AI War: Fleet Command

I'm loving my time so far in this SP game. Questions though:

1) My champion seems to be maxed out. I can't install Mark III guns or other tech on it, yet I have XP points to spend. Huh.

2) Is there a way to boost my champion or is there a cap?

3) Is there another champion? The game info suggests there are other types.

One thing is terrifying me. I saved a special save with the whole map scouted with a Mark IV scout starship which I had to research. I peeked at the AI home command stations. Uh, that's a lot of guns they got. Crazy guns, big guns, indestructible high-gravity stations, etc. I think I will try to win the game with the Fallen Spire quest. That's gotta be easier.

Oh, and f**k Spire Maws. Gawd, I hate those things.

Champions gain new forms as you do more nebula missions. Human, Spire, Zenith etc. Each form gets bigger and badder too and can mount better modules.

I think the number of nebula missions might depend on the size of the map too.

EDIT: So I was watching a video of someone playing Tyrian 2000 and I learned that AI wars actually uses some of the art from that game! The developer of Tyrian released the art as open source. The AI war artists used some of it for the early versions and even built upon them. All of the AI wars art is made open source and put back into the same repository. Quite a blast from the past.

See how many you recognize!

The first 3 expansions are 75% off this weekend.

I just started playing, and I'm really enjoying this game. If anyone is up for a co-op game, add me on Steam!

Fired up a new game today after picking up the expansion on the cheap, and... never realized that I had to enable the content from the other expansions when I started a new game. Don't I feel the fool...

Anyway, really enjoying the first hour of the Spire campaign, and am starting to remember all those little tricks that make the game so awesome (gate raiding, neutering, etc.). Anyone else fired this up recently?

No, but just reading about it makes me want to! It's one of the few games that's permanently installed for me.

My game patched today, there doesn't seem to be a unified set of patch notes yet.

Vengeance of the Machine is up on Steam, woohoo! Boughten.

A very candid post mortem on AI War and Arcen Games last four years. Well worth a read.

http://christophermpark.blogspot.co....

Especially like the piece at the end about development model.

The model that I'm proposing are a fifth and sixth, which I don't think I've seen used aside from AI War. Or at least that isn't publicized very well, and that not many developers use:
Release at a normal price, then do copious amounts of free content updates as well as occasional paid expansions.
This is the model AI War uses, and I think that the results above speak for themselves in terms of finances. But more on that in a bit.
Release at a low price with a smaller base game, then if it's popular do lots of free content updates as well as occasional paid expansions.
This is the model that Skyward Collapse uses, and it's a refinement of my thinking based on the AI War model.
The premise here is that this is the same as the AI War model, except that the base game is cheaper both for customers to buy and for us to make. So it's lower risk for customers and for us, in other words.
Then if the game takes off (as Skyward has), we do more free updates (benefiting even casual customers of the base game), and more paid content (thus keeping us steady while also satisfying the desires of the core playerbase for yet more and more content).
The benefits of the models used by AI War and Skyward Collapse are manifold. Certainly there are financial benefits to the developer. However, the benefits to players are also immense.

Assuming that each paid content expansion gives players an exciting value and isn't over-expensive for the developer to produce, that's a win on all sides. However, it also does something that you can't accomplish any other way: making huge huge huge game worlds that players can inhabit for years.

We have players that have logged more than 600 hours in AI War, and loads and loads more who have logged 100-200 hours or even more. There are some who still consider themselves "new" to AI War despite having more than 100 hours logged in the game. That sort of longevity just isn't possible unless you are running an MMO subscription, or you happen to have an incredible outlier bestselling title like Terraria or Minecraft.

What I believe is demonstrated by AI War is that niche products can still be treated in similar ways, and see similar growth. AI War is a poster child for the success of serving a small niche: Strategy games themselves are a small niche in gaming. But ultra-hardcore strategy games are a small niche even within that niche.

That AI War can gross more than a million dollars (and growing) while serving that sort of niche -- and have players happy about the prices they've paid, and not grumbling about it as they do with certain $80+ titles that I can think of -- is quite something. It shows that there is a lot more life in the "small spaces" that the big AAA publishers are ignoring. And it's something that I think should be a hopeful sign to players who love various "dead" genres. Most "dead" genres could provide this level of developer income and this level of player happiness for the right game sold the right way, I'm convinced.

The Skyward Collapse model takes things even further. It broke even within three days, but we're already working on the first paid expansion for it (as well as already having released tons of free content updates). We expect to put out two expansions for Skyward this year in total. The thing is this: it will take 5 Skyward expansions plus the base game of Skyward to equal the original cost of the base game of AI War. That's... an astoundingly good value for customers, really. And obviously doing great for us as a developer, as well.

This is a game that I feel didn't receive nearly enough love for how good it is. I picked up the Vengeance expansion but have not fired up a new game yet. If I had enough spare money laying around, this is one I would make the GWJ crew play as part of the donation drive!

This is a game I could play forever. I think the RTS aspects turn many people off though.

It cracks me up that the newest DLC for this game makes the AI harder. I just recently tried another 7/7 playthrough and the dire guardians utterly crushed me 8 hours in after causing an energy black-out. Have not beaten 7/7 AI's yet.

K guys, I need to get into this game, is there a suggested wiki to start with? I found the in-game tutorial a bit...lackluster when I last tried it.

The wiki isn't very helpful from what I have seen, it's mostly lists of stats and doesn't provide much in the way of tactics.

If you want we can do a coop game sometime and I can show you the basics.

Yeah, the tutorial will give you a start, but playing with someone is probably for the best. Especially considering the nature of the game.

This is helpful as it gives you a general overview of what you are trying to do:

http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki/...

The in-game tutorial + the "I'm Just Starting Out -- What Should I Do?" topic in the wiki will give you a good starting point for playing.

The sheer amount of stuff you can build can be intimidating but if you understand the basics of the resources and how AI Progress works, you can branch out to the other stuff. start at 4/4 AI difficulty (or lower) with vanilla AI and that will give you the necessary space and time to practice the basics.

I would love to try out a co-op game; never have tried it, mostly because I know how long a game can run. Also, my win/loss record is laughable.

Tamren wrote:

The wiki isn't very helpful from what I have seen, it's mostly lists of stats and doesn't provide much in the way of tactics.

If you want we can do a coop game sometime and I can show you the basics.

I would surprisingly be down for this. Might you have some time this weekend?

ems777 wrote:

This is helpful as it gives you a general overview of what you are trying to do:

http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki/...

The in-game tutorial + the "I'm Just Starting Out -- What Should I Do?" topic in the wiki will give you a good starting point for playing.

The sheer amount of stuff you can build can be intimidating but if you understand the basics of the resources and how AI Progress works, you can branch out to the other stuff. start at 4/4 AI difficulty (or lower) with vanilla AI and that will give you the necessary space and time to practice the basics.

I would love to try out a co-op game; never have tried it, mostly because I know how long a game can run. Also, my win/loss record is laughable.

Thanks for this!

Veloxi wrote:

I would surprisingly be down for this. Might you have some time this weekend?

I'm currently stuck at home with a cold so I definitely have time, though I might sound odd over vent. You'll probably have to host the game though, because I had problems the last time I tried. The game does have some amount of Steam integration but that doesn't extend to matchmaking afaik.

garion333 wrote:

Yeah, the tutorial will give you a start, but playing with someone is probably for the best. Especially considering the nature of the game.

Yup coop is definitely a lot of fun. The AI scales linearly to however many players are in a game, so if you have two players all AI fleets are essentially doubled in size. But it helps a lot when you don't have to pay attention to the entire map at once.

Awesome, what time zone are you in? I'm Pacific time, and can do morning/afternoon either day.

Also Veloxi, download the pocket reference. It helps with the key's you'll need when playing.

Ohhhhhhh, very nice, thanks Athros! I like how that harkens back to the day when you'd have notes and sh*t next to you about the game you were playing.

BTW I tried out the Light of the Spire path to victory and it is extremely difficult. Power seems to be the most precious resource in the game. I focused on starships for the bulk of my fleet and resigned myself to losing a couple of systems here and there. The problem is, when you lose a system, you lose the power plant. If you have a bunch of power hungry starships in your fleet, you go to negative power. Then you lose your force fields. Then you die.

I'll set the AI plots to vanilla and give it another shot at some point.

Veloxi wrote:

Awesome, what time zone are you in? I'm Pacific time, and can do morning/afternoon either day.

Well that simplifies things, I'm also on pacific time. Just message me on Steam whenever you get a chance, I'll be around for both days.

If you get a chance tonight we could set things up to make sure the multiplayer works. The game syncs the savestate between everyone so the host only needs to keep one file.

If I have a moment I'll buzz ya tonight, but definitely tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks!!

Well me and Veloxi tried to get a game going but we couldn't figure out the port forwarding. Really makes me wish this game had a server browser or just used Steam for matchmaking.

Has anyone else ever had success with multiplayer? The only person who ever managed to host a game for me was Strangeblades.

Hey guys, we did an interview with the creator of AI War, Chris Park, to talk about Arcen's upcoming space game The Last Federation as well as AI War, so I thought y'all might like to hear it. Enjoy!

http://www.spacegamejunkie.com/featu...

Sweet. Chris always has really interesting things to say. The guy has a great mind.

Yeah it's too bad you didn't get a chance to ask him why AI Wars doesn't have a server browser. That direct IP stuff is just too awkward by today's standards.

Sorry man, I completely forgot about that. :/

Tamren wrote:

Well me and Veloxi tried to get a game going but we couldn't figure out the port forwarding. Really makes me wish this game had a server browser or just used Steam for matchmaking.

Has anyone else ever had success with multiplayer? The only person who ever managed to host a game for me was Strangeblades.

I've played a multiplayer game a few months ago just fine.

This is one game I keep coming back to...just too much fun even if I still haven't figured out how to win a game yet. One of these days...

quasiChaos wrote:
Tamren wrote:

Well me and Veloxi tried to get a game going but we couldn't figure out the port forwarding. Really makes me wish this game had a server browser or just used Steam for matchmaking.

Has anyone else ever had success with multiplayer? The only person who ever managed to host a game for me was Strangeblades.

I've played a multiplayer game a few months ago just fine.

This is one game I keep coming back to...just too much fun even if I still haven't figured out how to win a game yet. One of these days...

This is exactly how I feel about this game. I constantly come back, even though I'm absolute rubbish at it. If anyone is interested in some multiplayer, I would love to try it one afternoon.