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

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