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Amplitude Endless Pack - Steam Winter Sale | Iceberg Interactive

StarDrive Interview: The Past, Present, and Future

By on October 1st, 2013 9:17 am

StarDrive Interview

Recently, the StarDrive forums started seeing some news, scattered across several threads, about some experiments being performed within a new engine. In short order, this news appeared to indicate that not only were experiments being conducted, but also a new project may actually be in the works. In order to get the official word on what may or may not be in the works, I decided to reach out to Zero Sum Games developer Daniel DiCicco. I wanted to know not only about the potential new project, but I also wanted to get the facts straight surrounding the future of StarDrive. I reached out to Daniel and he accepted my invitation for an interview.

In addition to questions about the news at hand, I also asked him questions regarding StarDrive’s launch, his personal level of satisfaction with the game, fan reception, and some of the difficulties he has faced not only with game development, but with being an indie developer. If you’re a fan of StarDrive, or even if you’re not happy with the game, I hope you’ll find this interview insightful. 

For more information about StarDrive, and to read my opinion of the game as it was at launch, please check out my review. If you’re interested, you can also read our prior interview with Daniel DiCicco prior to StarDrive’s release from last November.

StarDrive – The Past Six Months to Now

SS: It’s now been six months since the release of StarDrive. How do you feel the game’s launch went? In retrospect, would you have done anything differently in regards to the launch process specifically?

Daniel: Bringing StarDrive from a seed of an idea through Kickstarter, Desura, a Beta launch on Steam, and finally a full launch has been an incredible journey for me. I have learned so much over the course of the past two years. Looking back at the beta launch from here, six months out, I feel very good about how it all went. In retrospect, I would have delayed the “official” release to iron out some last minute issues. Basically it was about two weeks before launch that I changed my multi-threading code to get some more late-game performance out. With an extra four weeks I could have ironed out all of the “race condition” problems I introduced by doing that. That hurt our initial reception with critics and that in turn hurts sales. Even so, in a very general sense, I’m happy with how things launched out.

But let me tell you, launching a game is stressful. Reviews from professionals and consumers alike are pouring in from every angle. The publisher wants this, the press wants that, the players want a thousand different things, and then there’s my wife who would like to see me get up from the computer every now and then. At release I had been pulling super long days for many months in a row. I was pretty burned out. I’m not sure that there is any other way to do it though, especially for a small team like ours. There’s no one else to pick up the slack.

SS: How do you feel about the game now? Is it where you envisioned it going when you started the project?

Daniel: I’m happy with StarDrive today. I’m proud of it. Financially it’s been a great success that has allowed me to continue making games. Critically it’s been a mixed bag. Sometimes I get emails where people are just so happy with StarDrive, glowing with praise. And then there’s the exact opposite of that too.

There are elements in StarDrive that I wish I could implement to complete my vision. Notably, Multiplayer. I really want to have a multiplayer StarDrive. But the truth of the matter is that this single player game that I made is a monster. The code base is enormous. There are so many moving parts cobbled together to make this super detailed simulation run. In any given game you’ve got hundreds of thousands of ship modules computing together to make up fleets and ships, each of them individually contributing to the ship’s statistics and each of them capable of being destroyed in combat individually. The optimization needed to make that run well is something I’m proud of, but basically I hit a wall with the tech I’m using. I can’t make it go any faster and I definitely can’t get a stable multiplayer build out of it in any reasonable period of time.

SS: Some people who have purchased StarDrive have expressed that they feel, to put it bluntly, like they are still playing a beta product. There are also others who have invested many hours into StarDrive and feel that it is a complete and enjoyable game. Based on discussions all across the internet, this seems to be a rather contentious subject. Opinions will of course differ, so my question is more about perception. From your developer perspective, why do you think some people may feel as though the game is unfinished?

Daniel: Well, it’s a forest for the trees type of thing. Some people will see a few pieces of the game that are admittedly unpolished and ascribe that lack of polish to the whole. Others see a massive and comprehensive game with so much depth to it that they can ignore an in-game event that goes no where. To those in former crowd, all I can say is sorry. It’s my first effort. To those in the latter crowd, I can say thanks for cutting me a little slack. Glad you enjoy it.

StarDrive Interview

SS: To follow-up on my last question with some observations I’ve made, I feel as though some of the anger and frustration over StarDrive is due to the pre-release hype and player expectations. It’s interesting that I see the word potential mentioned more regarding StarDrive than any other game I’ve followed. I too, am guilty of using the term in regards to the game. Throughout development, you were very open, candid, and genuinely excited to discuss with the community about your ideas and dreams for the future of StarDrive. The community seemed to get excited right along with you. Features like multiplayer, alternative game modes (Ascension), enhanced pirates, and many more ideas seemed to be at least in the prototyping/design phases at some point in the past. Many of these ideas made the final game, but others did not. My question is, do you regret being so open and honest about what you were working on?

Daniel: You know, it’s funny; my partners at Iceberg are always chiding me for being too open with the community. Percentage-wise, I think there are very few developers who engage directly with their community. Probably the larger the studio, the less interaction there is. Me, I love it. I want to talk to folks and share in the enthusiasm of building something together. But, yeah, I can get carried away too. It never hurts to dream big and shoot for the stars, because even if you miss you may hit the moon on the way, you know? But that was part of the deal with StarDrive. Sign up, support it from the beginning, and you get to watch the development. And that includes a lot of spitballing of ideas, a lot of trying out stuff, seeing what works, what doesn’t, and yeah, a lot of cutting ideas too. A lot of design is deciding what to throw away and knowing what to keep.

If I had instead just delivered a product without talking about it, I think that StarDrive wouldn’t be the game it is today. A lot of its best ideas have been forged in the crucible of community discussion. Furthermore, being engaged with the community builds that community, which in turn drives sales and word of mouth advertising. So I can’t say I regret it. The great thing about being an indie is that I can chart my own course in this regard, and I intend to keep on keepin on.

SS: What’s been the most frustrating part of being the developer of a game like StarDrive?

Daniel: There are two primary frustrations. One is being limited by technology. When I was getting started, my programming knowledge was a little old-school. I wanted to use an IDE like Visual Studio and code everything from scratch. I didn’t understand these visual engines like UDK or Unity; I tried to understand them, but I lacked the foundational knowledge to understand their advantages. The result is that I ended up spending a lot of time reinventing the wheel for StarDrive.

That has its upsides too. By reinventing the wheel I got a solid lesson on wheel-inventing fundamentals. This has helped me understand the benefits gained by using game design suites.

But the question is about frustrations, and basically there is nothing more frustrating than wanting your program to do something but you can’t figure out how to get there. It’s frustrating to see what you want to do easily available in another solution – like rendering certain things in Unity versus my current technology.

The second major frustration has been dealing with negativity. There are some gamers out there who have incredibly bloated senses of entitlement. If they get a crash they act like I came into their house and murdered their dog. But I’ve learned to turn the volume down on them a bit. StarDrive has a lot of really engaged, positive people involved. I want to listen to them instead.

SS: What’s been the most rewarding part of being the developer of a game like StarDrive?

Daniel: Knowing that people out there really, really love StarDrive, that’s the best. I’ve gotten emails from people who are just over the moon about StarDrive. It’s rewarding to know that I had this vision, I was able to execute it, and that the end result is what I set out to achieve: I made a game that people love to play. And more than that, I got paid to do it and I get to keep on doing it for the foreseeable future.

The Future of StarDrive

StarDrive Interview

SS: You’ve recently indicated that you are working on a new game concept within a new game engine. Before I dive too much into that, does this mean development on StarDrive itself is complete, or will development of StarDrive continue simultaneously alongside the new project? If not development, will bug fixes and patches continue?

Daniel: StarDrive is a living product. I won’t stop working on it until I move on to a true sequel. I put out a patch yesterday and I’ll keep on patching out bugs and adding support for modders. Support for StarDrive isn’t going anywhere.

(Editor’s Comment: This interview was done on 9/27/2013. Patch 1.13J was released on 9/26/2013.)

SS: I’ve seen you mention that some of the worst StarDrive bugs, including the dreaded out of memory and late game issues, are due to deficiencies in the current game’s engine. I recall prior to StarDrive’s release you had mentioned a desire to look into Unity as it was, at the time, rapidly becoming one of the most popular Indie development engines. Several big kickstarter projects were emerging and announcing that they were going to be using Unity. How much of the decision to start a new project has been made due to current engine difficulties, and how much is down to feeling the StarDrive concept has been developed enough to start working on something new?

Daniel: If I could stay with the current tech and achieve my long term vision for StarDrive, then I would. But Unity is the way of the future. I can’t emphasize enough how much faster it is to work in Unity, how many things just work that would otherwise take days of development time in .NET. So when I made the decision that I wanted to expand StarDrive, to bring in new content and game modes, it made so much more sense to me to just move to Unity now. StarDrive as it is can stand on its own two legs, so I think it is fair to say that the original concept has been developed enough for this to be a reasonable plan.

StarDrive Interview

SS: What advantages does an engine like Unity bring that just aren’t possible with the current engine?

Daniel: Well, for starters the engine is cross-platform compatible. Future StarDrive games will be released not only for PC but for Mac and Linux as well, with the possibility of Android and iOS iterations just a short control-scheme change away. The rendering engine is more advanced; you get better quality on worse machines at higher frame rates. Unity is essentially a purpose-built platform. It’s like the difference between off-roading in a Geo Metro versus a Range Rover – both will get the job done, but one is going to be way more efficient and suffer from fewer problems.

SS: The new title you are working on is going to be a new title, based in the StarDrive universe, but will have some significant differences. You’ve said Unity will be the engine under the hood, and all indications are that Unity is a stable, well documented, and popular engine these days. I’ve also heard mention of this new game being a turn based strategy game rather than a real-time one, except perhaps in combat? Are you far enough along to discuss any other details about the game? Will it be a 4x? Will it be multiplayer? Multiplatform? Will it be called StarDrive Unity?

Daniel: Well, we’re not ready to announce anything official, but I can tell you that yes, I’m working on a turn-based 4x in Unity. It will definitely be multiplatform and it is a StarDrive game. I’m calling it StarDrive Unity as a working title. We’ve got some more work to do before we announce a feature set, but I can give you a few hints below.

SS: Looking back, in an interview you did with Adam from SpaceSector, you mentioned how you had a lot of ideas you wanted to implement in and around the StarDrive universe. So the decision to create a new game in the StarDrive universe is clearly not one you’ve just made recently. This upcoming turn based strategy title appears to be the second of these ideas. What made you choose this idea amongst the others you had, and which aspect of it are you most excited about?

Daniel: Well when I chose to make StarDrive a real-time strategy game, I did it with a heavy heart. Ultimately I really love the way it turned out. It was a bit risky but the economics and everything ended up working out pretty well, and I’m really happy with how it all feels alive. But I also really wanted to make a game with that “One more turn…” type of feeling. Turn-based is also the style of MOO2, which has a special place in 4x hearts. So with this super-secret project we’re working on, I’m finally able to grab on to that idea and make a true spiritual successor to MOO2. StarDrive definitely channeled some MOO2 in its presentation; this project is going a step further. For people who always ask in these threads, “Why don’t they just make an updated MOO 2?”, the answer will now be “they do, and it’s called StarDrive Unity” (or whatever we end up calling it!)

StarDrive Interview
SS: StarDrive was mostly a one-man operation throughout its development. Is this new project also going to be a one man effort, or has your process changed since those early days?

Daniel: My process is basically the same. There are artists scattered across the globe who are freelancing some top quality 2D and 3D art. I’m writing the code and integrating it all into a game. The only difference is that now I’m probably working three times faster with these new tools.

SS: The original StarDrive game was able to obtain some crowd funding on Kickstarter. This was, of course, in the pre-Double Fine era and prior to the publishing deal you struck with Iceberg Interactive. Now that Kickstarter is more popular than ever, do you know if you will put this new title up for crowd funding as well?

Daniel: I don’t think we’ll be doing a Kickstarter on this project. Basically, Kickstarter worked for me. I built a company from the seed money and now we’re self-sufficient. I’m not ruling out Kickstarter for future projects, but this project is small enough in scope that we can self-fund.

SS: A lot of people enjoyed the current real-time version of StarDrive. Is there any possibility of a real-time 4x StarDrive, either a direct port or a new title in the series, coming to Unity in the future, or do you feel turn based in the future of StarDrive?

Daniel: Definitely we are going to see more RTS StarDrive. I can say that without hesitation. I won’t do a direct port because that’s no fun. But I’ve got some grand plans for putting a next gen StarDrive out that puts the original to shame. But one thing at a time. We need to build a bigger war chest, get some more experience under our belts and make this first-generation of StarDrive meet its full potential. But everything I’m doing right now is part of that plan. The work I’m doing on the SDU project is not just about this project, but also about laying a foundation for the future.

SS: Thank you for your time!

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Amplitude Endless Pack - Steam Winter Sale | Iceberg Interactive

68 Comments


  1. fiju says:

    the only thing that stardrive share with MOO series is space…

    FFS its even a turn based…

  2. Corey says:

    I love Zero, and I love Stardrive. I cannot wait for more titles to be released. He is on the right track. I have built countless ships and cannot wait to build countless more. Thanks for making an amazing game we can cherish.

  3. David Carron says:

    I liked much of the ideas in Stardrive but the execution and final implementation just didn’t do it for me. It was fun, cute and humorous with a big heart.

    But for a one-man effort, I have to give him props.

    It’s really amazing that after so many, many years we have not had a true successor to the MOOII throne.

  4. arkhometha says:

    I liked the ideas, but I never played it. A shame he never released it DRM-free.

  5. Boris says:

    I like SD alot, but vanilla was not enough for me.

    What really made the game was the community, and Zero’s interaction with it. Without that collaboration none of the best mods would have been made, and I only play modded SD now.

    Looking forward to whatever he does next, if it really is an updated MOO2 then I’m buying two copies.

  6. ashbery76 says:

    The game was pretty but shallow and should never been marked so high on this sites review.Many features like space monsters,fixed event chains and improved combat mechanics never came to pass and the developer vanished from the forums for long periods so I stopped paying attention to it.

    Unless the next game has more strategic depth AT LAUNCH I have no interest.

    • TanC says:

      Yep, I have to agree with you. I’ve only played 10 hours to find out that was all the game was offering. The gimmicky portion is definitely the ship builder but yes, shallow on everything else. Here’s hoping his new title will be more in-depth.

  7. kmkenpo says:

    Zero, the Developer of StarDrive, has said in this interview, “I want to talk to folks and share in the enthusiasm of building something together.”

    Odd how he absolutely refuses to go to the Steam Forums and “discuss” anything with those people. Strange how he openly admitted to deleting threads and posts from the official StarDrive Forums, because he disagreed with what people were saying about his poor decisions, lack of support, and his open statement of continuing StarDrive development as his *whims* lead him.

    For someone who claims to be open to discussion and enjoys talking with people about his project… Zero has impressed me almost twice as much as his moniker… Zero.

  8. Savage says:

    Unfortunately this article doesn’t accurately portray the disappointment a lot of folks over at the SD community have with Zero.

    When Zero announced his move to Unity, many of the current owners of StarDrive have been left with many unanswered questions as to the current roadmap for SD (non Unity) and whether or not they will be getting a discount for SD Unity.

    Broken promises litters the road when it comes to SD. Multiplayer being a big one. Optimization, improved Titan/ship design and AI/Diplomacy, all these are mere beta features in SD and remain an issue.

    Zero has dealt with the criticism rather harshly:

    1. He deleted any threads that were constructively providing criticism towards the news of a new game. Many have expressed doubts on how much work he will pertain to the current SD while working on the Unity port. Even his own moderators have expressed deep concern.

    2. Silence. Aside from this new article, there is no mention of Zero’s move to Unity on the forums. There used to be. Until he deleted it. He is cracking down on any criticism met from any side, and he seems to only want to hear high praise for his game and not valid criticism.

    Sadly, this is not the sort of developer I will be putting my money behind for SD Unity.

    • Boris says:

      @Savage @kmkenpo @Garva I did not know about any of this ‘forum deletion’ stuff, it’s such a shame that the dev is warring against the very community that made SD a success.

      I think alot of this will translate into fewer pre-orders or sales altogether for any new games unless a large discount or seachange inattitude takes place.

      Further to my post above, no.4 odd, I’ve also just noticed that many mods are not being updated or have stopped and people are waiting for many fixes to happen before they update their mods… I suggest the community hold hands and all channel positive thoughts into this process, together we can overcome!

      • Garva says:

        He’s promised a lot of features, one of which would be very important for modding – Racial tech tree’s.

        He said he would work on it a few months ago, and still nothing. Gremlin is, yet again, going to do Zero’s work for him and try implementing it in game.

  9. Garva says:

    Stardrive is a great game, but with a lot of issues still to be resolved and features that need to be improved or added.

    Thankfully the modding community, specifically Gremlin and Dravek, are willing to do his work for him. Improvements to the governors, fixes for carriers so they pick up their fighters, automatic fleet requisition, troops launch all, bombardment requiring you to build biospheres on a destroyed tile, updates to the AI build code… All features that Zero either hasn’t added, or added after a couple of modders did all the legwork for him.

    Even then, some of the feature’s he finally added? Scrollable tech tree’s for one – He’s been saying he would put that in for about 3 months now, and it always got put off. It’s in now, but 3 months? Race techs have been promised for longer, and given how long it took him to deliver on scrollable tech tree’s it’s probably going to be sometime next year before he adds this, if ever. And even then it’s probably going to be after one of the above mentioned people implements adds it in their mods.

    Zero has done good work on Stardrive, but in the last couple of months he’s been pretty lazy when it comes to improving the game.

    Edit – As for wanting to hear from the community, this is what Zero had to say on the forums (He has since deleted the topic in hopes of covering up this comment.)

    ” I think StarDrive vanilla is a fine game. I’m happy with it. I’ll be patching it here and there as my whims take me. If you feel cheated by StarDrive, kindly scroll up to the upper right portion of your browser screen and click the “Logout” button. I don’t want to hear it.”

  10. Mark says:

    MOOII is still the king of 4x by far. Nothing else has even come close including Stardrive. Can it really be that hard?

    So many people try to do a MOOII – like game but cant resist putting their own creative spin on it, except that “their own creative spin” ends up sucking harder than a vacuum cleaner.

    Where are all those smart, creative people who made such amazingly addictive games like MOOII and MOM which – despite the technology difference put modern efforts like Stardrive to shame? Seems like good game design is becoming a lost art.

  11. Crunchy Gremlin says:

    Hey thanks for the plug!
    Devek’s mod was a freaking playground of .net exploration. I had no idea .net reflection could do what it does.

    Stardrive for me is not only a fun game but a learning tool. Recently added freighter, agent, and event updates to my fork of deveks mod.

    Anyway there are parts of stardrive that are IMHO genius. Simple, deep with an excellent learning curve. I for one think that RTS 4x is killer.
    However i would love to see a really good TBS space game with the ship construction system of stardrive. So i will begrudgingly wait to see what Zero can make happen there. Zero likes the idea of the “just one more turn” thing. However… What will happen to me is that I start missing detail and falling asleep before i can hit that button. In stardrive… I would starting playing at night and look outside and it was morning. it was so engaging.

    If i could do it I would mod in a MOBA mode for classic stardrive. Something like netrek. I think that would be a hell of lot of fun.

  12. Jeff P says:

    Stardrive is one of those titles you either love or hate: no in between. I followed the development of the game through launch, but it never seemed quite finished so I didn’t buy it. Looking at the Steam and Stardrive forums, it appears that remains the case and the announcement of the new project reinforces the view that promised game features will never be fully implemented.

    I’ve felt that many (all?) of Stardrive’s problems stemmed from the RTS design decision. Real-time games stress systems in ways not experienced by turn-based games. Zero’s flirting with a turn-based successor to Stardrive validates this observation.

    I wish him luck.

  13. Kruos says:

    Stardrive was a RTS first try, Stardrive Unity will be a TBS masterpiece.

    • Mark says:

      Heard that sort of thing once or twice before. I’ll believe it when I see it because despite people saying how easy TBS is, there hasn’t been a TBS masterpiece since MOO II.

      • AndyDandy says:

        In my opinion Galactic Civilizations 2 is the only Space 4X game that has been greater then, or in scale of, the legendary MOO2.

        Hopefully this is the kind of game he has in mind when wanting to develop a TBS Space 4X.

        • Mark says:

          Yeah I do acknowledge that many people seem to like Gal Civ 2. I honestly don’t see the attraction though. The tactical combat is a horrible rock/scissors/paper affair that you cant even control manually. MOO II leaves it for dead in that area at least.

          I do love my tactical combat though, so any TBS 4x that wants MOO II’s crown is really going to have to excel in that area.

        • Ivan says:

          Don’t be fooled, Gal Civ 2 space combat is not RSP (rock, scissors, paper). In order to be RSP each form of attack has to be stronger against one and weaker against the other from.

          Paper > rock > scissors
          Rock > scissors > paper
          Scissors > paper > rock

          Notice the “cycle” paper > rock > scissors > paper. There is no such cycle in Gal Civ 2 space combat. There it’s simply three pairs of attack-defense scores. Much like elements in Diablo games, fire resist counters fire, lightning resist counters lightning, cold resist counters cold.

          Back to the topic, for me the biggest letdown in Gal Civ games was economy model. Work distribution is made at empire level and in GC 2 there was never ending war with debt. The game would basically start with the freefall economy, a lot of cash and no means to regain it once you start spending. By the time economy gets stabilized, it’s already late game.

        • Mark says:

          @ Ivan,

          Been a while since I’ve played Gal Civ II, but my recollection is….

          Lasers > countered by Shields
          Projectile weapons > countered by Armour
          Missile weapons > countered by ECM

          Now I know if you have say armor it will also protect you a little (1/3 I think) against lasers and missiles, so while not being 100% rock/paper/scissors, it’s pretty damn close, which is why many reviewers referred to it over and over as such.

          One of the reasons the AI in this game was so easy to program to adapt to players designs is that the combat is so depressingly simplistic.

          That being said, it wasn’t a horrible game, certainly it was better than Stardrive. But I never formed the extremely high opinion of it that many people seem to have. And it was no competition for MOO II.

        • Adam Solo says:

          Allow me to join the discussion :)

          While GalCiv2′s combat system was probably one of the least memorable (it was purely cinematic), I think the whole thing was more about the ship design itself, and about the strategy of when and where to attack.

          But, for me 4X games are hardly about the intricacies of combat in any case. Master of Orion (I and II) has certainly offered a very hands-on combat experience, but that worked both ways as being probably the best and worst feature at the same time due to the late game tedium of controlling massive fleets in combat (more in MoO2 than in MoO1). And the auto-combat feature wasn’t of great help either, if I recall correctly.

          GalCiv2 (and certainly the expansion Dark Avatar) is one of my favorite 4X games of all time. It’s right there close to Master of Orion, Master of Orion 2, in my opinion.

        • Mark says:

          @ Adam,

          Welcome to the discussion :)

          I do acknowledge that I appear to be in the minority here. So many people love Gal Civ II and I just don’t seem to be able to share whatever they have seen.

          I think part of it is that I love tactical battles, the more detailed the better. I know they’re only a small part of a good 4x, but for me its an important part and if its missing or limited – like Endless Space or Gal Civ II – it greatly lowers my estimation of the game. MOO II delivered beautifully in that area, each individual ship was controllable, there were firing arcs and everything was completely open to design. Perfect.

          I’ve tried a couple of times over the years to get back into Gal Civ II and find out what everyone sees in it, but I just tend to get bored and drop in in a few hours. One day I’ll stick with it…. but not today, I have an awesome battle in SOTS II coming up :)

        • Adam Solo says:

          @Mark

          Ha yes, that’s the beauty of all this. We all share the passion but have different tastes regarding certain aspects of gaming.

          I too like tactical battles. But, more when they’re more abstract and involve a smaller number of controllable units, like in HoMM, MoO1, Civ. I don’t tend to enjoy it when it demands so much that you almost forget what you were doing in the game’s strategic layer.

          And I think it’s here where tastes start to diverge a bit. Some people prefer more the strategic side of games, others the tactical side, and of course others who like the middle ground, and how the two aspects integrate.

          I guess I’m more a strategy middle-ground kind of guy. I like my combat, but not when there’s just too much going on, too much micromanagement. And certainly not when combat overshadows the strategic side.

        • Wodzu says:

          @Mark

          I loved that every ship was controllable:) That was amazing, and each ship could gain experience and leaders were gaining experience too. For me, battle in MOO2 was something I will never forget:)

        • Kruos says:

          GalCiv 2 was a good game, but he missed that special immersion thing which made MoO2 so legendary. And as strange as it may appear, I found that special thing in StardDrive whereas he is a space RTS with a very simplistic economy in comparison of his two predecessors.
          I dont know if it is the planet categories (rich, ultra rich, etc..) or the great characters of all the races or another details in the art/sound atmosphere, but StarDrive has that great special thing I hadn’t feel since MoO2.
          It’s what make me say that SD unity with his TBS structure will be a masterpiece, for sure.

  14. Alien JD says:

    So its an large scale epic Real Time 4X that crashes when the scale gets large and epic? And instead of fixing it he’s just going to make another game? I understand that games get released with problems; I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with developers taking the money and running. Fix your damn game!

  15. Jingles says:

    Its dissapointing for sure, another preorder that has not forfilled its potential or even its promises, however stardirve is still the closest any recent 4x has come to giving me what i wanted so Im not going to chastise myself to much or the dev.

    MY MESSAGE TO ZERO
    dont expect funds for your next project to be so easily achieved you have proved at best yourself to be nieve and at worst dishonest, 4x gamers are jaded as it is with years of disapointments and likewise I myself will wait untill release and reviews before I purchase Stardrive Unity.

  16. Jennifer says:

    I am disappointed that Space Sector would give this guy the veneer of legitimacy. He’s been shown to be a developer mostly interested in money and not in a quality product. Naturally he’s not going to do another Kickstarter because he would get a lot less than what he got the first time.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way about the interview. The main idea was to clarify where StarDrive is at the moment and where it is heading to. Personally, I think the questions came out great. They reflect what I personally would like to know about the game at this point as a consumer. Have you actually read them?

      The only objective here was to inform you guys of the present status and on what to expect on the near future regarding this title. The questions were asked, the answers were made. Now it’s up to you to decide if you’re happy with them or not.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Obviously I read them Mr. Solo otherwise I wouldn’t have mentioned the fact that he’s not going to go for a second Kickstarter. Except that naturally Zero is not going to talk about the original promises, nor the implicit promise that he would produce a fully working game.

    He’s going to want more money in order to not fulfill more promises. You don’t see something wrong with this? Naturally it’s your site, your content, but I think there are better indie developers to interview, like the guys who are doing Horizon, a game that is moving right along just as the developer said it would. Or even better the guys who did the very solid AI Wars or even the Endless space guys. I’m not a big fan of Endless Space but I feel the game is developed and finished.

    See at least Stardock, when they came out with Elemental, realized it was a mistake and gave us the properly developed version FOR FREE. Yes we are paying for DLC but that’s fine. I’m not in favor of developers who want us to pay for their schooling and then pay again for the ‘improved’ product.

    • David Carron says:

      “I’m not in favor of developers who want us to pay for their schooling and then pay again for the ‘improved’ product.”

      See Sword of the Stars 2 for the best example of this.

      • Mark says:

        The “improved product” for SOTS II – the end of flesh expansion + playable game – was actually free so I’m not sure you can level that particular criticism at them.

        There’s plenty of other criticisms you can justifiably level at Kerberos, just not that one.

    • Adam Solo says:

      We did interview the Endless Space guys by the way. And, many other devs. We also have a Horizon interview in the pipeline. It was put on-hold but will probably still happen.

      We like to cover this type of games in detail. Choosing who to interview depends on timing, news and relevancy. Right now, I felt that it was more than pertinent to do this interview now. Of course, you may disagree, and that’s fine.

    • Keith Turner says:

      This interview was conducted in order to bring to light some new information about a subject people feel passionately about (both negative and positive). Rather than spread information scattered across their forum, I decided to take a direct approach and gather information directly from the developer.

      My hope was that people would appreciate this new information, regardless of if they love, hate, or feel indifferent about the game or its developer. It is up to the individual to decide how they feel about these answers and comment on them, if desired.

      We will of course continue to interview other developers as we have been.

      • Mark says:

        I’m not sure what all the fuss is about with this title, it was just a somewhat mediocre 4x (with nice ship design) that was released too early. I find it playable enough now if rather shallow and still a bit crash-prone. There have certainly been games released in worse condition.

        I for one am thankful for the interview and the useful information it provided. It will certainly be influencing my future buying behavior and I am clueless as to why some readers of this blog would NOT wish to hear this sort of thing.

        • Alien JD says:

          The fuss is that he released an unfinished buggy game. A lot of people do that. And either they go out of business (Legends of Pegasus) or they fix the game (SOTS 2, every Total War game since Empire) or make it up to the early purchasers later (Elemental War of Magic). Zero is admitting the game is profitable and will allow him to self fund his next game. But he’s abandoning the game while it still has major performance issues and several promised features are not implemented. If you like to build large fleets and conquer the galaxy the game is unplayable. But that’s all there is to do in the game because research and diplomacy are lacking.

          I agree with you though. I like these sorts of interviews. I definitely will never buy a game from this guy.

      • TanC says:

        I agree with Adam and Keith; it does not matter who SpaceSector decides to interview and it does not seem like they are giving Zero any legitimacy over any other devs but rather digging up more information for the general public. I, for one, am not aware of his intent of not returning to Kickstarter nor his plan on SD Unity so I do appreciate this article giving me that information. At least we will know what his plans are, set aside some time to examine his latest work, and if it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny I will not buy it. Period.

  18. Cyberwing says:

    I found a topic on the Steam Forums for SD that you might find interesting.

    Seems to me like Zero is trying to clean house.

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/220660/discussions/0/846966335976225386/

  19. Wodzu says:

    The sad thing is that a lot of people trusted a guy who had no previous development experience! Gave him their money and basicaly funded him a free lessons of programming :) Guy did not kno whow to program, he picked up the easiest language to do the job – C# and with this you just can not make a high performance game… Looking at this from the perspective of time and I find it unbelivebeable, yet it happend! It happend because we so desperately need the successor of MOO2 :)
    Lets hope that M.O.R.E. will have a different outcome but I am also full of doubt on this title:(

    • Cyberwing says:

      As far as games go, for having no experience and learning as he went on, it’s decent.

      Doesn’t excuse his attitude about people expecting advertised features to actually be in the game though.

      Look at the games website. It lists mines (Layable mines, as in space mines), the ability to sell ships to allies and do joint operations with allies. And managing a ships fuel capacity.

      Features listed on the games website. Features that are not in the game yet and proably won’t be until after SD-U.

      I also bring up his comments about making a SD RPG. He planned to do this after SD, but has instead replaced this with plans for a TBS game.

      Good game really… It’s just the developer’s word isn’t very trustworthy. He delivered a good game… it’s just missing some advertised features.

      Edit – More? Have link for it, or at least a google search term I can use? (Already tried M.O.R.E. No mention of the game)

    • csebal says:

      “he picked up the easiest language to do the job – C# and with this you just can not make a high performance game…”

      I dont even know where to begin with that sentence. As someone who works with C# on a professional level and has done so in the past 12 years or so (ever since .NET came to existence) and as someone who used to work with C++ before that, I can only say.. you are fundamentally wrong.

      For starters, most of the time you see games or other software perform badly, it is due to bad software architecture and not the bad choice of language. If it would be as easy as to work in C++, to make high performance apps, don’t you think everyone would do that? It is – after all – just another language to learn.

      Quite often I get asked:
      “how hard it is to learn this language or another.”

      I usually end up answering:
      “Not that hard. See, programming is not the knowledge of programming languages. It is knowing how to think like computers do. Once you get that, learning one more programming language will be no different than learning say english, except being a lot easier since all programming languages are used to communicate the same basic ideas.

      Difficulty is not usually determined by the language you work with, but more like the type of work you want the computer to do. A c++ developer, who normally creates low level server software might have a harder time making C++ 3D engine, than a C# developer who works with 3D engines for a living. Sure the C++ developer would start out with the advantage of knowing about C++, but thats something the C# dev can easily do as well, the C++ dev in this case would need to learn a lot about 3D he might not have known, which the C# guy already knows.”

    • Mark says:

      “Guy did not kno whow to program, he picked up the easiest language to do the job – C# and with this you just can not make a high performance game…”

      Yeah this statement doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either. Its a language and like any language some people can barely make themselves understood while others are like William shakespeare. Blame the dev, not the language.

      • Wodzu says:

        @csebal, @Mark: guys I do not want to start any war. Mark I like your comparision, however. .NET platform is not anywhere near the performance of the NATIVE languages. Add to the mix unexperienced dev and you are receive a slow game.

        @csebal I am not doubting in your experience however something must be wrong with it if you are not seeing the difference between C++ and C# in terms of speed. (perhapse a quick glance on wiki pages could tell you the difference). I bet your proffesional experience is involved with writings servers / servies or WinForms applications, but I am pretty sure that you have no idea how to write a computer game (something more than a tic-tac-toe). Correct me if I am wrong:)

        After reading the rest of your comment I see you are mentioning servers.. so that must be it:)

        And some languages are harder then other. You want me to tell that if I learned english I would have no problem in learning chinese??? You do try to learn chinese mister :)

        Knowing one language helps in learning other but it does not mean that the one language is not easier than other. I think that I am not the one who is fundamentally wrong here.

        C# is easier to develop with than f.e. C++, that is a fact, that is the reason why the language has been invented at the first place (Java was taking to much ground due to its simplicity in comaprision to C++). C# provides high level abstractions to many native API’s, most of C# devs(who worked only with C#) have no idea about pointers, allocating / deallocating memory and so on. This is a lot burden taken off of a dev’s shoulders BUT those things come with a price and the price in this matter is a performance and memory usage. Execatly the two problems that are mentioned in conjunction with StarDrive.

        • csebal says:

          @Wodzu:
          I would like to ask you to read what I wrote with a little more attention to detail as you seem to have misinterpreted quite a lot and attribute some ideas to me that I never wrote.

          As for the attempt at starting a pissing contest. Maybe another time. Im just not in the mood for it.

        • Wodzu says:

          @csebal

          I read your what you wrote with quite a lot of attention. I do not know where I’ve misinterpreted what you’ve said but I am sorry for that.

          I guess my question about your experience as a game developer will be unanswered then.

        • csebal says:

          @Wodzu:
          Where have you misinterpreted my words? For starters:
          - never said C++ is not faster than C#, so your arguments on that fact were totally wasted. I did say however, that the language is merely a tool. How it is used and more importantly, WHEN it is used (aka the software architecture) is a lot more important when it comes to the performance of a game.
          - explicitly stated that learning new programming languages is a lot easier than learning spoken languages, because they all share similar structures and are used in the same or very similar context, yet you came with the pointless chinese analogy.

          The rest of your post was basically you questioning my professional abilities, quote: “I am pretty sure that you have no idea how to write a computer game”.

          I cannot really answer that without going into the pissing contest part mentioned earlier. I find it interesting and somewhat confusing however, that in your opinion, someone who has been programming for 13 some years, no matter what field, would be unable to make anything, if he sets his mind to it. This is especially funny when we consider that the blog post is about a game that was written by a lawyer.

          Work on those thoughts a little, because right now, you make little sense and I think you yourself might be starting to realize that, hence the weak fallback on your previous pointless questioning of my abilities.

        • Wodzu says:

          @csebal

          You started this discussion by saying that I am fundamentally wrong. You wanted to support your statement saying that:

          - you have 12 years experience as a developer.. but wait, you are not developing games! So how on earth should you know what platform is needed to write a decent game? Your are guessing here, that is what you are doing. Even the author of SD said that he hit the wall writing his game in THIS specific technology. But no.. your 12 years of experience in writing some apps tells you different. Show me one AAA game that is using .NET as a development platform. There is none. Period. Everyone in the industry knows that .NET is not suitable for this task. And that I was telling here at the first place. You started to argue with me by making some silly assumptions not backed by the actual facts.

          As to questioning your abilities. You were the one who pulled them out here (those 12 years of experience) so don’t blame me for asking have you ever wrote a serious computer game. Because you know, we are talking here about computer games.

        • csebal says:

          @Wodzu:
          You keep misinterpreting my words, make unfounded assumptions about me and keep guessing what I do, despite me explicitly stating I will not going to discuss it with you, not because i am ashamed of it, but because this is not the place to list my professional accomplishments. Trust me, I could go on for quite some time, as I am actually proud of my work, but this just is not what this blog is for.

          Let me close this pointless discussion with rephrasing my original statement so that you cannot read more into it than there actually is.

          You wrote:
          “he picked up the easiest language to do the job – C# and with this you just can not make a high performance game…”
          To which I said you are FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG. I did say so for two reasons:
          1) You imply that C# is inferior because it is easy to learn, which it is not – inferior that is. Its ease of use is actually a huge advantage in some cases as the resulting productivity allows for much shorter iteration cycles and as a result much better end products. There is a reason why it is so popular.

          2) You imply that a game could not be written in C#, but forget about all the games out there that are using C# for various parts and there is your mistake, assuming that a project has to use the same language for all its components. Also, there are some projects for which you simply do not need the performance benefits of C++. A turn based game can easily be made in C# without any performance issues, as believe it or not, the performance overhead in today’s age of computing is more than manageable.

      • Ivan says:

        @Wodzu

        Most of the time the performance doesn’t matter as much as stability. Users (and players) tolerate slow performance better then errors, crushes and missing features. Modern garbage collectors are doing fine job with sacrificing the least speed for the stability and when you really need performance, you can go back to pointers. Both C# and Java allow you to call native code.

        After 15 years of programming experience I witnessed a lot more performance issues resolved by reducing the algorithm complexity then by optimizing O(1) operations. Picking bad algorithm is equally bad in both C# and C++ but C# will make it easier to rewrite such code.

        • Wodzu says:

          @Ivan

          I haven’t played StarDrive but many users told that performance drops to the state of unplayable during a middlegame phase.

          Of course I agree with you that picking better algorithm has a way higher impact on the game than language or hardware.

          However at the level of primitives like string manipulation or floating point numbers there can be big differences between languages.

      • Wodzu says:

        @csebal

        Thank you for your rephrasing:)

        If this is not the place for discussing your profesional experience then you shouldn’t brought it up at the first place. Make up your mind.

        “You imply that C# is inferior because it is easy to learn, which it is not – inferior that is. ”

        I’ve never said that. Beeing easy to learn has nothing to do with its inferiority for game developement. Now you are misinterpreting my words.

        “You imply that a game could not be written in C#, but forget about all the games out there that are using C# for various parts and there is your mistake, assuming that a project has to use the same language for all its components.”

        As I’ve said earlier: name *one* AAA game title that uses C# as a developement language. Please, refer to actual facts.

        I am pretty well aware that game can use different language for different components. But what sane person whould use C# for different component of the game and demand from user to install additional few GB of .NET crap? There are other MUCH BETTER languages for doing that job like LUA or Python.

        In one I have to agree with you. This discussion is pointless, you are trying to take a voice in a topic which is obviously not your strongest point.

        • csebal says:

          @Wodzu:
          “I am pretty well aware that game can use different language for different components. But what sane person whould use C# for different component of the game and demand from user to install additional few GB of .NET crap? There are other MUCH BETTER languages for doing that job like LUA or Python.”

          I rest my case.

          You are nothing but a hater with a bad attitude. Any more words would be wasted on you, as you have fundamental issues with .NET and as such will never even consider my arguments, no matter how much I try.

          Haters gonna hate.

          Also, your pitiful attempts at continued insults have been noted and moved to the appropriate folder. (trash can) Have a nice day.

        • Wodzu says:

          @csebal

          “You are nothing but a hater with a bad attitude. Any more words would be wasted on you, as you have fundamental issues with .NET and as such will never even consider my arguments, no matter how much I try.

          Haters gonna hate.”

          Umm.. no. What I’ve said is that .NET is not good for making games which are demanding in terms of system resources. Nothing more. Actually I am making a decent money by developing in .NET from time to time.

          “Also, your pitiful attempts at continued insults have been noted and moved to the appropriate folder. (trash can) Have a nice day.”

          Riiiight…when you criticize my oppinion (without even backing it up by any actual fact) then everything is ok, but I can not do the same cause it becomes insult.

          Good day to you sir! :)

        • IvanK says:

          @Wodzu
          1) Performance of Python and LUA are not exactly comparable to C++ either. Personally I’d never pick scripting language for a project with more than 1000 lines of code. Strict typed languages allow for much better content assistance which coupled with good architecture makes code write itself. And you’ll get all syntax and most semantic errors at compile time.

          2) No AAA game was made by one man team either so the argument doesn’t apply. Bastion was made in C# and I’m sure you can find a lot more good and famous games written in C#. Magicka was made with XNA, so it .Net based too, most probably C#.

          3) .Net runtime is like any other. Even some software made in C++ require special runtime DLLs. Ever got error such as “missing msvcr100.dll”? That file is runtime for C++ apps built by MS Visual Studio 2010 compiler. Finally, .Net runtime is around 100 MB, not few GB.

        • Wodzu says:

          @Ivan

          “1) Performance of Python and LUA are not exactly comparable to C++ either. Personally I’d never pick scripting language for a project with more than 1000 lines of code. ”

          csebal was reffering to parts of the game not the “core engine”. So I’ve said that for scripting purpouses Python and LUA are better suited than C#. (for example, Python is used in Civilization 5)

          “2) No AAA game was made by one man team either so the argument doesn’t apply. Bastion was made in C# and I’m sure you can find a lot more good and famous games written in C#. Magicka was made with XNA, so it .Net based too, most probably C#.”

          I think it still applies. What I’ve said is C# is not good for making a high demandig game. How much people were developing it is a different matter.

          I’ve looked at the Magicka, game looks nice but it is not anywhere near the quality of AAA games in terms of graphics. What is even funnier, look what tem member of Magicka said himself about developing game in C#:

          “What are some of the successes and failures you learned from in developing Magicka?

          The greatest success was Magicka itself. It is a great game that is just as much fun as we wanted it to be, and gamers agree.

          The biggest failure would be all the bugs. I think it will take a while before we ever try to write our own game engine again, or in C# for that matter.”

          “3) .Net runtime is like any other. Even some software made in C++ require special runtime DLLs. Ever got error such as “missing msvcr100.dll”? That file is runtime for C++ apps built by MS Visual Studio 2010 compiler. Finally, .Net runtime is around 100 MB, not few GB.”

          I do admit that I’ve exaggerated. However, how can you compare one dll which is 0.4 MB to 415 MB runtime? (http://www.pagestart.com/netframeworkpart1.html)
          415 MB is the actual size of runtime for .NET 3.5. 90MB was for version 1.1 which well…noone will ever use.

  20. csebal says:

    When I was reading the interview, one thing did strike me as odd.
    This:
    “The second major frustration has been dealing with negativity. There are some gamers out there who have incredibly bloated senses of entitlement. If they get a crash they act like I came into their house and murdered their dog. But I’ve learned to turn the volume down on them a bit. StarDrive has a lot of really engaged, positive people involved. I want to listen to them instead.”

    Everything requires a frame of reference. Without darkness, there could be no light. Without evil, there would be no good and most pertinent to our case: without criticism, there would be no greatness. Why? Because it is criticism that drives us to improve ourselves. Criticism that shapes our ideas. It’s criticism that tells us when we are wrong about something and it is also that can confirm that we are on the right track simply by its absence.

    But he did not talk about ignoring criticism, you might say, and on the surface, you would be right. Lets dwell a little deeper then. See criticism is ALWAYS useful, but not always apparent or pleasant. A simple rant is easy to dismiss, but there is an underlying criticism that drives the person ranting and if you listen carefully, you can usually point it out.

    Admittedly its much more pleasant to read something like this:
    “I believe that there stability of the game requires some improvements”
    than this:
    “Take your f**in piece of crashing **** and shove it up your ***”.
    But they are both saying the same thing. For all we know, the second guy might be suffering from some situational or educational shortcomings that prevent him from expressing his opinion in a more calm and articulate way. Him being rude does not invalidate his opinion though.

    So what to do when everybody is yelling at you on the forums? Stop and ask yourself – am I doing everything right? Don’t be “that” proverbial “guy” on the highway, that says to himself “look at all these idiots, all driving the wrong way”, when in fact it is you driving against the traffic.

    Yes you can tone it back, ignore such voices and to an extent it might even be okay to do so, maybe even necessary. There is a big pitfall of this approach however. Once you start going down the slippery slope of ignorance, it is very hard to stop. In Zero’s case, publicly denouncing part of his player base as being overly negative, or dismissing them as the vocal minority (more on this later) is probably already below the healthy level on that slope and things can still get worse from there.

    Such ignorance can easily create an environment, where criticism is not only ignored and dismissed, but outright shunned. This will in turn condemn the project to death simply by removing the most reliable and direct frame of reference for judging how good or bad it is doing.

    What about the vocal minority mentioned earlier? It is a fallacy I encounter quite often: dismissing forum voices by claiming they belong to the vocal minority, implying that the silent majority obviously thinks otherwise. While they might be different in personality as they do not share their opinion so openly with the world, making such a broad generalization as to assume that they would disagree with the vocal minority on everything is just not right. Using the vocal minority card is the easy way out, but more often than not, it is a leap of faith from the developers hoping things eventually settle down.

    Anyway, from the looks of it, people are not particularly happy with the state SD is in and frankly, I’m not happy either. I have not played that game since beta, since there is nothing in it to warrant that, except for the unique ship design, the novelty value of which wears off quite fast.

    That does not mean I feel betrayed. After all I played a good 40-50 hours during beta and while it is not a lot, it is about on par with the minimum I expected for the price of the game. In other words: I got my money’s worth of entertainment out of it.

    I am just a little sad to see a potentially good concept and decent start go to waste and get abandoned. Also I will be cautious buying anything else from Zero, as he clearly is more interested about profit than making a great game. Other than that, best of luck with his new TBS project.

    • Cyberwing says:

      Given how quick Zero is to ban members who speak out against the game, for lack of advertised features or the frequent OOM errors and their belief that he should spend some more time adding the missing features, optmizing current features (Some of them are not exactly… efficient.), or attempting to find a alternative solution to the OOM bugs, it’s not to much of a stretch to say that the silent majority is silent because Zero has taken away their voice on the games forums.

  21. Zero says:

    Regarding the tech, one of the biggest tech issues I hit was a concept called “Large Object Heap” fragementation. What this means is that when I create a new object like a ship, there are potentially thousands of ship modules that come with it. They are all individually light weight but altogether they need a chunk of memory. So the program assigns some memory to it on the “Large Object Heap”. Just imagine a bucket that you can keep filling up with water.

    Now at various times, parts of the bucket need to be deleted. A ship is destroyed or refitted, whatever. What happens in .NET is that when you delete the ship from the bucket, the water doesn’t flow to take up the space that you just made. It leaves the space there. So when I want to create a new ship, the program goes and looks for a space that is big enough to fit the ship. If it can’t find one, then the ship goes on top of the bucket.

    Now the problem is that after a long play session with many ships being added and deleted and so on, the bucket can look very spotty indeed. A ship here, free space here, ship ship, freespace, ship, etc. And when you add a titan, there are no good spaces for it, so it goes on top of the bucket, and BAM. You’ve overflowed. Even though you have the memory for it, the large object heap doesn’t agree.

    What .NET is incapable of doing, or should I say the .NET that I have to use for XNA, is compacting that space. Smart memory management would be able to go through and just fill in the space. Every item should be periodically shifted to the bottom of the bucket so that the area of freespace on top of the bucket has plenty of room.

    At any rate, this OOM error will only rear its head after many hours of straight play. I wish I could kill it in .NET but it’s easier to just upgrade the tech we’re using and get with the times.

    • Mark says:

      Would it be possible to override C#’s garbage collection with a custom memory manager, or would that be too difficult to integrate at this late stage?

    • IvanK says:

      I seriously doubt that “upgraded tech” will solve external fragmentation (“spotty bucket” problem). I’m unaware that Unity3D has such feature.

      Perhaps object pooling and fixed object size would do the trick. Both technics basically trade external fragmentation for internal.

      Edit:
      I looked into to large object heap matter and in order to qualify as large, the object has to be at least 85000 bytes. That’s quite a lot, can you avoid that? For instance by using linked list instead of array based list.

      • Justin says:

        Hey, reading the issue he mentioned, object pooling came to me as well. Also the idea of a linked list instead of arrays.

        I think Distant Worlds was written with XNA and .NET too wasn’t it?

        I just don’t think your architecture was able to handle the complexity of your design.

  22. Seiya says:

    Star Drive was okay.

    As was mentioned elsewhere, it had a lot of potential and very little of it was ever realized. I bought the game during the beta and enjoyed the base premise. The high hopes I had for it never went anywhere though. Those hopes were based on a game called “Battleships Forever” (http://www.wyrdysm.com/index.php). I had hoped the customization would be as much fun as it was. Eh… it ended up being a lot more limited than I had hoped. The tech trees were minimal to say the least and most of those techs were such small upgrades (or in one case downgrade during the beta) that it was not that much fun.

    Him saying he is going to use unity is a giant red flag to me as a modder. Modding in Stardrive was already somewhat of an annoyance. But throw in the problems unity brings to the table and I do not think I will bother trying. For those who do not know, unity uses compiled resources by default. Last time I checked, there is not a built in way to handle uncompiled resources. Endless Space ran into this problem. They had to write a custom content loader for it to get modding working. The way you have to do it without one is like this http://forums.amplitude-studios.com/showthread.php?6725-How-to-mod-more-than-the-easy-xml-files .

    With what I have seen in the past, I doubt I will buy another stardrive game without seeing a demo first. Not out of anger, but out of disappointment from what the first game turned into.

    • Zero says:

      I don’t know, I think there is a way to use a concept called “Asset Streaming” to get modding up to speed in Unity. XML reading is easy and lots of StarDrive was made with XML. But to get new textures and models, I think the solution will be for modders to use the free version of unity to create a package and then we can just stream it in at runtime. It’s something I’ll be exploring.

  23. Mayhemeffect says:

    Zerosum games representatives have now taken to heavily deleting and banning in the steam forums. To a level that has seldom been rivaled. It appears there is a active monitor deleting posts as they come in and banning accounts that make them shortly after.

    This level of maturity is appalling.

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