Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moving, VRJam, Bad Things, Rami's Challenge

Hey Everyone! I've been doing a lot of stuff over the last month. Let's start at the beginning.

Moving to Boston

Yeah, I did it. This place is cool, but expensive and what do people do with their cars? My room mates are the coolest dudes/ladydudes and they're actually probably even smarter than me. In fact, I am writing this blog post during sanctioned house writing practice. Otherwise, I would be furiously developing Bad Things for a reason I will reveal shortly.

Oculus VRJam

Yeah! I made a super sweet technology showcase thing for the Rift that apparently nobody cared about.

I didn't place as a finalist, and my guess is because:
1) I didn't actually make a game (it's a music visualization experience).
2) some bugs.
3) needs a very high end gaming computer to run.
If you have a Rift devkit you can try to download and play it here. Keep in mind that you'll need a super fast computer. It runs at 60 fps on my development machine which has a gtx 780, and it ran at 10 fps on my laptop. The reasons for this are clear to me (huge compute shaders and ray-marching), but the fidelity tradeoff was not one that I was willing to make. The jurors had very fast computers (or so I heard), so I don't expect this was a major problem for them, but it might be for everyone else.

It's a little bit disappointing that I didn't make it as a finalist; I thought I had a pretty strong entry. They didn't give any kind of feedback or rating, so I don't know what or why. Oh well. There are pieces of echobox I can possibly reuse and sell on the asset store. I'm thinking I could create some kind of plugin for the acoustic simulation or a plugin for soundcloud streaming. Btw, my game has a physical acoustic sound propagation simulation and it also streams music from soundcloud. Why? Because I am crazy.

So what about those Bad Thing-things?

Err, yeah. So there was the fuel cells thing and then the VRJam was three weeks and then I was moving and now I am doing it! Ok! The level editor still isn't done (though I have saving and loading now). Technology wise- echobox uses a rasterization based voxelization technique that I think I can adapt for use in Bad Things to implement *~Sparse Voxel Octree Global Illumination~*. But that will have to wait. At Boston Indies a few days ago, I met a super cool dude...

Rami's Challenge: Panic Build

Yes, it's true. +Rami Ismail of Vlambeer (@tha_rami) challenged me to stop developing technology for my game and just go and f-ing make a playable build so people can actually go and test whether or not the mechanics are fun. IN 7 DAYS. FROM TUESDAY. (it's wednesday now). Ahhhhhh. He's my Indie Game Dev Idol, so I can't possibly resist. It's a bit unlucky because my game is particularly unplayable right now with the taking apart of everything for the level editor. And I had to do the fuel cells yesterday (one wasted day). I spent all day today fighting with the level editor to get a basic level going. Looks like I am going to be taking the air particle system out for this Panic Build. I've been thinking of mechanics frantically:

Throw fuelium rods into the reactor for ship power using megatongs, load weapons into tubes, crank laser batteries, secret button presses for recalibrating life supports. Cutting off limbs for the bio-replicator, the entropy capacitor (formerly known as the entropy amplifier), and the welding wrench. I think I can get all those things into the game in some form, BUT IS THAT ENOUGH?! I don't know. Is it even a game? Do I need a scenario? What will drive the pace of these events? Panic Build.