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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

Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.16 alpha released

This is a maintenance release in preparation for upcoming beta launch. Still no date set, but it's coming.

Here's full list of changes since 0.0.15 alpha:

  • Added better Rammer boss weapon effects.
  • Improved Rammer boss difficulty progression.
  • Fixed Rammer boss occasionally sitting idle for a very long time.
  • Implemented movable cursor and home/end/del key support in menu text inputs.
  • Changed to a more legible in-game font.
  • Added an in-game feedback form.
  • Added proper license information for used 3rd party libraries.

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

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Posted on 2018-03-17

Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.15 alpha released

I have been busy procrastinating, but I finally managed to set up another Hyper Ultra Astronautics alpha update. It was long overdue.

Most of the work has gone into finishing the survival co-op game mode. I added two new enemy types and ramped up overall difficulty by giving out less repair bots and making enemy weapons do considerably more damage. Content-wise, the survival mode is now ready, but it will need a lot of fine-tuning and balancing.

This update fixes the critical bug that reversed XInput controller Y-axes and rendered many game controllers nearly useless in the previous Windows version.

Here's full list of changes since 0.0.14 alpha:

  • Added a new enemy boss in survival mode.
  • Added a new enemy drone type in survival mode.
  • Added menu control from first connected gamepad.
  • Fixed remote (mobile app) controllers not requiring shoot button release after respawn.
  • Added a new enemy spawn pattern where drones teleport in at random positions.
  • Made survival mode enemy weapons a lot stronger.
  • Firing death ray disrupts own ship controls for a while.
  • Use "smoke" effect on ships only when badly damaged, not to indicate overheat.
  • Added one more projectile per burst to plasma burst to make it more effective weapon.
  • Blink ship label when the ship takes damage.
  • Fixed a bug causing too weak angular damping on all enemy ships.
  • Fixed potential random crashes when using beam weapons.
  • Made enemy drones randomly look around when they don't have a target.
  • Added contact and explosion sounds to explosion fragments.
  • Set boss explosion fragments to explode after a random delay.
  • Prevented collision response from small fragments to prevent them from altering player's heading.
  • Added white flash effect on all ships when taking damage.
  • Made all enemy bosses teleport back to arena if pushed out.
  • Fixed background sound loop unnecessarily restarting when closing controller help.
  • Updated GLFW to fix inversed Y-axis on all XInput gamepads.
  • Prevented bosses from teleporting too close to players.
  • Prevented players from respawning too close to enemy bosses.
  • Fixed a bug that made projectiles launched by already destroyed ship damage friendly players.
  • Updated SDL game controller database to latest version.
  • Implemented a workaround to a GLFW bug that caused missed keypresses on USB keyboards in Linux.
  • Fixed occasional decimal value formatting problems in the menu.
  • Marked transient power-ups with "+" sign in the title.

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

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Posted on 2017-12-26

Hyper Ultra Astronautics 0.0.14 alpha released

In contrast to the previous alpha update only fixing a single bug, this one brings a lot of new stuff. In addition to the long list of visual and usability improvements, there is a new single fire weapon that can wipe the arena clean:

Many testers have felt that the ship is too hard to control due to inertia. However, I like the raw turn-and-thrust controls and so do most of the players once they get the hang of it. As a compromise, I have added an option to automatically use ship's side thrusters to dampen the lateral movement while thrusting. This makes maneuvering a bit easier without introducing any magical forces or friction. It is disabled by default and can be changed in the settings menu (Settings->Controller settings->Slide prevention). Please test it and let me know what you think!

Here's full list of changes since 0.0.13 alpha:

  • Added new weapon: Death ray.
  • Adjusted background asteroid color to better blend in to the background.
  • Added setting for changing ship HUD size.
  • Added left digital trigger as alternative thrust button on gamepads.
  • Added shift keys as alternative shoot keys for keyboard controllers.
  • Use ship's side thrusters to dampen lateral motion while thrusting (off by default).
  • Fine-tuned camera shake to feel better.
  • Added a blue light source to teletorpedos.
  • Increased scattergun projectile count and lowered individial projectile damage.
  • Fixed full-screen mode not always defaulting to primary monitor.
  • Increased telefragger kill range at teleport target position.
  • Don't spawn telefragger right before boss fights as it can't be used against them.
  • Spawn repair bots in survival mode only as boss kill rewards.
  • Fixed log error spamming on some buggy AMD drivers in Windows.
  • Made player ships attract power ups from much greater distance.
  • Added particle trail effects to some of the beam weapons.
  • Added smooth fading at both ends of weapon beams.
  • Moved controller help from menu to a separate overlay that can be toggled with F1.
  • Show match tips in randomized loop while waiting for players to join the match.
  • Added a shockwave to teleporting effect.

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

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Posted on 2017-09-17

Previous posts

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