This one has been a long time coming -- in the works since October 7th, in fact. Ever since that date, Keith has been working almost solely on getting multiplayer up and going, and so that's caused basically nothing to happen with the macro game parts of the game for that large swathe of beta. The last time we had any form of functioning multiplayer for this game was back in March, when the game was still top-down, and despite having been coding to a solid multiplayer spec all this time, it's been a gargantuan task for Keith to get things all up and going to a point where we could show this publicly at all.
But today's the day when you can opt in to testing out multiplayer if you are inclined to do so! Details on how exactly that works, plus known issues and all that sort of fun stuff, to follow below.
The Next Phase Of AVWW Development Drawing Near
Before I get to that stuff, though, one more note: the brainstorming subforum for AVWW has been abuzz all week, and there are absolutely tons and tons of changes coming to the game as a result of that. I decided to take most of this week as a design week for my own side of things, because the core parts of the game have matured to the point where I could now step back and look at how they all fit together and decide better how to achieve the immutable design goals for the game.
The result is going to be a very different sort of game than what is currently implemented, but the prevailing opinion on the forums seems to be "awesome, that's a lot more like what I was picturing when you were talking about the game in the first place!" Which seems to be a good sign. In a lot of respects, I view this like the shift from AI War 1.0 to 2.0, or AI War 3.x to 4.x. Same core game, same design philosophy, but some things cut and a lot of stuff added, and so much more refined.
It's pretty much all there on the brainstorming subforum if you're curious about what, specificially, is going to be changing. Feel free to weigh in!
This isn't going to be affecting the pricing of preorders, just to set your mind at ease. We're still considering this "early beta" for now. So it's still a really great time to get into the game early, if you like that sort of thing!
All About The Multiplayer Alpha
This one takes a whole wiki article to explain all the ins and outs of, although there's only a few key parts you'll really need to read to get started in the alpha. But we figured that since we're doing some unusual things, and since people were likely to have questions just in general, that we'd make a more inclusive document that has everything and which we could update over time.
This is a standard update that you can download through the
in-game updater itself, if you already have 0.500 or later. When you
launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found
if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 0.500 or later, you can download that here.