Ascending for the Third Time

As product manager for the Starcrash games, it is always hard to build big features for one of the games.  It means that I won’t be able to give as much attention to the other two for some time.  It can really only be justified when the feature will have a big impact on a game’s community and long term success.  For the last month, I’ve been working on such a feature and it’s nearly done!

This month, we will be adding Ascension 3 to Star Pirates.  Each ascension is a full story that takes place somewhere in the Star Pirates universe.  Ascension 3 will be the first time that two ascensions happen in the same area.  It brings players back to the Alpha Centauri system which was the backdrop for the first Ascension.  This will make PvP actions possible between player in A1 and A3.  The storyline behind Ascension 3 is our largest yet with more than 25,000 words divided into 5 acts and more than 75 new story images.

Like previous Ascensions, this story will allow players to experience a “fresh start” for a time in a new area of the game.  The rewards for just participating are noteworthy with access to a new unique item category – Hybrids.  Completion of the story will transfer all the items and cash earned back to player’s original account, the slot for the new item type and earn players  a medal.  Two additional medals will be available when the Ascension goes live.  A medal will be awarded to the first ten players who complete the Ascension and the very first person will get an additional “first to complete” medal.

Writing this content was a very large undertaking, but we’re not all work and no play at SHG.  Having hit some recent milestones, some of the team stayed late at the office last night for a board games night.  I’m a strong believer in learning from games across all genre and platforms.  We try and check out something new in gaming every week.  Last night I brought in my copy of Starfarers of Catan.  Alas, the Dark Lady was cruel to me and on my first two turns I failed encounters which meant I could not move my ship.  It was a deadly blow to my strategy and I was unable to catch up.  But we still had a great time!

game1 game1b

So today we are back to work, busy testing and getting the last images done.  We’d love to hear feedback on the Ascensions, either the existing ones or the new one when it goes live.  Leave your comments below about the stories or tell us what board game we should play next!

Christian Latour, Product Manager
SHG Studios