Have I told you how much I appreciate Early Access road maps? Frankly this is something that should be mandatory for any Early Access games, but while they’re not, the few games that do follow this practice should be roundly praised.
Endless Space 2 is one of those games that has released a comprehensive designed road map for its Early Access customers. Stage One of that road map was released less than a month ago, and stage two is currently being worked on. The Stage One update, did however introduced a number of bugs to the game. Amplitude have been working hard to eradicate these bugs, and it’s nice to see that they’re back on course now, but what’s interesting about this delay, is that it was caused by the new approach Amplitude are taking with the AI.
When designing Endless Space 2, the team at Amplitude decided on taking a radical new course with the AI Architecture. Instead of being part and parcel of the whole core Endless Space program, the AI will be programmed into a separate module, which will run in parallel to the rest of the game (kind of like someone watching the game being played, then deciding what to do). This offers some advantages for the game in terms of controlling memory usage, but also offers more flexibility for programming and debugging too, basically the more flexible the system, the better the AI that can potentially be produced.
The various AI exploits available in Endless Space were one of its biggest problems, so it’s good to see the studio making plans to avoid the same issues in Endless Space 2.