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Alien Arena 2008 is a free, stand-alone deathmatch game based on source code released by id Software. Begun by COR Entertainment in 2004, the game combines a 1950s-era sci-fi atmosphere with gameplay similar to the Quake, Doom, and Unreal Tournament series. Alien Arena focuses mainly on online multiplayer action, although it does contain single-player campaigns against bots.

Alien Arena has been released for Microsoft Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. The game has been free to play since its inception, and there are currently no plans to change it to a pay-to-play format. However, as of October 15, 2008, the latest SVN builds now feature in-game advertising, in the main menu and in some maps. [1] While the game's content is proprietary, the CRX engine is open source.

StatusEdit

Alien Arena is currently in active development. The most recent version is 7.60, which was released on July 6th, 2012. The official svn repository, however, has the latest commited version of the source code and game content.

HistoryEdit

December 2003 - The concept of Alien Arena is born. Originally, the game was to feature famous aliens from movies as characters. Dm7 - "The Saucer" the first map created for Alien Arena was born, shortly followed by Dm8 (the never released version).

August 11, 2004 - Beta 1 is released to the public! Initial reactions are favorable, even though only about 1000 people bothered to download the game.

September 2, 2004 - Beta 2 is released, now for the first time, servers are tracked on a master server, and server browser comes included with the game. A few more maps make their way in.

September 17, 2004 - Beta 3 is released, now with an internal server browser, 8 maps, 5 characters. Bot AI is dramatically improved. For the first time, people begin playing online.

October 5, 2004 - Alien Arena 1.0 is released! The news is hardly reported outside of the Quake community, but nonetheless, for the first few days after the release, a few people join and play on servers. The game gets very little response, positive or negative, but at this time, a few regular players begin showing up.

October 23, 2004 - Alien Arena 2.0 is released. This was a signifigant release, adding shaders, and 3 new maps (tourney1, 2, 3). Also, at this point, Whitelipper has begun making music for the game, and is officially the first community member. Shaders dramatically improved the look of the game, especially in how glass helmets were rendered. Activity on servers begins to increase, but still not to the point of having even 100 people online for a 24 hour period.

December 21, 2004 - Whitelipper releases Morning Glow City, the first third party map created for Alien Arena!

January 27, 2005 - Alien Arena 3.0 is released. This now includes the 9 player models that are currently in the game, but most signifigantly, this is the first release that includes CTF! The game is now up to 15 maps in total, 3 CTF. The community adds a few more regular members, Forsaken and Roadrage.

April 6, 2005 - Alien Arena is Planet Quake's "Mod of the Week"!

May 17, 2005 - Alien Arena 4.0 is released, and at the time billed as the last full release of the game. Many of the original characters receive overhauls, getting new skins and skin mapping. All Out Assault mode is introduced. The release turns out to be quite buggy, and majorly disappointing. Activity actually begins declining, despite the inclusion of a new start level, and other maps and features. Work on Alien Arena slows for awhile, as I comtemplate the future direction of the game.

June 14, 2005 - Patch 4.01 is released, featuring a host of new engine features such as light bloom and reflective water.

July 15, 2005 - Ravage ports Alien Arena to Linux, and version 4.01 is released, including two new maps, which signify a new level of detail, dm-probe and dm-inferno.

July 17, 2005 - GIGA Tv runs a show featuring Alien Arena, and suddenly, activity explodes for a two week period.

August 11, 2005 - Patch 4.02 is released - fixing a few bugs, and for the first time ever, bots show up in server lists, which greatly helps server activity.

August 13, 2005 - The first Alien Arena tournament is held, for Qexpo 2005, and while a bit unorganized, winds up being alot of fun for the 8 people who entered. It also exposed a few serious bugs in the game. Whitelipper wins quite handily, creating a legendary status for himself in the AA community.

September 24, 2005 - Alien Arena 2006 is announced, billed as the "sequel" to CodeRED: Alien Arena. It is at this time the "CodeRED" is dropped from the game's name. This announcement leads to several interviews and previews, greatly hyping the game as never before.

October 30, 2005 - Alien Arena 2006 is released! The reviews for the game are great, but mixed in the user community. However, at least people are trying it at this point. The game now includes 25 levels, and introduces many new things, such as alt-fires, mutators, and Deathball. Bot AI again is improved, and actually begins leading to complaints of the game being too hard for newcomers.

January 11, 2006 - Forsaken launches his Alien Arena page, the first fan page for the game!

February 10, 2006 - Alien Arena 2006: Gold Edition is released, adding nine new maps, alt-fires for every weapon, and better bot skill selections. Shaders are now present on models, which signifigantly enhances the appearance. Now with 32 maps, the game begins reaching a maturity that it did not have previously. Also, it is at this point that older maps begin being phased out. Server activity again surges upward, after a bit of a decline from the October 30 release.

February 16, 2005 - Stats tracking for Alien Arena goes online. Within 5 days, 1000 unique names are recorded in the database (at that time there were many players using the name "player").

June 2, 2006 - Alien Arena 2006: Uranium Edition is released, now featuring 34 maps, a new excessive mutator, and very importantly, major security and bugfixes that had been plaguing the game since it's beginning. A number of new visual enhancements arrive as well, including some new weapon models, textures, and particles. Most signifigantly, is the inclusion of the new Galaxy, which has a built in IRC client and leads to the growth of the community, which at this point, is contributing heavily with many new third party maps and other enhancements.

July 1, 2006 - Alien Arena is featured in the US version of PC Gamer, getting a very favorable review!

July 18, 2006 - Alien Arena 2007 is announced at Qexpo 2006, and a preview patch is released, featuring many significant changes, including new maps as well as dramatic engine improvements. At this time, the very last of the original maps from the first beta release have been removed from the game.

September 1, 2006 - Alien Arena 2007 is released! This release is the accumulation of many changes and improvements over the course of the summer, featuring a new gameplay mode, Team Core Assault, as well as much more content, with many new maps, skins, and models being added since Uranium Edition's release.

December 21, 2006 - Version 6.02 is released, after months of testing. This version features new renderer features such as real-time vertex lighting on models, for both world and dynamic lights.

January 21, 2007 - Version 6.03 is released, almost hastily, but enough signifigant new things are in to warrant getting it out, in particular, new textures and maps, the first of what is expected to be a near complete overhaul of the maps in the game to be completed by early spring of 2007. While 6.03 is considered to be a "bridge" to 6.04, it stands alone very well, no doubt due to the new maps, and a few other nice additions to make the game more stable and configurable.

March 1, 2007 - Version 6.04 is released, featuring an enormous amount of map changes. It was thought previously that 6.04 would be the beginning of game content stability, but this was truly not the case as despite all these overhauls, more continued as it progressed towards 6.05.

June 13, 2007 - Version 6.05 is released, after several weeks of heavy hype and promotion. 6.05 was less of a content update as it was code, but the changes were quite dramatic in overall appearance. The engine received major updates, and as a result, not only looked better, but ran faster even than then the 2006 versions. Overall, 6.05 was a huge success, and was instrumental in helping COR work out some things on the business side that will help AA grow in ways it could not before.

October 13, 2007 - Alien Arena 6.10 is released, again, much fanfare accompanied it, this time getting on the front page of Slashdot.com, and Alien Arena found itself receiving much attention in the six months following the release, being featured on half a dozen major magazine's DVD's, and getting excellent reviews and a surging playerbase and community.

March 6th, 2008 - Alien Arena 2008 (CRX version 7.0) was released. Despite not getting much exposure on Digg or Slashdot, the release was very well received and reviewed, and the news spread out to a much larger pipeline due to the previous mass exposure of the past two releases. The game was a virtual complete overhaul from AA2k7, with all new player characters, nearly 2 dozen new maps, new weapon models, and many extensive engine enhancements and optimizations.

June 5, 2008 - Version 7.10 was released, continuing the reworking and polish that had been introduced in 7.0, and while this was originally intended to be a minor release, the amount of new and updated content was nearly as much as any other release in the game's history to this point. At this point, most deathmatch aspects of AA have been completed, and it was becoming apparent now that the popularity of the team-based modes would shift a bit of the focus in that direction for the next release.

October 18, 2008 - Version 7.20 was released

EngineEdit

Alien Arena runs on the CRX engine, an enhanced version of id's Quake 2 engine built off of the released source code. It is developed simultaneously with the main game, and shares the version labels.

LinksEdit

Official website

Official forums

Online server browser/information portal

ReferencesEdit

Alien Arena Timeline (modified for use here) Alien Arena wikipedia article

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