AI War 2 v0.889 Released! “Reticulating Those Splines”

Release notes here.

This one is focused on further refinement.

  • When you first load up the game, the messages are now thematic and/or humorous.  I particularly enjoy that the computer calculates the odds, briefly panics, and then institutes a calming routine.  Depending on how fast your hard drive is, and how long  it’s been since you last ran the game (and thus cached a lot of it in part of your folder), you’ll get to see more or fewer of those.
  • There are two new major hacks for ARSes: one to re-roll the contents, and another to convert it into science.
  • Structures you place can’t self-build anymore if their fleet leader isn’t present and functional (excepting fleet leaders themselves!).  This prevents several exploity things players could do.
  • You can C-click any flagship now, and if it’s one that you can normally manage it gets you into the fleet management screen directly.  SUPER extra convenient, for sure.
  • The fleet management screen now has a button letting you load or unload transports by clicking instead of just having to know the hotkeys.
  • The fleet management screen now has the long-requested feature to scrap all the distant units (not on the same planet as the flagship), which is particularly useful when uprooting and moving battlestations and citadels around.
  • A bunch more range circles are now shown, and are colorized to tell you what they are.  You can more easily stay out of gravity or tractor range by actually seeing those now, etc.
  • A ton of new keybinds have been added for quickly selecting all your snipers, melee units, mobile flagships, battlestations, factories, cloaked units, and so on.  This is planet-wide (like the mobile military selection one), and so is a quick way to select things across fleets that you would commonly want to select.  If there are more such hotkeys that would be desirable, please throw those up on mantis for us to let us know!
  • You can see how long a hack will take right on the hacking menu, now.
  • A number of bugfixes have been put in.

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 v0.888 Released! “Astro Examination”

Release notes here.

This release is very notable! We’ve had a lot of those, lately.

C-Clicking things to learn more.

It used to be that if there was a bunch of information about a group of ships, then you just got the names of the ships and not really any details.  That was… quite a pain in some cases.

Suppose you see a new fleet that you might want to capture, but it just is telling you it has ships X Y and Z in there, and you don’t really have descriptions for a couple of those?  You’d just have to gamble with them, or use prior knowledge you’d picked up in past plays.

Now you can hold C while you click the flagship of the fleet, and you then get a hugely-detailed screen with all the info on each ship in there.  As usual, hold Ctrl for even MORE details in a tutorial-style fashion if you want them.

This works in a variety of places, including incoming enemy wave warnings, AI guard posts full of reinforcements, and even tech upgrades for your ships.  It always tells you in the tooltip when you can C-click, and I’m already personally wondering a bit how we ever lived without it.

AI Aggressiveness

There were a number of cases where the “press home an attack against a weak key target despite being outnumbered” or “push through a strong planet to a weak one” logic was just not kicking in with enough frequency.  To the point that some folks thought it wasn’t even on.

These sorts of aggressive  behaviors only kick in on difficulty 5 and up, but they become increasingly common starting at difficulty 7 now.

Combat Factory Drones!

These things now can actually defend themselves with some drones that are specific to each type of combat factory.  Sweet!

Astro Trains Majorly More Interesting

In the original game Astro Trains were more annoying than anything else, so we made them optional and people mostly ignored them.  In this sequel, Astro Trains were mostly bland and they are optional and so people have mostly ignored them; we’re not short for interesting factions.

The thing is, astro trains are a really cool platform for a lot of potentially-very-interesting concepts (supply routes, etc) in how they are implemented in this game, so having them be boring was kind of a bummer to put it mildly.

Badger and Puffin have put in a ton of work into making these way more interesting, with a lot of feedback from mantis and discord, and trains should now be a much more dynamic and  interesting experience.  We look forward to seeing what you run into with them now!

Plus Lots of Key Bugfixes!

  • Those bugs with the sidebar mouseovers not showing the right thing all the time are fixed.
  • Same with the ones with the collision detection boxes for mouseovers of buttons being too large.
  • Same with cloaked stacks of ships getting full cloak back when anything on the stack died.  Total cheese for you and your enemies!
  • Also fixed not being able to build energy-generating things that cost zero energy if you had negative energy.  Talk about OUCH!
  • Fixed a bug that was causing a number of commands to get discarded improperly when ships went through wormholes.  Sorry about that!  That made for some troubling stuff.
  • Plus the whole thing with decollisions persisting after wormhole traversals should now FINALLY be fully fixed, and this was one of the most annoying bugs people were seeing.  Fingers crossed.
  • And fixed some bugs with certain planets in certain circumstances flipping back and forth between an explored and watched intel status every second or so.  Definitely also irritating.
  • And actually there was a bunch of other stuff, 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 v0.887 Released! “Ending Scenes”

Release notes here.

Lots of fixes!  These alone are worth a full release.  And same with the number of balance changes.  But that’s not remotely all what’s here…

Victory and Ending Scenes!

Now when you complete a game, it gives you a bit of text, a nice song, and a cool visual scene with some mild animation. 

You can see them on youtube from the linked release notes, so that you don’t expect more than it actually is.  But this is a major step up from just “you win” at the end, which was a kick in the pants for sure.

Later we can always build this out more and more, add in graphs and whatever else, more text, or  whatever we feel like.  But having this as a baseline, and a solid version for 1.0, I’m really pleased about.  Visually I prefer the game over screen by far, but  the victory screen has just such killer music…

Turret and Minefields Revamp

Among all the other balance things, you’ll notice that you have only a fifth as many turrets and minefields as before, but what you have are now 5x as powerful and expensive, and also larger.  This makes it easier for you to place them (fewer clicks), and also improves performance in savegames where turret counts were getting absurd.

Icon Placement Overhaul

lot of people were irritated by where the icons were placed in the game.  Basically they floated really high above the ships themselves, so that we could do things like have them hidden by ships in front of them.  But this was really problematic for people connecting the icons to the ships themselves.

There’s actually a milder version of this going on in Fire Emblem: Three Houses that keeps throwing me off, honestly, and in some ways that was the final straw for my own game. ūüėČ  The new style of placement works more like Stellaris mixed with AI War 1, and it’s vastly easier to tell what’s going on.  But it’s completely customizable, so that you can put it back to the way it was before if you prefer.

Energy Surplus… Removed

Basically there was too much energy, all the time, before.  Hopefully now you actually have to consider economic command stations, or not just putting all your turrets on every planet, either way.  Or go for the Zenith Power Generators as an actual exciting capturable.

And A Lot Of Other Stuff!

But I got very little sleep last night and I’m super tired, so I’m ready to just get this out to you and you can read the release notes for the other details.  This thing has been a really huge one!

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 v0.886 Released! “Zombie Homebodies”

Release notes here.

Lots of fixes!¬† For most people, the defensive zombies aren’t the most important new thing, but it made for a funny release title so here we are.

Defensive Zombies

So, the behavior of zombies — enemy ships that your own ships have taken over — is a matter of some contention at the moment (and really, always has been).

When the zombies are too defensive, then they wind up making planets really powerful because you accrue so many zombies just sitting around waiting for an enemy to be dumb enough to come and attack that horde.¬† But then again, since you can’t directly order around zombies (by design), you can’t exactly go taking them on excursions or something when you want to use them offensively.

Zombies also have a shelf life after which they die, so if they sit around for too long defensively, fighting nothing, then they wind up also accomplishing nothing, which can be very frustrating as a player.

So we made the default behavior for zombies to be aggressive, and actually go out and fight.¬† ¬†They’ll go fight nearby worlds and deal some damage, which you are getting “for free,” essentially.¬† Obviously if there are enemies on the local planet they’ll fight those first — in either scenario — but this is referring to what happens when the local planet has been cleared of hostiles.

The problem with zombies that strike out against neighbors is that this can cause unwanted aggro.  Aka, it can feed the threatfleet or otherwise free guards that come attack you.  That in itself can be useful in some cases, where enemies come crashing into your turrets and you get yet even MORE kills thanks to your short-lived zombie friends.

But what if the neighboring planet is very high-mark?¬† What if you’re playing on a razor-edge very-high difficulty level?¬† In certain circumstances, having some trigger-happy allies that you can’t control and who cause unwanted aggro can be game-ending.

So we added, somewhat buried, a “Defensive Zombies” option in the galaxy options menu.¬† This changes the behavior for all of the player-allied zombies in the game, but also shortens their lifespans.¬† Basically it means that you can’t super-stack a planet with defensive zombies (hey, that’s not fair), but you can make it so that if you’ve got a Botnet Golem next to an AI Homeworld, you won’t accidentally aggro the AI Homeworld based on cleaning up the planet next to them.

As noted, these two modes work identically when there are local enemies to fight, anyway.¬† So the need to toggle this mode back and forth should be… very limited.¬† Assumedly it should only be for some players, in the very late game, with certain types of units under their control.¬† They’d turn on defensive zombies in those last stages… or potentially leave on defensive zombies all the time if they’re the difficulty 9 or 10 type of player.

For everyone else, the aggressive zombie style is probably for the best, if you even wind up with any zombie ships on your team anyway.

Revisions to the Low-Cap Cap Increases

Previously, ships with a cap of 1 were not allowed to have their cap increase based on things like leveling up.¬† So you couldn’t get additional frigates or forcefield generators in most cases.¬† I personally had mixed feelings on that, and it bugged a lot of people.

We’ve adjusted that so that they get cap increases now, although if that leads to too many forcefields then¬† we may need to implement something that rate-limits them further or something.

But at any rate, for the time being this is a solid buff for you, and doesn’t affect other factions or the AI.

More New Stuff!

  • All of the quick starts now include the Praetorian Guard in them.¬† Thanks, Puffin!
  • Those “audio mixer” errors that people were getting in the prior build are fixed.¬† There was some extra data that was throwing things off, in a place it shouldn’t have been.¬† We’ve put in triple-redundant fixes for this.
  • If you’re playing super-heavy games that like to melt your CPU (200 planets where you capture everything and have a ton of factions on), then the game should no longer periodically give you error messages about it stopping thinking about certain background tasks prematurely because it assumes that it was hung since things were taking so long.¬† This affects very few people, but should be welcome for those edge cases.
  • The “galaxy map going black” bug should be fixed, and was probably related to the hexagon visual effect on just certain linux machines (and possibly hardware combinations with that).¬† It should no longer obscure the map in any case,¬† but you can also turn off the hexagons now, as well.
  • Several other bugfixes and balance tweaks, plus new intel indicators and a performance boost to intel and warning generation have been put in.

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