Author Topic: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!  (Read 2981 times)

Offline x4000

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AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« on: September 02, 2016, 05:26:55 PM »
Original: http://arcengames.com/ai-war-ii-design-document-first-unveiling-is-now/

This is only the beginning.  The first 36 pages of the AI War II design document are in place.  I'm sure that folks on the forums will have a lot of commentary already about this.  I'm going to be out over the weekend, just to warn you, but I wanted to leave this with you to peruse before I left.

The largest segment so far is detailing the technical advancements of the sequel (most of which are already in place).  It's actually kind of insane to see how far things have come from where we left AI War "Classic" in 2014.  It was already quite long in the tooth by our standards then, being very rooted in a 2009-based code architecture that had been remodeled enough times that we couldn't really go further with that.

earth

Squads

This document does start by going into the rationale behind ship squads, which are a change with major performance-boosting ramifications and that should be able to yield an increased feeling of giant space battles more along the lines of the pre-Unity battles in AI War Classic.  Feelings in this particular area may run a little strong since it is a pretty big shift (although familiar to many RTS games), so there's a lot of math and explanations there to hopefully make it clear just how freaking awesome this change is and why you should be happy about it.

The TLDR is that it will make your game run more smoothly even while we are able to do more complex things.

Multi-Part, But Not Modular Ships

This is the first example of something that is being changed that will have an impact on a lot of units in the game.  Based on discussions with players on the forum, we should basically have the best of what modular ships offered before (the multi-part bit), but without the fiddly interface for customizing them during the game.

Of course, given the moddable nature of the new game, you can customize ships to your heart's content anyway.  And there are space platforms that are a thing that have been designed but not yet written up, and those will also scratch that same itch...

Other Bits

There are a lot of other sections of the document that are just stubs for now, and they will be filled in next week.  First of all focusing on the largest structural changes, since those require the most discussion with players.  Then moving into smaller and smaller topics until we have a document that we feel is complete and correct.

Kickstarter

Depending on how long it takes us to reach that "complete and correct" status with the design document, and how long some of our prototypes for a few things in the new game take, we will be heading to kickstarter with this in 2-4 weeks.  The game already has a remarkably complete base in terms of the multithreading, the networking (minus transport layer), and so on.  The status of items are noted in the document above, and quite a lot of the trickiest things are already in the "complete" camp.

That said, there's still a ton to do, so it's not like the game is going to be rolling into early access tomorrow.  But the goal is for us to be able to show you the vision for what this is (visually and otherwise), concretely show you what is planned (design document), and give you an accurate timeline for completion (with appropriate buffer).

If you're interested in hearing about the kickstarter when it goes live, you can always email us at arcengames at gmail dot com.

 

I'll see you all Monday!

Chris

 

 
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Offline _K_

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 05:33:52 PM »
Wooo, Excitement!

I wish you guys luck and hope your financial situation won't end up forcing you to rush things too much!
Certainly gonna be interested in what fun things you'll be offering in the KS campaign.

Offline kaitox

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 05:34:11 PM »
Finally a game announcement worth following.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2016, 06:28:26 PM »
Quite a long read, and possibly a bit too technical for some. Still. Interesting.

Just a point, modding should enable an unit cap from different sub-designs. That would recreate as close as possible the feeling of modulable ships within what you're calling a multi-part ship.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 06:30:10 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Toranth

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2016, 06:41:34 PM »
Quote
1.e.iii. Specific Areas Of Moddability
...
This form of modding could not be used to create completely new AI logic, or new hotkeys, or things of that nature.
So, no allowing mods to supply things like scripts for events?  I understand that it'd be a huge amount of work to allow someone to completely, or even partially, replace the AI, like Civ and some other recent games allow.  But I was hoping for the ability to attach small scripts to units / systems / other events.  That way, you could effectively add new mechanics in mods, just by attaching something to a "OnSystemEntry" or "OnUnitDestroyed" event in the XML.

Offline Tridus

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 06:48:43 PM »
Make sure to put some thought into the kickstarter pitch and the tiers. You only get one shot at that. Looking forward to it. :)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 07:53:58 PM »
The savings from using squads was brilliant. I know Chris was excited when I suggested that support units could be attached to a "mother ship" (shield bearers, X boosters, etc) so I wonder if the code will be made so a "squad" of those units can hook with several combat squads automatically. Would save a ton of micro yet actually increase potential tactics.

Also the idea of having true factions opens up all sorts of fun scenarios. You could make proper enclaves for third party units, or all sorts of other fun things.

Life is short. Have fun.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2016, 09:29:56 PM »
Quote
We will also use the nonsim drawing offsets of shots in such a way that shots properly come out of specific ships in the squad, visually, but actually always come from the center of the squad under the hood.  The visual and sim positions then converge via lerping as they approach the target, leading to a really nice visual effect.

Ya know, you could non-sim the destination to a specific unit in the squad, too.  So Fighter #4 looks like it's actually firing on Bomber #7.  Lerping it towards the squad's center is technically something someone would notice.

Offline mrhanman

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 10:06:31 PM »
Wow.  This is really happening.  :o

Offline Misery

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 10:36:55 PM »
Well, I for one barely understood any of that.... lots of tech stuff and math.... but it's interesting to see it anyway.  Design documents aren't exactly something I've seen very often.   And this one is going to be huuuuuuuge, isn't it?

Offline NickAragua

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 11:10:06 PM »
Looks solid, I'm pretty pumped up, especially re: the technical improvements. Also looking forward to seeing maybe a uniform art style?

As for the squads, I'm willing to wait and see. It's certainly true that I almost never manipulate individual units, unless they're huge, and I almost never split up a single type of ship into multiple groups.

Re: replacement of AI Progress, well, I'm looking forward to seeing what replaces it.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 11:53:21 PM »
Oooo, you have quadtrees now!

Oh god yes squadrons. 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 12:15:24 AM by tadrinth »

Offline Elestan

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2016, 12:04:30 AM »
Original: http://arcengames.com/ai-war-ii-design-document-first-unveiling-is-now/

"Squads" sound great to me.  I do have a question about "Multipart" ships:

Quote
Thanks to the EntitySystem infrastructure, any ship can have any number of guns, abilities, or other features on them.  These can be destroyed or added during gameplay if required, and disabled temporarily.

So, if I've got a Multipart ship, and I destroy one of its guns and add a shield generator feature to it during gameplay, how is that different from swapping out a module?

Offline tadrinth

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2016, 12:20:24 AM »
So, if I've got a Multipart ship, and I destroy one of its guns and add a shield generator feature to it during gameplay

If I follow correctly, the difference is that you can't do that!

Offline Elestan

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Re: AI War II: Design Document First Unveiling Is Now!
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2016, 01:05:09 AM »
So, if I've got a Multipart ship, and I destroy one of its guns and add a shield generator feature to it during gameplay
If I follow correctly, the difference is that you can't do that!

The text I quoted seems to say that you can; hence my confusion.