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Lockdown Protocol 0.22.0 beta released

Second beta release for Lockdown Protocol is ready.

The change log consists mostly of bug fixes and balancing, but there are some new stuff too. I added one new small multiplayer level optimized for two-player local deathmatches. There is also one completely new weapon. I had decided not to add any more weapons, but I "accidentally" created a new pretty weapon while playing around with particles systems. So I finished it and here it is:

New level and new weapon called Plasma cannon

I have done a lot of tweaking based on feedback from the previous versions. Most of it aims to make the guards a little less efficient in killing the player and reduce the need to walk through already cleared empty corridors.

Here's full list of changes since 0.21.0 beta release:

  • Added full-screen red flash "pain effect".
  • Added a new weapon: Plasma cannon.
  • Added one more multiplayer level.
  • Fixed closing window with title bar close button.
  • Made guards randomly misaim to make them a bit less deadly over long distances.
  • Added basic gamepad control to menus.
  • Single player gameplay is now paused while menu is open.
  • Tweaked all levels for a bit more action and less walking through empty corridors.
  • Made elevators and platforms move a little faster.
  • Increased player walk speed a tiny bit to make jumping over gaps easier.
  • Fixed duplicate "Player X entered" messages in split-screen multiplayer matches.
  • Fixed randomly changing direction before mouse was first moved on remote clients.
  • Fixed player occasionally damaging himself when shooting while running up a ramp or falling.
  • Fixed choppy or completely missing reload animations on remote clients.
  • Fixed heartbeat loop sound not always stopping on death.
  • Shortened sentry gun target detection range.
  • Fixed spiders sometimes walking really slowly.
  • Increased guard AI stun duration after damage.
  • Added hit sound to pulse rifle and sentry drone projectiles.
  • Increased sentry drone fire rate, lowered its projectile speed and damage.
  • Lowered jellyfish projectile speed.
  • Fixed crash in case of too many simultaneous explosions.
  • Fixed object destruction when moving outside of level area.
  • Doubled laser rifle range.
  • Fixed explosions not applying forces to indestructible objects (e.g. blue barrels).
  • Adjusted visible/audible ranges to fix ugly looping sound cutoff.
  • Fixed missing particle fade out in some of the weapon hit effects.
  • Fixed badly oriented rocket smoke trail particle effect on clients.

Download links have been updated on the game page. The update will soon be available on Desura too.

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Posted on 2015-01-31

Progress report

The first beta version of Lockdown Protocol was released just in time for Christmas and I have finally received a bit more feedback on the game. In addition to direct comments from people, Softpedia wrote a review of the beta version. Based on the feedback, I have been making some changes. Nothing radical, but tweaks to alleviate gripes and issues people have faced.

I have added a full screen flash effect when the player character takes damage to make sure you notice if you're getting shot. It also seems to make the hits feel more "painful":

Guard AI has been changed so that it now randomly misaims a little. Previously it always aimed perfectly and only the inaccuracy of the weapon prevented guards from hitting their targets every time. This change makes the them less deadly, especially at long distances.

I'm currently in the process of going through all levels and making minor adjustments. There will be more checkpoints, so that you don't have to restart so far away when you die. In general I try to modify the levels to require less walking through already cleared empty corridors. I will be placing a few more enemies here and there too.

I probably won't be making any huge changes at this point, but all feedback and comments are still very much appreciated.

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Posted on 2015-01-14

Lockdown Protocol 0.21.0 beta released

Lockdown Protocol has gone beta! This means that the game is feature-complete and from now on I will focus on fixing bugs and polishing existing features. The final version will likely be released in the first quarter of 2015.

Change list for this release is shorter than usual. I have made quite a lot of invisible changes under the hood, for example OIS library has been replaced with GLFW. The external display settings dialog has been removed and those settings can now be found in the in-game settings menu.

I made a new level background model to replace the one I quickly hacked together for the first alpha versions almost four years ago. Not a big change, but it somehow makes everything look prettier.

Here's full list of changes since 0.20.0 alpha release:

  • New more detailed background model.
  • Added some secret cheat codes.
  • Added video mode settings in system settings menu and removed external configuration dialog.
  • Removed network packet rate and decal count from settings menu.
  • Added support for copy/paste in menus.
  • Gamepad compatibility improvements.
  • Fixed load screen status text updating.
  • F2 key now releases input grab as workaround for cases where alt-tab does not work.

Here's some fresh video footage:

Download links have been updated on the game page. The update will soon be available on Desura too.

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Posted on 2014-12-14

Lockdown Protocol 0.20.0 alpha released

The big new feature in this release is local split-screen multiplayer support:

Precision kill in split-screen multiplayer match

There are also other changes related to multiplayer experience. Kills are no longer directly counted, but you get score for each kill, just like in single player game. Player with highest score wins. The idea is that this allows other means of winning than just kills. For example, in the the new multiplayer level "collector" there are sample vials that can be collected for score. In addition to just killing the other players, you will have to fight over access to the vials too.

All the planned major features have now been implemented. This game has been in development for well over four years, so it feels really good finally getting to this point. I'm still not setting any hard dead lines or final release date, but I will soon be switching to beta phase and it looks like the final release could be out sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

Here's full list of changes since 0.19.0 alpha release:

  • Added split screen multiplayer support.
  • Added support for two gamepads.
  • Multiplayer matches now complete based on score instead of only counting kills.
  • Added new weapon: Pain grenade.
  • Added new enemy: Sentry drone.
  • Added new multiplayer level: Collector.
  • Added separate "new high score" menu page for editing player name.
  • Tutorial level was completely redesigned.
  • Allow checking single player high scores during gameplay (by pressing TAB).
  • Store level completion time, kill count and collected vial count in high score data.
  • Replaced demo reminder overlays with preview time counter and chat messages.
  • Fixed broken laser beam fade out at maximum range.
  • Fixed speech bubble alignment error with text containing spaces.
  • Properly destroy remaining particles on match end.
  • Fixed high score file corruption if name contained leading or trailing white space.
  • Fixed wrong player skins sometimes shown on remote clients.
  • Disabled bullet hit fragment effects on humans.
  • Animated score label at end of match counts up from zero.
  • Fixed missing foot step sounds when walking backwards.
  • Added blinking highlight to collectible items to make the easier to spot in dark places.
  • Updated game logo.
  • Added small offset to explosion lights sources to better light the environment.
  • Fixed beam weapon shoot effects fading out too early.
  • Stop level start announcement sound when match ends or is restarted.
  • Improved blood stain decal placement and overlapping.
  • Added glow to alien blood stain decals.
  • Fixed occasionally missing blood splatter decals.
  • Updated all blood stain decal variants and added more of them.
  • Fixed shield energy level not showing in HUD on remote clients.
  • Strip trailing/leading white space from user input where it would cause problems.
  • Created bigger and better pulse rifle shot sound.
  • Toggle gamepad controller info from gamepad select/back button.
  • Removed lower lighting quality option from settings.
  • Removed looping action music.
  • Cleaned up some unnecessary warning and error messages in log file.
  • Embedded application icon to executable on Windows.

Download links have been updated on the game page. The update will soon be available on Desura too.

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Posted on 2014-11-09

Feature creep cleanup

I had one of the those days when you feel like the project you're working on will never finish and decided to take a critical look at my task list for Lockdown Protocol. I saw feature creep everywhere! There were a lot of wild ideas, accumulated over the years, that I once though would be cool and never stopped to think if they would actually improve the game, let alone how long it would take to implement them.

It was time for a major cleanup. I removed nearly half of the items on the list and prioritized what remained. I decided to post-pone a few features instead of dropping them completely, so that they won't stop me from finishing the game. I might implement them later on if more people actually start playing the game. Now the situation looks a lot better. I'm actually only a couple alpha releases away from feature-readiness.

Talking about removing features, I'm planning to remove the lighting quality setting, which in practice selects between per-vertex and per-pixel lighting. The performance difference between the two options is practically non-existent. It only gives one useless option for the player and double shader code maintenance work for me.

I have been making some progress too. Here's what I've been up to:

  • Split-screen local multiplayer. I'm really excited about this one! It's so much more fun playing with your friends physically in the same room. Remote players can still join the same match over the Internet or (W)LAN, so you can have more than two players in the match.

  • Multiplayer matches are now score-based. In practice this means that you get score for kills and match completes based on that score instead of kill counts. Normally this does not change gameplay at all, because the player with most kills still win. However, this allows creating multiplayer levels with other means of gaining score. I have added one new multiplayer level with vials to collect. There could also be levels with aliens to kill for score.

  • Sentry drones and one new weapon called pain grenade. Sentry drones are stationary drones floating in the air and guarding their perimeter. Pain grenade is.. uhm.. a tool for driving campers out of their holes :)

Here are some screenshots from the current development version:

I'm quite lazy in writing these posts here, so if you want more frequent updates, I suggest you follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

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Posted on 2014-10-19

Previous posts

2014-08-25 Lockdown Protocol 0.19.0 alpha released
2014-08-10 Progress report
2014-06-28 Change of plan
2014-06-08 Lockdown Protocol 0.18.0 alpha released
2014-05-31 New Lockdown Protocol alpha version coming soon
2014-04-19 Progress report
2014-03-07 Lockdown Protocol 0.17.0 alpha released
2014-03-06 Multiplayer game jerkiness issue solved
2014-02-26 Progress report
2014-01-30 Progress report
2014-01-14 Lockdown Protocol 0.16.0 alpha release
2014-01-11 Next Lockdown Protocol alpha release coming soon
2013-12-29 Lockdown Protocol's Year 2013
2013-12-16 Progress report
2013-12-01 Vote Lockdown Protocol for Indie of the Year on IndieDB
2013-11-24 New Lockdown Protocol alpha video
2013-11-05 Lockdown Protocol 0.15.0 alpha release
2013-10-03 Progress report
2013-09-19 Multiplayer matchmaking fixes
2013-09-01 Lockdown Protocol 0.14.0 alpha release
2013-08-07 Progress report
2013-07-09 Lockdown Protocol 0.13.0 alpha release
2013-07-02 Next release is shaping up
2013-06-09 Progress report
2013-05-22 Changing the physics engine part 2
2013-05-13 Changing the physics engine
2013-05-06 Lockdown Protocol 0.12.0 alpha release
2013-04-28 Website update
2013-04-23 No more hiding enemies
2013-04-14 Lockdown Protocol 0.11.0 alpha release
2013-04-07 Progress report
2013-02-25 Progress report
2013-02-08 The Platform Shooter 0.10.0 alpha release
2013-01-23 Level editor rework
2012-12-31 How to improve The Platform Shooter?
2012-12-25 The Platform Shooter 0.9.0 alpha release
2012-12-04 The Platform Shooter progress report
2012-10-29 Level sharing progress report
2012-10-24 The Platform Shooter 0.8.0 alpha release
2012-09-23 New video from The Platform Shooter 0.7.0 alpha
2012-09-16 The Platform Shooter 0.7.0 alpha release and 40% alpha discount
2012-09-04 The Platform Shooter 0.6.1 alpha release
2012-09-03 The Platform Shooter 0.6.0 alpha release
2012-07-10 The Platform Shooter 0.5.0 alpha release
2012-06-26 Plans for the future
2012-05-18 A little progress
2012-04-08 The Platform Shooter 0.4.0 alpha release
2012-03-18 Crouching and explosion improvements
2012-02-11 The Platform Shooter 0.3.0 alpha release
2012-01-26 Progress report
2012-01-07 Sentry guns and callable elevators
2011-12-14 The Platform Shooter 0.2.1 alpha release
2011-12-09 Bug fix release coming
2011-12-01 The Platform Shooter 0.2.0 alpha release
2011-11-21 Progress report
2011-11-06 Client side prediction rework
2011-10-22 Decal improvements
2011-10-20 Bend from the knees
2011-09-20 I can hear music!
2011-08-29 One bug fixed, one more revealed
2011-08-01 About mouse aiming
2011-06-20 The platform shooter public alpha release
2011-05-25 One more single player level
2011-05-22 First release is nearing
2011-05-10 A new game play video
2011-04-30 Level editor improvements
2011-04-20 Situation report
2011-03-23 Fighting network latency
2011-03-14 Level editor improvements and a HUD
2011-02-22 Single player level scoring
2011-02-13 Progress report and in-game video footage
2011-01-26 Network code changes
2010-12-30 Explosions
2010-12-22 The Platform Shooter
2010-08-16 Final Duel 2 is now free