Stardock Hires Civilization 5 Lead Designer Jon Shafer and Fantasy Author Dave Stern [Updated]

Stardock, the developer of Elemental: War of Magic and operator of the Impulse digital download storefront, has hired Jon Shafer who recently left Firaxis Games where he had served as lead designer on Civilization V (via BigDownload).

Shafer will assist with the continuing development of Elemental: War of Magic, which is currently being overseen by Derek "Kael" Paxton who was hired back in October for his experience with creating the Civilization IV mod "Fall from Heaven". Stardock CEO Brad Wardell stepped down from the lead developer position to serve as the game's executive producer and continues to work on the game's AI.

Additionally, Shafer will also eventually lead his own team at Stardock for development of a second game. Shafer told BigDownload that he had several offers, but decided to go with Stardock as a fan of the company's games and because he liked the freedom Stardock offers to make the types of games he wants to make.

[Update - 4:40 CST] Stardock has also hired science fiction and fantasy author Dave Stern to "oversee heavy lore implementation into all Stardock game projects." Stern previously worked with Stardock on the Hiergamenon lore book created for Elemental: War of Magic, which was included in the game's special edition.

"Although Stardock is known for delivering incredibly detailed strategy gameplay, one of the things we felt was weak in Elemental: War of Magic was how little the world's fantasy lore came through in the game," said Brad Wardell, president & CEO of Stardock. "Going forward, we look to make sure that our games deliver both solid game mechanics as well as a consistent and interesting world to play in."

Stardock released a massive patch for the game on December 15th, which contains pages and pages of updates and represents contributions made by Paxton.

From The Chatty
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    January 4, 2011 2:05 PM

    Oh wow, that's quite the interesting development.

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      January 4, 2011 2:12 PM

      Indeed it is.

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      January 4, 2011 2:16 PM

      From one abysmally buggy game to another. LOL

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        January 4, 2011 2:27 PM

        true fact: lead designers make every bug

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          January 4, 2011 2:35 PM

          I didn't have a lot of issues with bugs, but there were a few questionable design decisions. I appreciate that they were trying to do something different, but military conquest being far an away the easiest path to victory and the fact that policies pretty much dictated your strategy for the entire game from turn one, which then didn't allow for much flexibility in how you wanted to play it. The patches have done a lot to fix glaring bugs, a weak AI and some balance issues, but the overall design needs some work.

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