You might remember Arcen Games‘ first AI War 2 Kickstarter campaign. I wrote about it when the campaign launched, and while I threw quite a lot of money Arcen’s way, I didn’t really think they would reach their very ambitious $299,400 funding goal in time.

When people say “I hate to say I told you so”, they rarely really do. But when Arcen Games founder Chris Park cancelled the campaign on November 10, I felt really bad for him. I don’t know Chris personally, and I’ve never talked to the guy. Still, by following what he’s been doing to promote both his company and the AI War 2 Kickstarter campaign, it’s obvious that this is a man who lives and breathes for making games he really believes in. Park is not a guy who gives up, and lays down in the fetal position under a desk when the world kicks him in the nuts.

Instead, he goes back to the drawing board, takes good advice from the people around him, and returns with a new, better, and refined AI War 2 Kickstarter campaign.

Great success!

With a much more sober funding goal of $50,000, the second campaigned was funded in less than 24 hours. With 27 days to go when I’m writing this, the campaign is also well on its way of reaching the first stretch goal. At $65,000, seminal Arcen composer, Pablo Vega, will sit down and write an hour-long soundtrack for AI War 2. Hurray!

A lighter budget comes with its obvious drawbacks, though. What was great ambitions, have to be scaled back a bit. Chris will not be as heavily involved in the development of AI War 2 as he obviously wants. Instead, the conn is handed over to Keith LaMothe. But fear not, we’re in good hands! Keith has worked as designer and programmer on the original AI War since 2011, and is responsible for some of the many fine expansions we’ve seen for the original game.

AI War 2 early interface mockup.

AI War 2 early interface mockup.

The Road Ahead

Keith has also written a new, and very well thought-trough design document. It’s not the 62,056 words behemoth as the design document for the first Kickstarter campaign. Instead, this second design document feels more like an executive summary of the original one. It makes it a lot more approachable, and I’m sure it has contributed to the success of the second campaign.

AI War 2 is scheduled for release in less than a year, in October 2017. Since we all know that every single game development project in the history of mankind has fallen behind schedule, I doubt we’ll actually see AI War 2 1.0 in 2017. But with the amount of money I pledged to the campaign, I’m getting access to both the private alpha, and Steam Early Access.

If you’re in the mood for a grand strategic 4X tower defense real time strategy game as well, pledge now. A copy of the game at release starts as low as $20. But the more you pledge, the more goodies you’ll get. For a meager $16 more, you get a copy of the original AI War, and all its expansions as well.

I’m pretty sure your kids have been too naughty this year to deserve any presents from Santa.