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MageWorks

sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
edited February 2018 in Showcase



Summary: MageWorks was developed as a prototype for VR + Motion controllers in June of 2016. The game puts the player in the position of a mage with a spellbook in one hand and a staff in the other. Players flip through their spellbooks and use their staff to cast the spell. Players can also customize both their spellbooks and their staffs. After customizing their staff using resources found in the environment, players can 3d-print their designs. MageWorks is currently in development and is available in the Oculus Store Early Access section.

Movement: The game originally used teleporting for movement, however the community quickly requested analogue for more advanced users, so a HoverDrone was added, allowing players to step on their drone to hover around places with analogue controls in addition to teleporting if they choose. 

Gameplay: The game is designed to encourage players to unlock spells found in different environments. The spells are guarded by different configurations of castle or fortress style defenses. These attack/defense points are filled with a.i. that are ranged & melee and can be defeated with the player's spells consisting of five different class types:

  • Long range low impact
  • mid-range location based spells
  • short range high impact
  • summoning
  • defensive walls

Some spells require that a player reach toward the air to cast (Reach-Spells), and some require that the player place their staff close to the ground (Ground-Spells).  Spells can also be bookmarked.  Bookmarking a spell places that spell into a custom spellbook with 10 pages.  When players unlock enough spells, they will be powerful enough to fight the game's boss which is a dragon guarding a vault. 

Crafting: Player's will need to collect flowers to create ink. That ink can then be injected into staff drawing designs to empower their staffs unlocking additional mechanics (coming in a future build). Ink can be created by using the VR motion controls to cut flowers, mill, mix, and bottle the ink. Crystals will need to be collected, shaped and equipped to improve spell power. Wood is needed to create staff parts as well. Players can cut, shape, lathe, draw and CNC staff parts to build a staff that fits their design creativity. These custom staves can be 3D printed as well, and the files are stored in the save game directory for use with a 3D printer.

MageWorks is being developed by a solo-developer small team now, and while there is lots of content to explore in the current build, there is still a lot of work to be done and bugs to crunch.  If anyone is interested in the game, I would be happy to hear some feedback on how I can continue to improve MageWorks!  

[EDIT] Oculus Store Page Here: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1127921550614118/

Comments

  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    MageWorks update v0.2.0 is now available!



    MageWorks v0.2.0 is now available and wraps up assault point integration. With all 20 assault points included, and all spells now integrated, work will focus on additional combat tuning to simplify enemy encounters, as well as the boss fight (the boss fight is currently non-functional, but available to see).

    What's new:
    • All 20 assault points now integrated
    • All 3 vaults have been integrated into the environments. Currently the drones that are discovered here are already unlocked for testing, however, these will need to be unlocked at full release.
    • 2 Environments of have overhauled with new art! "The Shoppes" have been rebuilt as a much larger town, and the "Crystal Caves" have been rebuilt as a much larger cave network with an electrical magic theme.
    Known Issues:
    • Crystal shaping is going through a slight re-design and will be easier in the next build
    • Scaling is a bit off in the new Crystal Cave map, but will be fixed in the next build
    • The current menu setting for a different type of teleport is not functional yet.
    On the Horizon:
    • Dragon boss fight
    • Bug crunching
    • Game-play balancing
    A few more images from design dev looking at the 5 magic-type themed environments to explore:










  • elbofforelboffor Posts: 2,575 Valuable Player
    Looks pretty dam sweet!
    I have a couple of questions if i may, is supersampling available in the options? Also is save game progress cloud based?
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  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    elboffor said:
    Looks pretty dam sweet!
    I have a couple of questions if i may, is supersampling available in the options? Also is save game progress cloud based?
    thanks!
    Supersampling isn't available right now (in fact i haven't built video options into the menu system yet), but i will add this to the options at the next go.  
    Save games are currently stored locally on the clients machine, as are the 3d export files for any models being made, but i have built a cloud system i'm testing for the 3d exports which may be used toward full release date. Probably won't use cloud for save games any time soon, but i can see why this might be a good thing to include in the future (or at least synced with client machine if available).  
  • elbofforelboffor Posts: 2,575 Valuable Player
    Oculus has a cloud system you can use aparently
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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,803 Valuable Player
    This and Lone Echo are at the top of my list. Great stuff!
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
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  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    Zenbane said:
    This and Lone Echo are at the top of my list. Great stuff!
    thanks @Zenbane , i'll do what i can to live up to that!
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,803 Valuable Player
    sporx said:
    Zenbane said:
    This and Lone Echo are at the top of my list. Great stuff!
    thanks @Zenbane , i'll do what i can to live up to that!
    Type that epic VR code until your fingers bleed, brah! B)

    Seriously though, this game already seems to have some much needed "uniqueness" to add to the present-date VR ecosystem.
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
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  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    Zenbane said:
    sporx said:
    Zenbane said:
    This and Lone Echo are at the top of my list. Great stuff!
    thanks @Zenbane , i'll do what i can to live up to that!
    Type that epic VR code until your fingers bleed, brah! B)

    Seriously though, this game already seems to have some much needed "uniqueness" to add to the present-date VR ecosystem.
    do you even code, brah?!, lol.  
    not sure i'll make it into the pro-tour without some sort of meta-game, but in any case, it's really encouraging to hear there's interest in this type of content. 
  • CalmfixupCalmfixup Posts: 292
    Nexus 6
    Wow, I'm really impressed by that intro vid man, great job! Gonna have to give this a go!


  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    Calmfixup said:
    Wow, I'm really impressed by that intro vid man, great job! Gonna have to give this a go!
    thanks Calmfixup,
    am interested to hear your critical feedback if you get a chance.  so far, i'm hearing that the tutorial needs to be more helpful, and crafting is too tough.  
  • Tattoo_DudeTattoo_Dude Posts: 99
    Hiro Protagonist
    Purchased! Looks great and I can't wait to play. Keep up the good work!
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
  • CINEXACINEXA Posts: 3
    NerveGear
    I have been playing for a week or so - so many questions.  How do I bookmark??
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    CINEXA said:
    I have been playing for a week or so - so many questions.  How do I bookmark??
    What's up @CINEXA

    There's a tutorial book on the table across from the spellbook bookshelf that guides through the process of book marking.  However,  I'm in the process of rebuilding all of the tutorials to hopefully make things a little easier to understand.  

    In short, with your spellbook open to the page you want to bookmark, press and hold the thumbstick button until the bookmark pops up, then select up/down to choose a slot, and then press and hold again to save that slot.  Then, when you equip your custom book, you'll see the spell in that slot.  

    Thanks for checking out the game!  Let me know if you have any other thoughts as well.  Happy to include what i can before i wrap up development in the next month or two.  
  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    That "frozen Cliffs" environment looks gorgeous!

    Ive been playing this and I've been both frustrated and impressed. Impressed by some of the environments and frustrated by some issues in the game, such as when crafting.

    The game is so new, there are no walk through videos for it on YouTube, which is my go to reference when I hit a sticking point in a game. It's cartoony environments hide a surprising amount of depth, which you quickly discover once you get into it (I had no idea there were so many different types of spells)!

    Currently, I think the game has 3 stars on the Oculus Store, and the reviewers (including myself) bring up som valid issues. However, the developer seems committed to improving the game. It almost seems like the game should have been put in the Early Access category rather than in Gallery Apps.  

    At a measly $5 bucks during the Oculus Summer Sale, you can hardly go wrong with this one!
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    what's up @cybernettr , thanks for your feedback! I've just posted a new build which mostly focuses on a new combat training tutorial, and will now be focusing heavily on improving the crafting experience over the next two weeks.  let me know if anything else comes to mind when hopping around the different environments and i'll integrate what i can to keep improving the experience. 
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,803 Valuable Player
    edited July 2017
    I haven't had much time to play yet lately, however, I did spend about an hour in the tutorial sections. Especially the crafting workshop.

    Even though I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing I had fun trying to learn. The in-game instructions are enough to guide the player in the right direction, but I didn't know the benefit of shaping my staff, drawing a staff design, nor shaping the crystal. I just assumed it was purely cosmetic, but if there is a true benefit then having that revealed throughout the game would be awesome.

    For example, if there are villains/enemies the player fights that have certain crystals, colors, and shapes with their own staves, this will let the player know what benefit(s) can be gained if we mimic it.

    Maybe you already have this in mind; I'm just shooting from the hip here.

    But all that aside, I ended my first session very excited about going back in and really working on a quality staff design. Once I saw the final product of my first attempt, I instantly wanted to see if I could craft other ideas.

    In particular... I must figure out a way to create a variation of the Skeletor Staff:


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  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    great reference image! skeletor has certainly come a long way over the years.  thanks for sharing your thoughts.  a few answers:

    yes, staff creation will be beneficial, but mostly with ink injection.  when staffs are created using custom ink mixes, it will empower that type of spell based on the ink used.  i.e. ice ink will empower ice spells.  this system is almost ready to integrate and should be in the next build (about two weeks). crystal shapes will also have an impact on overall spell power, but i'm still testing approaches to this, as crystal shaping is getting overhauled to encourage more crystal collection. 

    prefab staff parts will also be available to purchase (using in-game gold, not real money).  the demon level is called 'The Shoppes' in the map book, and refers to a zombie shoppe run by a friendly zombie where players can purchase pre-defined models for their staff, so hopefully this will help your skeletor staff quest :).  This system won't be integrated probably until another month or so, and will mostly be cosmetic.

    i like your idea of equipping enemy mages with specific staff types as a hint of power received.  will look into this more, and think this would be really helpful for intuitive gameplay. 

    when first building this game, i was considering a variant where well-crafted staves would be rewarded...but i didn't really want to limit what was considered a powerful staff based on personal preference after studying this concept.  i've seen people create some pretty crazy things as they run around smashing skeletons with ball lightning or thorn whips (among other spells) being emitted from giant hearts, smiley faces, or mature-audience themed shapes.  one person actually wrote a brief message as their staff top which was hilarious.  


  • cybernettrcybernettr Posts: 951
    3Jane
    sporx said:
    let me know if anything else comes to mind when hopping around the different environments and i'll integrate what i can to keep improving the experience. 
    Does the game save your progress? I collected all the crystals, logs, flowers etc on the watermill level and started shaping the log in the crafting room, but when I returned to that level, all the items were uncollected again. 
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    sporx said:
    let me know if anything else comes to mind when hopping around the different environments and i'll integrate what i can to keep improving the experience. 
    Does the game save your progress? I collected all the crystals, logs, flowers etc on the watermill level and started shaping the log in the crafting room, but when I returned to that level, all the items were uncollected again. 
    yes, the game saves the progress of collection in terms of stats, however, it does not currently save the state of the resource collected yet.  so you could pretty much warp in and out of the level to collect as much as you wanted to at the moment until the state saving system is integrated.  at full release, this will be integrated, but since i'm overwriting save games during development, i didn't want the resources to be a chore to collect yet.  

    another issue i'm running into, is that the water mill is supposed to be an arcade-style re-playable crafting stage for multiple users,  so i need to figure out a good approach to give multiple users equal access to resources in this level.  
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    edited July 2017

    MageWorks update 0.3.2 is now available!




    What's New:
    • Tutorials are now narrated for combat, crafting, bookmarking and travel
    • Crafting has been simplified.  thanks to everyone's feedback, i've managed to simplify the staff creation process a little bit.  Going through the workshop tutorial takes about 10 to 15min and walks the player through all parts of construction
    • The workshop now is a 'self-contained' tutorial, meaning, resources collected in the workshop area and the staff created is unique to that experience only, and resets every load.  this way new players can go through the workshop to learn, but then continue with their campaign experience as the collect more resources and create new staves.
    • Additional art assets are being integrated.  
    • Bug Fixes
    On The Horizon:
    • Enemy health will be displayed during combat.
    • Spell damage will be displayed during combat.
    • Zombie shoppes where players can buy new parts for their staff as well
    • Ink injection and crystal shaping perks where spells will be modified based on crafting.
    Thanks again for everyone's support, comments and criticism!
  • DantacDantac Posts: 39
    Brain Burst
    Hello, 
    I've not tried the game yet but just from the videos I'd like to offer one feedback: 

    This game, like so many other VR games that have magic, treat magic as if it was a pistol/rifle that fires fireballs or lightning bolts or glowy spheres of stuff. 

    Could you please consider making the magic be ..... magical? Ergo, pointing a staff and a fireball shooting out of it isn't magic..its just a big bullet fired from a weird looking gun. 

    It should be more of the staff being pointed at the target and a fireball forming in the sky above and hurling towards the target... or flames drawing a sigil on the ground then said sigil's flames being 'drained' into the sky as they form the fireball which then hits the target. Stuff like that. 

    The crafting system looks fantastic though :)
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    What's up @dantac , I agree with you! Here's a video showing what each spell does:



    The "gun-type" spells are just one class of spell (bolt spells).  Shields require reaching toward the ground to summon a shield from within the ground, and the burst spells either require reaching into the air or touching the ground to activate.  For example, ball lightning requires reaching into the air to summon a huge ball of lightning which you can swing down on your adversary! Or reaching down to the ground and casting your ice spikes creates a line of spikes protruding from the ground in front of you devastating things in it's way.  



    I've had to find a balance between ease-of-use and magical-ness to keep new players engaged in the game, but hopefully this appeals to some aspect of what you were talking about.  
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    edited August 2017
    MageWorks v0.4.1 now available!



    What's new:
    • The arc and target for location based spells now reflect the color from the type of spell they are casting
    • Destructibles have been added to some environments offering more loot
    • Ink Injection is now available and empowers spells when staffs are injected with different ink types.
    • Empowered spell fx! With ink injection now available, some (and eventually all) spells have some sort of alternate effect when empowered
    • Combat text now appears when fighting enemies including enemy health and spell damage
    • Can only summon one pet of each spell class at a time (but you could have five different pets out at once)
    • 20 different quests to embark on! when the player finishes their tutorial quests, they can activate the chalkboard and receive a quest to complete. that quest entails finding a spellbook. The quest text hints at where that book might be.
    Known Issues:
    • portal spells are currently bugged
    • not all spells can be empowered yet (working on it!)
    • the quest text is a bit cryptic, and will be a little more clear in the next build
    On The Horizon:
    • Zombie Shoppes coming soon! Players will be able to buy different parts for their staves
    • The crystal caves may be going through a re-design to make the environment more gameplay friendly with regards to environment scale (it's a bit big at the moment)
    • Portal spells will create a portal for players to walk into instead of auto-teleporting the player
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    MageWorks v0.7.1 Now Available!



    What's new:
    • Observatory has been updated.  When a player aligns the telescope with a constellation, there is also a piece of the telescope in the observatory that will align with the map on the walls.  This will help players direct the telescope in the right direction.
    • New spellbook designs! The community asked for improved spellbook art and faster spell access.  Now, when spellbooks are opened, players can quickly choose which spell they would like to cast from the icons presented.  Whichever icon is selected will remain active until another is chosen regardless of whether or not the book is open. The whole "flipping through pages" was fun and all, but it just wasn't practical in combat.  
    • New bookmarking system! with the new design of the spellbooks, it was necessary to rebuild the bookmarking system as well.  The new system is easier to use! When a player bookmarks a page by pressing the bookmark button, a ghost book opens up where you can assign the spell to any slot.  This configuration is used in the player's custom spellbook.
    • Some art fx have been added to the vault fight to clearly indicate where a player can stand without being damaged. 


    Known Issues:
    • not all spells can be empowered yet (working on it!)
    • still working on the quest text 


    On The Horizon:
    • bug fixes
    • more crystal types and shapes will be available in a future build
    • more staff shapes to purchase at the zombie shoppes
    • When players purchase a staff design, it will be stored in their collection.

  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member

    MageWorks v0.9.1 now available!


    What's new:
    • Workshop tweaks - MageWorks needed an intro that was good for people new to VR. So, the workshop has become that welcome zone. After players learn to craft a staff, they export a 3d-printable file in the process of progressing to the next training level which is combat training.
    • Fixed a bug that allowed players to teleport during the mining ride
    • Added AI to the mining ride mini-game with a scoreboard at end of ride. Gold collected is increased based on kill count.
    • Fixed a bug where zombies would not attack the fountain at the Graveyard mini-game
    • New spell selection system. Spells can be selected quickly with only one hand.
    • Fixed a bug where player's could not teleport/navigate through boss fight
    • New travel method! when players find a constellation in the observatory, they can use their level warp skill to travel to the destination.

    Known Issues:
    • Attack distance on skeleton warriors is a little too far
    • Aiming on skeletal mages is off a bit, and will be more accurate in the next build
    • Quests are obscure, and will be improved on next build with helpers that direct players in the right direction to find their missing spellbooks.

    On The Horizon:
    • bug fixes
    • more crystal types and shapes will be available in a future build
    • more staff shapes to purchase at the zombie shoppes
    • considering a staff collection area where players can store their designs or purchased shapes
  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    edited September 2018



    It's been awhile since we've last posted an update, so today we're saying hello and that we're still working! The community has provided a lot of great feedback on forums, at festivals, and other events and we're working hard to include this feedback.

    The direction of MageWorks has been sort of split in two throughout development.  Our crafting system perked the interest of the educational community, so we're currently building a stand-alone application with that content.  This means we can focus on creating a clear direction forward with MageWorks and how everything comes together which includes a story driven walk through staff crafting, stone shaping and ink making, and with a clear transition into the MageWorks system of combat and world exploration.

    We've got a great narrative consultant on board as well as additional programming and artist support, and we're looking to release this Summer of 2018 out of Early Access!

    We're incredibly excited to work out various design issues and bug fixes, and can't wait to see how our mage-staff shape recognition system starts influencing spell casting.  

    The new spell casting system with the floating book palette of spells seems to be working out well, and opens up a lot of opportunity for more art.

    Achievements are underway and there will be plenty of them to discover and unlock. 

    Last but not least, sharing custom staff creations is an important part of MageWorks, and we're working on a way to share your designs with friends either through social media, or 3d printable objects.  

    Thanks again for everyone's support throughout this process, and we can't wait to release this summer :) 

    2018/09/24
    [EDIT] So, fall is here, and our update is not.  When we've got a functioning build, we will be writing another entry into this dev blog to chat about development on this project and the various twists and turns it's taken with builds for local education groups, how we've simplified the game (contrary to our original intention), and lessons learned throughout the dev process.  We'll be at OC5 this week as well.  Looking forward to meeting new folks and learning about the latest.
  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,776 Volunteer Moderator
    This looks fun!! Cant wait for the full game.
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  • sporxsporx Posts: 90 Oculus Start Member
    edited November 21
    been two years since i've updated this thread...yikes.
    Now in the process pulling out the tutorial system, cleaning up some crafting bugs, and making the home level more user friendly.  will actually be uploading a new build in the next week with these updates! 

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