Monday, November 30, 2009

DarkZero Review of AI War

My views of indie games have forever been altered. When was the last time you played an indie game that contained the amount of content of several retail games? If you have ever played and enjoyed Sins of a Solar Empire but cried because you couldn’t play it on a laptop or that the scale just wasn’t grand enough for you, then you should pick up AI War – Fleet Command right now.
- Derek Duncan, DarkZero

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Special! 25% Off Arcen Titles

In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, we're having our first multi-product discount sale on our site!   Enter code BLLR0018P to get a 25% discount on all games bought directly from Arcen through 11/30/2009.  This means that you can pick up AI War: Fleet Command for $14.99 USD, and/or preorder AI War: The Zenith Remnant for $7.49 USD!  If you live outside the US, never fear, the discount is equivalent in every currency.  Note:  If you want to buy both together, simply click the purchase link on the first page, then go to the second page and click the purchase link, and both will be in your shopping cart together.

The Zenith Remnant is the first expansion pack to Arcen's hit space-based "grand strategic 4X tower defense RTS" game, and is currently in beta.  The full version of the expansion is expected to be released in the second week of January, but players who who preorder and want early access are free to download the beta from our forums at any time.  Players who want to first try a demo of the expansion beta can also download that from the forums.  The Zenith Remnant will include around 115 new ships, at least four new map styles, a new neutral AI faction (the Zenith aliens), and lots and lots of gameplay-expanding new mechanics and content.

You can also preorder the expansion at Stardock's Impulse, although people who preorder via Impulse will not have access to the beta until next week -- our fault on that, not Stardock's.  Mea culpa!  Preorders are also planned with many of our other distribution partners, but those will mostly not kick off until closer to official release on those platforms (so, early January, most likely).  We are aiming to have a simultaneous official release of the expansion on all outlets that currently carry AI War.

In the coming month, also keep your eyes out for more information, including screenshots and/or concept art, about Arcen's next two titles.  The first is an untitled casual puzzle game with a fresh and fun new mechanic, and the second is a tower defense game called A Valley Without Wind (yes, the tower defense genre is super crowded, but we have our own take on the whole affair that we think you'll find quite different from the glut of others out there -- more info on that within the next month, but it's very exciting!).  For those who have been eagerly awaiting our puzzle/adventure/zombie survival game Alden Ridge, please note that that title is now slated for 2011.  It's still coming, and we're still excited about it, but that one needs more time in the cooker to really do it justice.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!

Monday, November 16, 2009

AceGamez Review of AI War

[I]f you love realistic, complex and thorough space-based real time strategies, purchase this game right now as it is an aspiring space commander's dream.
- Tom Clark, AceGamez

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Claw - Google Wave with Chris Park

The Claw has recently conducted a massive Google Wave interview with Chris Park about AI War, other upcoming Arcen titles, Chris's design philosphy and inspirations, and the future for Arcen Games in general.

Read The Interview

Design Right: Demon's Souls

AI War designer/programmer Chris Park takes a look at games other than his own in his new feature "Design Right."  The goal of this new feature is not to review games, but rather to look at other game designs and what they do right.  First up is the surprisingly popular PS3 game Demon's Souls.  DS has gotten almost universal praise from reviewers, has sold well and has been popular with a good number of players, and has drawn criticism and disbelief from a smaller group of players.  Chris takes a look at the mechanics to analyze why those people who like it do, since it seems like such an unlikely candidate to be so massively popular on the surface -- brutal difficulty and simple combat do not often a great game make, but there's something special here.

Design Right: Demon's Souls

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gaming Nexus Review of AI War

For me, it’s a rare thing indeed for a game to move from total obscurity to a fixed place on my hard drive in the course of a handful of days... [AI War] is just brimming with innovative twists on the 4X-style RTS.
- Tyler Sager, Gaming Nexus

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Three Moves Ahead Episode 37 -- Chris Park and AI War: Fleet Command

Three Moves Ahead is the official podcast of Flash of Steel, and commonly features really high quality discussion of strategy games for hardcore gamers, and interviews with industry giants -- Brad Wardell, Soren Johnson, and others.  Episode 37 features Troy Goodfellow and Tom Chick talking with Chris Park, the lead designer of AI War about the state of the game, how some of its more unique aspects came about, and what is planned for the future.  There's also a fairly good bit of discussion of launching a new indie game and how that went for AI War, in addition to the more design-related discussions.

Listen To the Podcast

Big Download Review of AI War

AI War is, quite simply, the best experience you could have with co-op or single-player real-time strategy in this or any year. It combines grand strategy with emergent AI to form an excellent game perfect for parties and multiplayer. It is easily worth double the price that the developer is selling it at, and anyone with any affinity or taste for strategy games should not miss it. It may be daunting at first, but an excellent tutorial and amazing gameplay mechanics alleviate this into a game that almost anyone can - and should - play.
- James Murff, Big Download