AI War 2 v0.882-0.883 Released! “Research and Reconquest”

Release notes here.

This is a hefty release, with a lot of welcome gameplay, performance, and technical improvements.

So, details?

  • There is now an “autobuild factories” option, which is helpful.
  • Magnifiers and Alarm Posts are back.
  • Advanced Research Stations (ARSes) are back, although they work differently from the first game or from earlier in this game; they augment the fleets system.  Each of these gets a Frigate or Strikecraft type; hacking the ARS grants that ship line to the hacking flagship.
  • A bunch of new icons are available, and are used by some of the new capturables.
  • Hacking a specific target (like an ARS) is now done by the flagship closest to the target, and also decloaks that flagship.
  • When the AI reconquers a planet, its Guard Posts will ‘Warp In’ over the next 10 minutes, each bringing with it a small company of guardians.  It was frustrating (particularly on high-mark planets) for the AI to instantly get hundreds of strength of defenses on a planet after reconquering. This now gives you a window to counterattack and destroy the helpless Warping In guard posts.
  • A big laundry list of bugfixes.
  • Another big laundry list of performance improvements.
  • Stacking for player ships, for the first time, so that you can have crazy  ship caps in the late game without tanking your performance.
  • Updated the Steamworks integration, so hopefully that works properly now on OSX and Linux (please let us know!).

The Performance Snipe Hunt

I spent a LOT more time than expected chasing down late-game performance issues in this build, mainly because I was concerned that those could bleed over into more games than realistically they were at the time of the last release.  It was time well spent, because we fixed a number of bugs we would not have found any other way, and a number of savegames will perform better than ever.

However, there’s still some elusive timing issue in certain savegames, and I can’t find what it is despite basically building a custom performance profiler into the game over the last eight days.  Eyeroll.  But it’s funny, because one game with 200k ships might perform better than another with only 60k ships.  And it’s not the AI logic, and it’s no longer decollisions or something like that.

In all those cases, you can crank up the game speed and still get a realtime game speed, although now it’s much more kind to the networking interface (for the future) than it would have been.  So fast-forward to the rescue, I guess.  It’s just choppy in those circumstances. 

The few remaining problem cases tend to be with a lot of factions on, and a lot of battles at once, and late into the game, and usually more than 100k ships out there;  most of those run at least 2x as fast now as they did for me previously, which is a good thing.  Unless we really hit some trouble spots, I think I may set aside performance stuff until post-1.0 (only a month or so left!) and focus on tutorials and other things that affect a much wider group of players. 

Most late-game campaigns actually perform just peachy, having CPU time to spare despite the insane simulation size.  So this thing is optimized as heck, really.  But it’s a personal irritation for sure when there are some semi-rare cases where I’m not sure why things aren’t as smooth as I’d like.  Frankly in those same circumstances, in the original game you’d be running at something like a quarter of wall clock time with far less going on, whereas here you can at least keep things realtime even if the ships jump around a bit in a way that irritates me.  So I’ll set that aside and just work on the bigger fish at this point.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.881 Released! “AI Neighborhood Watch”

Release notes here.

A neighborhood watch is normally something that is neighbors looking out for one another, but in this case I’m mis-naming the release in honor of the algorithm changes that Badger made to protect PLAYERS from having so darn many mark 6 and 7 planets in their galaxies.  New galaxies generated in the game should be a lot more palatable.

So, what else?

  • Interface improvements to the top bar (the various things you can click for more details).
  • Golems for the Warden fleet (yow!).
  • Marauders now more deadly.
  • Several bugfixes in code both new and old.
  • Several new tools to help us FIND some rare-ish bugs that we can’t repro locally.
  • Other conveniences like you not accidentally being able to build things that would put you into negative energy (and thus lose your forcefields all at once).

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.880 Released! “Belatedly Finding Friends… And Enemies”

Release notes here.

I took a break from the tutorials work, and instead focused on performance when it comes to big background battles between warring other factions that you might run across. 

There’s more that we can probably make even more performant in that area, but we need to do more profiling and figure out things that we can spread out more across more sim steps in addition to what already is being spread.  In case the new performance tweaks give you problems of some sort, there’s an option in the Galaxy Options tab, under the Performance section, to turn that off.

At any rate, I want to see what happens with that as we’re adding ever more stuff that might be fighting offscreen and out of sight — it shouldn’t be causing your main game to bog down like you were seeing before.  But that’s something we can definitely look into more on the new framework that now exists.  I also wanted to get the new framework in sooner than later so that any bugs that are in it can be found suitably in advance of 1.0.

So, what else?

  • Badger came up with the idea that certain factions — right now the Devourer Golem, the Nanocust, the Human Resistance Fighters, and the Marauders — can be friends or foes that you discover partway into a game even if you didn’t choose them from the start in the “custom start” lobby (or if they weren’t baked into your chosen quick start).
  • Basically, this makes it so that as a game is going along, you can suddenly have a new wrinkle thrown in with one or more factions joining the party late… and likely making up for lost time, either to your benefit or not. 
  • I’m a big fan of this, as this lets you either customize things up-front, or change your mind and add something later if you think it will help (or might hurt the AI more than it hurts you, anyway).
  • Neutral planets controlled by a non-player, non-AI faction now show with the colors of that faction.  That’s really helpful for Dyson Spheres, Nanocaust, and other things like that.
  • Fixed a confusing thing with transports, which was causing some people to think they couldn’t load or unload them.  You should now find that it “just works” as you would expect, but let us know if not.
  • We fixed a bunch of other bugs.
  • Zenith Trader purchases no longer cost you AIP if you lose them, which mirrors how they were in the first game.
  • Mercenaries now have much more varied units!
  • Hacking is now something the AI responds more strongly to, and for superterminals they start doing exogalactic strikes against you so that you can’t just blob all your ships on the superterminal world and ignore the rest of the galaxy.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.879 Released! “Many Fixes and the Tutorial Rework Starts”

Release notes here.

A smaller one, while we get a lot of work done on the new tutorial framework.  But still some exciting fixes, and other tweaks.

  • Hacking no longer freezes flagships in place, and doesn’t have bugs related to canceling hacks anymore, and also shows a message explaining why your flagships can’t leave that planet.
  • Forcefields no longer cause ships to get stuck against them.
  • Officer fleets with Arks and Golems are no longer going to be QUITE so late-game, aka not right to an AI homeworld.
  • The whole “ship caps changing as you change them between different fleets” thing is no longer a worry.  Wow that was confusing.
  • Some other clarity things relating to swapping ships between fleets have been added, such as showing the ship counts in the interface.
  • Plus fixed a kind of sideways way you could get multiple copies of the same ship line in one fleet, thus causing manyproblems.
  • Mercenary Flagships got radar dampening, making them way more likely to live!
  • Transports that you give an attack order to (for purposes of the ships coming out of them) will no longer wander off to the southwest.
  • If the game has an exception on startup, it should always now show you rather than sometimes just seeming like loading xml assets was hung.
  • A LOT of work has been done on the new tutorials framework, but  it’s not ready yet.  I’m really hoping that we start getting some player-made tutorials in there as I flesh out the framework more, incidentally.  Some of them can be more scenario-like kind of like a “can you even win this” sort of “tutorial” if you want to. 😉

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.878 Released! “Fleet Customization”

Release notes here.

Dang this one is big!  Lots of long-awaited features in here:

  • You can now swap ship lines between mobile fleets you control, thus letting you mix and match your forces better and have themed fleets.
  • A lot of the fleets are more themed now in general.
  • There are some new and improved “game 101” explanations included in the how to play section.
  • Transports work vastly better, with a number of quality of life improvements like having ships that are constructed for a transport-with-stuff-in-it appear in it rather than next to it, and many many more.
  • The ability from the first game to set preferred targets for specific ships of yours is now in place here, too; for instance having this one specific selection of your ships target pike corvettes or whatever.
  • The Zenith Power Generator can no longer be cheesed from the Zenith Trader, but is still an interesting and valid choice from them.
  • There are new “Watchman Frigates” available at all your command stations, giving you some mobile ships to hunt down small AI stragglers without having to bring your fleets home just to tidy up one sniper or whatever.
  • Fixed several bugs relating to shots, which were sometimes leading to invincible almost-dead units, and in other cases degrading performance.
  • Fixed several bugs related to AI guarding ships and how those interacted with stacks, which would give the AI ridiculous numbers of ships (one savegame had more than 2 million pike corvettes in it) in a very short amount of time, thus making balance way off and degrading performance.  This was probably not affecting most saves, but if you parked next to a warden post it would often get triggered, and AI civil wars would trigger it.
  • Fixed a number of UI annoyances with data that was flickering or jumping around or otherwise not stable, mainly because of things that needed to be buffered for the display thanks to multithreading going on.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.877 Released! “The Strikecraft Goldilocks Zone”

Release notes here.

The nanocaust have seen a big revision as part of this one, and I was definitely tempted to name the build after that. But the strikecraft being better-balanced compared to everything else probably affects more people, so here we are.  The list of short-term general annoyances is getting much smaller, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • Lots of bugfixes, and some ui enhancements and AI improvements all over the place.
  • You can now see the history of the AIP increases and decreases by clicking the AIP section of the top toolbar, which is SO handy — thanks, Badger!
  • In Badger’s own words, the nanocaust changes: The nanocaust rework is basically a dramatic simplification of the code. I took the Fleets mechanism out and put in a mechanism that basically says “If there are no enemies on planet X, take all the ships on this planet and attack any adjacent planet that is weak enough for the local forces to take. If there are no adjacent hostile planets, go to a random adjacent friendly planet”. This was what I did originally but it was too powerful so I introduced the nanocaust fleets mechanic basically as a nerf.
    However, the end result was a rather boring and not-super-menacing nanocaust. So now it’s back to its original terrifying version. I may need to introduce some additional mechanics to slow it down, we’ll see.  The logic it uses is also essentially the same logic that Marauder Raiders use.
  • The strikecraft balance is now reduced to 2x hulls instead of 3x, and attack multiplier down to 1.5x.  So now your turrets should have a fighting chance.  Big thanks to Puffin for aggregating that feedback and making the change.  The strikecraft previously felt too chaff-y,  but now are hopefully in the ideal middle ground; let us know!
  • Bunches of balance changes based on player feedback.
  • I’ve personally been traveling  for the last week, but have written up some things that might interest you.  Specifically:
  • My plans for tutorials are a lot more traditional now.
  • My plans for 1.0, techs, and fleets are written up and hopefully make sense.
  • Same for my plans for multiplayer, although that news is probably less welcome.
  • Still lots of exciting things in the works, as noted via various links, mantis, and so on.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.876 Released! “Counterattacks Ate My Waves”

Release notes here.

This one refines a lot of things from the prior build, and fixes up neutering, waves, and counterattacks all in one fell swoop.  The list of short-term general annoyances is getting much smaller, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • Counterattacks were working well in the prior build, but in some respects a bit TOO well.  Basically the AI was being granted too many counterattack points (the same as too much salvage in prior builds), and so the counterattacks were just plain too large in a lot of situations.  Things should be much more reasonable now, but we do expect it to be something we need to tune over time, so please do keep the feedback coming.
  • An unintended side effect of counterattacks that I completely missed was the fact that neutering a planet (scouring away all the guard posts but leaving the command station) was being treated as if you had failed to conquer the planet.  Blah!  This is definitely a big part of why we love having so many dedicated fans who are testing things out.  Neutering is one of the oldest and most important strategies, and counterattacks were never supposed to mess with that.  As of this new version, they no longer do; the command station isn’t a counterattack-helping unit anymore, except for the AI Overlord version of it.
  • With some of the changes to waves in the prior build, I actually entirely broke waves, too.  So they were supposed to be more specialized, but they wound up just not coming at all anymore!  This was because waves themselves have been evolving a lot over time in the code, and the code needed a bit of a refactor in order to fully embrace the new “how much the AI pays for things is decoupled from how strong it is” balance change that we put in months ago.  The AI needs to be able to know when to not send a wave, or when to spend a bit less on a wave than it might otherwise spend, and it was previously having to approximate that sort of thing in a way that could often be quite wrong just because there isn’t a literal relationship between cost and strength.  Now it’s using real numbers and is thus able to make far more intelligent decisions.
  • Counterattacks were also happening too quickly, rather than being something that wouldn’t kick in until a certain threshold of battle.  We think that’s fixed.
  • And there are a variety of other bugfixes, including the Global Command Augmenter hacks always being hidden (oops, typo on my part).  Overall this should make the game far more pleasant to play, and the back-and-forth should feel a lot more natural.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.875 Released! “Counterattacks You Can Taste”

Release notes here.

This is a big one!  The list of short-term general annoyances is getting much smaller, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • You can FINALLY turn off construction on individual ship lines in your mobile fleets.
  • There’s a bunch of other stuff you can see about fleets that is handy info to have, too, in their tooltips.
  • Waves are now thematic based around the planets they come from, so they should be something that you can plan for without them being absolutely homogeneous around the galaxy.  The release notes explain it better, but I didn’t go with my “Wave Mainframes” idea because this is simpler all around, less cluttered, and gives more variety without being a mess.  It may need more tuning, we shall see.
  • Salvage and Reprisal Waves are gone.  What? Hol’ up a minute.
  • The release notes again explain it better, but we have a really cool new Counterattack mechanic that takes the place of Reprisal Waves, and which gives you waaaaay more control over the amount of risk you take on when you attack an overly-strong target.
  • In recent builds, some players were getting game-ending reprisal waves “out of nowhere” because of how they were attacking and how the fairly-invisible salvage mechanic worked.  This was not something I liked at all, because it basically feels like something you can’t control; and in some respects that was literally true, whereas in other respects you needed to have secret knowledge to avoid it.  Bad bad bad in both cases.
  • The new counterattacks can actually be far stronger than reprisal waves in the recent builds — absolutely apocalyptically game-ending, in fact — but the important thing is that the communicate to you the whole time from the point at which they start becoming dangerous.  That then gives you a chance to run away and take your small beating (rather than letting it get apocalyptic), or it lets you double-down and paralyze the counterattack long enough for you to eventually dispel it outright by killing all the AI guard posts and command stations on that planet.
  • Put another way, it adds some brinkmanship into attacking oversized targets, and gives you the controls to choose just how far you push things.  If you can stall the counterattack and then cancel it, that’s absolutely the best thing… but the risk of doing that if you might not be able to could mean that you bring down the roof on your head.  It’s all dynamic, right on the screen in front of you, and gives you an immediate feeling and source of back-and-forth.
  • And for smaller targets, it doesn’t even come into play and bother you, because this specific mechanic isn’t supposed to be a response to you just playing the game in general.  There are things like Cross Planet Attacks, reinforcements, and the hunter fleet for that already.  We didn’t need yet another mechanic that was inevitable.  We needed something devastating-but-avoidable, and hopefully the round-one balance on this is somewhat reasonable at least.  I’m sure it will need more tuning over time.
  • Oh dang, we also added three new hacks, too (thanks Quinn!).  You can hack big weapons of the AI to take them over (Orbital Mass Drivers and Ion Cannons), which gives you new strategic/tactical options during taking a planet.  Unlike the first game, there was no way to capture these before now.  And then you can also hack a co-processor to find all the other co-processors if you don’t want to wait for regular scouting to find them.
  • Techs also show you a bunch more info that is helpful for when you’re trying to capture new fleets, and new fleets also show you more accurate information based on your current techs and bonuses, rather than showing their mark-1-defaults.
  • Good grief we also fixed a bunch of bugs, too.  This really is a pretty hefty release.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.874 Released! “Basic Fleet Management”

Release notes here.

Finally!  The first tiny bits of the fleet management screen.  Lots more to come. The list of things that are planned for the short term to address general annoyances is here, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • You can now rename your mobile and battlestation fleets.
  • You can now pause all construction on individual mobile fleets (pausing construction for specific ship lines is coming, along with other goodies).
  • You can see a lot more info about fleet status from the fleet tooltips, and in the fleet management screen those line items ALSO have tooltips that explain them even further.
  • There are two new hacks, which allow for you to take over Global Command Augmenters (GCAs — those newthings that give you more turrets or other defenses at all your command stations if you capture and hold them) and Intra-Galactic Coordinators (IGCs — those things that add a multiplier to your ship caps for strikecraft or turrets if you capture and hold them) without having to capture and hold the planet.  But it costs you a lot in hacking points, so now you have an interesting decision to make.
  • There are also a bunch of new options relating to permadeath for certain categories of structures, and you can either make things more-permadeathy or less-permadeathy depending on your tastes.
  • A number of tips and strategies have been updated in-game to make the gameplay more clear now that GCAs are a thing and battlestations are less of a thing.
  • Reprisal wave balance has been nerfed again.
  • Golems and Arks now cost AIP to capture, and have larger fleets in general.  Let us know how much more powerful we might need to make them in general, if we do, to justify their costs.
  • You start out with 2 million metal rather than 540k, so that you never get metal starved at the very start of the game.  That was just a silly way to start.
  • There’s a new starting fleet option, the Consumer Fleet, which is all about eating your enemies in various ways.
  • The metal flows interface now updates in realtime and also shows data in a more readable format.
  • We fixed a whole host of bugs, too.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.873 Released! “Battlestation Overhaul”

Release notes here.

This works with existing savegames, but has the biggest impact on new ones.  This gets at another big batch of most-annoying-recently issues.

The list of things that are planned for the short term to address those bits is here, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • First up, there’s a new way to reduce AI Progress in the form of Major Data Centers… but the catch is that you have to hold the planet they are on.  The positive side is that their AIP reduction is HUGE.
  • In general there are also now a lot more data centers than there used to be, unless you were playing on difficulty 4 or below.
  • The number of battlestations and citadels on the map has dropped ENORMOUSLY.  Where it might have been several dozen of them previously, it’s now barely half a dozen in most cases (though you can make it add more in the lobby options if you want).
  • The battlestations were previously the only way to get more turrets and other defenses beyond the super-duper basics for your command stations, and this was… hard to manage as well as really annoying for players.
  • Battlestations still remain in a much smaller number because they are great for making beachheads or for AUGMENTING a choke point in your empire, but they are no longer the key way you get new turrets and defenses.
  • A new structure, the Global Command Augmenter, has been added to the game.  GCAs are something that you have to capture and hold the planet they belong to, but they give ALL of your command stations a bunch of new turrets and minefields and whatever else that are randomly rolled at the start of the campaign.
  • Basically the GCAs solve all of those “things are inconvenient by not being part of my main command station” issues, give you something new as a reason to capture and hold territory, and also really act as a force multiplier on your empire as a whole.
  • Soon there will also be the ability to hack them so that you don’t have to hold them (lower cost) or even capture them at all (higher cost), but we didn’t have time for that in this release.
  • There are also some notable new ways to get science and hacking points in general, now.  Previously Distribution Nodes were kind of useless and just gave you metal (which is generally not that exciting or in that short of supply), as did astro trains.  Now you get science and/or hacking points from those, which is extremely valuable and exciting instead.
  • The odds of your eyeballs being seared in by strobing lightning and/or grenade visual effects is now a lot lower, as those are now smaller in number but also a lot stronger.  Actually both of these got way more useful in general, with bonuses against stacks, etc.
  • AI Guardians also no longer seed so plentifully as before — it was quite ridiculous on the mark 6 and 7 planets, mainly because originally the game hadn’t expected those sorts of planets to exist.
  • The AI also now has its own version of turrets, which are lower-range by far, and thus their battlefields feel a lot more segmented now.
  • Also the AI uses far fewer turrets, and uses more monochromatic turrets on planets and near specific guard posts in general.  This makes it a lot easier for you to plan meaningful assaults, and also makes it so that their guard posts and strikecraft do more of the heavy lifting.  Turrets were always meant to be more of a player thing.
  • There are a variety of player structures that previously died to remains, letting you rebuild them infinite numbers of times if you lost them.  We’re going to add in an option later on to let you have that behavior again, but for now they die permanently AND are way more robust (3x the health and shields).  The idea is for there to be some risk to you in the middle-game, but for these to not fall over like paper dolls.  More balance on these may be needed, but we want to experiment with more permadeath options in general that some players will enjoy and others will avoid.
  • Strikecraft in general now have 3x the health and 2x the attack power that they used to, letting them hold their own as the backbone of everyone’s fleets a lot more.  This is a lot more like the first game was, but we may need to tune this more over time.
  • There are also now sliders in the lobby that let you adjust the relative strengths of strikecraft, turrets/guard posts, and frigates/guardians.  We’re looking for feedback on our defaults so that things feel as ideal as possible, but we’re also recognizing that some people want slower or faster games, and so these options allow for people to set that up no matter what.
  • Golems and Arks are now rare, and only accessible in the late game or very late midgame.  We’re going to be making them even more powerful and come with some extra costs, soon, based on the plans here.  Definitely a great idea by Kesseleth, and we’re partway through implementation.  This also means that the starting fleets now just all use transports rather than golems or Arks, which again emphasizes your strikecraft more.
  • You can also now read about what the various Warden and Hunter fleet types do, which was actually informative even to me.
  • And there are a variety of other small things in here.  This was a big release!

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris