Day: June 30, 2014

TLF Version 1.026 Released (Brace For Options!)

Version 1.026 is out, and contains a number of things that fans have been asking for, as well as a number of important fixes.

There are some overall improvements to the solar map AI in this update, and there is also an overhaul of the ship graphics and their ships.

There are also new Advanced Start options that let you customize your gameplay experience, and it’s from there that the name of this update derives.  There are four new options added in this update, but more are inevitably coming in the next few weeks.  With a game like this — like AI War, too — having flexibility in how campaigns play out is definitely a good thing.  That means not just in-game options, but also options when you are setting up a new game.

In AI War, the lobby is incredibly complex and daunting to new players because of that extreme flexibility.  There must be over a hundred things you can choose or tune on there.  Our goal with TLF has always been to make it a lot more accessible to new players by making the Quick Start pretty much only ever have two options.  But then Advanced Start is something that we figure can run wild and get as complex as it needs to, in order to better serve the hardcore players.  Now that we are getting a better idea of what the hardcore players are actually interested in as options, we’re starting to do that.

In particular, there were some things that for new players are not a problem, but experienced players find them too easy or too tedious, and this update allows you to either make those harder or turn them off.  This doesn’t mean we’re never going to actually update core mechanics, but it does mean that we can make a kind of baseline set of core mechanics that does not just smash new players into complete pulp (as much), but where we still have options for the hardcore fans to ratchet up the difficulty in more specific ways than the two difficulty level dropdowns allow for.

Again, all of this is super familiar to anyone who knows AI War — except this time we’re aiming not to increase the baseline learning curve despite catering to the hardcore fans at the same time.  An important lesson we have learned since AI War.

————— What’s With The Shift In Schedule Lately? —————

I actually wrote about that last week on our recently-moved blog.

————— Ongoing Updates —————

The support of the community, and the growth of it, remain amazing to me. It’s been 10 weeks, and it’s clear we definitely have a winner here.  As of a couple of days ago we have now broken even on the game, meaning that we actually are making money over and above what we spent creating the game.  We’re continuing to expand the improve the game via bugfixes, balance updates, and new content, and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.

It won’t always be on a consistent schedule, but if you’re familiar with our post-release support for AI War: Fleet Command over the past 5 years, that’s basically the arc that we are currently expecting here unless something unexpectedly changes.

At present we are also working on expansions for both AI War and TLF (TLF: Betrayed Hope). The expansion for TLF is expected to be available for preorder through our site in early July, with access to the current beta of the expansion.  The actual full release of the expansion is expected to be in August at this point, on all the existing distributors that carry the base game.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you.  To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.