Author Topic: A big congratulations to Arcen Games  (Read 2380 times)

Offline madface

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A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« on: February 11, 2011, 01:10:07 AM »
I just want to say that it has been a while since I've come across a game as satisfying as AI War. As an indie developer, Arcen Games is, in my opinion, producing games of much higher quality than some other, often much larger, companies in the business. Arcen Games is definitely a hidden jewel.

Offline Sunshine!

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 09:42:51 AM »
Completely agree.  I've become very disenchanted with the major gaming industry, you just hear story after story of games being released with horrendous glitches, bugs and balance issues.  Granted, 4.0 wasn't the smoothest release, and 5.0 has its issues, but the game is still extremely fun and playable, so I'm not worried in the least.

Offline x4000

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 10:09:41 AM »
Thanks so much! :)
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Offline madface

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 11:49:34 AM »
Completely agree.  I've become very disenchanted with the major gaming industry, you just hear story after story of games being released with horrendous glitches, bugs and balance issues.  Granted, 4.0 wasn't the smoothest release, and 5.0 has its issues, but the game is still extremely fun and playable, so I'm not worried in the least.

For me it's not so much about glitches, bugs, and balance issues - I think nearly every game will suffer from these things upon release. I really like the way AG follows up their releases with support and further development. I find a lot of games being produced nowadays are of the cookie-cutter type with too much effort going into graphics in order to compensate for poor infrastructures and little to no support or development after release. I think Arcen Games got it absolutely right in prioritizing gameplay over graphics, although I wouldn't mind seeing some updates to the graphics. :)

One thing that really makes me want to support game developers like AG is the business model and approach to DRM. I have literally passed on some highly-rated games offered for very cheap on Steam sales just because of the type of DRM they come with. And even though I'm new to these forums, just browsing around I really like how the developers are actively involved with the community. It reinforces that they care about their games.

Offline Sunshine!

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 11:57:14 AM »
Yeah, the cookie cutter part with graphics being the main selling point bothers me as well.  It bothers me when game reviews place the highest emphasis on graphics because of the "immersion" factor (PC Gamer and IGN are notorious for this), when in reality poor graphics but excellent gameplay can be just as immersive.  They forget that Counterstrike is still one of the most popular first person shooters ever, and it's dated.  That and I look at game graphics these days and everything looks too shiny.  Everything has too much contrast.  Everything is too brown.  Everyone got bored with the WW2 phase, so now it's a hyper-realism phase.  And the RTS world isn't doing any better with Starcraft 2 not really bringing anything new to the table in terms of multiplayer (for as fun as it may be).

Offline TechSY730

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 04:38:25 PM »
Yeah, the cookie cutter part with graphics being the main selling point bothers me as well.  It bothers me when game reviews place the highest emphasis on graphics because of the "immersion" factor (PC Gamer and IGN are notorious for this), when in reality poor graphics but excellent gameplay can be just as immersive.

YES!!!

For example, the Fallen Spire storyline of the latest expansion, particularly the journal entries. Even though I knew it was just a game, it gave me a character to relate to and comment on what is going. This REALLY helped me to care about the campaign and drove me to find out what would happen next. It got me into the mood, aka, it was immersive.

That is another thing that makes for great immersion, a story. Even something simple with only a few characters (with lines) can greatly aid this.

And the RTS world isn't doing any better with Starcraft 2 not really bringing anything new to the table in terms of multiplayer (for as fun as it may be).

I look at Starcraft 2 as being a very refined, very polished, well thought out implementation of the standard RTS formula. But it is still the standard RTS formula nonetheless.

Offline Sunshine!

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 05:00:34 PM »
Yeah, that's all Starcraft 2 is.  I think the last major jump made by a major RTS was the cover system implemented in Company of Heroes.  Company of Heroes is more of a skirmish than anything though, and that's what gets me about RTS games - they're all skirmishes.  With the exception of possibly Supreme Commander/FA/2 (and those games completely lacked depth - no armor types, no bonuses, nothing, just look at damage and hitpoints), it's never about large engagements.  I'm all for fast-paced, but there just seems to be something wrong when your force is 80 population points maximum, and a tank takes up 8 population points.  Even SupCom only went up to 1000, and at default was 500.  I realize it's largely for technical reasons, but a large part of that is because people want the environment to be "beautiful" - sacrificing substance for flash.

Offline madface

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 06:14:39 PM »
I think the storyline of StarCraft 2 is pretty good, but I was really disappointed with the gameplay in general. After a decade of anticipation, I was expecting more than just the original StarCraft reincarnated with improved graphics.

I don't mind that RTS games be of the skirmish type, as this makes for pretty good multiplayer games, but it is very refreshing to be able to play an RTS game like AI War that breaks with the standard tech up, game ends in 20 minutes formula. In this regard, CoH and SupCom are good, but I found they becomes stale very quickly and very difficult (as in entertaining) to play single-player. But the one RTS that I think can compare on the grandness of scale to AI War is Sins of a Solar Empire. I find these two games complement each other nicely.

Offline Sunshine!

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 06:26:44 PM »
Sins of a Solar Empire (the demo at least) just seemed like a less polished version of AI war.  I didn't really like it all that much.

Offline madface

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 06:52:04 PM »
I really enjoy Sins because I think it is a nice blend between macro strategy and micro tactics, but it completely lacks an in-game storyline. If you don't read the manual, then you have absolutely NOTHING to immerse yourself in with regards to a storyline. I think this is a big turn off for many people, including myself, but the sheer magnitude of the research tree, diplomacy options, epicness of the game, and to an extent its graphics are awesome.

But I don't think that a comparison between Sins and AI War is a fair comparison. They're different games emphasizing different things. Within the RTS genre, I'm really impressed at what AI War was able to accomplish going to the other end of the spectrum. I like having RTS games from one end of the spectrum to the other. I just don't like having all the games stuck at one end. Sometimes when I don't have much time to spend on gaming, I do like having the option to play a quick RTS skirmish. I'm just really, really impressed at how a small indie company like AG was able to produce such an awesome game that is practically all macro (with minimal micro compared to other RTS games) yet can still be considered an "RTS" game.

Offline x4000

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 07:52:16 PM »
Heh -- to me, it's nice being on the positive end of a comparison with Sins.  When AI War was very new and people hadn't heard of it, I got a lot of "this looks like a Sins knockoff with terrible graphics."  This was back in the 1.0 days so the graphics were indeed terrible.  But the game still wasn't anything much like Sins from what I can tell from the ~30 minutes I spent with that game's demo.  I've heard very good things about the game, it just didn't seem like what I was looking for.

Anyway, long tangents aside, it seems funny to me to be on the other end of the comparisons sometimes now. :)
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Offline Sir t

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 12:02:44 AM »
The only comparison you can make with Sins of a Solar Empire is that you have starships and use wormholes and you can throw up defensive structures. Other than that the gameplay is very different in all respects. And I've played a lot of SOTS and still enjoy the odd game or 3 of it :)

I have to say that AI War still reminds me a lot of an old game called Conquest Frontier wars. Great game btw if you can find it somewhere. The main difference is that it had a terrific Admiral system in it that you could use to give bonuses to fleets depending on which admiral you chose for it.

I'll just put out a but of a defense of one of my fav games, Supreme commander. Its bloody refreshing these days to have a game NOT bother with the whole Rock-paper-scissors thing that infected RTS gameplay over the past 10 years. Its the closest you are going to get to larger strategy games. It's got so bad that you need a spiderweb spreadsheet to play anything and if you have the "wrong" units you might as well just run away. AI War rewards mixed fleets as things still do reasonable damage to each other even if the are the "wrong unit" even though you still have a bit of rock paper going on.

Offline Entrenched Homperson

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 08:29:50 AM »
SCII is a great game, but I think it's gonna be one of the last of it's kind. AI War is a pioneer and I expect alot more diversity in how RTS are conceptualized. You're simple build buildings --> Unit --> Attack isn't enough for the modern strategy gamer.
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Offline danando

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 08:35:16 AM »
Can i just say that bugs,glitches are the soul to every game because without these new ideas will not spring into the terms of being in the game, though to many will be a pain for the dev's

anyway congrats arcen games :) 10/10 off me

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Offline Zhaine

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Re: A big congratulations to Arcen Games
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2011, 04:28:58 PM »
The real comparison with Sins (what I remember of it) was that is was also in part an attempt to transfer what was cool about a galaxy conquering 4x into real time clothes. And also that it shared the overall galaxy map mixed with individual planetary battlefields scheme. And was about epic space battles. So you can see why people make the comparison even if the games feel very different in practice.