Wizards and Warlords: procedurally generated fantasy war game

The tools seem there to understand them just fine if you look. It’s not a black box as I understand it. I suppose you could say the rules are complicated but it seems to be moving the goalposts a little to go from “no one knows the rules” to “no one bothers to know the rules”.



There is an in-game encyclopedia but it is also a work in progress. There are some guides in the Steam discussions that are somewhat helpful. But documentation remains a challenge for the developer; one person with limited time.

To sort of agree with justaguy2, I feel like documentation should be more of a priority with these solo devs. If you aren’t going to explain your game to me, how can you expect me to play it. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate, hate, hate that the work of introducing and explaining game systems to people has by and large been offloaded to youtube let’s players who do it by cranking out 40-hour playlists.

Here is a recent post from the developer on their goal for the AI, which seems daunting but reasonable. When they can achieve this remains to be seen.

“If I can get an AI which (without cheating) can do better than a being pushover against the average player, I’m happy. If I can get AI that acts in line with the ‘role’ it is playing, I will be thrilled. I am not trying to make an AI which approaches the game like a puzzle and plays purely to win. Especially because if someone caught that white whale, I actually think it would be quite unfun to play against for the vast majority of players. Luckily there’s plenty of challenge and fun in just making the AI incrementally more challenging and interesting.”

They do say that the rival AIs play by the same rules as the player, and the independent, or World AIs, play by a different set of rules that are more defensive therefore the World AIs do not expand but the rival AIs should.

I decided to support the developer and this unfinished game because I am aligned with this way of thinking [again from a developer post in Steam] about the role of the AI in a single player game, “My personal preference will always be an AI which is a convincing actor. When I play strategy games I want the AI as a believable NPC acting in-character. I don’t expect it to challenge my intellect or problem-solving skills. I don’t expect any of my colleagues to be capable of doing this without making the AI unfun. And myself, I don’t play to ‘crush’, but to accomplish some self-defined series of in-game goals. This usually means a victory as the eventual goal - but not always. It depends on the game. I don’t have any desire to crank up the AI with advantages to give me maximum pressure - that kind of asymmetrical gameplay is not fun for me. And I expect some of the players of this game who express a dislike of AI cheating have similar preferences. The AI should have the crutches it needs to play its part, including providing some pressure - but I am not interested in being forced to optimize heavily to achieve my goals. That takes away my ability to create my own goals, and forces me instead to focus on exploiting balance issues and AI weaknesses.”

To me, this is essentially the same as a game being in early access. :( But glad to know it’s something planned for the game!

Preach it, Brother Kolbex! I feel bad that we’re in here piling on a game we haven’t even tried, but I hate to see indie developers tripping over their own feet when it comes to something this obvious.


I actually did give this one a try, maybe even twice! I can’t remember. I definitely bounced right off it, though.

Like many of us here I have been playing games for a long time and really don’t have any illusions about a perfect AI. To paraphrase what I believ Orald said down thread, I just want an AI that gives the illusion of competing or putting some kind of pressure on me so that I feel like my decisions mean something. If anyone remembers Space Empires IV, there was a game with so many cool things to do but with an AI so incompetent that it just ruined the experience. I’ve enjoyed Deity Empires, which has a lot of asymetrical PVE, and an AI that is just good enough to apply some pressure even if you know you will eventually win. The AI here just doesn’t seem to work. What makes the game fun is all the of the cool things you can do with your kingdom, and I found that well worth playing for until I was hit over the head by the fact that none of it mattered because the AI was literally just sitting there for most of the game and could be beaten easily without using any of the cool systems or units the game provides. You will see similar complaints in discussions on the game’s steam page. Again, I think it is an amazing game for a single Dev, and I hope it succeeds, but with so many options out there it just doesnt hold up right now, at least for me.

I haven’t gotten far enough with the game to know how Wizards and Warlords fits in with this, but I agree with this statement 100%. Gaming loses a lot for me when it is reduced to learning the weird exploits required to overcome an otherwise crushing AI.

Caster of Magic for Windows, by the way, does not strike me as that, at all. There is one prominent rule difference for the AI, and it is right out there in the open. And the difference has benefits for the human as well as for the AI. Otherwise, it is a game about utilizing the tools as your disposal, and about long term complex strategy. Not about exploits, at least at moderate difficulty levels. (And I have no problem with games containing high difficulty levels for people who enjoy the exploit experience.)

I feel this way too. To the point I frequently rage quit such games, particularly right after being told something to the effect that half the fun is figuring out how to play it.

But… if I hadn’t gone back to such games and figured them out anyway, often using those YouTube videos, I would have missed out on many of the games I ended up liking the most. So although this is one more ongoing change in the world around me that I despise, I am not going to shoot myself in the foot by boycotting all such games permanently.

The reason I thought about creating a thread for this game but ultimately decided to wait until later was because it is still heavily in development. I didn’t want to put a spotlight on it until the game was more complete because I knew the reaction to it here at this point would be what it has been.

I waited to buy the game until well after its “release” because the developer was still turning out updates like mad. EA essentially has not ended. I did finally buy it and have played the game and enjoyed it but it’s clear that the developer still has a lot of stuff that he wants to add and change about the game. So, I’ve put it back down for now. Not because I don’t enjoy playing it but because I want to give the developer more time to bring the game in line with what he envisions before I jump back in. I especially want to wait until he fleshes out the tactical combat system he just added more because I really enjoy those kinds of battles.

I have nothing but respect for this single developer and his drive and willingness to listen to his customers. The game is an amazing effort for one person and keeps getting better and better.

Yes, that weighed on my mind but I wanted to honor the requests to move game discussions from catch all threads to dedicated threads. And I think that the game is in a state where a dedicated thread seemed appropriate. I did try to frame this game as a work in progress, maybe I should have raised that flag a bit higher. And I would not start a dedicated thread for an early access game, but I acknowledge that W&W is not a finished product.

My other intention was to convince a few folks here to invest in a game that has significant potential to become a game that I think would appeal to turn based strategy fans at Qt3. Time is the limiter for the developer, but if additional financial support can help them devote more time to the game, all’s the better.

Some games have really good early access, which deserves to be talked about. Against the Storm is my example of an Early Access Game that is good enough to play right now, and doesn’t appear to miss anything (it’s even starting to have a good tutorial).

Yeah, I agree 100%. Games like this are rare and it does deserve investment for those that like them. The other good thing about getting involved is he is very receptive to making changes based on comments and has no ego at all about accepting criticism (very rare). If you like seeing your suggestions implemented, this is one of the best games I’ve seen for that.