Ballistick with new weapons - Flamethrower and a Plasma Cannon?
Everyone has their favorite games. Techlife recently has been addicted to Casual Collective’s Multi-Player Desktop Tower Defense (invites available here). Good games have that effect. WoW or World of Warcraft fans take their addiction to new levels.

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But one of the best games of all time is XGen Studio’s Stick Arena. Skye Boyes, friend of Techlife, is one of the creator’s XGen’s popular 4 person flash game. We interviewed Skye to talk about gaming, Stick Arena and Ballistick their newest game, that has been a long time coming. Skye was kind of enough to provide us three exclusive game images of Ballistick. Nearly a year ago XGen posted this trailer of Ballistick to wet the appetites of Stick Arena fans. So the real question is: When is Ballistick coming? Read on to find out.

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Techlife: How popular is Stick Arena? Is it your most popular game?

Skye Boyes: Stick Arena has received an estimated 45 Million pageviews since its release in November of 2005; we recently surpassed 6 Million user accounts. While Stick Arena is currently the most popular game on XGenStudios.com, we’re still seeking the right portal partnerships to bring this game to a wider audience. As a result, Stick Arena has actually received less exposure net-wide than classics such as Defend your Castle and Motherload, because of our partnerships with leading portals such as Miniclip, MTV, and Shockwave.com for these older titles. However, Stick Arena is quickly gaining ground.

TL: How often do you get to play Stick Arena for recreation?

SB: I find myself sucked into a match (or 3) frequently while developing the expansion. We have yet to move to the new server architecture, so I’m literally playing Go Ballistick with other players playing the original Stick Arena.

TL: What’s your username and your skill level?

SB: ‘Skye’, Rank 5. I’m a middle-of-the-road player and find myself out-matched frequently. Even Danny, by far the best player on our team, can’t compete against the top SA players.

TL: What other games do you play?

SB: Currently Guitar Hero II, Archon for NES, WiiSports, and anything browser-based. I’m afflicted with game developer ADD; I play large numbers of games for short periods of time, typically just as long as it takes to understand them. I try to play just about every game that comes out in Flash.

TL: Ever play another Techlife favorite, Multi-player Desktop Tower Defense? Need an invite?

SB: No. And yes!

TL: Done your invite is in your email, but don’t get to addicted like me. Back in Feb 2007, you showed us Ballistick or Go Ballistick, what can you tell us about the development cycle taking so long?

SB: A robust feature list, as well as a few unforeseen opportunities, are to blame. We were approached by a studio in 2006 to assist with programming the GUI for an upcoming, highly anticipated, AAA XBox 360 title; an opportunity we had a difficult time turning down. With this project and Pillage the Village wrapped up, we’re back into full production on Ballistick – The expansion is looking fantastic, and we’re confident that fans will agree it was well worth the wait.

TL: Where are you at in the process?

Ballistick with new weapons - Chainsaw, Gattling Gun, Lightsaber, and that red triangle item??

SB: All of the new maps and weapons are complete and balanced. We’re working on the new profile system, shop, map editor, and a few extras.

TL: Will you need beta testers?

SB: Yes; we’ll make an announcement on our front-page when we begin our Beta program.

TL: What are you doing about hacking, cheating and other exploits for the new game?

SB: We’ve completely revamped the client/server architecture for greater security, and the majority of exploits seen today will no longer be possible with the release of Ballistick. On an interesting side note, we’ve also decided to continue providing a version of the original “Prison Rules” Stick Arena as a sort of social experiment targeting script kiddies, hackers, cheaters, and the nostalgic.

TL: Will Stick Arena cease existence or will user’s records port to the new game?

SB: Although Ballistick is closer to a v2.0 than a simple expansion, we’ll port all existing user accounts and statistics over. We know that our players have invested a lot of time invested into their accounts, and we’ll make sure players can log into those accounts from Ballistick.

TL: What are you most proud of for the new game?

SB: It’s difficult to single out just one facet, but the new weapons look incredible and are a blast to play. I’m also fond of the new customizable 2-color Spinners and of Pets, which offer practically limitless combinations to personalize your character.

Ballistick - new features include, custom spinners, pets, a store, a map maker and editor

TL: Have you considered a map editor for users to create their own maps?

SB: Absolutely; an robust and easy-to-use map editor will be included with Ballstick. Player’s will be able to play their maps with friends, as well as enter design competitions.

TL: When can expect the new game to arrive, what’s the release date?

SB: We’re well over the half-way mark, but I’m going to pull a Blizzard here – when it’s as fun, balanced, and polished as possible ;).

Any of our readers ever play him in Stick Arena? Did you beat him? Skye’s answer, is quite ambiguous about when Ballistick will be out. So the unofficial contest is: Guess the date, and tell us in the comments.