About Us

The Developers

Stars in Shadow started as a one-man project; Sven Olsen’s attempt to realize a long-held dream. In 2007, Sven approached Jim Francis about a small spaceship drawing commission. Jim’s contributions have grown over time -- and the two now collaborate on many elements of game’s design, including the galaxy’s backstory. The programming work, however, remains entirely Sven’s domain.

Sven Olsen was once an academic working in the fields of computer graphics and image processing; evidence of that part of his life can still be found on the web. But making an empire builder has been a lifelong ambition. The earliest programming and design work for the project that would become Stars in Shadow was done while he was in college, and dates back to 2002.

Also known under the alias "Arioch", Jim Francis has long been a part of the strategy game community as the webmaster of Homeworld Shipyards and his Civilization V Analyst site. He has a background in both software engineering and digital artwork, and is also the author and artist behind the ongoing webcomic Outsider. Jim is responsible for the game's artwork and for much of the in-game writing, and changes code when Sven isn't looking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the release status of the game? Is it still under active development?

Stars in Shadow officially released on January 19th, 2017. We are still actively working on the game, adding fixes and new features, and usually post new patches about twice per month. Regular news posts on the latest patch changes can be found here, and you can read our current development roadmap here.

Q: How much does it cost?

Stars in Shadow can currently be purchased on Steam for $24.99USD. Sales and other promotions are offered at the discretion of our publisher. If you purchased a copy of the game while we were offering preorders, you should have already received your Steam key via email. Anyone who is missing a preorder key should email Sven at ashdar.games@gmail.com.

Q: Will there be expansions or DLC for the game?

Yes. Details for this are still being worked out.

Q: How can I help support the project?

We appreciate feedback and suggestions submitted via the forums; and bug reports are always helpful.

Q: What platforms will be supported?

The current release is PC only (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10), but we would eventually like to support a wider range of platforms. If the PC version is successful enough we plan to do a Mac OS X release. Linux is also a possibility.

Q: I'd rather not purchase via Steam, will you offer the game via other distributors?

We'd like to see the game carried by as many distributors as possible, including DRM-free options like GoG. But for the moment, Steam remains the only supported distribution platform. See this forum thread for more info.

Q: What kind of hardware is required to run the game?

SiS won't strain your graphics hardware as much as most modern games, but, it may have trouble running on very old computers. Where exactly the compatibility falloff happens varies depending on your graphics card. If you're on a laptop with integrated Intel graphics, the game may have trouble running on any machines released prior to 2010. An old desktop gamming rig will fare better -- medium spec AMD/ATI or NVIDIA cards from as early as 2007 will often run the game without bugs, though for an optimal gameplay experience I'd recommend using a video card from 2010 or later.

Q: Can I sign up to receive announcements about the game?

Certainly! You can subscribe to the RSS feed, submit an email asking to be added to the list, or fill out the html form below:

Q: Are you going to run a crowdfunding campaign (kickstarter, etc)?

Probably not.

Q: Do you have plans for after "release"?

Absolutely. We have ambitions for gameplay features and playable races that won't make it into our initial release. But that's putting the cart before the horse.

Q: Do you you plan to support modding? What about Steamworks?

The game is designed to be modder friendly. But at the moment, you need to be a fairly savvy programmer to have much hope of making sense of game's core logic. We'd like to add Steamworks support in a post-release patch. Until then, if you'd like to aquient yourself with the game's internal design, check out the modding page.

Q: Can I use the Stars in Shadow spaceship art in my course project or mod?

We're happy to see the art used by modders, students, or hobbyists, provided that the project is non-commercial, and you give us credit for the art. The non-commercial art license page has a creative commons license that you can use with any such projects.

Q: The name 'Sven' is very common in Denmark. Are you Danish?

My great-grandfather was born in Oslo -- but he moved to North America around 1900AD. So whatever I am, I'm definitely not Danish :)

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