It has been a while since we posted developments here; The holidays slowed our progress a bit but the work on AOP9 goes on.
Today, we wanted to send out a quick note; For those of you who may be interested, we have published an alpha of the game on the google play store. The alpha is available free by opting-in here http://go.tallshipstudio.com/Play-AOP9 since it is in alpha, it might have bugs, or odd behavior, so if you find any, let us know... so we can fix them ASAP.
Feedback can be sent through a single form here: http://go.tallshipstudio.com/AOP9-A
Written by - Ian Baum
On most game projects, designing the look and feel of a game can be an arduous task, but the design for Attack on Planet 9 came to me when we decided on the name. Like the universe aligned and it all made sense. I mean what kind of game called Attack on Planet 9 would look good with cartoony characters and fluffy clouds. NO. This game screamed classic sci-fi. It roared it into my head, and showed me the images I would create. Enter the look of Attack on Planet 9. Stay tuned to this blog to see more of the art as we get closer to an official release.
And remember to like and follow us for future updates.
P.S. Let us now if you still want to try DREAD the Teaser.
Written by - Markus Young
One of the key features of AOP9 is the AI; How the Computer plays, and and the difficulty of beating it goes a long way to testing the players FQ... That's Fun Quotient, for those playing along at home.
Over the various games we have worked on, we have learned (and re-learned) a number of things; Today I though I share a few of them with you.
1) AI is Hard. Making a computer imitate the intelligence of a functioning human mind is not easy; a non-functioning human mind, easy.
There are really only two factors that make a Computer player Believable; It can't be too smart, and It can't be too dumb. the trick comes in walking that very narrow line.
2) AI is Complex. A Player can glance at a game and very quickly understand what moves they can make... In the Tenths or hundredths of seconds range. this is because the human mind processes the things the player sees without any conscious effort. After the Rules to a game are learned and under stood the player can make their move intuitively and quickly... Often in well under a second. Without sight the Computer cannot do this.
3) AI is Easy. Once you boil all the actions in a game down, most Computers have to do about 3-5 actions. (i.e. Cover, Shoot, move to position, and defend area, will get you most of the way to an FPS bot). The issue is in how and when those action happen that make a Smart or Dumb AI, therefor making a Hard or Easy Game.
4) AI is Simple; well, AI is about Simplifying. one must give the Computer Senses(such as sight) and it must be able to understand the rules of the game. in order to to this, you must usually distill all of the data from the game into easy to use and easy to understand bite-size chunks.. that are relevant at decision time. when presenting the a game board to a Computer Player, one does not necessarily need to tell the computer about each and every inch of the board, if the AI can only interact with 2 inches of it at a time; in that case it might be better(and usually faster) to tell the bot about 2 or 3 inches of the board that it can use, and leave the rest out(until it is relevant)
5) AI must be fast. no player wants to wait 20 seconds, or 10 or even 5 for the computer to move his pawn in chess... this is even more demanding in non-turn based games such as FPS, or fighting games... taking longer that 1/2 a second mean the player can kill the bot before the AI knows the player is there.
We have a couple of things to tell you today; firstly is that we have been working on a new title, To replace "Dominance". Dominance was never meant to be more than a working title and is not intended to be the final name. of course, i have found that choosing a name can be one of the hardest parts of making games... it has to telegraph a huge amount to the player, things like what kind of game it is, what the background is, and it sets the tone and feel of the game from the very start.
After a few very productive Discussions and some Deliberation with have settled on the new name. so without further ado, Iam Happy to present to you,
Attack On Planet 9.
the second thing we would like to discuss is the completely new Website; Check it out @ www.tallshipstudio.com it has been redesigned and rebuilt almost from scratch. we are interests what people think so send us your opinions in the comments below.
The third and lastly we would like to share with you is that Tall ship studio has entered the Utah Game Wars 15, this is a contest that pits innovations in software, hardware and Video games against each other to see what Reigns supreme.
The Contest closes after midnight on September 1st, and we are looking at a whole lot of long weekends, and longer nights till we get AOP9 where we want it, and to where we are comfortable with showing it off... We hope you will support in the contest.
In the coming weeks, at least partially due to Game wars, we will be releasing updates here about the game; How it plays; and the backstory, so check back often to get a behind the scenes look.