Arcadecraft 62% Off On Steam Summer Sale!

That’s right! Arcadecraft is on the Steam Summer Sale for 62% off its regular price. That means that it is only $4.93 USD a copy!

Now is an awesome time to get the PC version of Arcadecraft at an incredibly low price!

Click here to find Arcadecraft on Steam!

Arcadecraft Now Available on Steam!

Arcadecraft has been uploaded to Steam and is now available to purchase and play! It is also on sale at 25% off the new regular price of $12.99usd for a limited time.

Arcadecraft is also no longer in Early Access! All 17 character models have been completed and have been added into the game. To sweeten the deal we also put higher resolution textures on the arcade machine cabinets and on the customizable rear wall of the arcade. Perfect for players running it at 1080p.

Steam Keys will shortly be supplied to those who have already bought the game through either the Humble Widget or Humble Store.

Get your copy of Arcadecraft on Steam!

PCSreen

Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy the game!

New Arcadecraft Build Available!

The latest build of Arcadecraft for PC is available for download through Humble!

Here is the changelist for the new build!

  • - STARTUP CRASH FIX –  European language and number systems now supported.
  • - UPDATE – All the numbers that get displayed as text now conform to the user’s current language
  • - UPDATE -The Beta now has added an extra simulation year of gameplay. It now finishes at the end of 1985.
  • - UPDATE – Four new character models have been added. Steven Quarters, Rick Pennywise, Alex Hoarder, and Bobby Danger.
  • - UPDATE – Portraits for the new characters have been added.
  • - BUG FIX – Bobby Danger was able to occupy 2 machines at the same time
  • - UPDATE – Enhanced the mouse cursor visibility with the menus – if the user is navigating menus with the keyboard, we don’t show the cursor.  this fixes issues where the mouse would select menu items even though we were using the keyboard.
  • - FIX – Upgraded sunburn in order to apply a change to help fix machines appearing and disappearing issue
  • - FIX – the player wasn’t always able to pick up the angry gamer avatar if there was another avatar near him.
  • - UPDATE – for the machine’s info screen, we’ve replaced the machine’s popularity info with its genre since that info was missing. the machine’s popularity is at the top of the screen anyway so need to show it again.

Thank you for your support so far and for reporting issues you have been having with the game! If you find a problem with the game and want to report it you may email us at FirebaseIndustries@Hotmail.com

Don’t forger to vote for Arcadecraft on Steam Greenlight!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=222920987

Help support development of Arcadecraft for PC by buying it through the link below!

ClickToBuy

Check back for more information and Beta improvements!

 

 

Keeping Score

While we are writing this there are now 1431 scores on the Arcadecraft Scoreboard! It has been steadily increasing since the game went live at around 215 new scores per day. It is really great that so many people have been playing the game and enjoying it.

There are also some pretty amazing numbers up on the board, with Random Fires being the first to $1,000,000! It also seems a good deal of players on the board are also in the high six figure range which is pretty awesome to see! It more or less proves that many people really understand the game mechanics.

However, there have been a few people confused or concerned when it comes to how the scoreboard is represented, and we don’t really blame them.

As crazy as it sounds it took us a while to nail down what we wanted to do with this tracking system and in the end we probably settled on a design that didn’t really work and got a bit worse when we took out one of the more important features.

What the current design is:

The Gamertag of the player, the date of their CURRENT game, and then their best total gross in a single playthrough.

This creates confusion as it seems as though a player in May, 1981 has $500,000. That simply isn’t the case.

What the design was meant to be:

The Gamertag of the player, The name of their arcade, the date of their current game, and their best total gross.

As we approached the end of version 1.0 of the game we got concerned that the swear filter wasn’t strong enough and there were ways a person could be clever (or obvious) and get around it, so we hid the arcade names which kind of broke how the date works in terms of design.

If you were tracking a good player and they had “Hamster Arcade” and made $500,000 by the end of the game, and then you saw that they changed the arcade name to “Laser Arcade” and were currently on Feb of 1982, you would mentally know that they opened up a new space and were going again.

Since the arcade name got dropped the confusion got worse, even though it probably still would have been confusing anyway. We needed to keep the date active as well otherwise all of the dates would simply represent the end date of the game, and then no one would know if that player had restarted their playthrough.

What the design really should be:

The Gamertag, The name of their arcade, the date of their current game, their current gross, and their best total gross.

That way you could see if a player had a chance of beating their best total gross in their current playthrough.

Now there isn’t enough room on the current board for all of that info, but there is if we drop the column where the arcade names would have resided, and we may do that sooner rather than later.

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

Arcadecraft Cover Art

This is what you should see appear on Xbox Live Indie Games in the near future!

ArcadeCraftCover

We are in the final stages of playtesting and moving into Peer Review within a few days. All being well Arcadecraft should become available soon!

Thank you for following development of the game! It has been a little over 10 months since we started and can’t wait to get the game in your hands!

Arcadecraft in Playtesting

Arcadecraft for Xbox 360 has entered the Playtesting phase on the AppHub site for XNA members! We are already getting all kinds of really good feeback about the game and how the design goals are being communicated to the players.

Some content is still being added to the game as well to help reinforce certain game mechanics and completely flesh out the visuals. Studio X is once again supporting us with in game audio and much of it has been integrated so far. We recently modified the camera so that it can pitch up and down, getting you closer to the action! Everything is coming together really well and we can’t wait to get the game in your hands!

Thank you for your interest and support of Arcadecraft!

NewGames

Here are some new cabinets that have been added recently!

Secret Plans Uncovered

You have probably been wondering what has been going on with Arcadecraft. Well, here are some answers for you!

First of all, we ran into a really ugly memory problem. Basically as we have been adding certain features to complete and flesh out the game we also started running out of available memory.

Arcadecraft, by its design has to hold a lot of stuff in memory at a time. The city block, the building, the avatars, the user interface, and the arcade game cabinets. We don’t have a lot of flexibility with our memory for most elements of the game so we have to be very careful and optimize the material that is available.

To get available memory back we had to comb through the textures that the game uses and make specific choices about resolution size. We crunched many textures down that the player would never see the highest resolution version of anyway, which was an easy win. After that we set about taking our entire library of arcade games and reconfigure them so they take less space! Here are some examples of what we did…

What you will notice is that the main cabinet texture now contains the monitor frame as well as the coin slot, but more texture room for the company logo side art. The control panel texture was drastically modified so it takes up 1/2 the amount of space of the original. Really, the only serious resolution drop was in the marquee, which is unfortunate but you cannot tell in gameplay. The control panel itself is only 5% smaller and the monitor size is indentical.

Every machine had a dedicated 512×512 colour, and emissive texture. Now with change to 512×256 maps for every machine we get double the amount of machines in the same memory space as before.

The cabinets also got modified. The original models were a bit of polygonal overkill. A lot of the budget was spent on the coin slot area which is barely seen in game. Changing this to being more texture dependent saved polys and performance. The other change was that the rubber stripping along the edge of the machine had a centimeter of extra depth which is now gone. With these changes, and a once over of the textures, the machines actually look a bit better than they did in the past and render faster!

Those two big memory changes needed to be propogated over the 60 arcade games in Arcadecraft and unfortunately it took a very long time and a lot of manual labour to make it happen. Now with it near complete the user can currently have up to 30 unique machines in their space. Hopefully these changes have mitigated the memory problem once and for all.

To be clear, we still have higher resolution source for everything so a future PC release, if it ever becomes a reality, will see a visual upgrade even with these changes.

Onto new features!

Like we alluded to in a previous post we have added the Import Salesman, Kenji Hase! He is a Japanese businessman specializing in grey market arcade machine sales. Once a year he visits your arcade and offers the latest import for you to purchase! Just be sure you have the money on hand because if you don’t buy the machine then and there you can’t get it again!

Yes Halloween is long past now but we have added in a couple of Seasonal Decorations for your arcade!

Christmas is on its way so buy and place a tree! Both items become available for a month and a half before the holiday date and expire in 45 days after purchase. Both of them bump your arcade popularity up a 1/2 star while they are present and need to be repurchased every year to get that bonus. We may add a couple more for other holidays or special events!

Speaking of seasonal effects, we are considering altering the exterior of the arcade with snow, rain, leaves, etc. This screenshot shows a early attempt at showing snow changing the environment!

Other recent improvements and changes have been the addition of the power square. It is a tile that appears within your arcade and if you place a machine over that tile it increases the machines popularity substantially.

The economic system of the game is firmly in place and functioning very well. We have also added a big dollar sign icon that appears above machines that have paid themselves off.

The stats screen has been improved to show monthly and life to date expenses and revenue. It also says what machines you have bought or sold, repairs made, customizations purchased, etc.

The machine info screen now shows how much money you have spent on a machine’s repairs over time. The same panel for the Jukebox shows the current music track playing.

There are three more big changes to the game yet to come and all are pretty important to how the game plays as well as offering strategic choice. Two of these changes we will talk about in a future update, but one of which we are open to talking about is the “Classic” mechanic.

After a machine is no longer available to buy from the store, it will become a “Classic” These Classics do not make a lot of money, in fact they barely break even on their power costs. However, a healthy selection of Classics improves your overall arcade popularity. They don’t require constant attention and repairs like newer machines do, due to the lack of people playing them, so they can be tucked into their own section and almost be left alone.

You probably want to know what effects the memory issues and features have had on the overall scope of the game and release plans for the game. Well, unfortunately the game’s scope has had to be taken down a bit. The first version will not be 10 years long and 100 games in size as was the original plan. It will be brought down to 5-6 years. However, there will be at least one machine released per month during the game so around 77 machines (as 5 are available from the start). We found that when there wasn’t enough machines released in a year, buying them became too easy and the game less engaging. In a play through of the game now, it is often that you don’t have enough money to buy the latest and greatest in the first couple years. That added a level of strategy for how and when the player decided to pick and choose the games they do want.

We have also had to lengthen the time a single month takes from 2:00 to 2:30 minutes. When the game was past the two year mark and you have 30 machines to manage it was impossible to take care of all of them. With the extra 30 seconds the game is more managable but still manic. That means the shortest time the 5 years can take is 150 minutes. In our playthroughs we spend an extra 10 minutes per year in the menus so a single 5 year playthrough is around 200 minutes or 3.3 hours. It would still be likely that you wouldn’t see everything the game had to offer in that time.

Does this mean Arcadecraft will never see 1986 and beyond? We still plan on updating the game after release if there is a good player base and if the game is popular! We personally want to build into the 90s and give players a new environment to work in!

As far as actual release of the game, we are planning on having the game into Xbox Playtest and Peer Review come the middle of December. Seeing as though gamers are already saturated with big holiday titles we don’t think it wouldn help Firebase to have it compete for gamer time and money against huge 100 million dollar games. That time is better spent making the game as stable and feature rich as we can!

All being well, the game should be releasing after the first or second week of January 2013. We know it seems like a long time to wait but we are just as anxious to have this game in your hands!

Thank you for all your interest in Arcadecraft!

Greenlight Arcade

Arcadecraft is up on Steam Greenlight!

Click here to visit the page!

It is very important that it gets Greenlighted if you are interested in ever playing the PC version of the game. Without acceptance to Steam, the chances of the PC version ever getting completed and released is slim to none. We suggest involving everyone you can in making sure the game is up voted into the top 100!

We want to see the game get released on PC as much as you do. Think of this like doing a Kickstarter where you don’t have to give us any money, just a vote from you and about 100,000 other people that you know!

Thank you!

Project Fireline

aka Air Support.

In July and August of 2011, while Orbitron: Revolution was entered into Dream Build Play and we were waiting for the results of the contest, Firebase started work on a new game. It was to be a project very similar to the Genesis classic, Herzog Zwei but with a few key differences.

First of all, your VTOL jet was never intended to transform into a robot. In HZ the robot mode is used to attack ground forces and escape missile attack. Both things would have been done from the air as you could effectively shoot down what was incoming. Your jet would be fitted with a gatling gun and a very limited number of lock on missiles that needed to get replenished by being near a base.

The units were to be changed up a bit. We were going to add hovering air units you could build, giving them the ability to traverse over canyons and water. Also, there were siege guns that could fire at range but were useless close up in their basic form.

Units types could also be upgraded as in a game such as Halo Wars or Starcraft, by upgrading portions of your main base. This was accomplished by upgrades to the factory portions that internally build the land, and air units. Upgrading the air unit capability would also help your own jet for example. You could also increase general unit production speed.

Terrain was going to play into the concept a bit more as the ground would have had a decent amount of undulation, in addition to the canyons and rivers of the original game. Your jet would simply travel at a fixed distance above the ground at all times so if the landscape became elevated you would just match the elevation as you flew around. Technologically this would have been accomplished by using the Sunburn Engine’s new height map rendering system.

Instead of the pickup, order, drop, pickup, order, drop method in HZ, unit selection and orders could now be achieved in bulk via a Halo Wars style paintbrush, or entire screen selection method. In the screenshots you can see the blue indicator directly underneath your jet,  this would have been able to expand to cover more units at once to accommodate this order method.

To assist in moving troops around the map your jet would have been allowed to drop a single Waypoint Beacon. From anywhere on the map you could order forces to head toward the beacon thus adding a less linear movement order structure to the game that what the original version had. If you drop a second beacon it would have just replaced the original.

Visually, we created a few new tricks with baked on lighting that would have really helped make the game look spectacular. Each unit would have had a level specific texture on it depending on the environment so it would take on the bounce portion of the lighting. For example, if it were a desert sand level the light brown bounce would have been added into the texture. If it were snow it would have had the blueish one, etc.

There were plans to include dynamic time of day as well as fog into the game. You could battle through the afternoon to sunset, through a short night, and back into the morning sun by leveraging the dynamic lighting in the engine. Vehicles would have had cool headlight effects so in the darkness of night they would have lit up the ground in front of them. There would have been all kinds of pretty effects, making Orbitron: Revolution look really basic in comparison.

We would have loved to have worked on and completed the game but we didn’t really want to compete with another indie developer, Carbon Games, for the same audience. Their game was so far ahead of ours at the time that it seemed like it wouldn’t have been worth the resources to come out in their shadow. We are not averse to resurrecting the idea later but it isn’t a game that we think could be built indie style given the competition.

Anyone interested in playing a Herzog Zwei like game we recommend you head over to Carbon Games and check out their take on the concept, Air Mech.

http://carbongames.com/