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Aquaria for iPad Released!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

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. :)

Aquaria for Linux: Open Beta

Monday, December 14th, 2009

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

Monday, November 9th, 2009

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…

Friday, August 14th, 2009

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.

Aquaria @ Macworld Expo

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

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. :)

Aquaria on Steam for $16, Behind the Scenes

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

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

Friday, December 12th, 2008

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.

Happy Anniversary! New Trailer and More…

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Hi folks, Alec here - as of December 7, Aquaria has been released for a year. We want to thank all the people who chose to buy the game and support us. You’re the reason we’re still around, and we really appreciate it. You’re also the reason why we’ve been able to continue to work on improving the game, and soon you’ll be able to experience the result of those efforts.

This weekend we’ll release the new Windows version of Aquaria, 1.1.1. This version includes widescreen, graphics and audio enhancements, improved puzzles, a new/awesome map system and more. It even improves on the recently released Mac version - and it will be released at a new price.

And last but not least, we’ve made a new trailer to celebrate. This one was made in 1280×720, and looks absolutely gorgeous. The files involved in making it are taking up about 82GB of my hard drive! You can check out the embedded video here at standard def, but head to YouTube or Vimeo for the option to watch it in HD. If you want the original source AVI file, just send me an email ( and I’ll hook you up.

Happy belated Aquaria anniversary, everybody. :)

Aquaria 1.1.0 for Mac Released!

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Aquaria Mac Release

Thank you for your patience, Mac users! Its Alec here, letting you know that Aquaria for Mac has been released today. Go play the demo and buy the Mac version for $30 over here at the Ambrosia website. (Beware, there may be some spoilers in the screenshots on there. They may be spoiler free in a bit though! I’ll update this post when I know.)

But this is not just a straight port of the Windows version, oh no - Aquaria for Mac includes nearly a year of work in new features, bug fixes and improvements - bringing the version number up from 1.0.3 to a big shiny 1.1.0. With new and beautiful wide screen support; a new world map system complete with progress recording, location names, user-created markers and beacons, user-friendly improvements to the cooking system, changes to make puzzles more intuitive, additional graphics, auto updates, a built-in help system - and more! Even some of the music tracks got a bit of polish.

In fact, these features will be exclusive to the Mac version of Aquaria while we put together a beta test of the new Windows patch. I also like to consider this temporary exclusivity a small gift to our patient Mac fans who have waited many months! You folks really deserve it.

But there are more people to thank, specifically some very helpful employees over at Ambrosia software who did a lot to make my workload more manageable. I’d like to single out John Champlin, for testing the game probably a 100 times, demoing it at Macworld and for helping manage the beta list. I’d also like to thank Matt Slot, Mike B. and Rudy Richter who did a lot of the Cocoa programming involved in creating the start-up sequence and GUI launcher for Mac Aquaria, as well as giving me help figuring out how to support older Macs. A huge thank you goes out all the Beta testers who went through the game countless times to be sure that issues were fixed, and for coming up with some good suggestions on how to improve the game. Also, a big thanks to Derek for creating new art for the game, fixing levels for widescreen support, creating a sexy OSX icon and for making the awesome painting you see on this post to celebrate the release!

Its been a crazy ride getting to this point, one filled with a lot of frustration and a feeling I’d like to call “banging your head against the wall”. A lot of that was trying to figure out how to improve the game based on feedback from players, while still keeping true to what works so well in the first version and all the love that Derek and I put into it. Turns out, it was totally worth it. Its not too often you get to sit back and watch your baby go out into the wild, crazy world. This is our second time, and I’m still excited. :)

P.S. I now use a MacBook Pro for all my game development purposes, and so does Derek. ;)

Side Order of Aquaria

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Aquaria: Lost Treasures

One of the coolest things about releasing your project to a widespread audience, is that you get a ton of amazing creative feedback. We’ve had some really phenomenal fan art, some fabulous cosplay and even some fan music!

But beyond that - all of the tools we used to create Aquaria are built into the game itself, and any user can make their own Aquaria side story with them.

Bit Blot forum member Danger Mouse recently posted about progress on his mod called “Aquaria: Lost Treasures” - and it looks very promising. He’s been updating a progress thread nearly every day with new details and art.

Aquaria: Lost Treasures

The game appears to revolve around young Naija, and features completely new areas. There are also plans for a few game play additions to the game, which should help create a fresh experience for those who have already finished the official storyline of Aquaria.

You’re very welcome to drop by the thread and offer words of encouragement - and you may even decide to offer your particular talents to the project. It would be cool to create some original music, or to help out with scripting for example! I know there are some incredibly talented Aquaria fans out there, and I’d be stoked to see what they could create if they got together.

You can find the “Aquaria: Lost Treasures” thread here.

P.S. There’s still time to apply to be on the Aquaria 1.1.0 beta test! You can check out the details here.