Date: April 15, 2021
We first took a look at Star Dynasties last month, when it was preparing for Early Access release, and liked what we saw. The Crusader-Kings-Lite-in-Space has an interesting focus on human drama, making your leader into more than just a profile picture and handful of bonus stats. Currently available on Steam, Star Dynasties is set to leave early access sometime in Q3 2021.
In anticipation of the upcoming improvements to the game, we got a chance to ask some questions of Star Dynasties solo developer, Glen Pawley! Check out the full conversation below:
We have seen that with the acquisition of wealth more grandiose actions like infrastructure improvement and colony repair become available in the game. As we amass more resources, could we similarly invest them into projects that permanently unlock certain actions or passive bonuses for our faction? Will it be possible to use our wealth to tame uncolonizable stars that humanity no longer has the technology to interact with, or create various buildings or satellites in our system?
One of the major EA updates we have planned is Colony Improvements. This will make investing in your colonies deeper, doing things like restoring orbiting satellites or repairing old factories, with the effects adding both local colony bonuses and faction bonuses.
More actions will find their way into the game, and provide more ways to use your wealth. For example, I will implement a Bribe mechanic fairly soon. In the longer term, I am looking at whether it will be possible to interact with the uncolonized stars in some way. Certainly the possibility of colonizing them is out of the question – that level of technological and economic might has been lost. But perhaps there are other ways to bring them into the game, possibly in a future expansion.
The relationship that the colonists of Star Dynasties have to technology is that it is magic. Technological artifacts are precious and valuable, not because they can be reverse-engineered, but because they do wondrous things. The Expeditions EA update will contain a set of stories that reflect your house’s attempts at acquiring these items.
History-based grand strategies have the benefit of lore behind their factions and the actions they undertake. When Byzantine Empire launches a world-wise crusade against Buddhist Mongols in our alternative universe, we as players have an emotional connection to an event like that because of our general understanding of what these factions are “like” and how we would expect them to behave.
Science fiction settings usually lean into archetypes and tropes (e.g., Klingons) when they try to create a similar effect: do you have any plans for introducing lore and “personalities” to your factions and NPC rulers through descriptions or large-scale events (disease, peculiar cultural developments in a specific sector, secret orders, religious movements across factions) to create an overarching story for events we see happening around us every turn?
This is an excellent point. Right now, most of my focus has been into breathing personality into the characters of the game.
I would love to add all those suggestions to the game, but as the solo developer on the project, I naturally have limited time to expand in all directions. Certainly I hope to tackle all those points in future expansions. In particular, exploring different cultural norms and how that would create different outcomes in the honor system in different regions would be fascinating.
What plans do you have for your narrative system, events, and secrets going forward?
The personal drama is one of the key focuses of Star Dynasties, so you can absolutely expect us to continue making this area deeper during Early Access!
What general additions and improvements to stories and secrets can we expect in the upcoming months?
One of the key areas we will expand is stories that explore the sci-fi setting, in the Expeditions update. Another specific area where we plan to add more stories is tied to the task system, where assignments may lead to some surprises. However we will continue adding small stories of all sorts, whether that be the members of your family getting into various escapades, social shenanigans at feasts, or larger events that impact on your political relationships. Some of those events will create secrets, so the depth of that area will grow organically in the process.
Will you be launching the Story Events Editor before the official release and encouraging players to contribute to the story event library?
The Story Events Editor will be available in May, and I’m excited to see what players will make with it.
We are really grateful for your time, as well as the tremendous effort and creative forces you have dedicated to Star Dynasties.
I’m glad that you’re enjoying your time with the game! Thank you for the warm words.
The Star Dynasties team has recently revealed their roadmap, which promises further updates and improvements in the months to come:
The game has a unique focus, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the final product turns out! Let us know what you think of Star Dynasties in the comments!