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:
- This one fixes a bug with savegames that were being created in the prior build being unreadable. Sorry about that one!
- This one also removes the tutorial button in general, as the current plan is not to do the prior style of “scripted tutorials that you play through,” unlike earlier builds of this game and unlike the original AI War. That’s so last-decade: people largely want to just start playing, you know?
- With that in mind, we’re leaning on three different techniques to teach people how to play, two of which are partly in place at the moment, and the third of which will be coming along soon.
- Firstly there’s the Intel tab, which brings really important stuff to your attention and has been there for a long while. Plus the really robust tooltips, most of which you can hold Shift on to get a full explanation of the mechanic of the ship in question right at that location.
- Secondly, there’s a new How To Play Section that has been added as of this build, and which is kind of like a wiki for answering specific questions you might have. This goes into more depth than we can do in a play-as-you-go tutorial anyhow, and wiki-style explanations for things were always considered kind of required for the original game anyway (but were actually on our wiki rather than being embedded in the game like this now is).
- The How To Play section needs a lot of fleshing out, and if anyone has ideas on what they’d like us to explain, or if they have strategies that they want to contribute to the strategy sections, etc, then that’s of course very welcome. Sometimes the best people to think of what the first things they want to look up are the people who wanted to find that information recently themselves.
- There is also a new Tip of the Day system on the main menu, which I’ve wanted for a while. Contributions to that are also welcome.
- Thirdly, and not in place at all yet, we’re going to be having some little “mini missions” that encourage you to do things that are helpful to your cause, and thus teach you bits of strategy inherently as part of the game, and which give you a reward in-game for doing it if you want to. This is similar to something we did in The Last Federation, and it’s a different form of “teaching by playing.” Letting you actually just play, but then giving you some missions that you can reject or accept that give you an in-situ way of learning about strategic options that you might want to partake in.
- Anyway, between these three approaches the hope is that players are able to get into the game easier than ever, and without having to worry about if there are 5+ hours of tutorials or whatever. We’ll see how this works long term, but it seems promising, since it covers both major learning styles right in the game, rather than having some stuff in the game and the rest on our wiki and youtube.
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.