Hello All,

Soon we’ll add a real roadmap but for now here’s a tentative road map of major features to expect for the game.

  1. Voice Chat – in one to two weeks
  2. Better player discovery – in about a month
  3. More game modes – in about a month
  4. Motion controls and release on more platforms – time is TBD and may depend on funding

For awhile we were trying to decide if better to release as one big release or over several chunks, we decided to release features as they are made so you will see them in chunks every week or two.

Cheers,
Rick

Happy New Year!

Our team is at work improving the multiplayer experience, especially online. The most requested feature is “search for online game in background”. This, along with a few more game modes are planned and in progress for online games. We will send out more updates as we get closer to release of these features.

Have a happy and healthy 2017!

Rick

A lot more has happened and suddenly Disc League is ready to launch on the Gear VR app store this week!

What’s new?

League mode

For single player, we now have a league mode where you can compete in 4 events against 30 other teams. There are many difficulty levels and at the two hardest levels (hard and “iron man”) you compete in 1 v 2 and 1 v 3 tournaments. It is very challenging and very fun!

Touchpad Gameplay

Many Gear VR users do not have a bluetooth gamepad so we’ve added full playability using the touchpad. Everything that gamepad users can do, touchpad users can too.

Lots of optimizations

Not all phones are created equal. Even the same phones are not the same in all regions (from a processor standpoint). A lot has gone into optimizing the game. That being said, Disc League is still an intense game and demands a lot from your phone but it will run smooth (60 fps) on every supported phone on the Gear VR platform.

Other secret sauce

There are other features that we cannot disclose yet … and that’s all we can say about that

New videos

Checkout our new videos on the home page and the game modes page (that page is new too)

Home <- lots of gameplay

Game Modes <- slightly more descriptive video

 

Much is happening and I’m forcing this time in for an update… so what would be interesting???

How about videos of our new levels?

Celestial Stadium

A giant stadium high above the planet’s surface where thousands of fans cheer you on.

Some changes will be made to support a spectator view and maybe add more of a ceiling but this level is pretty close to done.

Planetary Rooftops

Enjoy a pleasant battle atop futuristic skyscrapers while jamming out to the latest psychedelic trance.

You really must see this level in virtual reality to appreciate the depth. A few adjustments will be made to the arena to make it more performant and pretty but environment is mostly done.

Neon Theatre

Perform in front of a more personal audience in this class and flashy theatre.

Technically this level was already done but we redid some materials and added pulsing lighting effects to bring it a bit more to life.

 

Other Stuff

There are other improvements to gameplay and character models and stability, improved load times, etc. These things are all awesome but don’t show as well for video. The models in these videos still have some neck problems, which are now addressed we just haven’t captured more video.

 

 

It has been a VERY busy time lately. Lots going on but frankly I don’t want to bore you with text at first. So I will show you pretty pictures (screenshots) and videos of game play, then briefly talk about internet gaming.

Screenshots

A few new characters and all new discs, they are animated!

 

Gameplay Videos

These are captured right from the Gear VR so they are square and don’t have sound.

Singles (Mano a Mano)

Doubles (2 v 2)

The Internets

Disc League is built on a server authoritative architecture. What does that mean? It means there is a real version of the game running somewhere on the internet (the server), and all of the clients see some approximation of the server’s reality. The server is the truth, the only truth. Clients are just pressing buttons and moving sticks to play the game. To make this look good it requires a lot of client side prediction. But the main reason to choose this type of a system is that it is much harder to cheat. Many modern FPS games use this architecture. The technology we are built on is called Photon Bolt. It isn’t particularly optimized for mobile but we hacked it enough to be efficient on Gear VR. We hope to have some video of people playing it across the Internet real soon.

I’m not an expert on networking but here’s a guy who is:

What every programmer needs to know about game networking

 

Here’s a short video showing 4 player LAN game. 2 Rifts, 2 GearVRs, 4 kids, lots of screaming.

 

They found a gameplay bug while playing. Thankfully it appears to be more of a game state but not really networking, which means my netcode is doing alright. There are still some funky timing issues but overall it is quite playable and even a bit competitive.

I will keep this update short because we are very much in the middle of building out the demo.

Multiplayer is looking good. Our crazy physics prediction stuff across the network has been working quite well in our testing across phones and Oculuses (Oculi?). Most of our work has been in making the game playable for non-developers: better UI, nicer handling of disconnects, reconnects, that type of thing. The gameplay is feeling good because of the immediate responses in our movement and our disc throws are pretty solid. Particularly the disc hits seem pretty synchronized between host and client. It still isn’t perfect but pretty darn good and very playable, even competitively. In a couple of weeks I hope to get some better film of people playing the game. We’ve been testing with 3 and 4 players, still working out a few issues. Soon, very soon we’ll be pushing out a new build to Oculus.

Environments are in progress

Here are some screenshots of “Celestial Stadium” and “Planetary Rooftops”, the next two levels you’ll compete in. These are obviously works in progress!

There are some other cool assets that have been created but not yet added to the game. I’ll post pics of that stuff after we get them in.

That’s all for now.

Cheers,
Rick

The last few weeks have been about preparing a demo. This has been helpful in giving us an excuse to do all of those little things (like putting in UI and a pause button, tutorial) that we continually put off because are not high priority enough. The game is much more playable for non-team members now! We’ve also started putting in new character assets.

New Characters & Helmets

Made new shaders, models, and materials for helmets and uniforms

These uniforms and helmets look even better in game when characters are moving around the arena with specular lighting – it’s kind of a hack but I like it.

New Environments just getting started

These are rough blockouts. If you’re not used to seeing early work then close your eyes. Otherwise imagine what these will be like when completed. Should be about a month of work each, they are being created in parallel.

SpaceStadiumBlockout
Space Stadium
RoofTopBlockout
Roottop Level

 

New UI and Tutorial

The UI is more functional now, driven by joystick not look and click anymore.

Tutorial

Decided this tutorial was necessary after watching people play the game and not do enough cool stuff. There’s a lot you can do in a physics based game!

Tutorial01Tutorial02

What’s Next?

We got feedback from Oculus QA and need to address some issues and give them a new build. Then will continue to sharpen the look of character assets, keep environment artwork going and try to shift back onto networking code. Oculus Connect is in about 6 weeks. We need to be ready to show off at that time.

That’s right. Been working hard on getting a decent promotional video ready.

Soon we will expose Disc League to the world. For this we need to have a good message – that message will work best as a YouTube video.

The Logo

We cleaned up an earlier concept image, pumped it through After Effects, and out came this. We like it well enough for now.

 

The Video

This is about 60%-ish done. Still need to replace many clips and text overlays.

This is more work than I had anticipated. Thankfully it is turning out better than I thought. After Effects, Premiere Pro, and perspiration, all that you need to make a great video. Truly required every dimension of me: the social part (what will people be thinking), the artistic (to compose the video, set camera angles, transitions, etc), the dev guy (found most efficient way to hack this and that for the video). The gameplay is real, the assets are real but need a lot of clean up. I just had to force a few animations and camera angles here and there. We are not done with this video yet. We will finish this soon, then onto the website.

 

The Website

This is how it looks as of 2016-07-23. It is bad, we know.

Website_2016-07-23_cropped

 

Let’s not talk about this. The website still looks pretty bad. We haven’t touched it since I first threw it together. It will be important that this looks impressive and will be an easy place for people to sign up or stay in touch. To feel better about ourselves later, we posted how it looks now.

 

 

What’s Next?

Finish the video, start making the website WAY BETTER. Then put the word out. Make initial contact with potential publishers. And then… FINALLY get back to real work – NetCode!