ZAM Talks to Three Rings Design on Spiral Knights

It's no secret that we're big fans of Spiral Knights' simplistic hack 'n slashing mayhem, but it's been a little while since we had the chance to hop into the game to see what new things were on offer. Just four months ago, Spiral Knights was announcing that they had hit one million player accounts, and they've been almost constantly generating content for their players, ranging from adding in a shiny new PvP arena, as well as the addition of Shadow Lairs.

Eager to catch up on how Spiral Knights has been doing in the past few months, as well as what's to come for this gorgeous retro game, ZAM Staff Writer Mike "Krelumian" Schaffnit had a brief interview with Three Rings Design on all things Spiral Knights. Read on!

The Shadow Lairs come to Spiral Knights!

Some great new stuff to come out of the Spiral Knights team... The Shadow Lairs! Now any player who makes it to floor 23 of the Clockwork Terminal can access a new area north of the elevator that will lead to some brand new Shadow Lairs. These Shadow Lairs are supposed to contain some of the most difficult challenges yet faced by the Knights, including the rabid Snarbolax, the Frigid Ice Queen, the Roarmulus Twins, and the Darkfire Vanaduke. For any player brave enough to face those depths, however, there are some fantastic items to be found, including the materials to craft the Heavenly Iron Armor as well as special boss-themed equipment, like the Snarbolax Coat.

Also included with this new Shadow Lair expansion comes Spiral Knights' Halloween festivities in the form of the Dark Harvest Festival. From now until November 1st, the game will feature Halloween-themed decorations and dungeons will have special rooms inhabited by the Pumpkin King. If you collect tokens in the form of candy, you'll also be able to exchange them for some special masks; some of which last up to two weeks, while others can last forever!

Rift, Minecraft, EverQuest Honored at GDC Awards

The second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards ceremony was held last night at GDC Online, and both Rift and Minecraft took home the top honors with two awards each. Rift earned awards for Best New Online Game and Best Online Technology, while Minecraft received the Best Live Game and Best Community Relations awards. Wizard101 pick up the Audience Award, which is voted on by gamers worldwide.

It's also important to note that EverQuest was inducted into the Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame. The classic MMO is in its 12th year of operation and has a new expansion scheduled to launch next month. Last year's inductee was Ultima Online.

You can view the full list of winners after the jump.

Spiral Knights Update, Soundtrack and Costumes

Today's been a big day for Spiral Knights updates. Here's a rundown of all the news:

Spiral Knights Gets a PvP Battle Arena

PvP content has been added to Spiral Knights with the the launch of King Krogmo's Coliseum, a battle sport arena that allows Knights to duke it out for prizes. The object of the first game, Blast Network, is to eliminate your opponents with your bombs. Simple enough, right?

To commemorate the new addition, SEGA and Three Rings will be awarding the Spiral Bombhead Mask to all players who complete their first PvP battle, regardless of the match’s outcome. There are a variety of Bombhead Masks to collect, so head over to the Coliseum and start blowing up other players! More games, rewards and features will be added to the arena in the future.

Spiral Knights Celebrates 1 Million Accounts

SEGA and Three Rings announced today that Spiral Knights has grown to one million player accounts worldwide. To celebrate, the Ironclaw Munitions Factory dungeon (seen above) has been added to the game.

Last month, Spiral Knights became one of the first free-to-play games available on Steam. For more details on this hack 'n' slash dungeon crawler, watch Mike B. aka Fony's recent BFF Report and check out Senior Staff Writer Chris "Pwyff" Tom's impressions.

5 Free-to-Play Games Now Available on Steam

If you're a Steam user who enjoys free-to-play games, then you'll be happy to know that Valve just introduced support for five F2P titles on the digital platform. Available immediately, the launch titles are Spiral Knights, Forsaken World, Champions Online: Free for All, Global Agenda: Free Agent, and Alliance of Valliant Arms.

If you're interested in trying out any of these games, be sure to keep an eye out for special deals throughout the week. Here are the details:

"Beginning tomorrow (Wednesday) with Spiral Knights and concluding Sunday with AVA, each of the five launch titles will offer exclusive in-game content to those who try the 'F2P game of the day' on Steam. In game transactions in all of the titles will be supported by Steam's micro-transaction backend system that is available to Steamworks partners and currently used in Valve's Team Fortress 2."

For more details, check out the FAQ. Which free-to-play games will you be playing on Steam?

Spiral Knights Development Plans Outlined

Three Rings has posted a list of the Spiral Knights features that are currently in development, and it includes PvP! As Three Rings puts it, "there's no ETA on any of this just yet and what's listed is by no means the entirety of what we're developing." Here's the list straight from the official forums:

  • A new Tier 2 boss stratum, The Ironclaw Munitions Factory. I can't get in to too many details (it would ruin the surprise!) but we're working on a new Tier 2 boss stratum and it's really different from anything we've done before. Expect lots of explosions!
  • PVP is still in the works. Thank you very much to everyone who shared their favorites PVP games and opinions in the previous thread. They have been cataloged on our wiki by Eurydice for our reference.
  • Two gremlins will be moving in to the Haven Bazaar and offering their unique services to players.
  • New, crazier Danger Rooms. Don't be surprised if the old ones go away for a while as well- Danger Rooms are meant to keep you on your toes.

In addition, The Spiral Knights team just posted on Facebook that they "have a big announcement coming tomorrow. Very exciting! Very mysterious! Stay tuned!"

Spiral Knights Adds Auction House, Training Hall

Today marks the launch of two important features in Spiral Knights: the Auction House and the Advanced Training Hall. The AH is located in the player hub of Haven and lets players buy and sell materials. The training hall is an interactive combat room (seen above) where you can learn various combat techniques and strategies. Screenshots of both of these features can be found in our gallery.

Mike B. aka Fony covered Spiral Knights in his latest BFF Report, so be sure to watch it to see this free-to-play hack 'n' slash dungeon crawler in action.

BFF Report Episode 67: Spiral Knights

Due to an overwhelming number of viewer requests, Mike B. aka Fony decided to try out Spiral Knights in his latest BFF Report. This free-to-play hack 'n' slash dungeon crawler from Three Rings and SEGA made Fony reminisce about playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as a kid, and that trip down memory lane is reason enough to watch this episode. Also, he spent $5 of his own money in the cash shop to give you the full experience.

Watch episode 67 of the BFF Report and leave your comments for Fony! What are some other games he should play?

If you'd like another opinion on Spiral Knights, Senior Staff Writer Chris "Pwyff" Tom played the game leading up to its official launch last month.