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Anarchy Arcade Development: Weeks 2 & 3

Things got off to a slow start as development was delayed by nearly 4 days due to a hardware failure, but now everything is up and running again.

Once again development was focused on revamping the backend to support all the new features that will be thrown its way.  Most of the work done this week was aimed at the in-game Smartphone and how the player will interact with AArcade.

All menus will be displayed to the player via the in-game Smartphone.  This will keep the player completely immersed in their virtual world and also avoid some potential issues when it comes time to implement the Occulus Rift.  Generally, in-game virtual objects are much more natural on the Occulus Rift than fullscreen menus.  By displaying the menus on the screen of your in-game Smartphone being held right in your character’s virtual hands the immersion will be complete.  Of course, you will still have the option to display the menus fullscreen if you prefer.

One issue that the community raised about the prototype concerns improper aspect ratios on the screens of certain cabinets.  This problem was due to the fact that the internal screen resolution of the prototype was 720p widescreen, while some cabinets used a display screen that was portrait instead of widescreen.

To resolve this issue, in the Steam version the internal resolution can be switched between widescreen and portrait on-the-fly.  This fixes the issue affecting certain cabinet screens, but also prepares the UI for the all-new virtual Smartphone Apps that can be displayed on your in-game Smartphone in either portrait or landscape mode; just like a real Smartphone!

The design objective over the next couple of weeks will be to implement the new & improved spawning and data scraping systems into the Steam version of Anarchy Arcade.  This is where many aspects of the design are going to start coming together and connecting.  Sometimes spawning shortcuts requires data scrapers and OpenWith profiles.  Sometimes data scrapers require user interaction.  User interaction requires the Smartphone.  The Smartphone requires its own virtual operating system complete with both official & addon Apps, as well as its own JavaScript API for communicating between the Smartphone and the AArcade backend.

The groundwork for all these features is already in-place and over the next couple of weeks both the user experience & functionality of Anarchy Arcade will truly start to take shape.

As always, this first stages of developing a new version of this project are technical and don’t produce much eye-candy.  However, it is important to keep the interest of the community and the wonderfully functional free prototype SMARCADE: Anarchy Edition is the perfect tool for this job.

The prototype received a minor update last week to adapt to some Netflix changes and I will be announcing a new Screenshot Contest this weekend with some interesting prizes that the community should really enjoy.  Remember that the Steam version will not have a playable BETA until September, so in the mean time SMARCADE: Anarchy Edition is still being fully supported and I am still here to answer any questions that you have about it.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming Screenshot Contest, and as always I would love to hear your feedback; whether positive or negative.  Anarchy Arcade is something I am creating for the community, so it only makes sense that I make it in a way that you’ll enjoy!  Your feedback helps me do this.

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