Planetary Annihilation

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PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

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Planetary Annihilation Inc.

Unread postby icycalm » 17 Aug 2018 21:27

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/plan ... ans.73087/

panews wrote:Planetary Annihilation Inc. - The Future of PA and Titans

Hello Commanders,

It’s Planetary Annihilation: TITANS’ third birthday, and we have some very exciting news to share.

We are proud to announce the creation of Planetary Annihilation Inc, a new company with a team comprised of original PA developers and long-time community contributors. Our sole focus will be Planetary Annihilation and making PA into the best game that it can be, one ready to take full advantage of the many changes in technology since development started back in 2012.

None of this would have been possible without our dedicated community and so we will be opening up our communication to let you know what we are working on and experimenting with. No more radio silence!

We'll be launching an official Discord server next month. This will be a place for you to connect with other players, ask for help, share your awesome strategies and where we can engage with you to keep you informed on all the cool stuff going on.

As a thank you to everyone who purchased the original Planetary Annihilation we are permanently increasing the TITANS upgrade discount to 90% off!

This is just the beginning of the journey we’re embarking on. As we ramp up Planetary Annihilation Inc there will be more announcements about the shakeup of the 1v1 ladder and some big changes we are implementing to improve performance on newer hardware.

There are a lot of changes coming, so make sure you don’t miss anything by following us on Twitter @PA_the_game.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey, and remember: mine the gas giant, claim the asteroids, and never, under any circumstances, let them own the metal planet.

The PA Team


https://forums.uberent.com/threads/plan ... st-1147981

I wrote:Wow, so unexpected.

I'd be interested to know exactly who the staff is. I am sure many others would be interested too.

Is this company owned by Uber? Will the rights to PA be transferred?

So many questions...
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Uber forum reorganization

Unread postby icycalm » 17 Aug 2018 21:42

Also, the Uber forum has been radically reorganized.

Screenshot_2018-08-17 Planetary Annihilation.png


Before, the forums at the top were related to Uber, and below there was an "Uber games" section, with PA and the MNC games. Now PA has ITS OWN section, and MNC and Uber are lumped together below.

Also, an "admin" account created in 2009 that no one has ever seen is back and very active. Not posting anything, but silently reorganizing things.

It's really a dream come true for me. The only fly in the ointment is, of course, mikey, who by the wording of the announcement is certainly in the team. I only hope they have him just coding, and away from active admining and customer relations. It's a long shot, I know, but a man needs hope.

If they announce work on an expansion I'll have a heart attack.
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New official PA site

Unread postby icycalm » 21 Aug 2018 12:08

There will definitely be one, because look at the site linked from the new Twitter:

https://twitter.com/PA_the_game

Planetary Annihilation wrote:planetaryannihilation.com


Currently, it redirects to the Uber Titans site (http://www.uberent.com/pa/), but I would expect the new site any day now, otherwise they wouldn't have revealed the URL on Twitter. And when it comes, a lot of things should be revealed.

Commence the daily refreshing!
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Multithreading

Unread postby icycalm » 25 Aug 2018 00:34

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/mult ... ans.73101/

panews wrote:Multithreading - The Future of PA and Titans

@Sorian is back working on server simulation performance with multithreading this month and we have a technical update to share on his work for the next update.

Two years ago I was given the opportunity to continue work on my baby, Planetary Annihilation, for the 99337 Performance Update. My primary focus was attempting to improve performance by multithreading parts of the simulation. My initial focus was on areas of the simulation where I thought it would be easiest to do things in parallel. The most natural separation was based around planets.

Since navigation and physics are typically the worst performance offenders, separating updates by planet seemed like a good plan. Their updates tend to only act on a single entity. Initial testing blew up spectacularly, as I expected it would. Fortunately, there were not many areas of contention between threads and a performance win was born.

So, now that I am back, you may be wondering what I am working on now. I’ll be continuing right where I left off! This time I am digging further into the sim to see where I can split large groups of tasks over threads to speed things up. Early this week I was focused on the physics update. I figured, since we should only be looking at two unique physics objects at the same time, it should be possible to thread this.

Well, I was right and wrong. There were the usual small issues to fix, but threading the physics update revealed a larger issue. The physics system utilizes an HGrid (described as a loose octree) to find potential entity overlaps using a function called buildPairs. It turns out that there is no guarantee that the vector of pairs that we get back does not contain duplicates. Under normal operation this isn’t a huge issue, as this is a single call that immediately returns and it was just being done thousands of times more than it needed to be. However, when you throw threading into the mix it gets ugly. Fixable, but ugly.

I have also started work on restructuring the sim tick a bit to allow the navigation and physics updates to happen alongside other updates. Right now I have it running alongside the economy update, but the economy update is only a small part of the overall update, so not much of a win there yet. I am hoping to split some of the plan steps (our sim has plan, execute, and record steps for entities) out into a group that can also run at the same time as the navigation/physics update.

For the navigation system, I have been mainly focusing on the epic number of allocations the navigation system does during voxel integration. I have a new system in place that saves off vectors of cost cells (the objects the integrator makes tens of thousands during voxel integration) for reuse. The integrator is also doing a better job of allocating in blocks instead of individually. On the multithreading front, the navigation system has proven to be quite difficult. There are so many little acceleration features and so much lazy loading that is simply prevents multithreading without a significant amount of work.

So, what’s next? There is still more work to be done with navigation, there is still the sim tick stuff to be investigated, and some AI updates as well (of course), starting with a much needed performance pass. And that doesn’t even get into other fun stuff like modern toolchain and Coherent GT updates.

Mike “Sorian” Robbins


I skipped half of it but I think I got the gist: faster sim. Bring it on, dude!
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New PA site is live

Unread postby icycalm » 05 Sep 2018 18:01

New website but with the same exact content as the old Titans site: https://planetaryannihilation.com/

No mention anywhere of who PA Inc. belongs to, who is working on the game now, etc. So it's 100% sure that the secretive mikey is behind everything, and doing his best to hide as much as he can, which of course is retarded when you are trying to get people to support you and play your damn game.

The forum has also had a redesign: https://forums.planetaryannihilation.com/

Interestingly, the Uber-related forums "will be archived in September", which suggests that Uber is about to shut down.

So farewell Uber, you were amazing while you lasted, even if you sucked at PR, and god help us with mikey's even worse manic-obsessive nerdy handling of PA's future.


EDIT: Though Uber's site has a "coming soon" sign up, so maybe they are just reinventing themselves into a 100% shovelware maker, which is the same thing as shutting down, as far as gamers are concerned: http://www.uberent.com/
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Unread postby icycalm » 26 Aug 2020 17:02

Pretty incredible news for PA today. There's a new PTE build (testing branch) that makes some radical changes to the game.

114845-pte
https://forums.planetaryannihilation.co ... pte.73501/

panews wrote:Deep Space Radar returns to TITANS in a new role as a system wide planetary surface and air radar.

Vanguard is now a short range radar jammer.

Deep Space Radar

  • Updated name and description
  • Range: system wide planetary surface and air radar
  • Build cost: 4,800
  • Health: 1,500
  • Energy consumption: 15,000

Vanguard

  • Updated description
  • Radar now requires energy efficiency of 90%
  • Added radar jamming which also requires energy efficiency of 90%

TODO: Client side visualisation of radar jamming range.


The Deep Space Radar was a structure in the original version of PA that was removed for Titans and readded in my Insomnia Legion mod. And now mikey is putting it back in Titans, years after he banned my mod. Good on him. However, going by his description of its new role, I think he screwed it. DSR was supposed to give you system-wide ORBITAL radar, but now it gives you system-wide planetary surface and air radar, which basically makes normal radars pointless, while STILL giving players universal orbital radar for free from the start of the game. This is even more dumbed-down than normal Titans radar rules.

Having said that, the great news is that he added in radar-jamming for the first time in PA, by giving this ability to the Vanguard unit. This is in SupCom, and that's a welcome increase of PA's already huge tactical complexity. However, he did it hamfistedly again by repurposing an existing unit instead of adding a new one. And indeed, he should have added several new ones: a land, an air, and a naval radar-jamming unit.

The good news is that all the above screw-ups should be fixable in modding. It should be trivial to keep the DSR in its original role in our Insomnia Legion mod, and now that radar-jamming has been added as a feature, it should be trivial to take this ability from the Vanguard and give it to some of the ex-Legion units that have been repurposed in our mod as T2 and T4 units. Plenty of them are duplicate units looking for a new role (simply because the original Legion mod is largely a duplicate unit mod), and radar-jamming would sort a few of them out. A radar-jamming submarine would be great too, as you wouldn't even be able to see it. And of course a radar-jamming orbital unit would make the already vastly more complex orbital mechanics of my Insomnia Legion mod even more complex.

So all we have to do now is wait for these changes to make the jump from PTE to the normal game, and then we can go to town, quickly too if Robo feels like getting back into PA modding, or slower if I have to do it on my own. We'll see.
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Unread postby Ciaróg » 25 Jun 2021 09:30

PA wrote wrote:The time of the unicorn is over, and now, the time of Fusion begins. It represents the beginning of great change.


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They finally got rid of the hideous Unicorn commander on the game's profile banner on Steam and the opening screen when you launch the game! The new Fusion commander looks like it could be a teaser for some new expansion pack or at least the shields they keep promising but maybe I am getting ahead of myself.

Coming later this year in Fusion updates:

Toolchain and performance updates
Default continuous build with view of build queue
Improved map selection (map packs no longer required)
New game lobby system preview (including metal spots)
UI unicode font updates with emojis
Defeated player and spectator vision options eg defeated unshared player can only view team
Faster mod mounting, uploading and downloading
Server mods support for Galactic War
AI updates
Shields!


I am cautiously optimistic that there will be more major changes and updates to the game and they aren't just teasing slight balance tweaks.
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Unread postby icycalm » 10 Dec 2021 17:43

I wouldn't get too excited over this. mikey has brought in developers before, ex-Uber ones even, and nothing came out of it reportedly because they couldn't stand him.

That said, these devs are saying their first task will be to trash mikey's mod manager and use a third-party one, so if a miracle has happened mikey might be out. Which would be insane. I don't know how I'd manage to restart the events while running D&D, but I'll find a way. And I'll be playing at 150 4K inches, so it'll be like a new game to me.

P.S. Remember the last server we rented, that basically never dropped below 100%? There are faster servers now... And even faster ones are coming out within months. We could have insane wars now, like never before. Fingers crossed...

https://forums.planetaryannihilation.co ... eam.73572/

mjshorty wrote:Exciting updates to PA's development. (NEW DEV TEAM!)

Does anyone else use these forums besides Quitch and I to keep up on changelogs? lol anyway...

Hey there, I thought I just post this here for those that do not use Planetary Annihilation's official discord ( https://discord.gg/pa ) but there has been an announcement of a new team. We don't have the numbers, but its a new group and we have one name so far with Jake Simpson, who is an industry veteran with many games under his name up to and including Age of Empire 2: Definitive Edition.

Here are the official statements pinned in Discord from Jake Simson to the community.

-To give you guys a little background - we are a new group to this franchise. We've been brought in to help support PA and while that's great, there are a LOT of moving parts for PA behind the scenes, and we are still learning our way around. We've managed to address the community mod stuff, but we are still working out how certain features work behind the scenes. Some things, like adding a new mod, for example, are still done by hand, and we've figured out how that works, but there are other systems we are still delving into in order to understand fully how they work and how we need to operate so we don't break things.

-Please understand, we are elbow deep in all this stuff, but there is a lot of systems to be elbow deep in, so to speak, and we only have so many elbows:)

-We are currently working out a road map for PA support with The Powers That Be, and I can reveal that the first thing we are doing is completely updating how community mods are handled. It's likely we will be using a third party service, so anyone can make an account on this service, upload their mod and it will be approved by people from the community, and then automatically put out there for everyone to grab. We are very deep in working all that out now, in fact.

-There will be a rebalancing pass sometime relatively soon as well - post the mod update.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 04:36

From back in September: https://steamcommunity.com/app/386070/d ... 438253069/

LmalukoBR wrote:Game reverted to Uber entertainement?
So in the discord people are pointing to a post showing that PA is reverting to Uber INC, all the servers are down and there is no explanation of what is going on. Is the game servers dead for ever and games will be local only for now on?


Plot thickens.

This would explain why the mod manager broke all of a sudden; it was mikey's, and it's in character for him to take his toys and go when there's a problem.

Thing is there's no Uber anymore and there hasn't been for a long time, so I don't know who the rights would "revert" to.

I should fire up the game to see if I am still banned. It'd be cool if the bans were in mikey's infrastructure so that I wouldn't even have to ask anyone to be unbanned.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 04:50

They've gone back to using PAMM lol! Just like we did because of the ban! CULT ahead of the curve as always!

https://steamcommunity.com/app/386070/d ... 4720154304

Lula Mae wrote:Mods are not gone. The game no longer has the internal mod manager service which was provided by a third party. The support team is working on a replacement. Until then, you can use the external mod manager that we used for the first several years of the game.


This can only mean that mikey's gone! His mod manager would not have stopped working otherwise, or he would at least have warned people instead of abruptly taking it offline.

What insane news... The end of an era! The mikey era!
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 05:16

From the Discord:

Stuart98
what's going on with /r/planetaryannihilation? mikeyh isn't a mod of it anymore, no surprise, but more surprising is that the css for it got nuked


Warlordcja
Wait community servers are gone?
well nvm

Gryzzly
yes they're gone


He took his servers with him.

It's pretty much official.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 05:30

FelipeHC — 12/02/2021
that was the main reason Mikeyh got mad all the time right?
[ICARUS] Quildtide — 12/02/2021
yeah this is probably a good summary of the current state
[ICARUS] Quildtide — 12/02/2021
1. people saying his name
2. people complaining about him getting angry
3. people complaining about people they knew getting banned for complaining about him
FelipeHC — 12/02/2021
ohh. what is the problem of saying his name?
[ICARUS] Quildtide — 12/02/2021
or stating that there was only 1 person working at PA Inc
that's the kind of thing you couldn't say before
FelipeHC — 12/02/2021
wasnt that the case? man I am confused hahah
[ICARUS] Quildtide — 12/02/2021
it was true
Gryzzly — 12/02/2021
:Grinning Squinting Face:
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FelipeHC — 12/02/2021
:Rolling on the Floor Laughing:
[ICARUS] Quildtide — 12/02/2021
There are other places where mikeyh definitely had ears but didn't care if people said his name in
or complained about him in
but if he did not like the larger community knowing much about his existence or the state of PA Inc
Gryzzly — 12/02/2021
if I can sum up I would say that mickey crossed deserts alone, faced storms alone, climbed dangerous mountains with bare hands alone and that at the end of each stage he was booed by the crowd and had to set off again to face the deserts and storms alone
+ we probably know like 20% of the whole story cause no one knows the IRL

Dreadnought — 12/02/2021
Lets not understate how BS these things were lol.
guy could do some solid modding and QOL features, but pr was not his thing

FelipeHC — 12/02/2021
yeah, makes sense. being alone he had to endure everything himself.. that is sad
is he gone for good now?
Gryzzly — 12/02/2021
unless im missing something yes he is gone from PA
FelipeHC — 12/02/2021
that is sad. I remember him since the kickstarter
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 05:36

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They have the models and are 3D printing them. That means we can put them in TaleSpire.

That just blows my mind. I don't even know where to begin sketching out the possibilities.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 05:37

Turn-based 4X PA lol.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 05:38

VERSUS STARFINDER VERSUS 40K
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 06:21

Zang
Well, I found out that Planetary Annihilation Inc. is in Delaware


Confirmed PA running on Hunter's laptop.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 06:39

From mikey's autistic timeline: https://wiki.palobby.com/wiki/Planetary ... n_Timeline

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The final three entries.

The last one tells me that he was booted off the game. He didn't die, he didn't lose interest and quit. He was booted. Which means that "Uber" has plans for the game. Otherwise why boot him? He was maintaining the game without bothering anyone and most likely with no pay. I even suspect he was paying for 1v1 tournament prizes out of his own pocket. So why boot him if you don't care about the game?

They must have plans for the game, and this moron who can't communicate with anyone was standing in their way.

We can also rule out the original theory that mikey had bought the game. He never bought it, he just acted as if he had because the real owners were nowhere to be seen.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 06:56

It makes NO sense for "Uber" to have plans for PA in 2022. It's a decade-old game by now. Even I am sorta tired of the same old units and same old planets.

Absolutely nothing they can do now will resurrect the game. No added feature can turn back the clock on this game.

Even a major DLC with say a new faction wouldn't achieve much. There would be a big bump in traffic, and six months later we'd be back to where we are now. That's what happened even with Titans back in mid-2015, and that was a mere year after official release.

They must be planning a sequel. They must be working on it right now, and they contracted this AoE2 developer to spruce up the original in anticipation of it.

I can't think of any other plausible scenario. Unless I have woefully underestimated how much money the game was still making, and maybe "Uber" needs this money now, so they shoved mikey out of the way to get it?

This makes no sense. There's no way PA is making more than a few thousand bucks a month now, if that.

And yet, it's the only one of "Uber's" games that hasn't been shut down, and I read that they went out of their way to safeguard the IP from a hostile publishing partner. And it makes sense: Mavor has spent his whole life working on TA/SupCom/PA. He knows PA is his masterpiece: if he died today, that's what people would remember him for. Moreover, no one can create at the level he did without being utterly in love with the creation. Sure, anyone can get burned out, but after some rest the fire starts burning again, and now is about the time when someone like Mavor would be looking at current tech and wondering how much more he can push the envelope further. And if, as I suspect, he got rich off selling PlayFab to Microsoft, perhaps he wants to work on this for himself, not as a way to make a living. That's the only way PA could be pushed further at this point, because almost no one would want to play a PA2.

It's either that, or the true answer is something pathetically mundane that would never occur to me.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 11 Dec 2021 19:09

The mundane scenario is that mikey did something stupid that forced the IP holders to come out of hibernation and replace him. Maybe he banned too many players and Steam got involved. Some administrative bullshit like that. So they booted him not because they wanted to, but because he forced them to. This makes sense when you consider how stupid and uncooperative he is. Once he makes a mistake, he'd rather let everything burn to the ground than admit it and fix it. (And no, I am nothing like that. I have even LYINGLY APOLOGIZED to get things back on track; i.e. given an insincere apology. He'd never dream of doing that if his whole family was about to die. He'd rather let them die than lose face.)

This mundane scenario would jive with the new manager being some AoE2 remaster/modder kind of guy. I.e. not cutting-edge talent, but just an upkeep guy to replace mikey. In this scenario, we might be able to restart our events, but there won't be any significant changes to the game. He has talked of a "balance pass", but maybe that's to appease the players. A balance pass is changing two numbers in a text document; anyone can do it.

It's either that, or PA2. I don't see a middle ground.
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 13 Dec 2021 22:04

No news in PA Discord, except this gem:

Lula Mae wrote:There was a briefly a WIP on the dedicated servers where if the meteor was small enough in relation to the target planet, it would create a planet-wide shock wave instead of destroying the planet. Can't find the demo video - it may have been pulled.


That would have been a great addition. And of course the shields mikey had been working on (though the unit he proposed to use was ugly). It seems highly unlikely we'll get these features now. I am sure they are on his hard drive somewhere but nowhere in the new devs' hard drives, and since the ending was acrimonious, there isn't likely to be an exchange of material.

So no news from the new devs, but I've been doing some digging in the meantime, and I think I've figured out what happened with Uber and PA.

For the longest time we thought that mikey had bought the game, and that the new company, PA Inc., was his. It seemed that way because he was handling all the company's accounts, including its new Twitter, and the official website, whose details he edited to reflect the new company. He took full control of the official forum, the Reddit, the Steam accounts, etc. And since all other staff vanished, it was reasonable to assume mikey had purchased the rights to the game.

What we didn't bother to investigate however was the whole Star Theory saga. And from hints in the PA Discord and the Star Theory Wikipedia page, I've managed to piece that together now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Theory_Games

Star Theory Games was what Uber renamed themselves to, ostensibly so as to avoid conflict with the ride-sharing company, but I suspect in truth to shake the bad reputation they had garnered due to autists on the internet complaining about "unfulfilled Kickstarter promises" (which to my knowledge there were none). Once it became clear they couldn't get much traction with new Kickstarters, they pivoted to VR games, of which they published two: Wayward Sky, and Dino Frontier, both for PS VR. Those must not have done well in sales, so they next contracted to make Kerbal Space Program 2. This makes sense as it's a space game, and they had a strong background in space games, and it was around that time that they changed their name to Star Theory Games, which suited their strengths and their new project well.

However, after some time developing the game, there was some drama with the company contracting them, who owned the Kerbal IP: Take-Two. Take-Two proposed to purchase Star Theory, but Jon Mavor and Bob Berry—who owned Uber, and now Star Theory—"did not like the terms of the deal, so Take-Two instead established Intercept Games and offered all Star Theory staff a position there, while Berry and Mavor encouraged the staff to stay with Star Theory. By February about twelve of the 30 staff had moved to Take-Two, and Kerbal contract was pulled from them by Take-Two. The remaining staff had planned to prepare prototypes and have material ready to present to publishers at the March 2020 Game Developers Conference, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference and others like it were closed down. Star Theory Games was shut down on March 4, 2020 as a result; some of the staff ended up at Take-Two to join the former staff."

One of the people who jumped ship btw was Jeremy Ables, or jables as he was known in the PA forum. That guy was a huge scumbag that treated us almost as badly as mikey did, and lo and behold he abandoned Uber the moment it was favorable to him. And good riddance. Enjoy working on that retarded soulless "Kerbal" franchise, dickweed.

In the midst of all this, I speculate (and have seen someone on the PA Discord say the same) that Mavor and Berry spun off the PA IP into its own company—Planetary Annihilation Inc.—so that if the deal to sell Star Theory to Take-Two had gone through, they would keep the PA IP. So THAT is the reason that PA Inc. was formed and NOT because mikey was trying to take over the game, as we had assumed. And the game was given to mikey because jables and the rest of the staff jumped ship. Mavor and Berry and their reduced staff had too much on their plate, so they handed the PA to mikey to keep it running without bothering them.

So what caused them to kick mikey out now, and hand the game over to a new dev team? We don't know, but what we do now is that they care enough about the PA IP to treat it differently than all the rest of the ones they own. They didn't care enough about the Monday Night Combat IP, or about the PS VR games. They know PA is special.

Btw, Mavor and Berry have both worked on Supreme Commander, and Mavor even worked on Total Annihilation—both of them in highly technical roles. Mavor was graphics programmer on TA and lead engineer on SupCom, so the way he climbed the hierarchy so quickly makes it seem reasonable his next step would be to try to direct the next game. And Berry was a senior engineer on SupCom, and later producer for Gas Powered Games. And on PA he worked as producer.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmavor

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-berry-254941
https://www.topionetworks.com/people/bo ... dc55000041

These people own PA Inc., and these people kicked out mikey and hired Jake Simpson—who apparently worked on AoE2 DE in some capacity—to work on PA, in a maintenance role at least. But there are rumors of bigger plans. We'll see what comes out of them. I am coming round to the idea that we might be seeing some sort of DLC. It might be a way to test the waters as to how much demand there is for more PA-related content. I'll take anything at this point, and will get back to playing the game very soon in anticipation of further developments. I'll even spruce up the Cosmic War website.
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icycalm
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Re: PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation

Unread postby icycalm » 09 May 2022 19:38

Marshall wrote:When taking screenshots, you can hit CTRL-U and CTRL-Y to turn off UI elements and Icons so you have a clean shot :)
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icycalm
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