Back again with another professional review and the behind-the-scenes, this time talking about the expansion AI War 2: The Spire Rises.
What IS It?
I believe the review speaks for itself and definitely is worth your time. If you are unfamiliar with AI War 2, it certainly wouldn't hurt to read my previous review of the game and a little bit of a strategy guide which also have been published on StrategyGamer.com.
The very short version is that you, the player, are running the human remnant, the last shreds of humanity which have been exiled from Earth and cast adrift in space, hunted to near extinction by our own creation, "the AI." Unlike most strategy games, there is no pretension of equality between the forces. The reason that the AI has not wiped you out is because you are a minuscule, unnoticeable stain that it would take more work than it's worth to hunt down to the last and, instead, it's concerned with much greater forces outside of our galaxy which provide significant threat. Your job is to try and provoke the AI as little as possible while maximizing your scavenging and technical growth until the moment you can strike, making a hard push for the AI homeworld and cutting it off at the head.
This is not an easy game and it is not intended to be an easy game. That's actually one of the reasons that I really love it.
The original AIW was a purely 2D sprite affair with a relatively clunky interface. AIW2 retains a little bit of that visual jank but under the hood the actual user experience is a much sleeker and more intuitive design.
Sometimes when I write these behind the scenes of articles that I've written, I get to go on at length about various editorial changes that happened after it left my hands and before the words saw the light of day. This time – there is really nothing. In fact, I'm not sure there's any edits that went into place between me and the site.
I must've done a good job.
Instead, I want to touch briefly on a new tool that I've been using to do research, jot notes, and pull things together in terms of idea management, and that is Roam. I really need to spend more time on this going forward, and probably will in my personal blog, but Roam is effectively a web-based mash up of task management, wiki, and journaling system. That doesn't sound like much, but it brings together a lot of tools in one place along with the ability to freely tag content with whatever you believe will trigger an association going forward. Simultaneously, it lets you organize ideas and find connections between them in surprising ways.
Here, I'll just show you what my research page for the article looks like along with the sidebar where I tend to keep my outstanding tasks.
I don't think you're going to learn more about me than you wanted to buy seeing my current outstanding tasks, but avert your eyes if you're afraid of knowing I need to sell some old RAM on eBay.
Now, just to highlight part of what is really useful about this tool, I'll go over to the AI War 2 link and show you what lives in there.
I have a few things set manually there, particularly tags which relate to concepts attached to the game, a link to a page specifically for the creator, where it can be found, a list of expansions – and everything else below that is generated and found automatically through back linking. Anywhere that the "AI War 2" page is linked automatically shows up as a back-reference on this page. When I discovered pieces of information related to the game, when I was assigned the article, individual pieces, thoughts that I had which weren't associated with any particular page except my daily log page that I jotted down – they all show up anywhere you reference it. And you can filter that content based on any other tags or pages that are associated. Just want to see the ones directly associated with the article I wrote? Click on the filter button, click on the article tag, and things get clean.
There is much more to Roam than just these little bits, and like I said I really should write a much longer and more involved blog post about ways that I've found to use the tool, but if you want to give it a go before I get around to something more detailed, pop over to RoamResearch.com and start tinkering. There are a ton of videos on YouTube though – in all honesty they tend to be focused on a lot of hand waving woowoo of the like you find in a lot of the productivity community and if that put you off, like it often does me, you might find it a little bit of a slog. Don't worry, the tool is worth it.
As always, if you have comments or curiosities, reply down below and I would be happy to answer any questions you have.
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here today and want to support my continued efforts to bring engineering, art, and the occasional philosophical divergence to the masses, please feel free to send me a tip. Or thousands of dollars, I’m really not that picky. It’s through the efforts of you and others of like mind that content like this gets created.
Thank you for your time.