Caaaaardboard! launches!

Mobile VR is pretty amazing if you ask me. Google’s Cardboard initiative is an early proof of concept, but at ~$2 of materials (plus a semi-recent smart phone which many already have in their pockets), VR can be experienced by a much larger audience.

We’re happy to announce the launch of our Google Cardboard port of Aaaaa!, and of course we’ve called it “Caaaaardboard!” ;)

caaaaardboard

reviews

What’s new?
Well, in order to support Google Cardboard, we had to re-design the entire interaction around the fact that your hands will be in use, holding the device to your face!

  • Look-based movement! – We re-did our control scheme to make it so navigation while flying can be accomplished by looking toward the direction you want to go. It’s pretty natural!
  • Hands-free menu interaction! – We ripped out the menu system and put in a simple gaze-based “Look here to start” mechanic to allow for input without any controllers or clicking.
  • Framerate! – We optimized our game to run at 60+ FPS on mid-level Android devices. Since all rendering happens twice, we basically had to hit 120fps.
  • World-space UI – In previous VR implementations of Aaaaa!, we had the UI floating in front of your face in a way that made it follow wherever you looked. This was good in some ways and bad in others. Now, we’ve revamped the UI and opted to make it exist a few meters in front of you in the world, which is a really pleasant experience!

You can grab Caaaaardboard! on the Google Play store here!

card

Dyscourse update! IGF! TEASER TRAILER!

Oh hey, it’s November. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. Let’s have a little chat! We have some news to share!

Kickstarter Money – GONE!

I know, I know. We said we needed the $44k to build Dyscourse, BUT when we heard that for only $43k, we could plant an Owlchemy flag on a comet via probe, we jumped right on that!
Worth it? I think so.Worth it? I think so.
Okay, maybe we didn’t do that… but we did do a bunch of Dyscourse-y things!

Teaser Trailer!

It appears we have a little teaser trailer now. Will you look at that!

So, yeah! New never before seen imagery, environments, situations, etc. We’re excited!

Submitted to IGF!

Yes, Dyscourse is submitted. Whatever happens, we’re super glad that we pushed hard to hit the IGF build milestone. Rallying together as a team to get a solid working build was very helpful from a production standpoint and was also personally rewarding to bring the game to the next level. Dyscourse is the kind of game where it takes a while to get a ‘working’ build up and running, since we need the whole team play through it, do a polish pass on the existing narrative, close up any weird loopholes, block off any areas that aren’t completed, and finally wrap and deploy that specific build.

IGF Build Feedback

Since we had that shiny contest build just sitting there, we decided that would be a good time to send it to a few trusted colleagues, friends, frenemies, etc, to get some real, raw feedback. Things are looking up!! Our feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the constructive criticism received aligned with what we were planning on tackling next, so we’re quite happy with how things are coming along, albeit slowly. So we’re still just cranking away at the task list and trying to finish up all of our features in time for launch.

Here are some choice quotes from our round of feedback on the IGF build:

  • “I was hooked.”
  • “Totally into it. We’d buy it.”
  • “Music is great, really great.”
  • “The game is great :). I was surprised at how quickly I picked up the names and personalities of all the characters, the writing is solid. I’ll definitely run through it again.”
  • “What is this crap? Where are the guns?”
  • “Hmm, not enough cowbell.”

We had the fortune of being grilled by the Boston Indie Game Collective members, followed by a public showing at Game On Austin the following night, where we were awarded “BEST IN SHOW” by Without The Sarcasm :) Thanks guys!

Old-Ass Beta Build

That old thing? Ugh. Have you ever looked back on your old creative work and cringed at all of the mistakes and issues that have since been fixed, revamped, cut, or made 10x better? Well, that’s how we feel about the beta build. On that note, we’ll be removing the beta build from the Steam repository on December 1st so if you still want to check out the laughably old beta build before we remove it, you have a few weeks left.

WebGL and Humble Bundles


Oh yeah, since we last spoke, we had two games in a Humble Bundle sponsored by Mozilla! It turns our our WebGL port of Aaaaa! (and Jack Lumber) ended up as the first ever commercial Unity WebGL game. Unity even wrote a wonderful blog post about it on their company blog. We <3 Unity.

Speaking of Unity… Unity 5!

Yes, we’re upgrading Dyscourse to Unity 5. It’ll take some work but the game will benefit from the shiny new features, updated pathfinding, better lighting… all of that. We’ll be making the actual transition to Unity 5 pretty soon.

Events, Events, Events!

In the past few weeks, Alex has been running around giving talks, attending conferences, and using Uber far too often. Most recently, he returned home from a friendly visit to Valve HQ, speaking at GDC Next, and attending Oculus Connect. Lets just say that the future is bright and that VR is the future ;)

The team is already, believe it or not, prepping for next year’s conference circuit. It sneaks up on you! With PAX South, Indiecade East, GDC, PAX East, and SXSW Interactive all coming up within the Jan-Mar time period, it’s going to be a crazyyyy time. We’ll let you know what our plans are when we know them ourselves!

Screenshots?

Here’s some new hotness!


That’s about it.

<3’s,

Owlchemy

 

Jack Lumber and Snuggle Truck – Trading Cards!

Both Jack Lumber and Snuggle Truck now have Steam Trading Cards! For those of you who are into that kinda thing, you should check em out!

blogpost

blogpost2_st

To celebrate, we’re putting both games on a 50% off sale all this week! Check out Jack Lumber and Snuggle Truck on Steam today!