Fractalus 1.0 Released!

Fractalus 1.0.0 is now available for download from the Fractalus project page, and is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, and VR (Oculus/OpenVR)!

It’s been a long running project but it’s finally complete! Fractalus 1.0 includes a heap of changes that bring it very close to the original game (including the alien pilots!).

The 1.0.0 build may not be the last build, as I’m sure there will eventually be bugs and issues found that will need fixing, and there have been several ideas put forward by others and some I’ve had myself for things to expand a bit on the original game.

Huge thanks again to David Fox, Loren Carpenter, and Charlie Kellner from the original Rescue on Fractalus team for their help with bringing the remake as close to the original as possible, and also huge thanks to everyone who helped out with testing and gave feedback during development!

Here’s what’s new in Fractalus 1.0.0;

  • Gameplay
    • Added New Game screen with starting level selection.
    • Added Game Over screen.
    • Added High Scores screen.
    • Added bonus points sequence on return to mothership.
    • Added intro sequence when game is launched.
    • Added Demo Droid mode.
    • Game progression is now persisted, allowing player to return to the mothership and exit the game, then pick up from the same level and continue playing later.
    • Removed “Restart Level” and “Return to Title” menu options, replaced with “Abandon Game” when a game is in progress.
    • Mothership availability is now varied.
    • Levels 1-8 now have randomly flatter terrain.
    • Changing levels in the mothership is now animated.
    • Cockpit radar is now centered at the bottom like the original.
    • Added VR support (separate controller required – VR controllers not supported).
  • Graphics
    • Added video settings for changing resolution and quality.
    • Added Saucer model.
    • Added Mothership model.
    • Added Valkyrie model.
    • Added Alien model.
    • Added planet model in level entry sequence.
    • Updated Cockpit and Frameless Cockpit models.
    • Updated Pilot model.
    • Updated mothership hangar/launch tunnel models.
    • Updated cockpit instruments to match appearance from original game and box art.
    • Cockpit instruments will now be rendered transparent when in frameless cockpit or flat HUD modes.
    • Improved atmosphere texturing.
    • Added dust particle burst when landing/launching.
    • Fixed UI scaling issues on ultrawide or surround aspect ratios.
    • Fixed low quality text rendering in various places.
    • Changed several textures to use high quality compression to reduce artifacting and banding.
    • Improved compass texture.
    • Slowed down weapon sparks on collision with terrain.
  • Sounds
    • Updated player ship engine sounds.
    • Updated player and turret weapon sounds.
    • Updated pilot knock sound.
    • Updated title music.
    • Added music for game over and level completion.
    • Added landing/launch impact sounds.
    • Improved Saucer sounds.
  • Controls
    • Added control rebinding options.
    • Added support for using a throttle axis instead of throttle up/down buttons.
    • Added default bindings for joysticks Saitek X52 and Logitech Extreme 3D Pro (other joysticks will need their bindings manually set up by the player).
  • Ship Improvements
    • Ship can now be landed at any speed.
    • Landing at high speed now causes the ship to lurch forward on impact.
    • Player can now return to mothership while landed.
    • Throttle up while landed now launches ship.
  • Turret Improvements
    • Turret firing rate is now slightly varied for less rhythmic firing on higher levels.
    • Turret lock-on now has a level-dependent delay on first lock and after each time the lock is broken.
    • Turrets will no longer fire at player while returning to the mothership.
    • Turret shield and beam colour is now aqua to better match original.
  • Saucer Improvements
    • Added new Saucer model.
    • Improved Saucer flight logic and pathing.
    • Saucer sound is now directional.
  • Pilot/Crashed Ship Improvements
    • Added Ace and Alien pilots.
    • Pilot now approaches player ship much faster at high distances.
    • Crashed Ships are now only considered as in range if they are within a 90 degree cone in front of the player, matching the radar.
  • Other Improvements
    • Red overlay on cockpit instruments when ship is damaged is now blended correctly.
    • Updated some in-game message text to match original.
    • Added dark outline to menu text to make it easier to read.
    • Pause menu is now accessible while docked with the mothership, rather than returning to the title screen.
    • Added credits screen.
    • Fixed issue where boosting to mothership would fail to ascend, leaving the player stuck.

If you have any thoughts, comments or feedback, leave a reply below or let me know on Twitter or Facebook!

Enjoy and stay safe, pilots!

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18 Responses to “Fractalus 1.0 Released!”

  1. Jeff D says:

    I can only but say that this plays like a dream.
    Music, sounds, graphics are fantastic, loving the mothership and the cockpit radar.

    Very addictive and runs well on my PC.

    Thank you very much, 1st fell in love with the original some 30+ years ago on the Atari 800.

  2. Marc M. says:

    This is a wonderful remake of Rescue on Fractalus!
    It’s so much fun flying through the canyons and saving the pilots, trying to shoot the saucer and destroying the turrets, especially at night!
    Thank you for this gem!
    Just one more…

  3. Peter B says:

    Wow this runs great and brings back happy memories.
    Scared the s… out of me those aliens back in the days.

  4. Dario Hugo Aversa says:

    Testing Atari 5200 roms I found this game, which in my youth I knew how to play it for hours with a friend on his Atari 800 xl, and it occurred to me to find out if they had made a new version on a 16 bit console, and I came across this fantastic remake , you are a genious

  5. asoces says:

    Awesome – The game looks and plays great! Thanks for sharing your work 🙂

  6. Pete H says:

    Atari 800XL circa 1985 – For me, this was the best game ever made and well worthy of this superb remake. It may have been a labour of love, but do you have Paypal? I’d like to buy you a beer!

  7. Loafmeister says:

    Congrats on the release Luke. Your persistence has paid off! Excellent freebie VR title, excellent in flat screen too, perfect tribute!!

  8. J.R. says:

    Very good remake with beautiful models and graphics. Perfect. Thank you very much for sharing.

  9. WoPo says:

    It turned out great, the mothership animation at the beginning is great. Also the other elements like the aliens or the cockpit, just great. Thank you very much for the program.

  10. jvva says:

    Fantastic JOB. I love Fratalus on Atari and your remake bring my memeory back. Thank you a happy new year.

  11. UnDead says:

    Great remake! It keeps the spirit very well.

    One question: is save feature planned for future release? 🙂

  12. Luke says:

    Thanks! The game is saved each time you return to the mothership (or when your ship is destroyed, which ends the game) so you can exit from there and then pick up from where you left off later on, but there are no separate save slots for now. This may be something I’ll add in a future version.

  13. Thorsten N. says:

    This is awesome! Very well done. I love approaching the mothership after a level, great!
    Just two things maybe: The high-pitched engine sound has a very “dominant” unpleasant frequency. This was better in 0.9 imho!
    Maybe add a sort of squeek sound effect when the Alien appears at the cockpit, like in the original. Just for a bit more jumpscaring. 😉
    My Fractalus setup: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9DkwQcv2p4jNGZr1A 😀

  14. Luke says:

    Thanks! I’m currently working on adding a jumpscare sound for when the Alien appears, and also adding in the ability to change the volume on individual engine sounds so that the player can reduce or remove unpleasant sounds.

  15. Steve says:

    Loved this game on my Atari 800 when I was a kid. Version 0.9 was great. Version 1.0 runs but doesn’t like my Thrustmaster joystick, Macosx. So you can go down, but no other direction!

  16. Luke says:

    Hi Steve, sorry to hear Fractalus isn’t working with your joystick. Others have reported similar issues in 1.0 with other controllers and when multiple controllers are plugged in. The reason this is an issue in 1.0 and not in 0.9 is because 1.0 is built with a newer version of Unity, where they removed the ability to redefine controls at launch and made it so that adding the ability to rebind controls in the new version required use of a new input system which works differently to the old one.

    I’m currently working on rewriting Fractalus’ control system to better support situations where there are multiple controllers and also to provide better support for rebinding controls. Hopefully this will fix the issue when I get the next build out.

  17. Simone says:

    Hi Steve, the 1.0 version is awesome! You did a great job but i have a problem with the keyboard: it doesn’t work. I can’t rescue the pilots or land or escape frome the mission. With the previous release 0.9 there are no problems and the keyboard works! The problem is with this new version 1.0.
    No way to save the keys in configuration mode.
    Do you have any solution for that?
    Thanks a lot.

  18. Luke says:

    Hi Simone, there are known issues with some controllers and with multiple controllers being plugged in at the same time – specifically if you have a controller plugged in that is constantly sending signals, then Fractalus will only pay attention to that controller and ignore all others including the keyboard. I am currently working on rewriting the control system to hopefully fix this in the next build.

    The only workaround for this currently is to disconnect other controllers while running Fractalus. If you have tried rebinding controls, once you have disconnected other controllers you may need to go into the Options and reset the bindings to the defaults.

    – Luke

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