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Aquaria for iPad Released!

November 3rd, 2011 by Alec

At long last, Aquaria for iPad has been released.

This version of the game has been development in some time, mainly because we wanted to make it the best version of the game yet.

To that end, we employed the generous talents of Andrew Church - the programmer behind the homebrew PSP version of the game. I was impressed that he could get a heavy game like Aquaria running so well on that portable device that I knew he’d be able to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of the iPad1 and iPad2.

Andrew reprogrammed a lot of the lower level parts of the game engine, greatly improved the way the game loads and stores scripts, came up with crazy algorithms to generate polygons for sprites, so that they could be drawn more efficiently… and much more. The game runs at a beautiful, silky smooth 60fps with all the water ripple effects and plant movement on iPad2. On iPad1 the game runs at a solid 30fps without the extra visual effects.

In terms of the game design, we’ve added a few things to make the game more accessible. The mini-map now displays your progress through an area, which makes it much faster to figure out where you’ve been. There’s a new “guide glow” that hints at the next area of importance around the edges of the screen. There are a couple different ways to fire off shots, either by tapping with a second finger while swimming, or using an onscreen button. There is also a button that provides easy access to the help screen from the main game screen. And most of these new features can be completely disabled if you’d like to play the game like a purist. ;)

The new save system kicks in when you travel between areas and at various other points, so you won’t have to worry about finding a save crystal as much as you used to. You can feel a bit more relaxed, not having to freak out about when you last saved. We’ve also tweaked a ton of other minor details that never got cleaned up in the PC version.

The game also features a Japanese translation by the fine folks at 8-4.

I also want to tell you folks about a new trailer we made. I wrote a new arrangement of “Traveller” for this one and Jenna Sharpe recorded a couple new lines of voice over for us. I hope you enjoy. :)

Stop by the new Aquaria for iPad subforum to let us know how you’re getting along! You can also find a number of wallpapers for your iPad’s home screen on there…

Special thanks to Adam Saltsman and Eric Johnson who helped us publish Aquaria for iPad. They made the release process very smooth and relaxed, which is unusual for us.

You can find Aquaria for iPad on the App Store. It’s a steal at $4.99 USD. Tell your friends, your loved ones, your pet hamster and your Mom! She’ll knit you an extra special xmas sweater if you do.

App Store Link
SemiSecret Blog Update

It is also Jenna Sharpe’s birthday today! Wish her well. :)

Our Forums are Temporarily Down

August 22nd, 2011 by Alec

Howdy folks, just wanted to let you know that the forums recently crashed. We’re not sure how to get them back up yet, but we would really like to!

I think we have to repair the SQL tables from the command line, but neither of us have done that before and are a bit nervous about trying. If there’s anyone out there who has experience doing this, we’d appreciate the expertise. :)

Hopefully we can get the forums back up soon.

UPDATE: Forums are back up! Thanks to everyone who helped out.

Now back to working on Aquaria iPad and other games. :D

Aquaria for Linux: Open Beta

December 14th, 2009 by Alec

A new port of Aquaria has been completed by the prolific Linux codemaster Ryan C. Gordon. :)

You can download it here and play it until January 13th:

The installer has beta test details (bug tracker, discussion list) in its README.

Thanks in advance for your help and a huuuge thank you to Ryan! 8)

P.S. The Aquaria: OST is now available digitally!

Aquaria: OST Launches Saturday w/ Live PJ Jam

November 9th, 2009 by Alec

At long last… the Aquaria Original Soundtrack is finally complete!

We’ll be launching the soundtrack on Saturday (November 14) with a live pyjama jam courtesy of yours truly! I’ll be playing all kinds of music over webcam while my beautiful assistants package and prepare your CD orders for shipping in the background.

Aquaria: Original Soundtrack

This soundtrack is a no-holds-barred special two disc release, filled to the brim with fifty tracks. It includes all the music from the game, but also adds a brand new song, “Fear the Dark”. The talented Jenna Sharpe returned to the studio as “Naija” for the first time since finishing her work on the game about two years ago - to record brand new vocals for this track. The result is an epic nine minute piece that explores the light and dark sides of Aquaria.

MP3 Download → Fear the Dark Preview [0:42]

In addition to the new song, the track also features three new remixes by other indie game music artists. Brandon McCartin of “Balding’s Quest” brings his imagination and funky beats to the table with his style-bending adaptations of “Dark Places” (the abyss theme) and “Heart of the Forest”. Danny Baranowsky (of Canabalt fame), who also mastered the project, contributes an upbeat, old-school flavoured remix of “Boss Fraught”. (the mini boss theme)

As an added bonus, a work-in-progress five minute “Marian” track has also been included.

The set comes together with sexy packaging designed by myself, Derek Yu and Katie De Sousa. It features 2 discs with full color labels, an eight page booklet featuring new art and lyrics, and an eight panel poster featuring visuals from the game, notes on composing the tracks, score snippets and more. There will be a few purchase options, including having your poster signed!

So come on down this Saturday, watch some live jams, order some CDs - it’ll be a fun time for the whole family. :)

UPDATE: The Shop is now live.

UPDATE 2: Newer version of the Shop is up here. Signed copies still available at this address!

“Beauty of Aquaria” Mod, New Fan Art and More…

August 14th, 2009 by Alec

A new fan-made mod called “Beauty of Aquaria” was just released! Its a chill exploration level - no need to worry about fighting off hoards of enemies. The mod was created by Yogoda and you can find more information about it here.

Also: in development and nearing release, is TheBear’s epic story-based Aquaria prequel mod - featuring new RPG elements like dialogue trees and shops. I’m really impressed with the programming and level design muscle behind this mod! Check out TheBear’s time lapse video of one level’s construction:

Forum Thread: Aquaria Sacrifice

Also fresh off the graphite pencil is new art work from the talented Vetehinen, who has created two other great Aquaria-inspired pieces.

See the full work here.

I’ve been working on some Aquaria stuff too, what could this be?

Also, there’s this…

I’m not sure how it’ll end up, but its most certainly the work of the talented Ryan C. Gordon.

Still Waters

February 6th, 2009 by Derek


Hey, guys! Just wanted to drop in and thank everyone for their support, whether you’ve bought the game from our website, or through Steam or Ambrosia. Things may seem quiet right now, but rest assured that Alec and I are always cooking up something game-related. And we couldn’t do it without you, so thanks!

I’ve updated the Community page with four new pieces of fanart, and the Press page with a great review of Aquaria Mac, from the latest issue of Mac|Life. The reviewer, Susie Ochs, gave the game a perfect 5/5 rating, and described it as being “stunningly well crafted with a compelling story, beautiful visuals and music, and hours upon hours of action-adventure.”

I love all the water-related puns that are used with Aquaria. As you can see, even I can’t help myself sometimes. ;)

Aquaria @ Macworld Expo

January 8th, 2009 by Alec

Ambroisa Software, Aquaria’s Mac distributor, showed off the game again at MacWorld. You can see their setup here, next to Multiwinia:

Aquaria @ Macworld

Looks pretty cool! I like the little cutout enemies. :)

New Year’s Eve: A Time for Change

December 31st, 2008 by Alec

2008 is coming to an end, and so is Bit-Blot in a sense. Derek and I have both embarked on separate projects - we don’t have any immediate plans to work on a new game together. I’ve formed a new development team called Infinite Ammo, and Derek has been developing an amazing freeware game called “Spelunky”.


“Spelunky” is a randomly generated game in which you play an Indiana Jones-esque explorer. The game has a ton of secrets, beautiful art and moments that make you go “woaah”. Derek did all the art and programming work himself.

The game can be a little difficult to get the hang of at first, but its totally worth it. There’s a ton of depth and gameplay value here, and you can’t beat the price.

Download Spelunky Here


Meanwhile, Infinite Ammo has been working on developing a few projects. Our main concept is “Marian”, which is in part a spiritual successor to “Aquaria”. Above is one of Katie de Sousa’s amazing concept pieces for the game. You can find more information about Marian here.

I update the Infinite Ammo site regularly with behind the scenes info, concept art, music, video blogs - the works. If you’re interested in following my game development exploits beyond the realm of Bit-Blot, IA’s blog is the place to go at it.

This doesn’t mean that Bit-Blot is kaput, however. Derek and I have more planned for Aquaria in the coming months. There’s the long-awaited soundtrack release, and we have another surprise up our sleeves. I’d love to be able to work with Derek on a new game as Bit-Blot again in the future, but only time will tell if that’s in the cards or not.

To all the folks at home, thanks for being part of the journey of developing Aquaria. This isn’t an ending, its just the beginning.

Aquaria on Steam for $16, Behind the Scenes

December 16th, 2008 by Alec

Hey, Alec here - you guys might have noticed this already, but Aquaria is out on Steam! Its also on sale for 20% off until the new year. The Steam version features 27 achievements with new art by Derek and its a steal at $15.99 - so if you haven’t picked up the game yet, now is the perfect time.

Steam also has a really nice gift purchasing service. If you’re stuck thinking of a gift for your friends and relatives, why not give the gift of Aquaria. Odds are, they’ll love the new version. :)

And last but not least, here’s a little behind the scenes info on the making of the latest HD Aquaria trailer - featuring my ugly mug!

Enjoy! :)

In case you’re curious why the video says “Infinite Ammo” at the beginning… that’s ’cause it’s my new team! If you guys haven’t heard of it yet, you can learn a lot more at our website. We do a regular video blog and we’re working on a couple really cool 2.5D games.

Aquaria 1.1.1 for Windows Released for $20

December 12th, 2008 by Alec

Aquaria Fan Art by Kyle Pulver

The new version of Aquaria is here, and now it only costs $19.99!

If you’re new to the Aquaria universe, click here to buy your very own copy.

If you already own Aquaria, visit this thread on the forums for information about how to upgrade your copy to the latest version.

This version of Aquaria includes a lot of new tweaks and improvements over the original; including beautiful widescreen support, a new world map system that allows you to name and drop markers, get hints and more, an improved cooking system that previews recipes, shows recipe effects and is easier to use, an integrated help system, some redesigned puzzles and even more.

To find out more about what’s in Aquaria 1.1.1 and just how awesome it is, check out the last blog post.

Derek and I would like to thank all our fans and customers over the last year for their initial purchase, continuing support and yes, love. I have to give big, individual shout-outs to Robert J. Walker, Kyle Pulver and Tommy Refenes for being instrumental in helping me test this new version of the game. Thanks guys!

And to everyone else, enjoy the game. :)

(Featured: Kyle Pulver’s Aquaria fan art)

NOTE: Our webstore’s backend is being really slow and unresponsive for me right now. Apologies in advance if I don’t get to your reactivation request right away.