Tag Archives: Cardboard

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Well, it’s Spring, so I suppose I should clean out my backlog of things that I should have posted since my birthday. Here’s a quick preview of the stuff I’ll be writing about soon. I’m not going to bother with pictures in this post, since it’s just a preview.

Cartoon Network Game Jam

First of all, the week after my birthday I participated in the Cartoon Network Game Jam in Portland. This kind of derailed my blogging, since I wanted to post about it but wasn’t sure if I could legally. Since Cartoon Network posted about it here: JAMMIN’ WITH OK, K.O.!, I suppose it’s OK for me to post about it now. In fact, the finalists are going to be announced this Sunday (5/1) and the winner will be announced next week.

Game Releases

I did post about my game releases, briefly. I’ll post more about some of the implementation and update details. I suppose it’s mainly for my records, but it may be interesting to somebody else as well.

I made a decision to release the games with the basic gameplay remade in VR, and as close to the functionality of the arcade games as I could get. So, basically they have all of the features, save high scores locally, are fully functional, and will always be free.

I’ll be doing some small updates to all of them to add analytics, extra controller support, and some other minor fixes and tweaks. I even added a leaderboard and achievements for VR Battletank on Android. I’ll be adding them to the other games soon.

After getting the basic framework done, I’ll be adding enhanced content to each of them as time allows.

Pipeworks Labs

The main reason that I’ve been slow to update my games and make blog posts is because I started a year-long project at Pipeworks new division, Pipeworks Labs, in March.

It’s a therapeutic VR project, which means it’s not technically a game. The great thing is that Pipeworks is cool enough to not have a non-compete clause,  so I’ll still be able to work on my own projects during my spare time.

Oculus Rift

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift finally started shipping at the end of March. I got mine the first week, and it’s awesome. I’ve played several games and experiences, and I’ll go into more detail in a later post. The game I’ve played the most so far is Elite Dangerous. I bought a Thrustmaster Flight Stick for this game, and it’s been a blast. I’ve played over 20 hours so far, and I think I’ve accomplished 2 or 3 tasks. I still don’t have much of clue what I’m doing, but it’s so fun flying around I don’t really care yet.

Oregon Game Project Challenge

I spent a day up in Salem last Saturday being a judge for the OGPC 9.0. I was a Game Design judge for several game projects that were made by teams of High School, and some Middle School, students. It was quite impressive to see what these kids came up with, and I’ll point out some of the stuff that stood out to me.

I’ll be pestering you with social media posts soon enough. In the meantime, go play my games:

VR Meteors

VR Missile Control

VR Battletank

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VR Battletank Released!

VR Battletank Released!

Feature Graphic 1024x500

It’s a trifecta! Out Of My Mind Games has a trio of games available for you to play now.

See? I told you in my last post that it was coming soon.

Get It Now

You can download VR Battletank from Google Play or WEARVR below:

Get it on Google Play

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Game Info

Strap on your headset and head out to the desolate virtual wastelands where you will face off against enemy tanks and missiles. Avoid the obstacles and shoot the flying saucers for big points, if you have the chance.

Controls

The controls are a little different, but simple to learn. You use each thumbstick on the gamepad to control the respective tank tread. If you push forward on the left thumbstick, then the left side of the tank moves forward. If you pull backward on the right thumbstick, then the right side of the tank moves backward. And vice versa. With the headset, you are now able to freely look around to locate your targets. However, the tank will always fire the direction that it is facing, as indicated by the reticle. You’ll need to maneuver the tank into position to make the shot.

If you play the Cardboard version, the default settings enable tilt and look to turn controls. That means that you can tilt the viewer left/right to turn left/right, and tilt forward/backward to move forward/backward. You can also turn your head and the tank will turn to face the same direction. Each of these settings is adjustable from the menu.

What’s Next

Next on my plate is an update for VR Discs Of Golf. Leap Motion has just released a new version of their software that is optimized for VR input. According to some demo videos that I have watched, the tracking is much better than the old software. I’m excited to put better motion controls back into the game.

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VR Missile Control Released!

VR Missile Control Released!

Feature Graphic 1024x500

*AIR RAID SIREN*

Beware! Incoming missiles are threatening your cities. Shoot them out of the sky before they hit their targets.

Get Your Copy Now

VR Missile Control is now available to download from the Google Play store.

Get it on Google Play

It’s also available on WEARVR.

WEARVR

If you feel like waiting for an undisclosed amount of time, you’ll be able to get it from the Oculus Share site. There’s no reason to wait though, since Oculus is so slow to review builds that it’ll always be behind the above builds.

More Info

VR Missile Control has been designed to work with one button input, so you can use it with your Google Cardboard viewer. It also supports some common gamepads for both Windows and Android. I’ll be putting a WebGL version up on my web site soon, after I make some minor tweaks to the mouse controls. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The current build is version 1.0.1, which means that the core gameplay is in place with no known bugs. I’ll be adding enhanced VR and gameplay features in future versions. Fun stuff, like new weapons, new enemies, full 3D UI layouts, new effects, and whatever else comes to mind.

Coming soon: VR Battletank

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VR Meteors Released!

VR Meteors Released!

VR Meteors Title ScreenIt finally happened! I released VR Meteors for Cardboard on the Google Play store. I also submitted a Windows version for Oculus Rift to the Oculus Share page, which may take a few weeks to be approved. I’ll announce when it’s available, don’t worry.

Phase 1 of my business plan is complete.

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Release VR Meteors ? Profit

For those of you with an Android device, grab your Cardboard viewer and check it out. It’s free!

If you missed the link above, just click here:

Get it on Google Play

For those of you with Windows and an Oculus Rift, you can grab the first playable version from the Share site now at: VR Meteors for Oculus Rift. If you want to play the release version, you’ll have to wait until Oculus approves it or you can download the file from here: VR Meteors 1.0

For those of you with a Gear VR, I’ll be releasing a version for you soon. I just need to find somebody who has a Gear VR to test it for me. There will probably be a handful of bugs to fix, since I’m not positive I have the input handling set up correctly.

For those of you with an iOS device, it may be a little while before I go through the Apple developer process. I don’t have a Mac, so I’ll have to borrow one to get my builds running. Thanks, Apple.

For those of you who actually play it, here is some info for you.

Single Button Input For Cardboard

I designed the Cardboard version of the game to work with a single button, so that you can play it easily with a standard Cardboard viewer. There are only a few game actions, and here they are:

  • AIM: Rotate the viewer
  • FIRE: Press the trigger
  • THRUST: Hold the trigger
  • START/PAUSE: Tilt the viewer 90° clockwise

Basic Remake

For this first version of the game, I’ve focused on the basic gameplay and standard features that are found in Asteroids. I want to provide an easy-to-play VR experience that you can enjoy for minutes at a time, and easily show to your friends and family without a lot of instruction. You can even turn off the VR rendering in the pause menu and play in 2D. You’ll still be able to aim by rotating the device, fire by tapping the screen, thrust by holding the screen, and you won’t need a viewer.

  • 10 high scores
  • 4 bullets at a time
  • 3 sizes of Asteroids
  • 2 sizes of UFOs
  • 1 heart beat sound effect

Concessions for VR

There are some modifications to accommodate the VR presentation. Some things just don’t make sense conceptually in virtual reality. I’ll add them in later, if I can come up with good solutions.

  • Hyperspace was left out so as not to disorient the user
  • Shields instead of lives, to avoid spawning and disorientation
  • The difficulty is a little lower than I would like, which likely has to do with how easy it is to aim with a VR viewer. I’ll crank it up for future releases.

Looking Ahead

Future updates will add enhanced features.

  • Leaderboards
  • More types and sizes of asteroids and UFOs
  • Different weapons
  • Skyboxes
  • Powerups
  • Whatever else I come up with

Coming Soon

For now, I’m going to put this project on hold to get VR Missile Control released. I’ll still be working on getting VR Meteors for the Gear VR done. I just won’t be changing the gameplay until the next version. I will be applying the lessons that I learned on this project to VR Missile Control, so I expect things to go much quicker and smoother.

Need A Cardboard Viewer?

I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but I’ll say it again. I highly recommend the View-Master viewer to use with Cardboard apps. It is the sturdiest viewer that I’ve tried. It has secure and easy access to the phone. It has an actual lever, instead of a touch pad or magnet. People are familiar with it and get excited to try it.

Enjoy the game, and feel free to send me any feedback. Yeah, like anybody is reading this.

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I Found A Laprechaun!

I Found A Laprechaun!

I did it! I finally found a laptop that runs VR! It’s like a leprechaun laptop, which for the purposes of this blog post I’m calling a laprechaun. I actually found a leprechaun a few years ago, and it was harder to find a laptop that ran VR. So, I’m understating it a little.Leprechaun

ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71

It’s an ASUS ROG (Republic Of Gamers) laptop, which is marketed as a gaming laptop. Whatever they want to call it, it actually runs the latest version of the Oculus software (0.8). Of course, it may be disabled by the final version of the software. But I won’t have that until March at the earliest, and by then my desktop will be able to run the Rift. That means it’s time to get back to work on the games. As a pleasant, color-coordinated coincidence, the red lights on the laptop match the ridiculous case for my desktop. So, it looks like I planned it.

New Year’s Resolution

I suppose I can count this as a new year’s resolution, even if it’s only for this month. I have a few weeks until my next contract gig (so far), so I’m planning on getting Oculus, Gear VR, and Cardboard versions of VR Meteors, VR Missile Control, and VR Discs Of Golf done by the end of the month. That sounds like plenty to do for the next few weeks.

Gear VR Motivation

I feel like I finally have some true motivation to get the Gear VR builds working, since I don’t have a way to play them yet. My girlfriend’s dad has a Galaxy S6 phone, so of course we got him a Gear VR for Christmas. Now I need to get some arcade remakes done so that he has something to play. I suppose he’ll be able to add “Video Game Tester” to his resume as well. As long as I make them fun enough to play, that is.

SO MANY GAMES!

The main problem with having a new computer is the overwhelming urge to play all of the new games that wouldn’t run on your old machine, instead of working. I’ve actually spent the past couple days playing Dishonored, which came out 3 years ago. So, I haven’t exactly taxed the computer yet. If you are a fan of the System Shock, Deus Ex, and Bioshock games, you should definitely check it out. One of the directors and writers is Harvey Smith, who worked with Warren Spector on System Shock, and the first two Deus Ex games. You can tell, in a good way. I’ll leave it at that.

I suppose Rise Of The Tomb Raider will probably be the first true test. It comes out on 1/28, just in time for my birthday. (I know what I’ll be getting for myself.) I have my fingers crossed that it’ll support stereoscopic 3D as well as the previous Tomb Raider game. That was easily the best 3D experience I’ve had with any media. That’s including Avatar and Pacific Rim, so you know I’m serious. I’m also looking forward to Dishonored 2 now.

I suspect I’ll be posting more updates this month as well, since I’ll actually be doing stuff. We’ll see…

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VR Discs Of Golf

VR Discs Of Golf

VR Discs Of Golf Title Screen

I suppose I can go ahead and announce that the project I’m making for the Leap Motion 3D Jam is a VR Disc Golf game. I basically have the disc physics and basket interaction at a playable state, so I’m going to stay committed to the premise. I still don’t know how accurate it really is, since I can’t find any type of recorded flight data online. That’s why I’ll need to bother some of my friends who disc golf to try it out for me.

I’ll be making the course out of geometric shapes and basic grid-style textures. It’ll be a little like Discs Of Tron, so that’s why I’m calling it VR Discs Of Golf. In fact, I’m pretty sure that this is a precursor to a Discs Of Tron remake for VR. I may even add moving obstacles and trick shots, so it’ll be kind of like disc mini-golf.

Unfortunately, I don’t know if the Leap Motion is going to be accurate or fast enough to do a realistic throw motion for the game. It may be that my computer is finally starting to show its age, and can’t quite keep up the with Leap Motion’s processing demands. It may also be that the angle of the hand when making a disc throwing motion is about the most inaccurate angle for the cameras, so that’s my fault for not trying the interface before I wrote the physics code. It’ll still be cool, but it will be more of a gesture-based interface. While I think about the interface and how I’m going to handle it, I’ve gone back to finishing up a release version of VR Meteors.

VR Meteors

VR Meteors Title Screen

VR Meteors keeps getting closer to a release date. I put in the high score and initials screens today. I also added a shield effect when you get hit. Of course, it’s all delightfully programmer art, but it gets the job done.

At this point, I only have a few things left to do. I’ll add a background sound and audio options to the settings. I’m going to implement the single button play style that I had for the Gear VR into the Cardboard build. Now that I have a better understanding of the rendering system, I’ll see about being able to switch between the colored and outline graphics on-the-fly. Then I’ll do a tuning and polish pass and go through the publishing steps for Google Play and the Oculus Share site.

Since publishing a game is a pretty significant step and legitimizes my company, I’m really getting excited about it. I’m pretty nervous too, since this will effectively be my “first impression”. I’m just trying to deliver an enjoyable experience that is quick and easy to play, while not trying to do anything extraneous. I’ll add more stuff in later updates as I get the systems written. At least it’s free, so there shouldn’t be any complaints about the price. It is the internet though, so I won’t be surprised if there are.

 

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Google Cardboard

Google CardboardGoogle Cardboard Viewer

Well, since there seems to be a major upgrade of the Gear VR around the corner, I’ve decided to hold off on getting the hardware until it is released. Plus, various issues with the 0.7 runtime and lack of laptop support makes Oculus a bit of a pain to deal with at the moment.

In the meantime, I’m working on supporting the Google Cardboard platform. While the general concept and functionality are similar to the Oculus, the experience is a bit less immersive. The field of view is more akin to a View-Master, which coincidentally is releasing a Cardboard viewer this fall. I love my View-Master. I’ll definitely be getting one.

View-Master Cardboard Viewer

Google Cardboard in Unity

Using the Cardboard SDK for Unity makes it very easy. You basically just need to attach the StereoController to your existing camera. Make sure the camera has the MainCamera tag. You’ll also need the Cardboard component somewhere in your scene.

I’ve had some inconsistent results with making Android builds and the rendering not working. I’ve made some builds with just the above two components added to the scene and the stereo cameras get created at runtime and render properly. Other times, I’ve had the rendering be black, and it only appears when I turn off the VR mode. In this case, I’ve had to create the stereo cameras in the scene in the editor, so that they exist before making the build. I haven’t tracked down the exact cause of this issue, but it would make it easier to switch between Cardboard and Oculus builds if I didn’t have to create/delete the stereo cameras before each build.

Cardboard Viewer

 

Teefan Cardboard Viewer

I’ve ordered a plastic viewer from Amazon that has headstraps. It looks pretty adjustable, and as good as any of the other headsets I’ve seen. Plus, it does have the magnet controller for single event input.

Ouya Controller

Ouya Controller

I also ordered a tiny Bluetooth gamepad from Amazon. It looks like a passable controller, but I mainly ordered it to get the free shipping. As it turns out, my Ouya controller connects to Android and works just fine. I do need to work on detecting the control scheme and map the inputs appropriately. Put that on the list.

At this time, I’m planning on getting the games customized and working for Cardboard so that I can publish them to Google Play and iTunes. I figure that will be good to work on while I wait for Oculus to be more reliable.

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