The Summer Update – Timeline & Features

The summer update, version 3.0 development is well underway. It adds new features, removes the need for the always online requirement, and offers more player driven choices that affect difficulty and randomness associated with each attempt.

A few things are happening with Arkfront at the moment:

We’re moving into a new office! – This will make work faster, easier and more collaborative than before. Having dedicated space to work will improve the pace of work, generally speaking. This is somewhat halting progress as we prepare to move into the space.

The summer update is a reimagining of many of the core systems of Arkfront and as such has been a larger engineering challenge than originally anticipated. Removing the deeply entrenched use of the online backend is a large undertaking because it’s responsible for bootstrapping the rest of the content on the client.

New Dangers:

We’re adding piracy to the game, creating new danger for the player to overcome. Players can choose to pay off local pirates or fight their way through the sector with additional challenge. There is a random chance of this occurring as the player enters each zone and it is not guaranteed to affect all play-throughs.

Pirates come with their own set of boss ships, expanding the boss pool the game can pull from when generating your campaign.

New Tools:

We’re adding 9(!) new player ships to the game that requires some rebalancing and play testing to get working well. This addition may be delayed to a later version, but art assets are already 100% ready to go.

Technical Stuff:

Removing the backend will substantially increase the reliability of the game and reduce crashes or hangs when the player’s internet connection is weak, or when service load is high. The servers will remain operational for 2 months after the Summer Update. After this point, your client will require an update to continue playing.

New improvements in the GameMaker runtime speed up the game and reduce battery consumption on device. Along with a series of optimizations in programming, we’re seeing a 70% drop in CPU across the board on the newest builds.

Android Progress:

Initial testing on Android is ongoing, but progress is slow and it’s priority is low compared to the other changes we’re making. Android will launch with the summer update included, but the summer update will launch before Android.

Announcing the Arkfront Spring 2021 Update

A major update for Arkfront (version 2.0) is launching this month and improves the experience in virtually every way. You can download Arkfront on the Apple App Store:

New Major Features:

  • Bounties
  • Boss Rush mode
  • Battle Haptics
  • New leaderboards
  • Join the community Discord right from the main menu
  • iCloud Save Syncing between devices is now supported
  • UI Improvements
  • Quality of life improvements
  • Performance and bug fixes


  • Bounties are a new way to take on side-quests and earn extra rewards. Each sector has a bounty associated with it and you must fulfill the requirements before the end of the sector to earn the rewards. A large pool of bounties are available from day 1, and more will be added in the summer 2021 update.

Improved Haptics:

  • Feel the action more intensely than ever before.
  • Bullets and explosions now vibrate iPhone devices in a highly precise way.
  • (This option is customizable from the Pause screen and the Options screen)

Boss Rush Mode:

  • Battle bosses from the campaign one after another. How long can you survive?
  • A new GameCenter leaderboard has been added to complement this.

UI Improvements:

  • New multi-language support for the danger message when encountering a boss.
  • It should no longer be possible to tap through parts of the UI into others.
  • Added bounty display to the level intro.

Quality of Life Improvements:

  • It is now possible to skip the intro cutscene and load into the game faster.
  • A new Icons view is available from the Galactic Map and describes the icons in a new, easy to read way.
  • It is now possible to join the community Discord server from the main menu. You can also join it earlier by clicking here.
  • The odds of events and random drops happening have been improved.
  • Now possible to play the game on your device upside down.

Bug Fixes and Performance:

  • Switched to the latest version of the GameMaker engine which improves memory management.
  • Improved the management of resources entering and leaving memory to reduce overall consumption and keep the game running for longer in the background.
  • Significantly reduced CPU utilization should reduce heat and power consumption.

As part of this major update the price of Arkfront will rise from $2.99 to $3.99. If you like what you see, you can support Arkfront by buying it before this update is available.

Update 0.90

Version 0.90 adds many new features, more content, animations, many more levels, a new stage and more to ARKFRONT.


  • Added voice-overs for powerups and major events like moving between stages.
  • Added a final cinematic to the game to tie it all together.
  • Created a new category of level for the campaign.
  • 17 new levels added to the campaign. Now 113 total levels!
  • Added an entire additional stage to the campaign, significantly increasing play times.
  • New boss firing patterns. Added in multiple strategies to make this more random and interesting.
  • Ice economy: collect ice and trade it to Outposts for additional gold. Use it or lose it!

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Fixed a longstanding crash in the campaign where selecting certain levels in the campaign could lead to a crash.
  • Reduced repetitive dialogue.
  • Removed full screen tutorials as they were too disruptive to play.
  • Added even more screen shake and juice.
  • Improved the tutorial by adding an arrow pointing towards the first outposts docking bay.
  • Fixed the way dialogue is handled at the beginning of each stage to correct for the intro animation.
  • Improved the balance of several levels in Stage 2.
  • Cleaned up the codebase to make long-term management easier.
  • Incremented version number to 0.90 – Almost beta.

Update 0.79

Version 0.79 adds new features, enemies, and other improvements to the ARKFRONT experience.


  • New boss ship – Eidolon: The final boss of the game is in, and multiple phases for the fight are now under development. You can see it in action below.
  • Multiple new NPC encounters have been added to the game along with 3 more levels.
  • New animations have been added to support the final boss fight.
  • Bosses now have more dynamic fight patterns generally speaking, including new bullet firing animations.

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Boss HP has been significantly increased.
  • Final boss encounter has been redesigned to support for more bullet types.
  • Bullets now support control to set direction other than straight.
  • NPCs are now improved to use less code and be more modular.
  • Turrets and other attachments to enemies now respond properly to getting hit with High-Explosive rounds or missiles super power.
  • Fixed a number of crashes and undefined behavior.

Update 0.76

Version 0.76 adds new features and improvements to the ARKFRONT experience.


  • Added a new asteroid type: Mounted Turrets! Battle your way through asteroids with turrets mounted on their sides, powerful new, later game threats to encounter and dispatch.
  • Added a new intro animation to the campaign, adding a greater sense of motion.
  • Added a total of 10 more levels to the campaign.
  • Now possible to collide with enemies, destroying them, and injuring yourself. Damage is now set at 1/3 the enemies remaining health when you hit them.
  • Added a number of new screen space effects. Check out the gif below!
Shiny new screen space effects come to ARKFRONT in version 0.76. Get a greater feel of the damage you take when hitting an enemy or get poisoned.

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Added electrical arc sound effects when asteroids hit lasers at outposts.
  • Added more sound effect triggers to destruction of enemies and asteroids.
  • Improved the new intro animation to reduce the amount of times it triggers in a row, no longer triggering when arriving at an outpost.
  • Added a new enemy squadron type.
  • Made some levels longer in stage 1, reducing the downtime between attempts.
  • Now triggering screen shake more aggressively.
  • Fixed the positioning of NPCs at the outposts to reduce accidental encounters upon exit.
  • Reduced the size of level data on disk.

Update 0.71

Version 0.71 adds new features and improvements to ARKFRONT.


  • Added another explosion effect for golden asteroids.
  • Added side to side camera sway.
  • Added five more levels to the campaign for a total of 85.
  • Made level 1 in stage 5 longer.
  • Made level 1 in stage 1 longer.
  • Expanded outpost system with new dialog.
  • Began use of SmearFX to add motion blur to some of the powerups and add a sense of additional motion to the combat.
  • Now asteroids dynamically spawn at outposts, and are destroyed when hitting obstacles and lasers.

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Improved the presentation of background artwork to better utilize layering. Now no longer off center. Star layer is now parallax with the action on screen, adding a great sense of motion.
  • Improved the Countdown timer display, now displays time remaining in even seconds and minutes. Also now displays the time that the player has survived along with a high score that is posted to GameCenter.
  • Fixed a number of draw depth problems.
  • Populations at outposts now use K instead of full numbers.
  • The pause button now shares the overlay with the population count, and has been moved. No longer bugs underneath the other.
  • Fixed a number of balance problems, mostly making the game slightly more difficult.
  • Improved a number of things related to the journal system.
  • Incremented version number to 0.71

Update 0.63

Version 0.63 adds new features and polish to the ARKFRONT experience.


  • Added a new explosion effect -> Frozen asteroids! Players are now frozen if caught in the explosion!
  • Enemies now have considerably improved AI and execute on longer-term plans.
  • Enemies now utilize a vision cone system to alter their behavior dynamically and now act considerably smarter.

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Made many early levels a bit easier and made them a bit longer.
  • Added another level to the campaign.
  • Fixed many issues in the campaign where asteroids could overlap.
  • Enemies no longer fire bullets into the ether.
  • Improved the way that the outposts display their description and information.
  • Simplified and improved the codebase to be easier to maintain over time.
  • Improved the way returning to menu works.
  • Fixed a problem where the outpost sprite could have the wrong center point.
  • Fixed a number of draw depth problems.
  • Incremented version number from 0.60 -> 0.63

Update 0.56

Version 0.56 adds more content and polish to ARKFRONT as well as fixing bugs and improving performance.


  • Added another new Outpost, the largest in the game.
  • Added a system to dynamically select which Outpost is created.
  • Added more animations to the Outpost with more idle animations added to turrets.
  • Added more dynamic encounters with NPCs at Outposts.
  • Expanded the Journal system. Enemies now have names and descriptions. These are “popped” onto the screen when the player first discovers them. You can now read more about enemies in the Menu -> Logs -> Journal.
  • Saving and loading has been further simplified and improved.

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Performed a major refactor to remove unneeded complexity from the code.
  • Improved the Ion Cannon projectile type by removing increasing the fire delay and increasing the size of the particles used as the warning.
  • Fixed minor issues with animation.
  • Reduced RAM consumption by duplicating some assets across texture pages.
  • Game now loads content dynamically from easy to localize spreadsheet files.
  • Reduced the size of the ARKFRONT logo to reduce texture page utilization and prevent swaps, should decrease GPU load and speed up the game on older devices.
  • Fixed some draw depth problems in the menu system.
  • Improved spacing around enemy descriptions in the overlay.
  • Enemy descriptions have been improved.
  • Incremented version number from 0.50 to 0.56.

Update 0.50

Version 0.50 adds a number of new features, more content, fixes bugs and adds polish to the presentation of ARKFRONT.


  • Dialogue boxes now support names. These have been drawn and tweaked to match the style of the rest of the dialogue system.
  • Added another potential Outpost the player can experience with a new NPC.
  • Now, asteroids are dynamically generated by the Outposts and animate dynamically through the shopping experience.
  • Expanded the library of animations for future use.
  • Now the automatic leave timer from Outposts is shown in the leave box.
  • Increased the information density on the Status screen.

Improvements and Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where the Pause screen could appear behind an active dialogue box.
  • Fixed an issue where the depth/draw order could be upset by pausing the game during dialogue.
  • Fixed an issue where the blur shader would not properly be engaged when the player successfully completed a sector or died before the sector ended.
  • Fixed an issue where the player’s shield would stay engaged during the return animation, causing an issue where the players ship would disappear but the shield would remain.
  • Fixed an issue where the player could potentially fire a bullet as part of the exit animation.
  • Incremented version number to 0.50.