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

The Ironclad-developed, Stardock-published PC RTS title Sins Of A Solar Empire has been the surprise 'hardcore' PC game hit of the year so far - and Gamasutra has an in-depth postmortem into its creation.
The Ironclad-developed, Stardock-published PC RTS title Sins Of A Solar Empire has been the surprise 'hardcore' PC game hit of the year so far - and Gamasutra has an in-depth postmortem into its creation. Ironclad Producer Blair Fraser and Stardock CEO Brad Wardell explain their the benefits of their companies' partnership, including why delaying the game's release to add more content and polish was one of the tough but ultimately beneficial decisions that helped Sins of a Solar Empire's success on the market: "This was, at the time, a significant gamble. Missing the Christmas season was a potentially catastrophic problem. However, by releasing in February 2008, Sins of a Solar Empire not only became a much better, richer gaming experience, it was released onto a market with virtually no competition. There are very few major PC titles scheduled for release until fall 2008, giving Sins an opportunity to maintain significant retail stocking levels far longer than is normal. One can imagine the sales of Sins of a Solar Empire had it been released in fall 2007 against BioShock, Crysis, and the other major titles that came out during the Christmas season." Not everything went perfectly, however, as budget and time limitations prevented Stardock and Ironclad from adding everything they hoped to, including a single-player campaign that matched the creativity and quality of the core game. "With Ironclad's team, Stardock's game team produced the opening cutscene that introduces players to the Sins of a Solar Empire universe. But from there on, players play random maps and scenarios rather than going through a story-driven campaign. This was the most widely raised criticism in reviews; on a game that averaged almost a nine out of 10, one can only imagine what the scores would have been with a campaign." You can now read the full feature on Stardock and Ironclad's post-mortem for their PC hit, Sins of a Solar Empire, including what went right and what could've gone better during development (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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