Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

Announcing “Stars Beyond Reach,” a new 4x coming in April/May 2015.

It is with great pleasure that I formally announce this next game.  Finally, Arcen is doing a true 4x!  People have been suggesting that we do this for years, and I’ve wanted to, but I wasn’t really ready yet.  Even so, bits and pieces of 4x infuse a lot of our games, particularly AI War […]

Podcast: Curating Games and Open Ended Development

This week I went on the excellent Perceptive Podcast once again, which is always a pleasure.  This time we discussed a variety of things: Open-ended development and how that differs from traditional linear game development. Why I think the new Curator system on Steam is the bee’s knees, and why I hope other stores do […]

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 […]

Technical Notes: (Finally) Sprite Batching in our Graphics Pipeline

The really big update in the current version of The Last Federation is anew sprite batching system — and this is something that is going to be making its way into our other games soon, too.  This is a performance improvement that I have been putting off since 2010, and arguably since 2002.  I first […]

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 […]

Introducing The Races (And Logo) For Stars Beyond Reach

UPDATE 10/31/2014: Since the name of the game has changed to Stars Beyond Reach, and the logo has changed, I’ve come back and updated this post to reflect that.  Everything else was already accurate, so there was no point having any confusion.  The old name was Spectral Empire. Stars Beyond Reach is our upcoming 4X […]

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 […]

Tidalis wallpaper.

Okay, so this is the last of the wallpapers I’m going to post today. The wallpapers category on our main site has all of them listed, including the older ones from Skyward Collapse that were posted prior today. Here’s the link: http://arcengames.com/category/gamedesign/art/wallpapers/

Wallpaper for AI War: Destroyer of Worlds.

We never really had proper large-scale concept art for AI War until the last month or so. This is definitely my favorite piece out of all the new stuff, and again this is by Cathrine Langwagen.

Two wallpapers for Valley 2.

Two of my favorite concept art pieces for Valley 2, made into wallpapers. Enjoy!

Wallpaper for Shattered Haven.

Ah, Shattered Haven. I get that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I feel like it’s so under-appreciated all the same. It really has a special place for me in my life. Anyhow, this wallpaper is just made of awesome, which surely is something we can all agree on, at least. ;)

Two wallpapers for Bionic Dues

Today is wallpaper day, I guess. :)  Here are two wallpapers from Bionic Dues.  These were both originally by me, although the side view of the city has been overpainted by Cathrine Langwagen to look waaay better than it originally did.  She added cooler reflections in the water and all sorts of stuff. Enjoy!

High-res wallpaper of the main menu from Valley 1.

While we’re on the subject of wallpapers today, here’s another one for you — this is my favorite image that I did for Valley 1, by far.  Enjoy!

High-res wallpaper of planetcracker strike from The Last Federation.

As many of you have noticed, the forums also now share the awesome planetcracker background from The Last Federation.  Cathrine Langwagen really outdid herself with this one, I have to say!  Anyhow, since some of you were asking about wallpapers, here is a massive 3200×1800 png of it — enjoy!

Arcen Soundtracks Now Available on Spotify

A good portion of Pablo Vega’s OSTs have been added to music streaming service Spotify. Here are the albums that are currently available: A Valley Without Wind 2 AI War: Ancient Shadows The Last Federation Shattered Haven Skyward Collapse Skyward Collapse: Nihon no Mura Searching and selecting Pablo Vega as an artist brings up multiple […]

New TLF Screenshots!

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 […]

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 […]

TLF – Ending Credits Music “Lay Down Your Arms”

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 […]

The Last Federation – Solar Map Screenshots

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the description of your role as […]

The Last Federation – New Combat GUI And Upcoming Combat Changes

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the description of your role as […]

The Last Federation – First Alpha Footage (Combat!)

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the description of your role as […]

Planetary Art For The Last Federation, Plus News On Combat

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the description of your role as […]

Sharing More Art From The Last Federation

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the description of your role as […]

“Butterfly Effect” Sources In The Last Federation

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the description of your role as […]

What I Love About Each Race In The Last Federation

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, and the description of your role […]

B&W Portraits Of The Remaining Four Races

The Last Federation is a really unique game in that it is a strategy/tactics game set inside a simulation game.  Check out our first sneak preview about it, or our preview discussing simulations in the game.  Also our recent podcast with Space Game Junkie with lots of other details, the guide to aliens in the […]

Thoughts On “Alone Together” Collaborative/Competitive Networked Play (“Multiplayer” Is A Stretch)

This is an idea that I originally had for The Last Federation, our upcoming title, but which I think could be applicable to all sorts of games, including our last title, Bionic Dues.  Right now it is just a for-future-exploration sort of idea, but I wanted to put my thoughts out there and see what […]