PAX South! And thoughts re: game modes

By January 24, 2017Uncategorized

Antihero is coming to the Penny Arcade Expo again! This will be the game’s first showing at the Texas-based PAX South. Do they like urchins, thugs, and gentlemen thieves in Texas? Do you like these things? We’d love to see you if so!

When I just said “we,” I actually meant “the fine folks at Versus Evil,” who will be showing the game at their booth, and who are all far more comfortable on a convention floor than I am. This will be Antihero’s fifth (!) PAX, and the first that I’m not attending. And there’s a good reason for my absence, which is that the game has 8 billion tickets left on its Trello board, and I’ve been told I’m not to leave the house – not to leave my chair – till they’re all complete.

The game’s multiplayer population continues to grow bit by bit as players trickle in to our First Access key-limited alpha. (We just released a second batch of keys, and there are a few more left…) Recently, we shipped “Live Matches,” a synchronous multiplayer game mode that has a Hearthstone-esque turn timer and requires you to think on your feet.

“Classic” Antihero multiplayer is an asynchronous affair, meaning that you and your opponent don’t have to be online at the same time – think “Words With Friends” but with bribery, theft, and assassination. Async multiplayer is the reason I originally created Antihero: I love the genre, and it’s woefully underrepresented. That said, I’ve been slightly nervous that async-only is not ideal for The Kids Of Today — the millennials with their YouTube, Twitch, cellular phones, Folgers instant coffee, and clap-on-clap-off light switches. They need instant gratification! Also, I think I’m technically a millennial, and I too enjoy instant gratification. Thus: Antihero’s Live Match feature.

In practice, this has borne out. We have a good number of players who are dedicated to async-Antihero, including at least one lovely internet community that’s been running their own tournament for the last several weeks. I don’t know these guys personally, but I’m guessing, based on their play habits, that they skew slightly older. On the other hand, we have new streamers showing up from Twitch-land who are playing live matches against each other and their fans, and broadcasting their burglaries to their – presumably slightly younger – audiences. We now accommodate everyone: the youngs, the olds, and everyone in between. (Also: the internet-averse! We have an offline hotseat multiplayer mode as well.)

Of course, if you are young or old or in between, and want in on the action, you should join our (really quite stable! just not yet feature-complete) First Access alpha, and come see us at PAX later this week!