Saturday, 17 February 2018

Beta 2.1.10 Released

What's New

  • New stuff
    • Levels up to 90
    • New enemies
    • Ice teleports
  • Gameplay changes
    • Boxes now fall down holes
  • Massive performance improvements
  • Minor graphics, sound & UI improvements
  • Bug fixes
    • Fixed mouse cursor disappearing on Windows
    • The protector item now protects against being squashed by boxes
    • Hardballs don't come back once you've collected them
    • Might have fixed the savepoint/replay bug for good
    • Fixed the game sometimes forgetting what levels you've done
Steam support is coming along nicely too. What I haven't decided is whether to release the Early Access version on Steam, or wait until the game is done. In either case, the Steam page should be up fairly soon — but I need to do a trailer first. I hate doing trailers! I'm bad at it and it takes ages. Oh well, gotta take the rough with the smooth.


Sunday, 22 October 2017

Beta 2.1.6, 2.1.7 Released


  • 2.1.6
    • Fixed being able to shoot several bullets at once
      • People were rebinding their keys and pressing all the 'fire' keys at once. This made me laugh out loud. Well played.
    • Fixed Enemy Lock
      • If you killed the last few enemies at the same time, enemy locks wouldn't open.
    • Colour doors & locks now have something other than colour to distinguish them
      • In case anyone's colour-blind or has a broken monitor. I should do the same for red/blue stuff at some point too.
    • More levels
      • This brings the level count up to 70.
      • Also, many existing levels altered and rearranged.
    • Unlockables
      • Some levels now have rewards other than just getting to the next level.
    • New Items
      • Quite a few new items in this release. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil the fun. See what you can find!
  • 2.1.7
    • Fixed an unwinnable level that I left in 2.1.6 because I'm a total pro.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Level Pit Maps

I've written some code to generate maps of Blackshift levels. For your entertainment, here are the top ten level pit levels, mapped:

The blue dot is the start, pink are enemies, and yellow to red is the danger rating (proportion of players who died at each location).

I was thinking it might be nice to put the maps in the level pit interface so you can see the layout of the level before you play it.

Update: By request:

Thursday, 8 June 2017


As you may know, Valve have decided to shut down their Greenlight process for indie games to get on Steam. They aren't taking any new submissions, but their team is working its way through the 3,500-odd games that have been submitted, and this morning...

I'll keep you posted with further developments, but the short of it is: Blackshift is coming to Steam!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Level Pit Stats

I'm focusing on bug fixes for the next update. Here's some histograms and scatter plots to tide you over until it's ready.

Cold hard facts

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Beta 2.1.4 Released

There was a problem with the 2.1.3 installer. If you're getting weird problems like crashes or inaccessible levels, please uninstall Blackshift and re-download from the site. If the install fails, try restarting your computer.


  • Fixed a nasty Windows installer bug that was corrupting game files. I don't know why I can't write an installer. It shouldn't be difficult.
  • The key you press to dismiss the 'get ready' screen now also counts as input for the game. So, you no longer have to be quick with the double-press to get a good time.
  • Fixed a bug where, if you disabled sounds, then played for a bit, then enabled sounds, all the sounds that would have played during your session would play at once.
  • The game now keeps track of your best time for each standard level.
  • You can no longer use that editor trick to make the player start inside a block or enemy, because it was corrupting the game state and could lead to crashes.
    • You can still use the trick, because it's a neat trick and I don't mind it. Just not with blocks or enemies.
  • Fixed glitchy graphics when a customs door closed on a block.
    • This is sort of misleading now, because it looks like you can interact with the block and shoot it, but you actually can't. Oh well. Don't let it happen in your levels unless you enjoy confusing people.
  • Fixed bug where creating a level with non-English characters in its name would fail.
    • You used to have to submit the level using English characters, then rename it. Now you can just create it with the right title.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Beta 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3 Released


What's New


  • Stuff
  • Things
  • New-look menus
  • Levels up to 60
  • Performance improvements
    • Option to use a lower resolution. Try this out if your computer struggles with Blackshift.
    • Level loading is now faster, especially when restarting a level.
    • Reimplemented GPU instancing. This should speed up the game by quite a bit.
      • This was taken out a few versions ago because my implementation was buggy. I know what I'm doing now. Promise.
      • I didn't add the option back to the options menu; it's just on for everyone.
  • Miscellaneous graphic and sound updates and fixes
  • Mouse pointer now hidden while playing
    • Oops, Mac only, sorry! I messed this up on Windows.
  • Level Pit changes
    • When you get a high score, you should see it in the leaderboard straight away.


  • Fixed mouse pointer bug on Windows


  • What's that? Everything should be Twitter? I agree! Blackshift now has favourites.
    • You can add a level to your faves by clicking the star on the level page.
    • See a list of your favourites on your user page. You can only see your own for now.
    • The most popular levels are shown on the Awards page.
  • Bugs fixed
    • Made it look less glitchy when a coloured door closes on you
    • Fix a bug where your time would start out wrong on the leaderboard, then correct itself.
    • You now end up in the right place after editing or deleting a level, instead of just being dumped back to the Level Pit homepage.
  • Tiny graphics update for the orange peg switcher machine. See if you can spot it :)