Welcome to another massive update to our humble VR party rumble. These past few weeks we’ve focused on implementing new multiplayer game modes.
New Game Mode - Bull Run
In Bull Run, the non-VR players take controls of a bull milling up about in a grass enclosure full of other bulls. The player-controlled bulls have to make their way back to the barn without getting discovered by the Gorilla. The Gorilla has to identify (and eat) the rebel bulls before they make it home. Hide in the crowd, cause a little chaos and then bull rush your way to the exit before you get eaten!
We designed a new map (The Forest) just for this game mode, with a simple clear design. Bull Run really strips the game down to its core elements. It’s just cows, a gorilla and a lot of trees for cover. Cows can charge to clear obstacles (trees, fences, other cows) out of their way. You can also use the “motivate” action to drive a portion of the herd forward in your direction. This can be an effective way to create a bit of chaos, but also draws attention to you.
This game mode (like the rest of the game) is still in development and we would love your feedback. We think this game mode really works well in 1v1 situations and we’re working hard to improve balancing when more player-controlled cows are present.
New Game Mode - Cross the City
Cross the City is our second new game mode in this update, where the non-VR players have to cross the city (from bridge to tunnel) while the Gorilla tries to prevent them. It’s not as “finished” as the Bull Run, but it’s allowed us to take steps forward in building more complex, mission-driven game modes. You can find this new game mode in the Experiments tab. We want to expand this game mode to include more complex tasks and find a better way of balancing it.
Balancing our game is a constant challenge. Something that works 1v1 won’t necessarily be balanced 4v1. If we force all paths to cross then the gorilla can just stand in one spot and wait for the cars to come to them. If we have too many possible paths then the gorilla has no chance to stop the flow of cars. But we’re working on it, and as always, listening to your feedback.
This is just a small taste of the changes and improvements that have gone into this update. Just implementing Bull Run required numerous changes (new map, new controls, new game mode, animations, better AI) that touch almost every part of the game. But each update makes our core better and lets us add new features faster. A full list of changes follows below.
Cheers, Salmi Games
Changelog - Build 369
- New Game Mode: Bull Run (see above for details).
- New map - Forest - currently used just for Bull Run. Will be explored further.
- New Experimental Game Mode: Cross the City (still a work in progress).
- Improved the atmospheric effects for the morning/dawn period.
- Fog density is now dynamic based on time of day.
- More “obstructions” are hidden when game is paused and menu is shown (still not all are hidden, but we’ll get there).
- You can now properly cancel starting a new game mode (this previously broke a loooot of things, like despawning AI units). Is this a new feature or a bug fix….?
- AI: planes now pickup ammunition when needed.
- AI: units generally pick up power ups.
- Do not “join” the keyboard player if the F1-F12 keys are pressed. Or if the Alt key is pressed.
- Boosting is now framerate independent (you could boost much further if the framerate was low). In general worked to improve our vehicle controls so that they are framerate independent.
- UI: help info is much more prominent, bigger.
- UI; improved About page, provide better way for players to reach us to give us feedback.
- UI: added a better boost icon, which fills up over time to better indicate when it’s available.
- UI: highlight new features, maps and gamemodes in updates.
- Automatically reconnect a controller to the same player if it disconnects and reconnects. We noticed the problem that if your controller got disconnected (like when the battery dies) and you reconnect, it would join a new player.
- Controls: improved turning behavior of cars, should feel much better. Vehicles still move forward even for low values of acceleration. They would sometimes awkwardly not move forward anymore if you tried to turn hard.
- Controls: right-click has been re-purposed for power-up activation. Q switches units. E toggles the headlights.
- Internal: upgraded to Unity 2017.1 - this really has no visible impact but it was a pain in the ass. We first upgraded to 2017.2, which broke everything (why do we never learn the lesson to NOT upgrade before a couple patches have been released for new unity versions….) and then back down to 2017.1, which broke a few things but also improved other things.
- Internal: added the ability to quickly change the rate of time change to make it easier to capture cool time-lapse videos.
- Internal: drastically improved our build process. so much easier to build and deploy a new build.
- Internal: make sure the local changes in our test machine don’t make it into release builds.
- Internal: full restructured our GameMode setup to make it easier to isolate behavior, objects and features to specific game modes and to improve our development process for new game modes. This had quite a few unintended side-effects that had to be fixed up.
- Tested support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets…hand tracking is inaccurate enough to not be super fun.
- Randomly shrunk the game by 10 MB!
- Red “selection” dot now stays red in all cases (including when fog is overlaid at start of game modes.
- Fixed: selection sound sometimes stopped working.
- Random human in tutorial and credits scenes removed.
- Timer didn’t expire in Last Man Standing. Now shows “Expired”.
- Drop down menus now close properly when clicking outside or clicking another drop down menu.
- Fixed: when retrying mission 6, the kill goal got reset to 20 (from 10).
- Fixed: if you grabbed an object with one hand, then grabbed with the other (without releasing with the first one), you were then in a “moving” state.
- Fixed: you could punch things during the starting countdown in “Hide and Seek” and “Last Man Standing”.
- Fixed some menu font issues due to the 2017.1 unity upgrade.
- When you join a running game using a gamepad, you no longer boost on start.
- Fixed: first time you played Last Man Standing in the Valley, the AI wouldn’t spawn. This was a tricky issue that only happened in compiled builds. Fun to track down!