Stellaris Dev Diary #68 - Introductions and Farewells

Every Journey Has an End
Rikard, @Zoft

Ever since I was a kid I have looked up at the stars and been awed by the mysterious vastness above us. The beauty of our insignificance in it all is something I have always been fascinated by, and the idea of being able to explore the vastness and being a part of it has always been almost romantic to me.

When I was asked to join the Stellaris team, and later take over as Project Lead, it was like a dream come true. I would be able to explore and experience something that was very close to my heart.

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We have come such a long way since we started working on Stellaris and it’s important to remember that the great game we have today is a reflection of the team that made it. I have, over these years, had the privilege to work with some of the greatest individuals I have ever encountered during my years in the industry and it has been an amazing experience. I cannot thank the people I undertook this amazing voyage with enough.

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A lot of things have changed since I started on Stellaris. These days I have a lot more studio-wide responsibilities in my role as Project Lead Manager and the time has come for me to step back and let someone else carry the torch. I have full confidence in the new project lead (I hired him personally and assigned him to Stellaris), something that for me is critical for being able to step back. I know that he and the team will continue to expand and grow Stellaris in cooperation with our awesome players.

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It has been such an honor to share this journey with all of you. The galaxy really is vast and full of wonders.
Farewell for now, I look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Best regards,
Rikard

In every end, there is also a beginning
Jamie, @Jamor

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Hi everyone! I’m Jamie and I’ll be taking over as the new project lead on Stellaris. I’m a huge history nerd and a longtime fan of Paradox games, so when it came time to move forward with my career, it was a natural fit to apply at PDS. A half-year odyssey then ensued, including such highlights as watching Mad Max inside a metal tube hurtling through the night sky over Greenland, enduring the abject horror of plugging my Canadian computer in to a European wall socket, and standing in who knows how many lines waiting to fill in Swedish tax documents. Finally, at long last, I’m here in beautiful, historic Stockholm working for my favourite company in the world. I feel so thrilled and honoured by this opportunity.

One of my first complete memories as a child was seeing Return of the Jedi in theatre. It was 1983 and I was four years old. I didn’t really understand much of the plot, but even then my impressionable young mind knew that something magical and desperately important was happening. A larger than life, heroic struggle of primal forces clashing for nothing less than the fate of the galaxy, brimming with fascinating characters and dramatic events. It set me on a lifelong path of always looking upwards, outwards, towards those great adventures whether they reside in our own history, or the limitless realm of our imaginations. It was a childhood spent happily ensconced in the library reading about Spitfires and the One Ring, never content with the ordinary. Video games helped to take me on these incredible mental journeys, and so when it came time to choose a career, it was the logical place for me to be. To this day I still have to explain to friends and family members that yes, software project management is in fact a real job and I do actually have to work; but it sure doesn’t hurt to love what you do.

Stellaris is a young, exciting project that has really broken new ground for this studio: with an attractive full 3D visual presentation allied with the classic Paradox strategic depth, we are really working hard to raise the bar in every way. Paradox Development Studios has a legendary commitment to improving and expanding their titles for much longer than the industry standard, and our plan is to keep Stellaris fresh and exciting for our players for years to come. Our loyal fans (I count myself as one) and our vibrant modding community deserve a huge amount of credit for the success we’ve had, and will continue to build upon.


I want you all to know how humbled I am to have this opportunity to lead the next step of the game’s evolution, and give you my personal guarantee that as a fan and a gamer first, I’ll always strive to make something I myself would love to play. In doing that, I hope you all will love it too.

The universe is vast, and we’ve only charted a tiny corner of it. Let’s go see some stars.


 

Yenzen

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Thank you for your work. I say with honesty the Stellaris you've created stands out among 4X/GS space strategy games in being able to keep a large user base interested, rather than a large amount of people trying, yet only small but loyal customer group playing it beyond that, as so many other space 4X games end up.

That is, Stellaris has done much to consider actual user experience, rather than the typical space 4X having "all the right things" in theory, but not actually being entertaining. I think the game has done well and has a great potential going forward as well, considering how CK2 and EU4 turned out.
 

Alectron

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Thanks for everything Zoft, your work will not be forgotten! Jamor, welcome here, we are always glad to see new people!

P.S. Are those early Stellaris screenshots? Damn, the game changed massively!
 

United4Victory

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What a wholesome, yet sad post.
We'll miss you Rikard!

And a big welcome to Jamie! You sound like just the right man for the job, I am looking forward to what personal note you'll leave on Stellaris.
 

Axe99

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Thanks for all your work Zoft - you've got a lot to be proud of :). Best of luck for the future, you keep those Project Managers in line now :). Welcome and best of luck to Jamor, looking forward to seeing your work - your first challenge is to out-"Dad joke" the person who recruited you :D.
 

Shock360

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I don't actually have stellaris, but Iv been reading the dev diaries like crazy and can't wait until I can but it! Though I must say.......... VICTORIA 3 CONFIRMED! AT PDX CON THERE WILL BE MULTIPLE NEW GAMES THERE, MEANING IT WON'T JUST BE STEEL DIVISION! NOW A PROJECT LEAD IS OFFICIALLY SWITCHING GAMES! VICTORIA 3 CONFIRMED!