Lots of great new features such as watching 2 videos at once, real video projectors, and more! This article will briefly overview what's been added to AArcade during January development.
ModDb 2014 Editor's Choice
AArcade was selected as one of ModDb.com's Editor's Choice for Mod of the Year 2014. It's an honor to be recognized by ModDb and receive the "Interaction Award" for AArcade's use of the Source engine.
Be sure to check out the other great games on the list, such as Double Action Boogaloo, which took 1st place as the Editor's Choice Mod of the Year.
Watch Two Videos at the Same Time
Do you like to party? Do you think watching just one video at a time is like a baby's toy? AArdade now lets you watch up to 2 different videos at the same time on how ever many virtual screens you want. Just look at a video and hold down the R button to put it on continuous play. You'll then be able to walk around and watch other videos without interrupting the one that's on continuous play.
That's not enough? You want to see your video playing in every room of your house? No problem. Just use AArcade's existing "Video Slave" setting to have your video play on as many screens as you want. How about... 100? That'd look pretty cool.
Turn ANY screen into a slave screen by walking up to it, pulling out its Green Menu > Cabinet tab > Filters button and setting it to slave screen. The screen will now mirror any video you have playing, like virtual AirPlay.
AArcade now has an extensive cabinet animation system built right into each model. This allows for awesome things like a TV that slides up from the ground when you turn it on, or a poster that unfolds into a video screen. You'll also be able to give the joy sticks, wheels, and switches a good once-over as they bring the cabinet to life with animation.
Dynamic Lighting, Spotlights, & Real Projectors
Tired of turning on your flashlight to see your awesome arcades built in dark addon maps? Well now, when you activate a cabinet, an animated dynamic light will illuminate the cabinet you selected as well as all of the props next to it.
Do you think that only 1 dynamic light at a time is like a baby's toy? Well, now in AArcade you can spawn as many standalone spotlights & real projectors as you want!
Projectors will show any video that you have playing, much like a slave screen. These are real projectors that will cast light on what ever you point them at. And remember that EVERY screen in AArcade is interactive, even light cast from a projector! That means you'll be able to fulfill your dream of playing retro games projected onto a giant brick wall in the seedy alleyway of a city!
Behind the scenes, the dynamic lights work hand-in-hand with the new cabinet animation system to allow cabinets to spawn all sorts of entities and attach them to animated bones. The projectors and spotlights are just the tip of the iceberg.
Auto Camera Mode
Showcasing your favorite media to yourself & to your friends has never been easier than now with auto camera mode! Just walk up to any cabinet that supports it and press E to activate auto camera mode. A custom animation sequence will play on the game cabinet as the camera automatically inspects the cabinet model, the artwork on it, and the video playing in it in a very cinematic style mini-cutscene.
From auto camera mode you can either launch & play your shortcut, or press ESC to go back to walking around.
Hubs & Nodes - a Taste of February Updates
There is a big update coming in February that will allow you and your friends to work together in building the greatest VR arcades imaginable, even if you never play multiplayer! It's called the HUB game mode and it's going to be the heart and soul of AArcade once it goes live near the end of February.
There are 3 major components to the HUB game mode: nodes, HUB maps, and the Steam workshop. As of January, the first part of the puzzle, nodes, went live for Early Access users to try out and leave feedback.
Groups of Shortcuts (nodes)
A node is a group of shortcuts that somebody created that can be easily spawned into your arcades as a cluster of objects all attached to each other. The awesome thing about nodes is that no matter how many instances exist in how ever many maps, if you ever go and update your node by adding new songs to it or something, those changes also take effect in every arcade that uses that node.
As of January, Early Access users can now create their own nodes for use in their own arcades. Even locally, nodes are a very exciting feature that let you quickly get your favorite songs and games into any arcade. It's much faster than spawning your shortcuts one at a time, especially if you find yourself putting some of the same music & games into every map you visit.
In February's update, you will be able to share your own nodes to the Steam workshop, as well as spawn your friends' nodes in your own arcades. When combined with the Steam workshop, nodes become even more awesome. Thanks to nodes, you and your friends can now affect each other's worlds not only in multiplayer, but even while in singleplayer as well! Workshop nodes are updated automatically when needed, so your friends will always see the most recent changes you've made to your node, right there in their own arcades!
Where Nodes Come Together (Hubs)
Hubs are special maps that will be introduced in February's update designed specifically for community customization with workshop nodes. Sort of like a mall, where the server operator (or the player in the case of singleplayer) decides which of their friends gets to "decorate" each store. The end result of Hubs will be awesome community arcades, jam packed with the stuff that you and your friends care about the most, that are different every time you load it up.
Early Access users can start getting familiar with how nodes and hubs work right now because the January update featured 2 experimental Hub maps. Only local nodes can be saved/used right now, but the February update will bring the Steam workshop connectivity into the mix!
Steam Stats / Achievements
In January, AArcade saw the addition of Steam Stats and received its first set of Steam Achievements. This first set was focused mainly on the player's map-based stats & achievements. Additional stats & achievements are planned to be added regularly.
Map Discovery Awards
AArcade supports over 50,000 maps. Often you will load up what you believe to be the most epic map ever used in AArcade. You also might believe that you are the first person in the world to ever use this awesome map as a 3d desktop. Well now, thanks to the Steam leaderboards & AArcade's all new map discovery system, you can confirm this belief!
If you are the first person ever to load up a map in AArcade, your Steam name & avatar are for ever bound to that map in AArcade as the map's discoverer! You will be listed on the TOP of the leaderboard for the map with a special note saying that YOU discovered the map first, as well as the number of players who discovered it after you.
The landrush is on! Try to leave your mark on your favorite maps by being the first person ever to load them up in AArcade! However, you might find that you aren't the only one who loves that map. :)
In addition to remembering who discovered the map, the new leaderboards also record how much time each player has spent in the map (in total), how many times they have re-visited the map, as well as how many shortcuts they spawned in their arcade there.
As players, the leaderboards give you a good idea of what other players think of the map. They also help you find friends that might be interested in doing some multiplayer in that obscure addon map that only you and 3 other people have discovered so far. :)
As map authors, it shows you how many people have loaded your map and how much time they spend on it. Two stats that I would have LOVED to have back when I was publishing Counter-Strike: Source maps to CAL.
Development Extended to End of February
AArcade was supposed to be ready to come out of Early Access at the end of January; however, I saw the opportunity to add some awesome unplanned features (such as the ones covered in this article) and must extend the Early Access period to the end of February as I polish up the new features and get them release-ready.
I'd like to thank everybody who took part in December's successful Kickstarter campaign which funded AArcade all the way through January and made all of these great new features possible. As the stretch goals promised, Black_Stormy was brought on board for the month of January and produced some great new cabinet models for us as well as created the first major Hub map which will be released in February's big update. His awesome map will be the "Kickstarter Arcade" map that appreciatively displays the 2 logos of the Kickstarter patrons who pledged over $100 and brings the conclusion of the Kickstarter promises. I hope that everybody is happy with the results.
PayPal Donations Are Back
If you missed the Kickstarter or would like to continue to support Anarchy Arcade's development, PayPal donations have opened back up for anybody who wishes to contribute. Note that the Kickstarter pledge rewards do not apply to PayPal donations. The Kickstarter is over.
If you are an Early Access user that wishes to donate, I suggest using the in-game Donation Rewards button instead as it will grant you a couple special in-game models for using it.
Until Next Time
Don't forget that you can personally ask me questions LIVE on my Twitch stream, every Wednesday from 4am - 10pm Pacific time at Twitch.tv. I'll be happy to demonstrate how to do things in AArcade, answer any technical questions you might have, or just play vs you in some games. Have fun in your 3D desktops and party on dudes!