Since moving to Austin, the available technology at hand consisted on just my laptop and Xbox controller. It was unfeasible for me to bring much more (thanks stingy baggage allowances on airplanes) and also has the added risk of damage to equipment in transit. Case in point, last year when returning from Austin to Sydney, my Oculus DK2 stopped working. I had been wanting to do some more VR stuff and through some networking (Thanks Finn Stabar), I was put in contact with Michael Dodd at Game Plan Entertainment – a venue that has a huge selection of arcade games, consoles set up and VR setups that you can rent for corporate parties and events.
Since most of these are weekends and after hours, during the week the place remains pretty vacant. So after a meeting, Michael was happy for me to come and start working from the location with full access to all the equipment there! Of course, the main thing I was wanting to do (asides from taking breaks to play Shinobi arcade machine) was to play with the HTC Vive. I was immediately impressed with how easy it was to set up and configure to work. Of course the first thing I did was put Roto Color Runners into it and I can say that it definitely made for a way more immersive experience. However to do it right would require a lot of rewriting the core of the game and for not a huge need at the moment. So I thought what could turn out to be a fun exercise in learning the Vive would be to port an earlier mobile game I made into it and rejuvenate some interest in that game…
Ready, Aim, Splat! VR
Ready, Aim Splat! Was a game I developed for mobile in 2014. You can read more about it here, though the general gist is that it was meant as a parody of sorts of all the cliché’s and memes of the last few years rolled into a simple mobile game. I kept it a secret until it was on the app store and with no marketing or exposure beforehand, it quickly disappeared into the black hole of mobile games. Needless to say, it’s gameplay I felt would work well in a VR environment so decided to port it and have it ready to submit to PAX and a few other festivals.
It only took 3 days and at least one of those was wasted on ‘technical’ issues but it made the transition well into the VR world. Looking at expanding the original game, I intend next to add multiplayer mode where those not in the VR setup can control the zombies from another screen to add some asymmetrical multiplayer fun. We’ll see how it plays out. I hope to have a version out for download by the time I leave Austin in August (as I’ll no longer have access to the Vive for development). So I will spend a day per week now working on Ready, Aim, Splat!
This week saw submissions for the PAX Australia indie game showcase come to an end. Because of the time differences, it was 9am on a Wednesday morning here. PAX Australia last year was where Roto Color Runners debuted and I want to make a good impression with the progression of the game at this years festival. PAX also runs an indie showcase competition that highlights creative and original games. I thought to give myself double the chance of being selected by entering 2 games. It was an intense week full of late nights but made enough progress to be satisfied with the state the games were in on submission. Ready, Aim, Splat! Really only needs the GUI to be tidied up and would then be ready for release. Roto Color Runners now has it’s create a track mode implemented and is coming along at a good pace.
In other festival news, Roto Color Runners was selected to be part of the Tokyo Game Show Indie Showcase! This is very exciting news as it gives me a chance to not only reach another demographic with the game but should lead to some dialogue with some Japanese musicians who will hopefully provide a track for the game. Now, I just need to brush up on my Japanese. 誰が助ける？
Finally, I’ll be heading to the Casual Connect conference next week in San Francisco to show Roto Color Runners at the Indie Showcase there. I’m hoping to have a beta build ready for that which in turn will mean that it will be available for all shortly after to download and try. Make sure to follow on facebook and twitter to keep up with the latest from the conference floor.
New Band Alert!
Finally, it’s time to reveal the next artist from Austin to be part of Roto Color Runners. I give you A/b (pronounced A to B, and formerly Chipper Jones). If you have not seen them live, go make the effort. The 2 piece put out some high energy stuff and the amount of layers in their music helps get you lost in the soundscape they produce. The track we have is ‘Tropics’ from the COSM album .
Thats all for now, until next time!