Here's a new dev diary where I talk about the new full-body avatar system. There's also a new pest invading the garden and a few new particle effects.
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.
Announcing my next VR game: Gravity Garden.
It's a science fiction themed farming simulation. You're in charge of your own private island, floating through an alien universe full of bizarre plants and quirky critters.
This is an open-world simulation of plants that live and grow according to the conditions in their environment. Plant your garden in any soil - no preset plots or rigid, square fields.
It's a sandbox experience where you are free to do as you please. Work towards a series of increasingly difficult achievements or simply grow a beautiful garden and admire the view - it's up to you.
I'm using Itch.io to offer alpha access and crowd funding rewards for the game. You can get an early peek of the Garden, support my development efforts, and help shape the game with your feedback and suggestions. Built for both Rift+Touch and Vive, with a monitor version planned for later in the development cycle.