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[APK download] Crashland Reborn

sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
Art3mis
edited October 2015 in VR Jam 2015
Hi my name is Llŷr. In this thread I'm going to document the development of my VR gamejam entry.

lnfW8rv.png

ChallengePost : http://vrjam.challengepost.com/submissi ... and-reborn
Download : Crashland Reborn APK

In Crashland Reborn, you will find yourself marooned on a hostile alien planet. Armed with only a smart pistol and motion scanner, your will need to fend off waves of increasingly ferocious aliens and survive until rescue arrives.

While the odds are stacked against you, killing aliens yields credits which can be spent on various power-ups for your gun. These will (probably) come in two forms:

• Firing modes (single shot, three round burst, full auto, rockets).
• Upgrades – stackable stat boosts (damage, reload, accuracy, rate of fire, capacity).

Power-ups will be purchased via a HUD that appears when you tap the Gear VR’s touchpad. The HUD will also display information such as credits and time left.

The power-ups will be delivered in the most metal way imaginable - via mortars launched from orbit! These will land in your general vicinity to encourage movement.

The game’s theme and visuals will be a pastiche of films such as Aliens, Predator, Robocop, Dredd and Starship Troopers. Very blocky, 1980’s design with Paul Verhoeven levels of blood squibs.

xjnmAId.jpg

There are four salient aspects to my entry:

1. The aim is to develop a fast and action packed FPS that adheres to VR best practices. Of paramount importance is how comfortable the game is to control. All rotational movement will come from the player’s own body, balanced around using a swivel chair. There will be no analogue rotation. I will attempt to create an intuitive control scheme that combines head tracking with decoupled aiming.

2. The game will be wholly designed around a short 10-15 minute experience, which I believe is the perfect length for mobile VR.

3. The gameplay is designed to invoke a constant arms race between the player and the attacking aliens. It will be completely up to the player how they upgrade their pistol, yielding many permutations, strategies and meta gameplay for the community to discover.

4. The aliens will hopefully be driven by a procedural animation system. This means that every encounter will be unique and should result in a very visceral minute-to-minute experience.

I'll leave you with a work in progress render of the alien species you will face in Crashland Reborn, 6 legged terrors I'm calling Frog Demons!

Bkt4EWy.png

Note: As mentioned I released a DK1 demo called Crashland in Summer 2013 and I will be reusing the name, premise and some assets from that demo here. However I want to stress that the experience I am developing for this gamejam is completely new and will be designed and coded entirely from scratch for the competition.
Developer of Ocean Rift.
Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
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Comments

  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    That Spidersnake err i mean Frog Demon looks awesome.
  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    Good stuff.
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  • mallmagicianmallmagician Posts: 297 Oculus Start Member
    HomerS66 wrote:
    That Spidersnake err i mean Frog Demon looks awesome.
    Where are up votes when you need them? Here.... this is virtual gold....

    I remember playing crash land with my friend Elie in the dk1 days with my hydras. It was the best thing ever. I'm intrigued if you can manage some new mechanics that are as groundbreaking as those early days rather than being a gaze shooter.

    At the least, I'd love a decoupled aiming mode, as it just seems too easy to look and shoot.

    Best of luck. And thanks for the original.
  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    We're actually working on a new forum that will have "likes" and other modern features. Should be fun.
    AMD Ryzen 7 1800X | MSI X370 Titanium | G.Skill 16GB DDR4 3200 | EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 | Corsair Hydro H110i
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  • JoseJose Posts: 888
    Trinity
    Crashland was one of my favorite games for the DK1. It was hilarious the first time I accidentally timed a grenade so it exploded as the monster stepped over it, sending its corpse flying straight into the air while I emptied the pistol's magazine into it. :o :shock: :lol:

    It seems like your sequel/reboot might be more arcade-y. It might be cool if your game recognized whenever a "strange" kill happened. Maybe a power-up reward can be given whenever a stylish or creative kill happens? Just a random unsolicited idea, feel free to ignore it.

    Thanks for making Crashland for DK1.
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    Thanks for the feedback!
    HomerS66 wrote:
    Spidersnake
    Awesome! You're actually pretty close. I am toying with the idea of giving them serpentine tongues - left a little gap for it as you can see. It would mean an extra draw call for each creature though...The original design also had 8 legs, but I made it six to simplify the ragdoll physics calculations.
    I remember playing crash land with my friend Elie in the dk1 days with my hydras. It was the best thing ever. I'm intrigued if you can manage some new mechanics that are as groundbreaking as those early days rather than being a gaze shooter.
    It's going to be tough without the wow factor and presence given by motion control but I think the fact we have no wires is a huge benefit if you design around it. It's the reason I'm attempting this idea and I'm hopeful I can capture some of the same experience.
    Jose wrote:
    It seems like your sequel/reboot might be more arcade-y. It might be cool if your game recognized whenever a "strange" kill happened. Maybe a power-up reward can be given whenever a stylish or creative kill happens? Just a random unsolicited idea, feel free to ignore it.
    Yes that's exactly what I'm aiming for! I can't be sure until I see if I can run ragdoll physics on the hardware, how the controls feel etc. but one mechanic I want to try is double the credits if you execute an airborne alien.
    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    Here's a video that explains how aiming works at the moment. I'm attempting to combine decoupled light-gun like aiming with head tracking. It's based around either sitting in a swivel chair or standing, so it's difficult to show how accurate it is on a DK2 but I'm pretty happy with how responsive it is.

    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • nilstasticnilstastic Posts: 140
    Art3mis
    Looks awesome! =)

    Question: Are you only testing on the DK2, and if yes - how do you approach the issue of making it work well with the gear vr? I've yet to receive my note/gearvr so I'm kind of worried that keeping a low poly and drawcall count simly wont be enough. =)
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    nilstastic wrote:
    Looks awesome! =)

    Question: Are you only testing on the DK2, and if yes - how do you approach the issue of making it work well with the gear vr? I've yet to receive my note/gearvr so I'm kind of worried that keeping a low poly and drawcall count simly wont be enough. =)
    I find it much easier to develop and record footage on the PC, hence the DK2 95% of the time. I developed Ocean Rift as a launch title for Gear VR so I've got a pretty good idea about the limits of the hardware by now. I still check every now and again that it still runs ok on the Note 4 though! Generally I've found if you keep draw calls < 100 and poly counts around ~100,000 the Note 4 can handle quite a lot, especially if you limit yourself to a single directional light, mobile shaders, baked lighting etc. Follow the Oculus Mobile best practices basically.
    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    edited April 2015
    Working on the power-up system at the moment. Tapping the Gear VR touchpad at any time brings up this shop GUI, which you can use to buy stuff.

    The idea is as you kill aliens and get credits you can spend them on upgrades for your gun. So while at the very start of the game you will have a capgun pistol, by the time rescue arrives you will have a customised multi function, stat boosted best friend.

    pMn7N9P.png

    I'm going to probably make power-ups quite expensive but powerful, so players will have to make difficult decisions about how to upgrade their gun in each run. I'm trying to design it so that there are many permutations - for example you could buy the low- accuracy burst fire mode and then buy several impact damage boosts, giving you a short range shotgun. Or you could create a high accuracy rapid fire gun which aims to slow down /stun lock higher level aliens before they can reach you.

    I'm sure there will be lots of hilarious broken builds too :D
    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • Andreww90Andreww90 Posts: 11
    So nice UI there. Really good work!
    Andrew,
    Gamedesigner.
    Russia.
  • Awesome solid game VR project. Great to see updates there.
    Maxim Miheyenko,
    VR Production.

    House of Languages: viewtopic.php?f=77&t=22268&start=40
    xlarge.png
  • KominAaaKominAaa Posts: 135
    Wow it's already quite polished, I haven't tried Crashland on DK2 so I'm looking forward to this one :)
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  • DimaDima Posts: 95
    Hiro Protagonist
    I loved the original Crashland. It would be interesting to try out the new aiming system—to learn how comfortable and intuitive it is.

    Good luck!
    Dmitry Kurilchenko

    [VR Jam 2015] Wendy
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    Pretty happy with power-up generation now, coded the basic buy->mortar delivery->pickup->gun upgrade process. Will post a video soon. Basically you select the powerup(s) you want to buy, wait a few seconds, there's thunder and lighting then a mortar slams to the Earth nearby and the power-ups pop out one by one.

    Moving over to alien key-frame animation this weekend - here's a clip of an intimidation animation (sorry about the quality).



    I will only have time to create one alien species for the gamejam but I'm hoping to add 3-4 variants with different abilities (cautious, strafing, jumping etc.). This animation will probably be for one of the scarier variants, as it sprints towards you raising it's front legs ready to strike.
    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    Oh, no! I don't want that thing chasing me.
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  • drashdrash Posts: 2,849
    Neo
    Using your procedurally animated spider research for evil, I see! Best of luck on this. :-)
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    Kill it, kill it with fire :D
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    I think they're cute! Their cheeky half smiles give you the impression they are enjoying themselves too ;)

    Here's the powerup system in action:

    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • spinaljackspinaljack Posts: 347 Oculus Start Member
  • SweetJVSweetJV Posts: 11
    NerveGear
    Your aiming mechanics looks tight. Nice job!
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    Thanks for the nice comments! Very happy with progress so far.

    Working on motion scanner at the moment. This device is basically your lifeline as it not only tells you visually and audibly where aliens are approaching, but also helps you locate power-up drops. You have to be vigilant every time you order a power-up drop though as the electrical storm will temporarily disable the scanner!

    G7kH0TY.png

    The main development consideration I've had is where to put the scanner and how the user interacts with it.

    My first idea was to have it be something you hold in your left hand. As you have a gun in your right hand at all times this seemed like the most immersive option. However the problem was that the scanner was constantly on display in the bottom left, which just felt a bit unnatural. I experimented with making it so that the scanner would drop out of view when not in use, but it still felt a bit off to have to glance to the bottom left all the time, especially as this is the same motion you do when turning leftwards. As the body turns, the scanner should turn too and so looking at the scanner would also cause the body to rotate etc. I even experimented with dampening leftwards rotation if you're looking directly at the scanner, but it felt a bit awkward to use.

    The next idea I had was to have it be toggle-able, appearing in the center of view like in the screenshot above. This works pretty well but it's quite a binary thing and obviously a transparent interface that covers such a large area of forward vision isn't exactly great for mobile rendering! There's also the danger that people would play the game with the motion scanner on screen at all times, which would take away from the visuals. I tried making it so that you can either use the motion scanner or use the gun but again I think this will feel a bit awkward.

    The solution I think I've settled on is to have the motion scanner directly in front of you at chest height. The idea is that it's completely faded out of view when you are looking forward but if you look down it fades in. A similar thing happens with the audio - you can hear the beeps at all times but if you look at the scanner it is much more pronounced. I like this approach because you can be completely immersed in the environment but if you want to check the scanner you look down and it's always there as a half-circle. It also introduces the gameplay element of looking down at the scanner, reorientating and looking up at the horizon to check for enemies etc. which feels quite natural.

    There's a lot of tweaking to be done (what angle to fade in, how big the scanner is perceptually etc.) but this is the most elegant solution I've come across so far.

    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • RAMcGregorRAMcGregor Posts: 14
    NerveGear
    You are doing a great job with the updates! Things are coming along very nicely!
  • g4cg4c Posts: 330
    sfaok wrote:
    ...I am toying with the idea of giving them serpentine tongues - left a little gap for it as you can see. It would mean an extra draw call for each creature though....

    Yes drawcall budget is twice as tight in stereo and we should keep them low.

    If you have room on the atlas for the tongue texture (you should have, can smear one dimension if needed). Then you can put a tongue in the main mesh and rig a new bone to control it. Dont put control in the animation track, but rather control the bone directly from script. This will give you a runtime animated tongue without an extra drawcall.

    Nice work and that creature does look super awesome!
    Android VR Developer. https://twitter.com/SiliconDroid
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    The aliens are in!



    Poor things only have walk and strafe behaviours at the moment so it's a bit one sided. I'm thinking the first couple of minutes will just have scrub aliens like this but after a while their big brothers will start turning up...
    g4c wrote:
    If you have room on the atlas for the tongue texture (you should have, can smear one dimension if needed). Then you can put a tongue in the main mesh and rig a new bone to control it. Dont put control in the animation track, but rather control the bone directly from script. This will give you a runtime animated tongue without an extra drawcall.
    That sounds like a really clean solution, cheers. I'll try it out if time permits!
    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    Great video! I really like the detail of it all, blood, gun etc good stuff!
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    I've started sketching out the landscape, which in terms of play area is roughly 1Km square. My ambition is to make you feel you are on the surface of an alien planet from a classic sci-fi novel cover.

    The main colour scheme will probably be teal + orange, like in the first screenshot. However I would also like to have alternative color schemes - perhaps one could slowly fade into the other, or different difficulty modes could have different hues.

    L8d0WiUl.jpg

    yp3qg7rl.jpg
    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    After further experimentation I've decided that the atmosphere will change as the game progresses. Currently starts out blue, fades into green and then red for the last few minutes before rescue. This will compliment the changing alien tactics pretty well I think.

    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
  • DimaDima Posts: 95
    Hiro Protagonist
    sfaok wrote:
    Currently starts out blue, fades into green and then red for the last few minutes before rescue. This will compliment the changing alien tactics pretty well I think.

    Whoa, that is beautiful!
    Dmitry Kurilchenko

    [VR Jam 2015] Wendy
  • sfaoksfaok Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    ^^^ cheers!

    While testing the gameplay mechanics over the weekend I found that while walking speed is comfortable it's not great for covering large distances, especially when you are being harassed by aliens!

    This lead me to experiment with a 'personal teleporter' mechanic that allows you to jump short distances. Basically you hold a button down and wherever you're looking a silhouette appears, and once charged up you can let go of the button and instantly jump to that location. It works similarly to the blink system in Dishonored.

    Within a few rounds of playing with the teleporter I was in love. Here's some gameplay footage of me using the mechanic:

    Developer of Ocean Rift.
    Follow me on Twitter @sfaok
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