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Encyclopedia > TotalGaming.net
TotalGaming.net logo

TotalGaming.net is a personal computer game subscription service by Stardock. It was developed over 2000 and launched as The Drengin Network (or Drengin.net) in 2001 as a way to obtain all of for Stardock's games. It relaunched as TotalGaming.net on 20 June 2004 with the addition of externally-developed games, and again in June/July 2005 with a new token-based subscription model. Image File history File links Logo of Stardocks TotalGaming. ... An Alienware PC Personal computer games are games played on a personal computer. ... The subscription business model is a business model that has long been used by magazines and record clubs, but the application of this model is spreading. ... Stardock logo This article is about Stardock, the software company. ... In the study of numismatics tokens are coin-like objects used instead of coins. ...

Unlike most subscription services, users buy games, rather than renting them - once a game has been purchased through TotalGaming.net it is permanently available for download through Stardock Central. Most games can be purchased separately, but are cheaper to buy using the tokens that form part of the subscription. Stardock Central is a software content delivery and digital rights management system used by Stardock customers to access components of the Object Desktop, TotalGaming. ...


Subscription model

Prior to mid-2005, the subscription model was similar to that of Stardock's other subscription services, Object Desktop and ThinkDesk. Users paid a set fee ($89) to subscribe for a period of time (initially two years, later 18 months). In return, they gained access to download all games (and updates) on the service until their subscription expired. The Object Desktop 2. ... ThinkDesk is a productivity application subscription service, launched by Stardock on 14 April 2005 as a utility counterpart to their Object Desktop and TotalGaming. ...

The above pricing model had several problems:

  • As the number of games offered increased it became harder to maintain subscriptions at a price point which was already higher than many were willing to pay
  • Developers of popular games were not willing to risk having their games subsidise less-popular games
  • Users were used were worried about the expiry of their subscription before the release of critical updates

As a result, TotalGaming.net moved to a token-based system dubbed Phase II. Under the new model, subscribers received a 10 tokens to be used within 18 months of their purchase. Existing subscribers received the above benefits, as well as keeping all the games that had been released up until that point. Subscribers (past or present) are able to purchase token packs which extend both their token count and the time left to use them in.

As of June 2005, the initial subscription fee is $69.95, which leads to a to an approximate exchange rate of $7 per token. If purchased separately, games usually cost around $10 per token, given that many games are available for $19.95 or two tokens.

Discrete downloading

With many TotalGaming.net games being over a gigabyte in size, there is a significant risk of players finding it less convenient to purchase games online than at a store due to the time required to download them. To counter this, most TotalGaming.net games are divided into discrete components, only one of which is required to play the game.

For example, one game might be split into the core game, manual, music, and video cut-scenes. Another might consist of a core game engine and several episodes. Once purchased, users can download the core game, queue up the other components, and then start playing without having to wait for them to be downloaded.

Component downloads are also resumable, in case of accidental disconnection or time limits.


Initially, TotalGaming.net had a focus on turn-based and real-time strategy games, with a few role-playing games, mostly due to Stardock's history in strategic gaming and the licensing of several games from a former publisher, Strategy First. With the launch of Phase II, several arcade, action and puzzle titles have been added to round-out the portfolio, including several Flash-based games. These games tend to be either "best-of-breed" classics, like BreakQuest or Xeno Assault II, or original twists on a familiar concept, like Gish. One class of games not (yet?) represented in TotalGaming.net are first-person shooters. Turn-based gaming is an online gaming technique. ... Age of Empires (1997), Invasion of an enemy A real-time strategy (RTS) game is a type of computer strategy game which does not have turns like conventional turn-based strategy video or board games. ... Computer role-playing games (CRPGs), often shortened to simply role-playing games (RPGs), are a type of video or computer game that traditionally uses gameplay elements found in paper-and-pencil role-playing games. ... Strategy First is a software developer based in Montreal,Canada. ... Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Macromedia Flash, or simply Flash, refers to both a multimedia authoring program and the Macromedia Flash Player, written and distributed by Macromedia (and recently purchased by Adobe), that utilizes vector and raster graphics, program code and bidirectional streaming video and audio. ... Doom, arguably the definitive example of a first-person shooter game. ...

Stardock has often sold its strategy games as having a competitive "human-like" AI, particularly that of The Corporate Machine and Galactic Civilizations. Galactic Civilizations was released one month after Master of Orion III, and the former met with considerably more success in the marketplace and user reviews; some believe that this was because players found the AI in MOO3 lacking. Artificial intelligence (also known as machine intelligence and often abbreviated as AI) is intelligence exhibited by any manufactured (i. ... Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based strategy computer game developed by Stardock. ... Master of Orion (MOO or MoO) is an intergalatic turn-based computer strategy game that was released in 1993. ...

It should be noted that AI programmer and CEO Brad Wardell has gone on record as saying that he has no qualms about letting the AI in Stardock games "cheat" (typically by receiving free money to spend) at the very highest levels of difficulty if doing so improves gameplay; most gamers appear to be satisfied with this as long as the rest of the AI is on a "level playing field".

Current games

Available games as of June 2005 are:

  • Astral Masters — a fantasy computer-based collectible card game with networking capability; sequel to Astral Tournament
  • BaseGolf — a peculiar mixture of baseball and golf
  • BreakQuest — a breakout clone with various ball and paddle bonuses; interesting effects provided by embedded physics engine
  • Celtic Kings: Rage of War — a mix of real-time strategy, role-playing and adventure game based around the conflict between the Romans and the Gauls
  • The Corporate Machine — real-time strategy where players must successfully research, manufacture and produce a product, battling human or AI competitors for market share; optional online play
  • Disciples II: Ultimate Edition — a combination of the fantasy turn-based strategy game Disciples II: Dark Prophecy and two expansions, Rise of the Elves and Servants of the Dark
  • Flatspace — a space trading and flight simulation game
  • Galactic Civilizations [1] (and Altarian Prophecy expansion) — a turn-based space strategy game similar to Civilization, originally released in 1995 for OS/2
  • Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords [2] - sequel to the above, currently in development; beta versions are available to subscribers who pre-ordered it prior to the Phase II launch
  • GEOM — a geometric puzzle game where the objective is to create shapes with matching-coloured sides
  • Gish [3] — 2D platform game with a ball of tar as the hero
  • Grand Master Chess Online — a 3D skinnable chess game which can be played online
  • Jets'n'Guns [4] — an arcade shoot-em-up
  • Lightweight Ninja — a children's side-scroller featuring Ty, a somewhat-undersized ninja
  • Nexagon: Deathmatch — a real-time strategy game based in the 25th century
  • O-R-B: Off-World Resource Base — a 3D, real-time strategy game where players compete over the resources of an asteroid belt
  • The Political Machine — players compete with the AI or online to become President of the United States
  • Reaktor — Flash-based puzzle game where players must deposit reactor blocks in matching colours or risk meltdown
  • Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood — real-time strategy and role-playing mix set in the popular conception of Robin Hood's era
  • Uplink: Hacker Elite [5] — a game based around the concept of hacking computer systems
  • WordWars — a version of Scrabble with unusually violent tiles that harm your opponent
  • World War II: Frontline Command — a real-time strategy title set within the era of World War II, from the Allied viewpoint
  • Xeno Assault II — an arcade space shoot-em-up inspired by Galaga

Collectible card games (CCGs), also called customizable card games or trading card games, are played using specially designed sets of cards. ... Baseball is a team sport, in which a fist-sized ball is thrown by a defensive player called a pitcher and hit by an offensive player called a batter with a round, smooth stick called a bat. ... Golfer teeing off at the start of a hole Golf is an outdoor sport where individual players or teams play a small ball into a hole using various clubs. ... Breakout is a Pong-like video game and arcade game published by Atari in 1976. ... A physics engine is a computer program that simulates Newtonian physics models, using variables such as mass, velocity, friction and wind resistance can simulate and predict effects under different conditions that would approximate what happens in either real life or a fantasy world. ... Age of Empires (1997), Invasion of an enemy A real-time strategy (RTS) game is a type of computer strategy game which does not have turns like conventional turn-based strategy video or board games. ... Computer role-playing games (CRPGs), often shortened to simply role-playing games (RPGs), are a type of video or computer game that traditionally uses gameplay elements found in paper-and-pencil role-playing games. ... Roman or Romans has several meanings, primarily related to the Roman citizens, but also applicable to typography, math, and a commune. ... Gallia (in English Gaul) is the Latin name for the region of western Europe occupied by present-day France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ... A flight simulator is a system that tries to replicate, or simulate, the experience of flying an airplane as closely and realistically as possible. ... Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based strategy computer game developed by Stardock. ... A turn-based game, also known as turn-based strategy, is a game where each participant plays in turn. ... A civilization or civilisation has a variety of meanings related to human society. ... Version 2. ... In software engineering, development stage terminology expresses how far through the development sequence things have progressed and how much further development a product may require. ... Geometry (from the Greek words Ge = earth and metro = measure) is the branch of mathematics first introduced by Theaetetus dealing with spatial relationships. ... A puzzle is a problem or enigma presented as entertainment; that is written down, acted out, etc. ... Gish is a 2D PC platform game created by Edmund McMillen and distributed by Chronic Logic. ... A screenshot of the original Donkey Kong arcade platform game Platform games, or platformers, are a very popular genre of video games that originated in the early 1980s. ... TAR can mean: An abbreviation for Tar (file format) The Amazing Race, a reality television program An abbreviation for Tibet Autonomous Region The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC Thrombocytopenia Absent Radius syndrome For Tar or tar, see Tar (disambiguation). ... In computing, skins and themes are custom graphical appearances (GUIs) that can be applied to certain software and websites in order to suit the different tastes of different users. ... Many countries claim to have invented the chess game in some incipient form. ... JetsnGuns (also shortened to JnG) is a 2d, side-scrolling shoot-em-up computer game released in late 2004 for Microsoft Windows by RakeInGrass software. ... A fixed shooter game, also known as a 2-D shooter or shoot-em-up (shmup for short), is a video game where the player has limited control of their character and the focus is almost entirely on annihilation of their enemies. ... A side-scrolling game or side-scroller is a genre of video games in which the gameplay action is viewed from a side-view camera angle, and the onscreen characters generally move from the left side of the screen to the right in order to reach their goals. ... A ninja on the cover of Black Belt magazine. ... The President of the United States is the head of state of the United States. ... This article is about the folk hero. ... // Definition Common Contemporary Meanings Hacker is a term used to describe different types of computer experts, who employ a tactical, rather than strategic, approach to computer programming, administration, or security. ... Scrabble board in play. ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons like the atom bomb. ... In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance and are working together to achieve some common purpose. ... Notes Developed during the Golden Age of Arcade Games. ...

In development

These games are known to be in development, although others will probably be added through distribution deals:

... Shattered Galaxy Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy (MMORTS) is a category for computer games that combines real-time strategy (RTS) with a large number of simultaneous players over the Internet. ...

Retired games

A few games were been withdrawn from the TotalGaming.net service when it was re-released:

  • B.U.G.S. (Bill's Unbelievably Ghastly Space Ships)
  • Stellar Frontier - an top-down space colonization and combat game


  • TotalGaming.net launched! - press release detailing the 2004 launch
  • Everything You Want to Know About TotalGaming.Net Phase 2

External links

  • TotalGaming.net website
Stardock line of products
Object Desktop Products ControlCenter | DesktopX | DriveScan | Enhanced Dialog | IconDeveloper | IconPackager | IconX | Keyboard LaunchPad | Object Edit | ObjectBar | ObjectZip | RightClick | SkinStudio | Tab LaunchPad | Theme Manager | WindowBlinds | WindowFX
TotalGaming.net Games (developed, published) Astral Masters | BaseGolf | BreakQuest | Celtic Kings | Corporate Machine | Disciples II | Flatspace | Galactic Civilizations | GalCiv II: Dread Lords | GEOM | Gish | GM Chess Online | Jets'n'Guns | Lightweight Ninja | Nexagon | O-R-B | Political Machine | Reaktor | Robin Hood | Society | Uplink | WordWars | WW2: Frontline Command | Xeno Assault II
WinCustomize Products Aquarium Desktop | BootSkin | CursorXP | LogonStudio | Natural Desktop | ObjectDock
ThinkDesk Products Multiplicity | KeepSafe | ThinkSync | SecureProcess
Other Products DirectSkin | Stardock Central



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