AI War 2 v0.895 Released! “Major Progress On Tutorials Framework”

Release notes here.

This one actually has some key bugfixes as well, including a change to how stacks work that really has an enormous impact on balance.  The AI may be too weak now, since more of your shots actually hit stacks now since that bug was fixed.

There are also some new hotkeys for placing multiple ships at once when constructing them, and some on-screen indicators for what those hotkeys are when you go into build mode.

We’ve also built out a TON of the stuff for the tutorial framework itself, although there’s still plenty more to do.  But we did get enough that…

First Tutorial Is Ready!

This is a very small tutorial that just focuses on how to move around and things like that, but it’s similar to what was in the old tutorial (for this game) as part of a larger tutorial.

This version is a little bit cleaner and slightly more informative since we’re able to cover more in more steps with less work, and we were able to easily adjust it to do some colorization to aid in readability.

But one thing that’s really notable here is that this is a micro-tutorial on a specific topic, by design.  This way we can have a variety of small tutorials of this sort that are topical and that you don’t have to play again and again (or even at all) if you want to skip ahead a bit.

In talking to folks, it became clear that they really want to be able to just “get on with things,” and that means different things to different people. So by making it really seamless and  convenient and a series of micro tutorials, we’re able to hopefully meet the desires of a lot of you at once.

And of course we’ll also do some videos later on, kind of in a Let’s Play style.  And we have the in-game wiki with lots of written explanations already.  And the game is full of tooltips to help you contextually learn in general.

So hopefully whatever your learning style is, we’ll be hitting it.  We don’t want anyone to feel forced into a style of tutorial they don’t like (whether that’s reading, interactive, or video; everyone seems to want different things, which is okay).

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.

Enjoy!

Chris

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