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Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.1.2 beta released

This is just a quick bug fix release. Here's what has changed since 0.1.1 beta:

  • Fixed Windows version not starting when launched outside game's directory.
  • Completely reworked Winnitron arcade mode launch logic.

Updated packages are available for download on Itch.io page and the official game page has been updated.

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Posted on 2018-09-17

Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.1.1 beta released

I had decided not to add any new weapons during beta phase, but I did it anyway. Meet smartgun:

It's a similar to the magnetic cannon, but with lower rate of fire and projectiles that steer away from friendly ships and towards enemies.

One problem with the mobile controller apps have been that they do not work in all Wi-Fi setups. Many (especially public) Wi-Fi networks seem to block UDP multicast which prevents the app from finding any games. I haven't been able to fix this so that it would work everywhere, so I've added manual connection as a backup. Now the game shows the listening IP address when a match starts. Updated mobile controller apps allows you to manually enter this address for cases where game listing does not show any games.

This update also adds a "Winnitron compatibility mode". This mode allows Hyper Ultra Astronautics to run in Winnitron arcade cabinets. I will later upload the game to Winnitron network.

Here's full list of change since 0.1.0 beta:

  • Added new weapon: Smartgun.
  • Fixed fast moving teletorpedos occasionally colliding and exploding prematurely.
  • Fixed teletorpedos becoming indestructible after their teleportation time runs out.
  • Added "resume" option in main menu and removed menu toggling with ESC.
  • Added command line option to force full-screen mode with current desktop resolution.
  • Documented all command line options in readme.txt.
  • Removed "slide prevention" setting from menu.
  • Added launch script for Winnitron arcade machines.
  • Moved controller app QR codes from settings menu to controller help overlay.
  • Increased weapon flash light ranges on most of the weapons.
  • Fixed bug causing wrong weapon flash color on some weapons.
  • Changed to a more low-poly style bullet shapes.
  • Added create-menu-shortcut.sh/vbs scripts for setting up menu shortcuts.
  • Increased arena light intensities slightly.
  • Show listening IP address for remote controllers at match start.

Updated packages are available for download on Itch.io page and the official game page has been updated. Mobile controller application update is waiting for approval on GooglePlay.

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Posted on 2018-08-23

Lockdown Protocol 1.4.3 Released

This is a maintenance update to Lockdown Protocol, the first one in 2.5 years! I didn't realize it's been that long.

The most important reason for this update was that the Linux version is no longer working out-of-the box in many of the modern distributions due to removal of required old libpng library version. Also, a lot of bug fixes and improvements have been made to my "engine code" over the years while developing Hyper Ultra Astronautics.

I decided to drop the built-in level sharing mechanism, because it was a maintenance nightmare and due to the fact that during last three years it has been used only three times in total.

I will no longer build a 32-bit Linux version, because practically no-one downloads that anymore.

Here's the full list of changes:

  • Dropped Direct3D support (was never used by default anyway).
  • Fixed some compatibility issues on Linux (no more libpng dependency).
  • Added monitor selection in system menu.
  • Added monitor gamma adjustment in system menu.
  • Added V-sync interval setting to system menu.
  • Prevented "Automatic lockdown.." voice announcement from playing in editor preview mode.
  • Rewrote collision sound volume calculation.
  • Fixed random crashes at exit.
  • Added itch.io manifest files and cleaned up remaining references to Desura.
  • Switched to use SDL2 game controller mappings for much better gamepad support.
  • Fixed crash when starting level editor repeatedly.
  • Removed level upload/download support.

There has been a lot of code changes, so I would be surprised if there are no new bugs. If you encounter any problems, please report them and I'll sort them out.

Updated packages are available for download on Itch.io page and the official game page has been updated.

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Posted on 2018-08-09

Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.1.0 beta released

The promised beta version is here! There are not that many changes from the last alpha version, mainly because the game ready. Here's what has changed:

  • Added support for mobile controller events (e.g. flash effect on damage). The Android app has already been updated.
  • Ignore ship steering from remote controllers when both left and right buttons are pressed.
  • Adjusted background asteroid color slightly to better blend into the background.

The biggest feature still missing is the iOS version of the controller app. The app is made using Godot engine, so porting should not be an issue. The problem is that I don't have Apple developer license or any Apple hardware to build and test on. I have released the source code and I'm hoping that I can find someone else to publish it on iOS.

Here's a brand new trailer for Hyper Ultra Astronautics:

Click below to play the video. Note: This will load the embedded video from Youtube and will allow Google to collect data according to their privacy policy.

As for the pricing, I have finally made some decisions. The game will be available at "pay what you want" price on Itch.io with no minimum payment. I will possibly later add some additional weapons/items that are only available above certain price point, but the base game will remain freely available. If the game later on ends up in other stores (for example Steam), I will likely have to set a fixed price.

Updated packages are available for download on Itch.io page and the official game page has been updated.

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Posted on 2018-06-05

Preparing for GDPR

Because the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect next month, I have been trying to make sure my website and game services are compliant. As neither the website nor the services require registration or login, there wasn't much personal data being collected to begin with. I have always been wary of storing any sensitive data so naturally my aim is to not collect any personal data that would require user consent according to GDPR.

Nearly all services running on the host log IP addresses and those will be considered personal data. I can't disable logging completely as that information is crucial for detecting and preventing network problems, hack attempts, service misuse, etc. Instead, I set up all logs containing IP addresses to be deleted after 12 weeks. Similarly, all IP addresses are purged from game service databases like high score tables. This limited IP address storage should fall within "legitimate interest".

The big problem was third party code running on the website. I was surprised by the amount of cookies set by embedded videos and widgets. Here's what I did to improve the situation:

  • Google Analytics was completely removed as I haven't been using it that much anyway. I might reconsider this later if I can find a way to do that without collecting any personal data and thus not having to ask for user consent.
  • ShareThis social media sharing widget was replaced by direct share links to social media sites.
  • Gfycat video player widget was replaced by HTML5 video player.
  • Youtube embeds were set to use privacy-enhanced mode that should not store any cookies on load.
  • Itch.io widget was replaced by a link to downloads.

According to multiple online cookie checkers, no tracking cookies are created. Playing embedded videos will still access external resources and potentially allow third party servers to store data provided by the browser. I don't know how I could prevent this unless I self-host everything.

Edit 2018-05-22: It turned out that no-cookie version of Youtube embeds may still track users even before playing the video, so I changed the code so that the actual Youtube embed is only loaded once user clicks on the preview image to play the video. This also made pages load a bit faster.

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Posted on 2018-04-23

Previous posts

2018-03-17 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.16 alpha released
2017-12-26 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.15 alpha released
2017-09-17 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.14 alpha released
2017-09-02 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.13 alpha released
2017-08-14 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.12 alpha released
2017-07-18 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.11 alpha released
2017-04-27 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.10 alpha released
2017-03-22 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.9 alpha released
2017-02-12 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.8 alpha released
2017-01-12 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.7 alpha released
2016-11-24 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.6 alpha released
2016-09-28 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.5 alpha released
2016-08-17 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.4 alpha released
2016-07-04 Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.3 alpha released
2016-02-08 Introducing Hyper Ultra Astronautics
2016-01-26 Lockdown Protocol 1.4.2 released
2015-11-28 Beyond Lockdown Protocol
2015-09-20 Lockdown Protocol 1.4.1 released
2015-09-06 Lockdown Protocol 1.4.0 released
2015-07-27 Pay what you want for Lockdown Protocol
2015-07-08 Lockdown Protocol 1.3.0 on itch.io
2015-06-07 Lockdown Protocol 1.2.0 released
2015-05-17 Lockdown Protocol 1.1.0 released
2015-04-17 Progress report
2015-03-21 Lockdown Protocol 1.0.0 released
2015-03-01 Lockdown Protocol 0.23.0 beta released
2015-01-31 Lockdown Protocol 0.22.0 beta released
2015-01-14 Progress report
2014-12-14 Lockdown Protocol 0.21.0 beta released
2014-11-09 Lockdown Protocol 0.20.0 alpha released
2014-10-19 Feature creep cleanup
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