General Category > AI War II - Lore, Vfx, Sfx, Code, & Meta

The Final AI War Expansion

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Wingflier:
While I recognize that this may be far off (I mean really, really far off), I think it's good to bring it up now in considering the future.

Perhaps at some point Arcen will start using a new engine and an AI War 2 will come out, which means that the final expansion of the first game could potentially only be a few years away.

Regardless, the reason I bring up this thread is that I think there's an important feature that AI War lacks, and that could improve the quality of the game dramatically for the community, and that is the ability for modding.

Now it's quite clear that the developers have been hesitant to add this, because they feel it will divide the community with so many different mods being created for the game, and would rather design/balance things themselves based on community feedback. However, Arcen is a busy company, and after many years and 6 expansions, AI War is a HUGE game. Even if, with limited manpower, they were devoting all their time to it, it could still take years to address many of the design and balance issues that have arisen over the course of so many expansions and MASSIVE design shifts.

Which is why I recommend that the ability to mod the game be added to the final expansion, since after that, it will become the player's game anyway. Sure, it may be somewhere down the road (how far, it's impossible to tell). But I thought it would be nice to begin discussing it now, so we can think about the implications of it.

Personally I think AI War is one of the most mod-friendly RTS games of all time. Just changing a few numbers on a spreadsheet, you could alter the entire game experience. Also, AI War lends itself to so many different personality types and playstyles that the ideas and variations on the game are practically endless. I think that if we allowed modding, we would see an explosion of awesome mods and redesigns that would surprise everybody. Don't forget about all the cool new ships and weapons that would certainly make it into the game as well ;p

Anyway, just keep it in mind.

Aklyon:
The question I'd have would be if anyone besides Keith actually knew what was going on in it outside of logging by the time that happened. :)

Pumpkin:
Ilostit. I mean, a user-friendly version of Ilostit. Add it the ability to write scripts with Ilostit-spawn and other cheats commands (+/-X AIP/Knowledge/etc) in them (some sort of lua binding for cheats commands) and some triggers (death-trigger, first-scout-trigger, etc) that invoke these lua-ilostit-spawn triggers. And of course the ability to add (and change) ships' definition by text editing.

- Better commands
- Scripts
- Ships' definition

Only this and AI War would have a very good mod support.
At least a mod support where we can make our own expansions. And I have already tons of ideas I would be able to realize with only this.

Now we need Chris/Keith to say how easy difficult is this to code.

Histidine:
+1

--- Quote from: Wingflier on November 05, 2015, 09:39:30 am ---Now it's quite clear that the developers have been hesitant to add this, because they feel it will divide the community with so many different mods being created for the game, and would rather design/balance things themselves based on community feedback. However, Arcen is a busy company, and after many years and 6 expansions, AI War is a HUGE game. Even if, with limited manpower, they were devoting all their time to it, it could still take years to address many of the design and balance issues that have arisen over the course of so many expansions and MASSIVE design shifts.

--- End quote ---
Indeed. And further, Arcen has too many games to juggle now to be able to devote anything resembling the lavish attention to any one game that they once did (see AI War right now, for instance). So, leverage a different Arcen asset (our pretty cool community here) and crowdsource it!

x4000:
Just for the sake of argument, how would you feel if:

1. We released a new version of the game called AI War Reborn or similar, charging probably $20 for it.
2. We drastically upgraded the underlying engine, had copious mod support from the ground up in that, did new art, and so on.
3. We built as many of the features from all the AI War expansions as possible into that, although minus things that nobody really likes anyway (Defender mode).
4. We started with something that is really simplistic but with mod support, and then during an alpha where you guys are involved, built things back up so that you're not left out of the process until the last second.
5. We then leave the original AI War alone, period, and AI War Reborn becomes the new AI War experience that any expansions go to, and that players can focus any modding efforts on, etc.

The reasons for this are numerous:
1. Doing the sort of modding support that would be useful at all would require pretty much a complete rewrite of the game engine to do, to be honest.
2. We now have experience with exactly that sort of thing in some of our more recent work -- you would not BELIEVE how mod-friendly Starward Rogue is, for instance.
3. We've had 4+ years of engine improvements since the original AI War, and people are going to be seriously frustrated if they try to work on the older version of the engine (I sure would be), so the upgrade to a newer engine would be good all around.
4. We'd be able to ease some of the performance woes that people are likely to introduce in mods by using some more multithreading, probably.
5. We could also upgrade the network library.
6. And so on.

Basically I like what you're talking about, but what you're talking about is a completely different game from the one that exists now.  I'm not saying that the above will happen for sure, but it is something we've talked about internally.  I'm curious to take your temperature on that since you guys brought it up.

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