Category Archives: cool stuff

The evolution of VR

I have been on VR since the Oculus Kickstarter was a success and got a DK1 and a DK2 Rift – but early on Valve demoed a type of VR that seemed like something from the far future called “The VR room”. The guys over at RoadToVR had a great article about the experience here.

Last year I was among the lucky to receive one of the earlier Vive devkits and the experience blew everything out of the water I had experienced before. Ever since I have been a strong supporter of roomscale VR and tracked controllers.
Now Make released this very cool video of the guys at Valve discussing a bit of the history of how the Vive became a real consumer product and the long path to get there. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Exhibit L: LICHT joining the Games Science Center

exhibitL
It is entirely possible that my mother had drawings I made in kindergarten on the fridge, but other than that no work of mine ever got exhibited. Now my very first game will be, in the Games Science Center in Berlin in 2013/2014.

It’s the fifth confirmed exhibit alongside other projects showcasing new and futuristic technologies about to enter our daily lives, like the Oculus Rift, the Leap Motion controller or the Myo. So certainly a place worth visiting to experience where we are heading in a world where change is accelerating and interaction with computers is about to evolve to the next level.

You can find information about the Games Science Center here:

Homepage: www.gamesciencecenter.de
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GameScienceCenter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/GSC_Berlin

Karmaflow : The Rock Opera Videogame … looks awesome!

karmaflow

I love beautiful games that try to tell their story in new ways and Karmaflow certainly is looking really innovative. When I watched the trailer and at some point the boss suddenly started singing and it actually really worked for the style and game. Got me convinced, I want to play it.
Currently they have an indiegogo campaign asking for 50k € … but for 55k they will integrate Oculus Rift support, so obviously this is really something I hope will get sufficiently funded.

Watch the video here, the trailer stars after a really short introduction and after it you get the indiegogo video with a bit more gameplay.

LICHT v1.08 submitted to Airspace

The most important thing first – the Oculus Rift is activated in the new release. All you need to do is push ALT + O (that is not a number!) and you enter the game instead of just looking at it … provided you have an Oculus Rift connected of course.
To center the camera you can press CTRL at any time.

Then there has been more feedback, especially the menu needed some help because it was not intuitive enough.

Slow paced challenging game
by drwiley — August 3

Puzzles are challenging, but not too challenging. The designers also did a good job with the light sources to very subtly let you know the relationship between your controller, the ball, and the environment. The menus could use work. To exit the game you must touch “exit” “the” “game” in 3-D space. This is hard to someone new to the game and not obvious. Also I got stuck at “reopen the gates”. I didn’t know I was going into nested menus so I didn’t know to return twice to get back to the game.

Stoned or Bored
by jwohrman — August 2

You must be seriously stoned, bored to ennui, or have the patience of a buddha to enjoy or even understand this game. Is it pretty? Yes. Is it glacially slow? Tectonic plates are impressed. Does it provide even rudimentary instructions? Not even a little bit. Worst of all. The exit button wouldn’t respond no matter how much I begged.

Thank you both, there clearly are issues with the menu – so I changed things a bit.
Update108

Around the “EXIT” “THE” “GAME” objects I put a “hit all 3” sign to make it easier to understand how the exit mechanism works. And to make it easier to see how to navigate the menus I changed the color of the return fields to red, that way no matter where, you always see them directly and know where you can go back.
And while DrWiley nailed my approach to the game, I feel that jwohrmann had wrong expectations.
So for that reason I changed the description and made clear that it is not an action title, but a game focused on exploration and experimentation. Sorry jwohrmann
…but I have to complain with a part of your rating … no instructions?

The game starts with a full tutorial!
tutorial
You might want to get instructions on how to solve the riddles, but as the game designer I feel that is not how riddles should work. That is the part where you have to figure out the stuff on your own.

Currently the new version is in evaluation at Leap Motion – so I hope it will be available some time next week. Or there might be an issue. We will see.

Now it becomes time to slowly switch to VR game making for the VR Jam.

GRAVITY for Leap Motion Beta available for free

gravitybeta
So the next game is in the works and I have a pretty close to feature finished Beta version of GRAVITY available for you guys.
In the game you manipulate gravity spheres to guide a little flying sun at a target.

Gravity_Beta_PC_release_v01.zip (13.1 MB)
https://mega.co.nz/#!N4sHjBBQ!aPjz7jCXLToX-VIN3REykzGQlikmOlPPNZ0s34-5h90

please read the readme.txt !!!

It consists of two phases:

the modmode is first phase where you get to push around the gravity spheres with your Leap Motion controller. In this Beta version you only have spheres with limited moving options, the full version also features the blue spheres you can move anywhere and that allow for far more complex levels.

the flymode is the other mode to which you switch with “space”. It lets the sun fly and you get to see where the current sphere positions guide it. While this mode is active you get to control the camera with the Leap, so you can exactly analyze how the spheres affected the trajectory of the sun.
Try to learn how to control the camera in the first levels without much content. it’s much easier to learn there. Basicly the camera will always look at the sun and go to the position you point at with your finger – not instantly though, you point and the camera wanders to that position. Move your finger slowly enough and you get the feeling of direct camera control.
This indirect control is included to give you smooth camera movements – it needs a bit of training, but you can enjoy it much more.

If you have an Oculus Rift, this game is compatible. You still need a Leap Motion controller too though. Some information is not visible in the Rift mode, but you should be fine.
I might add some extra buttons into the Rift version of the game in the future to make use of the keyboard obsolete – but no promises.
With CTRL you can reset the Rift if Drift occurs or you want to change position.

Enjoy and have fun!

 

LICHT version 1.08 is coming UPDATED #1

First thank you for all the positive reviews I have gotten for LICHT little adventure, it really is very motivating to read that so many like it that much.

There also has been some criticism that I will try to address in the next update, so I write here in case somebody has something to add.

Frustrating
“The introduction of orbiting orbs that you cannot control results in you spending a huge amount of time doing nothing more than fighting the game design.”
by Walt — July 25

I can only guess that you did not use the stop function to make the orb pause … that makes handling the smaller energy orbs much easier. They are part of the game design – on your way down you are still supposed to learn how to handle your big orb, but on your way up I wanted to add a challenge, that are the smaller orbs. I am sorry you did not like it, but it is as it is supposed to be.
I also got the opposite feedback where someone asks why I have not repeated that game mechanism more to make the game a bit harder.

But there is one part of the ascent that has repeatedly frustrated players – the colored blocks get the orb stuck. So I changed that part a bit.

coloredBlocks
Now they are all round and placed so that you should just go smoothly through on your way back without little or big orbs getting stuck.

And there were complaints that one ramp in the Gravity Zone was far too hard. Again – use the stop function to position the big orb. But I made a bit more space, so now you can go up the ramp with a bit more speed making it easier. Also the ramp is a tiny bit wider.
theRamp

You still have problems? Please let me know, the better you describe your problem, the easier it will be for me to fix. But I will always try:

made me hate
“then made me hate more”
by nickmarks — July 25

Dear nickmarks, I feel with you. In one of the next updates I will add a companion sphere, it will help you deal with your hate and spread love. Still working on the empathy module at the moment.

Here a first prototype picture that I hope will help you cope with the situation.
companionSphere
If you want to specify your problems, please feel free to contact me.

That is all I got for Update #1 since we are out of beta, all changes are in the game so far. Just waiting to see if there are other problems I can address. I do not want to have the good folks at Leap Motion have to check an update from me every two days, they already have their hands full!

UPDATE #1

My favorite app yet
At first I found the controls a bit frustrating, but really they’re perfect for the game, and show how well the Leap handles depth. The mechanics can be frustrating as the orbs you collect can tend orbit too widely and not register when opening a checkpoint. But honestly, once Indienerds add on to this it’ll be a de facto app for the Leap, even more so than it already is. Definitely worth the money, pick this up now if you have a Leap.
by Dalto11 — July 27

Now this is something I am not sure I want to change or even should change, even though I see the problem. Sometimes your orbs go crazy … I have had them do some really big orbits that I found awesome.
Now there are solutions to getting your orbs under control … and here I spoil a bit so be warned.
First stop your orb and see what orbits the smaller ones take. Now just fly to a wall that will make then loose their energy because they fly against it and stop your orb at that wall … they will all come to papa and be much closer.
An alternative, and much more fun in my opinion, is to have a look at the orbits and figure out a good position where the smaller obs collide with the orb collector. That really is all part of the game and fun, so making that easier will not only shorten the game a bit more, it will also remove a game element that I really care for.

BUT … if I am the only one caring for it and there are many that would rather have a much bigger radius for the orb catcher … please let me know in the comments.

Ohhh … and thank you for the kind review Dalto11!!

LICHT – the first indienerds game

LICHTheader

Can you believe it? After reviewing dozens of games and being part of the alpha- and beta-testing of even more XNA indies, I finally did it and made a game myself.
It did not even turn out that bad. And it is riding on the technological edge, being designed for the Leap Motion Controller AND offering support for the Oculus Rift (coming soon). Ain’t that badass?

Now seriously. Last year I decided to go into game development because the Oculus Rift was announced. Little did I know I had to wait an eternity to actually get it.
While waiting I was accepted into the Leap Motion Developers program and send a Leap Motion Controller to play around with. Incredible device I have to say and my head started brimming with cool game ideas.
Being a complete game programming noob I decided to start with something small and LICHT little adventure was born. The release version (it will be available on the Leap Motion launch on July 22nd) will offer a single world to explore, but if sales permit it, I would love to add additional worlds to the title. In my head I see another 4 that will all be very different.
The current world also is quite diverse and allows for different game mechanics. It is a bit quality over quantity, or at least so I hope.
The first trailer for the game you can watch below – I would love to hear some opinions. Actually the first trailer I did for a game. And if you get yourself a Leap Motion Controller, don’t forget to get LICHT – it’s only $1.99 at launch. Shameless selfpromotion end.