Month: November 2012

Steam Autumn Sale: All Arcen Titles 40-75% Off

Steam’s Autumn Sale is underway, and our entire catalog has been significantly discounted for the duration of the event. The individual discounts are as follows:

The offerings end on November 26th, so be sure to take advantage before then!

New Press and Video

Idle Thumbs Podcast — Checking In With Arcen

No Continues! Podcast — Shattered Haven Discussion @ 40:00

Let’s Play AI War COOP Series

Strategy Gaming World AI War: Ancient Shadows Video

AI War – The Final Push

A Valley Without Wind Let’s Play Series

Iscriviti Plays A Valley Without Wind

Daniel tries to review AVWW

A Valley without Wind – First FreeFall Mission

AI War Beta 6.007-6.009 “Burying The Hatchet” Released!

This one brings back the human-ally component of the Roaming Enclaves minor faction, with a huge overhaul of its control logic.

Long ago the Roaming Enclaves minor faction could spawn human-ally variants in addition to the currently-possible AI-ally and enemy-to-all variants. But they weren’t very bright, and tended to get killed a lot despite many changes to make them survive better. Eventually they listened to the human players saying that the enclaves were stupidly suicidal and made a very wise decision for their own survival: they left the galaxy.

But apparently wisdom is shortlived, because they’re back now. Only smarter. I hope. At least, if nearly two solid days of work on their new AI wasn’t enough to make them at least tolerable to their human allies, they’re going away for good ;)

One thing to note is that their default behavior is pretty conservative, but there are a few experimental “chat directives” (explained in the patch notes, and shortly to be in the commands list I’m sure) you can give them that include more aggressive behavior. Whether or not it’s a good idea to have this kind of (very high level, indirect) influence over a minor faction is still up in the air, so those may go away. We’ll see :)

We’ve also fixed some bugs and made some balance changes. There’s a fairly important change to command station rebuilding behavior, and something to make logistics station upgrades more worth it.

Update: 6.008 hotfix to fix null exception bug that could happen in some cases in the ally-enclave logic.

Update: 6.009 hotfix to fix a really longstanding (probably pre-5.0) but rare desync-on-load bug. Kinda funny it popped up just now, but hey.

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time. If you don’t have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.

AI War Beta 6.006 “The Pain Train” Released!

This one completely re-imagines Astro Trains. The trains had really fallen out of player favor a while ago, so we shuffled them off to be an AI Plot until we could think of a more interesting approach. That day has come.

The release notes have the details, but some highlights:

* Astro Trains are now a variable-intensity plot like Hybrids. So 0/10 is “off”, 4/10 is “normal”, 1/10 is “trivial”, and 10/10 is “game-dominating”.

* Trains will never be a direct threat in and of themselves (except the nuke train, but that only shows up if you crank the plot intensity all the way up to 10, and then only very rarely), but the support effects the provide (generally just on their current planet) will range from annoying to devastating. And since the trains travel in bigger groups on higher intensities, it can really stack up.

* The really nasty trains are much less invincible than the others, but even those will be hard to kill. You can influence where the trains go by killing off train stations.

* The cargo trains are totally harmless in and of themselves, but their deliveries make progress toward a construction project for the AI (it’ll alert you as that gets past 50%).

In summary, you probably won’t want to turn these on unless you want more pain in your game, but since that’s a significant portion of our audience here you go :) It’s also good for folks who want to see how well their impenetrable defenses can hold up under extreme conditions, particularly on the higher intensities.

Trains aside, this patch also addresses a longstanding player desire for an easier way to search for ships (player and AI): there are now two “custom” galaxy display modes that let you pick the target type from a dropdown. Further, while this dropdown is expanded you can type part of the name of what you want to search for and it will narrow the dropdown down to items that contain the text. This incremental-search approach is now also used by the select-target dropdown on the reference tab of the stats window.

There are also some important bugfixes, and some balance changes.

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time. If you don’t have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.

The latest on the Valley 2 schedule

Without preamble: I had been hoping to have the Valley 2 beta out to folks by around next week, but for a variety of reasons that’s no longer feasible.

The short of it is that we could definitely get you a playable beta then, but it wouldn’t reflect the level of polish that would do well by us.  We’re getting there, but one more week just isn’t going to be enough.  We’re now aiming for more like 3 weeks from now until beta, and 5-6 weeks from now until the 1.0 (knock on some serious wood for the latter).  In other words, we aren’t planning a long-term and protracted beta with this one.  Folks have given us vast amounts of feedback for the last year+ on AVWW1, and Valley 2 is the mature successor that’s resulting.

Another way to look at it is this: it’s very hard to take out much from this game and still have it completely work.  That’s a good sign.  The first game was so loosely tied together, such a big collection of semi-related things, that you could easily add and remove stuff without affecting the core experience all that much.  With the sequel, there’s not really anything I can think of that’s in the game and not directed towards the core experience.

Anyhow, don’t take this as too much of a downer message.  I’ve actually been on a super high since late yesterday when I finally got the new lighting model (complete with colored and shaped light sources) working.  Man but this game is night and day different from the first one — and we just mainly want to ensure that you see it on the best possible terms when you first do see it in action.

Until next time!