AI War 2 v0.896 Released! “Strength and Control”

Release notes here.

This one has a lot of little UI improvements, many of which center around hotkeys.

  • Some of the sidebar hotkeys are more natural now (F for fleets, etc).
  • A number of the controls in the controls configuration menu have been recategorized or clarified.
  • You can now hold the R key while looking at ship stats in order to see either the strengths or weaknesses of that ship type versus other ship types.  This is a preliminary sort of thing, but  it’s something a lot of people have been wanting and getting started with it is good.  Big thanks to Asteroid for that!
  • The mercenaries have been renamed to Outguard instead, and coming up before too  long we’re going to be changing how they work. Basically to make them both more thematic (end of the world for humans we’d see more natural cooperation, seems like), and something that people use more frequently.
  • Ships should hopefully no longer wiggle back and forth when they’re doing slight kiting movements.
  • You can now tell if an AI has a warp gate adjacent to a planet of yours based on the thickness of the line between your planet and theirs.

Overall this was a pretty small release, but it lays the groundwork for more stuff coming soon.

Repeat Notice: Tutorial and Scenario Designers Wanted!

We’re going to be working on our own tutorials based on this system, but I’d definitely love to see a really robust number of scenarios from other folks, too. 

Everybody has a different perspective, and maybe you want to teach some specific tactic or even set up kind of a small contained puzzle-like challenge cage-match with 5 planets against the dark spire and nanocaust with a quest you design with unusual victory conditions.

I think that sort of thing is just super fun, and it’s a way to play the game in a more bite-sized fashion.  Some of those sorts of things  aren’t even really tutorials, they’re more advanced challenges or puzzles.

But anyway, the tutorials system is a pretty robust framework that allows for all sorts of different scenario designs that I’d love to see people really lean into.  I’ve been explicitly trying to make this as easy as possible for non-coders to do — all you need is a text editor — and the idea of seeing what creative things people come up with to both teach and test players is exciting.

It’s more or less the same idea behind modding, where people add various map types or ship types or whatever else, except this time it’s custom scenarios for teaching or testing.

Other Fixes And Improvements

There are a number of bugfixes and balance tweaks that seemed to be the highest-priority items that people had brought to our attention.  Thanks to Badger on the bulk of those.  And the build menu now has icons thanks to Asteroid!

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

AI War 2 v0.895 Released! “Major Progress On Tutorials Framework”

Release notes here.

This one actually has some key bugfixes as well, including a change to how stacks work that really has an enormous impact on balance.  The AI may be too weak now, since more of your shots actually hit stacks now since that bug was fixed.

There are also some new hotkeys for placing multiple ships at once when constructing them, and some on-screen indicators for what those hotkeys are when you go into build mode.

We’ve also built out a TON of the stuff for the tutorial framework itself, although there’s still plenty more to do.  But we did get enough that…

First Tutorial Is Ready!

This is a very small tutorial that just focuses on how to move around and things like that, but it’s similar to what was in the old tutorial (for this game) as part of a larger tutorial.

This version is a little bit cleaner and slightly more informative since we’re able to cover more in more steps with less work, and we were able to easily adjust it to do some colorization to aid in readability.

But one thing that’s really notable here is that this is a micro-tutorial on a specific topic, by design.  This way we can have a variety of small tutorials of this sort that are topical and that you don’t have to play again and again (or even at all) if you want to skip ahead a bit.

In talking to folks, it became clear that they really want to be able to just “get on with things,” and that means different things to different people. So by making it really seamless and  convenient and a series of micro tutorials, we’re able to hopefully meet the desires of a lot of you at once.

And of course we’ll also do some videos later on, kind of in a Let’s Play style.  And we have the in-game wiki with lots of written explanations already.  And the game is full of tooltips to help you contextually learn in general.

So hopefully whatever your learning style is, we’ll be hitting it.  We don’t want anyone to feel forced into a style of tutorial they don’t like (whether that’s reading, interactive, or video; everyone seems to want different things, which is okay).

Repeat Notice: Tutorial and Scenario Designers Wanted!

We’re going to be working on our own tutorials based on this system, but I’d definitely love to see a really robust number of scenarios from other folks, too. 

Everybody has a different perspective, and maybe you want to teach some specific tactic or even set up kind of a small contained puzzle-like challenge cage-match with 5 planets against the dark spire and nanocaust with a quest you design with unusual victory conditions.

I think that sort of thing is just super fun, and it’s a way to play the game in a more bite-sized fashion.  Some of those sorts of things  aren’t even really tutorials, they’re more advanced challenges or puzzles.

But anyway, the tutorials system is a pretty robust framework that allows for all sorts of different scenario designs that I’d love to see people really lean into.  I’ve been explicitly trying to make this as easy as possible for non-coders to do — all you need is a text editor — and the idea of seeing what creative things people come up with to both teach and test players is exciting.

It’s more or less the same idea behind modding, where people add various map types or ship types or whatever else, except this time it’s custom scenarios for teaching or testing.

Other Fixes And Improvements

There are a number of bugfixes and balance tweaks that seemed to be the highest-priority items that people had brought to our attention.  Thanks to Badger on the bulk of those.  And the build menu now has icons thanks to Asteroid!

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

AI War 2 v0.894 Released! “Desaturation And Cross-Planet Move Orders”

Release notes here.

The visual look of the game is pretty notably different, in the sense that the  whole affair looks more “serious” now.  The borders of icons are thinner, and the saturation is 80% of what it used to be (by default).

If you want the saturation back up bright and cheery (or even more gloomy), then you can adjust those values in settings.  If your monitor is extra bright or dark compared to a baseline, you can also now adjust the general brightness up and down.  These settings affect the entire screen, GUI included, so this keeps the colors consistent between the GUI and the playing field, which is really nice.

Cross-Planet Move Orders

So you have a group of ships selected that are on multiple planets.  Some of them are on planet A with you, and others are on planets B and C.  You want to issue a move order to a specific spot on planet A and have them all go there.  This now works.  Previously, the ships on planets B and C would just ignore the orders.

This is something people always wanted in AI War Classic, and is finally now possible thanks to Badger implementing that here (though Keith and I did lay a lot of groundwork, we never took it this final critical step).

This also means that you can have ALL your ships off on some other planet(s), visit a hostile enemy planet, and queue up movement orders on their planet… and your ships will route there and then keep going.

This should also work for attack orders, but there may be some issues with that at the moment.  Thinking about it right now, I think that potentially if there’s an attack order against a ship that is not on the current planet, then it treats that as an invalid order and clears it out (normally that’s a good thing if your target ship runs away from the planet you are trying to attack it on).

I am guessing we just need to make it say something along the lines of “if there are wormhole orders, then treat all orders after those orders as valid no matter what” in order to solve this issue.  Anyway, so we’re making good progress, but there are still nits and things here and there.

Tutorials

Speaking of making progress, our tutorial engine is coming along swimmingly.  There really aren’t as many TYPES of conditions for progressing tutorial stages as I had once been thinking there were.  A lot of them involve “go to this place” or “look at this thing” or “build some specific things” or “kill some specific things.”

All of that is able to be generalized pretty darn well, which will be my main task for tomorrow.  The tutorial framework is practically complete except for that particular element, in terms of the truly core components. 

There will be more that we want to add over time, but by the end of tomorrow I think we’ll have enough conditions and whatnot in place that we can recreate what the old tutorial used to be if we wanted to (not that that tutorial makes sense anymore, given it was pre-fleets and teaches a lot of things that no longer exist).

Among other improvements to the tutorial framework (such as making it all xml-driven and VASTLY easier to update and create tutorials), you also now have to click the tutorial text to advance it to the next step, rather than it advancing without you just because you meet the conditions.  That was endlessly confusing for people in the past.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of latent requests for the tutorial system that I’m sure I’ll be adding for months, so I don’t expect to be done tomorrow or something.  But being able to hit a big baseline goal like that so quickly — ability to recreate the old tutorial if it made sense now — is a definite win in my book.

Repeat Notice: Tutorial and Scenario Designers Wanted!

We’re going to be working on our own tutorials based on this system, but I’d definitely love to see a really robust number of scenarios from other folks, too. 

Everybody has a different perspective, and maybe you want to teach some specific tactic or even set up kind of a small contained puzzle-like challenge cage-match with 5 planets against the dark spire and nanocaust with a quest you design with unusual victory conditions.

I think that sort of thing is just super fun, and it’s a way to play the game in a more bite-sized fashion.  Some of those sorts of things  aren’t even really tutorials, they’re more advanced challenges or puzzles.

But anyway, the tutorials system is a pretty robust framework that allows for all sorts of different scenario designs that I’d love to see people really lean into.  I’ve been explicitly trying to make this as easy as possible for non-coders to do — all you need is a text editor — and the idea of seeing what creative things people come up with to both teach and test players is exciting.

It’s more or less the same idea behind modding, where people add various map types or ship types or whatever else, except this time it’s custom scenarios for teaching or testing.

Other Fixes And Improvements

There are a number of bugfixes and balance tweaks that seemed to be the highest-priority items that people had brought to our attention.  Thanks to Badger on the bulk of those.  And the build menu now has icons thanks to Asteroid!

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

AI War 2 v0.893 Released! “Usability and Tutorial Prep”

Release notes here.

There are a variety of interface improvements in this one, and some small bits of balance updates.  The quick starts are also completely reworked and should be more favorably balanced for new players to not have them get overwhelmed.

Tutorials

On the tutorial front, right now we’re still building the tooling for our tutorials/scenarios system.  This is a fully xml-driven system, so anyone can create a tutorial with just a text editor and no code experience whatsoever.  There’s a starting example that I’ve created that doesn’t do much except show off how to do the various stuff.

With this build of the game, the ability to fully design your own map starting state, complete with factions and what and where their ships are, is now in place.  That’s the end of part 1 of the tutorial/scenario framework, because everything stems from that original map design. 

The next part is actually building a tutorial in that space which progresses along, etc.  The next part is a lot more time-consuming and something that we’ll likely be adding little bits to for months or years as people want new things added in, but the ability to have a general scenario with a set of goals that you have to achieve to win, and the ability to trigger certain things like waves from the AI, should be relatively quick to get in there.

A lot of things that get into more advanced scripting of things like AI behavior we wouldn’t want to do, anyway — this is still meant to be the same general game, of course.  But for the easier tutorials, making it so that you don’t have a wave coming until AFTER you hit some milestone is certainly a big deal.

Tutorial and Scenario Designers Wanted!

We’re going to be working on our own tutorials based on this system, but I’d definitely love to see a really robust number of scenarios from other folks, too. 

Everybody has a different perspective, and maybe you want to teach some specific tactic or even set up kind of a small contained puzzle-like challenge cage-match with 5 planets against the dark spire and nanocaust with a quest you design with unusual victory conditions.

I think that sort of thing is just super fun, and it’s a way to play the game in a more bite-sized fashion.  Some of those sorts of things  aren’t even really tutorials, they’re more advanced challenges or puzzles.

But anyway, the tutorials system is a pretty robust framework that allows for all sorts of different scenario designs that I’d love to see people really lean into.  I’ve been explicitly trying to make this as easy as possible for non-coders to do — all you need is a text editor — and the idea of seeing what creative things people come up with to both teach and test players is exciting.

It’s more or less the same idea behind modding, where people add various map types or ship types or whatever else, except this time it’s custom scenarios for teaching or testing.

Map Generation Overhaul

While I was at this in terms of working on the tutorial map design components, I also redesigned how the map generation components worked in general.   Before if you had a low number of planets and a middling or high number of factions, the map generation process could throw errors about there not being enough room to seed all the things it needed to seed.

That was confusing, and then even in other situations it could be rather bland with only one thing of importance on any given planet; you rarely would see a big mean weapon and a big good capturable on the same planet, and you’d never see a big good capturable and a small minor capturable on the same planet.

The new system is a lot more flexible and it should be practically impossible to get the confusing error messages anymore on map generation.  Instead it just absolutely packs the planets that are there with all the things it is trying  to seed, and in general the maps are going to feel a bit more… varied and patchwork now, rather than quite as homogeneous as before.

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

AI War 2 v0.892 Released! “All Ship and Structure Visuals Done!”

Release notes here.

The graphics for ships and structures being incomplete was one of our biggest bugbears… since forever, really.  We always were adding more ships and structures faster than we could do graphics for them.

It’s been well over a year since I’ve done any new ship visuals, because my focus was elsewhere, but in the last week it’s been time to tidy all that up in preparation for our 1.0 launch on (tentatively) October 22nd; and that  includes revised trailers and screenshots, of course.

More than just adding a bunch — 80ish — of new ship and structure visuals (and overhauling the lighting and bloom on all the rest of them about a week ago), this particular build also vastly improves the quality of the background planet visuals by moving them to updated shaders, adjusting their levels, and so on.  I made some improvements to the planet visuals back during the “lighting and darkness” release, but this  is a whole other level of improved.

Other stuff:

  • There’s only one bugfix in this build, which is hilariously little in terms of that sort of thing, but you can see where our focus has been.  We’ll be returning to interface, bugfixes, and tutorials now that the visuals are done.
  • There are four new ship variants (Ram, Fusion Saw, Kite, and Ion Disruptor) now in the game.
  • There are some other moderate balance tweaks, such as spider units being a lot more effective, weapon jamming ships working a lot more effectively and efficiently, forcefield guardians having a forcefield of any notable size, and a few other bits.

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

AI War 2 v0.891 Released! “Vast Tracts of… Ship Graphics”

Release notes here.

Release Date For 1.0 Coming Up!

We’re closing in on an official date for launch of 1.0!  At this point we’re tentatively thinking October 22nd, which would be the 10 year anniversary of AI War Classic arriving on Steam.  I suddenly feel very old, thinking about how large a span of time that is; when I was younger I remember thinking the gap in time between Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander was unthinkable, but that was… literally also a 10 year gap.

So that date seems very fitting, and it seems like a good spot in the market, and it seems like it would give us enough time to get all our ducks in a row as far as 1.0 being fully up to snuff goes.

Note that this isn’t 1000% firm of a date yet, so this isn’t a full announcement, but it’s a heads up.

Now… About This Actual Release?

  • There are actual ship graphics now for 35 new ships and structures that were just using repeat stuff. This has been on my todo list since May 2018, so that’s a pretty big win.  Huge thanks to Puffin for making this go so much faster. 
  • There’s another batch of ship graphics almost as large coming this week still, plus the macrophage and parasites need some more work out of this  current batch, and there’s a whole host of  improvements to the planet visuals in the backgrounds coming this week, too.  Then we can start taking final trailer footage and final screenshots, hopefully.
  • The balance of the Dark Spire has been adjusted a TON, to make it so that they are less likely to come kick your butt for reasons unrelated to you actually doing badly.  There were too many little side things that you had no control over that were feeding the Vengeance Generators energy, but no longer.  Thanks to Badger for solving this, and as he put it, “thanks to NRSirLimbo for a spirited lament.”  In seriousness from both of us, it’s exactly the sort of thing we need when it comes to factions and whatever other sort of balance.
  • The tech unlock hack no longer charges you science, which was a whoopsie.  Thanks to WeaponMaster for fixing that!
  • Badger has also been working on the Intel menu, working adding color and so forth to make that more readable and less overwhelming.
  • Queued wormhole orders can also now be seen on the galaxy map in the style of AIWC… although this seems to have uncovered an actual bug with queued wormhole orders themselves, so any reports that can help us find a way to repro that and nail that bug are appreciated.

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

AI War 2 v0.890 Released! “Lighting and Darkness”

Release notes here.

This one is pretty huge!

  • The visuals for the 3D parts of the game have been hugely updated.  Things had gotten very dark, and were hard to see as well as having bloom that was too harsh.  There’s a long explanation for that here, if you’re into that sort of thing, but suffice it to say the game just looks vastly better now.
  • There’s an new Technology Vault that you can hack to get a free tech!
  • Firing from under forcefields now comes with a damage penalty, like in the first game.  We’ll see how this one plays out; it’s kind of experimental.
  • There are a huge number of revisions to the techs in the game, breaking them into weapon and hull categories and in general making the pricing and balance for them a lot more consistent and interesting. There are other categories beyond those two, but those are the main ones for turrets and offensive ships.  Thanks to Puffin for orchestrating this.
  • The way AIs act after death — those parts of an AI that are still remaining — is a lot more interesting now, with them “going rogue” in multi-AI games.
  • The energy collectors have been removed, since they were kind of unclear to say the least, and now command stations generate energy directly.  The differences between the command stations are now a lot more clear in the description text, too, so we should hopefully no longer see an over-reliance on military command stations from people who previously couldn’t see the massive benefits that having a few logistical or economic ones would have.
  • The way that techs show the details of what they improve is also now completely overhauled, this one thanks to some cleverness by Asteroid, with it showing just a single section for each one and having the changes in parentheses.  The readability is incredibly improved, without us having to re-code things in such a messy way since instead it’s using DiffLib for textual analysis.
  • The fog of war in the game has been overhauled, in terms of planets you have explored but are not actively  watching.  Now it doesn’t tell you about threat there, and you can see easily by a tiny little question mark next to the strength numbers that your data for that planet is stale.  This lets the AI sneak up on you much more easily, and in general feels more appropriate and consistent with the rest of the game in terms of what information is communicated when you actually look at a planet that is explored-but-not-watched.
  • There is also an option for getting the old fog of war behavior, if you preferred it.  Thanks to Badger for these two!
  • We fixed a bunch more bugs, including the last of the “ships going through wormholes still go off to somewhere else nonsensical on the other side.”
  • There are a bunch of new and improved ship graphics outside of the lighting changes we mentioned, too.  The game is a lot more attractive in general, when you are zoomed in.
  • And there are a lot of other balance tweaks and bugfixes, some of them very significant, that we just didn’t have time to mention here.  This one is indeed huge!

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

AI War 2 v0.889 Released! “Reticulating Those Splines”

Release notes here.

This one is focused on further refinement.

  • When you first load up the game, the messages are now thematic and/or humorous.  I particularly enjoy that the computer calculates the odds, briefly panics, and then institutes a calming routine.  Depending on how fast your hard drive is, and how long  it’s been since you last ran the game (and thus cached a lot of it in part of your folder), you’ll get to see more or fewer of those.
  • There are two new major hacks for ARSes: one to re-roll the contents, and another to convert it into science.
  • Structures you place can’t self-build anymore if their fleet leader isn’t present and functional (excepting fleet leaders themselves!).  This prevents several exploity things players could do.
  • You can C-click any flagship now, and if it’s one that you can normally manage it gets you into the fleet management screen directly.  SUPER extra convenient, for sure.
  • The fleet management screen now has a button letting you load or unload transports by clicking instead of just having to know the hotkeys.
  • The fleet management screen now has the long-requested feature to scrap all the distant units (not on the same planet as the flagship), which is particularly useful when uprooting and moving battlestations and citadels around.
  • A bunch more range circles are now shown, and are colorized to tell you what they are.  You can more easily stay out of gravity or tractor range by actually seeing those now, etc.
  • A ton of new keybinds have been added for quickly selecting all your snipers, melee units, mobile flagships, battlestations, factories, cloaked units, and so on.  This is planet-wide (like the mobile military selection one), and so is a quick way to select things across fleets that you would commonly want to select.  If there are more such hotkeys that would be desirable, please throw those up on mantis for us to let us know!
  • You can see how long a hack will take right on the hacking menu, now.
  • A number of bugfixes have been put in.

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

AI War 2 v0.888 Released! “Astro Examination”

Release notes here.

This release is very notable! We’ve had a lot of those, lately.

C-Clicking things to learn more.

It used to be that if there was a bunch of information about a group of ships, then you just got the names of the ships and not really any details.  That was… quite a pain in some cases.

Suppose you see a new fleet that you might want to capture, but it just is telling you it has ships X Y and Z in there, and you don’t really have descriptions for a couple of those?  You’d just have to gamble with them, or use prior knowledge you’d picked up in past plays.

Now you can hold C while you click the flagship of the fleet, and you then get a hugely-detailed screen with all the info on each ship in there.  As usual, hold Ctrl for even MORE details in a tutorial-style fashion if you want them.

This works in a variety of places, including incoming enemy wave warnings, AI guard posts full of reinforcements, and even tech upgrades for your ships.  It always tells you in the tooltip when you can C-click, and I’m already personally wondering a bit how we ever lived without it.

AI Aggressiveness

There were a number of cases where the “press home an attack against a weak key target despite being outnumbered” or “push through a strong planet to a weak one” logic was just not kicking in with enough frequency.  To the point that some folks thought it wasn’t even on.

These sorts of aggressive  behaviors only kick in on difficulty 5 and up, but they become increasingly common starting at difficulty 7 now.

Combat Factory Drones!

These things now can actually defend themselves with some drones that are specific to each type of combat factory.  Sweet!

Astro Trains Majorly More Interesting

In the original game Astro Trains were more annoying than anything else, so we made them optional and people mostly ignored them.  In this sequel, Astro Trains were mostly bland and they are optional and so people have mostly ignored them; we’re not short for interesting factions.

The thing is, astro trains are a really cool platform for a lot of potentially-very-interesting concepts (supply routes, etc) in how they are implemented in this game, so having them be boring was kind of a bummer to put it mildly.

Badger and Puffin have put in a ton of work into making these way more interesting, with a lot of feedback from mantis and discord, and trains should now be a much more dynamic and  interesting experience.  We look forward to seeing what you run into with them now!

Plus Lots of Key Bugfixes!

  • Those bugs with the sidebar mouseovers not showing the right thing all the time are fixed.
  • Same with the ones with the collision detection boxes for mouseovers of buttons being too large.
  • Same with cloaked stacks of ships getting full cloak back when anything on the stack died.  Total cheese for you and your enemies!
  • Also fixed not being able to build energy-generating things that cost zero energy if you had negative energy.  Talk about OUCH!
  • Fixed a bug that was causing a number of commands to get discarded improperly when ships went through wormholes.  Sorry about that!  That made for some troubling stuff.
  • Plus the whole thing with decollisions persisting after wormhole traversals should now FINALLY be fully fixed, and this was one of the most annoying bugs people were seeing.  Fingers crossed.
  • And fixed some bugs with certain planets in certain circumstances flipping back and forth between an explored and watched intel status every second or so.  Definitely also irritating.
  • And actually there was a bunch of other stuff, too.

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

AI War 2 v0.887 Released! “Ending Scenes”

Release notes here.

Lots of fixes!  These alone are worth a full release.  And same with the number of balance changes.  But that’s not remotely all what’s here…

Victory and Ending Scenes!

Now when you complete a game, it gives you a bit of text, a nice song, and a cool visual scene with some mild animation. 

You can see them on youtube from the linked release notes, so that you don’t expect more than it actually is.  But this is a major step up from just “you win” at the end, which was a kick in the pants for sure.

Later we can always build this out more and more, add in graphs and whatever else, more text, or  whatever we feel like.  But having this as a baseline, and a solid version for 1.0, I’m really pleased about.  Visually I prefer the game over screen by far, but  the victory screen has just such killer music…

Turret and Minefields Revamp

Among all the other balance things, you’ll notice that you have only a fifth as many turrets and minefields as before, but what you have are now 5x as powerful and expensive, and also larger.  This makes it easier for you to place them (fewer clicks), and also improves performance in savegames where turret counts were getting absurd.

Icon Placement Overhaul

lot of people were irritated by where the icons were placed in the game.  Basically they floated really high above the ships themselves, so that we could do things like have them hidden by ships in front of them.  But this was really problematic for people connecting the icons to the ships themselves.

There’s actually a milder version of this going on in Fire Emblem: Three Houses that keeps throwing me off, honestly, and in some ways that was the final straw for my own game. 😉  The new style of placement works more like Stellaris mixed with AI War 1, and it’s vastly easier to tell what’s going on.  But it’s completely customizable, so that you can put it back to the way it was before if you prefer.

Energy Surplus… Removed

Basically there was too much energy, all the time, before.  Hopefully now you actually have to consider economic command stations, or not just putting all your turrets on every planet, either way.  Or go for the Zenith Power Generators as an actual exciting capturable.

And A Lot Of Other Stuff!

But I got very little sleep last night and I’m super tired, so I’m ready to just get this out to you and you can read the release notes for the other details.  This thing has been a really huge one!

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