Month: August 2013

Skyward Collapse Nihon no Mura and Bionic Dues Featured in PAX Prime Indie MEGABOOTH

Skyward Collapse Nihon no Mura Expansion Launches Ahead of PAX Indie MEGABOOTH Showing
Arcen’s upcoming tactical roguelike Bionic Dues also to be on display in Seattle

We’re pleased to announce the release of the Nihon no Mura expansion for our god game Skyward Collapse. The game is available now on Steam, GamersGate and the Arcen Store – and will land soon on various other digital storefronts.

The expansion adds the Japanese (along with its more than interesting mythology) as a new faction to the base game’s Norse and Greek line-ups, along with Hamlets – non-factional building constructions that enable several powerful new abilities. That leads into the additions of the Hamlet Idyll game mode as well as the Construct the Luminith Tower alternate win condition, and there are also new map and land tile types, new music from our composer Pablo Vega, and more.

Skyward Collapse 2.0 and Nihon no Mura will be on display in Seattle during PAX Prime this weekend as part of the Indie MEGABOOTH. In celebration of the launch and showing, both the base game and new expansion content are on discount through this week and all four days at PAX.

Along with the Nihon no Mura content, we’ll also be demoing our upcoming tactical turn-based roguelike –  Bionic Dues. The game features six classes of Exos – hovering mechs – and has players delving into a variety of facilities in Port City.


Press and video channel owners interested in preview codes, assets or more info on Skyward Collapse Nihon no Mura and/or Bionic Dues, please email us: arcengames[at]gmail[dot]com .

About Skyward Collapse Nihon no Mura
The floating continent of Luminith is now home to more than just the Norse and Greeks: the Japanese enter the fray as a playable faction.  The Japanese of Luminith have a very strong military and a very strange pantheon of gods: their gods are much more active and aggressive than their Greek and Norse counterparts, and each god has three unique creatures rather than three god tokens.  Learning to play this new style of faction effectively is a fun new challenge, because it changes the flow of everything: you can’t drop the usual god tokens for points, instead having to rely on lots of creature summons.  Given how powerful this then makes the Japanese military, the Norse and Greek god tokens have to be used in new and creative ways to drive back this threat.

Hamlets are the other major addition in Nihon no Mura.  These non-combative, non-factional villages can be built in the remains of the fallen towns of either faction.  Ignore the hamlets and they will be taken over by slums.  Tend to them and you can build up a mix of nobles and peasantry that will generate a new Culture resource for you.  Culture allows you to activate some powerful new abilities, such as enlarging the radius of your factional towns.  Amass enough Culture and Sunstone and you can even win the game via a new method: constructing the incredible Luminith Tower.

Features
Unique new Japanese faction with a completely new way of handling their gods.
Hamlets allow for non-factional building construction that enable several powerful new abilities.
New “Hamlet Idyll” game mode that lets you play with hamlets without the military side of the game.
New alternate win condition!  Construct the Luminith Tower via resources earned in your hamlets.
Several new map types, woes, land tile types, and a useful new Military Outpost building for all factions.
More music!

About Bionic Dues
Bionic Dues is a tactical turn-based roguelike featuring “Exos” — basically legless mechs that hover around. You play as one of six characters, and you remotely pilot any combination of four Exos pulled from six classes: Assault, Sniper, Science, Siege, Tank, and Brawler. The premise of the game has to do with these Exos. You were an ordinary citizen in a futuristic city… that was, naturally, taken over by robots. People still live in the city and try to go about their business, but frankly it’s dangerous with the robots all around, killing people and causing other problems. But the expense of moving from the city is way more than a regular person can afford. And the common people can’t even afford the bionic implants that would let them better defend themselves from the robots! Sheesh. But good ol’ corporations have a deal for the citizenry: they’ll give you bionic implants for free, so long as you do a tour of duty in the city, trying to wipe out the robots.
About Arcen Games
Arcen Games entered the PC indie scene in 2009 with their cult classic AI War: Fleet Command, which was named the 40th best-reviewed PC game of the year by MetaCritic. Their second year saw the release of The Zenith Remnant, the first two full expansions for AI War; as well as Tidalis, an innovative block-based puzzle with casual appeal and hardcore depth.
AI War’s third and largest expansion Light of the Spire marked Arcen’s first release of 2011, with the rest of the company’s focus being devoted to their most massive project yet: A Valley Without Wind, which released in 2012. The end of 2012/start of 2013 has been another busy time for the team, with AI War’s fourth expansion Ancient Shadows launching, A Valley Without Wind 2 hitting 1.0, and Shattered Haven’s releasing as well. The studio just launched its latest title, turn-based strategic god game Skyward Collapse, this past May and now turns its attention to developing its latest project Bionic Dues along with adding new content to both AI War and Skyward Collapse over the coming months.
Originally a one-man shop, Arcen Games has grown to have half a dozen part-time or fulltime contributors to its various titles. The team is also proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Child’s Play charity. For all the latest news, coverage and other musings, visit us on our website, Twitter and Facebook; as well as Arcen founder Chris Park’s Games By Design blog.

Skyward Collapse Free 2.0 Upgrade Launches Alongside Nihon no Mura Expansion

We at Arcen are proud to announce the latest version of our title Skyward Collapse has now gone gold.  As is typical for our titles, the massive 2.0 update is free, while a paid expansion pack with huge buckets of content also launches at an affordable $2.99.

At PAX Prime we’ll primarily be showing off Bionic Dues in the Indie Megabooth, but we’ll also have Nihon no Mura (the new expansion) and Skyward Collapse 2.0 to check out if you want to swing by.

What’s New In 2.0
There was a big writeup on the largest set of changes, which were originally released as version beta 1.4.  Anyway, the highlights of what has changed from 1.0 onward are:

– Complete rebalance of pretty much all the units’ bonuses against one another.
– Monster Caves that appear in addition to Bandit Keeps.
– 9 new bandit-only mythological creatures.
– 11 new bandit-only human units.
– Ally Camps, with 3 units from each faction moving here.
– 2 new land types.
– Soul imprints resource, and new related abilities.
– Currency resource, and revamped trade model.
– Building upgrades.
– Revamped resource costs for human units to better control production.
– Garrisons.
– Functional revamp of not only trade, but also embassies and flower gardens.
– New Insane and Torment difficulty levels for expert players.
– Visual upgrades to the fonts, particle effects, and various tiles.
– Improvements to Sandbox Mode.

And a whole lot more!

Nihon no Mura Expansion
The Japanese enter the fray on Luminith: their faction has a very strong military and a very strange pantheon: their gods are much more aggressive than their Greek and Norse counterparts, and each has three god creatures rather than three god tokens.  Learning to play this new faction effectively is a fun new challenge: given how powerful the Japanese military and mythology are, you have to be very creative in how you help the Norse and Greeks drive back this threat.  Remember, no faction is supposed to dominate the other!

Hamlets are new non-combative, non-factional villages that can be built in the remains of the fallen towns.  But it’s never that easy!  Hamlet buildings can only be placed from a limited queue that cycles as you place them.  Hamlet buildings generate (or lose) Culture depending on what pre-existing tiles were adjacent at the time you placed them.  Culture allows you to activate four powerful new abilities, including creating Large Towns or even turning back time.  Amass enough Culture and Sunstone and you can even win the game via a new Cultural Victory!

Features
* Japanese faction with a unique new playstyle both for balance and gods.
* Hamlets: construction of 11 non-factional building types that generate Culture via new adjacency rules.
* New alternate win condition!  Construct the Luminith Tower via Culture earned in your hamlets.
* Powerful new Culture abilities: Enlarge Radius of Town, Reverse Time, Stop Woe, and Super Smite.
* Hamlet Idyll game mode: play for score with hamlets without the military side of the game.
* For all factions: 3 new map types, 9 new woes, 2 new land tiles, and a useful new Military Outpost building.
* Ten new music tracks by Pablo Vega, including a new vocal track for win/loss music!


About Skyward Collapse

“I can never play Skyward Collapse again. I work from home. Frankly, having it – and the accompanying temptation – within arm’s reach would be detrimental to my productivity.”
Richard Mitchell, Joystiq

“Skyward Collapse offers a unique twist on a stagnant genre”
9/10 – Rob Savillo , GamesBeat

How do you balance — and indeed encourage — a war between factions without letting either side obliterate the other?  How do you rule over gods, creatures, and men who refuse to obey you?  How do you build a landscape of villages when bandits and mythology are conspiring to tear it down?  Skyward Collapse places you into the role of The Creator, and frees you to tackle these problems your own way.  Brought to you by the developer of the modern strategy classic AI War: Fleet Command, Arcen’s second full strategy title is equally unique (but far easier to learn): a turn-based 4x strategic god-game.

Your task is to build and populate the floating continent of Luminith.  You create — but cannot control — gods, creatures, and artifacts from both Greek and Norse mythology.  The power you wield with these is immense: Heimdall’s horn causes everyone outdoors to drop dead, for crying out loud.  Your task is to keep both factions alive and fighting until The Master calls you home — but this is harder than it sounds.  Bandit Keeps pop up periodically, as do Woes such as floods, serial killers, guild strikes, and vegetarian uprisings.  Every game plays out differently, and you’ll need even the craziest of your powers in order to survive what lies in store for you.

Features
* A turn-based strategic god-game where you control neither faction, but instead strive to maintain the balance of power.
* Make towns and war as the boardgame-like floating continent continues to construct itself around you.
* Persuade your minions into doing what you want by controlling the circumstances of their (brief) lives.
* 16 gods, each with unique passive abilities and three active powers, help you further your goals as you pass into the Age of Monsters.
* Level up your player profile by winning games. Twelve unlockable buildings in all!
* Straightforward controls paired with an intuitive and helpful interface make this an easy title to pick up… but the strategy runs deep.
* Multiple difficulty levels let you play a very relaxed game up to a nail-bitingly difficult one.  There’s no one best way to win!
* Co-op multiplayer for up to 8 players.

Skyward Collapse 1.903 Beta “Release Candidate 4” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one just more last-minute tuning prior to the upcoming 2.0 release.  There was one exploit with cultural victories, but aside from that nothing serious.  Things are looking good!

This release is the fourth “release candidate,” which basically means we’re into fine-tuning-only mode until this launches this week.  Probably Wednesday, but we’ll keep you posted!

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Bionic Dues: First 10 Screenshots!

In my last post about Bionic, which was actually earlier today, I said that I would soon be posting some actual in-game screenshots of Bionic Dues.  I bet you didn’t think it would be this soon!  Anyway, I’m really excited to share these with you.

Click for the full-size versions of all of these, and bear in mind that these are jpegs so there is a little bit of lossiness to the images (but not much).

Above: The title menu.  It’s pretty much what you will see in the final 1.0 version of the game, I think.  The exo portrait on the right is different every time you start the game (out of the pool of 6 epic exos).

Above: The “start new game” window.  This is definitely final in terms of what you will see for the 1.0 version of the game.  You choose your city map type, your team of four Exos, your commander, your difficulty, and if multiplayer is enabled or not.  And you’re off to the races!

– The city map type gives you a different visual, as well as different node positions and connections.  In even a single city, however, the placement of all the nodes is completely random, as is where you start in the city.

– Your team of four exos really determines the feel of your entire game.  If you choose four Science exos… well, that’s going to be a really tough game!  That’s like the “four white mages” run in Final Fantasy 1, I’d say.  But going without any science guy at all is also probably not the best plan.  One tank, one science, and two of anything else is usually wisest.

– Your commander gives you some sort of large single bonus throughout the game (and that’s all they do, to be clear).  In this case, Meg is selected, and she gets 50% better loot than usual, as she was formerly a mechanic.  There are six commanders, and they all have abilities that are hard to choose between because they are all so desirable.

– The difficulty level determines three things: 1) how much health your home command has before it blows up and you lose the game (ie, how many missions you can fail); 2) the starting amount of and rate of growth of enemy robot manufacturing (higher is bad); 3) the starting amount of and rate of growth of your scavenging prowess (higher is good).

Above: Both the city map and the mission map can be zoomed in and out to a huge degree.  Here we are all the way zoomed out, and we can see most of the city in one view.  That said, we’ve only just started this game, so very few of the nodes are visible at all (just 5 out of 125 are visible, and then a further four are noted as “potential missions” that you will uncover if you complete a mission adjacent to them).

Above: And here we are now completely zoomed in.  Also I hovered over the home command health indicator so you can read that tooltip if you want.

Above:”DumBots” are the basic foot soldiers of the game, and they have, shall we say, “Storm Trooper Aim.”  They always miss their first shot, and their shots don’t hit for much anyhow.  But the thing is, unlike in the movies, when you walk into a room full of 20 of these, you are actually in pretty decent peril. 

You’ll want to draw them out for single combat if you can.  If only there were a way to attract their attention without going into their direct sight range!

Above: Further down the same hall from above, we find a BlunderBot.  These guys have rocket launchers, which this one just used to destroy my Epic Assault Exo.  This is the second robot I’ve met this mission, incidentally, and I was stupid in how I approached him and so am down an Exo already.

The BlunderBots are an interesting breed, because they only have one rocket, and then they become a nice doorstop that fouls up the travel lanes of other bots.  Useful!  Also, their tooltip description, thanks to Keith, is hilarious:

BlunderBot: A Siege bot that often gets a bit distracted.  This is at least as bad as it sounds.

Above: Different mission, same city.  This time I lost my Science bot, mainly because I was stupid and did not pay attention.  So I’m using my Siege Exo at the moment.  You’ll notice that he isn’t lit (and also not animated) yet, unlike the other Exos.  That bit is still a work in progress.

You can also see the fog of war as well as the sensor range.  There are four levels of perception: never-seen-before, seen-but-in-fog-of-war, in-sensor-range (lit up and visible), and line-of-sight (can shoot at and be shot by).   You’ll notice that the sensor range extends in a “flood fill” style behind me, rather than being a Cartesian area.  You’ll also notice that most types of doors (glass doors and automatic doors excepted) block sensors.

There is also the purple crosshair thing in both this image and the one below — that’s marking where the boundary between the never-seen-before areas of the map and any other status.  That way it’s super clear where to go (and those crosshairs are actually nicely animated color-wise in the game).

Above: Third mission, same city.  Everyone is alive!  I haven’t done anything stupid here.  In fact, since these are just DumBots, I’m using my Science Exo to whistle and draw them out for easy smashing.  If I were just a little smarter and stayed back two tiles, I could do this without taking any damage.  But whistling here is a good move at least. 

If I kill the top guy (who is alerted already) first, then back up and then whistle, then I can probably still come out of this with no damage taken.

Above: The three major components of this game are the city view (where you make your long-range decisions by choosing which missions to undertake), the mission view (where the direct gameplay is undertaken), and this — the Exo customization view.  You’ll spend a goodly bit of time here.

Above: On the prior image we were looking at a Tank Exo, and you can see how its slots vary from the Epic Assault Exo (this is the upgraded version of the regular Assault Exo; there is an Epic version of every Exo type).  The Epic versions usually have more guns and other customization slots.

In the center area you have the shields (left), reactor (center), propulsion (right), and then the computer (below).  Normally the number of slots on those would vary by the type of Exo, but that isn’t being coded until tomorrow.

Anyway, this gives a pretty good sense of where the game is at at the moment, I think.  Thanks for reading! :)

Skyward Collapse 1.902 Beta “Release Candidate 3” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one mostly is tuning.  The god-related mythological creatures have way better costs now, and the resource building upgrade progression makes sense now.  Beyond that, just a few minor fixes and typo corrections.  Things are looking good!

This release is the third “release candidate,” which basically means we’re into fine-tuning-only mode until this launches next week.  Probably Wednesday the 28th, but we’ll keep you posted!

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Bionic Dues: Welcome To Port City

Bionic Dues will have a number of cities for you to do your campaigns in.  So far the only one that we’ve implemented is Port City, which you can see an artist’s rendering of below.

Note that the below is not in-game graphics, although a scaled-down version of this does show in the Start New Game menu when you are choosing your city.

And below is the actual map image used for the in-game view of Port City (the background image, not showing the mission nodes or connections or HUD; soon, screenshots will be released that show the full in-game view.

All of that map south of the cloud line has spots for a variety of mission nodes in buildings along the streets.  Actually there are precisely 125 mission node spots, out of which you can complete a maximum of 50.  So you have to choose your path wisely.  Missions open up as you would expect along streets as you progress.

Where you start in the city, and what nodes are where in general, is heavily procedurally randomized.  There are a few rules about what cannot go next to what else, but beyond that it’s very random.  So you may start a game in the north, or down by the bay, or near the grassy outskirts, etc.

Note: you can click the images above for full-sized versions.  For purposes of this blog, they are way scaled down and fairly low-quality jpegs.

Skyward Collapse 1.901 Beta “Release Candidate 2” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is another substantial one, despite the features list for the new expansion already being done.  This one is mostly in the tuning department, though. 

This release is the second “release candidate,” which basically means we’re into fine-tuning-only mode until this launches… at some point.  We were hoping that it would be this Wednesday the 21st, but that timing may not quite work out with one of our larger partners.  At worst I’m told it will be Wednesday the 28th.

So anyway, what’s new this time?

Lots and Lots of Fixes and Tweaks
Some for the expansion, some for the base game, lots of good stuff.

Random Maps And Factions
Another long-requested feature.  Worth highlighting, but not a lot to say here.

Rebalanced God-Related Mythological Creatures
Some of the god-related mythological creatures were less than useful if you were trying to win (as opposed to cause as much chaos as possible).  So 8 of the creatures have been hugely altered in their abilities, while the costs of and points from pretty much all of them have changed. 

My thoughts on the resulting balance of all this are here.  Please share your thoughts as well!

Hamlet Stuff (Again)
As I noted last time, I think that Hamlets are going to be evolving for a while.  That said, these really did jump upwards again in fun this release, I feel.  My main worry is that now it is too hard, so let me know.  I was doing okay, but I don’t play on Expert or Insane, either. ;)

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Bionic Dues Boxart

Thought you might enjoy seeing the box art for our upcoming title Bionic Dues, as well as the portrait of the Assault Exo that is part of it.  Cheers!

Skyward Collapse 1.900 Beta “Release Candidate 1” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is pretty substantial, and completes the list of implemented features so far for the new expansion.  Thus this release is the first “release candidate,” which basically means we’re into fine-tuning-only mode until this launches next Wednesday the 21st.

So what’s new here?

Woes
There are nine new woes, all specific to things in the expansion. 

People have been wanting bandit gods for a while, and one of these provides that.  The bandit gods don’t use powers or their creatures, as I think that would be overkill, but it’s still cool to see those running around.

Another woe lets you have six gods between your two factions, rather than the usual four, so that’s pretty cool.

There are also two new catastrophic woes, which is particularly good because that helps to dilute the relatively small pool of the ones that were there before.

God-Related Creatures
So as Misery has pointed out, some of the Japanese god-related mythos are not things you would really want to inflict on yourself.  We designed those before we really had a good sense of how strong the Japanese faction would be: originally they were going to be kind of weaker, and so you’d need to use these creatures to make up the difference.  As the design evolved, the Japanese became super strong, and thus the designs of these creatures — which fun and varied — started falling into “why would I do that to myself” territory.

The solution to this was to go back to one of the earlier design ideas that we started with for the Japanese gods in the first place: having them produce these creatures directly, in addition to you being able to place them at well.  This is only so interesting if the god is producing them out of himself/herself, though, because it gets semi-predictable.  That’s one reason why the idea was previously scrapped.

In the new implementation in this version, the creatures from the gods come out of the town centers of the Japanese.  This has important strategic ramifications, because it makes Large Towns a lot more important to the Japanese faction if they don’t want to trample their opponents.

Hamlet Stuff
There were a lot of changes made here based again on feedback from Misery (definitely the allstar of feedback for this expansion, followed by nas1m).

Overall the changes in this version have you playing from the entire hamlet-building-queue now,
and sometimes having to take some negative points temporarily in order
to get a better position later. This is a big improvement in how strategic the Idyll mode plays out.

Also, slums are really becoming more and more of an interesting problem (in a good way, as that is supposed to be their role). They are a powerful positive force in terms of running out
civilians that are blocking you, but then they are really negative in
terms of points on some placements later. Those are tricky, and also
encourage playing low in the queue on a combo to place a slums and then
replace the slums.

I don’t know that the Hamlets mechanic is 100% to where it needs to be, and I imagine it may evolve somewhat over months or years (as with many of the best AI War mechanics, sometimes these things just take time).  But I’m really pleased with where it is now, and think it’s really fun.

Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Skyward Collapse 1.800 Beta “Civilian Reversal” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is another biggie that chews almost all the entire remaining items from the the list of implemented features so far for the new expansion.  Basically all that is left feature-wise is the new Woes, and then everything else for this expansion is just balance and tweaking.  Which is good, because the expansion launches a week from today!

Hamlet Stuff
The big big new thing here is the new Hamlet Idyll game mode.  I think it’s really fun and interesting, because it’s just focused on the hamlets and nothing else.  It’s pretty much a puzzle game more than anything else, which amuses me. 

The hamlets in general were overly simplistic in the prior 1.600 version of the game; players were reporting really enjoying it, and that’s great, but it didn’t stand up to repeated plays much.  Now the hamlet functionality both in the Idyll game mode and in the main game mode have been expanded such that they have more strategic depth without just getting complex for the sake of complexity.

Specifically the way we handled that was:
– Having the queue of upcoming tiles you can use both be larger, not auto-shift out the first item in itself, and have a much larger points disparity between slots.
– Tweak a few of the specific tiles to make for better balance.
– And most of all, add in Civilian tokens that get created and removed by specific tiles, and which block further tile placement.

Those things really help to make it so that the hamlet mode isn’t just an in-the-moment thing where you just put the best tile in the best slot; but rather it’s an over-time thing where you have to think about how your actions will really affect the future the longer you go.  Your queue gets stale and you have to do something with that.  You’re filling up parts of your town with civilians, and you need to wipe them out with a slum.  And so on.

I thought that the hamlet mode was fun yesterday, but the more I played it the more bored I was of it.  These slight revisions really keep me mentally engaged through the whole session with them, though; and it makes hitting the culture goals exciting and tense in a way that it wasn’t before.

Culture Actions / Large Towns
These are the other big big big things from this version.  (And no, I’m not intentionally trying to sound like Effie Trinket, heh.)

The most boring of these is still useful in the extreme: Super Smite lets you destroy any tile, no questions asked, for 500 culture.  Kill a god, kill a bandit stronghold, whatever.  There’s a good chance that this is way undervalued at just 500 culture.

Very exciting are the new Large Towns, which cost you 1000 culture and give you double the construction space in a single town.  The uses for that are pretty immense.

Also very exciting is a new Reverse Time ability, which costs as whopping 4000 culture and rolls back the clock by 10 turns.  Worried you might not hit a score goal?  Just wanting more score in general?  Here you go!

Also very cool is the last of the culture actions, Stop Woe.  This also costs 4000 culture, and it immediately wipes out both the Current and Next woes, and puts a weak Upheaval woe in the queue for 15 turns out.  This lets you dodge some woes that you don’t want to have hit you, AND have a nice woe-free period.

Of course, if you are doing any of those things, you are likely not doing other of those things.  You can’t have it all, and if you’re focusing on culture you’re also foregoing a few other things based on your action point expenditures.  I think we can all agree that the culture is worth it, but what I’m most pleased about is how there is a good opportunity cost here that does not make anything an obviously-do-this situation.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta “Welcome Yon Nobles” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is another biggie that chews through a lot of the stuff on the the list of implemented features so far for the new expansion.  There are also some key bugfixes, and a couple of nice tweaks for the base game.

The big new thing is Hamlets and the related Cultural Victory.  I didn’t have time to finish implementing Large Towns or Hamley Idyll mode, but both are pretty far along and should be done tomorrow (knock on wood).

The Hamlets themselves are really different from the original model that I described, mainly because that model wasn’t any fun (too fiddly in practice).  This is actually the third major model we’ve gone to.  This one is really fun to me, although I’m not yet sure if there are any killer strategies in there that require balance adjustments.  I haven’t found any yet.

Also, there’s the new Luminith Tower and Arks that let you win a Cultural Victory.  The costs on these might be insanely too high, or not high enough, I’m not sure.  On the culture in particular; I’ve tested the hamlets a lot, but not with an eye toward generating masses of it.  And I was doing it in the Idyll mode, not in the context of an actual game.  The Cultural Victory is supposed to be the harder route, and gives you extra points for accomplishing it; bit it’s not supposed to be impossible.

So feedback on those things is definitely welcome!  Meanwhile I’m going to get the last of the features fully implemented, then start circling back on more bugfixes and so forth.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Skyward Collapse 1.503 Beta “Unstoppable Demon-Hag” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one has a bunch of updates that really improve the list of implemented features so far for the new expansion.

Previously, only a quarter of the Japanese god-related stuff was in the game, and all of the Japanese functionality was only semi-tested in general.  We’ve now implemented every last aspect of the Japanese faction, and have done detail testing on all the units.  This is a really crazy faction, in a fun way.

This release also adds the last three of the bandit-only mythological units, too.  These are all… kind of crazy, really.  One is a giant fish under the mud that thrashes around, knocking holes in the earth (even in buildings).  Another is this kind of zombie infestation that you have to clean up before it gets too intense.

And the last is Onibaba, the “unstoppable demon-hag.”  She is unkillable via traditional means, but this is a case where things like the god powers can knock her out.  Or you can do something clever like cordon her off just by smiting.  Before anyone calls OP on her, just make sure you think a little sideways: she is tricky, but there can only be one of her at a time on the map, and she can definitely be dealt with.  She also won’t bother gods, mythologicals, or buildings, so her threat is only so much even if you can’t deal with her properly.

There are also a number of bugfixes that should prove very welcome for the base game, even.  Specifically, the “jumping over units” bug in particular.

In other news, work continues on the hamlets implementation.  Nothing to share publicly on it yet, but we’re a goodly way through the implementation and have discarded yet another model that this would work under.  Not unexpected for even late prototyping phase.  Josh and I came up with a revised model for the hamlets just an hour or so ago, one that learns from the mistakes in the prior models, and I think it’s really strong.  Once I’ve got it all implemented and am satisfied that it’s ready for public testing, then we’ll push that out.  Hopefully tomorrow, but we’ll see!

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Skyward Collapse Steam Trading Cards

We’ve had plenty of players ask about these, so we’re happy to announce trading cards for Skyward Collapse are now available on Steam. The game’s upcoming expansion Nihon no Mura is also out now in beta, and can be pre-ordered for 10% off the $2.99 price tag up until launch.

We’ll have several other items to announce in the coming weeks — including all the stuff we’re participating in at PAX Prime. Here’s Blue, our art director, with a retrospective look at bringing the trading cards together:

The art industry can be a tough game to place on all sides of the spectrum. My job as art director is to make sense of the mess and herd it into one single direction. We get our hands into every aspect of the game art industry. From contracting and leading a team of artists to completing our own projects.

A good example of what I do as Arcen’s Art Director was obtaining unique art for Steam’s trading card game. The project needed numerous art, but my favorite happened to be the profile art.

We needed art for our game Skyward Collapse. Something rough and painterly, that depicted the war our game was about. In some projects, we must hire a new artist to take on the contract, though in others we’re lucky enough to know the perfect artist for the job.

I’d worked with Todor in the past, so we knew he was perfect for the job with his rough painterly style.

When we work with an artist, the job is generally broken up into different milestones. Sketch, color and completion. Typically the artist will do the sketch and color, and I will fill in the completion. Be it adding a couple extra details, tweaking contrast and color, or changing something else.

One of Todor’s pieces was of Thor. His sketch was amazing in its simplicity. Strong pose and strong features leave the audience captivated and just a slight bit intimidated. During sketch phase is when the heaviest modifications are made. Changes to pose, anatomy or even the entire lay out is common. Once client and artist are satisfied, is when we move on to color.

In the color stage, Todor added awesome texture in deep dark colors that we asked for. We needed the profile to be dark so the profile would blend well. He detailed Thor’s face beautifully while spending tastefully less time on the lower half of the body. His lighting was well done and solid and the lightning was perfectly painterly. Todor gave us one of many perfect pieces.

The final stage is to touch it up for our needs. Placed against a dark steam profile mock, I noticed that the picture ended sharply and I felt it was off putting. So I took his art work and created a rough broken transition that helped it melt into its background.

The transition breaks up harsh line and helps it settle into the profile.

With a few more tweaks, this was the final result.

Skyward Collapse 1.501 Beta “Itami no Bushi (The Samurai of Pain)” Released!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one has a bunch of handy stuff for both the new expansion as well as the base game.  Almost all of it is balance work and housekeeping in general.  Now that the basics of the expansion are out, I felt like I needed to spend a bit of time on cleaning up the bugtracker list a bit before moving forward with more from the expansion.

The title of this release comes from the rebalancing of the Bushi unit in the expansion — holy smokes are those guys beasts now!

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.

Skyward Collapse 1.5 Beta, Plus First Beta/Preorders for Nihon no Mura Expansion!

If you’ve not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It’s expected that we’ll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is the first release that includes the new Nihon no Mura functionality — well, support for it, anyhow.  There are some bugfixes and a few balance changes for the base game (and there will be more of those coming up very soon as well), but the rest of this release is devoted to the expansion, which can now be preordered if you want to check it out early.

The 2.0 version of the base game pretty much has all of its features in beta already, and has since early July — all those masses of new bandits, the new font things, the new balance and monster cave mechanics and so forth.  That’s been the free DLC content to coincide with the new expansion, although that content largely got finished first just because it took us a while to get the art and design and so forth ready for the expansion.

At this point the expansion is humming along, although it’s still not nearly feature-complete.  The list of things that are “not yet implemented” is actually kind of misleading, because a lot of the code and data for those things is already there, but they aren’t finished enough to actually play with.  All of the units are actually in the game already, but only the ones marked as complete have all their special abilities intact so far.

Anyway, I’m really excited about how the expansion pushes the boundaries of the game in a whole new direction, and I hope you will be too!  And even if the expansion isn’t your thing or you’re new to the game, I think that the recent changes to the base game itself have been super exciting, too.

Schedule-wise, I’m expecting that the expansion will be feature-complete within a week, and then we’ll be doing the full release of it (alongside 2.0 of the base game) in 3 to 4 weeks.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time.