Patch 7 – Seeing a path to the finish!

Big progress this month, I fixed some old bugs, added a bunch of new features, and redesigned the flow to support new players and new platforms.  Read on for the details…

NEW TO SHIP IT?

I need some positive reviews to help get the word out, if you’ve tried the game please let me what you think!

PATCH NOTES

The beginnings of ‘career mode’ are in place now.  There is a screen in front of you that will help guide you through learning the game and seeing the different challenges available. It is just the basic functionality, and my next work will be balancing the levels, improving the graphics, and refining the flow to keep it exciting as you learn each new game challenge.  It worked really well at BetaCon last weekend, so I’m hoping it is helpful to new and old players.  I will need to reset the leaderboards to adjust for the new level length and scoring system, so expect that soon.  I’ll probably need to reset one more time after balancing and adding the full set of levels.

NEW FEATURES

  • New grabbing system – got rid of the pointer/grabber finger in favor of a ‘Robo-Recall’ like system where distance grabbing is just always on.  It feels very intuitive and will let me add hand gestures back in soon.
  • New ‘Career mode’ menu system – use the laser pointer to select which level you want to play.  High scores are tracked by level, with 3 star goals and leaderboards per level.  Graphics are just basic for now and will be improved for clarity.
  • Added Oculus SDK support so Steam players with a Rift can now play without loading SteamVR!
  • Improved camera auto-rotation.  If you have friends over, or are streaming, push ‘C’ for camera then ‘A’ for Auto to have a nice cycling of the spectator camera.
  • Added variable scoring of blocks, so tougher shapes and advanced colors will score you a higher wage.
  • Added basic factory upgrade system – you have to earn some virtual money to unlock new block types.  Later you will be able to buy factory upgrades to increase your earning potential.
  • Made blocks never burn while in your hands, only when on the ground.

BUG FIXES

  • Removed block storage devices until they find a new home on the control panel.  They aren’t as necessary the way the game is flowing, and need to get introduced after the player has learned the basics.
  • Fixed a huge lighting bug that has been troubling me for 10 months!  I can now control reflections again and have way more control over the lighting, expect more interesting behaviors here later, but for now, things look smoother, there is better performance, and the day/night effects are actually visible.
  • Fixed box closing sound being too loud.
  • Crushed a ton of other bugs.

PLAN

  • Improved graphics and more playful factory environment.
  • Subtitles and in game tips on the heads up display
  • Creative and Special Order mode integrated with career mode.
  • New rooms to view your factory upgrades and play around with blocks.
  • Adding safety vest to represent player’s body.
  • Need a new trailer.

KNOWN ISSUES

  • Levels not fully designed, money value and difficulty balance is not right.
  • Lighting can be a bit dark.
  • Gun pointing direction is off on Oculus.

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