AI War:Who Worked On This Game?
Chris McEllogott Park here, from the distant year 2021. This is based on my recollection and may need corrections or addendums. I apologize for anyone I leave out or give less credit than they are owed.
So: who worked on the game?
In terms of art and code and so forth, until July of 2009, I was the sole person who contributed anything of the sort. I used the Lidgren networking library and SlimDX, but everything else code-wise was 100% me, engine on up. I had three testers, my dad and my uncle and my uncle's friend, from November 2008 through sometime in May 2009. Oh, and starting in March of 2009, Pablo composed the soundtrack for it. I did all the other audio work.
The actual visual art and sound assets were mostly used from free sources and altered, or were things I could manage to do myself. A lot of the original art was by Daniel Cook for the game Tyrian.
1.x to 2.0
After the game started making money, in July 2009 I contracted Phil Chabot to do better graphics for some ships, new graphics for others, better planet backgrounds, and a better ui skin. He did all of those things.
The icon level of the ships throughout the history of the game was almost entirely me, but had a bit from others here and there. In the last few expansions, "Blue" did those instead of me.
The Zenith Remnant (DLC1)
I did the code and design for The Zenith Remnant completely on my own, along with Pablo for music. He and I both left our day jobs in December 2009. That came out in Jan or Feb 2010. Phil did all the golem art, and many other pieces of art.
AI War 3.x to 4.0
Directly after TZR, Keith LaMothe came on board for helping out with code more, and sometime in that same year Erik Johnson came on board for help with more marketing stuff. I may have these times quite wrong, apologies to both of so.
Phil Chabot, Lars Bull, Pablo, and myself were the main people working on the game Tidalis in 2010. Keith was brought in at the last moment for maybe a month to help with some code in Tidalis that I was having trouble finishing on time. Prior to that he was working on AI War mostly still, and he was not fulltime yet with Arcen (I THINK). I started working on the Children of Neinzul expansion that all proceeds went to charity for the first like 4-5 years, and Keith did about half the coding on that and a little design, and Maxime Trepanier did all of the art because Phil was busy with Tidalis. My ex wife Marisa Miner (formerly Marisa Park) also was involved a lot in Tidalis, writing the story for the adventure mode of the game while she was pregnant with our son.
Light of the Spire and 4.x
After Tidalis failed and thing seemed dire (it was a big thing in the gaming press), I started working on porting AI War to the unity engine, which was a major undertaking -- running an engine on an engine, in many ways -- and unity was lacking some of the Direct3DX extensions that I was used to using, and mono had worse performance than native .NET. Keith and I split that work pretty evenly, and also pretty evenly split the work on Light of the Spire.
I did almost all of the art for light of the spire, trying to save money, and a lot of it was modeled in 3D programs like ZBrush and then exported to sprites.
After light of the spire, in late 2010, my involvement with the first AI War became distant supervisory at best.
At that point, Keith took over the intermittent improvements of code and such to the game, and was the sole designer and coder for the last three expansions of the game. I funded the art, or in a couple of cases did more art myself for it.
The latter couple of expansions also had a lot of art done by Daniette Shinkle (Daniette Wood or Daniette Mann variously back then -- "Blue," anyway). She had a divorce, return to maiden name, and remarriage the early 2010s, same as I did in the very late 2010s (though I only changed my name once, and that was by choice rather than social pressure; benefit of being a guy, honestly).
Cath Langwagen did some of the promo art for the very last AI War 1 expansions, and we also contracted similarly for that sort of thing with two random individuals that we found who did the sort of art we wanted.
We kept on putting out DLCs for AI War until 2014ish, when it felt like we had really mined every possible idea we could do in that space, and adding more was diminishing returns for players, as well as for us in terms of finances.
Bear in mind the in-game credits are a more full list of everyone involved. A TON of the ideas were from other people. Even things like free-roaming defender mode, which seems like a "how does this game exist without that?" was an idea from a fan. I don't remember who, but if you check the release notes from the summer of 2009, it is right in there.