Its been 24 days since I push my game live on Steam Early Access. The feedback has been great and I’ve had more sales than I truly expected. Bugs found have also been incredible low – I am really pleased with that as I was worried whether I was doing enough testing.
I even got contacted by a major games publisher and spoke to them about my game and plans. Its was fantastic to get some advice from them and understand more about the type of war games they are interested in. I knew my game was not right for them but it shows I am on the right track. The big plus for me is I am getting gradually to meet and speak to some of the big players out there.
I have just started to target some of the dedicated war games sites to see if they are interested in doing reviews of my game. Will be interesting to see how they review my game. Good, bad or ugly the feedback will be great for me.
I pushed another release out last weekend that just about had the game at a finished state for hot seat play or for someone that likes playing both sides. But if I want to be successful I need to have some great AI.
Its all about the AI…
I have read several comments from people who have thought about buying the game that they will wait until it has AI in it.
Theres no doubt about it, writing the AI is going to be tough. The publisher I spoke to said it will be tough to write as well. But I need to do it – without it my games will never sell in any great numbers and my market will always be small.
I have been thinking about how to do it for sometime now. I have read great articles on influence maps, scripting, state engines and so on. I will tackle the Russians first – they need to play defensively to start with and I think this will be easier.
What I realized is that whatever the AI ends up being it will represent to some extent how I play games. How do I plan a move out, what order do I do things in, how aggressive a player am I and the such. Am I even a good player?
My focus initially will be to get some AI into the game – no matter how bad it is. That will act as the framework that I can build on. The first couple of turns will use a lot of scripting. Thats because initially units need to move up to where the fighting is and there is little outside influence that the human player can do to effect this.
It will be great when I release a first version with AI out on Early Access. If I can make my games challenging enough I know people will buy them and I will have a future in continuing to wrote this type of game.