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Brit

Version 1.01.15821

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Notable Fixes and Improvements:

- Fixed bug: nukes would sometimes explode in the wrong location

- The Foreign Relations window can be resized, and the game restores the window's last size and position

- Changed the AdHoc order system so units don't automatically leave forts to attack enemies

- Fixed an interface bug: sometimes players couldn't target any enemies in a group when there were multiple enemies in one location

- Fixed bug in the highlighting in the city-build window

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Yes same here Brit. Great job on the game and you have such dedication we can see and appreciate that. I have a friend who will be buying soon and will keep passing the word around. Please don't give up, sales will increase as the game gets better with your updates. Space Empires V has a great following but unfortunately the game has issues and is in relative limbo. But people like me would buy it instantly if they issued another version. We don't want the same thing to happen to EOS. This game has potential and I know because I started out playing Empire in the early 80's so I have seen alot of strategy games over the years.

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Thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately, I see EOS winding down. I just can't afford it anymore. Over 40% of our sales were in November and December of 2009. Sales have been declining ever since the game's release, with an occasional jump thanks to a sale. November 2010 went on record as the worst sales month to date - I earned only $370. (Multiply that by 12 months, and that works out to $4400 / year.) It's not a living wage, and I'm still in debt from developing the game in the first place. We also had some foreign contracts that were bringing in money, but they're about to end (which is why I didn't include them in the $370 figure).

I've been trying to turn around sales for the last year without much success, so I just don't have much faith in accomplishing that anymore. I'd really need turn around the sales-decline trend and get a 10-fold increase in sales to earn a living and start paying down my debt. Battlefront says they've sold games through other distributors, but it doesn't make a big difference in revenue once you include their 30% cut of the sales. Steam and the Humble Bundle guys won't return my email.

I'll still be around to fix bugs because I feel that I owe it to the users to fix major problems.

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Brit,

Sorry to hear about the sales. The upside of this game development is you now have a decent size "fan" base of gamers who are familiar with and enjoyed your work. I for one would very likely buy any other game you developed based on the experience with EOS.

Sequels and different spins of the game (leveraging the existing code base) would be a good way to generate more revenue. Each product you do gets you more exposure to a larger audience over time, while your long term customers generally will continue to buy your titles.

I think it would be interesting to see how EOS could be spun as a space conquest game. Sure, there a tons of those out there. You would need something unique game play wise. I have a few ideas, but this sounds like a different thread.....

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Argh! Really sorry to hear of your plight. If I was an uber rich person I would fund continued development of this game just because I am hooked on strategy such as this one but my programming skills are not good enough to code one of my own, or I probably would. Hint Hint! Do we have any multimillionaire or billionaire strategy gamers out there who like this game and want to make it even better?

My thinking at this point is maybe Brit could pursue some other method of making a living but still continue to work on EOS as he has the time? I know this would be a slow process but still better than no further game improvements. I still feel that with continued improvement, it could become a favorite of those who value the gameplay over glitzy graphics and multimedia extravaganzas. And then after a few years of hopefully increasing sales you could come out with a major upgrade that we would all pay for. And I know there are thousands out there who would play it but probably don't know about it yet. With continued improvement and longevity in the market place this would change.

I was going to recommend that you update the graphics somewhat, maybe similar to what Galactic Civilzations Twilight achieved. And I also was writing down some more game improvements that could be made. So I guess its not a good idea to send these in since you will only be doing bugs and I understand.

Thanks for taking the game this far.

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Sorry to hear about the poor sales. EoS truly is a solid product that has had dedicated support for a long time. I fear these type of games will continue to be a niche product, probably wont be very profitable anymore.

Too many people are fixated on graphics and 12.0 pixelubershaders.

I hope that if you have anymore products in the wings, or will continue the EoS line with an 'Expansion pack' or such youll let us know here :D

There's plenty of fans over here.

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Also, If you ever need any non-programming help I for one would always help. I'm studying history at the moment and would always be willing to help within my own understanding.

I'm sure there are others like me too with different skillsets/interests.

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Unfortunately, I see EOS winding down. I just can't afford it anymore... It's not a living wage.

This is unfortunate news. I did buy a copy of the game to help support development of niche wargames like this. The real-world problem of course is how small indy developers can produce wargames like this and survive? It's not like World of Warcraft with millions of copies sold and a huge revenue stream to support a staff and all sorts of fancy development.

I give Brit credit for doing as much as he's already done. Thank you! And hopefully he will continue to make modest improvements as he can.

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Sorry to hear that Brit. Your support so far has been superb! :)

The BIG question is will you fix the "all seeing AI?" This is a HUGE bug.

Well, it's not a bug. It's a design compromice and to be honest it seems you have an ... well, almost obsessive compulsion about it and I quite frankly don't understand it, but to each his own I guess.

I still very much enjoy this game whether I play against the AI or my friends. :D

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Sorry to hear that Brit. Your support so far has been superb! :)

Well, it's not a bug. It's a design compromice and to be honest it seems you have an ... well, almost obsessive compulsion about it and I quite frankly don't understand it, but to each his own I guess.

I still very much enjoy this game whether I play against the AI or my friends. :D

It is not only a bug it is a huge design flaw. It is not a compromise. It was designed to be temporary. Brit said earlier he wants to eliminate it. Now that he's giving up on the game, and I don't blame him, I'm sorry it didn't sell better but I did all I could to advertise and there were at least a few sales as a direct result of my efforts.

The game should never have been published this way. I've never, in 30 years of computer gaming, seen a game with an AI that sees all the player's units and moves. It's a definite game breaker.

I've said from the beginning that this game has a lot of potential. It looks like it won't quite reach it because it needs a terrain editor, but almost. However the AI absolutely needs to be fixed. It's something Brit owes to his customers. So I'd like to know if it will be fixed, and if so, some sort of rough time frame.

If you want to be a fanboy and go along with the game no matter what's wrong, I quite frankly don't understand it, but to each his own I guess.

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I bought the game at full price and would do it again tomorrow.I guess the core audience at Steam is FPS and hot graphics. However, EOS is a better game than AI Wars, IMO. I'd love to see you make a bundle on a $10 sale over there. They do have that huge customer base. But you are not alone. I bet almost every wargame designer over at Matrix struggles, too.

I'd agree an expansion that you could do quicker and sell for $20 could be a help. Probably jazz up the presentation a bit. It's an area fans like me don't care much about--I like the editor package the most--but most of us would spring for it. All you really need is a break on the marketing side, so I will say a prayer for that.

Best to you!

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The game should never have been published this way. I've never, in 30 years of computer gaming, seen a game with an AI that sees all the player's units and moves. It's a definite game breaker.

Oh please. Gary Grigsby's War in the East, just released, has an AI that is all-seeing and is getting a lot of positve comments. This was explained in some detail as to why it helps make the AI more competent and challenging, and doesn't help the AI all that much with grand strategy advantages anyways. Many games afford the AI a similar "game breaker" and still the AIs are criticized for not being competent enough. EOS does OK.

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Oh please. Gary Grigsby's War in the East, just released, has an AI that is all-seeing and is getting a lot of positve comments. This was explained in some detail as to why it helps make the AI more competent and challenging, and doesn't help the AI all that much with grand strategy advantages anyways. Many games afford the AI a similar "game breaker" and still the AIs are criticized for not being competent enough. EOS does OK.

I just went over to Matrix Games. Looked at all the threads and read the ones that discussed the AI in the thread topic. I also looked at the product page. I saw Nothing that said WitE has an all-seeing AI. The AI got a lot of positive comments but Nothing about it being all-seeing. So how about providing a link to back up your statement.

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I have GG's War in the East and the AI is not "All seeing" However there are options in the preferences that can be set so that you can have FoW but the AI doesn't and vice-versa. While it can be set, the AI isn't "all seeing." Please know what you are talking about before making comments about other games.

And I'm sorry to hear about Empires of Steel. I think the main issues are:

1)The game did not receive enough spotlight before and after release.

2)The game was a bit expensive on release, and thus the high price clouded the release and the reviews of the game.(Well I think the game is worth it)

3)Battlefront's DRM before you removed it.

4)The fact that everyone is comparing it to the old Empires Deluxe game, so people are finding faults with EoS which really are moot because I find EoS a completely new and different game.

5)No Expansions

6)The game is not on any of the major digital distributors. Steam, Impulse, and others were only reason 'AI War' became popular in the first place.

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Sigh. Perhaps you guys missed Joel Billings comments on Dec 22? Here's the quote, to back up exactly what I said, for a game I do have and have started to play some:

ORIGINAL: willgamer

Just so we're all on the same page, can we talk about what are all of the advantages enjoyed by the AI.

I'm pretty sure it's documented that the AI always plays with FOW off. Does this imply it has maximum recon of everything as well? Does it fly recon anyway?

The AI knows strategically where all enemy units are. However, it plays by the tactical rules of the detection level of units. So it must fly recon to increase detection levels of enemy units just as a human player should. Is knowing where the enemy a big handicap? Yes. Is it needed. Yes. We think the AI plays in it's own fog of war and doesn't need additional fog of war. It does not use the information nearly as well as a human would. In fact, other than trying to get a handle on where major German armor concentrations are located, it really doesn't use the information at all (and most of the time it's fairly obvious where the German armor is). If you want to play against a capable AI this cheat is imperative. It may prevent some ability for strategic surprise, but the computer is not thinking very strategically anyway, and it is very hard to pull off strategic surprise. Tactically, it really isn't taking advantage of the extra information. This isn't the first Grigsby game where the AI ignores FOW.

Does the AI follow the same air rules? Does it use the Air Doctrines at all? Does it follow the "must be first mission, or no fly" rules?

Yes, AFAIK, the AI follows all air rules that the human player follows.

Does the AI pay exactly the same admin costs... is it constrained by admin at all?

Yes and no. It pays for some things, but others are "free". It abuses this in two ways. If set to 110% morale it can build up to a given number of Soviet units for free. It will build a fortified line along the Svir river line even if it doesn't have the admin points. On the other hand, I don't think the AI is trying to replace it's leaders. I think it just takes what it has. A human player can choose to spend admin to change leaders and this can be very important.

Does the AI set locked/unlocked for SUs? Does it set the number of SUs/HQ and let the default up/down migration of SUs occur?

I'm not 100% sure. I don't remember if the AI just leaves all HQ's with a support level of 3 or if it makes some adjustments. I think it just leaves everything at 3 and lives with the results of the automatic system.

Does the AI observe the same supply rules for both distance and MPs?

Yes, unless you change the logistics level, in which case it gets some help.

Does the AI use refit?

I don't remember. I think it does, but can't tell you how or if for sure it does. I need to check with Gary on that.

I'm sure I've missed some.....

I'm not going to rehash "Can the AI escape pockets in some enhanced way?" since that's heavily discussed else where.

The AI does not always move it's units like a human player. It does do some warping if it judges that it is in a supplied situation near a rail line and not moving through zocs (not sure exactly what the limits are, but we worked hard to try to avoid warping out of possible pockets). This warping is needed because the AI cannot do the unit shuffle when forming a line like a human player would naturally do. On the downside, you may have noticed that the AI has a very hard time keeping it's unit integrity intact, so it is constantly suffering combat value reductions in combat. We tried to make an AI that could play well but not cheat in ways that would make valid strategies ineffective. Based on some of the posts about the AI, we've done a decent job. But I also see some players already crushing the AI after only a week or two of playing, and when that happens increasing the play level is called for. Eventually, all human players that invest time in playing the game will get good enough to beat the AI at the normal level, because humans learn and the computer does not.

Maybe Joel doesn't know what he's talking about? You fellas can take it up with him. Enjoy!

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First of all, it would be nice if you could write without being snarky.

It appears that Joel doesn't know what he's talking about. His answers to some questions were "I don't know." Perhaps it would have been better to interview Gary rather than Joel. Gary would have known what he was talking about.

Then in the options pic that V22 Osprey provided it's clear that the player can determine if he wants the AI to use FOG. I can't imagine they put in that option if there really is none. Joel said the AI knows strategically where enemy units are, but not tactically. That makes sense for a game like WitE. You're playing divisions and corps. These units are so big that in RL the enemy would know roughly where they are strategically.

Regardless, whether the AI in WitE uses FOG or not is irrelevant. In a 4X game like Empire it doesn't work. Knowing strategically and tactically where the enemy is is asinine. I've played Empire/Empire Deluxe over the years more than any other game. None used an all-seeing AI. The latest, Empire Enhanced, with a mod that I made the AI is excellent without this cheat. So it can be done.

Brit has said he wants to eliminate this. There are some tweaks he needs to implement first. But since Brit has said he wants to change it, why would you people disagree? Why are you people making such a big deal out of this? He already said it. So I've been waiting.

However, he just came out and said he will discontinue work on the game except for minor bug fixing. So I'd like to know if he still plans to fix this larger bug. And if so, what kind of time frame. That's all.

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