AI War 2 v0.745 Released! “A Pivot And A Leap Forward”

Release notes here.

Wheeew!  This one is massive.  It’s been almost two months since our last release, and it shows.  Here are some highlights of what’s new:

  • The first two (out of five) waves of the pivot are done.
  • As part of that, you’ll notice that the game feels way more like the Classic experience, and your prior experience in this sequel is now not so useful.
  • There are THREE new factions, thanks to Badger.  These don’t have proper graphics yet, but you can test them out anyhow.
  • Faction 1: Astro Trains make a triumphant return from the first game.  This is one people wanted to love, but always hated.  I think you’ll really love this incarnation of them.
  • Faction 2: Macrophage.  This one is completely new, and is a bit like reimagining the Devourer Golem as a part of an ecosystem.  Note that the traditional Devourer Golem will be returning later (probably with some upgrades).
  • Faction 3: Mercenaries!  Only the barest amount of content is implemented for these so far, but they are basically hired guns that you can pay for with hacking points or metal, and which have various behaviors depending on the faction you hired.  You have to find their Communicator out in the galaxy before you can contact any given group.
  • Note that this is how we’ll be handling the various Mercenary-related backer rewards from kickstarter, coming up.
  • Also note that the Classic-style mercenaries still exist (and are added back in already), but are called Auxiliaries now.  So double bonus!
  • The Dyson Sphere faction has seen a big rework, so you can now have multiple dyson spheres in the galaxy, and they can be Antagonized like in Classic.  Once again, thanks to Badger for adding this exciting stuff. 🙂
  • Lastly in terms of faction-related stuff, Marauders have also been upgraded.  They now can capture planets, get larger outposts, and start raiding their neighbors (you or the AI!).
  • Note that the core content is comparably anemic at the moment since we’re only through 2 out of 5 waves of content, but thanks to all this faction-based stuff that Badger added it suddenly feels new and exciting anyway. 🙂
  • It’s a good time to mention that we have a bunch of new graphics and icons for many of the new ships that are now in the game from those first two phases, but we’re not wholly done with those yet, either.
  • We’ve added a metric ton of misc bugfixes and quality of life improvements.
  • The two-color (main color and trim) icons now work fully, and are really cool to look at.  There are prefab pairings of colors that look nice and make it quicker to choose some nice things.
  • The two types of Rally options for constructors now work, and so does the pause constructor option.
  • The mouse/keyboard controls code has been rewritten from the ground up, and the way that the camera controls in both the planet and galaxy map views has been improved a ton.
  • The galaxy map itself has seen a ton of improvements and is now vastly more useful and readable.  There are still more things we need to do, but it’s a lot closer to our final vision for it, at least.
  • A notifications bar has been implemented that shows you various information, like incoming waves, CPAs, and places you’re being attacked.  These come packed with relevant information in tooltips if you’re interested in it, but stay very compact and tidy on the screen otherwise.  This is very exciting since it doesn’t take up so much space compared to the notifications in the first game, but it has even MORE information than the first game ever did.
  • Wormhole visuals have been redone AGAIN, but they are now a lot prettier as well as a lot more functional.  This probably is the final upgrade for them, for real this time.

And… yeah, that’s just kind of briefly describing the highlights, despite how long it was.  This is truly a massive release.  It completely reinvents the game, just as we’d hoped and planned, but bear in mind we’re not nearly done on that front.

Schedule?

At this point I can’t directly speak to whether or not we are on schedule for a July release to Early Access.  My guess is no.  A lot of this is going to depend on how much people report in terms of issues and requests coming up, though, and how quickly Keith and I are able to get through our respective portions (more phases on his part, and then graphics for those bits and GUI re-implementation on my part — the lobby is still atrocious and temporary, for instance).

Follow Us On Steam!

Hey, by the way — we have one of those fancy new Steam Developer Pages.  If you go there and follow us, you’ll be notified about other upcoming releases (including this one, of course).

This is a big milestone for us, so it’s very exciting to finally have this out to you.

Enjoy!

Chris

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