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.
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.
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.
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.
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.