Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Letter to the Community

There are only 12 more days to go until we finally get our hands on the finalized version of Stardock's Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, and that's prompted lead designer Derek Paxton to pen a heartfelt letter to the community that briefly takes us through the two-year "journey" that's led them to the release of a completely revised and totally expanded follow-up to War of Magic. This is one strategy/RPG I'll be be diving into in short order:
These past two years have been quite a journey. When I joined Stardock, I asked Brad how much freedom I would have with the Elemental universe. Could I make it a new and different game than War of Magic? He said, "Do whatever needs to be done, take whatever time it needs, make a great game." He meant it and that brings us to where we are now.

Fallen Enchantress isn't an expansion pack. It's a new game. It exists in the Elemental world but beyond that, it's a new take on a strategy game in that world.

I was excited for the opportunity because I believe in the concept of the game, that you could have a 4x strategy game set in an RPG world. The unit promotion system in Civilization IV, a traditional RPG convention, is what inspired me to keep going down that road with Fall from Heaven. And with Fallen Enchantress we could go even further.

And I had the opportunity to work with incredible people. The Galactic Civilizations team brought a focus on customization as well as being amazing artists and developers. I also got to work with fantasy author Dave Stern and Jon Shafer, as well as spending many nights over the past 2 years talking about game design and the industry with Brad.

It is sometimes said that the games industry doesn't make games like they used to. I think what they mean is that there are few games with large budgets that take chances anymore. Having had the opportunity to design and build something that is unique, I can appreciate why there is such risk adversity in our industry. How to describe Fallen Enchantress?

Fallen Enchantress is not simply a fantasy version of Civilization nor is it an Ultima-style role playing game. Our goal was to create a strategy game that existed in a role playing style world. We embraced mechanics that linked the unit layer with the empire layer, to take two very different games, and blend them into one. This was no small task to be sure. That's where you guys come in.

For the past year, you have been with us every step of the way. Your feedback and ideas have been critical into molding Fallen Enchantress into the rich, deep strategy game you have before you. I am sure some of you would like us to spend another year refining it. We would love that too. But it's time to tell the tale of the Fallen Enchantress and let fate (and the market) decide where we go next with this game world.

Despite a release date being given, we have not yet "gone gold". We will have one final public beta this Thursday. We will also be listening to your feedback to that beta.