Adam had a play around with the Arcane Worlds alpha at the beginning of the year. He liked it, even if was just a demonstration of world generation, choppy waters, and glowy sun graphics. Those are the building blocks of many games, anyway. If games are anything like babies, then 10-and-a-bit months is plenty of time for it to have gestated. I wonder what sex it is? Does it have hair? My Arcane Worlds, how you’ve grown.
Back then it had a certain ‘Magic Carpetness’ about it, and the recently released version 0.09 cements that. If I wanted to carry on the birth analogy, I’d say it was probably time to tell everyone about it and wonder about its sex. What’s new? Enemies, spells, and if you squint you can see its thumbs.
The world is no longer peaceful: pointy sky worms spin through the atmosphere, attacking you as you fly around. They don’t appear to do much damage, but they are an annoyance. CTRL brings up a short list of spells: Fracture, Fireball, Water Glove, Water Sink, Use Portal, and Castle. Castle? Ooh! I fire it into the ground and up comes a square little fort, surrounded by what appears to be floating care bears. No, really.
The sky worms are getting annoying, so I grab a fireball spell and start clicking. No crosshair and their looping, darting nature make them a tough target, but I eventually shatter one. It drops twists of plasma and the care bears start to gather it up. Ah! As far as I can tell, the bears use it to help upgrade the castle, though that functionality doesn’t add much yet.
Fracture isn’t as impressive as the word suggests, and instead of cutting giant curves of the world away, it instead raises and lowers the land where you target it. There’s no way of carving your name in the side of a mountain with it.
Aside from the normal commands, the developer powers still reside within the code. CTRL-R will erode all the surfaces, and CTRL-H will flood the world. The engine takes all this in its stride: I flood my world until the castle is drowned. All I can see is water and peaks. Then I fire a single globe of water into it and watch as the ripple extends out. It’s lovely.
And you can try this right now. It’s a paltry 2.2mb download, which I believe is a diddy-Peggle. It’s probably smaller than the dev video I’m about to link to.