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[APK] TightropeVR

nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
Art3mis
edited May 2015 in VR Jam 2015
Submission Link: http://vrjam.challengepost.com/submissi ... ightropevr
APK Link: https://vrjam-submissions.s3.amazonaws. ... v7-es2.apk



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The Game

Inspired by the amazing televised feats of Nik Wallenda, this controller-free game lets players step out onto the wire at terrifying heights, attempting to ignore an assortment of distractions while maintaining their balance one step at a time until they reach the other side.

Controls

This submission will feature controller-free gameplay. Forward and backward movement are triggered by looking down (forward) and up (backwards). The speeds are scaled depending on the amount of head tilt. Deadzones between the forward and backward boxes allow the player to stop movement while additional deadzones at the high/low points allow the player to look directly up or down while remaining stationary.

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Balance is one of the key aspects of the gameplay and is calculated using the amount of head roll multiplied by the speed of the player's movement. Attempting to race forward to beat the clock will greatly magnify the difficulty of maintaining balance.

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Scoring

Base scoring will be simplified to time and lives remaining. Some levels will also include time bonuses and/or penalties depending on the challenge required. For example, having to cross the wire while balancing an object on your head would result in a loss of points if the object falls but the player still successfully crosses to the goal.

Distractions

Safely and quickly crossing the tightrope is already challenging on it's own but we are throwing in plenty of distractions to help shift the player's attention and balance. Although the final distractions that we intent on including for the challenge are still being planned out, some examples include positional-audio cues, objects thrown at the player, aerial trapeze artists swinging closely by or overhead and blinding spotlights (depending on engine limitations).

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Development Challenges

Engine Limitations: This game is powered by the UE4 engine. Unfortunately, GearVR support is currently minimal at this time. We have been able to work around a lot of these limitations with the latest source builds containing several GearVR workarounds and fixes by Epic's JJ Hoesing. However, many limitations still remain including the lack of mobile HDR and movable lighting. This limitation has forced us to remove one of our favorite distractions, the moving spotlights.

Controls: We could have taken the easy approach and required the use of a gamepad. By doing so, developing the player movement would be a quick implementation allowing us to focus to other aspects of gameplay. However, this not only felt too "safe" from the challenge perspective, it also felt too safe in-game. The feeling of risk and danger seems to elevate when the controls are tethered to your head instead of your thumbs. We still have a lot to figure out with this approach but we're up for the challenge. Our primary focus it to allow a comfortable experience (as I am EXTREMELY sensitive to simulator sickness). We want the only feeling of discomfort to be caused by the nauseating heights, not the character movement.

One of the most challenging issues to overcome with the controller-free movement is the lack of positional tracking on the mobile platform. Ideally, we would have liked to use forward and backward lean for the movement and leave head movement for looking around. We hope that the added "deadzones" for hit detection offer a decent balance between the two.

Hardware Limitations: It goes without saying, designing a great VR experience with the limitations of mobile hardware is no easy task. We've had to make several sacrifices in terms of assets to use but overall, we've been amazed with what the Note 4 can run (after a LOT of trial & error and optimizations).

OS Limitations: We initially hit a major roadblock during the start of our development when all of our builds resulted in just a black screen when launched on the GearVR. This turned out to be an issue with the Android 5.0.1 OTA update that was pushed to my phone a few weeks ago. After identifying the root cause, I went through the process of reflashing with Android 4.4.4 which was immediately followed by the device being stuck in a boot loop. Clearing the cache had no impact and a factory reset was needed to resolve the issue.

tl;dr - Don't upgrade to Lollipop anytime soon. If you already did, backup your device before you downgrade in case you too require a factory reset.

Post-Jam

If we are awarded a prize for this submission (or there's enough interest), we have plans to develop additional levels with their own unique challenges. This includes walking between two skyscrapers in a downtown city environment, crossing a vast arid canyon and for the ultimate thrill-seekers, stepping between two bi-wing planes tethered wingtip to wingtip as they soar over the fields and pass through the clouds.
Meerkat Gaming Dev

Klepto - Burglary Simulator
Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
[APK Download]
Maze Roller
Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]

Comments

  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    Good idea for VR game! Something that brings fear to the player! Good luck with completing it.
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • spinaljackspinaljack Posts: 347 Oculus Start Member
    it's a shame there's no positional tracking on Gear VR
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    spinaljack wrote:
    it's a shame there's no positional tracking on Gear VR

    True but atleast positional tracking on the x axis can be simulated as shown in Protocol Zero.

    Good luck on the project, looks like fun.
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    HomerS66 wrote:
    spinaljack wrote:
    it's a shame there's no positional tracking on Gear VR

    True but atleast positional tracking on the x axis can be simulated as shown in Protocol Zero.

    Good luck on the project, looks like fun.

    I haven't played Protocol Zero yet. I'll have to check that out.

    I'm currently experimenting with faking the positional tracking on the Z axis (That's Y axis for you Unity devs) using the phone's gravity sensor to detect when a player ducks down. If successful, the player will have to physically duck to prevent being knocked off or thrown off balance while also keeping your head a steady as possible. This should greatly increase the challenge of making it across the wire and also boost the immersion as well.
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • nate1380nate1380 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    Our tightrope performer is almost ready, here's a quick pic!
    CDEOiLaW4AEcHYk.png:large
    Art Monkey @ Meerkat Gaming

    2015 VRJam Submission: TightropeVR [APK now available]

    Maze Roller [DK2 DEMO] [GearVR Edition Coming Soon!]
  • nate1380nate1380 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    Here's an early play test of TightropeVR, hope you enjoy!
    Art Monkey @ Meerkat Gaming

    2015 VRJam Submission: TightropeVR [APK now available]

    Maze Roller [DK2 DEMO] [GearVR Edition Coming Soon!]
  • GeraldGerald Posts: 1,068
    Nexus 6
    the idea is glorious! so many wins, can't wait to try the result and maybe see how my nephews will like playing this!
    check out my Mobile VR Jam 2015 title Guns N' Dragons
  • mostromostro Posts: 8
    NerveGear
    Brilliant! I will die to see this in this ambient : http://www.manonwire.com/
    please consider it as a sequel or a bonus level!
    anyway congratulation! I'm following your project with enthusiasm

    Fabio
    http://www.fabiogiampietro.com
  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    That's looks great! I'm sure the feeling will be good from the video, just need the controls to be decent and I'm sure you will have a hit with this!
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • nate1380nate1380 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    mostro wrote:
    Brilliant! I will die to see this in this ambient : http://www.manonwire.com/
    please consider it as a sequel or a bonus level!
    anyway congratulation! I'm following your project with enthusiasm

    Fabio
    http://www.fabiogiampietro.com

    We definitely have plans for a city skyscraper level! Don't think we'll have it in time for the VR Jam but it would be one of the next levels we do if we continue development on the game after the competition. We also would like to do Nik Wallenda's grand canyon tightrope walk.
    Jaycee900 wrote:
    That's looks great! I'm sure the feeling will be good from the video, just need the controls to be decent and I'm sure you will have a hit with this!

    Thanks! I've been really pleased how the controls are working thus far. Looking down at your feet will start you moving forward. If you look down further your speed will increase. Tilting your head slightly left or right will adjust your centering on the wire, subtle movements here will be required. The main thing now is deciding how difficult we want it to be.
    Art Monkey @ Meerkat Gaming

    2015 VRJam Submission: TightropeVR [APK now available]

    Maze Roller [DK2 DEMO] [GearVR Edition Coming Soon!]
  • nate1380nate1380 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    Initial logo design.
    R0wlWYjm.png
    Art Monkey @ Meerkat Gaming

    2015 VRJam Submission: TightropeVR [APK now available]

    Maze Roller [DK2 DEMO] [GearVR Edition Coming Soon!]
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    nate1380 wrote:
    We definitely have plans for a city skyscraper level! Don't think we'll have it in time for the VR Jam but it would be one of the next levels we do if we continue development on the game after the competition. We also would like to do Nik Wallenda's grand canyon tightrope walk.

    Don't forget about the other level planned for the full version :)

    article-0-0D548DF300000578-11_634x399.jpg
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • arnoudharnoudh Posts: 333
    NerveGear
    Don't forget to add the virtual sweat, Thailand is HOT this time of year :D
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    arnoudh wrote:
    Don't forget to add the virtual sweat, Thailand is HOT this time of year :D

    I think the fogging of the GearVR eliminates the need to virtualize that :)
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • arnoudharnoudh Posts: 333
    NerveGear
    nobylspoon wrote:
    arnoudh wrote:
    Don't forget to add the virtual sweat, Thailand is HOT this time of year :D

    I think the fogging of the GearVR eliminates the need to virtualize that :)

    IF GearVR=S6_Editon THEN GOSUB SweatMode :geek:

    The fan in the new model might want you to rethink that statement, you are not getting off that easy :lol:
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    arnoudh wrote:
    nobylspoon wrote:
    arnoudh wrote:
    Don't forget to add the virtual sweat, Thailand is HOT this time of year :D

    I think the fogging of the GearVR eliminates the need to virtualize that :)

    IF GearVR=S6_Editon THEN GOSUB SweatMode :geek:

    The fan in the new model might want you to rethink that statement, you are not getting off that easy :lol:

    LOL, damn hardware improvements causing more development work for us! I'll start working on the code. Is it too late to also submit in the Experience track? I think Virtual Sweat Simulator 2015 could be a real winner :lol:

    On a more serious note, here's a quick update on the controller-free gameplay:
    • Added in gesture based interaction (head nodding / shaking) to interact with the circus announcer (interactive start menu).
    • Tweaked the forward movement and balance sensitivities.
    • Added body rotation control. Deadzones allow free camera rotation until head is rotated into a specific area where body rotation is triggered. This should allow for fun mechanics like turning towards an intercepting wire.
    We had some co-workers demo the current state of the game and the feedback was quite positive. I think it was a lot more difficult than they expected. It was entertaining watching people who've never experienced VR try this out and naturally hold there hands up to match their avatar's grip on the balance bar.

    TNVx6Kal.png
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    More screenshots:

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    You had ONE JOB, clowns...
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    Submission has been updated with the APK. Does this mean I can sleep now?

    I hope you all enjoy it!
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • HomerS66HomerS66 Posts: 1,365
    Brain Burst
    Submission link, APK link?

    I know i'm lazy, oh well ;)
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    HomerS66 wrote:
    Submission link, APK link?

    I know i'm lazy, oh well ;)

    Sorry about that. In my sleep deprivation over the past 3 weeks, I appear to have neglected to ever post the submission link on here. I updated the first post with the links below.

    Submission: http://vrjam.challengepost.com/submissi ... ightropevr
    APK: https://vrjam-submissions.s3.amazonaws. ... v7-es2.apk
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • spinaljackspinaljack Posts: 347 Oculus Start Member
    Had a go of this, the models and voice over and audio design are top notch and the sense of unbalance is nice and suitable for tightrope walking. Tutorial was nice and easy to understand. Didn't manage to get across the rope proper though lol.

    Good job.
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    spinaljack wrote:
    Had a go of this, the models and voice over and audio design are top notch and the sense of unbalance is nice and suitable for tightrope walking. Tutorial was nice and easy to understand. Didn't manage to get across the rope proper though lol.

    Good job.

    Thanks, spinaljack. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. My throat was sore all day after recording the tutorial audio, lol.
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • Jaycee900Jaycee900 Posts: 223
    nobylspoon wrote:
    spinaljack wrote:
    Had a go of this, the models and voice over and audio design are top notch and the sense of unbalance is nice and suitable for tightrope walking. Tutorial was nice and easy to understand. Didn't manage to get across the rope proper though lol.

    Good job.

    Thanks, spinaljack. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. My throat was sore all day after recording the tutorial audio, lol.
    Lol it did make me laugh! You accent changed a couple of times during trying to maintain it :lol:
    Mini Gear VR Reviews Blog --> http://gearvrreviews.blogspot.co.uk
  • nate1380nate1380 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    Jaycee900 wrote:
    nobylspoon wrote:
    spinaljack wrote:
    Had a go of this, the models and voice over and audio design are top notch and the sense of unbalance is nice and suitable for tightrope walking. Tutorial was nice and easy to understand. Didn't manage to get across the rope proper though lol.

    Good job.

    Thanks, spinaljack. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. My throat was sore all day after recording the tutorial audio, lol.
    Lol it did make me laugh! You accent changed a couple of times during trying to maintain it :lol:

    I about fell out of my chair when I first heard it. :D
    Art Monkey @ Meerkat Gaming

    2015 VRJam Submission: TightropeVR [APK now available]

    Maze Roller [DK2 DEMO] [GearVR Edition Coming Soon!]
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    Jaycee900 wrote:
    nobylspoon wrote:
    spinaljack wrote:
    Had a go of this, the models and voice over and audio design are top notch and the sense of unbalance is nice and suitable for tightrope walking. Tutorial was nice and easy to understand. Didn't manage to get across the rope proper though lol.

    Good job.

    Thanks, spinaljack. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. My throat was sore all day after recording the tutorial audio, lol.
    Lol it did make me laugh! You accent changed a couple of times during trying to maintain it :lol:

    lol, I actually had to rerecord the first half of it because the accent had changed so much by the time I got to the end. :lol:
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • nate1380nate1380 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    While we all wait patiently for updates I figure I'd post a full version update for TightropeVR.

    Coming soon to the full version....a sneak peak of the mock up of our Grand Canyon level!
    C6Rt7eW.png
    Art Monkey @ Meerkat Gaming

    2015 VRJam Submission: TightropeVR [APK now available]

    Maze Roller [DK2 DEMO] [GearVR Edition Coming Soon!]
  • nobylspoonnobylspoon Posts: 198
    Art3mis
    I just want to point out that Nate is quite the hypocrite. He specifically told me after the Milestone 4 submission that I was supposed to take a break because we needed to recuperate. Not even 15min later, I caught him working on the Grand Canyon level :roll:

    I will be working on the DK2 port today. To expedite the process, there won't be a lot of changes for this first DK2 build (besides improved textures and lighting) and control changes for turning and ducking. For the time being, the back button and touchpad will just be swapped out for a key press or mouse click.

    I would like to eventually modify the controls to take advantage of the positional tracking of the DK2. Instead of the downward look for forward movement, a forward lean to free up HMD orientation for free look. I'd also like to factor in the left/right leaning in addition to (or a substitution for) balance. Additionally, utilize the positional tracking on the Z axis (UE4 Z, not Unity Z) to more accurately handle ducking. These changes will likely be in before we submit the DK2 version to Oculus Share (TBD).
    Meerkat Gaming Dev

    Klepto - Burglary Simulator
    Oculus WIP Thread || Steam Greenlight Page
    TightropeVR - 2015 VRJam Finalist
    [APK Download]
    Maze Roller
    Steam Greenlight || [DK2 DEMO] || [GearVR pending UE4 update]
  • nilstasticnilstastic Posts: 140
    Art3mis
    Hi, just wanted to say that this was a lot of fun and the feeling of falling and screaming will not leave me anytime soon. The biggest issue i had with it was to look down to move forward, which goes against all common sense when trying to keep you balance. Looking forward to a dk2 version, leaning forward sounds better (or perhaps using the accelerometer and use up and down movement?) =)

    Good job!
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