Lockdown Protocol's Year 2013

Lockdown Protocol has been in development for several years and some days I've had a feeling it's not going anywhere. That in mind I took a look at the change log and it proved me very wrong. A lot has happened in 2013 and the game looked very different a year ago. I decided to sum up the most significant changes.

The built-in level editor has gone though almost complete rewrite and has received undo/redo functionality, proper element selector tool and a long list of user interface improvements.

Gameplay-wise the most important change has been getting rid of the line-of-sight requirement that made enemies disappear inexplicably. Initially when starting the game project I though this was a good idea and that it would give the game a sort of tactical element, but lets face it, it was a really bad idea. Now that its gone the game is much more fun.

A lot of work has been done to make the game look better. Here are some of the most visible changes:

  • All level blocks and some of the items have been re-textured with hand drawn "ambient occlusion" and less repetition.
  • Floating text labels have replaced many ugly menus and overlay texts. This is one of my favourites.
  • The human character animation has been tweaked to look better. The walk animation is still far from perfect, but even it looks better than a year ago. The most important change here is the new aim/shoot animation for heavy weapons.
  • Shadows have been added to all human characters.
  • The user interface, both menu and in-game HUD, looks much better thanks to several small improvements.

Audio has not been forgotten either:

  • An ambient background sound loop and level completion music has been added.
  • All the guards have voices now after first experimenting with speech bubble messages.
  • Many existing sound effects have been replaced with better ones.
  • Initial support for background announcement voices has been implemented and some announcements will likely be heard in next release.

Each new release has also brought some new game content. In year 2013 Lockdown Protocol has gotten five new levels, three new weapons, three new enemy types and some new items. The first level now works as a tutorial level with controller specific instructions.

That is actually quite impressive!

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Posted on 2013-12-29

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