GDC: Stardock's Impulse announces free-to-play dev tools

By Steve Watts, Mar 01, 2011 3:00pm PST

At the Game Developers Conference today, Stardock announced that its Impulse::Reactor toolkit will be adding several features, designed around giving developers the ability to make their games free-to-play. The next beta for Impulse::Reactor is scheduled for this month, and will include dev tools for in-game stores, feature unlocking, and downloadable content management.

The tools are made to be unobtrusive for developers, letting them pick which features it wants from Impulse::Reactor, rather than forcing them to use an external client. Developers can use the tools to let players buy pieces of the game, from content like maps or campaigns to features like multiplayer modes. "This allows for greater selection and choice on the gamer's end, and on the developer end, a more streamlined development experience with greater value add," said CEO Brad Wardell.

Free-to-play games are becoming increasingly prevalent, and Wardell suggests they'll continue to for years to come. As a display of the new tools, Impulse parent company Stardock is migrating all of its games to use the Reactor features. "Impulse::Reactor will let our customers begin to pick and choose what features and content they want, allowing us to reduce the up-front price on our games in the future," said Wardell.

Interested developers can sign up for the beta, and the full release of Impulse::Reactor v1.0 is due this summer.

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