Monday, February 24, 2020

Friday, April 20, 2018

1vsYou, Exploring Turn Based Combat in VR

I've recently been messing around with a prototype for a turn based VR combat system. Here's a quick gif of the prototype:

The idea is that combat happens in turns but the spells and abilities still require some finesse via the track controllers, as well as required the player to physically dodge enemy attacks with their body. But why turn based combat for VR? Why use a more primitive system with modern hardware? As I mentioned in the r/oculus thread where I shared my gif: Here, I like turn based combat because it gives the player the ability to control the pace of the battle. They can slow down and think their actions through on their turn allowing for a more tactical and mindful game flow. However the capabilities of VR are not wasted as attacks are still aimed.

I believe this system allows for the fun of tracked controller interaction while incorporating the rpg combat feel of early jrpgs like Final Fantasy. Not to mention the extra immersion you gain from using a VR headset. I have a lot of interesting concepts I want to explore this project and as I post more updates I will reveal the themes and gameplay styles I want to further delve into.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

HoloHack LA 2017 1st Place Winner!

This weekend my best 3d artist Aaron Lutes and our partner Scott Hoyt and I took part in HoloHack LA 2017. In this hacakthon we had to make an experience for the Microsoft HoloLens in 48 hours. I had never even touched a HoloLens before this weekend so I was very excited to get to develop for the device. My overall impression of the device was very positive. Despite the low FoV I was very impressed with the spatial mapping capabilities which made the device very impressive to me.

Before arriving to the event I had an idea I wanted to try where the user would set a world anchor in space while wearing the hololens to serve as a start point, run to an end point, and then save that "route" and time as a sort of time trial ghost. The user could then run against their augmented ghost in a sort of race. Unfortunately the spatial mapping isn't quite fast enough to map accurately while running which means a proper time trial route set would require 2 phases: geometry mapping and the actual run. This along with the fact that the device just isn't meant to be worn during extraneous activities meant this was a no go.

We then played with an idea of creating a course and racing a small vehicle through it. After a quick experiment whipped up in Unity we concluded that looking down the entire time while playing was rather annoying so we scrapped that idea as well. Finally we landed on "Holo Spells". Since we have a passion for spell casting games already we decided to try our hand at a hololens casting game. Despite having limited experience with networking we went with a 1v1 spell dueling game with an interesting gimmick...

To swap spells in the experience you flip through a physical spell book in real life, and then stare at an image representing your next spell. After saying a voice command the game will the switch spells. This was accomplished using Vuphoria image recognition in Unity. You can see how this works in game in our video below.

HoloHack LA 2017 Holo Spells Submission VIdeo

This weekend at HoloHack LA, Aaron, Anthony, and our teammate Scott Hoyt won first place for our submission "Holo Spells" The event was a blast and I'm still in disbelief that we managed to win. We'd love to finish this demo some day if we ever get our hands on a HoloLens again! This video shows off the concept of using Vuphoria image recognition and voice commands to swap spells by looking at pictures in a physical spell book we constructed. You then fire spells at your opponent in a sort of magic duel. It was a cool idea that ended up working great.

Posted by Wave Magic VR on Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cat Jam: A made up game jam about cats

A couple weekends ago my girlfriend, her friend Amy and I decided to do our own little game jam. In 2 days we managed to pump out "Explodey Cats" A casual tapper game where you feed cats until they explode. The result is on the play store for download:

Wave Magic: Battle on Gear VR

We've ported Wave Magic VR to the Gear VR. This game takes advantage of Samsungs new Gear VR controller to aim and fire spells. Check out the store page here:

Wave Magic VR on Steam

Wave Magic VR is now on steam, check out the store page here:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Wave Magic now in the Leap Motion Gallery

After posting the first playable demo for Wave Magic Alex from Leap Motion contacted me and had it uploaded to their gallery and featured in today's newsletter. You can download and play the latest version here:

Updates are now also being posted to the game's Facebook pages here:

And here is a change log for version 0.2:

- Added "Wind Bomb" Spell, a mid range spell that damages enemy in a small area of effect.
- Added "Fast Shooter Enemy", a harder ground ranged enemy that won't spawn until you have survived for a while.
- All enemy's now have idle sounds to help indicate where they are.
- Fixed bug where particle effects on hands would sometimes not disappear.
- Moved enemy spawners to be closer to one side of the arena.
- Edited scenery in the Desert map
- Made aim assist on Fireball stop seeking after it passes its target.
- Adjusted menu position.