AI War 2 v0.773 Released! “Terrorized By An Infinite Loop”

Release notes here.

Right, new version.  I’m really, really glad that the various improvements from this build are in place now.   That said, the last couple of days have been pretty hellish.  We wound up chasing an infinite loop that would lock up the game… and maybe spent a full day off and on looking for that amidst doing other things.  Thanks to a lot of help from Badger and Puffin, we found it and nailed it.

There’s a lot of good stuff in this version, ranging from bugfixes and balance tweaks, to performance improvements all over the place.  There’s still so very many little things broken all over the place from the recent performance work, however, which is very frustrating to me personally.  It’s messing with my schedule, but it has to be done.  With some more weekend time, it will work out.  There’s also some really substantial performance work that still needs to be done for cases where the number of squads on a planet are north of a few thousand.  Hopefully I’ll have the worst of that sorted by next build.

There are also two new units here from Puffin, both guardians that have transforming-type abilities.  I’m super stoked about those.  Lots of little quality of life improvements from Badger, too, and minor improvements to the tutorial.

If there are any more absolutely-blocking issues, we have a beta branch on steam (right click and choose properties on the game in your steam list, then choose the betas tab) called alpha_0768_pretargetingrewrite. That lets you get back to the last build prior to last one if need be.  But we’re going to be crushing through more bugs on this current one on into next week, and ideally by Monday or Tuesday we’ll have all the serious stuff out.

Lots more to come this week!

Reminder: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

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

AI War 2 v0.772 Released! “Eye See You”

Release notes here.

The cleanup-style work continues, but in addition to that there are now AI Eyes thanks to Badger!

AI Eyes are something that a few players had been looking forward to having back, and the first two variants of those are now in place.  These create a situation where you need to attack planets with fewer ships (either more surgically, or with bigger but fewer ships).  That’s directly at odds with how a lot of time you’ll be playing, and it fits in nicely with the Orbital Mass Drivers, which discourage you from bringing those big centerpiece ships since those will get eaten.  Anyway, variety is good in terms of the sorts of challenges you might run into out there in the cosmos.

This build fixes a couple of fairly blocking errors, which are good to have out of the way, but we still have yet more cleanup to do beyond this one.  Meanwhile, Puffin has been hard at work on balance, making this a lot more interesting.  The Orbital Mass Drivers are much stronger, turrets have had a minor nerf, and guard post power is waaay up.  Among other goodies.

If there are any more absolutely-blocking issues, we have a beta branch on steam (right click and choose properties on the game in your steam list, then choose the betas tab) called alpha_0768_pretargetingrewrite. That lets you get back to the last build prior to last one if need be.  But we’re going to be crushing through more bugs on this current one on into next week, and ideally by Monday or Tuesday we’ll have all the serious stuff out.

Lots more to come next week!

Reminder: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

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

AI War 2 v0.771 Released! “Cleanup Aisle 1”

Release notes here.

That release last night sure was huge, eh?  Changed a ton for the better, but as with any release that is SO darn huge, it’s full of bugs.  In Early Access or after, we’d have to do a separate beta branch and get people to test there.  As it stands, this is a good example of why we haven’t started Early Access just yet.  This new build doesn’t fix but maybe a third of the identified issues, but it’s a definite step in the right direction — and it fixes some older issues, which is a nice plus.

If there are any absolutely-blocking issues, we have a beta branch on steam (right click and choose properties on the game in your steam list, then choose the betas tab) called alpha_0768_pretargetingrewrite. That lets you get back to the last build prior to last one if need be.  But we’re going to be crushing through more bugs on this current one tomorrow and into next week, and ideally by Monday or Tuesday we’ll have all the serious stuff out.

Lots more to come next week!

Reminder: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

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

AI War 2 v0.769-0.770 Released! “Thinking Long-Term”

Release notes here.

Holy cow, it’s been a week!  Well… just check out those release notes to see why!  This is absolutely a huge overhaul of… a lot.  And a heaping ton of bugfixes.  Some highlights:

  • The targeting logic for ships has been completely rewritten from scratch, and is far superior to what it was before in terms of performance as well as accuracy.
  • “Wormhole Invasions” are a new thing that the AIs can do against you.  These are very nasty backdoor attacks that help to make the AI more lively as time goes on.
  • A lot of multithreading work has been done, partly to enable the targeting logic upgrades.
  • But actually the “don’t stand on me please” logic for ships has been redone as well, making it so that as they stand around or move around the ships stay much further off of one another, thus truly showing just how many of them there are in any given situation (which looks cool and is useful tactically).
  • A new stingray fleetship has been added, etherjets as well, 6 new guardians are added, 3 types of minefields are added, orbital mass drivers are added… good grief!… 10 dire guard posts have been added, and 8 dire guardians, and design template servers, and fortresses…
  • A bajillion balance-tuning bits are in there as well, far too many to mention all of them.
  • That said, AI Guard Posts themselves are worth a mention since they’ve been basically overhauled in the balance department.
  • Oh, and guardians actually spawn all over the galaxy from the start now, too, which makes the game flow a lot different.
  • And space tanks have been basically reinvented.
  • And performance improvements have been made all over the freaking place, making a lot of example poor-performing savegames that we had been provided now perform at full speed with room to spare.  (There’s still one existing savegame that performs horribly that we got right before releasing this that we need to check on, though).
  • And… yeah.  The targeting alone almost makes it like a new game, because your ships are actually competent at a tactical level now… as are the AI’s…
  • It is worth noting that since the targeting is now running just in the background now, in really large battles the decision-making of units at a tactical level gets more sluggish rather than the game slowing down.  So you will start to see that happening.  We’re thinking about some ways to reduce the load of that, though.
  • Oh, science hacking is also a thing again!

I mentioned this last three times, but heck, I will again: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

The schedule that I outlined two times back is kind of in shambles, though, because of the massive detour here that performance took.  However, thanks largely to all the additions from Badger and Puffin, we’re now considering ourselves a lot closer to the press-build-readiness in general.  I had basically a 5ish day hiatus from our planned schedule, but the following things are being bumped back:

  • Improve shot visual variety and efficiency. (0.5 day) is an easy one to push back, because visually it has enough variety to make do for now, and the performance on shot visuals is excellent (I was hitting 30k shots at a time on screen and having 100+ fps during testing).
  • New capturables to add (3-4 days) was a harder one to push back, but I’d rather focus on polish right now.  There’s enough going on now that it’s really not needed.  Badger does plan on AI Eyes prior to the press build, and I need to get ARSes redone, but the rest of that can be skipped.
  • New ship mechanics to add (3-4 days) is another one that I hate seeing pushed back, but needs to be.  It’s not going away, just moving into EA.  Thanks in large part to Puffin, the variety of what ships are actually using is feeling pretty solid for an EA release right now (I think — let me know if you disagree).

So… by virtue of sacking all of those planned work items, we remain on schedule.  I still have more performance work to do (apparently, given the savegame that still runs at 10% speed), but nothing should be so dire as what happened this week.  And in the meantime, this will also let us get a lot of stuff really polished up and showing well, and we can start hitting the content additions hard right at the start of EA.

I’m sure we’ll also have a raft of new bugs resulting from all these changes in this release, too…  Anyway, thanks for reading.

Lots more to come next week!

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

AI War 2 v0.768 Released! “Golem Rebirth”

Release notes here.

There’s a lot of good stuff in here.  All sorts of bugfixes, major targeting improvements, beam weapons work better and have visuals, the AI does some cool new things, and there’s a lot of balance improvements.  It’s very late and I’m tired, so I’ll mostly leave it at that. 😉  Oh, there was a giant performance improvement, too.

One question: is the game too sluggish right now, in terms of how fast units kill things?  It feels like units die a lot slower here than they did in AIWC.  If so, that’s quite a pendulum swing away from where ships were insta-dying a few weeks ago, but the real balance needs to be somewhere in the middle.  It’s just something I was noticing, it seems like battles are really slow affairs right now.

I mentioned this last two times, but heck, I will again: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

The schedule that I outlined last time is still what we’re planning on, and so far so good.  There were a lot of things that were off the beaten path that I got done today that needed to happen, but I still was faster than the schedule laid out, so that’s good.  I won’t be around tomorrow, but I’ll be on Sunday unless I’m just absolutely beaten tired again.  Not sure why that’s been happening on the weekends.  But any rate, I’m going to be out next Friday (grr), so I want to get that extra day in in advance.  Gotta make this schedule work.  Anyhow, for now: sleep!

Lots more to come next week!

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

AI War 2 v0.767 Released! “Newly In Stock, By Zenith”

Release notes here.

The auto-targeting of player ships, as well as AI ships, should actually fully work better for real this time, unlike yesterday when I botched that a bit.

There’s also now finally something that the Zenith Trader is selling!  Namely, tamed and chained minor faction monstrosities… yikes, haha.

There are units still getting overhauls, becoming new things like the Metabolizing Gangsaw (so much cooler than the old Vorticular Cutlass) or the Pike Turret (new from what the Needler Turret was).  There’s also a whole-new Ambush Turret that you can place around wormholes to wreak some havoc.  The balance tweaks continue, with the AI Overlords becoming more interesting, and the Sentinel Frigates and Sentry Starships becoming a lot more useful.  You’re also less likely to get bumrushed by the hunter fleet early in the game, among other things.

I mentioned this last time, but it bears repeating: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

I spent more time today going through mantis, as well as getting all my previously-offline notes into there, and I’m now finally done with that.  I have finished compiling a big list of things for my trello to-do list, focusing on things that need to happen prior to a “press build” being ready.  I mentioned this flow yesterday:

  • First, we have to get things really nice and clean and polished, and with enough features that people get the idea, for a press build.  No press build, no previews, no EA launch coverage, and that is bad.
  • That has to be out to the press ideally 2+ weeks (3 is just infeasible now) ahead of a launch of the game into Early Access, or again we simply don’t have time to get good coverage.
  • There’s then a list of things that we need to get done during that 2 week period, basically to get full polish for the initial Early Access launch.  I’d like to set a lot of that time aside for reacting to bugs that are found during that period, but frankly a lot of the time is instead going to need to be spent on art.  So that will be a balancing act.
  • Then we release to Early Access, and life resumes its normal cycles as we head on towards 1.0 some months later.

After much teeth-gnashing, I think we’re still aiming for Early Access in mid-October — so a press build in very early October.  Yeah that is faster than I’d prefer, but it’s helping us to put a big focus on what needs to be in place in order to really wow people out of the gate, and then we can focus on polish during Early Access.  Frankly one of the things that hinders polish is the smaller pool of folks that we have who are playing it.  Having that larger pool of Early Access players will be absolutely invaluable to making the 1.0 everything it can be.  And of course, the plan is not to stop at 1.0.

At any rate, we’ll see if there are any big speed bumps that are hit.  In the meantime, expect to see a lot more focus from me in particular on new features in the coming two weeks, rather than bugfixes (aside from critical ones).  Puffin will still be on balance, and Badger will be doing whatever strikes him as important, and Keith should be coming in on some AI improvements.  So all around it should be a pretty good mix of stuff coming.

Lots more to come this week!

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

AI War 2 v0.766 Released! “Target Equilibrium”

Release notes here.

The auto-targeting of player ships, as well as AI ships, is better.  Also, balance continues to be majorly improved thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin.  Also also, the Nanocaust is better than ever thanks to Badger, and there’s a big laundry list of bugfixes.

I mentioned this last time, but it bears repeating: RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.

I should also take this time to point out the thread where you can give feedback to Eric on the upcoming lobby redesign.  I have been remiss on not giving that wider visibility.

Late today, I’ve spent a lot of time going through mantis, and I’m not nearly done yet.  I have been working on trying to compile a big list of things for my trello to-do list, with some new categories in there.  Basically, to get to a point where we can release in Early Access, a few things have to happen:

  • First, we have to get things really nice and clean and polished, and with enough features that people get the idea, for a press build.  No press build, no previews, no EA launch coverage, and that is bad.
  • That has to be out to the press ideally 3+ weeks ahead of a launch of the game into Early Access, or again we simply don’t have time to get good coverage.
  • There’s then a list of things that we need to get done during that 3 week period, basically to get full polish for the initial Early Access launch.  At least half of those three weeks should be set aside for just reacting to ongoing bugs and polish that people find, though.
  • Then we release to Early Access, and life resumes its normal cycles as we head on towards 1.0 some months later.

If we’re aiming for Early Access in mid-October, then that means that we have to have the press build done in 2.5 to 3.5 weeks at most.  Maaaan that feels rushed at this point.  I really don’t like that prospect.  I’m also not keen on waiting to go to Early Access in January, though.  I’m not sure which is worse, in the view of the next half year.  The 1.0 build should wind up being the same either way, but how that affects us financially and in terms of reviews and coverage… well, that’s a tough decision at the moment.

It’s super frustrating, because I’m really happy with how things are evolving right now, but there is so much that is evolving that there’s just never enough time for everything.  Particularly with our reduced staff, despite the volunteers that we have who are an enormous help.  This project is just… well, big.  That’s a lot of superlatives for one paragraph. 😉  But seriously, if I just stopped and worked on nothing but art from now until the deadline, I still might not have enough time for just that.  The more I think about it…

At any rate, we’ll see what happens.  I’m doing my best to be speedy, but new reports come in every day and even if they didn’t I’m not sure I’d have the time to tackle the entire backlog in time.  I plan on working on this project for a long time to come, knock on wood, but getting to the point where this is actually purchaseable on storefronts is a continual tug of war right now.  Either way, big exciting things are happening.  And that’s without any of the procedural ships in there!  We’ll see if those maybe get pushed back into Early Access or even later, if they don’t seem really needed.

Lots more to come this week!

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

AI War 2 v0.765 Released! “Game Entity Split”

Release notes here.

Major performance improvements in this one, although it took a lot of code refactoring, and so there may also be a pretty plenty few new bugs, too.  We’re not aware of any at the moment, but there were a couple of nasties that we had to squish earlier today.  If none got through, I’ll be genuinely shocked, so apologies in advance for the temporary mess that might cause.

There are some substantial bugfixes in here, too, such as you now having the ability to legitimately scrap units when engineers are present without your engineers putting them on perpetual reincarnation loop.  The Nanocaust got a ton of fixes and is harder to hack, and the Dyson Sphere now actually properly produces units when antagonized, as well as having some hacks associated with it now.

Then there’s the balance work.  Holy moly, there’s a lot of that.  RocketAssistedPuffin has stepped into a volunteer balancer role, and he is not only looking for feedback, but he’s actively integrating lots of things that other people are suggesting on our forums and Discord, as well as things that he’s finding and coming up with himself.  The more feedback the better, for sure.  He’s majorly reinvented the original Mercenary groups to have better costs and unit counts, based on the originals that Badger created in order to test out the mercenary code that he put in.

So lots of cool stuff. 🙂  And huge thanks not just to the volunteer devs Badger and Puffin, but also rockstar bug reporters Ovalcircle, HeartHunter7, zeusalmighty, malkiel, and Mckloshiv — plus everyone else who has been submitting fewer items, or submitting them through Discord or other channels.  I definitely don’t mean to leave anyone out, but those are some of the names that are popping up most frequently right now in addition to Badger and Puffin.

Lots more to come this week!

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

AI War 2 v0.764 Released! “Mercenary Surge”

Release notes here.

Okay, tons of bugfixes in here.  Fixes, fixes, fixes, all the live long day.  I’m pleased with the result, though.

Mercenaries in particular have been made vastly more functional, and seem to work mostly correctly now.  They just hadn’t had a chance to be fully tested previously, and so they needed to go through the wringer of testing like any other new feature.  Thanks for being a part of the first wave of that and helping us save some time internally, for those who did — it really means a lot.

A cool side benefit of some of the changes to how things are seeded on the map is that now not only do things seed in a prettier fashion, and spread out better on planets than before, but it actually generates faster and thus cuts lag in the lobby way down when you’re generating a new seed, etc.

One of the really big things in this build, also mercenary-related, are the six new mercenary factions created by RocketAssistedPuffin.  Badger created the other five or so factions, so between them they’ve created quite a pretty few.  We need to get the costs on Badger’s to go up out of the token amount range, and I forgot to do that today, but it’s on my list now that I thought of it again.

More coming tomorrow (Friday), and then possibly a bit Sunday, before we start all over with more releases next week.  Friday is a half-day for me because I have some personal things to attend to in the morning, but then I’ll be back up and at it for the afternoon.  Thanks for your support!

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

AI War 2 v0.763 Released! “Supersized Ship Caps”

Release notes here.

As the title suggests, this release increases your ship caps by a ton.  3x for all of the smaller fleetships, to be precise.  The AI and other factions are unaffected; you were simply being outgunned in an unfair way.  Your caps for other types of ships are unaffected.

In related news, the firepower of ALL the ships have been nerfed super heavily, generally speaking to 1/10th (!) their prior values.  In some cases where the values were already low, more like 1/3rd.  If this winds up feeling too harsh, please let us know, but ships were basically vaporizing instantly in battle.  I think that if anything needs to change, possibly the health on the larger ships now needs to come down, but we’ll see.  If fleet ships are dying at a good speed when in battle with each other, then we’re in pretty good shape and just need to figure out how to get the bigger ships to relate to them better.

There are some pretty major bugs that we’ve fixed in this one, which have been around for quite some time.  The screen flashing bug, which also had a performance hit, is fixed.  The ships shooting off into the ether at nothing is also fixed, and also was at least a mild performance hit.  If you see either of those again, please let us know so that we can go in and murder them all over again, but hopefully it won’t come to that; savegames are appreciated on mantis if you find something like that.

Speaking of savegames, we’re not going to be breaking those anymore for a while, after all.  Potentially not anymore, period (but no firm promises on that until we get into EA).  AI War Classic’s savegames are forward-compatible all the way back to the betas in May 2009, so we have a history of long savegame forward compatibility. 🙂  It has just been a matter of not wanting a lot of cruft in our data files and code right now with all the changes we’ve been making, hence all the recent breakages.

There are a lot of other good fixes in there, too, but it’s late and I’m super tired, so I’ll mostly let you read the release notes yourself. 🙂

Lots more to come this week.  Thanks for your support!

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