Enemies With Guns, Melee Improvements, Machines, PCVR

Update: A new version of the demo is now available on Itch.io (10/23/22).

We are looking for testers. If you are interested, please check out  the Discord server for the game. and let us know.

The Steam page for the game is up . The PCVR version of the game will eventually be available there.

We are still waiting for approval from Applab for the Quest 2 version.

Over the last few weeks we have made a number of improvements to the game. First of all, the minions now shoot guns instead of throwing fireballs (one of the more powerful minions still throws fireballs).

We have also improved the melee combat system a bit. Getting melee right in VR is difficult, and there are a number of VR games that have been around for a while that do it very well. Eventually we plan on having RoTF be at feature parity with these games.

These were the problems we noticed with the melee in the game:

  • The only melee weapon, the hammer, was too “floppy” if it was held in one hand (most users probably will not even notice that you can stabilize the hammer by grabbing with two hands). In reality you would not use a sledgehammer with one hand, but we are not trying to make a realistic game. We first attempted to mitigate this issue by replacing the hammer with a shorter melee weapon, the morning star. It had the same issue, but not to the same extent. After some research and experimentation we figured out how to hack the rigidbody properties so that the hammer behaved properly. I uploaded a free version of the game with the morning star, but the next version will have the hammer again. Later when the inventory system is implemented we might have more melee weapons. 
  • The enemies crowd the player and “trap” them so that they do not have room to swing the hammer. To solve this problem we made two changes. The enemies now move back properly when they are too close, and when certain enemies are damaged they stagger backward. For some reason it is difficult to find good stagger animations, so we used motion capture to make our own. We still need to implement staggering for a lot of the enemies and record better stagger animations. We thought that making the weapon shorter would help as well, but found that the morning star is too short (you have to extend your arm too far so it is more likely you will hit something in the real world). So we settled for a shorter hammer that is still longer than the morning star, but we will likely be reverting the hammer to its original length.
  • There was a bug where the enemies would move erratically when you were close to them. This was due to an impact reaction behavior reacting to minor collisions with the player’s weapon. For now we just removed the impact reaction behavior.
  • The game allows you to bludgeon enemies with your guns, and punch them with a closed fist. We suspect that few players realize this. To make it more obvious we added a trail effect when the guns or fists are swung hard enough that it would do damage to an enemy. The damage is much less than that inflicted by the hammer.

The reason that the PCVR version of the game is not yet available, is that we have not had the opportunity to test on many headsets. We have tested the PCVR version on the Quest 2 via Oculus Link, the Oculus Rift S, and the original HTC Vive. The game works properly on these headsets/controllers, but we have not tested it on the Valve Index. Next week we will have access to a Valve Index. If it works properly on that headset then we will release the PCVR demo.

Previously we were using a quad in front of the camera for the damage texture and fading. On headsets with a wider FOV this was problematic since the quad was cut off on the sides. To resolve this problem we simply changed from a quad to a hemisphere. There are still issues with the animated directional damage indicators which are still quads.

We have added machinery with rotating gears to the game. My original vision was that the environment would have a lot of moving machinery, almost like a clocktower. Our artist, TheO, did a fantastic job on these models. You can see a screenshot of the first machine attached to this post. We still have to place more of them throughout the level. The explanation for the machines is that they move and process fluids, and generate energy. Water is drawn into the structure and processed. As a result the water is transformed into a toxic sludge, which harms the player if they touch it

We are still working on some art assets that we feel are necessary for the first early access released. This week TheO finished the models for the temple gates. In the lore of RoTF the “Old Temple” was conquered and a “New Temple” was built around it. The Old Temple is contained in the New Temple. The art that was previously in the game was entirely for the New Temple, except for two statues. We need the artwork for the Old Temple since the story scene at the beginning takes place in it. Once that scene is reskinned to have the appearance of the Old Temple, the first paid early access version will be ready for release.

Lastly, I restored the tutorial that was in the game a few months ago. The game is fairly complex, and it is difficult to learn while playing. The conventional approach is to have in-game tutorials, but I feel like the ones I have are not adequate. So for now there will be a tutorial scene for players that really want to learn the game. The tutorial will be in the next build.

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