6/23/23 - 0.0.41c/d Release Notes
(Sidenote: You've seen Replication Nanite Fluid (the metallic liquid inside the replicators). This update introduces the other two types of nanite fluid (Medical and Sanitation), which can be seen inside the MedBooths and HEXA shower/sink/toilets. End Sidenote.)
-Updates to Hexa Pod Apartment interior (swapped wall texture and added: room numbers, vents, lights/light fixtures with controls, ceiling fans with controls, bathroom doors, and functional toilets, showers, and sinks)
-Updates to MedBooth visuals and mechanics
-Cockpit interior lighting (controls on dashboard for turning on/off and changing color)
-Vehicle Alarm/damage interior light-feedback (pulse red)
-Vehicle secondary fire/torpedoes
-Tracker/scanner audio feedback
-Fix leaning over ledges etc. without being pushed backward
-Fix NPC outfit/skin colors not being randomized all the time
-Fix issues with fog cutting in/out when under water
-Fix projectile trails not resetting when they are recycled
-Scooted seats back in Optera Duo. They were way too close to the dash for me. Eventually I'll probably add controls/settings for seat/head position in vehicles.
-Probably a few other things I forgot
-Remove force-based movement mode (It had issue. Difficult to manage both modes. Decided to axe it.)
5/6/23 - Still around. Updated roadmap.
Alas, personal finances have again demanded that I spend most of my time/energy doing work that is not Revria. But good things are happening! More on that soon, hopefully in the form of a dev-vlog I've been wanting to start. Your patience is most appreciated.
I've updated the roadmap with a few notes and a spreadsheet (please don't fall asleep) listing all of the major features that I'm certain of for Revria. (More will likely be added in the future.) I still need to fill in the details column, but this should help paint a clearer picture of how the "finished" Revria experience will look.
Stay safe and be kind.
3/4/23 - 0.0.41b Release Notes
This is one of two smaller patches that I'll be releasing before major update 0.0.42.
-Various changes (mostly invisible) to improve performance (Primarily for the sake of Quest 1. Still not as good as I’d like it to be, but an improvement over 0.0.41 for those playing on the original Quest)
-Improved explosion for plasma grenade
-Created actual debris for ship explosions
-Added some flowers and spikey plants as terrain details on Revria, in addition to the grass. (Quest 2 only)
-Fixed bug that made handguns fire their first projectile the wrong direction sometimes
-Fixed levitators not centering player correctly if they aren’t centered in their actual playspace
-Fixed spatial positioning of engine audio sources (and separated+de-phased multi-engine audio for added effect)
2/1/23 - 0.0.41 Release Notes
**Please note there are some performance issues on Quest 1 in this release. I am already working to address these in another patch soon.
NOTICE: Replicated ships no longer include weapons by default. You will need to fly your ship to a large Replicator and purchase weapons via the new Modification screen. (Or go to the Modification screen right after replicating a new ship)
-Added Modification system for items/ships at the Replicators. It’s primarily for purchasing ship-mounted weapons in this version, but it can also be used to change vehicle and outfit colors so far. Creating this system took more time than I expected, but it should prove to be quite versatile.
-Improved default ship-mounted plasma cannon asset and made gimballed version
-Implemented gimballed vehicle weapons (aim-assist if your scanner is locked onto a target)
-Implemented fully automatic weapons (vehicle plasma cannons and AFPG-1)
-Replicator now shows "Busy..." while working, and the interface is disabled. This avoids various potential bugs.
-Removed damage cooldown (invulnerable) period for agents/NPC’s and vehicles and re-tuned combat/damage. Player still has a damage cooldown, but it’s been shortened. Still a lot of things missing before combat will feel well-balanced, but I’ll keep tuning as I go.
-Outfits can now have armor/damage reduction ratings (envirosuit is currently best at 10% reduction)
-Added more feedback to draw attention to things like low ammo, health, vehicle shields/damage, etc.
-Improved star glow/bloom visual at Surric Ronim
-Changed some textures on a few buildings
-Some small changes/additions to HEXA apartment interior (Soon you’ll be able to decorate, store your stuff, etc.)
-Made linear/no-acceleration movement mode the default since it seems like most VR players are more comfortable with that style.
-Disabled point/accent lights on Quest 1. They simply eat up too much GPU power to stay near 72fps in the long-term as more features and content are added.
-Fixed outfits dropped by NPC's not having their colors saved when placed in inventory and the game is reloaded.
-Fixed area repopulation triggering unnecessarily right after scene load
-Fix accidental weapon battery/clip eject (or grenade activation etc.) when scanning for tracker waypoint using same hand
-Fixed bug that made some NPC ragdolls not be affected by gravity
-Fixed bug where on-foot NPC’s would reach a parking target position (sitting on a bench, using a terminal, etc.) but not actually park.
-Fixed Mag-Haulers sometimes having invisible cargo containers
1/3/23 - What's with the gap between updates?
As many of you have noticed, there's been quite a long gap since the last patch. I've updated the folks on Discord, but figured I'd go ahead and make a short post to say things got rocky financially for a while, so I had to focus on finding more steady income to pay the bills while I continue working on Revria.
Version 0.0.41 is now in the oven and progress is getting more steady. I should be pushing that release out within the next 2-3 weeks hopefully.
Happy new year!
9/7/22 - 0.0.40 Release Notes
-Added the Asteroid Belt around Surric Ronim, just beyond orbit of the Drums (jump-gates)
-Painted galactic disk onto star-field texture and made the stars a little dimmer
-Added Job/Task Guidance (map markers, HUD indicators, tracker arrows, and notification text for every step)
-Vehicle map icons: Player-owned/stolen ships now have HoloMap icons. Presently they are a blue diamond shape with text that says "VEHICLE". You can touch the icon to set that vehicle as your current tracker target.
-Context/settings adaptive control-diagram added to Pause menu (plus some text/cosmetic changes)
-Some improvements to bounty hunting and delivery job systems (examples: group bounties stay together, bounty search areas, changes to task display interface)
-Implemented custom sounds for using each consumable item (so far: fruit, protein bar, meal shake, nanite inhaler). They all just made the same eating sound previously.
-Fixed replicated items not having their current location (what building they're in) set correctly.
-Fixed outfit items not having correct lighting when inside of buildings
-Fixed environmental conditions not being set correctly when exiting dome habitats on Tiovus
-Reduced maximum number of packages for deliveries from 7 to 5 to help make inventory management a little easier until vehicle cargo and home property are implemented.
-Job/task progress now resets if you die (It will not always be this way. Final mechanic in the future will be: Respawn at home with previously saved progress for free, or pay a fee to respawn at nearest MedBooth and keep current job/unsaved progress)
-Fixed delivery packages respawning if you returned to origin planet after already picking them up
-Made it so NPC's won't take the last stolen vehicle you were using (if you ever had any of those "wait, where did my ride go?" moments, and it wasn't a ship you owned, an NPC probably stole it)
-Collision damage crimes are now reported to law-enforcement and group-bounty members (No more vehicular murder of NPC’s without consequences.)
-Group-bounty members will now react if they see you stun another group member (*not always working as intended)
-Fixed tracker arrows not disappearing when a dogfight bounty is killed
-Made it easier to target faraway/small objects with your tracker
-Changed font on dashboard controls (again) and increased size. Also increased scale of LCD-screen by 20%.
-Added scaling animation to latest notification text to help draw the user's attention
-Fixed ragdoll sub-meshes (hair, shoes etc) getting swapped after spawning
-Improved and further optimized clouds (Revria, Zakazi)
-Player is now pulled toward center of lev-tubes when inside, unless trying to exit. (Same feature now also used to pull objects toward center of replicators when active)
-Thumbstick now applies roll when using virtual throttle/stick in Simplified flight mode
-Removed option to switch thumbstick roll/yaw in 5-DOF mode since it became redundant when the Simplified/Advanced flight modes were added
8/20/22 - 0.0.33 Release Notes
Hi all! This is just a quick one now that I finally have some time to get back on it. More soon!
-Fixed NPC's spawning without enviro-suits and suffocating on Tiovus, Seftos, and Aiduq (thank you, Discord peoples!)
-Added new setting “On-Foot Movement Style” for optional linear thumb-stick movement. (That-is moving without acceleration/inertia.) Disabled by default since it’s still not ideal with everything else being physics/force-based. Only real issue is linear mode causes occasional stuttering with your hands/body when running. The existing force-based mode is still the default, but a lot of users find it too 'floaty' so I added this new mode/setting.
-Thought of a better way to render 3D clouds on Quest (seen on planets Revria and Zakazi). Still some artifacts, and not a true volumetric effect, but you can fly above/below/through them which is my main requirement. I'll be able to improve on these, plus they're GPU-friendly and look more natural than the old, blobby clouds.
-Changes to terrain textures on Revria
-Increase Stunner battery consumption for better weapon-balance (only three shots to drain clip)
-Changed dashboard text font (still finding what looks right stylistically and is also legible)
-Fix: Starting sun position now randomized each time you jump to a planet. This was actually a bug I didn't realize I've had since AppLab release. When I added the starting time-of-day menu option, I broke the randomized sun angles that I had before. (*This is only a placeholder for the true time/orbit system.)
NEXT UPDATE: Finally add control diagram/layout, and some improvements to deliveries and bounty hunting.
8/9/22 - 0.0.32 Release Notes
-Added support for multiple saves/characters (Will add lower-case letters and symbols to the Name-entry keyboard at some point. Feel free to bug me about it if seeing your name in all caps bugs you.)
-Fixes for Quest 1 performance. These fixes also sped up load/init times considerably on both Quest models, and of course perf on Quest 2 is even better than before.
-NPC's and vehicles are now repositioned to populated areas on approach or scene-initialization. This keeps the world feeling more densely populated despite a limited total number of NPC’s and ships. Still tweaking, but it’s pretty effective already.
-Fixed a crash-bug when selecting End Simulation from the Pause menu in certain circumstances
-Increased size of dome habitat entrance
-Added more settlements and habitats on Tiovus
-Adjustments to AI vehicle throttle input/behaviors. They will now only use max throttle if in combat or fleeing. In addition to making them seem less chaotic, this makes it easier to catch up to bounties before engaging in combat. Still some funky behaviors here and there.
-Increased firing velocity of most projectiles
-Reduced chance of NPC's being marked as criminals (was 1/5, now 1/25)
-Adjusted max battery levels and drain/charge rates on some ships
-Adjust weapon power depletion on ships
-Increased obstructed volume of ship engines
-Moved power and lamp buttons in Sky Cruiser further away from exit/unmount handle (to prevent accidentally exiting vehicle)
-Made it so you must be looking at the exit/unmount handle in vehicles for it to work (also to prevent accidentally exiting vehicle)
-Changed NPC damage cooldown from 0.7s to 0.1s. One of those things that didn’t jump out at me until seeing more feedback about ground combat. Should be a little more forgiving/fun now.
7/29/22 - AppLab release being uploaded - 0.0.30 Release Notes
————0.0.30— AppLab Release —-
-Added startup/main-menu scene with helpful notes, character customization, selection of home planet/time-of-day, and change-log
-Now showing full player torso instead of only arms. Improved arm/wrist IK. Added some code to make body lean forward if player seems to be squatting or bending over. Optional full-body display is coming. WIP.
-Created interiors for HEXA Pod Apartments and FlyAway (recycling/replication)
-Implemented seamless building/structure entry and interior culling/lighting (no NPC’s inside yet, need to add interior navigation)
-Implemented item and vehicle replication/recycling/restoration (*This won’t be the only method of trade. Just the first to be implemented.)
-Reworked save/load system and added more data (credits, fines, name, body morphs, outfit, inventory, last purchased ship, and colors for ship/items)
-Implemented levitator tubes (No stairs or elevators. All ramps and tubes.)
-Simulation starts you inside of an apartment instead of exterior doorstep.
-Implemented motion-triggered doors
-Implemented door actuation sounds
-Redesigned logic of sound obstruction system to account for both vehicles and building interiors
-Implemented environments/habitability (areas with specific temperature and atmosphere-types. running out of breath under water. etc.)
-Basic outfitting items and mechanics (gotta be able to put on that environmental suit when you need it)
-Grenades are now functional
-Weapons now support kick
-Implemented weapon batteries and reloading
-Added specific left/right hold orientations to grabbable objects
-Added support for objects that can be grabbed anywhere on their surface and grabbed with both hands (two-handed weapons)
-Added haptic feedback for physical buttons and screen-taps
-Vehicle deflector/shield mechanic
-Vehicle battery depletion/ambient-recharge/reserve
-Vehicle quick-charge station functionality
-Vehicle Auto-Leveling/Simplified Steering mode
-Vehicle engine power-levels (A good usage is low-power mode for entering habitats, landing, etc.)
-Nearby police are now alerted and will pursue/attack when player is reported committing a crime (not just when there’s a bounty on you)
-Stun-gun no longer works on advanced robots (ie. the police)
-Fixed a bug that made some NPC’s stay idle without getting a path/target. Still occurs when a path can’t be found.
-Fixed a bug that caused issues interacting with Pause menus
-Various graphical improvements
-Misc. optimizations (always ongoing!)
-Created a minimalist house, a small dome habitat, and two industrial-equipment props
-Added more NPC greetings (still no two-way dialog yet, but a few of these will give you some lore and hint at optional ‘quests’ that will be added to Revria in the future)
-Renamed one planet
-Added left/right option for hand-terminal
7/27/22 - AppLab release imminent!
The new trailer is done, as well as 99% of the stuff I wanted to get done before AppLab release. I've submitted the new trailer/screenshots to update the store page, and while that's being approved, I'll work on the finishing touches for the actual release build. As soon as possible, I'll send out keys and schedule release for the very next day! I've added a crazy amount of stuff in the past few weeks alone. The trailer should make that apparent. I'm overwhelmingly excited to get this out there and keep moving forward!
5/29/22 - Change-log 0.0.23
-Changed maximum number of active AI agents to 42. (Based on distance, counting outward from nearest to player. The max was previously set at 25. I didn't realize I'd gained enough CPU overhead for so many until playing with the last build.)
-Muted dark edges of texture used for solid-colored metallic panels (currently used on all ships, police droid armor, some buildings)
-Intermittent sun movement instead of constant (To avoid shadows flickering and make progress toward a proper time/date system that links up with day/night cycles)
-Notification when player health is at/below 35%
-Added default touch/button interaction sound
-Added sound for police siren
-Implemented basic set of collision sounds/behaviors
-Swapped out all weapon sounds and fixed a spatial audio issue that made them sound like popcorn from far away
-Worked on overall audio mix
5/18/22 - A bunch of change-logs I forgot to post
-Improved NPC vehicle parking/landing
-Improved NPC path-finding and obstacle-avoidance
-Fixed some raycasting issues with any NPC in a Sky Cruiser
-Stopped NPC's getting back into vehicle immediately after parking
-Stopped NPC's from jumping when an incline is detected but velocity is already good
-NPC's now pause and look at player when 'greeting' (working toward dialog/interaction/trade)
-Made an exterior bench and placed instances near some buildings (for next item)
-Expanded NPC activity system to include on-foot 'parking spots' as targets with specified animations/behaviors (standing around, sitting on a bench, using touch-screen, etc.)
-Holo-interface now pins to real-world space instead of game-world space (ie. It moves with you if you’re moving with the thumbstick)
-Some changes to vehicle control-panels and fonts
-Disabled vehicle interior windows on Quest 1. Too costly to maintain performance in the future.
-Changed shape of Preyza's nacelles
-Added audible notification when bounty targets are detected and tagged
-Added force-field ‘helmet’ to NPC’s in space-suits
-Fixed on-foot NPC's floating up into the air while pursuing a flying target above them (was especially bad on low-gravity planets)
-Player space-suit colors now randomized (working toward player customization and outfits)
-Some NPC animation and IK tweaks
-Corrected placement of weapons in NPC hands and implemented NPC hand-poses for holding items
-Slight change to default NPC melee behaviors
-Added interior representation of windows in ships
-Created ambient audio for intro sequence
-Fix transit-effect (blue plasma over windows) becoming invisible for one frame when loading Surric Ronim
-Older droids (the boxy ones) will now explode if they take enough damage after being disabled. (Shoot droid ragdolls, they go boom)
-Some changes to stun-gun projectile/effects. All weapons/projectiles/particle-effects will get more love as updates continue. Focusing on basic functionality for now.
-Fixed hand-position/arm-IK accuracy when real physical reach went beyond a certain distance. (Held item/weapon would appear detached from hand sometimes, but that's now fixed.)
-Added vibration feedback to accompany audible notifications
-Changed HUD/text view-tracking behavior
-Show most recent notification in HUD for 7 seconds
-Replaced first-time vehicle calibration instructions with a simple text notification
-Implemented depth-based reticle/cross-hair for all weapons
-Slight adjustment to throttle assembly positioning upon calibration.
-Added visual indicator for throttle in vehicles
-Changed throttle return-to-center from a menu-option into a physical button in vehicles. Setting is remembered in all vehicles, as with steering sensitivity.
-Added steering mode setting for 5-DOF flight (when not using virtual HOTAS): Pitch + Roll or Pitch + Yaw
-Fix potential bug where left-grip (reverse thrust) in 5-DOF mode was also triggering some vertical thrust
--------- - 0.0.20 - AppLab Submission Build - ------------------
-Upgraded Unity from 2019 to 2020 LTS
-Apk now signed and ARM64 instead of ARMv7 (whoopsie!). Steps required for AppLab submission. This means you will need to uninstall Revria before installing the new version. This unfortunately will clear your settings, credits, and fines since I'm using Unity's built-in PlayerPrefs to save data for now.
-Changing to ARM64 was a huge performance boost! Quest 2 now has two quick graphical improvements as a result:
-Quest 2: Realtime shadows!
Quest 2: Accent/point lights apply to all objects instead of just static/world objects.
-Navigation-graph for AI is now pre-generated and included in the build, instead of regenerating it every time a scene/planet loads. Operations related to LOD grouping and static colliders were similarly removed from scene-load process.
-Added effect over windshield w/ blue light during Drum/jump-gate transit. (Was previously full view fade-to-black) Scenes/planets now load asynchronously in an attempt to maintain fluid camera movement during scene-load. Still one spot where it’s freezing in the load/init process, despite the efforts mentioned in the previous item. Will smooth it out if I can determine what step is making the GPU/CPU hang. Grumble.
-A few NPC/background-sim performance optimizations.
-Replaced some plants/trees on Revria with the transparent/cutout ones I was using previously (seen in announcement teaser from January). Also finally found a suitable Unity shader for cutouts to avoid pixellated edges on Quest. (Legacy>Transparent>Cutout>VertexLit)
-Swapped some terrain textures on Revria. Felt it looked a bit cartoony with too much green everywhere. I only get four terrain textures per planet, so it's tough making decisions. It’ll probably take a while to land on my final choices for all planets.
-Disabled particle/volumetric clouds on Seftos. Most likely neither Aiduq nor Seftos will be able to have volumetric clouds. Too much transparency has a heavy performance-cost and leads to more stuttering than I can abide.
-Fixed positioning of Faders and Screen inside Optera Duo
-Fixed some task-target pointers on HoloTracker not getting deactivated when they should
-Added menu interaction audio with placeholder sounds
Whoopsie! I accidentally left duplicates of the ship/vehicle primary display and faders for input sensitivity in the prefab for one of the ship-types. Mostly cosmetic, but it bugged me enough to want to push out another quick fix.
4/9/22 - "Slow and Steady" - or - "AppLab Killed the Itch.io Star"
First the big news: Revria has been approved for release on AppLab! I don't feel comfortable releasing there until quite a bit more work has been completed though. Why? Well, I get three chances to launch Revria and drive it to success. The first one (Sidequest+Itch.io) was certainly not a complete failure, but it fell very short in terms of sales/users. I lowered the price of the app from $19.99 to $14.99, and that did bring in a few more sales. But with a total of 22 copies sold at this time (almost two months after launch), it's clear that I'm going to need the exposure and benefits (auto-updates, cloud save, easy refunds, etc.) of AppLab. So that's my second shot at launching (third would be moving to the official store), and I have to make the most of it with an experience that feels more complete, accessible, and polished.
In order to meet the requirements for AppLab, I had to upgrade to a more recent version of the Unity engine and switch to a 64-bit build. This actually was an unexpected performance boost, so I used that overhead to enable realtime shadows on Quest 2.
In a previous news-post, I wrote about how I had to get rid of the transparent-cutout trees/plants I'd been using before due to the jagged edges and poor performance they caused. Thankfully both of those problems have now been solved and the (slightly) more realistic trees and plants from the first trailer have been re-added. I also changed some terrain materials on Revira to get a more natural/less cartoony look.
So what's the current status? - Due to the unexpectedly low sales, I had to pause development on Revria for a couple of weeks and focus my time on freelance Unity work and getting my household finances back in order. Thankfully, things are now back on track, and starting today I'll be working as steady as I can on updates to prepare for AppLab release. I absolutely will not rush - already made that mistake the first time, and I don't plan to schedule an actual release date until nearly everything on my list for AppLab release is done. At that time I'll send AppLab keys to previous purchasers and most-likely remove the listing on Itch so I can focus 100% on one platform/storefront.
3/1/22 - First patch - 0.1.11 (and 0.1.11b shortly after)
I put out the first patch and forgot to post here. Lots to juggle! Here is the change-log for both updates.
-Fix delivery-related objects spazzing/flying away when sprinting or snap-turning nearby
-Fix delivery jobs failing to complete/pay
-Added info in right side panel of Pause-menu to help understand how Bounty Hunting and Deliveries work in the current release
-Changed sprint mechanic to match the standard way (Click once to start sprinting, rather than having to keep pressing the thumb-stick down)
-Add grip-mode option to settings menu
-Added haptic feedback for throttle notch/dead-zone to help know when you're starting/stopping thrust if using the Virtual Hotas. A throttle visual on the dashboard will be coming in the next update.
-Detached HoloInterface from hand and made HoloMap scale/scroll work with either hand. Tried to make hand-poses more intuitive as well.
-Fix bugged out physics after dying/reloading when under water
-Hide vehicle UI when game is paused
-Added Space/dogfight-specific bounties (high pay! It may/may not be difficult or super fun since I still need to add gimbaled weapons and all that jazz.)
-Added count/score for current job/task in HoloInterface
-Fix number of bounties spawning if already killed when previously at the correct location (ie. if you die or leave the location. -- Although it's still possible to pick up delivery packages twice if you revisit the origin before delivering. Still working through the list of all possible contingencies and fixing them before the mission/job system becomes more elaborate.)
-Fewer NPC's set as wanted criminals (so the police droids aren't killing quite so rampantly)
-20% increase of NPC's set as aggressive (will fight back instead of fleeing)
-Made all bounty targets spawn as armed and aggressive.
-Group bounties alert each other if nearby when attacked (only the Police Droids did this before)
-Stop allies from targeting each other due to friendly fire (Police droids and bounty targets specifically. Will expand on this when the factions system gets further along. It's functional already, just invisible to the player right now.)
-Added sound specification to Notification function (see next item)
-Limit crime-reporting notification-sounds to *bounty on your head* only. I didn't realize how annoying it would be to get notified every single time you break a law until I finally had more time to play the build. Sorry! It was one of the last things I added. Fixed that for you all.
-Fixed MedBooth notification spam (was re-notifying over and over when you healed)
-Changed holo UI and menu backgrounds to be more unified/neutral. Eventually I'll make all of the UI stuff look much nicer and add preferences/background selection in your HoloInterface.
-Made HoloMap terrain opaque instead of transparent. Better for performance and visual clarity, and keeps uniformity with the rest of the holo interface.
-HoloMap for Surric Ronim: Added jump-gate orbit lines, plus changes to Surric Ronim representation
-Slight changes to task/job info display. This is very simple but will evolve into something fairly elaborate (see a photo of your bounty targets etc.)
-Clarified work procedures in right side panel of pause menu
-Tweaked view-follow behavior of floating HUD (used for intro text, vehicle-mount calibration instructions, etc.)
-Added a line to soften tone at the end of intro text.
-Moved vehicle holo/tracker to wrist computer when not in vehicle since the player will need to have primary tracking features availabe at all times. The wrist computer will eventually get a visual redesign based on what gets put there and how it needs to function in the end.
-Added pointers to HoloTracker for task-related targets (packages/drop-off, bounties that have been detected)
-Added support for specific text on HUD-tags for task targets/locations
-Added physical adjustment in ships to tune steering sensitivity. Values are remembered globally no matter what ship, but each model/type does still have different handling. You’ll need to tune for the ship you’re using.
-Stopped showing vehicle mount/calibration instructions after the first time you see them
-Default/remembered starting positions for virtual controls when first entering a vehicle
2/23/22 - Made it by the skin of my teeth
Revria is officially available in early access on Itch.io! I actually pressed the button to make the page public right at 11:59pm, so technically I wasn't late. I was able to record a quick video of a delivery job, but at this point I'm so exhausted I don't even have the energy to send out the first mailing list newsletter/announcement and do the key-giveaway. It will have to wait for tomorrow. Thank you for being interested! Release notes below:
Thank you for checking out Revria's very first release! What's here is quite a lot, but it barely scratches the surface of what the experience will be like in the future. I have created this framework in a way such that I can add new content and expand on what's here at a very rapid pace. The focus for the next few releases will be on getting more of the core features implemented and smoothed out, as well as better onboarding and personalization of your experience.
-This release is focused on the grand picture of the experience. The world, the people, and the ships. Activities are: Exploring freely, learning how everything works so far, and flying your ship from planet to planet doing simplistic delivery and/or bounty-hunting jobs.
-I found one major bug so far in my play-testing but had to let it slide for this first release. If you die under water, gravity gets turned off for you and any object you were holding until you quit and reload the app. (The water-physics are very newly added, more on that further down below.)
-Loading the planet Revria itself takes much longer than all of the others. A good 30-40 seconds sometimes. There is no loading/portal effect for scene transitions yet, so don’t worry when the screen stays black for a while. Load times should get faster when I make some changes to how/when the AI navigation-graph is built.
-No onboarding/tutorial etc. These are on the roadmap.
-The narrative/lore elements are essentially nonexistent in the world right now, but there’s a LOT in my head and in various notes I’m keeping. I want to establish more of the core features and mechanics before going too far with world-building. After that gets further along, it will open up possibilities for narrative quests, puzzles, etc. That’s WAY down the line though.
-For now, you will always load/respawn in the same spot on Revria with two vehicles in front of you. These are yours, so you will not incur any criminal fines for taking them.
-Targeting standard Quest settings on both headsets. 72hz at 1440p. Performance is almost flawless everywhere except for on Revria itself. I think the newly added water physics may be having an effect on performance there (as NPC’s clumsily make their way into the water.) Please bear with me.
-Water physics/effects is one of the last things I had time for. It needs a LOT of work.
-Combat is fairly basic. Lots of work needed to make it more interesting and challenging.
-Weapons and battery-clips are present, but charging/reloading is not yet implemented. Enjoy your infinite ammo and no overheating while it lasts.
-There is one weapon that’s supposed to be two-handed, but I didn’t have time to implement two-handed grabbing and other object-interaction stuff like per-item hand positioning/posing etc. Object interaction is functional but rudimentary.
-A grenade item is present but not yet functional.
-Consumables (food, nanite-inhaler) are present, but very simplistic. Put the item near your mouth, get some health.
-AI still needs a lot of work. It’s simultaneously the most challenging and enjoyable part of this project. They’ll get smarter and become far more expressive and animated in the future. For now, try to enjoy their emergent idiocy.
-NPC’s will ‘greet’ you with text, but no audio or two-way dialog yet. Dialog is going to be procedural, so I’ll most likely do The Sims-style gibberish voices and stick with subtitles.
-Backpack inventory and holsters are implemented. You’ll need to hold packages there for deliveries, then drop them off at the doorstep by hand.
-No building interiors yet, but the plan is for every structure to eventually be accessible.
-On-foot controls are standard VR/FPS smooth-locomotion style. Smooth and snap turn are available. No teleport yet, but I’m open to adding it if there’s demand. I plan to implement as many options and control settings as I possibly can.
-One-handed mode and switching your Hand-Terminal/Wrist-Computer side still needs to get done. Top priorities for next release!
-No climbing or physical/arm-swing/swimming/vaulting locomotion yet, but it’s planned.
-For now, your credits and fines are all that's saved. They're saved every time you go through a jumpgate or when you select Quick Save in the pause menu. Quick Load (for now) will set fines and credits to whatever values were last saved and bring you back home to Revria.
-No character customization or outfit/color selection yet, but the groundwork is laid. It will probably end up being more elaborate than it needs to be, but it’s important to me that you get to be exactly who you want in this world.
-Habitability (temperature/atmosphere) is not yet implemented, so you're in a spacesuit with invisible atmostfilter 'helmet' around your dome. Feel free to go for a spacewalk! You can see this same outfit on many NPC's to imagine how you look. (fly)
-No vehicle power/charging implemented yet, but you can probably guess how that will work based on the design of the Charging Stations.
-MedBooths are implemented, but as with everything, very simplistic. Open the door. Step inside. Be fully healed.
-No trade/vendors/gear-customization yet
-Crates/cargo are present but not openable or spawning randomly yet. Just there as decor for now. The future plan is for NPC’s in rigs to be dynamically transporting cargo and dropping off containers throughout the world, and you’ll be able to do this same work. Space Truckers welcome!
-Many things have no sound effects/audio feedback yet. Audio design is fairly simplistic so far, but nearly everything is spatialized for maximum immersion.
-A basic day/night cycle is implemented, but in-game time is not. Time of day and orbital position of the core jumpgates is randomized every time you jump to another location.
1/19/22 - On Making Plants that Look Good in VR
I apologize that I still haven't sent out the first mailing list or added any sort of roadmap. I promise to put together something soon, but my primary focus is to finish as much work on the game itself as possible before the first release. My goal is that all of the most important features will be represented, but I'm still expecting a few will have to wait for the first major update.
I'm losing a bit of time this week due to finally accepting (like many VR devs) that plants made from cutout textures look like crap in VR. Many users in reviews etc. will point out how the plants and other things made from cutouts look pixelated and always "shimmer" while you move your head around in VR games (even AAA works like Skyrim depending on settings/mods). This is because cutouts are not affected by anti-aliasing like the rest of the geometry being rendered on the screen. I finally got them to look a little better when I found another dev's blog about using "alpha to coverage" in a custom shader to soften the edges of the cutouts. But alas, it still just looks like crap compared to the smooth, anti-aliased edges on everything else in the view. This applies to Unity's terrain grass system also. Another problem is that any form of transparent rendering is a performance hog on mobile hardware. Many reasons were piling up to get away from using cutouts.
So after remaking my plants 2-3 times over the past 8 months, making a custom billboard rendering system, a custom shader, etc. I decided to scrap ALL of my plants (and rocks) and just remake all of them again this week using the primary texture atlas (this will reduce some additional rendering cost, as rocks and plants were using separate atlases before) with a focus on creating geometry that represents real plant features. Ie. If it's a leaf, it has to be a leaf shape made from geometry, not a transparent cutout texture with a leaf (or a branch with many leaves) on it.
Prior to making this decision, it had been very difficult to keep performance smooth on the planet Revria itself (lots of trees/plants), and the overall image just looked ugly in the headset compared to all the other planets. It looks pretty nice in screenshots/video, but absolutely terrible in VR. After getting the first few plants/rocks replaced, performance on Revria is now in line with all of the other planets (silky smooth 99.9% of the time). I'm also quite happy with how the new plants are turning out. A bit more alien, but still reminiscent of Earth flora.
I also made a lot of progress last week and earlier this week on object handling, physics, inventory polish, menus etc. Right now I've decided focus this week and next on finishing the most important art/sound/music/UI assets that I want in the first release, then I'll switch back over to features/polish for the final 3 weeks leading up to February 22.
1/8/22 - Introducing Revria
I'm so relieved to finally be introducing you to the way I spent nearly every day of 2021 and the reason I started learning Unity and Blender back in 2012 when I saw the Oculus kickstarter and had a glimmer in my eye.
Revria - a huge immersive-sim set in an open, populated star system, made for standalone Quest 1 & 2. There’s a lot more info here on the site and a mailing list signup as well. If you want to learn some of how Revria came about, see 'About The Developer.'
The first release of Revria will be focused on a polished experience exploring the exterior world (on foot and in the air), demonstrating the controls and the interfaces, having a dynamic NPC population that behaves in a fairly believable way, and hopefully giving the player at least a handful of fun things to do in this world. I’ve given myself a firm deadline (2/22/22) and a list of things I’d like to get done by then, but I'm sure some of it will have to wait for the first update. I can guarantee that everything seen in the teaser video and screenshots will be there, and more - for instance there are still two existing planets I haven't shown, and I’ve made some assets to add variety to the NPC’s that will be quick to implement before release.
More specifically, you’ll have access to vast space near the star with gates orbiting that jump to each of six planets, seamless open worlds which range from 81 to 225 km squared (or 9x9km and 15x15km). No FTL drives, that’s part of the lore/setup to keep things in line with the structure of the game world. There won't be building interiors yet, but eventually every building will be accessible. Crime/response, fines/repayment, and combat with police droids and NPC's is implemented, but very rudimentary. Holsters and backpack are functional, but there may not be much use for them in release 1. The wrist-comp/hand-terminal with holo/AR interface is functional and will at least introduce you to the type of apps available. Holomap and Music will be functional, hopefully more. No wildlife yet. Procedural NPC’s are in (face/body morphs, colors, outfit, footwear, and hair so far), but animations are basic and they won’t blink/emote/seem very lifelike yet. A lot of features won’t be represented at all. In other words, it's EARLY. Making Revria more and more amazing and immersive is my next 2-3 years. I've never worked harder, and I'm having a damn good time doing it.
Beyond polishing up all of the existing stuff as much as I can, I’ll be focused on quality of life things like menus, control options, etc. I already have the basic workings of procedural bounty hunting and delivery jobs coded, but it’s been crippled since leaving the prototype phase back in March. I'll try to get those functional again before the first release, but if not it'll all be in the first major update.
Early access will be $19.99 via Itch.io (I'll be submitting to Sidequest that same day or seeing if I can work with them to get it listed there at the same time.) I'll definitely be sending out some free download keys that day, most likely a random selection from the mailing list, so sign up! You'll also be among the first to know when an update is released, etc.
No AppLab at first, so sideloading will be required. I’d like to flesh things out a bit more before submitting to AppLab. Naturally, if you buy it on Itch you'll get an AppLab key when the time comes.
This only scratches the surface of my long-term plans for Revria. I know a lot of it sounds far-fetched for a solo dev, but that's why I waited this long before sharing. To produce the proof-pudding ... anyway, the fact that this runs well enough on Quest to capture native gameplay video will hopefully demonstrate my capabilities.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to sharing more of my vision with you soon.