BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A new update has been released for BlastZone 2! (v1.28.1.1) This one focuses on lighting improvements for the new OpenGL 3.0 renderer. It now has multilight support, with hyper mode and beam weapons emitting light that reflect off enemies, bosses, items, and the cave background. The OpenGL 1.5 renderer always had multilight support, but it has been rebuilt for OpenGL 3.0 to look better and be more realistic. The golden hyper mode light is localized around the player, now properly attenuating on the cave background and for enemies nearby the player. All beam weapons now have light evenly emit from the entire length of the beam and properly attenuates as enemies and objects move further away from the beam.

Here are the full release notes for v1.28.1.1:
  • Added support for multiple simultaneous light sources in the OpenGL 3.0 renderer
    -The main areas this affects are on the cave background, enemies, bosses, and player ships
    -Additional light sources are used when Hyper mode is active, or when beams are fired
  • Updated the VertexLit shader to calculate lights per vertex instead of per pixel
    -This should have a minimal effect on image quality, while performing much faster
    -This offsets the additional calculations needed for processing multiple light sources
  • Fixed incorrect color used for Low detail alien planet clouds with the OpenGL 3.0 renderer
This update shows more of the kinds of effects now possible with the new renderer. If you haven’t read the announcement for the new OpenGL 3.0 renderer, I strongly suggest you do. As always, to ensure you have the latest update, start the game and check the lower left corner for “v1.28.1.1” or higher. Enjoy!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
Another big technical improvement update has been released for BlastZone 2! As mentioned in the last update announcement, BlastZone 2 underwent a huge codebase overhaul to modernize it and make it more forward looking. With this release, the graphics renderer has been completely rewritten to use OpenGL 3.0 shaders to render the entire scene. Almost all the fixed function dependencies have been removed for the new renderer and every stage of the rendering pipeline has been brought internal to the engine. Only one feature of the old OpenGL renderer remains, which is a key part in optimizations that boost performance by roughly 40-50%. The rest of the new renderer was written to target the OpenGL 4.1+ core profile, but this one feature would require the compatibility profile, so OpenGL 3.0 is being targeted instead. This is still a huge leap from the old OpenGL 1.5/2.0 hybrid approach of the old renderer. It is worth noting that the new renderer is backwards compatible with OpenGL 2.0, so this release doesn’t affect compatibility at all.

There is an internal build of the game that targets the OpenGL 4.1+ core profile, but the big cut in performance with no graphical upside makes it counterproductive to release at this time. It will only be released if performance can be equalized with the current OpenGL 3.0 renderer, or if exclusive features are added to make the performance hit worth it.

The OpenGL 1.5 codepath is still fully functional for older hardware. Not only that, but the new renderer also improves OpenGL 1.5 codepath efficiency, better managing API calls so fewer are needed to render the scene. This code path is accessed by changing the “Renderer” option in game.

Here are the full release notes for v1.28.0.0:
  • Upgraded the main renderer to be completely shader driven and target OpenGL 3.0
    -Eliminated the old OpenGL 1.5/2.0 hybrid approach to be purely OpenGL 3.0 now
    -Maintains compatibility with OpenGL 2.0
    -Created new shaders for every object type in the rendering pipeline
    -The entire rendering system has been overhauled to almost completely eliminate every aspect of the old fixed function pipeline
    -Only uses a single feature from the old pipeline that is required for optimizations that boost performance 40-50%
    -The new renderer otherwise targets newer versions of OpenGL, but usage of this one feature would require using a compatibility profile to function
    -There is another codepath that targets the OpenGL 4.1+ core profile, but this has been disabled because it cuts performance with no benefits
  • Optimized the existing NormalMap and Water shaders by removing unnecessary calculations
  • Slightly optimized the OpenGL 1.5 code path by reducing the number of API calls
    -Created a better API call management system to eliminate redundant calls
  • Updated sky clouds to render using a higher polygon count
    -Improves fog rendering when using the OpenGL 3.0 code path
    -Fixes potential rendering issues with some hardware/driver combinations
  • Replaced the "Shaders" option with a "Renderer" option
    -This applies to the in-game setting and configuration application setting
    -Allows for selecting the "OpenGL 2.0/3.0" or "OpenGL 1.5" renderer
And here are the release notes for v1.28.1.0, bringing further refinements and improvements to the new renderer:
  • Improved lighting for the water shader in the Home Planet environment
  • Updated a few shaders to improve efficiency
  • Updated fog calculations in a few shaders to use per-pixel accuracy to improve image quality
  • Added a few new shaders to improve efficiency for specific situations
  • Removed a few remnants of the old fixed function pipeline from the new OpenGL 3.0 renderer
  • Reduced the cloud layer triangle count to improve performance, but still above older versions to maintain fixes for edge case rendering issues
  • Completed the new OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant renderer (disabled on the PC version)
To ensure you’re using the new OpenGL 3.0 renderer, make sure you have version “v1.28.1.0” or higher. Enjoy!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
Some big technical improvements have been released for BlastZone 2! (v1.27.1.0) The most prominent of these are huge terrain rendering optimizations. These benefit the new VeryHigh and Extreme detail terrain DLC the most, bringing performance boosts ranging from 50-200%, depending on the situation and system specs. This is such a big difference that the minimum and recommended requirements to run the DLC are much lower now. The requirements have been updated on each of the DLC pages, and they are listed below. If your system ran too slow using either of these DLC packs before this update, I strongly recommend trying them again. The new, lower requirements will be posted soon. The terrain optimizations improve performance for the Normal and Low quality terrain as well, just to a lesser degree. The Low quality terrain should expect to see a 4-5% boost in performance, and the Normal quality terrain should see about a 18-35% boost, which is still quite sizable. It is also worth noting that these performance boosts are across the board when playing the game, and are not just for specific situations. Also, these optimizations were achieved without any effect on image quality. Enjoy the performance boosts!

New VeryHigh terrain minimum specs:
CPU - Quad Core 2.0ghz or higher
GPU - Radeon 5770 or Geforce GTX 260 with 1gb vram or more

New VeryHigh terrain recommended specs:
CPU - Quad Core 3.0ghz or higher
GPU - Radeon 7770 or Geforce GT 560 with 1gb vram or more

New Extreme terrain minimum specs
CPU - Quad Core 3.0ghz or higher
GPU - Radeon 7850 or Geforce GTX 570 with 1gb vram or more

New Extreme terrain recommended specs
CPU - Quad Core 3.5ghz or higher
GPU - Radeon RX 460 or Geforce GTX 1050 with 2gb vram or more

The second portion of this update worth noting is an overhaul to the way much of the rendering pipeline is calculated by the engine. More specifically, all Projection and ModelView matrix calculations are performed internally now, giving the engine direct control over the way they are managed, improving flexibility and providing more opportunities for optimizations. This overhaul removes large swaths of old, deprecated API calls as well, modernizing the codebase without breaking compatibility.

This is the first stage of a larger, overarching goal of modernizing the entire rendering pipeline. The renderer was originally designed back in 2006, using a hybrid approach combining OpenGL 2.0 features and effects built on top of an OpenGL 1.5 rendering pipeline. (OpenGL 3.X/4.X didn’t exist back then.) This was done to have optional access to newer features, while maintaining compatibility with older hardware. The part of the overhaul done so far maintains compatibility with OpenGL 1.5 if the shaders are disabled, but I am looking into the best way to move forward from here. If maintaining OpenGL 1.5 support ends up not having enough demand to be worth it, I may drop support entirely in favor of an OpenGL 2.X/3.X/4.X exclusive renderer. Any feedback about this would be appreciated!

Here are the full release notes for v1.27.1.0:
  • Overhauled the way 3D matrix calculations are performed in the game engine
    -Migrated to a forward looking, internalized method to perform matrix transforms to render 3D graphics
    -Provides direct low level access to a new area of the rendering pipeline, allowing for more optimization opportunities
    -Removed large swaths of old and deprecated OpenGL API calls to modernize the codebase
  • Huge optimizations for terrain rendering
    -Results in significant across the board performance boosts, especially when high quality terrain is used
    -Low terrain gains ~4-5% performance depending on system specs
    -Normal terrain gains ~18-38% performance depending on system specs
    -VeryHigh terrain gains ~50-200% performance depending on system specs
    -Extreme terrain gains ~60-250% performance depending on system specs
    -This was done without affecting image quality
    -This significantly reduces system requirements to use the new terrain DLC packs
  • Adjusted lighting for the outer space planet and moon
As usual, to make sure you have the latest update, start the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.27.1.0” or above. More announcements will be made in the future detailing specific goals for the new renderer, so stay tuned for those. Enjoy the new technical improvements!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A big new gameplay update has been released for BlastZone 2 (v1.27.0.0) that reworks and rebalances the entire game to primarily target a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. This expands the range of movement and gameplay area over previous versions and expands many of the menus. One critique I’ve heard about BlastZone 2 is the limited movement range; it was put in place to ensure a similar gameplay experience between 4:3 aspect and wide screen monitors. Now, horizontal movement and gameplay space has been expanded to the full viewable 16:9 aspect area and the game always runs in widescreen mode, even for 4:3 resolutions using letterboxing. This is beneficial for all players because 4:3 users gain a wider field of view, and widescreen users benefit from their entire viewable space being utilized for gameplay. This also equalizes the gameplay advantages and disadvantages that previously existed due to different aspect ratios.

As for vertical movement limits, Mission mode was completely designed with the original vertical limits in place, so expanding them would break many of the levels, allowing the player to easily skip significant areas of gameplay. Completely redesigning all of Mission mode to accomodate a larger vertical space was outside the scope of this update. Mission mode still benefits from increased horizontal movement though.

The Survival and Blitz game modes now take advantage of the full vertical and horizontal space of a 16:9 aspect ratio. This involved not only updating player movement limits, but also reworking all enemy movement and spawning patterns to take advantage of the larger gameplay area. This opens up more control flexibility for strategic options. A lot of work went into rebalancing these modes to make them more fun to play, so I hope everyone enjoys them!

Classic A/B modes received small updates as well, allowing for increased vertical player movement, but enemy spawning patterns haven’t been changed to preserve the existing gameplay balance.

A number of menus have been updated to take advantage of the wider aspect ratio as well. Some of the menus were previously somewhat cramped and had abbreviated labeling to fit everything in a 4:3 space, such as ship selection screens, so those look much better now. The ingame HUD has also been updated to work better for widescreen.

This update addresses another criticism of the game, which is that minibosses had a time limit and would leave if the player couldn’t defeat them in time. This has been rectified by adding a new feature to the enemy scripting system. Now, enemy behaviors can have looped sections and can stay on the screen battling the player forever until the player wins or dies. This gives the satisfaction of overcoming the challenge of each miniboss and not merely lasting long enough for it to leave.

Here are the full release notes:
  • Increased the playable area to fit the entire screen
    -Allows ship movement to all edges of the screen in Survival and Blitz mode
    -Removed old movement restrictions that disallowed movement to the far bottom, left, and right of the screen
    -Adjusted enemy ship spawning and movement in Survival and Blitz mode to take advantage of the expanded gameplay area
    -Mission mode only expands the horizontal movement area, as all the mission levels were designed for the restricted vertical space
    -Classic A/B modes allow for expanded vertical movement, but enemy spawning hasn't been changed so difficulty balancing isn't affected
  • The game always runs in 16:9 widescreen mode now
    -When running a 4:3, 5:4, or 16:10 resolution, the game runs in 16:9 widescreen letterboxed
    -This eliminates the FOV disadvantage that 4:3 and 5:4 monitors used to have
    -This ensures that all aspect ratios maintain the same gameplay experience
  • Changed the default resolution to 720p
    -This is now a primarily widescreen focused game, so this is a more fitting default resolution
  • Updated a few menus to take advantage of widescreen better
    -Single player ship selection
    -Local multiplayer ship selection
    -Online multiplayer lobby screen
  • Rebalanced enemy spawning patterns and behavior in Survival and Blitz modes to work better with the new play area
  • Updated the HUD to take advantage of a wider screen space
  • Added looping support to the enemy scripting system
  • Updated the Area 1, 3, 5, and 7 minibosses to infinitely loop and not fly off the screen on their own anymore
  • Fixed a bug that would flicker the lights in the cave background when switching ships in the single player ship selection screen
  • Adjusted the sun graphic position in the Outer Space background

As usual, to make sure you have the latest update, start the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.27.0.0” or above. I hope everyone enjoys the new gameplay improvements!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A new update has been released for BlastZone 2 that greatly improves texture detail in the game. It introduces 4k textures, which have four times the detail of previous versions of the game. To make use of the new textures, make sure you have “VeryHigh” texture detail selected in the options. The “VeryHigh” option from previous versions is now equivalent to the new “High” option, and the rest down the line. The main textures that benefit from this update include all the terrain textures, all the sky domes and space star field, planets, and more. The added texture resolution makes the biggest difference for 4k and 1440p resolutions, but also benefits 1080p and below.

Also included in this update is a revamped Outer Space background, including brand new textures for the planet and sun, and improved lighting for the planet and moon. Take a look below:

NEW OUTER SPACE BACKGROUND IMAGE

The Home Planet terrain has received more improvements to lighting and shadowing detail as well. Check it out below:

IMPROVED HOME WORLD ENVIRONMENT IMAGE

Here are the full release notes:
  • Added 4k versions of many textures in the game
    -Home planet sky
    -Home planet terrain
    -Alien planet sky
    -Alien planet terrain
    -Cave terrain
    -Space star background
    -Space planet
    -Space moon
  • Shifted the detail of all texture settings
    -VeryHigh - 2k -> 4k
    -High - 1k -> 2k
    -Medium - 512 -> 1k
    -Low - 256 -> 512
    -The new High detail is the same as the old VeryHigh detail, etc
  • Improved lighting detail of the home planet terrain
  • Added a new texture design and improved lighting for the outer space planet
  • Improved lighting for the outer space moon
  • Moved the outer space sun to work better with the new planet lighting
  • Added a new sun graphic for the outer space environment
  • Added texture size detection; automatically downsizes textures for graphics hardware that don't support high res textures

Combining these new textures with the recently released VeryHigh/Extreme quality terrain DLC really is a sight to behold! As usual, to make sure you have the latest update, start the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.26.1.3” or above. I hope everyone enjoys the new graphical improvements!

Another big new update is coming soon!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A completely free DLC has just been released for all owners of BlastZone 2 that greatly improve terrain detail. This DLC applies to the Home Planet, Alien Planet, and Caves terrain and it really is a sight to behold. They show every little detail of each crevice and ridge in the scene with high resolution lighting to show it off. Please note that the only way to enable these new terrain detail settings is from the “Launch Configuration Tool” option from the game startup window. Also, the first time BlastZone 2 is started up using this DLC, the load time will take much longer than usual, but subsequent game launches will reduce it.

EXTREME QUALITY CAVES IMAGE
EXTREME QUALITY ALIEN PLANET IMAGE

This DLC has been split into two packages, “Very High” and “Extreme” detail. The “Very High” detail package raises the baseline terrain detail by 10x (bringing it from 65k tris to 650k tris per block) and provides the best compromise between greatly improving detail while keeping performance reasonable for most moderately powered machines. The “Extreme” detail terrain pushes triangle counts to the absolute limit of what the content pipeline and game engine can handle, having 32x the detail of baseline terrain (about 2.1 million triangles per block). Extreme detail is not suggested for use by most users, as it drastically increases system requirements, requiring atleast a Radeon RX 480 or Geforce GTX 1060 to run at adequate performance.

The reason why this has been released as separate DLC and not included in the base game is because it greatly increases the game install filesize (from 80mb to 800mb), and greatly increases load times. These should only be used by players with higher end machines. The base game was built as the best compromise between keeping the game scalable to run well on low end machines and integrated graphics, while keeping the graphics substantially better than most games at the designed minimum and recommended specs.

As of a few months ago, the content pipeline and model management system in BlastZone 2 was limited to 65k triangles per object, and the terrain was built to make full use of that limit. Given that, the terrain was still able the achieve a competent level of graphical fidelity while keeping performance very high. As of v1.25.1.0, the model management system and model loader was greatly improved to raise the triangle count limit all the way up to about 2.1 million. The new model management system had many other advantages as well, but this DLC is the first time the new triangle limit has been fully leveraged.

In addition to the DLC, lower quality terrain is now included in the base game as well. These terrain models were taken directly from the Android version of BlastZone 2 and have a triangle count of 5k per block of terrain, having less than 1/10th the geometric complexity of the baseline terrain. This detail level is ideal for really old, low specced machines, netbooks, or integrated graphics. Even so, the amount of detail still contained in these models is much better than you’d think, using the low triangle count as intelligently as possible.

The home planet terrain has also been greatly improved for all detail levels. Lighting and shadowing has been adjusted to better accent finer details of the terrain. This was done without any performance or memory hit as well, so everyone can enjoy the improved terrain detail. Here is a screenshot illustrating it.

IMPROVED HOME PLANET LIGHTING AND TERRAIN IMAGE

There are a few other tweaks and updates included in this update as well. Here are the full release notes:
  • Added a new 'Low Quality' terrain detail option for low end machines
    -This uses terrain models from the mobile version of BlastZone 2
    -Ideal for low end laptops or integrated graphics
  • Added support for the new 'Very High Quality' and 'Extreme Quality' terrain free DLC packs
    -These higher quality settings dramatically increase system requirements, so use them at your own risk!
    -'Very High Quality' requires a Radeon RX 460 or Geforce 1030 or above
    -'Extreme Quality' requires a Radeon RX 480 or Geforce 1060 or above
    -Graphics cards of similar performance from previous generations work as well
    -To access these new settings, the new DLC packs need to be downloaded
    -They aren't included in the default install to reduce filesize
    -These settings do not affect the 'Outer Space' environment, since it doesn't contain any terrain
    -Triangle count comparison for each detail level per block of terrain:
    -Low: ~5k tris
    -Normal: ~65k tris
    -VeryHigh Quality: ~650k tris
    -Extreme Quality: ~2.1mil tris
  • Updated the configuration application to adjust Terrain Detail
    -This is the only way to change this setting, not in game
  • Improved lighting and shadowing of the Home World terrain
  • Adjusted the screen fade transitions to ensure the new scene is fully loaded before showing it
  • Fixed the item pickup particle animation occasionally using the wrong colors
As usual, to ensure you have the latest update, launch the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.26.1.2” or above. Enjoy the new content and there is more to come!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A new update has been released for BlastZone 2! This update mostly focuses on gameplay improvements, ranging from weapon balance changes and improved alt-fire controls, to a new particle effect when holding a charge shot before firing it. The weapon balance changes include reducing the damage of the outer bullets of the Wave Shot for ship AB1 and AB2. This weapon was previously overpowered, so this should bring it back in line with the other primary weapons. The AB1 ship also had its secondary fire weapon swapped out for the Burst Shot to better characterize its style, mixing long range and short range weapons.

Another big improvement in this update is in the way alt-fire weapons are controlled. Now, alt-fire shots can be accessed by tapping the Fire2 button. There is still a lead time before the shot is fired, but this alleviates the old requirement of having to hold the Fire2 button for the correct amount of time to fire it. Also, alt-fire shots can now be fired at the optimum rate by rapidly tapping the Fire2 button. This new control scheme adds more versatility and gameplay options to all the ships in the game, but benefits the B1 and B2 ships the most. These two ships are now much more effective against big bosses, making better use of their only long ranged attack.

The previous update added particle bursts to illustrate attaining each level of charge without having to look at the HUD charging meter, but this update takes these improvements a step further. Now, once maximum charge has been attained, a new particle animation is shown to illustrate that the weapon is no longer charging and is now awaiting the player to fire it. This makes the graphical feedback of the player ship more intuitive and further reduces the need to look at the charging HUD meter, allowing the player to focus on the action better.

There are a number of other tweaks and improvements in this update as well. Here are the full release notes:
  • Reduced damage of the edges of Wave Shot volleys for ships AB1 and AB2
    -Wave Shot was overpowered in previous versions, so this brings it closer in line to other primary weapons
    -Slightly increases the skill needed for maximum damage by needing to hit enemies with the center of each shot volley
    -Reduces its effectiveness against large groups of enemies, which was the main area it was overpowered in
  • Alt-fire shots can now be fired by tapping the Fire2 button instead of holding it
    -When Fire2 is tapped, the weapon won't be fired until sufficient charge time has passed
    -Fire2 shots can no longer be cancelled like previous versions
    -Charge1 and Charge2 shot behavior hasn't been affected by this update
    -This is especially helpful for B1 and B2 ships against big bosses, giving them an easier way to use their ranged attack
  • Added new particle effects when holding a readied charge shot
  • Changed the AB1 ship secondary fire weapon to Burst Shot
    -This better fits the close and far range style of the AB1 weapon loadout
  • Added secondary fire weapon listings in all ship selection screens
    -These weapons were always part of each ship's loadout, but now that information is readily available
  • Added descriptive slot assignments for each weapon in the loadout displays in each ship selection screen
  • Slightly increased the size of Boosted Bolts to distinguish them from regular bolts
  • Moved the Boosted Bolt muzzle flash further up on the ship
As usual, to check that you have the latest update, launch the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.26.1.0” or above. I hope everyone enjoys these new gameplay improvements and don’t forget to leave your comments in the forums!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A big new update has been released for BlastZone 2! Survival mode now has a completely new scoring system that makes use of a skill-based multiplier system. Destroying enemies with well placed charge shots increase the multiplier and hitting enemies with regular shots maintains the multiplier. The multiplier gradually decreases over time and reduces rapidly when getting hit by enemies. New players can still play Survival mode while ignoring this new scoring system, but it adds a lot of depth for mid range and advanced players, effectively raising the skill ceiling without affecting the skill floor.

Prior to this update, all the game modes were evaluated and it was discovered that Survival mode was mostly used as a stepping stone for newer players to ramp up and unlock Blitz mode. This helped and gave the mode a useful place in game progression, but there was an opportunity to maintain its relevance for more advanced players. As it stood, Survival mode was the most straight forward mode in the game, not having much unique to help it stand out. Now, with this new scoring system, I found myself playing it very differently and being much more engaged in the moment to moment decisions to maximize my score. This gives the new Survival mode a more unique identity, and makes it more fun to play.

The main drawback of this update is that it makes the current Survival Mode online leaderboard obsolete. Skillful players can now easily surpass the top scores of the leaderboard and the current top score holders will need to claw back up to maintain their titles. Some thought was put into potentially boosting all the current scores to keep them relevant, but this is an artificial fix and there is excitement in shattering the old skill ceiling organically.

A number of other additions and improvements are a part of this update as well, including score rank categories added to more game modes, which adds more options for unlocking those achievements. There are also better ship state feedback effects, including animations for attaining each regular charge level, as well as a context sensitive hyper charge animation to show when it is charging at an accelerated rate or not. More details on these and more are below.

Here are the full release notes: (v1.26.0.0)
  • Created a new score multiplier system for Survival mode
    -Use charge shots and points pickups to raise your multiplier
    -Hit enemies with regular shots to maintain your multiplier
    -Getting hit reduces your multiplier
    -Waiting too long without maintaining your multiplier gradually reduces it
    -Dying resets your multiplier
  • Updated the HUD and netcode to support the new Survival multiplier system
  • Reworked the score rank category thresholds for Survival mode to match the new scoring system
  • Added score rank categories for Blitz Mode and Classic B mode viewable in the gameover screen
  • Added particle effects when the player attains Charge Level 1 and Charge Level 2
  • Added a particle effect when picking up item drops
  • Added a particle effect when firing a Barrage Shot using ship A1
  • Added unlock info subtext when Classic B and Blitz mode, or Veteran and Turbo difficulty are locked
  • Increased the triangle density of the Outer Space star background sphere, improving texture mapping consistency
  • Eliminated Hyper power reduction and the use of Fire2 and Fire3 weapons when Hyper mode is activate during the Wave Splash Screen
  • The hyper charge up animation now only shows when hyper power is charging at an accelerated rate
  • Increased the opacity of the hyper charge up animation to make it easier to see
  • Updated a few game mode selection subtexts in the menus
  • Removed the charge up sound from hyper charging; now it is only used for regular charging
  • Fixed a bug when pressing enter on the "Motion Smoothing" option in the client online multiplayer lobby
  • Fixed cluster shots erroneously showing power bolt or super bolt dissipation animations
  • Fixed missing individual player scores in the gameover screen when playing Multiplayer Blitz mode

Another smaller update was recently released as well, making improvements to gamepad button mapping (v1.25.4.1):
  • Gamepad button mapping has been updated to prevent a single button from being mapped to multiple actions
    -This prevents game breaking bugs in the menu system and other areas
  • Updated the config program to prevent gamepad buttons from being bound to multiple actions, similar to the in-game update
  • Changed the color of the gamepad config column headers to separate them from selectable options
  • Migrated to the latest version of the Steam SDK (v1.42)

I hope everyone enjoys the newly revamped Survival mode and don’t forget to give your feedback through email or the forums! As usual, to make sure you have the latest version, start the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.26.0.0” or above.
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
A few new updates have been released over the past month. The most notable of these updates (v1.25.4.0) include over a dozen new particle effects that have been added to the game. These include a new Hyper Mode effect, weapon firing effects, and bullet dissipation effects. These new effects take advantage of the recent huge optimizations to the particle system, so performance is still great, even on low end machines. There are also changes to Hyper mode movement and netcode improvements in this update.

A few weeks ago, another update was released (v1.25.3.4) that focused on improving texture management and loading. This fixed a broken textures bug, reduced memory usage, and improved texture load times. An extra hotfix to this update was originally intended to fix a remaining game close crash/corruption issue, but has the additional effect of greatly reducing the time it takes to close the game.

Here are the full release notes for v1.25.4.0:
  • Added a new particle effect when activating hyper mode
  • Added a brief movement slowdown during the hyper mode activation animation
    -Now requires more strategic timing when activating hyper mode to account for this brief slowdown
  • Added new particle effects when firing power bolts, super bolts, cluster shots, burst shots, and more
  • Added new particle effects when enemies and bosses collide with player bolts, flurry bolts, power bolts, and super bolts
  • Improved the particle effect when enemies pass the player in Classic A or Classic B mode
  • Increased explosion position precision in online multiplayer games
  • Improved packet loss tolerance for player attributes in online multiplayer
    -Includes attributes such as lives, ammo, stats, score, hyper mode, etc.
  • Slightly reduced transmitted data when activating Hyper mode in online multiplayer by eliminating some redundant data

Release notes for v1.25.3.4:
  • Fixed bugged textures when using texture detail below "High"
  • Reduced memory usage when using texture detail below "VeryHigh"
  • Converted a few more textures to the new precompressed S3TC format
    -Reduces memory usage and speeds up startup time
  • Reduced memory usage when Shaders are disabled
  • Fixed occasional model corruption when applying video settings multiple times
  • *HotFix #1* - Improved game close procedure; closes the game window faster and prevents a potential config/save file corruption issue
As usual, to make sure you have the latest update, launch the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.25.4.0” or above. Enjoy and be sure to leave any questions or comments in the forums!
BlastZone 2 - EagleEye
Another quick update has been released to fix a crash bug that has recently been discovered. This crash would occasionally occur on game close and had the rare possibility of corrupting save data, including high scores, unlocks, and settings. The v1.25.3.3 update fixes both of these issues. To ensure you have this update, check the “View ReadMe/Release Notes” option in the launch window, or start the game and check the lower left corner of the title screen for “v1.25.3.3” or above. I apologize for the inconvenience.
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