AI War 2 v0.894 Released! “Desaturation And Cross-Planet Move Orders”

Release notes here.

The visual look of the game is pretty notably different, in the sense that the  whole affair looks more “serious” now.  The borders of icons are thinner, and the saturation is 80% of what it used to be (by default).

If you want the saturation back up bright and cheery (or even more gloomy), then you can adjust those values in settings.  If your monitor is extra bright or dark compared to a baseline, you can also now adjust the general brightness up and down.  These settings affect the entire screen, GUI included, so this keeps the colors consistent between the GUI and the playing field, which is really nice.

Cross-Planet Move Orders

So you have a group of ships selected that are on multiple planets.  Some of them are on planet A with you, and others are on planets B and C.  You want to issue a move order to a specific spot on planet A and have them all go there.  This now works.  Previously, the ships on planets B and C would just ignore the orders.

This is something people always wanted in AI War Classic, and is finally now possible thanks to Badger implementing that here (though Keith and I did lay a lot of groundwork, we never took it this final critical step).

This also means that you can have ALL your ships off on some other planet(s), visit a hostile enemy planet, and queue up movement orders on their planet… and your ships will route there and then keep going.

This should also work for attack orders, but there may be some issues with that at the moment.  Thinking about it right now, I think that potentially if there’s an attack order against a ship that is not on the current planet, then it treats that as an invalid order and clears it out (normally that’s a good thing if your target ship runs away from the planet you are trying to attack it on).

I am guessing we just need to make it say something along the lines of “if there are wormhole orders, then treat all orders after those orders as valid no matter what” in order to solve this issue.  Anyway, so we’re making good progress, but there are still nits and things here and there.


Speaking of making progress, our tutorial engine is coming along swimmingly.  There really aren’t as many TYPES of conditions for progressing tutorial stages as I had once been thinking there were.  A lot of them involve “go to this place” or “look at this thing” or “build some specific things” or “kill some specific things.”

All of that is able to be generalized pretty darn well, which will be my main task for tomorrow.  The tutorial framework is practically complete except for that particular element, in terms of the truly core components. 

There will be more that we want to add over time, but by the end of tomorrow I think we’ll have enough conditions and whatnot in place that we can recreate what the old tutorial used to be if we wanted to (not that that tutorial makes sense anymore, given it was pre-fleets and teaches a lot of things that no longer exist).

Among other improvements to the tutorial framework (such as making it all xml-driven and VASTLY easier to update and create tutorials), you also now have to click the tutorial text to advance it to the next step, rather than it advancing without you just because you meet the conditions.  That was endlessly confusing for people in the past.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of latent requests for the tutorial system that I’m sure I’ll be adding for months, so I don’t expect to be done tomorrow or something.  But being able to hit a big baseline goal like that so quickly — ability to recreate the old tutorial if it made sense now — is a definite win in my book.

Repeat Notice: Tutorial and Scenario Designers Wanted!

We’re going to be working on our own tutorials based on this system, but I’d definitely love to see a really robust number of scenarios from other folks, too. 

Everybody has a different perspective, and maybe you want to teach some specific tactic or even set up kind of a small contained puzzle-like challenge cage-match with 5 planets against the dark spire and nanocaust with a quest you design with unusual victory conditions.

I think that sort of thing is just super fun, and it’s a way to play the game in a more bite-sized fashion.  Some of those sorts of things  aren’t even really tutorials, they’re more advanced challenges or puzzles.

But anyway, the tutorials system is a pretty robust framework that allows for all sorts of different scenario designs that I’d love to see people really lean into.  I’ve been explicitly trying to make this as easy as possible for non-coders to do — all you need is a text editor — and the idea of seeing what creative things people come up with to both teach and test players is exciting.

It’s more or less the same idea behind modding, where people add various map types or ship types or whatever else, except this time it’s custom scenarios for teaching or testing.

Other Fixes And Improvements

There are a number of bugfixes and balance tweaks that seemed to be the highest-priority items that people had brought to our attention.  Thanks to Badger on the bulk of those.  And the build menu now has icons thanks to Asteroid!

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.



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