This is a follow up to the previous post. Let me just say that I am the master of my own schedule, but none-the-less I would be interested to see what ratio exists between players prioritizing for better looks versus prioritizing deeper gameplay… Here’s a binary small poll.
Yes i know I did not add the option “I want my naval units right now” or “work on the UI” or “get the AI play exactly the same rules”. But this way I can get a clean result from the poll for my short term planning. If you really don’t like both the options than I owe you a small apology. Next poll will have more scope, I promise. :)
First of all thank you all for your continued feedback. I wish you all good health and happiness for 2024.
Last summer I shared my design plans for Shadow Empire. Last December the v1.25 Hardships & Hazards update has been released as the new mainline release version. So at least I stuck to part of my planning giving me a small increase on my Word score. That being said…
I gotta lot of stuff on my plate in 2024. Mostly personal: moving house and a family extension, but I also want to start finishing a next Decisive Campaigns title.
Now the family extension is going to play havoc with my work schedule and that’s the reason why I decided to scrap the DLC plans from the previous plan v1 and go for a bit of a different approach instead.
The idea behind this new approach is that I can work on more bite-sized chunks for a good while until things settle down for me. The downside is the ambition level is a little bit lower, but the upside is that there will be much more meaningful updates in the near future.
Now please do remember that I am sharing my plans with the community, but that you have to be aware these are plans and not promises. They are prone to change. I think we can set the likelihood of the plan above being executed, all the way to the end, without modification, is probably around 33%.
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!
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.
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.