Author Topic: AI War II: Design Document Updates 8: Playable Races, Story, No Command Stations  (Read 1430 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,047
Lots of stuff the last few days, and I haven't updated.  First, there are already some forum topics about some of these things, so please discuss those items in those other threads and not here:

No More Home Command Stations For Players: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19106.0.html

The return of space tugs: repairable golems and salvageable AI husks: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19122.0.html

New after those, however, are the following two things:

2.i. Choice Of Player Race: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IdzU90psGas_3UFe23BLvsGQ8fclec49NmnbHfwkZ8w/edit#heading=h.pv7cns6kar09

Section 14: Story: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IdzU90psGas_3UFe23BLvsGQ8fclec49NmnbHfwkZ8w/edit#heading=h.xegpbwl4uu2

Cinth thought of the stuff with the player races and I refined it somewhat, and I'm super excited about it.  Suddenly this is one of the new marquee features.  Blue and I talked about it and it should be doable visually.

This also finally solidifies things enough that I am able to turn over a lot of lore stuff to Jack, and I've set up the baseline scenario thanks to that.  I had said previously that depending on how player reactions were to a few general mechanics (solar systems were one of them), the story would be one of a few ways.  This version of the story is the one I wanted most to do, so I'm pleased about that.  Ultimately the background factions were the deciding factor in that instead of the solar systems, although solar systems help.

There were a few pie-in-the-sky things I had been considering with game mechanics based around the AI re-invading, but ultimately those would have dragged the game too far away from the original AI War, so I never even pitched those ideas in the end.  I had to take a while to say goodbye to them, though. ;)

Oh, there's also a bunch of new stuff in 8.a. Player-And-AI Ship Designs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IdzU90psGas_3UFe23BLvsGQ8fclec49NmnbHfwkZ8w/edit#heading=h.vqj9knbnknq7

That section is WOEFULLY incomplete, and is one of the largest sections to be so.  Past a certain point I'll probably start just summarizing things about certain ships and noting them as TBD during alpha or EA.  Not every last freaking ship needs to be pre-designed right now, but I do need to have enough of an idea that I am not telling you "I don't know if X will be included" and enough of an idea that we can properly budget everything from code to art to testing time.

Anyway, we're getting there.  I'm spinning lots of plates at once, so there's a lot of discussions that I'm either temporarily absent from right now, or have not even joined yet.  I'm going to need to mostly put my head down and duck out for a 1-2 days in order to get some things figured out on the art front, though.  Blue and I have been talking about a variety of things, and the bottom line is that I need to get some prototypes together for our various preferred approaches before we waste time on something that won't work well on the CPU/GPU for whatever reasons.  The "Tech demo tool for graphics performance" will be the end result of that, or a middle-point, depending.

I have to get that stuff done sooner than later so that I'm not bottlenecking Blue from doing her work, so that's just another example of me having to leap between activities to keep all the plates spinning.  Once that preliminary work is done, I shouldn't be a blocker to her anymore.  I'm not a blocker to Keith any time remotely soon (if ever on this project), so that part is easier at least.  For the folks discussing things on the forums here, I don't think I'm a blocker to anything in terms of the discussions happening, but if there's something in particular that I need to look at sooner than later to keep the overall forum discussion progressing in productive fashions, feel free to PM me.

Short of PM'ing me, I make no guarantees of when I'll next read any given thread, though I know I won't be able to resist popping in and out of some of them.  I intend to get to all of them before there's any point of finalizing the design document, but we're at MOST two weeks out from that, so I need to get a move on with these things.  Some stuff will simply have to go into the "Section 10: To Investigate During Early Access" section of the document, and I'll allocate a certain amount of budget for myself and/or Keith to spend going through that stuff with you in a less time-pressured fashion.

Right now my goals are:

1. To make sure that there's a solid core design that people are excited about and that Arcen can commit to.

2. That I have an acceptable budget, plus buffer, to accomplish those things in, plus explore the things that people most want us to explore.

3. That we have in mind what we'll do for stretch goals if we reach that point, although we won't be announcing more than one stretch goal at the start of the project (best practices from other kickstarters have indicated that's the thing to do).  That first one is a full soundtrack by Pablo, so I really hope we hit it.

4. To make sure that I know in general what the game will look like, and can commit to things looking that-good-or-better at v1.0, with a certain set of system requirements that we understand at the start of the kickstarter.

5. To actually get the kickstarter page and video put together so that those really get the job done and get the vision communicated and people excited about it (beyond this forum and all the people emailing daily for notices of the kickstarter going live).


Anyhow, some of the other discussions that may wind up as secondary things like improving scouting may wind up going in Section 10, or if a solution is found in the next two weeks, then we'll go ahead and make it part of the design document.

It's happening at Mach 50, but this is definitely happening and I'm super excited how it's coming along. :)
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 TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,552
While no home command stations does solve a host of issues (should HW command stations always be better than unlockable options? What if you didn't like your home command station's positioning? Those funky foldouts you got when you unlocked new command stations), there is one I am a bit concerned about.
How are you going to stop "commander rushes" (to borrow a term from the "X Annihilation"/"Supreme Commander" series)? Using your home command station to bum rush planets early, and microing it so it doesn't get killed? Or even to make it compelling to include it in your early game fleets? (If it is optimal to do so, people will feel compelled to do it, even if it leads to unfun gameplay)

Although I lament the loss of having an army of like so many crazy things across races, I am glad you can get that back in some capacity through other means... (And no, I don't just mean by modding).
It does also help to address the role duplication among various race's ship types (like, loosely, bomber and z elec bomber (yea, not quite the same role, but similar ones)). Just make those duplicates another races "quadrilateral" ships.
Also:
Quote
No Playable Neinzul
I understand why, but that would be hilarious.
"You must win AI War within 30 minutes else you reach the end of your tragically short life span" :D

Although I still do miss the "EZ repair micro" version of space tugs, this new version sounds a lot less fidily, and solves a big issue that plagued use of "bug stuff" in AI War classic (the constant fear of losing them, now it isn't quite so "oh well, reload" punishing).

I'm glad that story elements are getting expanded. I loved the journals of the fallen spire campaign; it's amazing how much even a simple story can add to motivation to play.

Offline Tridus

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,305
  • I'm going to do what I do best: lecture her!
Playable Spire? Can build crazy huge stuff? Draws a ton of AI attention?

Oh hell yeah!

Offline Captain Jack

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 808
  • Just lucky
...I'll be taking my comments to email!  ;)

Offline Steelpoint

  • Newbie Mark III
  • *
  • Posts: 48
I'm always happy when the story of a game is expanded upon, like AI War.

I'm curious as to how Humanity and co are so quickly being overrun by the AI forces despite this taking place thousands of years after the original wa. You would think the Human military would be more well equipped thousands of years in the future, even if Humanity is fractured to a lesser degree.

While the story expansion is great I think the real meat of this thread in so far is the playable races. I think personally this really expands the scope of the game in a positive way.

Game play wise Humanity would be akin to AI Classic, the Spire would seemingly be more aggressive but I'm curious as to how the Zenith would play, from what I can see they are in a similar boat to the Humans, though they seem more unified than Humanity but weaker.

Offline Captain Jack

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 808
  • Just lucky
Game play wise Humanity would be akin to AI Classic, the Spire would seemingly be more aggressive but I'm curious as to how the Zenith would play, from what I can see they are in a similar boat to the Humans, though they seem more unified than Humanity but weaker.
Not commenting on the rest but... golem rush.  >D

(Actually if I recall correctly non-Golem Zenith craft included stuff like Hydras, Mirrors and Medics, so lots of special capabilities).
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 01:31:55 AM by Captain Jack »

Offline kasnavada

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
;D ;D ;D ;D, starting races ! I wanted that for a while ! Love it !

https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,18966.msg205232.html#msg205232

No neinzuls... too bad. Moddable I hope ?
What about I'll mod that one with a few helping hands and if the implementation is ok, it's pushed in the game ?

PS:
On a more general note, what's your stance on integrating mods into the core game ?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 03:41:19 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Cinth

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,527
  • Resident Zombie
Playable major factions a.k.a. Aliens!  I'm super excited to get that idea pushed through and ecstatic that it's going to be a marquee feature! 

And I've at least kept the Neinzul as a possibility in the future as a possible stretch goal.   :D
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Aklyon

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,089
Playable Spire? Can build crazy huge stuff? Draws a ton of AI attention?

Oh hell yeah!
Yesss!

Offline otoed1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Lots of hype, I hope there will be room for expansions(or mods) to create more new races too!

Offline Tridus

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,305
  • I'm going to do what I do best: lecture her!
Lots of hype, I hope there will be room for expansions(or mods) to create more new races too!

Already talking about the Neinzul as a playable race in the "ideas for maybe later" section: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19131.0.html

If you have some other ideas, toss them in too. :) It won't make the base 1.0 pitch, but who knows what stretch goals and expansions will bring?

Offline Captain Jack

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 808
  • Just lucky
Lots of hype, I hope there will be room for expansions(or mods) to create more new races too!

Already talking about the Neinzul as a playable race in the "ideas for maybe later" section: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19131.0.html

If you have some other ideas, toss them in too. :) It won't make the base 1.0 pitch, but who knows what stretch goals and expansions will bring?
Chris and Keith Me? The Shadow Who knows? Going to be fun to see where the game goes!

Offline Mánagarmr

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,270
  • if (isInRange(target)) { kill(target); }
Filtering out the sheer MASS of player/AI ships into different races is definitely something I look forward too greatly. I honestly started to get a bit crosseyed and unwilling to try new things once the Spire faction rolled in. It was just TOO MANY FREAKING SHIPS. Having them neatly sorted into their race playstyle and only there is a brilliant, and very enticing idea. I think that's probably the feature I think is at the very top of my "Good ideas for AIW2".
Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.

Thank you for contributing to making the game better!