Month: April 2013

AI War Beta 6.024-6.025 “The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Buff (or Nerf)” Released!

This one … does a lot.

In this release we’re mainly we’re answering a recent community poll by making its top results more attractive places to spend Knowledge (though the Raid Starship actually got its treatment for this in 6.023). Specifically:

1) Turrets in general. The combat stats are something of a sidegrade, though on the buff side of that line. The main thing here is bringing their K costs down (as well as making them more regular across different turret types).

2) Command station upgrades (like the MkII Economic Command Station, etc) now also provide a hefty bonus to your homeworld in the form of a foldout that provides the same benefit as the unlocked station. These are cumulative, so unlocking mkII and mkIII military command stations and mkII logistical command stations will put both a mkII military, mkIII military, and mkII logistics foldout on your homeworld. Incidentally, that gives everything on the planet a +100% to firepower and completely negates AI cloaking on that planet (both from the mil III) as well as slowing down enemies (from the log II) so that might not be a bad idea. If it didn’t cost an arm and a leg in Knowledge, that is.

3) The Mobile Repair Station has taken over the Enclave Starship’s role of fleetship production in the field (which incidentally makes that a base-game ability now, for the two of you who don’t have CoN), been officially renamed the Mobile Space Dock, and come down from 4000 to 3000 Knowledge.

4) Speaking of the Enclave Starship, it needs to stop winning these polls ;) So it’s been reinvented a bit. As mentioned above it no longer builds fleet ships in the field. It also no longer builds its unique-to-the-Enclave drones in the normal fashion, but instead generates them automatically much like a Spire Blade Spawner or Tackle Drone Launcher. The result is something much easier to use for just getting stuff dead and something much closer to the original “carrier” inspiration behind the Enclave Starship. K costs have also been adjusted to match most of the other starships.

5) The MkII Transport is now the Assault Transport. Basically the MkI Transport does such an exemplary job in the “Ship Bus” role that there wasn’t much reason to spend 4000 Knowledge on a better transport. So the Assault Transport now provides several new tactical options through: cloaking, guns (that get stronger the more ships are loaded in the transport), instantaneous unload, more durability, and not delaying the first shot of unloaded ships as long as the MkI does. We’d also toyed with the idea of it dropping a shortlived forcefield on death, but that seemed a bit too gimmicky and a bit too easy to cheese (without still more gimmicks to prevent the cheese). Knowledge cost is now 3000.

A pretty good haul of buffs for the human side, eh?

Well the AI isn’t happy. Not a bit.

A few key improvements to carrier/cpa logic should help make those more “interesting”, and the AI’s response to Knowledge Hacking has been… augmented, you could say. You won’t notice much difference in the first K hack, and maybe a minor difference in the second hack, but from there on it can get considerably more dicey. None of this “9 Knowledge Hacks on Diff 10” shenaniga-tomfoolery, to use an example which is obviously hypothetical and not at all related to a recent AAR win.

Also we’ve tuned the recent Starship buffs back a bit as they were very much getting into the territory of overshadowing fleet ships despite the lower “total” available. This set of changes is relatively mild and some people think more tuning back is necessary, but some don’t, so we’ll see.

Based on a lot of thought and player feedback that the game was simply being too nice on this one point, Advanced Research Stations no longer grant mkII of their bonus type for free. Instead they give 500 bonus Knowledge immediately upon capture. Also, though not for strictly-related reasons (having more to do with not saddling mkIII price balance with the adv-factory question) mkIII fleet ship cost has come down from 6000 to 4000. The result is that if you normally unlock mkIII of every ARS bonus type you’ll see absolutely no difference in total K expenditure (-500 + 2500 + 4000 vs 6000), but that if you don’t it’s something of a nerf.

The release contains a few other changes as well, notably the addition of a couple control toggles that should make life more pleasant for people wanting to “automatically dump any resources over 1.5M metal+crystal into mercenary production (or building that fort or trader toy, or whatever)” or “don’t let cloaked or immobile AI units prevent automatic harvester rebuilding”.

Update: 6.025 hotfix to fix a bug preventing most foldouts from spawning in multiplayer.

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.

Skyward Collapse Wallpaper

Skyward Collapse is heading to 1.0 in just about a month, and beta within about two weeks.  We’ll have more details on the game as we get closer and closer to that time, plus a few other surprises that I think you’ll find very fun.

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you this awesome wallpaper that was created by our very own Daniette “Blue” Wood.  I haven’t officially announced this before, and should have, but we have a new art director!  You can read a bit about her on our About Us page.  Folks in the forums for the game have been enjoying periodically getting to watch her livestream her work on this particular piece.

This wallpaper is also the background of the main menu for the game, and you’ll be seeing it as the main “promo art” for the game in general.  Click on the above image to get the full-size 1920×1080 version for you to download.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: Apparently blogger sized down the image to 1600×900 without my realizing it.  I’ve uploaded the full-size version on the forum thread about this post.

AI War Beta 6.022-6.023 “Honored Bugs” Released!

This one congratulates the 4 winners of our recent “bug of the year” poll by… well, exterminating them. Sometimes it’s tough being the winner.

#1 was a longstanding-but-not-really-noticed-until-recently problem in the mapgen logic causing all Advanced Research Stations, Fabricators, and various other (though not all) capturables to seed only on planets controlled by the first AI player. Normally this didn’t matter a whole lot, but if the first AI happened to be a really annoying type (Scorched Earth, notably) the pain was… noticeable. Anyway, several bugs were involved but mapgen is now more equitable in that regard.

#2 was another longstanding problem with how the preferred-target rules (where stuff you give a direct attack order to should prefer to shoot things similar to the designated target) worked when attacking Hybrids. It turns out that the problem basically applied to anything with a modular forcefield and there were also some problems with focus-fire and preferred-targeting in the general case. Normally I wouldn’t have spent hours chasing something like this down because I perceive other things as being more important to the community, but the poll was helpful in correcting that perception. So this stuff is quite a bit tidier now. Not a great time to be a Hybrid, I suppose.

#3 turned out to not even be a bug: complaints that nothing was happening to go with the “Defensive Hybrids Are Mobilizing” message that can show up when you have Advanced Hybrids on and a CPA or exo or such happens. In the test case I saw the defensive hybrids were indeed switching to offensive types, but they still didn’t have enough firepower to think they had a chance so they continued not-attacking. That’s by design, as otherwise they just all charge to their deaths (more than usual, I mean). Nonetheless, this “mobilization” mechanic has been beefed up to be more noticeable. Maybe not such a bad time to be a Hybrid, I suppose.

#4 was updating the turret types to work nicely with ultra-low caps by changing them to have base caps divisible by 8. Rounding up all the stats for those into the newer more cap-oriented model took time, but it’s done now. Which is good, as there’s noises being made about rebalancing turrets in other ways. We’ll see.

There are several other bugfixes and balance changes in this release. Notably, the exponential scaling of wave size with AIP on Diff 8+ has been removed after several months of feedback on it, and balance iteration continues on the nebula scenarios.

Update: 6.023 hotfix to fix an unhandled-errors bug in the last version with auto-load.

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.

Last Call for Steam Savings and IndieFort Bundle

Just a quick reminder that both the AI-war featured IndieFort Spring Bundle and the major Steam discounts on our full library of titles are available for just a few more hours, so act quick if you haven’t already!

Plenty of new coverage to share as well, including some in-depth interviews Chris took part in last week:

Co-Optimus: Indie-Ana Co-Op – Q and A with Arcen Games, Part 1Part 2
Sortiv: The next strategy game from “A.I. War” Developer Arcen Games: Skyward Collapse
IndieGames.com: Arcen announces two new games, 75% off library until tomorrow
OMGeek: Two Uniquely Thematic Titles From Arcen Games Coming This Year
BeefJack: Arcen Games Introduces Skyward Collapse
6AMING: Skyward Collapse Announced
TechnologyTell: Shattered Haven Review (4/5)

Sale Coverage
Invision Community: Arcen Games Catalog Steam Sale and IndieFort Spring Bundle
VG247: Shattered Haven, AI War, Tidalis and more on sale
Z-Giochi: Arcen Games Library Discounted for a Week (Italian)
Joystiq: IndieFort Spring Bundle on GamersGate; Arcen’s library 75% off on Steam

Valley 2 Official 1.004 “Endless Lightning” Released!

This one addresses two minor issues, and a third issue that could make the end of the game excessively hard to complete under certain circumstances (on higher difficulties in particular).

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  If you have the beta on Steam, it will automatically update for you.  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 the standalone game, you can download that hereIf you already own the first game, just use your existing license key to unlock the sequel for free!

Shattered Haven 1.010-1.011 “Squid Anomaly” Released!

This one is just a couple of minor tweaks, as well as a fix for a more important bug that only affected people with really unusual framerates (so very much an edge case).

UPDATE: 1.011 fixes a bug that was introduced in 1.010.

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, hit the big “Play” button and then you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Arcen Catalog Steam Sale, IndieFort Spring Bundle, and Full Indie Summit

What a busy month it’s been! (Alright, year). Upcoming Game reveals aside, we have several new developments to share during this week alone:

Steam Sale: Entire Arcen Catalog 75% Off
Steam’s put the whole lot on sale this time, and I mean everything. For the next week, you’ll find the entire Arcen library slashed down to very low prices. Sale ends April 22nd.

IndieFort Spring Bundle
Looking for something a little less Arcen-centric? AI War is in the latest deeply discounted GamersGate bundle, teamed with Sanctum, Zigfrak, Fortune Winds: Ancient Trader, and Underrail (currently in alpha). The offer is available now through April 21st, and will add bonus content as such as AI War and Sanctum DLC if specific sales milestones are reached.

Full Indie Summit
I’ll be spewing my nonsense at the Full Indie Summit in Vancouver, BC this Saturday (April 20th). More specifically, I’ll be giving a talk on indie game marketing plans. If you’re local to the area and are interested in checking it out, definitely stop by and make sure to say hello. The event goes from 10 AM – 4 PM, and admittance is dirt cheap ($10 Canadian) — plus I hear there’s a mixer or two going on afterwards. Should be good fun!

New Game Page Landings
I’ve set-up a host of new fan pages for Shattered Haven, Exodus of the Machine, and Skyward Collapse — for those interested in receiving game updates on sites like Twitter, Reddit, and others of the sort.

Shattered Haven
@ShatteredHaven
/r/ShatteredHaven
On Facebook
On IndieDB

Exodus of the Machine
@ExodusOTMachine
/r/ExodusOfTheMachine
On Facebook
On IndieDB

Skyward Collapse
@SkywardGame
/r/SkywardCollapse
On Facebook
On IndieDB

Press and Video Coverage
Plenty to share with the teasing of our two new titles, along with coverage still coming in hot from our recent releases as well.

Skyward Collapse
PC Gamer: AI War developer announces Skyward Collapse, a turn-based 4X god game
Indie Retro News: Developers of AI War announce Skyward Collapse : turn-based 4x simulation god-game
PCGamersN: Skyward Collapse is a turn-based, 4x peacekeeping mission from AI Wars’ Arcen Games
VG247: Skyward Collapse is a turn-based 4X god-sim in the works at Arcen Games
RPS: Arcen’s Next Game Is Skyward Collapse
Strategy Core: A Godly Conundrum
Games.on.net: Arcen Games’ Skyward Collapse combines 4X, god sim and diplomacy
GamersBook: Another new title from Arcen Games
Gamer.no: Unique god game from AI War-makers (Norwegian)
Riot Pixels: AI War developer will release an unusual “simulator of God” (Russian)
Playground.ru: Arcen Games has announced turn-based god sim Skyward Collapse (Russian)
GameLand.ru: Skyward Collapse – another project from the developers of AI War and A Valley Without Wind (Russian)
Gry-Online: Skyward Collapse – creators of AI War announced (Polish)
Tyrant & Ogre: Arcen Games Announces New Game, Skyward Collapse
GamePlanet: A Valley Without Wind studio announces turn-based god game

Exodus of the Machine
Polygon: Arcen Games new title Exodus Of The Machine is coming this year
GameConnect: Arcen Games announces Exodus Of The Machine
GamersBook: Exodus of the Machine announced

Shattered Haven
TierraGamer: Exclusive Interview with Arcen Games – Creators of Haven Shattered (Spanish)
Gert Lush Gaming: Shattered Haven Review
Broken Analog: Shattered Haven Review (9/10)
Co-Optimus: Shattered Haven Co-Op Review (3.5/5)
Game Debate: Shattered Haven Review (7/10)
Edge Online: Shattered Haven review (6/10)
Z-Giochi: Shattered Haven Review (6/10) (Italian)
GameSpot: Shattered Haven Review (5/10)
Hooked Gamers: Shattered Haven Review (7/10)
IndieGameMag: Shattered Haven Review (65/100)
IndeeGames.cz: Shattered Haven Review (4/10) (Czech)
Game4Me: Shattered Haven PC Review (74/100) (Dutch)
IndieGameReviewer: Shattered Haven Review (2/5)
JustPressStart: Shattered Haven Review
Cross Platform Gamers: Shattered Haven Review
Technology Tell: Shattered Haven launches for Mac/PC
InsideMacGames: Enter A Shattered Haven at MGS
Northernlion: Let’s Look At: Shattered Haven! (Video)
AtherGames: This Can’t Be Real! – First Look at Shattered Haven (Video)
TekkorGJC: Shattered Haven – Quicklook (Video)
KingIsaacLinksr: King’s Shattered Haven (Video Series)
MrAmnesiaGameplay: Shattered Haven (Video)
Scheele Plays Shattered Haven (Video)
TheCometCE: Indie Spotlight – A Valley Without Wind (Video)
Psenci: Testing Testing – Episode 50 – Shattered Haven (Video) (Spanish)
NewGames357: Shattered Haven (Video) (Russian)

Valley Series
Gamasutra: Design Debate: Risky Rewards or Rewarding Risk?
Y3K Games: A Valley Without Wind 2 Review (Video)
Infognito: A Valley Without Wind (Video Series)
Weatherford Sons: A Valley Without Wind 2 – Let’s Play (Video)
Stry’s 1000 Game Steam Stream – [A] Valley Without Wind (Video)

AI War
ChthonicOne: Playing AI War with The Irritable Canadian (Video)

AI War Beta 6.019-6.021 “Nebulous Diligence” Released!

This one is pretty broad.

Most importantly, the AI will now a one-time launch retaliatory attack when you destroy each core guard post (unless Lazy AI is on). Given that your mobile forces are probably entirely engaged on the AI HW at the time, and that the attack can come from one or more warp gates pretty much anywhere in the galaxy, this could be… uncomfortable ;) You could of course pull your mobile ships back before actually landing the kill shot on a core guard post, but that takes time during which the normal AI response has time to work (and each core guard post you kill increases the AIP floor by 10, so even if you started the assault at low AIP you may find you don’t have the luxury of flying back and forth for each core post kill. Or even of waiting for each post’s retaliation to be dealt with before killing the next one.

On the other hand, for those wanting a less vigilant AI the Lazy-AI toggle now also disables the “deepstrike” logic which causes threat to spawn constantly while you have military ships several hops deep into purely AI territory. Combined with the other factors this definitely moves the Lazy-AI toggle into the realm of “if you play with this, balance is up to you” in that you’d need to turn up the difficulty in other ways or it’s just going to be a lot easier than a “normal” game, but it’s there for those of you who like getting your challenge some other way or simply like trying to win with only one your HW or whatever.

Another important change is that now the AI’s normal reinforcements stop getting stronger past a certain (difficulty-based) AIP threshold. We may need to add some compensation for this later (intensifying its offensives past the threshold, probably) but for now the idea is that if you cross into the AIP “death zone” it should just kill you via some offensive mechanic rather than stonewalling you with a huge wall of entirely defensive ships that regenerates faster than you can kill it. Stalemates like that have a long and storied history in AIW, and that’s not the end of the world, but many people have complained about that over the years and if we can move towards something that’s more likely to avoid those (in favor of moving the game towards a conclusion one way or another) then that’s probably a good thing.

This release also contains several bugfixes and other balance changes, all mentioned in the notes linked above. Most notable of those is a fix for the longstanding bug with the “AI units should wait at least 30 seconds before retreating” rule not working. Now your chipper shredders will have a little more time to work!

Update: 6.020 hotfix for a bug in recent versions where scouts could not be directly sent through unexplored wormholes when the everything-starts-unexplored toggle was on.

Update: 6.021 hotfix to fix a bug in the AI-retreat-behavior “fix” that was causing errors on the AI thread.

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.

Skyward Collapse Teaser 2: Unit Sketches and More Details

So, we recently announced Skyward Collapse.  If you missed it, it’s something we’re really excited about.

However, we only showed a single screenshot with some of the final-quality map tiles, tokens, and skies in them.  Needless to say, the rest of the art is still in various states of completion, ranging from sketches to coloring to getting final polish on it.  We have a great pipeline going with about 11 artists (10 at Heavy Cat, and then our new art director Blue on our side), so that’s all proceeding well.

When it comes to the units themselves — all the Greek and Norse people and gods that move around the map like boardgame pieces each turn — we haven’t shown anything with them until now.  We’re still working on the final coloring style for them, so I don’t want to show any of the colored ones yet. 

That said, we have a lot of wonderful sketches of them that will be directly translated into the final unit graphics shown in-game (in other words, these are more than concept sketches — they are the actual graphics that will be used in the game, minus color and shading, at a larger scale than you’ll see in the final game).

Norse Chapman — The chapmen are the main civilian workers for each faction.  Their primary responsibility is carrying raw resources from the resource producers to the town centers.  The raw resources themselves are produced by different civilians (unseen in the buildings that they work in, though you have to staff those buildings), and the finished goods are created in a similar way in the town buildings related to each kind of finished good.

Norse Arsonist — Since there’s a limit to how many siege-type weapons the Norse actually historically used (that just wasn’t their main fighting style), we had to get a bit creative.  While our game is historically-based in some ways, it’s also set in a fantasy world that is merely inspired by those civilizations.  That gives us some creative license.  In this particular case, we didn’t have to take that much.  The arsonists are considered a “siege unit,” and their primary purpose is setting enemy buildings on fire.  The buildings then take damage over time, while the arsonist moves from building to building in the enemy town or territory.

Norse Berserk — Give these guys some bacon and weapons, and they’re ready to rock.  The Norse don’t have any cavalry at all in this game, but they make up for it with several intimidating kinds of infantry.  The Greeks and the Norse have very different units all around!  Even their chapmen have different stats.

Pan (Greek) — This is one of the Greek gods that you can choose to call to your aid as the game progresses.  The gods all stand taller than the regular units (fit into a 128×128 square instead of a 96×96 square), making them more obviously and imposing.

Zeus (Greek) — Here’s an obvious example of one of the four “greater gods” that you get to choose from at the start of the third round of each game.  The greater gods are a lot more powerful and have a big impact on the game… but each side has one!

About That Whole “Peacekeeping” Thing
We’ve had a lot of awesome coverage for the game already, for which we’re extremely grateful!  That said, there is a bit of a misconception based on my first blog post about this (which is my own fault) about your actual role as The Creator.

Basically, the perception was that you’re in a peacekeeping role where you’re trying to keep the two factions from fighting.  This actually isn’t remotely true: you want those dudes fighting as much as possible if you want a real score.  What you’re trying to prevent is genocide, or one side thoroughly dominating the other. 

You want both sides to have some heavy warfare, in other words, in order to get the maximum sort of score.  But while you’re doing that, you want to prevent the following:

– One side obliterating the other (you lose if this happens).

– One side getting far ahead of the other (your final score is likely to be quite bad if this happens).

– Either side getting their economy so crippled that it’s hard for them to carry on with their warfare (again, your final score is likely to suffer quite a bit, and/or the risk of genocide goes up).

Think of this kind of like the hundred years war, not the cold war.  This isn’t about creating an uneasy armistice with spots of minor conflict here and there; it’s about creating all-out war (on a village-versus-village scale) with possible periods of calm (where the sides are rebuilding as needed).  As a supreme being, you’re not exactly that… benevolent.

Why is this distinction important?  Well, the implications are pretty huge, really: your job is that much harder.  If you’re trying to maintain an armistice, that only involves so many moving parts.  If you’re trying to maintain heavy warfare while not absolutely crippling critical infrastructure or allowing either side to overtake the other too much… well, there are a lot more moving parts there.

Overall I think the press still has a pretty good bead on what this game is in general, but that was one point I thought worth clarifying!

Skyward Collapse Teaser 1

Purely by coincidence, it’s been exactly two weeks since we did our first teaser for our upcoming game Exodus of the Machine.  But did you know we’re actually working on two new titles at the moment?

Our second upcoming game is called Skyward Collapse, and it’s just now reaching a point where we’re ready to show our first screenshot of it.  Aside from overlaying the logo in the lower left corner, this is exactly how the current build of the game looks as of about  10 minutes ago:

So just what is Skyward Collapse?  It’s a turn-based 4x simulation god-game.

Overall Gameplay
Set high in the sky atop a floating landmass that you are actively constructing as the game progresses, you oversee two warring factions (Greeks and Norse).  Via solo play or co-op, you play as “The Creator,” helping both sides of the conflict — granting each side buildings, resources, and even new citizens.

However, the multitude of villages you create all have minds of their own, and will actively try to stomp the nearest still-standing village of the other faction.  Given the resources and appropriate buildings, your villagers will gear up for war without your direct interaction, and will fight it out to the best of their abilities.

Unlike most strategy games, your goal isn’t to have either of the sides win.  “You” aren’t represented by either of the sides, after all.  Instead your goal is to balance this conflict as best you can so that neither side gets wiped out.  You win by having the most points generated (read: most carnage) without either side committing genocide.

But you can’t just strip them of the ability to gear up for war: roaming bandits make defense essential.  Not to mention, crime in each village goes up and up the longer it’s without a military presence, until it collapses into anarchy.  You can construct embassies and assign traveling diplomats to them in an effort to reach a state of enlightenment where crime is no longer a threat, but this is difficult and only affects the two villages that are undergoing peace talks; their neighbors will remain as warlike as ever!

UPDATE: While we hadn’t originally planned this, because of reader comments in a variety of places we’ve decided that we’ll be adding a way to lose a campaign.  Here is our current brainstorming on how to lose.

Game Structure And Objectives
Gameplay takes place over three rounds (with a brief setup round occurring prior to that), each with a fixed number of turns that you can choose when you start the game.  During the time before your game ends, the goal is to get the highest possible score: your overall score is based on the lowest score of the two factions, so again keeping them in balance is key.

As you play, you’ll also be trying to complete various meta-missions to increase your personal rank.  Every 10 missions you complete, you unlock not only the next rank, but also a new building for your towns!

Units, Economy, and Mythology
Oh, did I mention mythology yet?  Looks like not.  During the first round of the game, it’s mostly just you and your villagers.  You can also directly summon certain powerful mythological creatures like minotaurs or the midgard serpent and so on, but these cost a lot of specialized resources that it takes a while to build up.

In round 2, you get to choose a Lesser God for each of the two factions.  Hermes, Idunn, etc.  Which one you choose out of your four options (per faction) has a big impact on how the rest of the game plays out.  Then when round 3 starts, you get to choose a Greater God to go along with them.  Zeus, Thor, and so on.  There’s four choices per side here, too.

All in all the economic and military options are what you’d expect for a simulation game, but it’s also probably our most streamlined game ever.  Easy to pick up, but there are already some really tricky advanced strategies that we’ve been coming up with.

Advanced Strategy Example
As one example of an advanced strategy: normally you can’t control what units are being produced at, say, a barracks.  There are four units that get created in rotation at the barracks, archery ranges, and siege workshops (four per building, all unique per side, I mean).

So there’s no control there for you: presuming that the resources are in place for the next unit in the rotation, it just creates that unit. For a novice player, there’s nothing here to think about, and it’s all very simple.  The barracks do what the barracks do.

However, the tricky part is that if you don’t have the resources for the next unit in the rotation, then it keeps checking the other potential units in the queue until it finds one that it can create.  Do you see the trick now?

I suppose I also now need to mention that there are a lot of resources in the game.  Both “raw resources” which are collected and stored globally per faction, and then “finished goods” that are created on-demand by specialist craftsmen in an individual village.  Pigs are a good example of a raw resource, whereas bacon is a finished good.

Currently there are 15 raw resources, and 11 finished goods.  We’re still polishing the exact mix of all those, though, so that may increase slightly by the time beta starts.  If that sounds overwhelming, it’s not: the resources all have clearly-defined straightforward ways of being produced, and clearly-defined ways of being used.  Mostly your choice of how you gather and refine resources boils down to what you’re trying to accomplish for a given faction or a specific village.  The resource production pipeline is actually one of your primary ways of exerting indirect control over your factions.

See the advanced strategy now?  Each unit at a military training facility has at least one resource that is unique to it, as well as some that are common to all of the units in that facility.  Therefore, you can control what units get produced in the rotation based on which finished goods you make available to that village.  Even better, you can figure out ways to manage the resources such that there are synergies between the different training facilities in a single village.

Other Things
Let’s see, there are trading posts with a pretty straightforward trader model (but your traders are at risk of being attacked as they travel, which is what makes it interesting).  There are the aforementioned embassies.  There are three levels of schools to buff units in the towns containing those schools.  There is an (non-visual) upgrade model for all buildings and units.

You can place dozens of “special tokens” that are either general-mythological or specific-god-related.  You can smite land tiles, or make “military commandments” that gives some overriding orders to all the units of one faction (so that’s a pretty big broadsword to be used carefully).

And there’s some other stuff too, but this hits most of the high points from a broad level.  We’re quite excited to be sharing this with you soon — hopefully beta will be starting before the end of April, with a 1.0 in May!  When we hit beta we’ll have everything in place and it will mostly be a matter of balance.

AI War Beta 6.017-6.018 “Defending The AI’s Front Lawn” Released!

This one makes the AI a little more enthusiastic about its job of, well, not dying.

Previously people have really been encouraged (on high difficulty, at least) to keep AIP absolutely minimally low during the entire game. And it’s fine (and encouraged) that you keep it low most of the game, but the AI homeworlds were not causing the kind of effective AIP increase that one might expect when you make a serious bid to, you know, kill the AI. Sure, actually killing an AI Home Command Station used to give a whopping +100 AIP, but most high-difficulty games seem to end with both of those being killed at basically the same time, after the player has been fighting on the AI homeworlds and killing core guard posts for quite a while. Seems like maybe the AI should object a bit more while you stand on its front lawn(s) lining up a double headshot, don’t you think?

That said, we didn’t want to totally take away the ability to play that way, as there are plenty of other ways players can (and do) make the game harder to compensate.

So we’ve added a new “Lazy AI” toggle to the AI Modifiers list in the lobby. If this toggle is on, then the new behaviors don’t happen. If the new toggle is off by default. And when it is off, the following new rules apply:

1) The strategic reserve (which primarily exists to defend the AI homeworlds) has a static strength equal to what it used to be at 200 AIP. So attacking with less AIP than that won’t save you any strategic-reserve-releated grief.

2) Killing a core guard post (one of the guard posts actually on an AI HW) increases the AIP floor by 10. There are 8 posts on each AI HW so your absolute minimal AIP floor when the last one goes down is 170 (due to the starting 10), and in reality you’ll have more than that due to normal floor increases. So there won’t be much point in starting a homeworld assault with AIP much lower than that.

The combined effect is that you’ll generally need more power than you used to to actually punch out an AI HW (due to the strategic reserve), and if you’ve been playing low AIP through the midgame you’ll have “may as well use it” AIP room due to the core-post floor increases. Also, the AI’s response will actually ramp up during the homeworld assault phase, instead of staying mostly constant.

So get off the AI’s lawn.

Or just turn on the Lazy toggle and it will stop waving the shotgun around as much.

Oh, we also fixed some bugs in this release; mostly from the nominations for our first “bug poll”. A poll, incidentally, that I’m not sure I’m going to post because I’m not sure the voting options will make sense to folks, but we’ll see.

Update: 6.018 hotfix to fix a bug preventing sending champions into unexplored nebulae.

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 6.016 “Deflecting Attraction” Released!

This one contains over a dozen significant balance changes and bug fixes. Not as dramatic as some previous releases but combined these have a fairly big impact.

The “Deflector Drone” bonus fleet ship has been renamed to “Attractor Drone” along with a number of buffs to bring it back from the realm of infamy. The name change is due to our replacing its “reduce all laser damage to nearby allies by 75%” mechanic with “all laser shots fired at nearby allies target the drone instead”, not very unlike the special mechanic of the Youngling Weasel (or Decoy Drone).

The capturable Advanced Factory, Advanced Starship Constructor, and Fabricator structures have been buffed in two important ways: mapgen will now put them in more defensible positions, and they now work much better with human intra-galactic warp gates. Now the MkIV ships produced from the Advanced Factory and Advanced Starship Constructor (and the Mercenary Space Dock, while we were at it) only get 4 or 8 seconds of paralysis instead of 1 or 2 minutes (the longer time being used on non-friendly planets). And the ships produced from the Fabs experience no post-warp paralysis at all. Our hope is that this will help these structures be more attractive to the player due to the reduced logistical difficulties. There are still issues with defending these on games with exo-sources, but that’s a trickier problem (even in determining whether it _is_ a problem) and can be addressed later.

If you’ve been bashing your head on the desk over the recent buffs to the normal AI guard posts, don’t despair, we’ve fixed a balance oversight where they were countering their triangle-counters. So now when you bring in the countering triangle type you won’t take nearly so many casualties. Of course you don’t always have the luxury of having the right type on hand or leaving everything else behind, but that problem is left as an exercise for the reader. In addition, we fixed a longstanding issue with mapgen that was preventing the internal planet-strength-differentiation logic from really having any impact on guard post count. Not that it mattered much before the buffs, but now that guard posts can actually hurt you it’s nice when normal AI planets don’t all have the same number of guard posts. For that matter, if you want to just path through the lower-post-count planets on your way through, that’s now possible in many cases.

Speaking of pathing, we’ve added a long-requested option to the per-planet controls: “Avoid Pathing Through This Planet”. We hope this will save much frustration from galaxy map movement orders sending entire fleets through the wrong (but quickest) wormhole only to be swallowed by a small dog (or a not-so-small superfort).

If you’re curious about the rest of the changes, have a look at the release notes :)

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.

Shattered Haven OST on sale through Band Camp!

The Shattered Haven Original Soundtrack is now on sale through Band Camp! If you enjoyed the music, check it out at:

http://arcenmusic.bandcamp.com/album/shattered-haven

Thank you for your continued support!

Shattered Haven 1.009 “Tiki Escape” Released!

This one is just a couple of minor bugfixes.

Shattered Haven is something that people who are playing it really seem to love, but we’re really having trouble getting the word out.  If you play it and love it, please spread the word!  We can use all the help we can get.  A huge thanks to all of you who have already done so.

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, hit the big “Play” button and then you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Shattered Haven 1.008 “Bonus Speed” Released!

This one has some various fixes and tweaks, but the main thing is to make the Phoenix Forest a bit quicker to traverse on your first time through. 

No levels have been removed, but two regular levels are now bonus levels, and are behind “combination doors” that you won’t be able to open until much later into your adventure.  This gets you past two levels that were a bit frustratingly slow and/or fiddly, and into the coolest early part of the adventure, which is Stantonsburg, more quickly.

Shattered Haven is something that people who are playing it really seem to love, but we’re really having trouble getting the word out.  If you play it and love it, please spread the word!  We can use all the help we can get.  A huge thanks to all of you who have already done so.

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, hit the big “Play” button and then you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.