Wednesday, April 20, 2011

AI War Expansions Reviewed on Big Download

James Murff of Big Download already gave AI War a full review back in 2009, and now he has given the same treatment to all three of the game's expansions: The Zenith Remnant, Children of Neinzul, and Light of the Spire.

Some of our favorite excerpts:

"Each expansion is independent of the others and brings new ships and Ai types unique to that particular expansion. The one thing they have in common, however, is how much they increase the difficulty compared to the original game. These expansions are for the hardest of the hardcore."

From the Zenith Remnant portion:

"Zenith Remnant provides a ton of new content for players to sink their teeth into, and it's an excellent addition to the AI War franchise... If you have AI War, this expansion is a must purchase, and paves the way for the next two in terms of difficulty."

From the Children of Neinzul portion:

"You aren't so much purchasing a new expansion, but rather donating a few bucks to a charity and getting extra content in AI War as a result. It's a cool system that we wish more developers tried."

From the Light of the Spire portion:

"Spire is our personal favorite expansion... The new campaign types are significantly harder than the core game, and the additions to the AI's arsenal take a heavy toll on inexperienced players. The sheer variety it adds, though, is extremely impressive. If you feel daring enough, this is the expansion that we recommend highest of all three."

Murff concluded each review with a verdict of "Must Own", which puts a significant amount of love in our tummies. Read all three AI War expansion reviews here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Valley Without Wind: Weather, Characters and Monsters

Arcen Games is pleased to share a large update for its procedurally-generated survival adventure title A Valley Without Wind. Several additions and improvements have been made to the game, including weather, monsters, a new female character, and many other new visuals.

Six new monsters have been introduced, looking to pursue and destroy characters who stray too far in their respective regions. Meet the Espers, Desert Burrowers, Sniper Skelebots, and Bats -- they come in standard, fire and ice flavors. Yes, bats. Scoff at one sure, but beware: they always bring friends. With them, Dawn (AVWW's first female character sprite) joins the survivor fray alongside the original male character Darrell and the Neutral Skelebot. A variety of flowers, dozens of cars, and other new buildings/objects have also been added.

AVWW now carries several different kinds of weather as well, rainfall and snowfall in several regions can range from light to raging, blowing dust and sandstorms in the desert region, firestorms in the lava region and more. Major visual improvements to the HUD and main menu, plus new name dictionaries for characters also come packed in the latest update.

Check out A Valley Without Wind's latest pre-alpha trailer showing off the aforementioned items (in HD):

Arcen head Chris Park discusses all of the above, plus some new items on the technical side such as character animations and region level gating in this developer journal:

Chris also touches on other new aspects including the revamped HUD, ground graphics, melee models, and more in the latest developer journal for the title:
16 new screenshots can be found on the AVWW feature page as well:

A Valley Without Wind is currently targeted for official release on PC and Mac in October 2011, with a playable Beta build available to customers who pre-order coming this summer.

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 was a busy one, seeing the release of The Zenith Remnant, the first full expansion for AI War; Tidalis, an innovative block-based puzzle with casual appeal and hardcore depth; and Children of Neinzul, a micro-expansion for AI War with all profits benefiting the Child's Play charity, of which Arcen is a platinum sponsor.

AI War's third and largest expansion Light of the Spire marked Arcen's first release of 2011, and now the company has shifted its focus and excitement to the development of A Valley Without Wind. Originally a one-man shop, Arcen Games has grown to have half a dozen part-time or fulltime contributors to its various titles.

AI War Beta 5.010, "Blade Shield," Released!

This one fixes some of the balance issues with the blade spawners in the hands of the AI in particular.  It also brute-force fixes older savegames, which should be a welcome relief to those affected.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. 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. If you don't have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update On Children Of Neinzul Donations For Child's Play: $18K And Counting!

As of April 4th, 2011, we have so far raised and donated $18,329.33! A substantial $3,350.91 has come in for the CoN expansion since our previous update in February, 100% of which goes to Child's Play.

We'll continue to post monthly updates on how the donations are doing. We're so proud to have been able to contribute to such a worthy cause in a significant way! Check us out on the platinum sponsors list on the Child's Play site.

More About AI War: Children of Neinzul and Child's Play

When you purchase AI War: Children Of Neinzul, you're not only getting an exciting new expansion, you're also supporting an important cause. Arcen Games has partnered with the Child's Play charity, pledging 100% of the profits from sale of Children of Neinzul (excepting any taxes and distributor fees) to helping sick kids in need.

The staff at Arcen has long admired the work done by Child's Play, and we're very excited to finally be able to contribute in a substantial manner. Our goal for 2010 was to raise $14,000.00 USD for Child's Play, but even after 2010 all of the proceeds from this micro-expansion are continuing to be donated to the charity.

At the moment, this micro-expansion is available directly through the Arcen Online Store ($3.99 USD), as well as through Steam, Impulse, and GamersGate.