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:
- The title feature of this release is that you can now, in the lobby options section, control how many fleets of various kinds are seeded around the galaxy for you to capture. This is a pretty big deal, because while I think the default balance is good for most people, it may be that you want a more hero-centric gameplay experience (lots of officer fleets and lone wolf fleets), or maybe you want basically NO heroes, and it’s just transports that your smaller strikecraft and frigates work around (so no officer fleets and a ton of basic fleets). For those who have felt like the game was drifting in one way or another (heroes-wise), hopefully this now gives you the feeling that you can make it whatever you want.
- Going along with that, you can also make it so that there are even more battlestations on each planet that you capture battlestations on, if you want. If you were feeling like you didn’t have enough turrets to go around without capturing too many undesirable planets, you can just crank that up to 3 or 4 instead of the default of 2, and suddenly your turret caps are going to be crazy and very flexible in terms of where you can put them. So if you were feeling like the defensive tools were too scarce… you can now adjust that. Or if you felt like it was too generous, you can go for something a lot more stripped-down and hardcore by making only one battlestation on those planets.
- Those sorts of features show some of the power of the new lobby for us to really let you configure more about the game than you ever could in the first AI War, to get the experience you really want, but without it being crazy overwhelming in terms of what the interface to control all that is like. This is one of several reasons that I bumped the lobby redo up in priority — some of these features were clearly things that some folks were going to need to feel like they were being heard, since they want more or fewer officers, for example.
- Quick Starts have been gone since we switched up the savegame format, and they were waiting for the lobby redo to be done before we added those back in. Now that the lobby redo is done, we’ve started adding back in quick starts. There are only three at the moment, but it’s a good start and we’ll build back up again.
- There are a whole bunch of bugfixes and a couple of typo fixes in this.
- The factions tab now uses the human-readable names for things in its dropdowns, which is a lot clearer and more pleasing on the eyes. It also now shows you tooltips for line items in those dropdowns, which is pretty critical for selecting your starting fleet, AI types, and the like.
- AI difficulty levels now have actual descriptions! These are based around the difficulty settings from the first game, and what the TARGET is for these difficulty levels in this game. It may be that we’re missing the mark in the balance of various difficulty levels, so if something feels like it doesn’t match its description then that’s a matter of us needing to adjust balance, not the description being wrong. We’d definitely love feedback on that sort of thing.
- You can now see what the contents of the fleet will be for each command station type before you build it. This is pretty key info in terms of letting you know that, for instance, military command stations get more turrets and thus are less in need of help from captured battlestations. I expect that military command stations will be more needed early in the game, for instance, and then as you capture more battlestations and shore things up, you may convert some of those to economic command stations and see a nice metal windfall thanks to your efforts. But before it was hard to know that this was even a thing you could do, since you had to test building each thing before you’d find out what they came with!
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.