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Late For Work - Early Access - Dev here!

retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
Hello! We just released our game Late For Work on Early Access. It's a VR Local Multiplayer game where you play as a giant gorilla and take on up to four human friends. Late For Work is very much in active development and we have lofty goals for it.

Before I go any further, here's a (3rd party) video review which I think fairly represents the game in its current state, both the positives and what we can (and will) improve:


Here is our public roadmap: http://roadmap.lateforworkgame.com/

Right now Late For Work is best experienced with friends (or with your kids if you are a parent). It's up to 5 players on one PC (4 splitscreen using keyboard/gamepads and one headset). There's a basic single player experience, currently with 9 missions. There are AI bots but also a lot of room to improve (we will).

More about Early Access (as of August 17th 2017):
- Aiming for 8-11 more months of development
- Online support is important to us, but will happen a bit later
- Price: It's $10 right now. The game will not go on sale before we launch but the price will progressively increase as we add more content. So the earlier you support us, the better a deal you get.
- Our public roadmap is here and we continuously re-prioritize based on player's feedback.

This is long enough already but happy to answer any questions you may have.


Comments

  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Hello hello!



    We just dropped a new update and this one is all about improving how you control the cars, tanks and planes. We had to give those puny humans a chance to take down that giant ape. The game should feel a lot more balance now.

    What else did we do? Well, there's better VR control options, more variety, the tutorial has been polished, the first bits of the translation system are in and tons of bug fixes.

    Changelog - Build 315

    Improvements
    - Camera no longer goes through floor when you look up with tank.
    - Tanks gets less stuck going over objects
    - Plane movement vertically and horizontally is consistent now. Camera always pans to better show where you're going and what you're aiming at.
    - Clicking in right joystick shows rearview
    - Aim indicator turns red when aiming at gorilla
    - Car keyboard controls are much more responsive now. Accelerate, turn and brake are all better.
    - Car boost is more controllable now can turn better.
    - Hide billboards, bridges, basically every thing when doing the countdown for hide and seek and last man standing
    - Countdown timer is now always visible.
    - Head height toggle for standing/seated/kids mode.
    - Initial translation system, with four languages partially supported (Polish German, French along with English).

    Fixes
    - NPC cars are moving around the cities better, including in seaport and valley map
    - Fixed plane missile damage to gorilla to be consistent from shot to shot (5% each time).
    - Plane missiles don't go through billboard anymore
    - Lots of fixes to the UI and test for the Hide n Seek game mode result screens.
  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,399 Poster of the Week
    Looks like a really fun party game!  I might have to give this one a go the next time I've got friends or family coming over. :+1:

    Question:  Is the movement based on swinging your arms like you're jogging, or of putting (virtual) knuckles to the ground, gorilla style?
    The next nerd to cry about "the resolution" of top-of-the-line VR devices will be permanently banned from using ALL standard-definition media.  And yes, that includes all pre-Switch Nintendo games. Especially Melee.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Hey! You move by dragging yourself around (or more precisely, by grabbing the world and pulling it towards you). It approximates "gorilla-like" movement (knuckles on the ground) but we don't force the player to reach down to the ground to be able to move. I feel/hope it's a good mix of being active without being strenuous.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Hello again,

    We released another big update to Late For Work. This one is heavily focused on improving issues that have been raised by the community.



    Thank you for all your support and feedback so far. It's been incredible to read your reviews and hear your feedback and better understand how you play the game and want to play it.

    Your feedback is invaluable to helping us improve the game.

    We've been working on various new features to improve the balance of the game (powerups!), improve the controls (better tank and plane controls, more instructions), fixing a lot of bugs related to the different game modes. Stability is much improved (but there's still more to do).

    Turning Off The AI
    One of the biggest requests on the forums is the ability to turn off the AI => that's now in too! We added AI Bots and the new Powerups as Multiplayer options you can toggle off/on. This is an example of something that is relatively easy to implement (well...it revealed some other issues we then had to fix, but for the better) but was nowhere on our radar as a task, simply because we didn't think of it.

    And of course, we continuously work on improving AI behavior. We know we've still got a long way to go, but to be completely honest, our focus has been first and foremost on the gameplay and controls for a fun local multiplayer experience. The single player experience is also important to us, but as a more secondary priority. We'll get there for both experiences.

    A New Look
    Finally, we also did our first tests towards dramatically improving the look of the game. For us, this is again something really important we want to work on, but has had to take a back seat to improving the core game experience. It doesn't mean we are not thinking about the look, and planning for it. We are laying the ground work for future changes which we think are going to be quite awesome both visually and content wise. We can't wait to share these with you.

    In the meantime you can try out our new shader stack with a toggle in the Settings screen.



    Changelog - Build 323

    Improvements
    - AI planes are better at avoiding objects, do escape maneuvers, fly into inanimate object less often.
    - Better dead zone for gamepad controls
    - Toggle to disable AI in multiplayer
    - Powerup system for vehicles, including speed boost, firing rate boost, restore health, homing missile, disguise.
    - New shader stack (post-processing effects): Fog, bloom, ambient occlusion
    - Improved French translations
    - Better car AI. A lot more to come on this front.
    - Simple Tank Controls - you can now toggle between advanced (two stick) and simple (one stick) tank controls.
    - Better vehicle instructions - we surface the control instructions a bit more often, fixed a lot of inconsistencies and show clear instructions for both keyboard and gamepad control.

    Fixes
    - Lots of fixes to the single player, multiplayer, scoreboards logics.
    - Much better management of humand and AI players.
    - Steam Controller support
    - Missiles don't hit invisible walls



  • TadinTadin Posts: 274
    Nexus 6
    My son played this with some friends over the weekend and they had great fun.

    I played with a controller and that part worked well, i couldnt get on to the VR as all his friends were clammering to have a go though :smiley:

  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    That's awesome, great to hear your son and his friends enjoyed the game. If you have any feedback, suggestions  or requests, don't hesitate! 
  • TadinTadin Posts: 274
    Nexus 6
    Well, after the recent Kong film, helicopters with a reasonably short range weapon might work quite well as one of the vehicle choices.

    I'll chat to my son to see if he has any other ideas.

    My only minor issue was that some of the hills weren't solid, which could be confusing, but apart from that i didnt really see any issues.

    Fun game all in all :smile:

  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Cool suggestion, I just added attack helicopters to our backlog (which you can see here: roadmap.lateforworkgame.com).

    Some of the hills aren't solid, you mean the gorilla can go through them or the other players? We added some logic so that the gorilla can't "grab the world" inside of the hills, but yeah, currently you can still peak through.
  • TadinTadin Posts: 274
    Nexus 6
    I dont think the Gorilla can go through them, but some of the hills you can drive through with the vehicles.

    I think one of the maps, you actually had to drive through a hill to get to the Town where the Gorilla started.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Ah this might maybe be when the VR player is doing the tutorial. We don't really have a tutorial for the non-VR players (yet!) so we plop them on the other side of the mountain (so they don't interfere with the VR player) and let them play around. We have something better planned for the future, but right now it's a bit wonky since we never designed the other side of the map as a 'playable area'.
  • TadinTadin Posts: 274
    Nexus 6
    Ahh yes that makes sense !
  • cero490cero490 Posts: 204
    Nexus 6
    I agree with @CrashFu, this could be a rather cool party game. Look forward to seeing future updates to your game, looks promising.
  • salmigamessalmigames Posts: 1
    NerveGear
    We're back with another major update. We're calling this one Future Foundations because, well, not only is it chockfull of good stuff, we've also laid a lot of ground work for future updates. It's going to be a lot easier for us to add new content (new maps and new game modes) in upcoming updates. We can't wait to share what we have in store the next few months.


    Tank Controls Completely Reworked

    Probably the biggest source of recent complaint was our tank controls. We heard you loud and clear and really focused on improving them (check out our dev diary and our Beta update for more details).



    All vehicle controls have been adjusted significantly, primarily the tanks and cars now move fully with the left stick instead of the triggers (well cars can still make use of triggers too, for the tanks, they shoot). This has had a cascading effect on controls. The planes have also been slightly adjusted. And everything is smoother and more precise. We really hope you enjoy it.

    NEW MAP - Snow Mountains

    Our first real bit of new content. We've spent a lot of time setting up a new map. It's still not fully finished, but it's playable and gives you a taste of what is to come. We're still working without an artist at the moment so we are limited in what we can produce, but we invested in improving our content creation processes to understand the impact on the rest of the game. What we've learned (and the bugs we've shaken out while creating the map) will make it much easier for us to add more new content.

    Check it out and please let us know what you think.

    Game Mode Experiments - Disguise Power-ups

    We experimented with a new game mode called Disguise Masters. This built on the Disguise power-up we quietly slipped into the last release. After extensive playtesting, we realized it's still too similar with the Last Man Standing mode. So instead we've reworked the Last Man Standing to have a lot more disguises. (You can still find the new Disguise game mode in the Experiments tab, we're just not ready to promote to a full-fledged game mode)



    Like the new map, this is our first new game mode since launch and it's given us an opportunity to clean up a lot of the game mode systems and lay the foundation for future ideas. We're really looking forward to crafting more interesting and varied game modes with layered goals for both VR and non-VR players. We have a lot of ideas for tasks we can introduce instead of just "hide from the gorilla" or "kill the gorilla".



    Visual Awesomeness

    In our last update, we introduced the "Advanced Shaders" toggle for our new shader stack. We've done a lot of behind the scene work to tie various effects to the time of day behavior. Now we have really cool looking scenes at different times of day. We're limited in what we can accomplish visually until we have a proper 3D artist on board but playing with shaders is something we enjoy. We hope you like the new and improved look. No screenshots for now, just go enjoy it in-game

    How to give us feedback?

    We love to hear from you, just use your favorite medium:

    Changelog - Build 336
    Improvements
    • New map: Snow Mountain
    • Visuals: much better visual effects during time of day transitions
    • Disguise powerup behavior much improved (icon, feedback, countdown)
    • New experimental game mode Disguise Master (in Experiments tab)
    • Last Man Standing: added lots of Disguise Powerups
    • Powerup icons less shiny, fit art style better
    • Tank controls reworked completely (not just the button mappings but also the aiming behavior)
    • Car controls reworked, can now move forward/back with left stick as well as triggers
    • Plane controls tweaked: accel/break on should buttons, triggers fire, aiming controls are much more precise.
    • Can now reset tank view with L1 button
    • Improved scene transitions (nicer fades in and out)
    • Various audio improvements: sound effects, background tracks, just a lot of improvements and fixes
    • Translation improvements: more menu options, dropdowns, tutorial texts and helpers
    • Improved plane visuals: small flames out of exhaust, bigger flames when accelerating, 
    • Plane trails (which also disappear when they die)
    • Seaport: background ships blend into scenery less
    • LMS and Hide and Seek AI: better hiding spots in all maps
    • Storing settings: AI Bots, Advanced Shaders, Powerups, Controller settings
    • Various powerup improvements
    • Game is now playable without a VR headset plugged in. You can in theory have tank and planes deathmatches. This is still WIP and used internally to make it easier for us to test, but could also grow into a full-fledged non-VR version of the game.
    • More hints to new players on how to open the Menu
    • Helpful visual blinking lights for the VR tutorials (Oculus and Vive support)
    • Can now disable Tanks and/or Planes for deathmatch multiplayer
    • New About tab

    Fixes
    • Fixed Seaport map collision issues
    • AI in Last Man Standing hides properly
    • Generally AI is much more stable and improved
    • Aiming reticule jitters eliminated
    • AI Bot toggle works properly now
    • Tank AI navigation in Seaport fixed
    • AI cars tumble through the air more realistically (less air maneuvers)
    • Bridge from Valley map no longer appears in result screen
    • UI: In LMS, when you're a car, missile indicator no longer appears
    • AI: tanks no longer get stuck in Town map
    • Boost is no longer overpowered
    • Tank turret movement is no longer framerate dependent
    • Valley map: can no longer get vehicles stuck high on the mountain ledges when thrown by the gorilla. They just explode instead.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member


    Hello, hello!

    Welcome to another massive update to our humble VR party rumble. These past few weeks we've focused on implementing new multiplayer game modes.


    Game Mode - Bull Run

    In our new game mode Bull Run, we stripped down 

    In Bull Run, the non-VR players take controls of a bull milling up about in a grass enclosure full of other bulls. The player-controlled bulls have to make their way back to the barn without getting discovered by the Gorilla. The Gorilla has to identify (and eat) the rebel bulls before they make it home. Hide in the crowd, cause a little chaos and then bull rush your way to the exit before you get eaten!

    We designed a new map (The Forest) just for this game mode, with a simple clear design. Bull Run really strips the game down to its core elements. It's just cows, a gorilla and a lot of trees for cover. Cows can charge to clear obstacles (trees, fences, other cows) out of their way. You can also use the "motivate" action to drive a portion of the herd forward in your direction. This can be an effective way to create a bit of chaos, but also draws attention to you.

    This game mode (like the rest of the game) is still in development and we would love your feedback. We think this game mode really works well in 1v1 situations and we're working hard to improve balancing when more player-controlled cows are present.


    Mooooooooooo

    Game Mode - Cross the City

    Cross the City is our second new game mode in this update, where the non-VR players have to cross the city (from bridge to tunnel) while the Gorilla tries to prevent them. It's not as "finished" as the Bull Run, but it's allowed us to take steps forward in building more complex, mission-driven game modes. You can find this new game mode in the Experiments tab. We want to expand this game mode to include more complex tasks and find a better way of balancing it. 

    Balancing our game is a constant challenge. Something that works 1v1 won't necessarily be balanced 4v1. If we force all paths to cross then the gorilla can just stand in one spot and wait for the cars to come to them. If we have too many possible paths then the gorilla has no chance to stop the flow of cars. But we're working on it, and as always, listening to your feedback.

    This is just a small taste of the changes and improvements that have gone into this update. Just implementing Bull Run required numerous changes (new map, new controls, new game mode, animations, better AI) that touch almost every part of the game. But each update makes our core better and lets us add new features faster. A full list of changes follows below.

    Thanks for playing!

    Changelog - Build 369

    Improvements
    • New Game Mode: Bull Run (see above for details).
    • New map - Forest - currently used just for Bull Run. Will be explored further.
    • New Experimental Game Mode: Cross the City (still a work in progress).
    • Improved the atmospheric effects for the morning/dawn period.
    • Fog density is now dynamic based on time of day.
    • More "obstructions" are hidden when game is paused and menu is shown (still not all are hidden, but we'll get there).
    • You can now properly cancel starting a new game mode (this previously broke a loooot of things, like despawning AI units). Is this a new feature or a bug fix....?
    • AI: planes now pickup ammunition when needed.
    • AI: units generally pick up power ups.
    • Do not "join" the keyboard player if the F1-F12 keys are pressed. Or if the Alt key is pressed.
    • Boosting is now framerate independent (you could boost much further if the framerate was low). In general worked to improve our vehicle controls so that they are framerate independent.
    • UI: help info is much more prominent, bigger.
    • UI; improved About page, provide better way for players to reach us to give us feedback.
    • UI: added a better boost icon, which fills up over time to better indicate when it's available.
    • UI: highlight new features, maps and gamemodes in updates.
    • Automatically reconnect a controller to the same player if it disconnects and reconnects. We noticed the problem that if your controller got disconnected (like when the battery dies) and you reconnect, it would join a new player.
    • Controls: improved turning behavior of cars, should feel much better. Vehicles still move forward even for low values of acceleration. They would sometimes awkwardly not move forward anymore if you tried to turn hard.
    • Controls: right-click has been re-purposed for power-up activation. Q switches units. E toggles the headlights.
    • Internal: upgraded to Unity 2017.1 - this really has no visible impact but it was a pain in the ass. We first upgraded to 2017.2, which broke everything (why do we never learn the lesson to NOT upgrade before a couple patches have been released for new unity versions....) and then back down to 2017.1, which broke a few things but also improved other things.
    • Internal: added the ability to quickly change the rate of time change to make it easier to capture cool time-lapse videos.
    • Internal: drastically improved our build process. so much easier to build and deploy a new build.
    • Internal: make sure the local changes in our test machine don't make it into release builds.
    • Internal: full restructured our GameMode setup to make it easier to isolate behavior, objects and features to specific game modes and to improve our development process for new game modes. This had quite a few unintended side-effects that had to be fixed up.
    • Tested support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets...hand tracking is inaccurate enough to not be super fun.
    • Randomly shrunk the game by 10 MB!

    Fixes
    • Red "selection" dot now stays red in all cases (including when fog is overlaid at start of game modes.
    • Fixed: selection sound sometimes stopped working.
    • Random human in tutorial and credits scenes removed.
    • Timer didn't expire in Last Man Standing. Now shows "Expired".
    • Drop down menus now close properly when clicking outside or clicking another drop down menu.
    • Fixed: when retrying mission 6, the kill goal got reset to 20 (from 10).
    • Fixed: if you grabbed an object with one hand, then grabbed with the other (without releasing with the first one), you were then in a "moving" state.
    • Fixed: you could punch things during the starting countdown in "Hide and Seek" and "Last Man Standing".
    • Fixed some menu font issues due to the 2017.1 unity upgrade.
    • When you join a running game using a gamepad, you no longer boost on start.
    • Fixed: first time you played Last Man Standing in the Valley, the AI wouldn't spawn. This was a tricky issue that only happened in compiled builds. Fun to track down!
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member

    Update 7 - A Very Merry Christmas


    Hello friends!

    Another update, just in time for the holidays. We hope you really enjoy this one with your friends and family.

    Winter Theme
    Tis the season, right? We implemented a special Christmas theme, a winter theme really with a few Christmasey bits. It was a fun experiment for us internally, while we reworked our whole art system to prepare for future updates.

    As you may or may not have noticed, our in-game art is still quite rudimentary. While it fits our target vision (low-poly, playful), it's still essentially prototype art cobbled together (some art we commissioned for our original Q1 2017 demo and various Unity asset store packs that we threw in whenever we needed something urgently). The end result is that our art repository was a complete mess.

    We have recently started working with an art director to set the full vision of the game. But before we can commision new art, we needed to clean up what we have in place. Simply identifying which art assets we are using has been a massive challenge! We knew this release would involve a lot of internal work without much visibility, so our holiday theme was our main outlet for our creative itch in this update.

    But what else?

    OK, we didn't just do the Christmas theme. We also made a bunch of gameplay improvements that we hope you will appreciate:
    • The newly added Bull Run has gone through a polish and balance iteration. It's our most popular game mode in-house and we hope you find the improvements to be fun and provide a better balanced result.
    • We've addressed one big pain point with the vehicle controls: that objects block your viewquite often. This should be much improved. We still have other areas to tackle (tank controls and aiming in general) but you'll like this latest change.
    • Improved UI and feedback, especially on camera controls.

    Please check out the full list of improvements and fixes below!

    Changelog - Build 385

    Improvements
    • Gameplay: Lots of improvements to the Bull Run mode added in the last update, including reducing cow max speed (could never be caught), fixing camera reset, fixing lookback behavior (right-stick click-in), removing unnaturally placed extra fences , lowered time limit to 2 minutes (controversial), improved AI reactions (they were just hanging around not making a bolt for the door)
    • Gameplay: Added several smaller hills and rock formations for bulls to hide behind and encourage use of the two side passages.
    • Power-ups: Disguise power-up now shows a preview of which disguise you will activate, so that you can blend in better. Also shows a countdown timer so you know when it will expire.
    • Power-ups: No longer show the vehicle power-ups in the VR view (was confusing to the VR player)
    • Power-ups: Removed disguise power-ups in deathmatch mode.
    • Controls: Camera automatically "pushes in" if there is a large object between the player and your vehicle.
    • Controls: Hide large objects that may obstruct your view of vehicle. We wanted to implement an awesome transparency that auto fades in and out as objects slide into view, but in spite of repeated efforts, this is not a trivial task and will require a big rework of our rendering system. Something for the future.
    • Controls: Improved plane controls with keyboard/mouse (in particular, camera should behave better when pitching up and down)
    • Controls: Improved camera reset behavior, including informing players how to trigger it. Better reset angle.
    • Special: Xmas mode and an date-based event system: snow particles, snow textures, some new audio, some UI tweaks and a few easter eggs. Enjoy!
    • UI: Better start info for the PC players in Bull Run
    • UI: Help Info no longer hides player UI
    • UI: Generally improved the presentation of the Start Info for the PC players (including nice concept art from our Art Director)
    • UI: When pause menu is shown, we do a better job of hiding objects that might obstruct your view (including explosions and smoke particles, player indicators, mountains, billboards, tutorial 3D text and tutorial helper controllers).
    • UI: Added localization support for almost all UI strings.
    • Internal: We restructured our entire assets folder. This has zero impact on you, but was a massive undertaking for us, which paves the way for new art to be easily integrated.
    • Internal: added a debug language for testing our localization system
    • Internal: if steam upload fails without correctly submitting exe, fail the whole build process (so we can avoid the Update 6 fiasco)
    • Internal: improved how our various scripts start up so it's always in a deterministic order (this was the cause of a lot of bugs and should really improve our stability in the future).
    • Internal: reduced build by 16 MB (this time for real, no missing exe).

    Fixes
    • Single player mission 1 was completely broken. The two different horde modes were somehow switched around and this caused all sorts of problems. Now fixed.
    • In deathmatch, PC UI always showed '20 / 20' instead of the number of lives left. 
    • Fixed free-floating camera controls.
    • Little NPC cars now bounce realistically when you throw them (instead of just sticking to the ground)
    • OpenVR no longer always shows "Game Paused" (gawd that was annoying)
    • Score and Gorilla health was overlappig with plane and tank axis toggle text. Fixed.
    • Plane had weird control lock issue when you flew straight up.
    • Keyboard tank axis toggle wasn't working anymore. Or never worked? We're not sure, but it's fixed now.
    • Fixed eating so that it works even if one of your controllers is inactive.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    We just posted Update 9 with a brand new game mode and a ton more. All details are in this thread!

    Also the details of our previous update #8 also got its own thread.

    We'd love to hear your feedback!
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Update 10 is live! Check out all the details in this thread.

    As always, please let us know what you think. Your feedback helps us improve the game.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Hello again everyone, our biggest update yet is now live, just in time for Halloween! Check out all the details in this thread.

    We're always looking for feedback, please help us improve the game.
  • retromarioretromario Posts: 18 Oculus Start Member
    Hello once more, here's update 12, where focused on fixing bugs and polishing the game thanks to your feedback. Please check it out:
    https://forums.oculusvr.com/community/discussion/71662/gorilla-vr-party-game-update-12-community-feedback-edition-2-0/
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