Archive for the ‘Most Popular’ Category

Review games on Steam that you love — or hate. “Results are determined by those who show up.”

Well, the new steam storefront is very interesting, and I think it’s a breath of fresh air.  For a lot of reasons.  It gives a lot more power to recommendations and peers and even news outlets.  This new curators thing is going to be awesome, I’ve wanted them to add something like this for years. […]

Free tool for game developers: Random Game Title Generator (with source code)

Bear with me, because this is going to sound strange.  First, let’s get the premise out of the way: naming games is hard, and it’s also incredibly important. Why is it so important?  Well, take the following screenshot of Steam: Unless you have banner rotation featuring, this is ALL people see of your game.  Even […]

Welp, Apparently I Can Retire Now

Not really, and certainly not financially.  But apparently we’ve hit a point where My Work Here Is Done. Let me explain.  Ever since I was introduced to Boatmurdered, which is an epic LP (Let’s Play) for Dwarf Fortress, I’ve wanted to create a game that could inspire something similar.  To me, Boatmurdered is one of […]

Followup to last year’s AI War postmortem (now discussing Bionic, TLF, etc).

Last June I wrote a postmortem of AI War, which also wound up being a form of history of Arcen as a whole.  But now a whole year has passed, and we’ve released Skyward Collapse: Nihon no Mura, Bionic Dues, and The Last Federation in that time.  We also have a lot more data on […]

Behind The Scenes: Iterative Combat Design In TLF

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out its game page for details, or swing by the forums for the game.  This is Arcen’s largest title ever, and we’re really excited to share it with folks. Alpha Information! Private alpha testing […]

More Musings On Iterative Game Design

I’ve written before, in depth, on my process for iterative game design and why I use it.  That blog post was a year and a half ago, however, when it was just Pablo, Phil, and myself and we hadn’t even started working on the first expansion to AI War yet.  I was the only game […]

Horizontal vs Vertical Game Development Phases

This is going to be a three-post day, to hopefully. make up for having neglected the blog for three weeks.  In the last post, I talked about the design process for A Valley Without Wind, at least at a high level — that’s a complex topic, so I might write more on that in the […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 6: The “Tempo,” and AI vs. Player Agency

In the fifth installment of this series, I talked about the reasons for not over-engineering AIs and thus letting them fall into traps by making them too predictable. That was intended to be the final article in the series, unless more questions came up that I needed to address. Recently a new topic has arisen, […]

A Quick Guide: How To Recognize An Arcen Title

Overall, early reactions to Tidalis have been extremely positive, for which our entire team is really gratified. However, there have been a few predictable reactions along the lines of “how do you go from making a hardcore strategy game to an [insert slur on casual or puzzle games, or games with cheerful graphics or music]?” […]

Free Graphics For Indie Developers!

Here’s the link: Download The AI War 2.0 Graphics Library And here’s the contents of our readme file: ————————————————————-AI War 2.0 Graphics Library: Free To Use For Indie Developers————————————————————- I’m going to keep this as brief as possible, for the sake of clarity. This library contains the graphics for the indie space RTS AI War: […]

Iterative Game Design The Right Way

The industry standard way of designing games is to do so in advance, crafting a hefty “design document” that is basically the bible of how the game will be created. I can see the value of this when working with a huge team of staff, and certainly I can see the value of this when […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 5: Don’t Squeeze a Handful of Sand

In the fourth installment of this series, I talked about the asymmetrical nature of the AI in AI War. That was intended to be the final article in the series, unless more questions came up that I needed to address. Recently a discussion arose on the Arcen Games forums, however, which I think really helps […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 4: Asymetrical Goals

The first part of this article series was basically an introduction to our AI design, and the second part of this article series took a look at some of the LINQ code used in the game, as well as discussing danger levels and clarifying a few points from the first article. The third part of […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 3: Limitations

The first part of this article series was basically an introduction to our AI design, and the second part of this article series took a look at some of the LINQ code used in the game, as well as discussing danger levels and clarifying a few points from the first article. The second article was […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 2: Queries and Code

The first part of this article series has been a hit with a lot of people, yet criticized by others for being too introductory/broad. Fair enough, starting with this article I’m going to get a lot lower-level. If you’re not a programmer or an AI enthusiast, you probably won’t find much interest beyond this point. […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 1: An Introduction

A lot of people have been curious about how the AI in AI War: Fleet Command works, since we have been able to achieve so much more realistic strategic/tactical results compared to the AI in most RTS games. Part 1 of this series will give an overview of the design philosophy we used, and later […]

The Case For Co-Op Games

I am running an experiment. My company’s first game, AI War: Fleet Command, is an RTS game that is entirely cooperative. Not that you can’t play it single-player — you can, and it’s completely fun that way — but there is no player-vs-player mode in a genre that is known for its pvp skirmishes. Was […]