BETA AI War 2 v0.855 Released! “Galactic Markings”

Release notes here.

Reminder: to play the beta, you MUST go into your Steam properties for the game, go under the Betas tab, and choose the “current_beta” option.  Otherwise you’re going to be stuck on the pre-fleets version of the game.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about regarding fleets, then reading this link is a really good thing to do or you are likely to be mighty confused.

So what’s new in this build?  This is obviously an incremental one, headed towards the non-beta full release of 0.900 that we’re aiming at in the next… weeks?  That timeframe is unclear, and will be based on testing feedback, which has been rolling in well so far; but there will be loads of incremental beta releases during this period.  Anyway, what’s new:

  • In a lot of ways, this release is NOT hitting the most-important issues that testers have identified thus far.  Please know that we are thinking about those and making plans!  In the meantime, these things also really needed to be addressed.
  • The really big thing that people want are the rest of the controls for fleets so that the feeling of mildly being on autopilot in some areas is no longer there.  There’s been various talk about that being “the new direction” of the game and folks who are unhappy with that, but bear in mind it’s just a couple of pretty key fleet management interfaces missing, not some grand design to take away a lot of control from you.  Though the fact that things function in the main so well without those key fleet management screens is actually a big design goal, which we seem to have hit well.  Nonetheless, that’s coming soon no matter what.
  • Right, so the galaxy map has been a bit of a mess for a long time.  It has been various degrees of mess depending on when you look at AIW2, but suffice it to say that the sequel’s map always felt inferior to that of the first.  Visually and scale-of-stuff-wise, and in general referring to clarity of that screen… this build should be lightyears ahead of any prior build.
  • There’s still plenty more for us to do with the galaxy map as well, and there has been some rumbling of “why did you take away the ability to hover over specific ships and find them easily,” and my only answer to that right now is that those things are coming soon as well.  As far as the ship hover bit, some of the sidebar changes that are coming necessitated a change, so here we are.
  • You can now hack (very cheaply) to get the science off of neutral planets.  If you’ve actually conquered the planet, then just let your command station get the science for free… but this is something that is required for balance reasons because of a bunch of new things in this game (you not getting charged AIP for when a planet is taken over by a third party ally or enemy-to-all faction, for instance).  My initial reaction was “just let flagships also gather science,” but Badger quickly pointed out all the various exploits people can now do if we did that.  This new approach allows you to actually get more science than before for the amount of AIP you incur, but not in an exploity way.
  • Speaking of science… Puffin has completely redone how much the various techs cost to be more inline with the pre-fleets versions of the game, which should make things a lot more affordable-feeling and in general just be more sane.
  • Puffin has also majorly toned down just how much more fearsome the mark 5+ ships are.   Originally I figured that those ships would be AI only (the mark 6 and 7 variants in particular), and so I made the scaling on those pretty ludicrously powerful.  Now it actually turns out that with the new style of techs, it is PLAYERS who are almost exclusively able to reach those higher mark levels (and that’s something that seems thematically fitting), so the numbers really needed a rework in a major way.   Just upgrading your stuff to an insane degree was always the best choice, versus spreading it around.
  • Puffin has also really been busy making forcefields feel a lot more notable, giving you that shield-cracking vibe from the first game again, and in general working on a variety of balance things to differentiate units a bit more.  We had an interesting private discussion about some more things that might need to change in this area, but for now what is in place definitely are major steps in the right direction.
  • Bugfix-wise, the intra-galactic coordinators and other known issues from the prior builds are all now fixed up.  Plus steamworks integration works again, and a handful of other things.  There’s a fun bug with the mousewheel being inverted in Unity 2019.1 on linux, and until they fix that we’ve implemented a settings option that lets you work around it.

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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