Author Topic: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.  (Read 1488 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
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Original: http://arcengames.com/ai-war-2-kickstarter-re-launch-hits-goal-in-22-hours-plus-new-video/

Um... wow?  Folks are absolutely amazing in their support, and I'm just agog at this.  I'm going to be out most of the weekend, but I just wanted to say thanks in advance if we hit any stretch goals before Monday.  At the moment we seem likely to hit the stretch goal for new music sooner than later.

So, other stuff -- first I'd like to share one new video with you:

So just what is this "AI War" thing, and why should you be excited about it?

Hopefully the kickstarter campaign page answers that question, in a general sense at least. ;)  But prior to launching this campaign I was working on this video, and I finally finished editing it today (with Pablo's help cleaning up some unfortunately peaky audio because my mic gain was off), so I thought I'd share it.



If you're wanting to explain to someone first what this game is, then why it's frickin awesome, maybe this video will help.  Or maybe I'm just longwinded -- 9 minutes is pretty concise for a game like this, though. :)

New Gif!



The above image is showing off a small fleet of some sort of capital ships that I designed the other day.  What are these things?  I have no idea -- I just had fun making them. ;)

Tangent With Art/Tech Geeking Out

Fair warning that these aren't yet optimized in terms of their polygon counts, but that shouldn't make a big difference in visual quality.  Most of what looks like intensive detail on these is actually normal maps -- aka non-polygonal bits that catch the light and make it look a lot more detailed than they actually are.

Parallax maps and tessellation can do that sort of thing in the latest versions of OpenGL and in DirectX 11 and onwards, but this is running in DirectX9 (and can run in the equivalent versions of OpenGL identically).  This is using a "rim lighting" shader that I wrote, plus these normal maps, plus some other funky stuff, to give the appearance of far more complexity than is really there.

Best bits?  It's very inexpensive on the GPU, it's easy on the GPU pipeline, it's super compatible with even old systems (no DX11 needed!), it supports dynamic batching in Unity (once Cinth or I get in there and reduce the underlying polygons, which won't change the visual look much), and it also has a diminishing cost on your GPU the further away from the screen the ship is.

So a distant ship you can't tell is lacking that detail, because it's too far away for you to see anyhow.  It's using a lower mipmap version of the texture.  Much more efficient even than LODs (level of detail groups), which we will also be using.

The other ships that I've been showing off, like the fighters and bombers, have had their poly counts already reduced, although they're simpler in general since it is intended that there be more of them compared to capital ships like these, which are (comparably) more rare.

For the very biggest capital ships and golems and whatnot, we'll throw batching to the wind and use higher-polycount hand-painted models with full LODs on them as their main efficiency booster.  The overall art style will still remain quite cohesive, though.  It's natural that you can see more detail on larger things, after all.

First Stretch Goal: Soundtrack!

So... right!  We're funded. :)  Now we're working on the first stretch goal off our list:

stretch-goals-2

Up Next

Next week I expect to release a video actually showing combat, and some other cool visual effects, and we'll show you more of the GUI, and Pablo has a video for you, and Keith has some written updates...

Busy times, in the best sense. :)

I'm personally not going to be around much this weekend because I'm both trying to have a better work/life balance in general and also we're celebrating my mom's birthday, but I'll be back in force on Monday.  I'll peek in some over the weekend, of course, and I imagine Keith will be around some Saturday off and on.  But just so you don't wonder where we are if we're quieter than usual.

Thanks again for all your support!

Best,
Chris
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Offline z99-_

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Re: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 10:10:35 PM »
Great stuff all around! The video is entertaining to watch, and does an excellent job of conveying everything AIWC is about. I also think the ships shown here are a massive improvement over some of the initial designs you showed us. I'm thinking it looks like a long range ship. I guess I'll find out in . . . 3 months? Doesn't seem like a long time looking at a calendar, but the anticipation will make it feel much longer . . .

Anyways, enjoy your break! I'd say you earned it (actually, I think everyone has earned a break after the hectic pace you guys have been going at, but I guess someone has to man the store, right? :) ).

Offline Qoojo

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Re: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 11:28:31 PM »
Congrats on hitting goal. Lighting looks good. But I do have one comment on the shader. It looks like it's lighted from two light sources or two directions.

Offline Misery

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Re: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 12:10:11 AM »
My favorite part of this was:  "So, this is you" *small dot* "And this is the AI" *lots of scribbles*

This says to me that the AI is actually what Windows becomes in the far future.  Now we all know the origins of the AI.


I have also learned that the actual goal of the game is not to just destroy the homeworld bases, but to cover the AI in bees.  Should be a cutscene at the end of it when you win.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2016, 02:45:57 AM »
Congratulations! Glad to see you found a way to make this happen. This is the first Kickstarter project I've ever backed. Waiting for updates on the progress and the early access with a doglike excitement!
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Matruchus

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Re: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2016, 02:50:13 AM »
The video should be included in the game as a kind of tutorial video that explains game mechanics. Otherwise it would be good to push it up higher on the campaign website since now its sitting directly at the bottom of the whole campaign page and I doubt most people will go look down there.

I liked the video a lot cause it explained about the AI and the game more then I actually ever understood myself. More such videos would be nice. As said push it higher up (maybe directly at the beginning of the campaign page) and it will generate more pledges and get people excited about the game. People wan't to see developers on the kickstarter and it explains what this game is about while the teaser trailer does nothing about that and most people nowadays don't read stuff so a video is much better for explaining the game.

Congratulations to breaching the 100% funding goal. Now the minimum goal should be the Spire level at 80.000  8)

Go Arcen!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 02:54:39 AM by Matruchus »

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 Kickstarter re-launch hits goal in 22 hours! Plus new video.
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2016, 09:10:30 PM »
Thank you so much!

And yes, I've moved the video far up the page now -- that was suggested on the kickstarter side, too.  I'll have to do more videos like that, since that was popular.  I actually took 70ish minutes of video there, and spent a lot of it actually explaining early tactics and decision making and beachheads and so on.  But I cut pretty much all of that out because of time.  I basically just sat down and started explaining the game conceptually, tactically, strategically, and so on, and then chopped it waaaaay down and kept the best bits.

Fun fact with all those scribbles: if you look carefully in them, you can see some words like DEATH and so forth. ;)
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