Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's Coming Up For AI War?

Version 5.0 is out most places (not yet Steam, but that's coming) along with the latest massive expansion, Light of the Spire.  This is a big milestone!  And you might notice that the next expansion isn't due until late this year at the earliest.  So what happens in the meantime?

Well, our take on the core community is that they are currently pretty worn out on reinvention.  We've had a nonstop flurry of changes to the game all the way from version 4.0 and the Children of Neinzul expansion in the September, up through 5.0 and the LotS expansion in late January.  At some point the game has to stop changing massively and kind of "settle."

That's the phase that we're entering now, and it's something that a number of players have hinted to us that they'd like.  "Letting the game settle" does not mean just forgetting about it.  Rather, it bespeaks a different way of continuing to work with it.  Those who were around for the eight-month span between 3.0 and 4.0 know what I'm referring to.

It boils down to refining what we already have in place, tweaking where tweaking needs to happen, and adding little extra features that enhance the overall process of the game rather than reinventing it wholesale.  During this period, we're going to be paying special attention to the Vote Tallies section of our mantis idea tracker.  New features that rank high in the vote tallies are a lot more likely to get implemented in our ongoing free DLC releases, alongside the various bugfixes and general tweaks that will be going into the game on an ongoing basis.

All in all: it's a great time to be playing AI War.  You can learn the current rules and functionality with the security that it isn't going to be changing on you every week.  And yet the game isn't going to get stagnant, it's going to be gradually changing into the best possible version of itself.  A lot of people remember the post-3.0 time period with special fondness, despite the fact that our attention was so hugely on making Tidalis, and I think that's why.  It's no secret that our focus coming up is going to be hugely on making A Valley Without Wind, but at the same time that leaves plenty of room for continuing AI War's evolution.

It's definitely a great time to be playing AI War!

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