Friday, October 30, 2009

The Zenith Remnant Now Available For Preorder!

Arcen Games is pleased to announce that The Zenith Remnant, the first expansion to its popular space RTS AI War, is now available for preorder.  This expansion is still in the early stages of development, but we're making the alpha/beta versions available to anyone on a trial basis, and in full for anyone who preorders, so that our community can be involved with feedback and ideas as development progresses.  This sort of open development process has been so successful for our 2.0 version that we just couldn't cut our community out of even the earliest stages of our expansion.

Spokes Map

Tree Map
What Is Planned For The Final Release?
To some extent, exactly what is planned is a bit uncertain, and for a very good reason -- we plan to rely on community feedback and discussion to help us build the product as we go.  That said, there are a lot of very specific ideas that are now on the schedule for implementation: This is the list of planned features, and you're free to comment on any of them at any time.

As you can see, we actually have over 80% of the planned features somewhat finalized, but then again nothing is finalized until we go live.  If players hate a feature, or a better one surfaces before we get started on one idea, then we're going to adjust our plans accordingly -- that's the uncertainty mentioned above.

In a broad sense, here's what will definitely be in the expansion:
* 80 to 100 new ships, including:
   * At least 12 new ship classes with a variety of abilities.
   * At least 6 massive "Golem" ships.
   * At least 5 new "capturables" other than Golems.
   * Several new ships for allowing players expanded ways to control fleets.
* At least 4 new map styles.
* At least 12 new AI Types.
* A new, neutral minor faction in the galaxy: the Zenith Aliens (NPCs).
* 30-40 minutes of new in-game music tracks.
* At least two universal new AI ship subsystems (like Astro Trains).

Three Upcoming Golems (Shown Actual Size In Window)

Friday, October 23, 2009

AI War 25% Off Sale!

Get AI War on your platform of choice! Direct2Drive (UK link) and Stardock's Impulse have joined Steam in our 25% off promotion, available for a limited time. The Steam and Direct2Drive sales end on the 27th, and the Impulse sale ends on the 26th.

IncGamers AI War Diary

IncGamers has been keeping an AI War co-op diary chronicling some recent games with players who are fresh out of the tutorials.

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here

Co-Optimus Review of AI War

[AI War] manages to propel the RTS genre forward and beyond its usual trappings with an innovation that is so simple it’s amazing it hasn’t been done previously, while still managing to keep the spirit of those classic RTS games alive.  Best of all, it does so with one key element in mind: co-op is not just a bullet point on a box, but a way of designing, creating, and playing games.
-Jason Love, Co-Optimus

Thursday, October 22, 2009

AI War on Fidgit

Just a heads up that Tom Chick has posted a small piece on Fidgit (the gaming blog) noting the new features, and availability via Steam etc.

Well done on getting the game out to Steam and the other digital distributions, I hope the game sells a bundle and the community here expands exponentially. Top work Chris, and all the folks at Arcengames!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AI War 2.0 (Achievements, Leaderboards, Steam and Direct2Drive!)

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.
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.  


High Scores
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.
Many Updates:
- 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.
The above list is just a sampling of what has changed since 1.301, however, so be sure to check out the full release notes to see everything. And remember, to see everything since 1.0, see this: AI War 2.0 vs. 1.0, A Retrospective.

As an added note, if you are a player who is is unable to install patches for whatever reason (this is usually a windows issue), you can download the patch files through the following link:

Then unzip it into your game folder (usually C:\Program Files\Arcen Games\AI War\ unless you specified something else).  Please make sure that your unzip process keeps the folder structure from the zip file, rather than just unpacking all of the files into the base target directory.  This is a cumulative update, so as long as you have at least version 1.000 of the game installed, this will update you to the latest version (2.000) without any issues.

This update now available for Impulse customers.

For existing GamersGate customers, you can always upgrade your copy from the "Check For Updates" link in the game just like customers from our direct site can.  The latest version of the installer will also be coming to GamersGate, but that will affect new customers only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Co-Optimus Interview With Chris Park About AI War

Co-Optimus interviews Chris Park, the developer of AI War, about the game in general but of course the co-op aspects in particular.  Park is a huge proponent of co-op in general in gaming, so was very excited to have an interview that focused so heavily on those aspects, which are often just a minor bullet point in a long list of other topics discussed.

Read The Interview

Article in The Herald-Sun About Pablo Vega, AI War's Composer

The Herald-Sun recently did an article about Pablo Vega, Arcen Games' composer.  Pablo has a lot of exciting things going on his life (local TV pilot, concert with his friend Anoop), and AI War is just one of them.  To read more about him, including is prodigious start as a musician, click over to the Herald-Sun!

Read The Article

Monday, October 19, 2009

Free Graphics For Indie Developers!

AI War was made possible in large part thanks to some art that Daniel Cook released for indie developers to use for free, even in commercial games.  A lot of that art (as people have noticed) is from the classic shooter Tyrian.  Now that Arcen is successful enough to have its own artist on staff, we're happy to pay it forward by releasing the AI War 2.0 art for others to make use of.  The hope is to help bootstrap another indie developer the way that Daniel Cook bootstrapped us.

Free Graphics For Indie Developers!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Diehard GameFAN Review of AI War

Sure, the genres are different, and the settings couldn’t be more varied, but here we go. A.I. War: Fleet Command is more addictive than Diablo II. ... A.I. War: Fleet Command is the rare game that comes along out of nowhere and makes you pay attention. ... It won’t break the bank, you don’t need a brand new gaming rig to enjoy it, you can lose yourself in the story, and you can keep playing it for hours. Fans of space battles should do themselves a favor and pick this game up as soon as possible.
- A.J. Hess, Diehard GameFAN

Cheat Code Central Review of AI War

AI War: Fleet Command provides the kind of gameplay depth rarely seen in today's mainstream RTS offerings, and it does so with one dimension tied behind its back.
- Derek Hidey, Cheat Code Central

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gamer Limit Review of AI War

While the casual gamer will find the sheer volume of this game very intimidating, AIW:CF will undoubtedly have a strong draw to the RTS enthusiast. Because of its support for a vast number of units, and exploration of a seemingly endless planetary system, it will leave gamers playing the same map for hours on end.
- Curtis Takaichi, Gamer Limit

Saturday, October 10, 2009

AI War Trailer 3

View On Youtube - Download Full Quality Version

AI War: Fleet Command is one of the surprise indie hits of 2009. One of the most popular indie titles on Stardock's Impulse, AI War is coming to Steam in October 2009 with online leaderboards and achievements, as well as the huge 2.0 graphical and gameplay enhancements that will be available to all existing customers (through Impulse, GamersGate, or our website) for free! This trailer shows you what all the fuss is about.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Reticule Interviews Chris Park About AI War, Part Two

The Reticule concludes the interview Chris Park, the developer of AI War. Topics in this part range from 2D games, why many indies smartly avoid DRM, the future of AI War, other upcoming Arcen titles, and our upcoming release on Steam.

Read The Interview

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Reticule Interviews Chris Park About AI War, Part One

The Reticule interviews Chris Park, the developer of AI War, about a variety of subjects: the game's AI, co-op features, and how we managed to get such massive unit counts, amongst others.  Check back tomorrow for part two!

Read The Interview

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boomtown Review of AI War

It's a powerful experience when a game's less frenetic moments are just as absorbing as its action, and AI War manages to engross from all available angles, challenging the player with strategically demanding scenarios and framing it all in brilliant 2D visuals that provide ample visual stimuli but maintain easy access to statistics. Expertly crafted resourcing and development tools prevent stagnation of the game's simple conquest objective, and the sheer scope of ships, maps and difficulty levels – not to mention co-op – is likely to keep this gem afloat for some time. RTS fans rejoice.
- Adam Hall, Boomtown

Iterative Game Design The Right Way

AI War designer/programmer Chris Park is accustomed to using iterative design methods from his business programming background, and carries this over to game design.  Iterative methods are often scoffed at, usually because the scoffer does not actually understand what iterative design is, but these methods carry some unique benefits when used in a disciplined way.  AI War is discussed as a case example of this.

Iterative Game Design The Right Way

Thursday, October 1, 2009

AI War: Fleet Command - One Minute Pitch Video

View On Youtube - Download High Quality (1024x768) Version

Want to get up to speed on the basics of AI War in a jiffy? This one-minute video does a lightning walkthrough of the basics of what most makes the game unique.