AI War: Fleet Command - Still awesome

eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Games and Technology
logo_aiwar.jpg


I found out about this game after reading a review in PC Gamer, and tried the demo and loved it. So I was surprised that I couldn't find any mention of this game on these boards, even for being an indie title. So I felt the need to make a thread for it.

What is it?

AI War could best be summed up as a 2d Space 4x RTS Tower Defense game. Its all about amassing huge armies to conquer huge galaxies while regularly fighting off progressively huger waves of AI ships coming to wreck your shit, conveniently monitored by an AI Progress statistic that goes up as you piss them off more. The goal is to find and destroy 2 AI opponents homeworlds amidst a procedurally generated galaxy consisting of 10 to 120 planets. It sounds simple, but it gets pretty epic fast. To be honest I have only played the demo, but its enough to convince me that I want to buy the game.

Oh, and it has co-op up to 8 players, but no competitive play. It is called AI War after all.

Where can I try this aforementioned demo?

The developer, Arcen Games, has the 90mb demo on their website. It lets you play through the tutorials, and up to 1 game hour of the campaign mode previously described. The Intermediate Tutorial included is basically a small guided non-random 10 planet Campaign and is fairly lengthy, which gives you a decent feel for the idea behind the game.

When does it come out?
It already is! Currently already available on GamersGate and Impulse, or on the developers website, its 20 bucks. However its also coming to Direct2Drive and Steam by the end of the month. Only reason I haven't bought it yet is because I am waiting for the Steam release with steam achievements and everything. I just like buying my shit on Steam when given the option.

The Pictures!
AlliedFleets.jpg
DreadnoughtAndSpiders.jpg
Flagships.jpg
MassedSniperFire.jpg
TractorBeams.jpg



Trailer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr_oSOSTfbA

Make with the discussion!
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eelektrik on
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Posts

  • kedinikkedinik Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    So, RTS / Tower Defense set in space with 4X resource management / expansion elements?

    Could be fun, I'll try the demo later if my laptop can handle it.

    kedinik on
  • JeixJeix Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Hmm, this looks interesting, giving it a download. :mrgreen:

    Jeix on
  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'll give this a shot tonight when I'm back home.

    Kris_xK on
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  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    An interview went up with the developer, talking mostly about the AI and co-op play and some bits about their future projects. They plan to continue supporting AI War with patches and content for quite a while in addition to working on new games and paid expansions for AI War.

    eelektrik on
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The developer hops around to answer questions on various forums so he'll probably stop by eventually.

    Also, keep in mind that it's not really a demo where you can just "give it a shot." The tutorial takes a couple of hours and I doubt you'd come away impressed from anything less than that kind of time investment, unless he's changed something.

    I haven't really dug into it so I can't comment on the game in general, but it's waiting to be played sometime soon.

    Tim James on
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  • x4000x4000 Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Tim James wrote: »
    The developer hops around to answer questions on various forums so he'll probably stop by eventually.

    Yeah, I tend to do that when I see inbound links and people have questions. :) I don't think I've used my PA username since 2003 or so, and I've changed email providers since, so I had to register an account. Kinda funny, since I've been reading PA since before Mike proposed to his wife through the comic. I think Red vs Blue was still a thing last time I was on these forums, whenever that was. But it's good to be back!
    Tim James wrote: »
    Also, keep in mind that it's not really a demo where you can just "give it a shot." The tutorial takes a couple of hours and I doubt you'd come away impressed from anything less than that kind of time investment, unless he's changed something.

    Yeah, it's not a five minute demo, that's for sure. Most people really seem to enjoy the fourth one, the guided simulated campaign, though. I get a lot of emails/posts on my own forums from people who bought it while that was still in progress, because that's when they were sold on it. But YMMV, of course.

    An interview I did at The Reticule might also be of interest, it has a different focus from the Co-Optimus one (though both are informative): Part One, Part Two

    x4000 on
  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    x4000 wrote: »
    Tim James wrote: »
    Also, keep in mind that it's not really a demo where you can just "give it a shot." The tutorial takes a couple of hours and I doubt you'd come away impressed from anything less than that kind of time investment, unless he's changed something.

    Yeah, it's not a five minute demo, that's for sure. Most people really seem to enjoy the fourth one, the guided simulated campaign, though. I get a lot of emails/posts on my own forums from people who bought it while that was still in progress, because that's when they were sold on it. But YMMV, of course.

    Yeah, thats what sold me on the game. Also played through the 1 hour of Campaign a couple times to try out some different ships after I had finished the Intermediate Tutorial, which took me a few hours to go through but it was worth it. I am looking forward to putting in some quality time in campaign mode with the full version once its up on Steam.

    eelektrik on
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  • x4000x4000 Registered User
    edited October 2009
    eelektrik wrote: »
    x4000 wrote: »
    I am looking forward to putting in some quality time in campaign mode with the full version once its up on Steam.

    Should be tomorrow, if all goes well with the final technical checks. There's 129 achievements included in version 2.0 (offline without Steam, online with), so that's also pretty nice for when you're getting into the campaigns. You should be able to register your existing AI War keys with Steam, although I have yet to have final confirmation on that from the tech folks at Valve, so it's not 100% yet. But I'm told by Valve it should work just fine, so fingers crossed. :)

    x4000 on
  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Looks interesting, will try it out tonight.

    Dracil on
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  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Looks pretty neat. I'll try it in a few hours.

    Malkor on
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  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    This is on sale for 9.99 on the Steam Holiday Sale, through January 3rd.

    eelektrik on
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  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Trailer for the expansion, The Zenith Remnant, which is available now for 9.99, though not on Steam yet, it is available on Impulse or the Arcen games website.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG01JWJNF9I

    They also have a sale on the base game for 9.99 right now on their website or Direct 2 Drive. CD keys can be used with Steam regardless of where you purchase it. Though also of note, they released Version 3.0 of AI War alongside the expansion and its not up on Steam yet either.

    eelektrik on
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Finally getting around to playing this. After the tutorials my first map was a bit too slow and challenging for me as a newbie (two Mark IV planets adjacent to my homeworld, and another one a hop away blocking my exit from that quarter of the galaxy) so I restarted and got a much nicer one.

    I also set combat style to fast & dangerous, and I like it already. The game feels more brisk, even though I only have an hour into this second try. In the first game I was at the 5 or 6 hour mark with 3 or 4 planets, and completely stuck without tricky maneuvers since I let the AI build up too long.

    Tim James on
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  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've been playing this off and on and its pretty fucking good. It's also pretty deep - this isn't like Gratuitous Space Battles where you can just pump out cruisers and win the battle.

    For the love of god tho, use the tutorials. This is not a pick up and play game, it has a Dominions 3-esque learning curve.

    Kris_xK on
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Kris_xK wrote: »
    For the love of god tho, use the tutorials.
    I'm trying to fathom a world where someone wouldn't do this. They're also really fun as you'll note from the conversation here a few months ago.

    Tim James on
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  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Tim James wrote: »
    Kris_xK wrote: »
    For the love of god tho, use the tutorials.
    I'm trying to fathom a world where someone wouldn't do this. They're also really fun as you'll note from the conversation here a few months ago.

    I tend to skip tutorials. Most of the time they just go over shit I already assumed.

    Kris_xK on
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    That's true, I guess I just picked up through osmosis that this was a game to play the tutorial.

    Tim James on
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There appears to be an enormous change hidden in the release notes for 3.0. Core ship balance is now fighter > bomber > cruiser > fighter like classic space combat. Maybe this is well known now but it caught me by surprise, had to reload after a poor choice in rock/paper/scissors combat before I realized what happened.

    Tim James on
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  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited January 2010
    How does this compare to Galactic Civilizations 2? I liked GalCiv2, though it seemed to get a little micro-managey for my tastes. I also _vastly_ prefer Steam over Impulse, and don't know if I want to shell out for the GalCiv expansions. (Playing vanilla right now.)

    Michael H on
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    I also _vastly_ prefer Steam over Impulse, and don't know if I want to shell out for the GalCiv expansions. (Playing vanilla right now.)

    Possibly beside the point, but the expansions for GalCiv are so good, you are doing a disservice to yourself by not getting them. Each one is a massive upgrade for the game.

    Elvenshae on
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  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Michael H wrote: »
    I also _vastly_ prefer Steam over Impulse, and don't know if I want to shell out for the GalCiv expansions. (Playing vanilla right now.)

    Possibly beside the point, but the expansions for GalCiv are so good, you are doing a disservice to yourself by not getting them. Each one is a massive upgrade for the game.

    That's what I was afraid of. Race-specific tech trees DO sound pretty tempting...

    Michael H on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Wow. This looks like it could deliver what I was looking for in Sins of a Solar Empire. I like SoaSE, but it was a little heavier on the RTS side than I was hoping. I wanted a more even mix of the two genres.

    And the GalCiv2 xpacs are so totally worth it. There should be a bundle for them up on Impulse which is a decent deal.

    Anyway, next time I've got some spare cash, I'm picking this up.

    Drake on
  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I mentioned above that my first campaign broke down because I started next to some high level planets and took too long to break through them.

    I had an even bigger problem in my next game. I chose random easy enemies and ended up with the turtle and entrenched homeworlder, which like to have very well-defended planets. The game was absolute tedium toward the end (especially because there was a bug in 3.0 where turrets kept stacking on each other and I couldn't destroy the lightning turrets in time, but nevermind that).

    I recommend not playing the turtle in your first game, and don't try to rush in the mid game. Slow and steady is the only way or you will get to a point where everything is unmanageable and not fun. My third campaign is a real joy though.

    Tim James on
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  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    So I bought the game + expansion. Tutorial seem borked. In that I don't need to build the harvesters 'cause they're already built. Which is fine, but I can't get through Step 1 of the Intermediate Tutorial (build harvesters on everything on your planet and scout 3 adjacent planets)

    Dracil on
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Don't see anything about the tutorial on the forums. If you've already scouted and it doesn't advance, you could try hitting the delete key on harvesters and pressing P to pause quickly, then queue up the order with your command station / builder.

    Tim James on
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  • beta.lyraebeta.lyrae Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I had the same problem with the tutorial. There is a thread about it on the Steam forum. Basically, later versions of the game made some things automatic (like building the harvesters), so the tutorial will ask you to do things that are already done for you.

    I got through all the tutorials so I'd just say to make sure you've scouted the three adjacent planets.

    I picked this up during the recent sale it's by far one of the best games I've played in a long time. I'm surprised you don't hear more about it. One thing is that this game is _long_. By the time I beat the intermediate tutorial I had already put 15 hours into the game (I'm more of TBS guy, so 90% of that is pause time). Not only is it an outstanding game, but the developer support is some of the best I've seen.

    beta.lyrae on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    AI CORE://REBOOT
    

    So I just picked this up from the Steam sale, and I'm playing the tutorials right now. So far so good, it looks like I'm going to enjoy my time with this.

    Anyway, I'd like to hear about the expansion pack from someone around here. I'll most likely pick it up (it's only five bucks atm), unless you guys tell me it's horribly broken or something.

    Drake on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited April 2010
    There was talk in the Steam thread about getting some coop games going. I just picked up the whole shebang on Steam, but my internet is completely borked at the moment. Once I get through more of the tutorials I would be down for playing.

    Michael H on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    OK, I took no one rushing out to declaim the expansion as a silent endorsement. :P

    Expansion is bought. Who can say no to Dyson Spheres and ancient autonomous starships of massive power that can be captured and used against your enemies?

    Drake on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited April 2010
    At $5, it's hard to wrong.

    Michael H on
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    At $5, it's hard to wrong.

    Indeedy. I grabbed the expansion and the game itself. Looks interesting.

    Phoenix-D on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Arcen Games is preparing to release the new expansion, Children of Neinzul, for this crazy cool game.

    The cool thing is, that if you preorder for $4.00 you get access to the beta. The preorder is only available through Arcen Games site, but Steam users can register the expansion once it is released on Steam.

    I'll let Fiskbit, of Arcen Games explain.
    "Fiskbit' wrote:
    Hey, all. This question has been answered on the Arcen Games forums, but just to clarify here, AI War, The Zenith Remnant, and Tidalis (Arcen's newest game) can all be registered on Steam using the "Activate a Product on Steam..." feature under the "ADD A GAME" button on your game library list. A list of the games that can be activated on Steam with their external CD keys as though you bought them on Steam is available at https://support.steampowered.com/kb_...7480-WUSF-3601. Note, however, that the list is incomplete; for example, it does not contain Tidalis, although Tidalis does indeed have this same feature.

    The goal here is that you won't ever have to buy an Arcen Games game twice. If you want it on Steam, you'll be able to get it there using this, and if you have it on Steam and would prefer to play the non-Steam version, you can do that, too. Children of Neinzul can't be registered here yet because it's currently not for sale here, but within a few weeks of Steam carrying it (assuming this happens), you should be able to register it without trouble.

    The really cool part? All profits for this expansion go directly to Child's Play. So get an awesome expansion for a kick ass game for super cheap and help out our favorite charity in the process. Is that fucking cool or what?

    Here are some key features lifted straight from the page I linked at the start of this very post!

    Key Features:
    * 36 new ships, including:
    * 5 new ship classes with a variety of abilities.
    * Enclave Starships and Regeneration Chambers for direct unlock.
    * 6 new AI special weapons.
    * 6 new AI Types.
    * 3 Neinzul alien minor factions (NPCs).
    * Devastating new Hybrid Hives AI plot.
    * 3 new in-game music tracks.
    * Two new map styles: X and Concentric Circles.

    Remember, this is still in beta, so who knows how it will run or what it will do. The Arcen Games guys say it's going to get a release later this month though, so I expect it won't make goats blood boil out of your CPU or anything.

    Drake on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited September 2010
    That's pretty awesome. I mentioned this in another thread, but the dev is great about getting into the community and talking to people. He posted quite a bit on the Gamers With Jobs forum back when AI War came out... He's got my $4 for sure.

    Michael H on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, he's posted in this very thread right here.

    Heck, the amount of content Arcen has added to this game just in their regular updates probably amounts to a pretty big expansion. There's always new ships, guns, turrets and stuff showing up in the game. AI Wars is extremely well supported. It's a really amazing game. If you haven't tried it, take a night or two off from Starcraft 2 and check this out. This thing is different.

    Drake on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Man I think I may have to buy this. I spent an inordinate amount of time in the demo. I think my "giant blob of stuff" tactic might have been a tad inefficient.

    This is really scratching my space 4X itch, even though it's not a traditional style of 4X.

    Really my only issue with it is that all the cool art gets hidden when you zoom to a decently playable distance. I think everything should be either sized up or a bit closer by default.

    durandal4532 on
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  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The thing that's really blowing my mind with this game is that it's a Kitchen Sink approach that works. I mean, making a game that combines Grand Strategy, 4X, Tower Defense, and RTS isn't a small feat in and of itself. Toss in there more units than you can shake a stick at, units that are unique to the AI, all kinds of crazy options for the campaigns (downtrodden human factions, strange alien traders, miners and Dyson Spheres, ancient Berserker warships called Golems, etc) and it's like, how is all this shit going to work? This thing has totally replaced SoaSE on my HDD, that's how well it works. All of this stuff, fleets that go into thousands of hulls, a massive galaxy to liberate and the micromanagement never gets tedious. Tons of vastly informative tooltips, handy unit automation that doesn't suck, and an emergent AI that escalates it's strategy based on how threatening it perceives you to be. I read a great description of the game play somewhere and it was summed up like this, "Surgical Blitzkrieg." It really is massively scaled asymmetric warfare at its best.

    Spend some time with this if you like a game on a epic, massive scale. This is so much more than teching up and then rolling a blob over enemies.

    Drake on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Drake wrote: »
    This is so much more than teching up and then rolling a blob over enemies.

    This right here is exactly why I find most RTSs incredibly boring.

    Michael H on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    Drake wrote: »
    This is so much more than teching up and then rolling a blob over enemies.

    This right here is exactly why I find most RTSs incredibly boring.

    Same here. I spend a lot more time in this game thinking about which systems to take, which systems to raid, which of my own systems to defend. Scouting and probing for weaknesses, searching for the enemies flank and critical structures are a huge deal, requiring reconnaissance in force some times. Lots of depth to be found here. I can't believe I'm the only person on G&T playing this.

    Drake on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well reading some of the testimonials here, I might be interested in trying the demo.

    Is there a big learning curve?

    subedii on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    subedii wrote: »
    Well reading some of the testimonials here, I might be interested in trying the demo.

    Is there a big learning curve?

    Yeah, it's pretty steep. The tutorial has a guided campaign that teaches some of the more advanced strategic concepts. Once you play through that you'll know if the game is something you'll enjoy.

    Drake on
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