v042 - Spin Me Right Round, Baby


Woo! This update is super satisfying for me. Some technical challenges were solved this time around which, I think, significantly improve the overall game. There are also the usual assortment of graphics improvements and bug fixes. Plus, there's some groundwork laid out for future features and improvements. I'll cover those major technical improvements briefly, then let you get right to the hockey!

The biggest news, Windows Mixed Reality is now officially supported in the main branch! This is pretty huge. You WMR users represent >10% of the total VR market and you deserve great games. So, strap on those headsets and enjoy! You'll find native controls that feel comfortable, without the need to launch SteamVR. 

Next, we added our popular Room Recentering feature for SteamVR users. No longer is it exclusive to Oculus users! This means those of you with an HTC Vive can now choose where you want the center of your room to be. It sounds like a little feature, but in practice it makes a big difference. If you have an irregular playspace or just want to step back an extra couple of feet from your desk... this feature is for you. (I'm particularly proud of this one, because I wrote a custom engine plugin to accomplish it. That was a new type of challenge for me, and I learned a lot. You guys don't have to care about that, though. It's just for me and my ego.)

I also finally solved a math problem which has been plaguing me for a while! Artificial rotation (Smooth Turning) is now centered on where the player is standing, instead of the middle of the playspace. This will help reduce nausea, increase immersion, and make the complete experience more natural.  As a player, you'll never notice that this feature exists. Because it's simply how you expect rotation to work. But if you don't notice it, that's a good thing! Because you'll certainly notice when it doesn't work properly. 

Lots of things are prettier now! Speed Lines got an overhaul. They trail off into the distance and look fantastic (in my opinion, of course). Clouds fit the style of the game more. The background mountains were updated to, you know, look more like mountains. The sky changes colors when you win/lose. The ribbons on gates are fancy and animated now. And there are new sound effects and music as well.

You also might notice that some of the garage doors can be opened now. So, you can go inside. This feature is pretty much just cosmetic in this update. But next time, it'll be integrated more heavily into the flow of the game. It was fun to make, that's for sure.

Get ready for the next update! Because with almost all of the core features in place, it's about time to start working on adding more depth of content.

v042 - DevLog
Gameplay Adjustments

+ Native support for Windows Mixed Reality
+ Recenter Room now works for SteamVR
+ Added opening/closing garage doors

Performance
+ Minor material optimizations

Graphics
+ Added Multi-Color Targets
+ Made clouds more cartoony
+ Clouds are darker at night
+ Improved texture system
+ Improved stick textures
+ Lucy Mode activates on Victory/Defeat
+ Replaced background mountains
+ Better looking Speed Lines
+ Animated materials for Gate Ribbons
+ Menu Adjustments (major overhaul coming soon)

Audio
+ Added sound effects for Targeting/Untargeting objects
+ Sound effects for open/closing garage doors
+ New song added

Bug Fixes
+ Player rotation is now based on player location, instead of room center
+ Smoother player rotation
+ Player rotation correctly reset between levels
+ Ball location decal now spawns correctly
+ Lucy Mode activates/deactivates properly
+ Targeting/Untargeting is now disabled on Victory/Defeat

Other
+ Optimized code relating to movement and rotation
+ Optimized sound effects system

Files

superhockeyball-v044a-win64.zip 1 GB
Version 24 Mar 17, 2019

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