Battle Royale Launches September 21st!

      Comments Off on Battle Royale Launches September 21st!

Spectate Epic Combat

Holy progress, Commentatron! There is so much new stuff from the past few weeks, we figured it’s way past time for an update post!

We’ve been working hard on creating a super fun Battle Royale game mode, and it’s turning out AWESOME! It’s hitting that point where play testing is becoming fun enough to become an actual development distraction (always a good sign).

If you’d like to try out the work-in-progress development branch with Battle Royale or otherwise follow ongoing development, check out Erik’s Twitch stream & our development branch guide!

New Movement Mechanic: The Dash

The Dash ability will launch with the Battle Royale game mode, and will be available in all game modes (even single-player).

The Dash ability (SHIFT + direction) allows you to perform a quick, short leap in a given direction, provided you have the energy to use it. Combined with a well-timed swing (or used to avoid one), it can become a very powerful addition to your combat toolbelt.

It also makes you look pretty cool.


We’ve already been finding the dash’s quick, punctuated motions make combat feel more dynamic and fun, and helps avoid chase scenarios where both players are running at the same speed — now there’s some excitement to it!

More Lag Compensation!

We’ve been continuing to improve the “hit feel” of multiplayer combat, and the Battle Royale update will introduce two major improvements: (1) cranking the server & client-side network send rate up from 20 packets per second to 60, and (2) using a hybrid client/server hit reporting mechanism that should help hits register more often while still detecting cheat attempts.

Lag Compensation Shot

Erik has been using this cool visualization of sword hit detection to test out different lag compensation techniques:

Debug Slice Lines

Maybe in a future game, you’ll just draw flowers with your sword…

Beyond that, we still have even more ideas for how to improve the networked melee hit feel (including getting US-West region support, our provider suggests it’s coming soon!) — & this update should be a nice step forward!

New Levels and Battle Royale Improvements

Screw launching with one gigantic map, Clone Drone Battle Royale will will launch with a bunch of medium-sized maps!

Cool Level

Game Still

These maps will take advantage of some newly added level features, such as…

Laser Kills, Shrinking End Zones!

You may notice some levels have laser cannons on them.

Don’t fall off the edge of the map.

Out of Bounds Kill

Spectate Mode

Just because your robot body has been sliced to bits doesn’t mean you can’t keep enjoying the game!


Now you can fly around, follow players and watch the game (starting with whoever killed you).

Level Editor Additions

While we’ve been working on these new levels, we’ve been making some pretty cool additions to the level editor (which will become available to Steam Workshop creators when we launch Battle Royale)!

Multi-select, Align Tools

What’s better than the ability to move an object? How about the ability to move ALL THE OBJECTS?!

Multiselect Move Rotate

Those of you familiar with Photoshop, Flash, etc. will appreciate these other handy tools which will be available in our next release (align, distribute, chain). Here are some outrageous things VastLite has been making with them:

jonathan-level-multi-1 jonathan-level-multi-2

Move Groups

When we added Moving Platforms, we were amazed and a little disturbed by what players were able to accomplish with such a simple feature.

Move Groups takes that to another level. You will be able to move not just platforms, but other objects in the level with these groups.

Look what X606 made using move groups (in the development test branch):

Clone Drone in the Dancing Zone

Stay tuned for the upcoming release of Clone Drone in the Dancing Zone.

Just kidding.


Playtest with us & let us know what you think!

Come watch Erik live-streaming developing the Battle Royale game mode LIVE! & join one of the beta branch test matches to try it out yourself.

Otherwise, see you in the arena September 21st!

Battle Royale is coming!

      Comments Off on Battle Royale is coming!

Will YOU be the last human standing?
We’re excited to announce that the next major multiplayer game mode will be… Battle Royale!

Wait… like… another Battle Royale??

If you’re expecting 100 players to drop from a sky thing and then sneak around a large island with human houses… that is not what we’re doing. 🙂

Clone Drone’s take on the popular game mode instead builds on our learnings from Long Live Santa!, the merry Christmas game we prototyped last December.

We’re placing a strong emphasis on fierce action, tactical trade-offs and contested upgrade drops.

Contested Power Upgrades!

Powerful upgrades become available after the match starts.
To get them you must be the only living player inside of their capture zone for five full seconds!

These drops help drive players together, providing an interesting trade-off between risk and reward. You can avoid the fight entirely with just your starting upgrades, but as more competitors are eliminated, you’ll really wish you snagged some power upgrades!


Power Upgrade: Flame Raptor!


Have you always wanted to ride a fearsome fire breathing robot raptor? Of course you have.
Ridable Raptors is the first Power Upgrade in Battle Royale!

We’re also thinking about the best way to introduce ridable raptors in singleplayer, but have yet to decide the exact shape that will take.

Power Upgrade: Mega Size!


Tower over your enemies and strike them down with your superior reach!
It’s fun to be a big bot.

Power Upgrade: Energy Laser!

Overpowered? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Follow our progress!

Since multiplayer is way more fun to develop alongside real, live humans, you’ll often find us developing it LIVE on Twitch — and we’ve set up a beta branch where you can play along with every change we make. It’s already getting quite fun — come play and help us make it even more awesome!

See you in the arena, or for our next update post!

0.12.2 – Bug fixes!

      Comments Off on 0.12.2 – Bug fixes!

We just fixed a bunch of bugs:

  • Fleet overseer moves crazily when legs cut off!
  • Fleet overseer hovers high above ground!
  • Kick only Challenge Level 1: enemy instantly activates and dies on spikes???
  • Kicking a hammer should not work
  • Commentator dialogue is incorrect in Duel Invites
  • Armor can be applied to missing limbs
  • Ally in chapter 3 runs away from armor bot

We’re hard at work on the next big update, but these issues were bad enough to warrant a little hotfix.

Happy Wednesday!

We have updated our Privacy Policy!!!

      Comments Off on We have updated our Privacy Policy!!!

Congratulations human, you can now read our privacy policy!

Find out what data we collect and what we do with it. Your privacy is important to us, and so is complying with the new European legislation (GDPR) going into effect on May 25!


What else is new? Well, we are hard at work on the next big multiplayer feature.
In addition we’re also looking into a few high priority bugs floating around and aim to deploy a fix for them early next week.

More info soon! <3

0.12.1 – Greatsword: The Lag Slayer

      Comments Off on 0.12.1 – Greatsword: The Lag Slayer

On April 18th, 2018, the average time played for Clone Drone somehow went up from around 20 minutes to an HOUR.

What the heck happened on 4/18/18??

If you guessed “Doborog & co. launched multiplayer after 4 months of extreme game-overhauling development”, you’d be right!!

While we’ve had a blast playing against everyone after launch, and many of you had kind words about the new game mode, the day after launch we were left not-yet-satisfied with the overall feel of combat. Multiplayer hits often felt unfair, random, or surprising. At times, it felt like the best strategy was to swing blindly and pray to the server gods!

Before moving on from 1v1 duels, we wanted to improve client and server performance and responsiveness, and make melee hits feel more fair and predictable.

A few weeks in, we’ve got a fun update ready with a game feel we are thrilled with. Improving combat feel will be an ongoing effort for us, and this should be a healthy start!

Introducing the Greatsword!

Greatsword Swings

Replacing the old sword in multiplayer, the greatsword is bigger and has a longer windup time.

Why the longer windup? It gives us the power to compensate for lag!

The problem: Attacks landing at different times!

“My sword passed right through them!” was a common reaction to our first version of multiplayer.

Although we used to start showing a swing right away on your computer, the server wouldn’t start its swing until after receiving your computer’s “swing now!” network event.
By the time the server tried to deal damage, your opponent might have moved out of the way!


What’s worse — when your hits did land, your opponent would often get killed before they even got a chance to see your swing start. “How did that kill me??”

The solution: Eat the lag in the windup time!

Our goal is to make sword swings land at the same exact time. Your head should appear to fly off at the exact moment you see your opponent’s sword pass through your neck.

To achieve this, we start with an alternative set of animations with a powerful windup sequence. Each strike takes note of and sends along its synced-up start time — letting the server and your opponent both skip forward to the exact right time in the swing animation when they learn about it.


The result is that both you and your opponent see the strike land at the exact same time. It’s like TIME TRAVEL FOR YOUR SWORD!

In play-testing, we’ve found it feels much better than before, and results in many more epic moments of “OH GOD THE SWORD IS GOING TO HIT ME” (and then the sword hits you).
Let us know what you think!

The Greatsword Challenge!

Since the Greatsword has a longer wind-up and thus a new timing to master, you’ll need some practice with it.
We’ve added a new Endless Challenge where every sword is a Greatsword!


Multiplayer bow now works at close range!

Bow Hits

Multiplayer kicks feel better!

We expanded the multiplayer kick collision box and added lag compensation similar to that of the Greatsword!

Duel Invite Match Customization

You can now customize the number of starting clones and skill points for custom duel matches!


Optimizations and Various Fixes

  • Optimized the game to load 6 times faster and use 1/3 of the memory than before!
  • Made multiplayer jump pads trigger quicker.
  • Optimized landing in lava to no longer cause extreme lag in multiplayer.
  • Fixed issue where game settings could override system screen refresh rate.
  • Fixed server crashes related to fire (aka “the frozen robot then server shutdown bug”).
  • Optimized server build so games start up quicker (and not cause lag on other games when starting up!)

More fun stuff coming, stay tuned!

We have some exciting plans for the next multiplayer update. 🙂

If you’re feeling extra adventurous and want to test bleeding edge versions of the game before the next update, follow our development on Twitch and watch for opportunities to try out what we’re building next, live!

0.12.0 – 1v1 Multiplayer… is LIVE!!!

      Comments Off on 0.12.0 – 1v1 Multiplayer… is LIVE!!!

Today we launched 1v1 multiplayer duels!


And look — our servers scaled up without exploding!


So go ahead, tell your friends! Challenge your neighbors!

Next Update: Improving Lag & Performance!

While many players are enjoying multiplayer, there are a few things we want to do to get pings lower and make the combat feel much more responsive. We’re going to be doing a mini-update next, with:

  1. (Soft) Ping-based region-locking for matchmaking — right now you’ll create matches in your closest region, but might end up joining a far away one if someone else is waiting. We’ll add some smart logic around how we handle that.
  2. Lag compensation for sword / hammer / arrow hits. This will help hits feel more fair!
  3. Optimization so new games starting up doesn’t cause other games on the server to chunk for a few seconds (you might notice your game freezes a bit — this should fix that!)

This was a BIG update (including an overhaul of so much of the single-player tech as well) — so let us know if you come across any new bugs or have issues with the game!

HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who tested the multiplayer beta over the last three months, who is hanging out playing duels this launch weekend, and for generally making this crazy dream of multiplayer Clone Drone a possibility for us!

Once 1v1 is feeling great, we’ve got some fun new plans for multiplayer on deck 🙂

1v1 LAUNCH DATE: April 18th!

      Comments Off on 1v1 LAUNCH DATE: April 18th!

Multiplayer launches on Wednesday, April 18th!

Bring a friend!


(to kick into a giant laser)

Multiplayer Development Progress Update & 1v1 Features!

      Comments Off on Multiplayer Development Progress Update & 1v1 Features!

Ahoy friends! We’re super hard at work on Multiplayer Duel Mode, but wanted to take a quick second to update everyone on our progress!

tl;dr: We’re making good progress! We’re shooting to officially launch 1v1 in April (later than we’d hoped!), but in the mean-time you can follow along with Erik’s live dev streams and try our bleeding-edge development test version!

Platform Battle

What’s Done!

The Duel Match Structure

We’re zeroing in on a final, fun match structure for duels. Each player starts the match with 3 lives, and after deaths, players get to pick an upgrade!

Multiplayer Hearts

Picking upgrades after death adds another layer of strategy to the game, letting you react to your opponent’s choices and the map you’re on!

Multiplayer Upgrades Select Screen

Multiplayer-ifying Upgrades, Weapons, and Hazards!

As part of making the game work for multiplayer, we’ve been converting everything over to be multiplayer-compatible, including nearly every upgrade (hammer, bow, jetpack, kick) and hazards (sawblades, spikes, moving platforms over dangerous lava). While you may have kicked a Sword 1 robot or two into sawblades before, we’re finding it’s a totally fresh experience sending real human-controlled robots to their doom. Practice your maniacal laugh, you’ll need it.

Hammer Sawblades lol

Dedicated Servers!

When we built Long Live Santa! as a test game, we used a direct peer-to-peer connection for matches. While this worked okay (and cost a good bit less) — players who were acting as the host would sometimes drop, some hosts would have inconsistent internet connections or high pings to others in matches, and in some cases use their position as server host as an unfair advantage!

For Clone Drone’s multiplayer, we’re pulling out all the stops and hosting our own full-on auto-scaling dedicated servers! While the development branch is currently targeting a single region (US-East), soon we will support servers in regions worldwide, so not only should gameplay be nice & fair, but hopefully pings will be buttery-low!

What’s Left to Do!

While we’d love to launch right now, we’ve got some things to do before shipping multiplayer to everyone!


  • Add some awesome multiplayer arena levels! While we have a few early level ideas, there’s a lot of potential for fun new combat levels. Some will even take place outside of the classic arena!
  • Make all of single player work again! In the process of multiplayer-ifying everything, there are some things in single-player that need a bit of updating to work right again. On the bright side, this will make adding co-op much quicker once we get to that 🙂
  • Stability, anti-cheat security, performance, etc! We want to make this release as solid as possible, and lots of things have changed!

The up-shot of all this is — once we’ve developed this core fighting experience, other game modes will become easier and quicker to add! We’re super excited about what’s next for multiplayer (and shared some of our ideas in this other post), and can’t wait to start slicing you all in half with our laser swords.

Follow Along and Let’s Do This!

We’re getting there! Thanks for everyone who has been testing out builds and following along our development!! We can do this!!! YEAHH!!!!

Multiplayer: 1v1 is coming!

      Comments Off on Multiplayer: 1v1 is coming!

Multiplayer is alive!
Soon the sword robots of the arena will be filled with human minds like yours.

We’re starting with 1v1 Duels!

Our plans for multiplayer are far-reaching, but we’re kicking it off with 1v1 Duels.
Two humans pick upgrades, then fight! Whoever runs out of clones first loses.

We’re aiming to launch this to the world around late February / early March.


You can access the development branch!

Want to help test multiplayer? We’re giving everyone access to the in-development version.

Right now it’s a super-buggy, broken experience with terrible usability.
Nevertheless you can still try it! 🙂

Multiplayer Test Button

Features on the Horizon

Multiplayer is going to grow and expand a lot over the coming months!
Here are some of the things we’re going to be looking at:

  • Ranked Ladder – A monthly ladder to climb! Rank up by winning, down by losing.
  • Robot customization – Unlock cool skins by playing, and choose what your robot looks like.
  • Emotes – Express yourself with useful phrases! A delightful combination of animation and text to speech.
  • Play with your friends – Invite your Steam friends to play with you.
  • Game Mode: Team PvP – Defeat the other team by achieving the map objectives!
  • Game Mode: Battle Royale – Fight until only one robot remains standing!
  • Game Mode: Co-op – Jump into Endless Mode with a human friend or take on Challenges together!
  • Custom games: Want to play a super strange workshop map? Custom games will be where this happens.

Note: The above items are not in order, and might change drastically. We’ll make specific decisions as we learn what multiplayer is like and see what people love or hate about it.

Let us know what you would most like to see in the comments!

Long Live Santa! is LIVE, Steam Winter Sale, and Multiplayer

      Comments Off on Long Live Santa! is LIVE, Steam Winter Sale, and Multiplayer

Just over three weeks ago, we announced we’ll be tackling adding multiplayer to Clone Drone in the Danger Zone—and to learn the principles of multiplayer game development, we’d first create a simple test game.

Instead of throwing the prototype away, we decided to quickly publish it for free on Steam!

Long Live Santa

Less than a month after starting development, and just a couple days after launch, Long Live Santa! has already been installed by over 40,000 players!

Popular New Releases

Early reviews claim such definitely-not-joking things as:

“10/10 better than PUBG confirmed”
“Definitely better than PUBG”
“PUBG has a rival”

Thanks to all the wonderful Clone Drone players who helped beta test early builds and shared ideas and encouragement on our Twitch dev-streams!!

Come play a quick free game while ‘tis still the season!

Lessons learned, now on to Clone Drone Multiplayer!

We learned TONS about how to build and iterate on multiplayer games from this technical exercise. The approach we took held up well—hitting over 400 concurrent players worldwide at once!

Full Game!

Pungence Playing a Full Game (check out his Let’s Play!)

We’re now buzzing with ideas for ways to make a fantastic Clone Drone multiplayer experience, and we’re glad we took the time to “burn a pancake”—though some say the pancake is not so bad!

In January we will start designing and building multiplayer integration with Clone Drone, using what we’ve learned from building the prototype to make it amazing!

Steam Winter Sale: Save 34% on Game Copies!

If you haven’t yet had a chance to pick up Clone Drone—or are kind enough to share the secret simple joys of Clone Drone with a friend for the holidays—it’s currently 34% off, its biggest Steam Store discount to date!


Now’s a great time to treat yourself, be a hero, and grab a copy or two for some holiday training!

That’s all for now, see you either riding a killer reindeer at the north pole, or in our next post in January about multiplayer development progress!