Changing the physics engine part 2
From the two options, upgrading to latest Newton Dynamics or switching to Bullet Physics, I decided to try Bullet first. As I said in the last post I liked the look of Bullet's API and now that I've actually used it I have to say that it really fits to my needs perfectly.
All Newton dependencies have now been replaced with Bullet and while many features previously provided by my platform code using Newton are currently broken, most stuff used by Lockdown Protocol works.
There are still a couple of issues that need to be solved, but unless those cause severe problems, I'm going to stick with Bullet Physics. There is work left to do with this physics engine switch, but once it's done, I can get back to working on more visible improvements to Lockdown Protocol.
Posted on 2013-05-22
Changing the physics engine
Lockdown Protocol is currently using Newton Dynamics version 2.36 for physics simulation, but I'm having a lot of problems with it that I just can't solve or require really ugly hacks. The used version is getting old and is no longer actively maintained, so I really need to replace it.
I have two options: Upgrading to Newton Dynamics version 3.x or switching to Bullet Physics. Former change would probably be easier, but the latter option is really tempting, because Bullet's API looks to be better suited to my needs. Bullet also seems to have more stable releases. One of the biggest problems I've had with Newton over the years has been finding usable version that both compiles on all needed platforms and contains necessary bug fixes.
Unfortunately both options mean quite a lot of work with very little visible improvement to the game other than hopefully getting rid of a couple of long-standing physics bugs.
I will probably test both options and see how it goes. I will report back when I know more.
Posted on 2013-05-13
Lockdown Protocol 0.12.0 alpha release
The most noticeable change in this release is removed line of sight visibility requirement. The enemies are now always visible like in most platformer games. This simple change makes the game much more enjoyable, since it removes the annoying unavoidable deaths when hidden enemy pops up right in front of you.
The game got a bit easier now that the enemies are less likely to take you by surprise, so I will likely have to adjust the difficulty of existing levels at some point. Any feedback on overall difficulty of the game is very much welcome.
Here's full list of changes since 0.11.0 alpha version:
- Removed line of sight visibility tests so that enemies are always visible.
- Replaced all explosion sound effects with much beefier ones.
- Added separate stand pose to human animation for more natural standing position.
- Made damaged walk speed limitation fade in and out smoothly.
- Minor tweaking to human walk cycle animation.
- Fixed AI treating flying body parts and grenades as obstacles.
- Made AI react to door opening sounds.
- Guards now slowly aim at targets instead of instantly having perfect aim.
- Gave dragon AI ability to go around obstacles while attacking.
- Fixed reconfigure scripts that broke due to executable name change.
- Fixed dragon wing flap sounds not stopping when dragon dies.
- Fixed crash on match start after deleting and re-downloading the used level.
Posted on 2013-05-06
Instead of working on the Lockdown Protocol this weekend I decided to finally roll up my sleeves and update this website. I have added many features that have been waiting on my task list for a really long time:
- Separate news pages with comments (by livefyre).
- Social media share buttons for the news pages.
- RSS feed for the news posts.
- Many minor changes like enabling controls on embedded youtube videos again.
The Lockdown Protocol project is progressing as well. Lately I have been working on enemy AI improvements.
Posted on 2013-04-28
No more hiding enemies
After long consideration I have decided to completely remove the line of sight visibility tests in Lockdown Protocol.
The current way of enemies getting hidden when the player character does not have direct line of sight to them is simply bad. Without any visualization of visible area it only adds confusion. Enemies popping up right in front of you out of nowhere and shooting you in the face gets really annoying. I temporarily made enemies constantly visible and played a couple of old levels and it was a lot more fun! After all this is supposed to be more of a platformer game than a tactical shooter.
I don't know what I was thinking when I decided that hiding the enemies was a good idea :)
Posted on 2013-04-23
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
2010-12-22 The Platform Shooter
2010-08-16 Final Duel 2 is now free