Brief History of AArcade
AArcade has been through a lot. Starting way back in 2010, AArcade's prototype saw its 1st public release onto ModDb and GameJolt.
Soon after it was greenlit for release onto Steam.
This was followed by a failed Kickstarter campaign attempting to raise funds for a full version.
After this major setback, I decided to continue working on the prototype independently to see the concept through to completion. This required lots of adjustments to AArcade's original design to make it an achievable project for a lone indie dev, such as myself, to complete.
A second, much smaller Kickstarter campaign was successful in raising nearly $2,000 which contracted artists to create game cabinets & other art assets for the project.
AArcade's souped-up prototype was released onto Steam as an Early Access title on 9/4/2014. Updates & improvements continued for the next year and a half.
In early 2016 it became apparent that Valve was focusing on other game engines, such as Source 2, and that Source 1 would sooner, rather than later, become outdated. Rather than let AArcade die from being tied to an outdated game engine, I decided to do something a little crazy. I started work on a complete re-write of AArcade, with the intention to future-proof the concept so we're never exclusively tied to any particular game engine. It would also give me the opportunity to fix or improve many other issues of AArcade that existed due to lack of foresight on my part when designing the prototype all those years ago.
AArcade's Next Version: Redux
The next major update to AArcade is expected to be available for public testing on Steam in early 2017. It is code-named AArcade: Redux and is actually a complete re-write of the old prototype from the ground up.
The technical goals of the redux version are:
- Feature parody, including backwards compatibility, with all previous versions of AArcade.
- Cross-engine compatibility, including abstraction of engine-specific assets, of library meta data.
- Clear distinction between meta library data and engine-specific AArcade frontends.
- Optimize performance, user experience, and modability of the Source engine frontend.
While a majority of the dev work will be under-the-hood, it has already begun to manifest itself in some very long-awaited improvements & feature enhancements that users have been requesting over the years.
There's so much good new stuff in the redux version that I couldn't possibly show you all the development progress in a single post. So I'll start with showing you just one of the awesome new behind-the-scenes enhancements to AArcade and what it means to you, as a user.
Steamworks Web Browser
One major change is to the old embedded web browser which has been completely replaced by the state-of-the-art Steamworks browser. In fact, it is the same browser that Steam itself uses! Compatible with Netflix, Twitch, and so much more, users can make full use of their favorite web content on the in-game screens.
Speaking of the in-game screens, AArcade: Redux has a new multi-threaded embedded instance framework which allows things like web tabs, emulators, or media players to playback on the in-game screens with minimal performance impact.
And speaking of performance impact, how about running 2, 3, or 4 web tabs at the same time? AArcade: Redux makes this possible, and distributes the task of web tab rendering over multiple frames to keep your in-game performance consistent.
AnarchyArcade.com's Massive Update
Last month Anarchy Arcade's website received a massive update with tons of info about AArcade's concept, its focus, and where its headed in the future. I'd appreciate it if you went and checked out my work there! There's even some stuff on there, like the 360 panoramas, that I will be explaining/showcasing in future dev updates: Anarchyarcade.com
Thanks for your support!
I want to thank everybody who's contributed to AArcade and showed their support over the years. Thanks to all the Kickstarter backers. Thanks to everybody who's donated through PayPal. Thanks to everybody who's Tweeted about AArcade or shared it with their friends. And thanks to all the users who help each other out in the forums or put that extra effort in on their workshop submissions.
Even though I use AArcade a whole lot myself, it's great to be able to share it with others, and it's support from people like you all that makes that possible. Party on!