 50% sure.

Heck, the features could still change, the order of development and DLCs planned could change, even the actual DLC themes could still change. Feedback is coming in non-stop and I am flexible until committed. But leaving all those disclaimers aside this sketch does give you an insight into what I currently have on my drawing board.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The first phase after Oceania release is still in progress and basically consists of me addressing a number of complaints with the Core engine that have been long standing and have been voiced many times. This phase includes my plan to slowly start upgrading the visuals and UI of the game as well. Each Core engine work phase is planned to upgrade part of the visuals / UI until finally everything is done. I’ll try to keep some (minimal) backwards compatibility in place in case some people prefer the older graphics.

I’ll probably focus the next DLC on a combination of politics, trade and more interesting leader dynamics. These are subjects close to my heart and they will interact with eachother very well. I have to say I am especially eager to do some more procedural generation coding.

After that workname “Republica” DLC I should return to the military part of the game. I am agreed to finally add in those much requested Navy Units, but only after doing a non-Sea related topic first. I need a break from sea-related stuff which I will get with “Republica” before attacking the very complex, interesting, but time-consuming addition of those Naval Units.

I am well aware I cannot please everybody and my design time is sadly limited. Know that it was hard for me to choose an order of priorities. I am trying to strike a balance between what (1) makes me happy and what (2) makes the different groups of players happy, while (3) improving the odds of new players buying the base game, while also (4) designing some new unique game mechanics as well.

Feel free to give feedback here or on the various forums, I will keep posting about my progress as I go along.

I am taking a bit of a family break right now, but expect a new SE open beta and a new SE release version towards mid June.

Looking much forward to continued development of Shadow Empire!

Best wishes,

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