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Hey All

Voxatron 0.2.13 builds are now up, and will shortly be up on Humble Store (check the version number in the filename). If you don't have a lexaloffle account (Games > My Games) and would like one, you can activate it from your humble store page (see this thread). To update from a Humble Store account, search your email for the download page link, or request a new one here.

The main two changes in 0.2.13 are much more flexible player control options, and moving to SDL2.

Player Controls

The default player control style is now analogue, which means that you can run and shoot in any direction! This will eventually be an optional property of players, but for now I decided it doesn't badly break the design of any existing cartridges so set it as default. This means the mouse control style can be more natural -- using ASDW + the cursor as an absolute point to shoot at.

Many users asked for this early on, but I stubbornly held out with a more minimal 8-way control set, wanting to keep the controls across games more simple, genre-agnostic, retro-feeling and unified. I was really, really wrong about that! -- it doesn't hurt to have analogue control in the vast majority of cases (even though existing carts weren't design for it), and it of course makes hardcore arena shooting much more fun.

It's also possible to assign buttons to various actions in the player designer, but more on that soon. (For a preview, check out the list of button actions in the player controls setup menu).


SDL is the core library that Voxatron uses to do operating system-level things like window management and to talk to hardware (controllers, sound and video). SDL2 provides better controller configuration, multi-monitor support and doesn't crash on startup under recent versions of OSX (!) It also means I've had to change quite a lot of historically stable code, so there might be a few small glitches in this department for the next couple of updates.

SDL2 has quite a nice controller configuration scheme, where many common controller layouts are automatically detected on startup and a best guess at the layout is made from a database supplied from other users (including a large number of Steam users). It's possible to add extra controllers or alternative mappings using the standard SDL2 layout syntax by adding a line sdl_controllers.txt (see vox.txt for details), rather than using the in-game config in earlier versions. This might cause some disruption for a few users, but should make controller setup much easier and more consistent in the long run.

** Linux users: The linux installer doesn't give you SDL2 automatically, so please either manually install SDL2 (http://www.libsdl.org) or wait for a follow-up update next week that will hopefully fix this.

Updated (but still very wip) manual:



Added: Analogue player movement and facing control
Added: Custom control mappings per player
Added: Inventory items assigned a useage button
Added: Transparent voxel rendering in Designer
Added: Cartridge metadata section with 2d 60x32 label
Added: Capture cartridge preview image in-game (F7)
Added: default_sounds flag for actors
Added: car-style control (turn left, right, accelerate)
Added: Low air friction flag in actor properties (on by default)
Changed: Moved to SDL2: better multiple monitor support, controller support and fixes OSX startup crash
Changed: Game controllers now customisable sdl's scheme (~/.lexaloffle/Voxatron/sdl_controllers.txt)
Changed: Control configuration format and default config values // camera is now O, P
Changed: Any actor now has low air friction after being thrown
Changed: Mouse control now uses absolute cursor position to determine player facing
Changed: Players have warp-in flag
Changed: Better 2d drawing for depth==1 props
Fixed: Duplicate object instance ids when dragging to draw multiple objects or stamping
Fixed: Internal pickup friction and mass
Fixed: Loading and saving a cartridge clobbers existing preview image
Fixed: Throwing using directional controls
Fixed: Import .xm file now fails gracefully for unsupported files (> 128k or > 8 channels)
Fixed: Jumping twice quickly causing annoying jump sound retrigger
Fixed: Actors not observing warp-in property at t=0
Fixed: Legacy default player starting position sometimes not at center of room

P#8996 2014-08-14 18:59 ( Edited 2014-10-04 12:57)


In other news, I'm almost done webifying Voxatron and updating/fixing the BBS. You'll note that cartridges have a star button next to them, and it's possible to sort carts by rating. Feel free to go back and rate some of your favourite cartridges so that they are more likely to show up in the top rated list! The web player is almost done too -- I will make a separate post on this. You can preview and share your carts online directly in a browser with the 'Play >' button.

p.s. I'm a little behind on support email and post replies but will get back to you all soon!
( ^ _ ^)b

P#8997 2014-08-14 19:07 ( Edited 2014-08-14 19:07)


Yeay! 360degree controls! Thanks, I really appreciate that! I hope it feels as good as it sounds. Will try it as soon as I can! Dualstick gamepad 4 the win!

P#9000 2014-08-15 01:59 ( Edited 2014-08-15 02:23)


Yep, the shooting is much more natural this way!

P#9003 2014-08-15 10:19


woohoo! new controls!

about the joystick:the gameplay change on the heavy winged boots on my level only works with the A button (the other buttons which also jump do not work with it, thou I would like it to work with the others)

thanks for the manual zep! it is proving to be realy useful!

also, please make it possible to lock a thread on the top of the bbs list so useful links like the manual can be acessed with more ease.

edit: pressing the preview button on the comment box on a thread you made still changes the thread itsaelf instead of the comment, please fix it zep!

edit 2: I noticed that the code system on my cartridge doesn't work if you are playing with a joystick, is there a workaround?

P#9006 2014-08-15 11:30 ( Edited 2014-08-15 11:41)


Not sure if this is a new issue or not (skipped the last few updates), but trying to favorite a cart in-game isn't working (brand new install). I've tried it on multiple control schemes, as well as by pressing every button on my keyboard and mouse in case it was just reporting "F" as being bound when it wasn't... no luck though.

P#9010 2014-08-15 20:44


the car controls (like the one you used on theb oat file)
don't let the player turn

P#9012 2014-08-16 09:33


Hey zep it looks like Voxatron is missing from my games tab again.
I remember this happening before, and I hope you can trust me on it. Could you reactivate it, maybe? If you need anything from me to verify it I'll be happy to.

P#9025 2014-08-21 17:48


Thanks for the update!

P#9028 2014-08-22 14:49


Hi Hobnob -- could you mail me ([email protected]) to sort it out?

There is a trick to getting the turning style control working -- you need to make sure the turn speed (the one on the left, not the facing turn speed) is something like 1. If it is too fast (120), what is actually happening is the player does a full 360 degree turn every frame so it looks like nothing happened.

The other 2 control issues are bugs which should have fixes in 0.2.14

I fixed the BBS posting preview bug. Stickies is on my wishlist, but before then I'll add important information to the forum descriptions (e.g. I'm working on a Designer resource page with a heads up about the manual etc from the Designer forum)

Buglisted, thanks!

My pleasure!

P#9029 2014-08-22 15:05


thank you zep!
when lua scripting arrive, will it be possible to check if the player is using the keyboard or the joystick?

also, how is the progress on pico-8 going?

P#9033 2014-08-23 15:40


sometimes, when I copy a modifier, and then change it, it actually changes both the copy and the original modifier.

P#9044 2014-08-30 18:32


I found some bugs here:
the animation with diagonal axis don't atomize, even if the option is marked true.
I used another animation for death as a workaround for this one.

my player can't jump if it stands still on the water for a while.

the monsters don't really die in the mud, they just remain at a certain level.

the negative voxels are visible during warp in.

P#9063 2014-09-17 17:22


I also found some bugs:

  • Having a door connected to another door with the same facing direction will crash / freeze the game in play mode.

  • Setting a prop "Indestructible" doesn't seem to be working the way it used to in older versions, like 2.11. If I throw a grenade at an "Indestructable" prop, voxels still break away.

  • Bullets seem to always hurt the player, even when the "hurt same team" option is not checked. For example if I make a grenade, the shrapnel always kills me.

  • Creating an emitter without a container (like a monster for example) will crash the game when selected in the editor. For an example, the animated clouds bbs level, submitted by DMS.

  • If I set up multiple weapons binded to different keys like for example the "C" key, the lock shooting option does not work for this key, only the standard shoot key.
P#9065 2014-09-18 01:11


Hey Kling, Mouser -- thanks for the excellent reports. I'm bugfixing now for 0.2.14 and should be able to finish most of these.

About detecting controls; I suppose it would make sense to allow 'system-level' access to things like mouse position and which controller the player is using, but I think it's important to standardize it as much as possible. At the moment the keyboard and mouse controls are supposed to emulate a game controller in such a way that cartridge designers shouldn't need to worry too much about which is being used. But let's see how that goes!

Pico-8's going ok, but it's waiting for a lua editor (the one that Voxatron will use) before it's useful. It will likely be my next major project after Voxatron 0.3 though :) Also, I finished the sound tools and am partially folding them into Voxatron for 0.2.14

P#9073 2014-09-24 11:22 ( Edited 2014-09-24 11:22)


zep, when will the bbs carts be looking like the alpha ones?
I'm a bit jealous

P#9076 2014-09-27 14:00 ( Edited 2014-09-27 14:00)


heh, yeah sorry about that. I had to shelf user-made cart selection until after 0.3, because it requires quite a lot of additional interface work. I will see if I can add a preview mode while designing the label, so at least you can see what it will look like.

By the way, the plan is to allow updating labels for existing carts, so don't worry about getting the label metadata correct for carts now as it will be easy to update them later.

P#9080 2014-09-28 12:26


yes but, if you update your card you also reset all the stars you got before, or will the way to update will also change?

P#9082 2014-09-28 14:15


zep, could you fix the position property? if its set to anything that is not xyz, on a room with extended walls the monster ends up spawning inside the walls, and if the condition to finish the room is to kill all of them, then the room is unbeatable.

edit: another bug is that, when we use th freeze item, if the monster facing mode ics face target, it will still turn to the player.

P#9086 2014-10-04 12:57 ( Edited 2014-10-04 14:00)

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