AI War 2

I seem to recall a lot of folks enjoying this game, so I thought I’d link to the new kickstarter for the sequel:

Kickstarters can be crapshoots but I think Arcen is as safe a bet as an indie game company gets. I wish them the best of luck!

Based on Arcen’s output outside of AI War, I’d be hard-pressed to agree with this statement. I’m hopiing they pull this off and create a great sequel to AI War, but the road to get here has been really rocky.

Full disclosure: I have pledged to this.

Arcen’s games have been bad since they moved on from AI War. Will this be the game where they get their Mojo back? For a while there it seemed like they were pumping out shovelware as fast as they could dream it up.

AI War 2 might be great if it has a chance of living up to the first one.

Ah, I actually was not making a comment on the quality of their products so much as their reliability as a company.

I don’t agree they were all bad, but they were inconsistent. I appreciated some of the stuff they tried, but when you’re being experimental, you can have some spectacular failures. And boy howdy, did they have some failures!

I will defend Tidalis to my dying day as a unique and terrific match puzzler. The mechanics were a cool twist on the familiar matching formula, the difficulty progression was just right, and the customization options were comprehensive. Tidalis really deserved better.

Agreed. I’ve got 19 hours in Tidalis. It’s pretty darn clever. I haven’t liked any of their other games that I tried, but I root for them because they are different.

I’ll back Arcen all day, every day!

I was a fan of Tidalis and Bionic Dues. I even enjoyed my playthrough of The Last Federation, though I get why people don’t care for it. Everything else has been mostly a miss, but Chris has said he didn’t want to get stuck making strategy games all the time and I can appreciate that even if I didn’t care for many of the games it resulted in.

I don’t think it’s fair at all to refer to their post-AI War work as shovelware. The issue with Arcen is that every game has been very experimental in terms of game design. While I applaud them for doing so in an industry that is often hidebound in various tropes and sequels, I feel like they’ve never taken the time to iterate and build upon an experiment. And like experiments of others kinds, a lot of them end up as duds or not as good as you hoped/expected.

So finally with AI War, they’re returning to a game that was well-received and can build upon that. While it’s not their first sequel (they did A Valley Without Wind 2), it’s the first sequel that they’re building upon a successful foundation, and I want to see what that looks like. From a business perspective, I feel like they were far too indulgent in wanting to play around with game concepts and neglected their one successful franchise for too long.

In any case, I will be backing this because I’m very much interested in seeing what they can do. They already have a successful core, now they can build upon what they did right and correct for things that didn’t pan out how they wanted. Like all things this might not end up being any good, but I’m fully on board with helping to make AI War 2 happen.

I hope the best for them, but even I didn’t ‘got’ AI War, and it seems that was their best gam!

I played for some hours, Steam says 8 hours, but I never reached the point where the game gets interesting (which I suppose it comes eventually?). I have seen some images of multi planetary war that is NOTHING like I played with the game in said 8 hours. So maybe the issue was the game being super slow start.

TurinTur it’s very easy to choke yourself in AI War 1, so that’s probably what you did. The economy is somewhat reminiscent of Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander.

On topic, I backed the second I saw this thread because oh my god AI War is AMAZING. I hope some of you guys will be up for some multiplayer when AI War 2 drops :)

Only if you’re ready to win!

It seems like most people here didn’t like Last Federation from what i remember of the thread, but i did personally like it. It wasn’t the best game ever, but it was kind of unique and fun. I think it also helps that right before i played it i had read a bunch of books in William J Benning’s The First Admiral Series. The story is somewhat similar, an old race starting a new federation and bringing up other races with super technology.

I also liked AI Wars of course.

I’ve mostly stopped kickstarting stuff but i think there is a 70% chance i dig out my dusty kickstarter login info to back this.

I’ll be backing this as well - AI War is still my most played game on Steam and the changes planned for this iteration look like they’ll address most of my concerns (mainly UI stuff, and simplifying some of the unit attributes).

Not particularly confident they’ll reach their target but hopefully they’ll be encouraged by the support they do receive to press on the project regardless.

Yikes, that’s a pretty ambitious goal. I hope they hit it.

-Tom

Did you enjoy reading the series? The reviews on Amazon are a bit mixed (but I like easy reading so this may be something I would enjoy).

They have, though - they’ve iterated and built like crazy on AI War (which was certainly as experimental as those other designs, if not more so). And that intensive, long lasting support never turned into a game I really grokked, but it clearly made a game that a lot of people love. I was fully expecting them to do that with their later games, and I think they would have liked to, but other than AI War, they haven’t really sold and apparently it didn’t make economic sense. (Well…degrees of not having sold, at least - it seems like Skyward Collapse and Last Federation must have gotten at least enough sales to get a bit of DLC.)

Strictly speaking, AVWW 2 is just the revamp of AVWW 1 they were doing that ended up being different enough that they just made it a separate game so that people who actually liked the original design could keep playing that if desired.

I enjoyed it. I would say it fits as an easy read space opera. It certainly isn’t going to be book of the year, but i found the series fun.

I’d love to. But winning in AI War is a bit like admitting you weren’t man enough for a higher difficulty :D

[quote=“tomchick, post:15, topic:126442, full:true”]Yikes, that’s a pretty ambitious goal. I hope they hit it.

-Tom
[/quote]

They’ve taken the very unusual step of trying to fund most of the project (except for work already done, which probably amounts to 25% of the budget or so) through KS.

It’s not widely known, but the rule of thumb is that the KS market values videogame projects at around 25% to 33% of the real production costs of the project (thus, if you are selling a game that costs $1m to make, and the pitch sells the value, your most likely funding amount would be $333k, given no extra investement in marketing).

The traditional way to work around this is deferred payments for the lead team or use of previous company funds. Other shady/amoral ways are overpromising (your pitch sounds like a $1m but is really a $250k game), heavily investing in marketing (which in a way is like using company funds but more risky, many projects asking for more than $100k invest from 10% to 25% of the goal in marketing), or hoping for further funding down the line or Early Access sales. Or, you know, the most crappy strategy of them all, cancelling the project halfway through (although this is normally due to lack of planning and not premeditated malice).

But of course, having a wide enough fanbase/recognition along with a moderate goal can offset some of the lack of value the KS market assigns. I think this is where AI War 2 falls pretty comfortably. The goal is moderately high for the project (hard to put a value on the work already done, but probably the KS goal reflects 75% of project cost?) but the company has enough fans and the property is recognizable and liked enough that I think (well hope) that they might pull this through.