LEVEL 2 FULL ALBUM AND VIDEOGAME DEMO NOW AVAILABLE

Posted in Uncategorized on 2011/04/12 by Evan Sammons

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LEVEL 2
demo

Welcome to the demo of ‘Level 2′, the interactive concept album by Last Chance to Reason. Featured is the first track and first level of the album, ‘Upload Complete’.

Destroy everything that moves and shoot for a high score!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FIRST STAGE FOR FREE

**YOU NEED UP-TO-DATE DIRECTX FOR THE GAME TO RUN. GET THAT HERE: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows XP service pack 3 or above, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
1.6ghz processor
512mb system RAM (1gb for vista and 7)
128 MB Direct3D compatible video card and DirectX 9.0 compatible driver
*THE MOST COMMON ISSUE IS NOT HAVING UP-TO-DATE DIRECTX.YOU NEED UP-TO-DATE DIRECTX FOR THE GAME TO RUN. GET THAT HERE: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3

CONTROLS

General:

Control with either Keyboard+Mouse or an Xbox 360 Wired USB controller. Your controller MUST be Wired, or have a Wireless reciever in order for it to function.

The game is divided into sections of Flight and Platforming:

In Flight the player character can move around in any direction.

In Platforming you succumb to gravity and may only move Right and Left, and are able to Jump and Double-Jump (press Jump again in mid-air).

Note: The longer you hold Jump, the longer you will stay in the air and the higher you will go. A short tap will result in a short hop. Use this variable Jump height to your advantage! This also applies to the Double-Jump.

There is a Rumble function for the Xbox 360 controller, but if you experience intermittent lag (game slowing down, choppy performance) it is recommended that you play with this function disabled.

Keyboard + Mouse:

[WASD] or [Arrow Keys] – Movement in Down, Up, Right and Left directions. Up functions as Jump (and Double-Jump) in platforming sections.

[Ctrl] or [Space] – Dedicated Jump (and Double-Jump) keys for platforming sections.

[Mouse Movement] – Aim with the cursor.

[Left Click] – Shoot weapon.

Xbox 360 controller:

For those familiar, the game uses Dual-Stick shooter control.

[Left Analog Stick] – Movement.

[Right Analog Stick] – Shooting. Gun will fire automatically towards direction pressed.

[Any other button] – Jump and Double-Jump in platforming sections. Right Shoulder Bumper button is recommended. Pressing or ‘clicking’ either Analog Stick will also work. Shoulder Triggers will not work.

[Start button] – This will reset the game back to the opening titles.

Similar dual-analog PC controllers may also function, though no other models have been tested.

COMMON ISSUES:

Due to the nature of synchronizing the game with the song, sluggish or choppy performance can result in bugs and glitches, some of which may be quite dramatic.

Make sure your computer is running on DirectX 9 or above. Without it, the game will not run – it will likely crash after the title sequence. Support for downloading and installing DirectX can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/179113

Enabling Rumble may result in a loss of performance for some users, rendering the game unplayable. This should become apparent the moment it is enabled, so you must disable it again.

Making sure any background applications (such as instant messengers) do not interfere is one method of ensuring smooth play.

Your Xbox 360 controller must be Wired in order for it to function with the game. Using an ‘Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless Gaming Reciever for Windows’ may also work, though this has not been tested. Hooking up a wireless controller via USB will only cause the controller to charge – it will not respond in the game.

CREDITS:

Music – Last Chance to Reason (Prosthetic Records)
Design – Evan Sammons and Tom Vine
Programming – Tom Vine
Pixel Art and Graphics – Francis Coulombe and Evan Sammons

‘Quadrangle’ font by Typodermic Fonts

For those who are curious, the Level 2 demo is built in Clickteam’s Multimedia Fusion 2 (Developer edition). Find out more at http://www.clickteam.com/website/index.php

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

Maine’s progressive-metalers, LAST CHANCE TO REASON’s Prosthetic Records’ debut, “Level 2,” is out today! To commemorate the release, the band has posted the downloadable demo version of the companion video game, also titled, “Level 2.” Go to the band’s official blog site,  http://lastchancetoreason.wordpress.com/ to get instructions and download the first stage! The game was developed by the band, designed by Evan Sammons and noted indie video game developer Tom Vine, who also programmed the game and features artwork from pixel artist Francis Coulombe.  
“Level 2,” the album, can be ordered on its own, or with an exclusive shirt, at PROSTHETIC’s official webstore:  HYPERLINK “http://store.prostheticrecords.com/index.php/bands/last-chance-to-reason” http://store.prostheticrecords.com/index.php/bands/last-chance-to-reason  .
The band  is currently on a tour that will end Saturday at New England Metal and Hardcore Fest on Sunday. Look for more dates to be announced shortly.

4/12    Sandusky, OH – The Underground

4/13    Trenton, NJ – Championship Bar and Grill

4/14    Brookfield, CT – The Room

4/16    Worcester, MA- The Palladium, NE Metal and Hardcore Fest

LAST CHANCE TO REASON teamed up with producer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me) to create a modern take on the classic progressive concept album. Drawing influence from the 70’s prog of King Crimson and Yes, composers Steve Reich and Schoenberg as well as prog-metal masters Opeth, Dream Theater and Cynic, LCTR’s “Level 2” takes the band in awe-inspiring new directions.
Set in a Tron-like virtual world, the album’s concept revolves around the relationship between man and technology, our move from physical reality to virtual spaces and what these changes mean to our lives and our art. The lyrics are expressed from the point of view of an artificial intelligence facing the violent reality of a videogame world.
Since forming in 2005, LAST CHANCE TO REASON has shared the stage with Born of Osiris, Genghis Tron, Periphery, The Red Chord, Daath, Through The Eyes Of The Dead, Unearth and many more.
Myspace.com/lastchancetoreason

Indiepub… submitted!

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/08/01 by Evan Sammons

With this one, people will be able to vote for their favorites, and winners will receive a $1000 prize! I’ll post up the link when that is ready to go.

It’s gotten to a point no where most if not all improvements are related to graphics and presentation. There is still this ONE bug that I cannot seem to figure out! During the boss scene, there is meant to be a ton of debris falling as you fight him, especially during his fall at the end. Without this, the scenes lack some ‘oomph’. It’s a simple matter of creating asteroid-like objects at the top or bottom of the screen and have them move across very fast…  yet they fail to appear almost every time. The few occasions I’ve gotten it to work again, it usually reverts back to failing in the next test. I’m thinking I’ll just have to change how they appear in the first place. But yeah, it’s very annoying, and I’d prefer to spend more time on cooler stuff. So I do, and it’s turning out great. Little by little, the demo reaches it’s full solid form, a benchmark for the rest of the game to follow.

I’m still itching to work on later levels of the game, and getting all the proposed features in. It will probably take while simply designing and getting all the pieces of the puzzle to fit – which happens to be my favorite part of game development. I’m confident that when it all comes together, the experience will be much deeper than your average action shooter, something more explorative and intriguing. The kind of thing that makes the Metroid games such hits, but on a completely different plane since the player is unable to freely roam about the level. I can’t fully explain how it goes in my mind, but I just know that it will be a unique and epic adventure. I love the music, and I want it to take players to place they never thought possible.

That may sound pretentious, I hope it doesn’t, but we’ve been working on this for almost 3 years and I’m still in love with the idea. Most ideas I have or designs I write down are not so appealing after even a week. I’m attached to it, and can see exactly where I want it to go. It may take a while (although all the framework is there to speed up production), but it will get there. It must!

-Tom

Indiecade… submitted!

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , on 2010/06/24 by Evan Sammons

Level 2 has been entered! I’ve been totally ripping through it the past week, replacing just about every graphic we had and sorting out each scene to make it play solid and bug-free. I’m very pleased with the entry!

Deadline extended?!

Posted in Game Features, General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/06/22 by Evan Sammons

So Indiecade had some problems with their submission forms, giving us an extra couple of days to fine-tune and get more new graphics done. Great! I can’t wait to get it submitted.

I’m also pumped to start working on the rest of the game. It’s been so long since the start of this project (maybe nearing 3 years now) and it’s gone through so many iterations that now that it’s in the state it is, I really want to see how it’s all going to fit together. There are a lot of concepts and functions of the game engine that aren’t explored fully in this first level, Upload Complete, I’m itching to see it unfold in the levels to come.

There are around a dozen tracks, meaning a dozen full levels totaling at least 40 minutes of gameplay. This does not include parts that aren’t set strictly to the music, for example ambient free-roams and possible looping sections – and even that may bring total time to a little over an hour. The key will be in the replayability…

The game engine allows any part of a level to be altered in real-time, and the triggers can vary greatly. They can be as simple as being closer to top or bottom of the game area to determine if the level goes upwards or downwards in the next section. Triggers can also be complex, and depend on what happened earlier in the game, a whole combination of factors, and goes right down to affecting the game ending. The scale of changes can also vary a lot, from the aforementioned game ending changes right down to what formation a group of enemy drones takes to attack you. This should all create a visceral experience that flows seamlessly, and always tests your ability to adapt and survive.

It’s old-school shooting action with a twist on classic linear progression.

Some pretty major updates!

Posted in Game Features, General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/06/16 by Evan Sammons

Quite a lot has happened since the last post, so here it is!

First off, we’re entering the demo level in Indiecade, with the deadline for entering being the 20th – only 4 days to go! That’s not to say we’re not ready, the level is completely playable so I’m down to tightening it up, making tweaks where they’re needed and even revising a few elements.

The main cause of the revising is the fact that we now have a dedicated artist working on the graphical assets, Francis Coulombe, and you can find his site here. He has nailed the style and feel we’re going for and progress is steady. I can’t wait for it to get it all in the game, and the stuff that I’ve already replaced is looking badass.

Doesn’t this rock? This guy replaces the swarming heads, so in the game you’ll be seeing big groups of these guys flying at you, trying to smash you to pieces.

I thought what we had looked really great, but Francis is going to boost it all to a whole new level!

Also just finished is a functional main menu, with all the basic options such as control configuration and volume levels. Not a big update, but the main menu is often the first impression of a game, so getting it right is definitely important. The full game will contain more options to customize how you start a game, as well as save file management. You can read a little about the possible customization options in an earlier post here.

That about covers all that’s been going on here! More posts to come soon, especially before or around the Indiecade deadline.

-Tom

Boss.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 2010/04/09 by Evan Sammons

You may have seen the Boss already from the very first posts of this blog. Evan has been updating the Boss graphically and it’s looking sweet! I’m now on the final 40-50 seconds of the song, which includes the inevitable fall of the Boss. Here’s what I have so far to start it off:

At this point, you will have already been fighting for a while – though from a further distance. This is where things start going downhill for our Upload Complete Boss.

I’m getting sick of calling him ‘Boss’, any ideas for a name?

Scene re-working, and Performance

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/04/07 by Evan Sammons

Now that pretty much 95% of Upload Complete has been laid in place (and is totally playable), I’ve been going back through a number of other scenes and improving them, making them more interesting and engaging. There have also been some updates to the general engine, giving better performance overall.

Speaking of performance, Level 2 should be able to run on even the slowest of computers. The rig I’m using for testing isn’t the fastest of things, my rule of thumb has been if I get a drop in framerate on this, then something needs to change to make it more efficient. So far this has proven effective on any other computer the game has been tested on.

If you’re interested, here’s what I’m working with – Intel T2300 ~1.66ghz (dual core), 1gb ram, GeForce Go 7800 256mb. Kind of a benchmark for the lower end that can run Level 2. Running it at a steady 60fps is extremely important, any less and things get thrown out of sync and scenes can actually (play-wise) be much shorter!

DevLogs should be coming up a bit more frequently now, as I’ve worked through some pretty tough issues. Now I’m blitzing through, leading to more Log-worthy material!

-Tom

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