AI War 2 v0.802 Released! “Hold Your Fire!”

Release notes here.

I really wanted to make a Spaceballs joke as the title for this build, but all of the ones I could think of are both rude and involve keeping firing, not ceasing fire.

Anyhow!  If you have cloaked ships, and you want said ships to stay cloaked instead of breaking out in a murderous spree, now you have but to hit the N key.

Or whatever key you like!  This version also fixes the recently-added in-game keybinding… not actually properly applying said keybindings.  I’m on a roll!  Again, apologies for that.

Speaking of, this also fixes an annoying thing I introduced earlier today where if you were trying to place a bunch of units at once, it wouldn’t really listen.  This was a casualty of the double-click fix.  So again: my roll continues.

Badger made some tutorial improvements for this build, too, and both the AI and player salvage income got a boost since it wasn’t mattering enough.

If you restart your steam client, it will download the new build immediately.

Expect more tomorrow, and each day this week.  We’ve been maintaining a schedule of roughly 3-5 releases a week for a while now, and we don’t expect for that to change anytime soon.  Well, aside from today — three releases in one day isn’t the norm!

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 v0.801 Released! “Hotfix”

Release notes here.

Well, this is hugely embarrassing — we introduced a last-minute bug today that made the objectives menu (and some other menus!) completely illegible.  The fix is now out, along with a bonus fix for a much more longstanding issue with double-clicking units.  Thanks to pango and la_nague for bringing this to our attention, and thanks to everyone for being patient with us about this one.

If you restart your steam client, it will download the fix immediately.

Expect more tomorrow, and each day this week.  We’ve been maintaining a schedule of roughly 3-5 releases a week for a while now, and we don’t expect for that to change anytime soon.

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 v0.800 Released! “Early Access Launch”

Release notes here.

Early Access arrives at last!  Welcome to all the new players. 🙂  There’s nothing particularly huge in this update, but it fixes up a couple of last-minute bugs as well as a few bits of the tutorial.

Expect more tomorrow, and each day this week.  We’ve been maintaining a schedule of roughly 3-5 releases a week for a while now, and we don’t expect for that to change anytime soon.

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 v0.785 Released! “Controls Viewing And Editing”

Release notes here.

At last!  Finally you can view and edit the controls from within the game, rather than having to open a text file.  Sorry that took so long!

That’s the last of the important interfaces, except for the lobby in the custom start.  That one is still not going to be pretty (and bug-free) until sometime this coming week at the earliest.  Next week at the latest.

A bunch of other pieces of the interface are now prettier, and generally easier to read, in this new version.  A variety of bugs were fixed.  And engineers got a 3x speed buff to their function, while fortresses got an all-around offensive buff.

I still have more to fix up with the tutorials!  Augh, I feel like I’m running around like a madman, in some respects.  The tutorials have a few places that still confuse people, and the presentation of the tutorial text could be a bit nicer, could definitely stand to have a log, etc.  Hopefully I can get that done prior to launch tomorrow, we shall see.  It’s not a crisis without it, but I just want everything to be as polished as possible for the start of EA.

Either way, more to come tomorrow!  And each day after that.  EA starts tomorrow, but that’s not going to interrupt the schedule that we’ve been maintaining for the last few months.  Thanks for reading and playing!

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 v0.784 Released! “Dash And Destruct”

Release notes here.

Whew!  This one should feel a lot more fun to play, just from a fundamental low level.  Previously, various aspects of the UI were feeling kind of sluggish, and the keyboard and mouse controls sometimes did, too.  That wasn’t a framerate issue, but rather was a series of code issues that I inflicted on myself.  Lots of untangling happened today, and the results feel so buttery smooth.

Another really big item that has returned is the selected ships window.  That wasn’t something I had been planning on doing until during EA, but it’s something that acts as both an important informational aid (what do I have selected?), an important helper in battle (how much health, cumulatively, does my selected stuff have?), and a general self-teaching aid (hey, there are buttons for pursuit, group move, scrap, etc!).  Those various benefits, particularly the last one, convinced me to spend some time and get that in earlier.

Some bits of the UI have also been made a little prettier and/or a little more clear, and we fixed dozens of typos in the tutorial (sorry…!).

Forcefields and Tutorials

Oh!  AI forcefields are almost completely a thing of the past (all stationary ones are), and your own forcefields aren’t quite so darn sturdy anymore, either.  It was Not Fun sitting there firing forever on an overpowered AI forcefield that wasn’t even protecting much to begin with.  A number of people ran into that during the tutorial, and that should flow much more smoothly now.

There’s still more work that I need to do on the tutorial, following various feedback from th_Pion as reported by Sizzle, and with some more notes from Craig and Puffin.  But I’ll get to that tomorrow; it’s quite late now.  I hadn’t planned on spending a bunch of time in this area, but people brought it up as being the true first impressions item, and that folks were having a few issues related to it, so I’ve adjusted my plans accordingly.

Lobby?

This does unfortunately push back the timeline on the lobby into next week, after EA starts, but that is probably for the best given all the other improvements I’ve been able to put in instead.  I wish that wasn’t an early thing that people might run into, but Puffin has been working on making a lot more quick start options with more difficulty ranges and types of ships and AIs, so it’s… hopefully a case of most people playing those anyway, at least at first.  Those should be far less overwhelming to someone new, anyway.

Next Up

Aside from the tutorial work, and whatever bugfixes seem most pressing pre-EA launch, I’m going to do my best to get the view/edit controls screen in.  I think that will fit in the time I have left.  Some of the most important keybindings (pursuit mode, etc) are now directly exposed on the interface, though, so it’s not quite as dire as it previously was (it’s still really important to get ASAP).

More to come tomorrow!  And each day after that.  EA starts the day after tomorrow, but that’s not going to interrupt the schedule that we’ve been maintaining for the last few months.  Thanks for reading and playing!

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 v0.783 Released! “Go Ahead And Shoot Me, Eyebot!”

Release notes here.

The name of this release comes from a pair of contradictory bugs fixed in this build.  They’re best summed up by a fun savegame that HeartEater7 provided:

Longwinded Storytime

  • 200ish Eyebots and Agravic Pods of his are sitting on a planet, staring at an enemy Concussion Guardian.
  • They refuse to shoot it unless you tell them to shoot it manually.
  • Meanwhile, it has less than 1% health left and is slowly shooting at them, not doing much damage because it’s just one ship and they’re all pretty high-mark.

So… what was causing the problem?

  • The Concussion Guardian erroneously had data on it stating that massive damage was incoming from shots that no longer existed.
  • It’s almost a certainty that these shots were aimed at it when it was under a forcefield, and the forcefield blocked the shots but didn’t bother to tell the Guardian that the damage was no longer inbound.
  • Because of this, the Eyebots and Agravic pods ignored the Guardian as a potential target because — any second now! — it was about to be obliterated.
  • Manually giving them an order would cause them to go “whatever, pile on the overkill!”  And it would thus die.

The fix was fairly simple: I have the ships track their literal incoming shots now, not a cache of the incoming damage from them, and so they immediately notice when a shot has been blocked without hitting them.  If we later add some other mechanic that clears shots without them hitting a ship, this will also still work.  If the Guardian had managed to warp out of the planet via a wormhole right before incoming shots hit it, this also handles that sort of case.  So that problem was fixed, and your ships won’t ever be shy about murdering the enemy anymore.

So what happened next?  Well, this particular savegame then fell prey to another oft-reported (in the last month) bug.  Lucky for me, since it had been hard to repro otherwise.  Here’s what went down:

  • Those same 200 ships are staring down the concussion guardian when I load the save.
  • When I unpause, they all unload into it at once, murdering it before it can get off a single shot, and then they start circling the spot where it died, firing into the voice for a good 5 more seconds before being satisfied.
  • Good grief that overkill!  One light breeze would have knocked it out.  Take it easy, guys!

I had overkill-prevention logic in the targeting code, where ships would avoid targeting things that they knew were going to be targeted.  But that’s part of making a target list, which then the ships choose viable targets from for the next partial second.  Once they have the list, they have at least part of a second for some of that data to get stale (such as, in this case, one ship firing a shot that now means it will be overkilled — as soon as that first shot is fired, it’s time to stop any further firing at it.  If this was a larger battle, it would be time to shoot something else).

The solution to that was pretty easy: just add the overkill-check logic in the “get ready to fire at a target in our list” part of the code.  Then they say “he’s already about to die within 1-2 seconds, what else can I shoot?”  The answer in this limited scenario is “nothing,” so they just sit there.

In the case of a bunch of Ambush Turrets waiting at a wormhole, the situation was much different, though.  Puffin had a savegame where they would frustratingly overkill just a single ship in a volley, wasting tons of ammo while more ships poured in.  Why shoot that one guy so much!?  After this fix, the Ambush Turrets immediately and efficiently murder everything, like they were always designed to do.  Expect your turrets to be far more valuable now, along with… well, everything really.  But that goes for the AI, too.

So that fixed everything, right?  Not quite.  Now here’s what happened:

  • Same scenario with the 200 ships v 1 guardian.
  • Unpause, and a single shot from an agravic pod fires out and kills it.  Yay!
  • …and as soon as the guardian explodes, ALL 200 SHIPS START FIRING AT THE SPOT IT DIED AND CIRCLING IT!
  • Guys!  Seriously, cut that out!

But this was actually great news for me, because this meant that this was that other big bug and I could repro it 100% of the time.  Turns out that the problem here was kinda stupid, since I was able to instrument the code and see what was happening.  200 ships v 1 was absolutely ideal for that scenario.  Here’s what was happening under the hood:

  • Guardian is on death’s door, all the 200 ships read this correctly.
  • One shot is fired, all others correctly read that it’s about to die.
  • Guardian dies.  At this point, its object gets put back into the “object pool” for use.
  • At this time, the “HasBeenRemovedFromSim” flag gets set to true to let everyone know that it’s dead.
  • All is well so far.  Now it’s time to blank out it’s data so that it’s fresh to load next time as another ship, whenever it is needed from the object pool.
  • Uh-oh, like a moron I was immediately setting HasBeenRemovedFromSim back to false!  So they immediately thought it was alive again.
  • And even worse, we store health as an “amount lost,” which I was clearing back to 0, which meant that suddenly they thought it was at full health!
  • The only reason they ever stopped firing at that ship was that its object got repurposed for something else, and then they detected that condition (thanks to SquadWrapper noting the new PrimaryKeyID) and thus treated it as gone.

So… the solution was pretty easy.  First, have it not set HasBeenRemovedFromSim to false until an object comes back OUT of the pool.  Secondly, just to be on the safe side, set the health lost to an obscenely high amount so that everyone thinks the ship is dead no matter what.  Don’t set that back to 0 until, again, the ship comes back out of the pool.  Either one of these conditions should be sufficient for every reference to this ship to say “this thing isn’t valid anymore,” but having both in there just makes me feel a little more comfortable.

And now all that stuff works perfectly.  Yay!

So, What Else?

Mmm, lots of good stuff:

  • Yet more brief-ening of ship tooltips, which feels oh-so-good.  The original text is still there if you hold Ctrl, as it notes in the tooltip.
  • Improvements to the profile screen thanks to Dominus Arbitrationis, based on notes from Bobtree about how unclear that was as the very first thing the game shows you.
  • More improvements to the tutorial by Badger, thanks to a bunch of great notes by rkfg and Pepisolo.
  • Ships should no longer do that “blip into a different place for a bit” thing when they first enter a new planet, or when you first switch planets.  That was a really annoying one!
  • Ships staying selected when going through wormholes sometimes-but-not-always, in a very confusing way, is now gone.  So the “accidental orders to ships on other planets” issues should be gone.
  • Fixed the issue with really slow ships not turning to face their movement direction, and moving in a really jittery fashion.
  • Open-sourced several significant portions of the ship logic code.

More to come soon!  My hope is to focus on the view/edit controls screen, and the lobby, as probably my last main pre-EA-launch things.  Then we start EA and get working on whatever seems most pressing to people.  Only a few more days, now!

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 v0.782 Released! “Viewport Visibility”

Release notes here.

(Singing) I can see clearly now, the HUD is small…

Right!  I’m very excited about this one, it has a lot of long-desired pieces of polish in it.  And some bits that were not long-desired, but are exciting all the same.

  • The settings menu is better organized, and doesn’t have any more non-functional bits in it.
  • The camera controls, in terms of how sensitive each bit is, can properly be configured again.
  • Tooltips can be sized in general, so that their text is not so huge if you’re on a huge monitor.
  • Same with the sidebar!  And the top bar!  And notifications!  The whole HUD, really!
  • The default size of most HUD elements and tooltips is somewhere around 80% as large now as it used to be, since most people felt it was too large.  But now you can configure them!
  • Rather than having one monolithic “GUI Scale,” which really is a bit nonspecific, there are four or five key areas you can size independently.
  • And you can now scale the icons of ships!  They’re also smaller by default, now.  Same with the wormhole names.
  • You can actually skip drawing the 3D models of ships entirely, if you want to — for instance if you’re on a right potato of a GPU.  The game is fully playable in a just-icons fashion, if you wish.
  • Tooltips now SAY LESS, aside from being better-sized.  This is a huge thing I’ve been wanting to do for a month or so.  By default, they no longer explain game rules or give extra-comprehensive stats on every aspect of a ship.
  • However, you can now hold Ctrl to see the full tooltips that you’ve been having up until now.  Or you can toggle those to always be the full tooltips, if you like.  But frankly the abbreviated ones are a lot easier to work with.
  • Most of this stuff, so far, basically makes it so that you can see the main view a lot better, without the HUD and icons crowding you out.
  • We also fixed a bunch of bugs and clarified some things that were unclear.
  • And improved the tutorial a bit, particularly with some mis-spellings.
  • There are also a couple of more difficult quick starts now available, thanks to Puffin.
  • And your starships won’t be getting murdered by ion cannons anymore. 🙂

More to come soon!

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 v0.781 Released! “Destruction Diversity”, Steam Trading Cards, New Release Date.

Release notes here.

Took an extra day compared to what I was planning for this release, but there’s a ton in here!  First of all, there are a ton of balance improvements that Puffin has put together in order to diversify what gets a damage bonus against what.  There’s a lot of tuning in that area of the game in particular.

Quinn added in the ability not just to delete savegames, but also to delete campaigns, which is super welcome.  A few other tooltip improvements have been made to clarify a few things, and a few tutorial improvements, and a fix for that really irritating bug with the flickering sidebar.

Marauders are a lot more aggressive, cross planet waves are a lot more sneaky, astro trains are a lot less plentiful, brownouts are a lot more painful, and there’s now a cooldown on how quickly you can rebuild something that was just destroyed.  Thanks to Badger on huge amounts of that.

Outside of that, we’ve also done some new kickstarter-exclusive background art thanks to Cath, and then I’ve created new marketing headers for the game (finally!) as well as new Steam Trading Cards.  Here’s a sneak peek!

New header:

Compared to the old one:

And then here’s a sneak peek at the Steam Trading Cards (which won’t turn active until the game releases into Early Access on Monday):

And this is what the associated backgrounds look like:

And this is just for fun:

New Release Date?

Yep!  We’re now releasing on Monday, which is the 15th, instead of Thursday the 18th.  Why?  Rimworld announced their 1.0 will be on the 17th.  And we, uh… wanted to give them some personal space. 😉  Big congrats to them, by the way.

Thanks for reading!  More to come soon.

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 v0.780 Released! “Just Some Cleanup” Plus GUI modding tutorial.

Release notes here.

As the first build since we started our press preview period, I wish there were some grand exciting features in here, but alas it’s just bugfixes and UI polish.  Mostly UI polish.  Frankly it makes the game experience that much more pleasant, though, so it’s worthwhile stuff to be sure.  It’s just not flashy.

Most of the flashy stuff will be coming during EA at this point, since prior to that it’s all about polish and bugfixes and balance one way or the other.  Well… and added art for the ships that are still missing that.  That’s going to be exiting.

Anyway, more to come soon!

Also, if you’re into that sort of thing, here’s a tutorial on how to mod UI elements:

It presupposes a fair bit of knowledge I’ll admit, but for our existing crew of modders and volunteer devs it should clear some things up.

Thanks for reading!  Next build will likely be Monday.

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 v0.779 Released! “Quick Starts” Plus new trailer!

Release notes here.

This marks the first build of the game that is available to press to preview.  How nerve-wracking!  There’s still a lot we need to finish up in the next two weeks prior to Early Access when it comes to polish and bugfixing, but we have to actually let people see the game at SOME point.  I’m really pleased with how this particular build is feeling, though.  There are still known issues, but the fundamentals are really strong.

One of the cool new things in this build is the addition of quick starts, which folks have been asking for forever.  It basically provides a really handy way to get into the game without having to ever touch the lobby and all its complexity.  Which is doubly good right now, because the lobby is still a mess of temporary UI.  The quick starts will be hugely useful long after the lobby is polished, though, because they allow for easy choices of cool scenarios.

If you want to create a quick start option of your own (please feel free!), you can simply go through the following process:

  • Create a game with the settings you want.
  • Save it.
  • Write up a little description about it, and put a name for it.
  • Send it to us on the forums or mantis.

It’s very straightforward!

There are also a number of changes in this build to make things prettier and to fix a fair list of bugs.  More to come soon!

Oh right… we also have a new trailer!  Huge thanks to Pepisolo for going all-out on this one.  He really put in a ton of time, and it shows:

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