AI War 2 v0.899 Released! “Intel Objective Difficulty Ratings”

Release notes here.

More refinement!  Lots of good stuff here.

  • The intel sidebar has a bunch of colorization improvements, as well as difficulty estimates based on things like what ships are at the planets on the way to the objective.  These sorts of things really should help new players (and frankly, anyone) choose ideal targets.  Huge kudos to Badger for thinking of and implementing this.
  • Logistical command stations now automatically watch adjacent planets to them, now further differentiating them from military and economic command stations — as well as making it so that you don’t have to spend hacking points to watch every planet on your hinterland.
  • There’s a fifth tutorial in place now, thanks to Puffin, as well as some improvements to the existing ones.   Please do keep up with the feedback on these, we really appreciate it.  And I did notice folks starting in and adding in  guides in the wiki — DemocracyDemocracy in particular — so huge thanks there, too!
  • Fixed a fairly long list  of bugs and minor balance issues.
  • Added three new ship variants, two of which are new citadel types.
  • A variety of galaxy map improvements and other ui improvements, including the control group number still being visible but no longer replacing the count of contents in the fleet leaders.

As an aside, I’ve been personally having a rough time coming up on this release, so a lot of this content is developed by the volunteers (ever increasing in number, to my extreme gratitude).  I haven’t been nearly as productive this week  as I’d have liked, although I do tend to discount things like marketing work and whatnot as not being “real work,” so some of it’s just that.

But there’s a very palpable sense of fear that I have coming into this release, just because… well, it’s been a rough few years, and the market is  so saturated now, and the original game was something that people loved so much and expected us to surpass with this title.  It feels like expectations are super high, the noise in the market is super high, and I have no idea if that will translate into actually being able to make a living making games again; I say “again,” because despite laying off all the staff, I haven’t been break-even (let alone profitable) on making games for… oh, four  years now, I suppose.  That’s hard.

So I’m really heartened by all the various positive Steam reviews lately and over the last year, and I’m hoping the press has a similar reaction.  I’m heartened by all the folks saying how they are finally feeling like the sequel is so much better than the original, and personally I agree, but it’s hard to not let people for whom the sequel doesn’t live up to their expectations set up camp in my head.  I knew going into this that I could never please everyone, but the question is  if I can please enough people, and keep pleasing them over time with more free additions and paid expansions, that I get to keep doing my dream job.  Right now I don’t have an answer to that, and I won’t until the 22nd, so it’s setting off my anxiety something fierce.

To compensate, I’m trying to get enough sleep, focus on specific tasks ]that I know need doing rather than the big picture, and in general just tidy up.  It doesn’t help that the Early Access release last year was by all accounts a big success and then I immediately got asked for a divorce and things spiraled down for a few months where I couldn’t work.  Things are incredibly much better now, and I’m actually really grateful for the turn my life took despite that temporary huge hardship, but that stuff still gets into parts of my brain and sits there.

You know, I’d really like to do this for a long time.  It’s been 10 years so far.  I’d enjoy just making a living and making more games for another 10 or 20 or even 30 years.  Hopefully with a lot less stress than the first 10 years had.  Fingers crossed.  Things honestly look to be heading that way, but it’s hard not to be worried about it nonetheless.

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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