Author Topic: What's Coming Up For AI War?  (Read 5222 times)

Offline Nalgas

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2011, 02:18:52 AM »
We may not see such a global reinvention of the game ever again, honestly.  I'd be happier just to expand it and refine it, rather than constantly reinventing the core.

Huzzah.  I did kind of like seeing all the crazy stuff that changed every time I fired up the game, but my AI War group got onto the betas right after 4.0 as soon as we saw that some of them fixed crash bugs we'd run into in the OS X version (which seems pretty solid now, but slightly less responsive than 3.120 was running in VirtualBox on the same computer...worth it for all the other improvements, though), and we literally lost every single game from the time 4.0 came out until 5.0, sometimes because of having to relearn the entire game on a weekly basis.  The bug-related ones were hilarious sometimes, though, like getting bulldozed by thousands of sentinel frigates...  At least now we're back to losing because we suck at it instead of because it's an entire different game from the previous week.  We have retreated in shame to 6/6 to regroup, even though we used to be able to roflstomp 7/7 and hold up ok against 7.3/7.6.  Heh.

To have an analogy, I look at it like the move from Windows 9X to Windows 2000.  That was huge, and broke a lot of stuff.  But then XP came after, and it was just the best possible version of the 2000 codebase, refining it considerably.  The problem came when they then moved to Vista, which was a terrible idea.  We don't have any such plans, our next version would be more like Windows XP 2 in that analogy, which is what I'd hoped Microsoft would make in the first place.

Note that while I do use Windows 7, it's still not the "Windows XP 2" that I wanted.  But that's really getting off-topic. ;)

Not to continue being off-topic or anything (I would never do such a thing), but I've always been of the opinion that every non-NT-based Microsoft OS (desktop ones, at least) was terrible.  Every single version of DOS, and every DOS-based Windows, too.  All crap.  NT was a significant improvement, but not enough.  I kind of liked using NT4 and Win2k at work, but not as my main OS on my own computer, and XP was no different (I think I may have described it as "nearly unusably bad" earlier tonight, actually).

Win7 is almost exactly what I wanted from them, though, and I really like it.  If they'd clean up the obviously ancient crap like config tools that run in tiny windows that can't be resized and have terrible layouts, I'd have very few complaints other than it not having a real native Unix layer.  I mean, there's always stuff like Cygwin, but that's not quite as nice as being able to open a terminal and use the same commands in the base install as in every single other OS I ever have any reason to use (OS X, many flavors of Linux and BSD, Solaris...).

Overall, though, I'm a big fan and can't wait until XP and everything related to it die completely and hope stuff keeps heading in this direction and doesn't look back.

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2011, 08:57:11 AM »
Not to complain, but this too one sided.
So here comes my little opinion:

MOAR!
AIW has evolved so very well over the past, it became better and better at every turn; I feel that saying "there will be no more fundamental changes" is a waste of potential. Sure, people are pretty much saturated right now, they want to settle a bit...but never say never. There is nothing else like AIW to be had at this time - it is too early to declare the status quo as it is to be the end of the line.

Progress can be made yet, one day.
The beatings shall continue
until morale improves!

Offline Otagan

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2011, 09:49:19 AM »
I feel that saying "there will be no more fundamental changes" is a waste of potential.
I don't think anyone has said that there will be no more fundamental changes to AI War at any point in the future.  As I understand it, in the short term, development focus is being shifted to AVWW while AI War receives a little extra polish and attention in terms of minor tweaks and adjustments, but no massive game-changing alterations to how the game works until after AVWW is done.

After all, there are still AI War expansions listed on the front page for release in the future.  If recent history is any indicator, I highly doubt they're just going to be ship packs.
...

Offline Fleet

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2011, 10:58:21 AM »
I'm not worried about the future of AI War. I think that it may well be that an expansion does not focus on units, but new game mechanics, UI changes, etc. There is a lot of potential for introducing new features without adding new ships.

Offline x4000

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2011, 10:11:07 PM »
To use an analogy, I think that there are three different approaches to updating a house:

1. Rip out everything except the wall studs and roof, replace the plumbing and wiring, and rebuild back up from there with all new... everything.  The family must move out for months or more, because the house is not really in a usable state while that many repairs are going on at once.

2. Incrementally rip out and replace old fixtures and rotting boards and such, and generally improve things room by room on an ongoing basis.  It's easy to do this while the family is still living in place, and gradually improves things quite a lot.

3. Leave the main body of the house alone for the most part, but build on additions of various sizes.  Heck, add a third floor if you want, or a huge garage, or even unattached outbuildings.  This is the least intrusive of all into the actual occupants of the existing house, but adds tons more.

What I'm saying is that throughout the 4.0 and 5.0 time period, we were doing #1 off that list above.  We'd never done #1 before that period, and I don't intend to ever do that again if I can help it.  We tried to make sure that the foundation and general construction would support everything we wanted to do going forward without ever going through that again.  Never say never, but it's certainly not a common thing or something to be undertaken lightly.

That said, we plan to do tons of #2 and #3, so no worries.  That's basically what everything from 1.0 up through 3.189 is.  It's only between 3.189 and 5.0 that we were were in #1 mode, and now we're back to #2 and #3.  I think that all of the expansions are currently good examples of #3, and versions 2.0 and 3.0 of the game were both good examples of #2 and #3.

Hope that's a bit clearer. :)
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Offline Nalgas

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »
To use an analogy, I think that there are three different approaches to updating a house:

1. Rip out everything except the wall studs and roof, replace the plumbing and wiring, and rebuild back up from there with all new... everything.  The family must move out for months or more, because the house is not really in a usable state while that many repairs are going on at once.

Not strictly true, even if I get what you're going for with the comparison.  When I was a kid, my family lived in a small, one-story house, and a second floor was added along with replacing/moving everything on the first floor.  At no point did we ever move out.  We did live in the basement for a couple months, which was kind of weird and awkward, but we were still in our own house the whole time.

And actually that's kind of like what playing the AI War betas from 4.0 through 5.0 was like.  We didn't have to leave the game and go somewhere else, but it was under constant construction.  You never knew what would be going on when you came home each day, but it was still there, and you knew your stuff was still in there somewhere, even if you sometimes didn't have access to it for a little while (because it was in storage/because of balance issues or bugs).  It was still mostly usable during that time, though, as long as you were feeling adventurous, and it turned out ok in the end (more so with the game than the house; I don't remember ever having to fire you guys for using power tools while being drunk on the job, heh...although now that kind of makes me want a Drunken Master AI type that's chaotic and unpredictable yet strangely effective).

Offline chemical_art

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2011, 05:07:06 PM »
Describes how awkward yet great AI war 4.0 - 5.0 was

I grinned throughout this whole account, because its all true.
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Offline CodeMichael

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2011, 05:20:30 PM »
I love what you've done with AIW.  I'm in full agreement that we need some settle down time.  Mostly because I can't convince my friends to play unless we make sure that we stay on the same patch.  We've had mid-game patches lessen our experience in the past, not because they were bad, but because they changed the game enough to require us to completely change our tactics.  The AI forces plenty of that on us already, we don't need the meta villian: AIW Developer.

So that being said, I don't think I'll be happy if new expansions are only ship packs.  I'm turning off CoN because it just makes the game feel cluttered.  I don't think we need too many more ship types, I think that the other things you add will make the game more interesting.  Now that you guys have such a great game, something that might be fun would be a campaign oriented expansion that has some pre-scripted challenges as well as a more involved story.  You're already doing some of this, I think it's a cool idea to keep expanding on.

Thanks guys!

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2011, 05:34:26 PM »
My wish is for more tricks and tactics up the AI's sleeve. Make it fight smart, not just hard!
The beatings shall continue
until morale improves!

Offline RogueThunder

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2011, 02:13:39 PM »
...

Win7 is almost exactly what I wanted from them, though, and I really like it.  If they'd clean up the obviously ancient crap like config tools that run in tiny windows that can't be resized and have terrible layouts, I'd have very few complaints other than it not having a real native Unix layer.  I mean, there's always stuff like Cygwin, but that's not quite as nice as being able to open a terminal and use the same commands in the base install as in every single other OS I ever have any reason to use (OS X, many flavors of Linux and BSD, Solaris...).

Overall, though, I'm a big fan and can't wait until XP and everything related to it die completely and hope stuff keeps heading in this direction and doesn't look back.
I actually liked 2k, XP, and 2003... For windows they were pretty stable and ran on pretty low resources with a few tweaks. But yeah, disregarding a few nitpicks W7 is pure awesome. (... like the sorting bug with the user folder... and driver signing... Not that mandatory driver signing is all bad. But there are times...)

And besides Cygwin, for those of us with W7 Enterprise/Ultimate there's SUA, which is a M$ made subsystem for unix programs... Albeit a buggy, often poorly implemented one.
... Admittedly. I'm slightly bias. I got W7 Ultimate, legitimately, for 75$ during the transition period as a student. (Sadly, no longer available. Pro is cheaply to students tho.)
Also that sadly m$ seems to have given up on updating said. But oh well.
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Offline Invelios

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2011, 05:00:49 PM »

... Admittedly. I'm slightly bias. I got W7 Ultimate, legitimately, for 75$ during the transition period as a student. (Sadly, no longer available. Pro is cheaply to students tho.)

Yeah, I got mine for 10$ from my school store. I like Windows 7 Ultimate so far, but it's too bad my school only lets students get 1 copy of Ultimate for 10$, so I can't install it on my new desktop.

Also, why did everyone hate Vista so much? I got a laptop with Vista a couple of years ago (It now has the copy of Windows 7 Ultimate on it) and I had less problems on that computer than I had on any computer with XP.

Offline Oralordos

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2011, 05:43:30 PM »
I got Windows 7 premium. I've been liking it so far.

Also, why did everyone hate Vista so much? I got a laptop with Vista a couple of years ago (It now has the copy of Windows 7 Ultimate on it) and I had less problems on that computer than I had on any computer with XP.
I know right! Never had any problems with it. But I've found that most people don't seem to understand.

Offline Nalgas

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Re: What's Coming Up For AI War?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2011, 06:05:07 PM »
I actually liked 2k, XP, and 2003... For windows they were pretty stable and ran on pretty low resources with a few tweaks.

I liked them at work just fine, but not on my main home/personal machine.  I used NT4 and then 2k at work and got along well with them, because we had a very stable/consistent/predictable/limited set of hardware and software we were using, and I never had to deal with trying to get weird stuff running (or worse, games) or screw around with drivers or anything (other than the ones I was writing).  And if there's one thing MS is good at, especially at that point in time compared to their competition, it's providing good, well-organized docs for developers, so for what I was doing at the time, it was pretty pleasant.  There was just a lot of stuff that bugged the crap out of me for more general use, especially as OS X and Linux rapidly improved while XP stayed the same.

And besides Cygwin, for those of us with W7 Enterprise/Ultimate there's SUA, which is a M$ made subsystem for unix programs... Albeit a buggy, often poorly implemented one.
... Admittedly. I'm slightly bias. I got W7 Ultimate, legitimately, for 75$ during the transition period as a student. (Sadly, no longer available. Pro is cheaply to students tho.)
Also that sadly m$ seems to have given up on updating said. But oh well.

Yeah.  I haven't played with SFU/SUA a ton, because Cygwin mostly does the basic things I need, and everything else I just do on something that isn't Windows.  Right tool for the job, etc.  I don't even have the option anymore anyway, because there wasn't anything I needed or could use that would justify paying for anything more than just Win7 Pro.