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Tuesday, February 09, 2016
The ZoopTEK server, housing Mastery, Coniclysm high scores, Paint Ball Opponent Network, and Gemstar high scores will be down until further notice. Our poor unfortunate server that has been running for about seven years has finally gone kaput. During that time, we also lost the domain name for the server, due to inactivity. Double bad news!

We will be needing a new server soon for one of our upcoming games, so, hopefully it will not be too long until we can get these back up again!
We have created a new video, showing our latest additions to art, design, and more, but particularly the all new tutorial campaign!
Many of the changes came from you, the fans:
  • Bigger guns!
  • Rounded ship parts. Ships look more stealth-bombery.
  • Rounded natural formations like dirt and stone (and soon to become even more rounded!).
  • Custom models for trees: trunks and leaf balls.
  • Environment texture revamp in progress (it's a lot of work for our one artist!).
  • Damage states are being added to nearly every block in the game. Previously, only a handful had intermediate damage states. Every block will ultimately have three states: pristine, damaged, and demolished. (our poor artist not only has to revamp each block, he has to redo each block twice!) It's very gratifying so far though!
  • Chain reaction explosions in the environment (was already implemented on ships), a la Raptor: Call of the Shadows. Blowing up buildings is awesome.
  • Bigger explosions, bigger sparks, bigger particle effects everywhere.
  • More dynamic lighting, tons of lighting. In levels, in the hangar, everywhere!
  • Mipmapping, so things look smoother far away. Not perfect, but better than before.
  • Dynamic depth of field. Inconsequential background stuff goes out of focus.
  • More feedback. Target lock beeps, incoming missile alarms, shaky UI on hit, and more.
  • New ship stats HUD. A combination of traditional and our "build your own HUD" blocks.
  • Entirely new GUI graphics. More subtle orange, angular corners, what'd you'd expect for sci-fi GUI.
  • New weapons, spreading out the progression, filling gaps.
  • New equipment prices,
  • Re-organized ship editor, with the tool box at the bottom of the screen.
  • New tool-tips for ship parts, giving you a ton of information, just like an action RPG.
  • Equipment icons!
  • Simple crosshair aiming, just like Crimson Skies, Ace Combat, Freelancer, etc. Sometimes simpler is better :-P. Makes shooting off parts of enemies so much easier.
  • Weapon balancing beyond the rock-paper-scissors. Rockets now have more area effect than homing missiles. Bullets are more about consistent damage where rockets and missiles are about burst damage.
  • Automatic target lock goes after thrusters first, then weapons, then a random block.
  • Laser designator allows you to choose which part of an enemy ship you are targeting, allowing for precise homing missile strikes.
  • Homing missiles finally got their turn speeds fixed. No more 180 degree turns for homing missiles :-P.
  • Recoil actually visible and impactful. Recoil based on weapon power and ship weight. A 70mm artillery on a light ship has a lot of recoil, while a flechette weapon on a big ship has nearly no recoil.
  • Performance optimization.
  • Enemies can now surrender if you destroy their weapons. Surrendered enemies give you more money than simply blowing them up.
  • Enemies have radio chatter, and it means something. They will radio each other for help, beg for mercy (surrender), and more.
  • AI pathfinding much smarter. Still needs a tad more work, but way better than it was!
  • C# scripting is now functional in the level editor, allowing for much more complex scripted events!
  • Randomly generated missions are very balanced. Testers said they "just felt right." :-)
  • Level editor supports prefab creation and stamping. Makes building levels so much faster!
  • Many more level editor options.
  • Randomly generated missions now spawn buildings through prefabs.
  • Tutorial campaign, as seen in the video. The five in the video are almost done, there is one more to be polished, for a total of six missions in the tutorial campaign.
  • Rebellion campaign has approximately six levels polished, out of fifteen.
  • Much more I'm sure...
It's been a busy many months! Many thanks to Tribeca Flashpoint Academy students, the ZoopTEK team, our many advisors, and of course the fans. It's been an uphill battle, but we're not far away from our open beta :-D. Thanks all for the support! -The ZoopTEK Team

Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and ZoopTEK announce the upcoming release of the game: Avarice.

Avarice is the result of the collaboration between the Chicago-based ZoopTEK game studio, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, and composer Miguel Kertsman. The talents of current and prior Flashpoint faculty, staff, and students who are located around the world were utilized, along with the technical, design, and commercialization contributions of ZoopTEK founder and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy faculty member, Alan Reck.

Avarice will be released by the largest online distributor of PC games, Steam, this summer and on May 16th, Avarice will be celebrated at a unique event.

Everyone is invited to the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy campus in downtown Chicago to witness the first real-time live scoring of a game soundtrack by composer and keyboardist, Miguel Kertsman, to the live game play of Avarice.

By attending, everyone will be able to watch players competing live for prizes as they play this explosive build-then- battle action game on big screens accompanied by live music orchestrated on the fly! Or, you may even join the competition yourself!

Join Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and ZoopTEK officials to celebrate this collaboration that is a demonstration of the practical education and experience that Flashpoint provides its students.

Join us in celebrating this momentous occasion!

Location: Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, 28 North Clark, Chicago, Illinois, 60602.
Date: Thursday, May 16.
Time: 5:45 PM.

Please RSVP at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ypJYxUMDPvfSk8sxADnnlSrdn1L5T48VEFvI9R-uxlY/viewform

Read more: Avarice Pre-release Event!

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