Chris here! Quick announcement about another title, but lots of AI War 2 notes further down, so read on! AI War 2
is coming together nicely to launch early this year, but we've also had a "volunteer brigade" working on something on the side: the first expansion pack for our rogue-lite shooter Starward Rogue -- Starward Rogue: AuGMENTED
Developed by the "Arcen Extended" team, which is comprised of former contractors and modders from the community, the expansion has been nearly 2 years in the making, and adds a boatload of new content, including new mechs, new enemies, new items, new bosses and much more. These folks have absolutely been pouring time and love into this project, but it hasn't been a diversion from AI War 2 for Keith, Blue, or me.
It’s probably one of the biggest expansions we have ever released for any title, and something we are very proud of.
The base game of Starward Rogue
was something that people always loved to play, but got lost in the shuffle of the early 2016 market. This expansion hopefully gets 2018 off on the right foot for Arcen as we lead into our big project for the year
– AI War 2!
With that in mind…
Hey, AI War 2!
The AI War 2 project has been an excellent example of "no plan survives contact with the enemy." Visualization has required more engine work and re-work than we anticipated, and that’s one of a few factors that have slowed our schedule.
On the other hand, the actual game simulation is far more moddable than anticipated -- modders can create practically anything: new Units (with just a bit of XML); new Galaxy map types (with just a bit of C#); tweak existing factions, or create new factions that can completely change the gameplay; you can change the AI behaviour or add new AI types. All of that alongside more obvious things like adding new units or visuals or sounds or similar.
In any event, the game itself has come a long way and we're narrowing down the list of things that need to be done before beta. We’ve just released new builds with updated graphics, UI updates, balance tweaks, the first of the voice acting, and a whole lot more.
There’s more of that sort of thing to come, and we’re working on a “graduated beta release schedule” at the moment in preparation for an April 1.0 official release.
What’s a “graduated beta release schedule?”
- Well, before we sound the “everyone come for final polish testing!” klaxon, there are a number of issues that we’d like help on from smaller groups of people who choose to come in and help with testing, feedback, or even direct modding/art/code as the case may be.
- One of those areas, probably the biggest, is our AI War 2 GUI focus group[forums.arcengames.com], which we’d love to have as many people a part of as possible.
- We also have quite a lively discussion on our NAT Punchthrough discussion[forums.arcengames.com] thread, although we now have a volunteer network expert (thanks, Admiral!) who is directly getting involved in this bit.
- And there will be other things as well, which we’ll be announcing through the forums[forums.arcengames.com] and on kickstarter. We won’t bother you with each of those through the newsletter, so be sure to follow us in one of those other locations if you want to stay in the know on these last pre-beta days.
- Speaking of, here’s what we’ve been up to lately[wiki.arcengames.com]. Although that doesn’t tell the full story of some of the things that are in progress but not yet implemented.
One Last Note About Starward Rogue
We also wanted to make a special thanks to Windless Zephyr
for inspiring the Zephyr mech, and also for providing us with so many episodes of your long-running Starward Rogue series