Author Topic: AI War 4 Beta 3.700  (Read 9472 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris McElligott Park, Arcen Founder and Lead Dev
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,620
AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« on: October 02, 2010, 02:01:48 AM »
Original: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2010/10/ai-war-4-beta-3700-released.html

Well!  It's been a long time since we've done a beta release.  About a month, which around here is just absolutely ages.  The porting of AI War to the new engine has been... intense.  No more so than we knew it would be, but that's still quite a challenge.

That said, we've been busy adding new stuff.  That ginormous wiki page just chronicles what is different from the most recent pre-4.0 beta (which also had a ton of changes, incidentally), rather than detailing all of the nitty-gritty porting work.  See the following link for a list of known issues, which includes features that simply haven't been integrated into the beta yet.  If that list seems long, it's not -- we'll have the bulk of that knocked out in the next week, or at least that's the plan.

So what all is new?  Well, the graphics, for one thing.  All the shots, explosions, special effects, menus and HUD, fonts, and starfield backgrounds have been massively upgraded -- well, really, completely replaced -- and the combined effect is pretty incredible.  There are still some work-in-progress parts to the menus and HUD in particular, but the net effect is pretty amazing; we've gotten so used to this that it's hard to contemplate using the older version at all.

Beyond the graphics (which look best in motion, by far), the list is diverse and lengthy.  We heartily refer you to the release notes.



This Is An Early Beta
That's an important point.  There are features missing, and there are known bugs.  And a lot of it hasn't been tested all that well just yet, as it's so hot-off-the-presses.  In other words:
  • If you're looking for the latest beta for general gameplay, you still want to be using version 3.189, the latest SlimDX-based beta.
  • If you just want to see what all the AI War 4.0 fuss is about, or you're excited about the new features and trying them out early, or you'd like to help us test, that's what this early beta is for.

If you fall into that second camp: thanks in advance!  We need the help of folks like you, to make sure no serious issues slip past into the official 4.0 release.  If you find something that's not already on our known issues list, please report it as a bug in our bug tracker, not in the forums.

We don't want to warn anyone off of the 3.700 beta -- it's a pretty incredible bit of work, if we do say so ourselves, and a substantial upgrade from 3.189 -- but we'd absolutely hate for someone's first experience with AI War to be with the 3.700 version, because it's significantly rougher around the edges and less polished than is our custom even for betas.

All right, all right, enough already.  Here's the download link.  Enjoy!


P.S. -- Make sure that you take note of the "AI War Pre-4.0 Settings Importer" application that you'll find in your start menu.  The importer allows you to import pre-4.0 settings files into the new 4.0 version. Unfortunately, the new versions of AI War can't directly read the legacy settings files because of a bug in the Mono framework (regarding deserializing generic collections, if you're curious).  Our settings importer tool also moves across savegame files as a convenience, although there is no compatibility issue with them.

P.P.S. -- Also, today's beta is just for windows.  Not to slight the people who've been waiting on the OSX version, but we were doing good just to get this one out, and it's already 2am at that.  We also want to make sure we get the tutorials in there before we do any OSX-based version, as we have a sneaky feeling that some people will make the 4.0 betas their first experience with the game despite our admonitions not to do so.  Hey, when you only have the one option on your platform... we can relate.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 08:22:58 PM by x4000 »
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Morslok

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2010, 02:24:43 AM »
Installed and ran in Ubuntu 10.04 with Wine 1.3.3.

Didn't try actual game play, since it was a little jumpy, but that's probably just because this laptop is old.

Offline Lancefighter

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,440
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2010, 02:27:20 AM »
gasp, shock - how could you delete an email?
also, i have no clue :\ i thought there was a way to view them ingame somehow..
Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns? Bugs to be squashed? Report them on the Mantis Bugtracker!

Author of the Dyson Project and the Spire Gambit

Offline Zenchess

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2010, 02:28:50 AM »
I can't get the game out of trial mode.  I don't have any expansions enabled and I've unlocked the base game. 

Offline Fleet

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 633
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2010, 02:29:37 AM »
Yay, thanks so much! Dling now.
NOTE: Have your keys ; Be ready to unlock the base and expansions again.

Credit Disconnected for warning (his is on second page, I wanted to get this up here)

EDIT: the keys are not nuked, but you do have to use the converter application to transfer them over. They also seem to be located in a folder, though I'm not sure which one.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 11:02:33 AM by Fleet »

Offline Jesterman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2010, 02:31:00 AM »
found mah key. Also, i see that only simple ships can be enabled. is this just how this is? I dont know if i saw that in the release notes :P. So far so good though. getting ready to boot into a game

Offline quickstix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
  • Buy Now
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 02:35:29 AM »
Even just from the screenshots, I really like the look of the new interface.

I'll give it a crack on my Ubuntu box later today. :D

Offline Lancefighter

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,440
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 02:35:36 AM »
the giant empty space on the menu could use some action - ships floating aruond, stuff happening, etc.. Preferably randomly created.
edit: restart the game if you are stuck on simple stuff..
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 02:38:44 AM by Lancefighter »
Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns? Bugs to be squashed? Report them on the Mantis Bugtracker!

Author of the Dyson Project and the Spire Gambit

Offline Jesterman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 02:38:09 AM »
hoo damn the new effects are sexy. I do notice the offset diagonal lines you mentioned. Also i notice shots fired in a diagonal direction are also offset, originating to the side of and slightly in front of the ship they come from. But dannnng the special effects look niiice haha

Offline x4000

  • Chris McElligott Park, Arcen Founder and Lead Dev
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,620
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 02:40:00 AM »
Installed and ran in Ubuntu 10.04 with Wine 1.3.3.

Didn't try actual game play, since it was a little jumpy, but that's probably just because this laptop is old.

Nice, though! :)  That's great to hear!

I can't get the game out of trial mode.  I don't have any expansions enabled and I've unlocked the base game.  

Hmmm... I think that the "enabled expansions" checkboxes may be backwards.  Try checking them on, and that might solve your problem.  Can folks please put bugs in the bug reports forum, though?  Otherwise it gets really hard for us to keep track of everything.

Yay, thanks so much! Dling now.

Our pleasure!

found mah key. Also, i see that only simple ships can be enabled. is this just how this is? I dont know if i saw that in the release notes :P. So far so good though. getting ready to boot into a game

Glad you found your key!  You should be able to use any sort of ships unless you're still in trial mode...

Even just from the screenshots, I really like the look of the new interface.

I'll give it a crack on my Ubuntu box later today. :D

Thanks, glad you like it!

the giant empty space on the menu could use some action - ships floating aruond, stuff happening, etc.. Preferably randomly created.

When we did that sort of thing in the past, people complained that it was too busy.  And right now, time is pretty short, truthfully.  Mainly that will just be pretty starscape vistas, as now.  However, one thing still lacking from the game is the credits/story scroll, which will go in the empty space somewhere or other.  The new design of the main menu is pretty temporary, really, though -- it might be close to the final design, or might even be the basis of what becomes the final design, but I'm not really sure at this stage.  There's a limit to how much coding time we can put toward menu fanciness at this stage, though. ;)

hoo damn the new effects are sexy.

Thanks!  I did all the new graphical stuff myself, so I'm really pleased on that.  A lot of the shots/explosions were from Particle Illusion, but took a lot of work even so.

I do notice the offset diagonal lines you mentioned. Also i notice shots fired in a diagonal direction are also offset, originating to the side of and slightly in front of the ship they come from. But dannnng the special effects look niiice haha

Yeah, that angled lines thing is really annoying.  As for the shot offsets, that's another known issue I'd forgotten about.  They only do that when moving to the upper-left, otherwise it's fine. Odd!



...And with that, I'm off for the night to get some sleep.  Have a good one, all!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Lancefighter

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,440
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 02:43:35 AM »
hope you like waking up to bugreports :)

also, perhaps not busy stuff going on, but random ships or clusters of stuff interacting - there neednt be combat per se..
Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns? Bugs to be squashed? Report them on the Mantis Bugtracker!

Author of the Dyson Project and the Spire Gambit

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,332
  • A Paladin Without A Crusade...
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 02:43:38 AM »
Wowsers, all I did was start a game and my eyes nearly died due to pure awesomness.  It's too late to do anything, but tomorrow/Sunday is going to be very, very fun :D

King
Casual reviewer with a sense of justice.
Visit the Arcen Mantis to help: https://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/
A Paladin's Blog. Long form videogame reviews focusing on mechanics and narrative analyzing. Plus other stuff. www.kingisaaclinksr.com

Offline Mánagarmr

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,272
  • if (isInRange(target)) { kill(target); }
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2010, 02:49:01 AM »
the giant empty space on the menu could use some action - ships floating aruond, stuff happening, etc.. Preferably randomly created.
Agreed. The void is rather unsettling as it is :D
Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.

Thank you for contributing to making the game better!

Offline Fleet

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 633
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2010, 02:57:21 AM »
What kinda of feedback are you looking for? I didn't see a pause button (k still works), but since this is alpha software I didn't want to start making bug reports on issues you likely know about. The pause button was a specific example, but in general it would be helpful to know what kind of input would be most useful, and what you are already aware of.

Offline Lancefighter

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,440
Re: AI War 4 Beta 3.700
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2010, 03:00:34 AM »
I disagree actually. If its not on the known issues list ( http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Current_4.0_Beta ) write a report.
This is more to have a checklist of things to do so they arent forgotten, and so they can be written off as completed when they are.

edit:
of note, am i the only one who thinks the new menus all look horrible? and the ingame ui.. *shudders*. pretty please tell me you are planning on doing a major overhaul of that sometime? :\
Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns? Bugs to be squashed? Report them on the Mantis Bugtracker!

Author of the Dyson Project and the Spire Gambit