Saturday, August 29, 2009

Independent Gaming Article At Gaming Daily

David from Gaming Daily has written a nice article about the state of independent gaming. The discussion is on how and why indie games differ from their AAA counterparts, and cites AI War as an example in several spots: Independent Gaming

Friday, August 28, 2009

AI War Versus RPS Part 1

The folks over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have been having a go in three player co-op against the AI in AI War. This is part one of a series in which they try to kick a level 7 AI off of a 15-planet map: Officially Unintelligent: AI War Versus RPS Part 1

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GamersGate Games of the Weekend: 30% Off On AI War!

This weekend (the 27th through the 30th), you can get AI War: Fleet Command for 30% off the regular price at the GamersGate store. AI War is already an incredible value, but this is a great chance to get it at an even lower price ($13.95 instead of the usual $19.99). Don't forget to rate us up if you buy the game through GamersGate and like it!

Delegation In Game Design

Transcript from a discussion on these forums, where a discussion about the relative complexity of economic management turned into a discussion of delegation and automation as a means to enable players to effectively manage games the size and scope of AI War -- without feeling like they are giving up fine control when they want it.

Delegation In Game Design

Friday, August 21, 2009

Advice For Aspiring Indie Game Developers

Chris isn't super excited about giving out advice, given that he's still learning the ropes himself, but since this is a question that keeps coming up -- and since he has had some measure of success already -- here are at least some observations and tips that might help aspiring indie developers.

Advice For Aspiring Indie Game Developers

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Weekend Impulse Buy: 25% Off On AI War!

This weekend, you can get AI War: Fleet Command for 25% off the regular price at Stardock's Impulse store. AI War is already an incredible value, but this is a great chance to get it at an even lower price ($14.99 instead of the usual $19.99).

Monday, August 17, 2009

AI War on Rock, Paper Shotgun

It’s a Sins of the Solar Empire meets Supreme Commander meets Simply Nothing Else, and I think a lot of you will find this very intriguing.
- Kieron Gillen, Rock, Paper Shotgun

Reviewing A Bad Review

If you're an indie developer, not everyone is going to love your game.  It is a fact.  It is also a fact that something is going to be wrong with your game, like every other game in existence.  And reviewers and players will comment on these things, so that hopefully you can address them.  But what happens when you receive a review that is simply bad, with false information, a clear lack of actual play of the game, and/or other problems?  Well, if you're me, you write a snarky blog post analyzing all the points, which ones are valid and which are not, and what makes the original review so poor.  All reviews, like all things being reviewed, are not created equal.

Reviewing A Bad Review

Game Vortex Review of AI War

If it hadn't been brought to my attention through an email, I probably would have never heard of AI War: Fleet Command. This would be a shame because it turned out to be one of the more entertaining games I've played recently. It isn't something for everyone, but fans of well-thought-out strategy games will want to download the game and give it a try.
- Ricky Tucker, Game Vortex

Sunday, August 16, 2009

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog Interview with Chris Park about AI War

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog interviews Chris Park, the developer of AI War, about inspirations for the game, Chris's experiences as an indie game developer, and upcoming titles from Arcen Games.

Read The Interview

Friday, August 14, 2009

Crispy Gamer Article About AI War

I think I've stumbled across this year's Really New Thing. There's a lot of 2009 to go, but I'll be surprised if anyone else twists the RTS formula this dramatically and this effectively. And I'm hoping it'll be the Next Big Thing, because it's big, different, entirely unprecedented and an exciting way to play an RTS.
- Rush, Boom, Turtle: And Now for Something Completely Different, by Tom Chick

AI War Trailer 2

AI War: Fleet Command Trailer 2 - Download High Quality Trailer 2
We've created a new trailer that does a better job of showcasing the game in general, and which also features the new art from recent releases.

Recent Arcen Games Team Additions

This is a bit belated in several cases, but we'd like to officially announce the latest team members to Arcen Games.  Our team has definitely been growing!

Lars Bull, or Fiskbit as he is known on the forums, has been helping out with design advice and QA testing for Arcen titles long before Arcen actually existed.  Now he's officially joined the team to collaborate on developing his concept for "Feedback," a puzzle game that we aim to release later this year.

Philippe Chabot is the artist responsible for many of the graphical upgrades you have seen in recent weeks.  There's tons more planned, so you can be sure that Phil is going to help us transform AI War into an ever-more-polished-looking affair.

Calvin Southwood, or Revenantus as he is known on the forums, has been helping out for some time now with player questions, the printable hotkey reference, the wiki-based unit strength guides, and more.  All of this was on a volunteer basis, which we very much appreciated, but now he's joined the team to become a full moderator for the forums as well as authoring a printable manual for the game.

Welcome to the team, guys!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

PC Games and Reviews - AI War Review

I've played quite a few space RTS and empire builder type games in my time, but AI War feels like it's on a different scale ... one of the more epic tactical RTS games I think I’ve seen to date. If you’re an RTS nut this is not one to pass over!
- Andy Yates, PC Games and Reviews

Thursday, August 6, 2009

AI War 1.013 (Free DLC, Player Suggestions, And Major Graphics Update)

Arcen Games is pleased to announce the release of AI War: Fleet Command version 1.013. You can download a trial version of the game, as well as purchase a license key to unlock the full version. If you already have the game or demo installed, just hit "Check For Updates" inside the game to get the latest patch.  
More Free DLC:
- Major improvements to all special effects, including shots, explosions, and other ship-to-ship effects.
- Major improvements to all star backgrounds, especially on high resolutions.
- Major improvements to about half of the planet graphics.
- Faster starts:  Players now start with 20,000 each of metal and crystal, and 10,000 knowledge.
- No more planetary boundary -- ships can go out as far as they like, though fixed-position ships can only be built the same distance from the planet area center as before.
- Yet more efficiency improvements for graphics and the simulation.
- Ion cannons are much more deadly.
- New visual zoom indicator shows zoom level as "letterbox" black bars at the top and bottom of the view.
- Some of the battle sound upgrades (more are coming).
- Several AI tweaks and ship balance adjustments.
- Several fixes to the tutorials to update them to the latest gameplay.
- Various other bugfixes.
The above list is just a sampling, however, so be sure to check out the full release notes to see everything (attached at the end of this post). More free DLC to hit in a week or so. Feel free to check out our updated screenshots gallery for a better look at our new visuals (of which lots more is scheduled for the upcoming months)!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

AI War 1.012 Hotfix Released

If you already have the game or demo installed, just hit "Check For Updates" inside the game to get the latest patch.  This hotfix corrects an issue in the official 1.011 release.

-Fixed a bug with AI ships not properly guarding the command posts they are supposed to reinforce, instead attacking player planets too much.
-AI was getting too many engineer drones in some reinforcements.
-Planets that are on alert now appear with a yellow border instead of a crimson one.
-Planets that have incoming waves now flash their borders black and red.

The above list is the entirety of this hotfix.  We do our best to insure a high degree of quality in every official release we make, but in this case one rather critical issue slipped through.  The best we can do in these circumstances is issue an official hotfix as soon as possible, but of course with our normal QA testing and the testing of those players who opt to download our prerelease versions, we try very hard to make sure the inconvenience of hotfixes like this does not arise.  Thanks for your patience!

Regional Pricing Adjusted For AI War

Our goal is always to charge a fair and equivalent price to customers in all countries, but apparently at GamersGate and our own website's ecommerce partner, prices for Euros and GBP were set higher than the USD prices.  Thanks to a regular in our forums for alerting us to this.  The price for AI War has now been adjusted to be €13.99, £11.79, and $19.99 USD.

We may need to shift this over time as exchange rates fluctuate, since these prices are now manually set rather than calculated through our partners' sites (except at Impulse, which already handles this), but our goal is to basically have a price point equivalency of  $19.99 USD regardless of what country you are purchasing the game from.  If the pricing seems off from that in your country, please let us know and we'll do our best to adjust it!