Arcen Games is very pleased to announce the release of AI War: Fleet Command version 2.0, which marks the culmination of our long-running post-release overhaul. To see just how epic this journey has been, take a look at this: AI War 2.0 vs. 1.0, A Retrospective. The cumulative post-release notes, included near the end, are literally novella-length (46,573 words). That's how much has changed in the since our initial release
The updates to the game since the last official version (1.301) include:
- New local high scoreboards for everyone, and online high scoreboards through Steam.
- 129 Achievements, which can be logged locally and/or through Steam.
- Player ships can now be assigned preferred target types, which greatly increases tactical control.
- A number of co-op-related interface improvements: see allied resources, more informative gifting lists, etc.
- Several new visual effects: smoke trails and sparking for damaged ships, etc.
- Much improved (or entirely replaced) graphics for over 50 different ships.
- Ships now accelerate and decelerate when moving, making them much more graceful.
- New Collision Priorities make placement of larger/fixed ships in a group of smaller mobile ships much easier.
- Players can now select multiple AI Modifiers at once in the lobby. Turrets have been rebalanced and made more distinct and interesting.
- Custom planet name lists can now be used for those who don't like the random names.
- Networking improvmeents.
- Many other bugfixes and balance tweaks
AI War Comes To Steam and Direct2Drive!
Direct2Drive and Steam join Impulse and GamersGate in offering AI War-- be sure to check them out! The Steam version includes online leaderboards and Steam achievements (other versions are all local-only for those features). If you've previously purchased your copy of AI War from another platform and would like to activate it on Steam to get those features, you will be able to do so in the near future. In celebration of the release of 2.0, AI War is also going to be 25% off at Steam through Oct. 27th -- and look for similar sales at other partners very soon.
What Comes Next For Arcen?
AI War 2.0 has been a five months in the making, and now, at last, we're ready to move on to new SKUs. However, Arcen will continue putting out monthly free DLC for AI War for as long as there is fan interest, or 2-5 years at the least. In each month's free DLC, players can expect at least one new unit, AI behavior, or other similar feature -- as well as a variety of bugfixes, balance tweaks, and other minor player-suggested tweaks. These DLC releases are going to be much smaller in scale than our recent gargantuan releases, but still packed with value far and away beyond what we're aware of any other RTS game offering.
In addition to the free DLC, we've already started work on the first expansion to AI War, The Zenith Remnant. This expansion will be a paid extension to the game, as with any other RTS expansion, and it will be focused on adding huge numbers of new ships, new ship classes, new AI types, new galaxy map styles, and a new third party faction that players can interact with, the Zenith Aliens. We're going to be utilizing an open development process that mirrors that of our 1.0 to 2.0 transformation, so that players who preorder the expansion (starting in just a few weeks) can play the alpha and beta versions, offer feedback, and help to shape the expansion as it develops over the next couple of months. It's an unusual approach for a game developer, to be sure, but it has worked so well for us so far that we felt it would be foolish to cut our customers out of the expansion.
Beyond this first expansion to AI War, we have a casual puzzle game called Feedback that is just past the prototype stage (and already addictive), along with two other titles planned for 2010 (assuming no schedule slippage). As was the case with AI War 2.0, we remain committed to quality above speed, though we are quite fast as a company, in part due to our open development process, and in part due to our iterative design methods. Lots of exciting things on the horizon!