Arcadecraft Content Update 3 Now Available!

Our 3rd Content Update for Arcadecraft is now available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace!

Included in this update is:

New Content:
◾1 New Cocktail Machine
◾1 New Music Track
◾2 New “Graphics” Customization Options.
◾Pop Machine and Jukebox now show their stats on the purchase screen.
◾Pinball Machines have an ambient shadow
◾???Secret Number Added???

Balancing:
◾Machine Genres are now worth more popularity, but less than in Content Update 1.
◾The employee Rick Pennywise, has been tweaked to empty change at a higher threshold.

Performance:
◾The game should hold 30fps with around 26-27 machines in the space. This is up a good 4 machines from before.

Bugs Fixed:
◾Tickertape bug should be fixed.
◾Hot Square no longer appears outside of the arcade.
◾Unjamming Pinball Machines has the coins displaying in the proper place.
◾Angry Gamer now spawns in more random places.
◾Bobby Danger exploit fixed.

Still Not in this Update:
◾The new environment is not in this update. The reason is that there is currently performance/framerate issues with having 44 machines available on screen at once. It is pointless to ship the new space if it only offers the same machine limits as the current space.

On the current Xbox Marketplace we are aware that the cover art is not up to date. Hopefully it can be fixed soon so if you still see the old cover after you have done the update don’t worry about it.

We hope you have fun playing the game with the new content! If you have any issues, concerns, or comments, please email us!

More exciting Arcadecraft news should be coming in a couple short weeks! Thank you for your support!

Media Drop

Here are the screenshots we promised!

You will notice the 8 new standup machines, the first of the pinball machines, the new environment, and a new car for the exterior! You’ll also notice that everything is in progress and there are obvious errors here and there but everything will continue to be iterated on over the next few weeks. The look is only going to improve as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place! It wasn’t fair to not show you what we have been building after we have been talking about it.

Fishing

Finally, Fishing…oh Pinball too!

DinoPin

Tons of new, detailed pixel art has been done this time around. Graphics started getting really good in 1986!

CaveKidFriends

Wide assortment of genres!

Dudebro

80s Dudebro violent action games!

NewCar

A new car!

Bagatelle

Bagatelle is the new company dedicated to Pinball! There should be four pinball machines in the update. They start in 1980 and appear every 2 years or so.

Thank you for sticking with us and following the progress on the update!

Hopefully we will have more to show shortly!

 

Deliverables

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the radio silence on here. We use Twitter for more day to day updates and conversations and normally update the main site when we have more blanket news.

The update for AC is still coming along. You can hold us, (really me) accountable that we will show off some of the new features of the game this Friday, the 31st of May. This will include screenshots of the new location, 8 new standup arcade machines for 1986, and at least one pinball machine all located in the new arcade environment. You will likely also see some other assets here and there that all new.

So check back Friday evening and see what we have!

Three Months and Counting

It has been 3 months since Arcadecraft first went on sale on Xbox Live!

Sales have passed 30,000 and briskly heading towards 40,000 copies now that the game is on sale for 80msp. At that price we are getting a 91% conversion rate as well so for every 100 trial downloads we are getting 91 sales! We thank you guys for all of your support! Without such a great community of players AC wouldn’t be what it is and what it will be. Thank you for all of your emails, comments, tweets, etc. We read all of them and try to respond as best we can.

In regards to the next content update, rest assured it is coming along. The biggest holdup to the process, though it sounds ludicrous, was that I was struck by terrible seasonal allergies that made the month of March a near complete creative write off. While Sam was happily coding away building in the features for the game, I was clawing my eyes out and falling asleep at my desk. Since April production has ramped back up and I’m doing my best at playing catchup. Thank you for your patience and don’t plant alder trees.

We want to talk about the PC version of Arcadecraft as it is one of our more requested topics. To start off, here are two screenshots straight from the PC version as it stands right now.

PCVersion01

PCVersion02

As you can see, there are no characters in the scene and the UI is still Xbox controller centric. On the positive side, you may notice that the UI is full 1920×1080 without a hint of upscale. This doesn’t even represent what we could do with a true PC version as most of the source textures in the game are also available in 4x the resolution you see here.

This brings us to Steam Greenlight which is where you can currently find PC representation of the game. Arcadecraft was put on Steam Greenlight back in October of 2012. In the first week the metrics were looking really positive, surpassing our first game, Orbitron: Revolution quite easily. Unfortunately they dropped off rather quickly.

When Arcadecraft was released on Xbox 360 and media picked up on the game we saw an increase in Greenlight views again though nowhere near the scale as when it first appeared.

Seven months since Arcadecraft was put up on Greenlight, it isn’t any closer to becoming available on Steam. It is sad and unfortunate for us and for the people who really would like to play it. We put a lot of work into writing the game so it could port to PC given the money and time. However we have to maintain a responsible and sustainable business and we cannot pin our hopes on the game passing through Greenlight sometime in the far future. To that end, we are pulling the game from Greenlight on the 16th of May if it doesn’t make progress and move into the top 100.

You may think that setting a hard date and taking away the game is simply childish and a ploy for attention. We can see how you might come to that conclusion but I’ll do my best to explain why this is happening.

If we were to continue development of Arcadecraft for PC and bring it to a completed state we believe that it would take about five to six months of development and approximately $22,000 to cover overhead and raw costs alone. That doesn’t include any salary for us. So nothing towards mortgages, families, or other personal financial responsibilities.

This time and money would go to adding mouse support, building the PC UI, full graphics options, rebindable keyboard, character models, character textures, character editor UI, online integration, platform testing, and many other issues.  Without a guarantee of distribution and sales that cost is far too much to bear. It is also unfair of the Xbox version to carry the costs of the PC version as it was done on its own budget for its audience. It also represents the brunt of the actual income the company makes.

Why not go Kickstarter? Well we are a Canadian company and Kickstarter is unavailable to us unless we bring in a US middleman. We would much rather have every dollar of support pledged go toward the game instead of helping the middleman with the added tax burden they would take on. Also, without a guarantee of a sales portal after the fact the cost would have to include a salary for us, pushing the total a lot higher.

Please remember that Firebase Industries is only two people, Sam and myself. As Arcadecraft is winding down we have begun preproduction on our next game as well as entertaining other business opportunities. Once we start full production of Game Three in a couple of months, we are not going to stop until it is finished.

You may ask why we make games for the Xbox 360 instead of anything else? Mostly because we find it is the easiest route.

  • First, the XNA framework, C#, and the Sunburn Engine all give a really nice headstart to development.
  • Second is that it is a single sku platform. All Xbox 360s are essentially equal and you can guarantee the controller for the primary input device.
  • Third is that as long as we don’t make anything offensive we are guaranteed a spot on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace as well as a chance to land on Xbox Live Arcade if we can get our quality, contracts, and dates aligned with a publisher.

Other options for development for us do exist and we may be pursuing iOS, Windows 8, Next Xbox, PS4, Ouya and other platforms in the future depending upon details of how open their marketplaces remain or become. Also, matching the game with the right financial model is important to us as there is a distinct and real shift taking place in the game industry.

In closing we are just as disappointed as you are that a PC version is an unlikely reality. We think it is a great match given the success and audience for UI centric, Tycoon style games on the platform.

On the other hand, the response to the Xbox version of Arcadecraft has been phenomenal. We had a ton of fun making the game and continue to work on updates for it. Best news of all is that our third game has started and we hope it is something you are going to enjoy! It will also port a lot easier to multiple platforms.

Insert 80msp to Continue

Arcadecraft has hit a grand total of 30,000 sales on Xbox Live! As a result of hitting such a big milestone we have put the game on sale for 80 Microsoft Points ($1). Please tell everyone you know!

Thank you to everyone who has bought and supported the game thus far! We really appreciate the feedback we have gotten and look forward to the next update. We will be posting new images late this week or early next week, showing you what you can expect!

 

Moving Forward

We are moving forward with Content Update 2!

This content update should bring the new, larger arcade into the game! With a bigger space to play in we plan to allow the player to have another 10 machines in their arcade which means that we will be offering another power upgrade to purchase. It also means adding color and material customization options for the new space.

We are also looking at feedback from the community, and as a result we are looking at getting the storage room functioning differently, so machines in storage do not take up space in your arcade. It also seems many players are finding the game too easy so we are going to look at the balance in the popularity of given machine genres.

In addition we are possibly adding a new machine type and another year to the simulation, which means another 12 machines including an import machine as well.

The original Roadmap has about 2 months worth of work in it and we don’t think you want to wait that long for new content. Instead we will be doing about 1/2 of it and trying to get content to you sooner. We will update the Roadmap page in the next few days as we get more clarity on our completion dates.

We are also happy to announce that Xbox Live Indie Game, Bad Caterpillar is in the current version of Arcadecraft. If you have bought Bad Caterpillar already it should give you access to a code for use in Arcadecraft to unlock the cabinet! If you haven’t bought it, go check it out as it is a fun modern retro throwback to the era that Arcadecraft takes place in!

Just like Orbitron: Revolution, the Bad Caterpillar cabinet is able to be deployed anywhere in the timeline for a good income boost!

As a reminder, if you are intersted in Arcadecraft on PC the Greenlight Page needs a lot of love!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=101948773

Thank you for supporting Arcadecraft and please continue spreading the good word about the game!

 

 

The Last Week

Arcadecraft has been on sale for about 8 full days now and we are currently looking at a good 1775 scores up on the board. It has been a great start and we are really happy where the game is at the moment!

We have been cranking away on the mini update to the game that is intended to fix the Code 4 issue a number of people have reported. Yesterday we had a tester playing through the entire game which was hooked up to the debugger so we could track down any issue he would find. Unfortunately all that happened was he had a good 6-7 hour long game without problems.

Today however, Sam encountered a crash and thinks he may have found and fixed the root cause of the problem! Great news if he is proven to be correct.

In terms of where we are at the moment, here is a list of things we have fixed so far:

  • The Angry Gamer no longer spawns when the player is in the menus.
  • Alex Hoarder no longer always asks for your oldest machine.
  • Alex Hoarder selling Code 4 crash is fixed.
  • The new music track is in.
  • Multiple 8-bit music jingles have been added to the various game genres.
  • Memory savings and performance gains via texture atlasing.
  • Neon has seen a minor update.
  • 4 of the 6 new machines are complete.
  • Some textures are higher res.
  • Other minor bug fixes.

Hopefully we can get this update into Peer Review mid next week so we can get you a better experience with more content sooner.

Other than that we wanted to share a couple new things!

Here is a render of what the new location may look like! Some of it is textured already but we wanted to show you it without the patchwork of materials.

CinderBlock

It is a good chunk larger inside and currently has two pillars that you need to work around. We would like it so you can break one of the pillars down for a good deal of in game money.

We are also happy to announce that someone at Microsoft has been more than kind and decided to feature us on the Xbox dashboard! Special thanks to @masterblud for supplying the image!

BCn8jZBCMAEhNsF

Interesting tidbit. The scoreboard supports only 2000 scores and we may hit the limit this weekend. To get on the board after all 2000 places have been taken we assume players are going to have to start working a little harder! The new update will raise the scoreboard limit to a much higher number! :)

Arcadecraft Now Available on Xbox Live

Thats right! Arcadecraft has been released and is on Xbox Live Indie Games for download!

CLICK THIS LINK TO BUY!

The full press release can be found here: http://firebase.ca/press/

New screenshots can be found here: http://firebase.ca/arcadecraft-screenshots/

We hope you enjoy it! We also really want to hear your questions, comments, or strange things you found in the game so go to the contact page and email us.

Boot Up Sequence

We thought that we should give people an update on how things are shaping up on Arcadecraft!

Arcadecraft was put into Peer Review about two weeks ago on the Microsoft App Hub. It was sitting at 91% through the process after about 5 days of being available for App Hub members to test out. During this time, one reviewer found a problem in how the game handles memory (it runs out). The issue discovered was quite rare, and only reveals itself after around 3 straight hours of play.

In a bit of a panic we went looking to see what was causing the problem with the game that we thought we had previously solved a few posts back about optimizing our artwork. Turns out that the way we went about handling our assets caused an incredible memory bloat. Once it was known we did an 18 hour or so mad rush of work where we were able to solve the memory problem completely! In fact it solved it so well that there is now room left over for a good 30 or so more machines in the game, that we can add if/when we do an update! The savings were also so great that the overall game smoothness has been improved and we were able to load certain higher res textures back into the game!

However, as it was unknown what would happen if the original build hit 100% in Peer Review and we had the updated fix available in the meantime we decided to pull the previous build from Peer Review. This caused a full week penalty from being able to submit the game to Peer Review again! We did this simply because this new build is the far better experience than the older one and we would much rather you play something that isn’t going to fail on you.

Well, the week long penalty is over and Arcadecraft has once again returned to Peer Review! If it is able to pass through the process by Monday or Tuesday you may be playing the Xbox 360 version of the game as early as the 31st of January! We certainly hope this is the case and if so you can expect a press release, new media, an updated FAQ, roadmap, price, and a game to play!

In other news, last weekend (Jan 19th) Firebase Industries attended the Vancouver Film School Game Design Expo. At the event we had a table set up with the latest build of Arcadecraft as well as Orbitron: Revolution! A great time was had and we talked to a good number of people about our games and recieved some fantastic feedback!

GameDesignExpo