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

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