Posts Tagged ‘project’

Fractalus 1.1 Released

Friday, May 12th, 2023

It’s been a few years since 1.0 was released, and in the little spare time I’ve had around major life events and a busy work schedule I’ve been slowly working toward a 1.1 update with some fixes and improvements based on feedback from 1.0’s release, and now 1.1 is finally available!

Here’s what’s new in 1.1;

  • Gameplay
    • Improved Ace pilot spawn logic.
    • Ace pilots are now limited to one per level, so once an ace is found (whether it is rescued or killed), no other pilots can become an ace on that level.
    • Saucer approach path sine wave now randomises phase so saucer can now arrive on either side of player ship instead of only on the player’s right side.
    • Updated messages to match original game’s messages.
    • New pilots are no longer spawned as the player approaches the required number of pilots to be rescued, to prevent endlessly rescuing pilots beyond the required number, while still allowing a small amount over the required number.
    • Saucers will now divert course away from the player if their systems are turned off or if they are returning to the mothership.
    • Saucer sound now fades as the player ship exits the level and boosts to the mothership, preventing the sound from abruptly cutting off when leaving the atmosphere.
  • Graphics
    • Replaced planet model with a higher detail mesh.
  • Sounds
    • Added alien snarling and jumpscare sounds.
    • Added settings for individual sounds to allow player to reduce volume of annoying sounds.
    • Pilot knock is now louder and more staccato.
    • Split ambience sound into three separate loops with different lengths to increase variety in ambience.
  • Controls
    • Control system rewrite;
      • Multiple controllers can now be active concurrently, with the control system taking the combination of inputs from all controllers.
      • Individual controllers can be enabled or disabled (except the Keyboard), and Joystick controllers now start disabled to prevent unwanted input from extra controllers.
      • Added flight control rebinding for Gamepad and Joystick controllers.
      • XR controllers now work, as the left and right controllers no longer exclude each other.
      • Invert Y setting is now per-controller.
      • Throttle axis setting is now per-controller.
      • Rebinding persistence and reset now works per controller.
      • Added rumble support for Gamepad controllers.
      • Added separate control settings menus for each controller that is present.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Returning to manual flight mode from a menu by pressing confirm button no longer fires the weapon as well.
    • Returning to mothership while alien is at player’s windscreen now kills alien before boosting instead of taking the alien with you.
    • Fixed critical energy warning light/overlay getting stuck.
    • Fixed video resolution selector always showing display’s native resolution as the current resolution under Linux.
  • Other Improvements
    • Menu items with selectors now show current value in bright white.
    • Cockpit landed light now blinks while landing or taking off.
    • Vertical meter values are now clamped.
    • Split video resolution and video refresh rate into two separate menu entries.
    • Score display now flashes when significant score increases occur.
    • Retimed mothership exit sequence, added ship startup tone during start sequence.

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!

Fractalus 1.0 Released!

Friday, December 18th, 2020

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!

Fractalus 1.0 Progress…

Thursday, February 20th, 2020


Its been almost a year since the release of 0.9 and when I’ve had time around work and other things, I’ve been working on 1.0.

Progress towards the 1.0 release is now well underway, and many changes have been implemented so far. My main focus in 1.0’s development is on finishing up the gameplay logic and flow, graphics and 3D modelling work (including the alien pilot), and general improvements to bring the remake closer to the original game. I have not yet started work on the alien pilot but I have been working on a model for the mothership, the players ship (the Valkyrie) and an updated model for the cockpit;

Mothership Model

Valkyrie Model

New Cockpit Model

These models are still works in progress (the mothership model’s geometry is largely finished but the texture hasn’t been finalised, and the valkyrie and cockpit models are unfinished and untextured) so the above images are only early previews. The alien model will likely be the last model I create for 1.0 as I am still new to 3D modelling and learning as I go.

The gameplay logic and flow is now much closer to the original gameplay, complete with the starting/ranking level selection screen before entering the cockpit, bonus points calculated and awarded upon return to the mothership, variable mothership availability, etc.;

Starting Screen

There is still a lot of work to be done before 1.0 is ready for release, so I’m currently hoping to be able to release 1.0 some time later this year. Follow me on Twitter or my Facebook page for updates and in the meantime the 0.9 build is still available for download from the Fractalus project page.

– Luke

Fractalus 0.9 Released!

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Fractalus 0.9.0 alpha build is now available for download from the Fractalus project page, and is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux!

Fractalus 0.9 has had a number of significant changes, including new procedural terrain generation with a new random terrain every time you enter a level, models for the crashed ship and pilot (and the two are now distinct entities), and a variety of gameplay changes that bring the remake much closer to the original game.

Huge thanks to David Fox, Loren Carpenter, and Charlie Kellner from the original Rescue on Fractalus development team for helping me out with details of the original implementation! On December 28th, David reached out to me on Twitter in a thread where he posted a heap of information about the original game’s development in response to an article in Finnish computer magazine Skrolli which I did an interview for about my remake, and he offered to answer any questions I had about the original game’s development. I asked about game timing, pilot/turret placement, and the terrain generation and he provided information on the timings and placement, and then put me in contact with Loren and Charlie who worked on the terrain generation in the original, so through discussions with them on the details of the original game I have been able to create what I feel is a fairly accurate replica of the original gameplay and terrain generation, with some extra detail made possible on modern hardware.

Here’s what’s new in 0.9.0;

  • World improvements
    • Added procedurally generated terrain.
    • Improved turret and crashed ship placement.
    • Sun and stars are now angled in the sky according to latitude (randomly selected with terrain generation).
    • Adjustments to sky/sun colours.
    • Added atmospheric fading at high altitudes.
    • Limited player altitude to stay just above the terrain.
    • Full day/night cycle is now 9 minutes long, with 1 minute of darkness, to better match the original game.
    • Per-level gameplay parameters now more closely match the original game.
  • Pilot improvements
    • Added pilot model.
    • Added crashed ships.
    • Pilot symbol is now a green light beacon on top of crashed ships.
    • Crashed ship symbol on radar now flashes.
    • Pilot now emerges from crashed ship only once player ship systems are turned off.
    • Pilots on the terrain are now killed by turning ship systems on.
    • Pilots will now die after several knock sequences if the airlock is not opened.
  • Player ship improvements
    • Added AMB torpedoes (replaced dual laser bolt).
    • Added optional HUD view modes.
    • Ship can now be rotated during landing/launching modes.
    • Ship’s rotation is now restrained and autocentered while landed and systems are on.
    • Weapons can now be fired while launching, landing or landed, if systems are on.
    • Ship energy is now consumed slowly when systems are on and when flying varying based on ship velocity.
    • Added low ship energy alarm sound.
  • Turret improvements
    • Added turret model.
    • Improved turret laser beam animation and rendering.
    • Turrets no longer fire if ship systems are off.
    • Turret beam hits now knock ship slightly off course.
    • Turrets now share a global cooldown limiting all turret beam fire to 3 shots per second.
    • Turret lock can now be broken by moving evasively.
  • Saucer improvements
    • Improved saucer spawn and flight logic.
    • Saucers no longer spawn if ship systems are off or the ship is destroyed.
  • Other improvements
    • Options menu is now accessible in-game.
    • Audio volume can now be set from options menu.
    • Added screenshot button (F9) saves to:
      • Windows: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\LocalLow\LSD\Fractalus
      • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/unity.LSD.Fractalus
      • Linux: /home/[username]/.config/unity3d/LSD/Fractalus

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


Fractalus 0.9 Progress

Sunday, August 19th, 2018


I’ve been working on Fractalus in bits and pieces when I’ve had a chance to since the last build and there are a couple of new things I’ve been working on for 0.9 that I want to show the progress on:

Procedurally Generated Terrain!

The first is procedurally generated terrain which is more reminiscent of the original game’s terrain. A new terrain is generated at each level start so that no two levels are quite the same. The terrain is generated using the Diamond-Square algorithm which I chose as it was created by Loren Carpenter who also made the terrain for the original Rescue on Fractalus, so I figured it was very likely to be the same algorithm used in the original game.

Pilot model! Click on the image to zoom in to see it – to the left of the crosshairs.

The second is the pilot finally has a model! I’ve been experimenting with making the pilot model in Blender for a while and it’s about time for it to be included.

The above images are not final and these features are likely to change a bit before the release of 0.9 as I continue to develop them and other features. I hope to have 0.9 ready some time in the next few months. Follow me on Twitter or my Facebook page for updates!

– Luke

Fractalus 0.8 Released!

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Fractalus 0.8.0 alpha build is now available for download from the Fractalus project page, and is now available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux!

Fractalus 0.8 has been entirely rewritten using Unity Engine so that I can focus more on the game itself instead of spending most of my time working on my own custom engine. There isn’t much new in the way of features or gameplay in 0.8 over the previous build as most of the time was spent on porting everything across to Unity. As I can now focus more on the gameplay and art rather than the engine code, I will hopefully be able to release new builds more frequently than every few years.

Here’s what’s new in 0.8.0;

  • Rewrote Fractalus using Unity engine.
  • Real-time shadows and lighting and various other graphics enhancements from Unity engine.
  • Improved planet entry/exit sequence.
  • Improved auto-pilot control during landing/launch sequence.
  • Improved world dust.
  • Improved cockpit viewscreen rendering.
  • Added launch tunnel model.
  • Menus can now be navigated with mouse.

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


Fractalus 0.8 Progress and Unity

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017


Once again it’s been a while since the last release of Fractalus. As before, I’ve been very busy and not had a lot of time to work on it, and for the time I did have to work on it I didn’t make much progress. Most of this comes down to Fractalus being built on my own custom engine which meant that in the little time I had, I was working on both the game and the engine, and it turns out developing a game engine is quite time consuming (I know! Who’d’ve thought?). In a previous post I mentioned thinking about moving to another game/graphics engine but wasn’t sure if I should. I ended up deciding that it would be the best thing to do for the project, and would allow me to focus more on the game itself, and so I began work on rebuilding Fractalus from scratch using the Unity engine.

Fractalus 0.8 Unity prototype in development

So far it has been a long process to rebuild everything in Unity, but at this point I have an accurate reimplementation of the in-world graphics and a portion of the gameplay as it was at 0.7. There is still more to be done to bring it fully up to what 0.7 had, and there are some new things that need to be added for 0.8 as well.

I hope to have Fractalus completely ported to Unity within the next few months, with 0.8’s release to follow soon after.

Follow me on Twitter or my Facebook page for updates!

– Luke

Fractalus 0.7.0 Alpha Released!

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Fractalus 0.7.0 alpha build is now available for download from the Fractalus project page.

Fractalus 0.7.0 Cockpit HUD

Here’s what’s new in 0.7.0;

  • HUD
    • Added cockpit, cockpit instrument panel models and textures.
    • Added cockpit mesh, rotates slightly depending on ship turn motions.
    • Added artificial horizon instrument.
    • Added compass cockpit panel.
    • Added wing clearance cockpit panel.
    • Added HUD mode option, can be set to 0.5, 0.6 or 0.7.
    • Added option to toggle cockpit model in 0.7 mode.
    • Added option to toggle cockpit motion in 0.7 mode.
    • Added named indicators to cockpit HUD on left side.
    • Cockpit instruments turn red momentarily when ship is damaged.
  • Sound
    • Added ship impact sound when colliding with terrain.
    • Added ship damaged by laser sound.
    • Engine sound now changes in pitch based on velocity.
    • Saucer alert noise is no longer a constant droning noise.
    • Saucers now have a deep humming engine noise when they get close.
  • Graphics
    • Defaulted graphics settings to HD terrain and Dust enabled.
    • Fixed texture repeat frequency on high-detail terrain.
    • Starfield on title screen now slowly rotates.
    • Stars now rotate along with sun.
    • Highlighted menu entry now has subtle pulse.
    • Fixed saucers occasionally appearing black.
  • Joystick Support
    • Implemented joystick controls for all game functions.
    • Implemented joystick support for menus.
    • Added joystick control mapping options.
    • Added joystick haptic feedback.
  • Gameplay
    • Smoothed terrain map slightly.
    • Severely reduced terrain collision damage.
    • Saucers now do 300 damage upon collision instead of 2500.
    • Saucer collision now results in a much smaller alteration of player flight vector.
    • Saucers will now ignore player if systems are off (regardless of whether player is landed).
    • Saucers now move 37.5% slower, allowing the player to outrun them.
    • Saucers now spawn slightly less frequently.
    • Saucer behaviour slightly improved, will not follow you into deep trenches.
    • Increased turret target lock and firing range.
  • Technical
    • Updated Fractalus to compile under GCC 4.8.2.
    • Fractalus now uses SDL 2.0 instead of SDL 1.2.

If you have any thoughts, comments or feedback, head over to the forum and post them!


Fractalus 0.7 progress?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

G’day all!

It’s been a while – a long while – since Fractalus’ last release, v0.6 back in 2012. Quite a few of you have contacted me asking about the next release, so I figured I should write up a blog post to tell everyone what’s been happening.

So, progress is still being made on Fractalus, and v0.7 is still in development. I have not abandoned the project, I’ve merely been preoccupied with other things – work and life have a habit of getting in the way. I have also been considering what to do with Fractalus’ implementation, in particular with the graphics and rendering the models for pilots and the cockpit.

As Fractalus is built on my own custom graphics engine, I am writing everything from scratch including the model rendering logic. As my time is quite stretched, I’ve been considering abandoning my own engine and rebuilding Fractalus using Unity3D or another engine, which would potentially allow me to work on the game more often and release new versions more frequently, as I could focus more on the game itself rather than spending as much time working on the game as I am working on the underlying engine code to support it. Anyone else think this is a good plan?

That aside, I have been working on Fractalus in bits and pieces in my spare time, and a few things that have been done include;

  • Saucers now ignore player if ship systems are off.
  • Saucers no longer occasionally appear completely unlit.
  • Saucers do less damage upon collision and affect your direction less severely.
  • Saucers now move slower, allowing the player to outrun them.
  • Ship engine sound now pitches up and down as well as fading to reflect speed (Still some work to be done on the sound).
  • Fixed texture repeat pattern in high detail terrain mode.
  • Stars now rotate with the sun.
  • Title screen starfield now rotates.
  • Joystick support (control customisation still being worked on).
  • Selected menu entry now pulses slightly.
  • Engine now uses SDL 2.0 and is built with GCC 4.8.2 (under Windows).

I have also begun work on a model for the cockpit, complete with the instruments which will be moved from the HUD to the cockpit’s panels. Here’s an early screenshot of the cockpit’s model in development;

Fractalus 0.7 Cockpit Prototype

This is an early prototype modelled on the cockpit design from the original game. I’m still working on this design, so it is likely to change (and quite likely to become a bit more detailed) before it makes an appearance in a new version.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before I have 0.7 released. Any questions or comments? Comment below or visit the forums.

Follow me on Twitter or my Facebook page to keep informed as I work towards releasing 0.7.

Thanks for everyone’s support!

– Luke

Fractalus 0.6.0 Alpha released!

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Fractalus 0.6.0 alpha build is now available for download from the Fractalus project page.

Here’s what’s new in 0.6.0;

  • Terrain is no longer quite so steep
  • HUD redesign (Wing clearance, Enemy lock-on, Dangerous Altitude, More accurate to original HUD)
  • Options have been added (Inverted Y, Dust, High-res terrain, Screen settings)
  • Ship now auto-levels while flying
  • Returning to mothership now aligns your ship correctly before boosting
  • Turrets now use beam weapons instead of bolt weapons
  • Turrets can now lock on to you to get a more accurate shot
  • Turrets no longer attempt to fire through terrain
  • Turrets now only spawn on high points on the terrain
  • Targetting scope/viewscreen now has a constrained FOV like the original
  • Added flying saucers that appear in the distance, chase you and attempt to crash into your ship
  • Camera jitter added, for extra impact with explosions

If you have any thoughts, comments or feedback, head over to the forum and post them!