Hello Gardeners and best of the New Year to ya. I've just posted Alpha 7 of Gravity Garden. Biggest new addition: a full-body, animated avatar system!
Gravity Garden has never felt quite right since I took the project in its new, VR direction. The prototype for Gravity Garden, called XenoFarm, featured a stylized humanoid avatar and standard 3rd/1st person views. I've missed it ever since I made the switch to VR. The dis-embodied hands were an ok compromise, but i feels good to have the little duder/dudette back in the world. :) The new avatar setup will also allow for some fun customization options for the player.
The animation of the humanoid avatar is generated on-the-fly based on the player's RL head and hand positions. Pretty tricksy - and certainly not something that I could code myself. Thanks to FinalIK plugin for this bit of wizardry. I'm still tinkering with the setup but I'm very happy with the results so far. The realistic motions when you are making small movements within the playspace are very cool. Walking longer distances looks a bit odd but it's kind of cute - and I might there are ways of making that more realistic as well.
There's also a new pest that will invade your garden and gobble up all the nutrients in the soil. They multiply quickly , but they don't like water. A few other tweaks and changes that you can see on the Release Notes page. I'll post another update soon about the next steps for the Garden.