I’ve been a bit silent lately thinking about the direction of Community Garden. Getting a large scale persistent world working in VR was no easy task. While this was a first for VR and cool, it’s not very fun. Now that I have a platform to build on, my goal is to create a fun experience for players.
In order to provide more gameplay elements to Community Garden, I’ve added survival gameplay. Players must eat to stay alive. You’re health will degrade over time. You will know how hungry you are by your field of view and the sound of your stomach. If you fail to eat, you will die and return to your apartment.
Food is scattered around the world but is found in greater density in certain places.
You can now choose between blink teleport and instant teleport. This should improve some players immersion in the game. You can choose this by pressing the menu button on your controller and selecting the movement button.
After some struggle, I’m now able to run Community Garden on a much larger server configuration. I’m hoping this means less timeouts for players.
I’ve expanded the world to about 12 sq miles or 31 sq kilometers.
I’ve made some tweaks to help with performance on lower end PC’s.
I had a lot of complaints about the physics being laggy for Community Garden. The upcoming patch fixes these issues making the physics smooth and responsive. I have a little more testing to do before I push this to steam.
Thank you to everyone that tried out Community Garden. My main goal with this release to Steam Early Access wasn’t to release a final product but to get something real in front of players right now. SpatialOS has not been easy to work so gathering real world data is important. The result, I felt was very positive. So many people have downloaded and tried out Community Garden. There has been some good discussion on the Steam Discussion Forums. I even had a chance to meet people in world and discuss the future of Community Garden. I was able to fix a number of bugs as well. The following is the top feedback I received.
Add community goals for all players to work towards.
Fix physic lag issue when throwing items.
Make the world bigger.
Handle player bad behavior issues.
The lag issue when throwing is definitely an issue that will need to be addressed. It breaks immersion and can be frustrating. Bad player behavior also has a potential to be a big problem. Right now players can spam seed box creation and throw items outside the reach of other players. This will take some thought to fix but right now it’s not a priority because the world needs to grow and become more interesting before worrying about what players will do with it.
The next steps for Community Garden is to add community goals and to scale the world using procedural generation. This will give players more to do and keep them in world longer. I will post some more on this later.
Community Garden is getting closer to it’s public release on October 6th. What better way to celebrate the first virtual reality world built on top of Improbable’s SpatialOS then by stress testing the servers. Let’s see how many people we can get in world at once! If you want access now, sign up at the Community Garden site.
Community Garden is getting an Alpha release. This is an early build of the game that you can sign up for by going to the Community Garden site and signing up. My goal is to get people in world testing both the social and simulation aspects of the game. I’m hoping that by getting people interested in a virtual reality game running on Improbable’s SpatialOS, Improbable will be interested in supporting VR once again.
ue to Soomla no longer supporting their plugin for IAP I decided to make the original Wordsum free with no IAP and no Ads. I thought this would be better then spending my time trying to find a new IAP system for a now 2 year old game. I also just don’t have the time since I’m only one person. Another plus is that I could now port the game to Windows, Linux and Mac. opefully more people get to play and enjoy the game now.
I’ve been using SpatialOS for quite some time now and there have been some ups and downs along the way. Major changes to the API have required me to rethink how I develop with the technology. The latest version Spatial 9 was no different. This version had some of the biggest changes yet.
After taking the time to learn the new version, I was pleasantly surprised by all the improvements that were made. The team at Improbable really has done a great job.
To celebrate getting Spatial 9 working in VR, I wanted to share the first rough screenshot of my friend hanging out and waving to me in the Community Garden I’m building. Unfortunately the plants we had growing in here died due to lack of watering…
Making Wordsum Blitz has been a very long journey considering the small size of the game. I really wanted to make something special based on the original idea of Wordsum. Along with the artistic help of my friend Jennifer Reyes aka InkByJeng, we managed to create a beautiful and fun game. I’m actually pretty terrible at playing the game so my top score is around 30,000 or so. Tweet me @pixelshotgames and let me know how awesome your score is.
Pro Tip: Just in case people are wondering, you tap the white panel at the top to pause the game.