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.
I've added a new option for moving around the Chunky Orbits sim. It's very similar to classic first person shooter controls. You can move with the left touchpad or thumbstick, and rotate with the right. Modify your direction by pointing your left hand. Press in on the pad/stick to move faster.
I still like the funky 'accordian' stlye movement from previous versions, but several users have requested something a little more familiar. You can use either method, they are both available at all times.
Other changes include some small adjustments to the main menu and an update to Unity engine v 5.6. See the ChangeLog for the full list.
Thanks to everyeon who's supporting my indie dev efforts by buying my stuff! Please let me know if I broke anything.
A new version of Chunky Orbits is ready for action. Now with 100% more fireball! (^_^)
- Molten Chunk. A destructive projectile with fancy-schmancy particles.
- Asteroid Belt. New option for rebooting your universe that spawns 150 small Absorbers that orbit a center stone.
- The mini solar system Reboot now creates random orbits for the 3 planetoids plus a sparkly comet with eliptical orbit.
- Adjusted the menu positions so they are less likely to intersect your other hand when activating.
- Menus now disappear when you move away from them or spawn a new chunk.
- Fixed a case where chunks would get stranded in space and not included in the gravity calculations.
Just a couple more weeks of working on the sim. If you have a suggestions or feedback now is a good time to send 'em my way.
I've just posted the 3rd beta version of the Chunky Orbits on SteamVR Early Access. This version adds a new, more VR friendly menu system. Just hit the menu button to bring up a list of poke-able icons. Easy peasy.
Early Access is working well for Chunky Orbits. I'm posting regular updates and getting good feedback from players. You can find more info on the Steam Community Hub.
I spent the day in VR getting used to my new Oculus Touch controllers. I threw them into one of my Unity physics toys and just goofed around a bit, trying out some of the functions, reading all of the buttons and sensors.
Freakin amazing to have your hands in VR with you, really makes a big difference in the perceived 'presence' in the virtual space.
I'll have more dev diaries coming soon - and also a big announcement for my next VR project.