Author Topic: Cross-posted from Kickstarter: Gameplay Video and Development Update  (Read 384 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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(crossposted from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcengames/ai-war-ii-0/posts/2054208 )

Keith here, with a gameplay video and an update on development progress.

First, the video:



And now onto the update. On October 31st we released 0.600 and began the process of getting that out to all our backers (if you haven't gotten your key, please let us know).

25 days later, we're up to 0.607, and you can find all the release notes here: https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=AI_War_2:_Making_Alpha_Fun

To summarize: 5 large updates (1 small, 1 internal-only), 130+ individual changes, almost 9000 words. We had to stop before it went over 9000, of course.

Here are some highlights:

Modding
- Most of the AI's decision making has been moved into external code.
- Taking advantage of this, community member BadgerBadger modded in a more AIWC-like method of planning, announcing, and launching AI Waves.
- On that note, BadgerBadger also modded in a more robust, AIWC-like implementation for the Dyson Sphere minor faction. Thanks, Badger!
- Much of the visualization code (controlling display of ships, planets on the galaxy map, etc) has been moved into external code.

Graphics
- The ships now use a more serious, thematically appropriate style.
- The backgrounds are darker, which also helps with a more serious look.
- Target framerate and vsync options have been added, because the graphics were running too _fast_ on some powerful gpus (400+ fps => fan inferno).
- We're now using the Allow Physical Shader Framework since it went open source, and thus we can include it in a way that modders can get at it.

UI
- There's a whole new camera system and a much more AIWC-like default camera (along with a lot of tweakable settings, and pretty much the whole thing is moddable).
- I accidentally the whole bottom bar. Well, not so accidentally. It was an interesting experiment but it needed to go. Much of its former function now lives in a context menu that opens in the bottom-left.
- Replaced the experimental sidebar (which was largely despised) with something much more AIWC-like.
- The galaxy map is now a lot cleaner (fewer icons shown at once).   
- Added support for multiple alternate key mappings per keybind.
- When you're placing a turret, the UI now shows the turret's range ring (as in AIWC).

Power Tools
- Build Policies now allow you to tell your constructors "just build everything you can" in a few clicks, and they'll automatically update when new ships are unlocked, etc. You can also tell it to build long-range ships first, cheapest ships first, or just about anything else you can express via C# modding.
- Budget Policies now allow you to tell your metal economy to save up a reserve, or to prioritize work that directly helps your units currently in battle, or (again) just about anything else you can express via C# modding.

Balance
- Reduced unit sizes so that things are less cramped in the grav well.
- It's now much easier to decloak those invisible swarms attacking you.
- The balance of the Power resource (per-planet pop-cap on facilities and defenses) relaxed to let you build more defenses, though the overall balance model for these needs to change to make the upgrades sensible and intuitive.

Bugfixes
- Nailed a longstanding issue with starting in fullscreen mode, especially on Linux/OSX.
- and tons more fixes, mostly not needing a direct mention but put all together it's a much more pleasant experience

AI
- The AI's ships now pay broader attention to hostile mobile forces that could intervene to stop an attack, and are thus more likely to swoop in at the right time.
- The AI's retreating logic has actually been made intentionally dumber, so you actually get a shot to destroy attacking waves before they run off to hunt you later. The AI was pretty unhappy about that.
- All ships (AI and yours) now pay much better attention to not massively overkilling targets, thus allocating their fire in a more efficient fashion. This is basically how AIWC did it.
- All ships (AI and yours) now automatically prefer pathing through less dangerous planets to get from point A to point B. This is an improvement compared to AIWC's logic.

Moving forward from here, we've still got a long way to go on making the UI pleasant and intuitive, and we hope to be putting more time into the actual balance of the game and making the challenge enjoyable.

Thanks again for your support!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Cross-posted from Kickstarter: Gameplay Video and Development Update
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2017, 12:08:19 PM »
At one point in the video I think you said you couldn't build turrets on an enemy planet. You actually can! The ark provides a small amount of power, so you can build a few turrets. This definitely works on .607 (so if this is undesirable behaviour you should disable it).

A few things other things I am looking forward to (because feature requests are what Badgers do best!):

I am looking forward to having different graphical representations of different shots (and different explosions for different shots).

Also I still kinda wish the backgrounds looked more like Space.

I also would like some sort of visual representation on the Galaxy map of the intended route for your units to take. I think this might actually be doable in external code right now, come to think of it. Is there anything wrong with the following:
Code: [Select]
In GetColorForLinkBetweenPlanets()
    If (There's a current selection of ships && those ships have queued commands that include moving between this pair of planets)
       return Color.White
     else
        <follow the current logic>

Ideally I'd kinda prefer to just add a glow to the previously existing colour (maybe return Color.GlowingVariantOfColour or something?), but do you think the above would work? I can give it a try later if so (though I'm not sure how to check what the currently selected units are).


Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Cross-posted from Kickstarter: Gameplay Video and Development Update
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 09:54:32 PM »
WOW!! :D It looks polished and playable in an efficient manner. A far cry from the early days of development for sure.
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Cross-posted from Kickstarter: Gameplay Video and Development Update
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 11:16:54 AM »
Pretty cool, it's starting to look like AI War!
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!