Triangular Pixels are entering Oculus VR Jam 2015! With our title Double Destruction.
To play this game, you will need a Gear VR and one other Android device (another Note 4 is fine).
The Gear VR player must install this APK (which is the same as the one on the Challenge Post link);
And the non-Gear player must install this APK, on a reasonably modern phone;
This has been tested on a Galaxy S4, Note 3 and Note 4. Remember to turn off Power Saving!
Your friend has been shrunk down to size! Defend them from tiny ghosts with your lantern while they run around the tabletop dungeon looking for a way to return to normal.
You will have to work together! Communication and teamwork are key.
The miniature dungeon raider (VR player) has to find all the Runes to return to normal using their ‘Rune’ meter on the magical book they carry. The problem is, they are being chased down by ghosts, and it’s pitch black.
It’s up to their full sized buddy (tablet player) to keep the path lit for the dungeon raider, while also using the very same lantern to also scare away ghosts. Of course they have a slight problem too, a lack of fuel – calcium carbide if you must know. It’s up to the full-sized player to guide the mini-raider to find fuel hidden around the dungeon in order to keep the lantern going.
Asynchronous Multiplayer Gameplay
VR Player Features
* Much loved, accessible gameplay from the makers of Smash Hit Plunder
* Hunt using a ‘Rune’ meter to detect where Runes are hidden
* Find the lantern fuel, guided by the tablet player
* Avoid ghosts in the dark as you navigate the dungeon
Tablet Player Features
* See the VR Player run around the miniature dungeon as the ghouls hunt them down
* Guide the VR Player to the fuel hidden around the dungeon
* Scare away ghosts with your lantern
* Refill & relight the lantern with really tactile controls
* Adjust how much the lantern is burning in order to preserve fuel, but to also give out enough light to still give the VR Player enough to see, and to scare away ghosts
Gear VR Player
Touch pad only
* Aim to where you want to walk to with the purple walking pole, and tap to go there
* To pick up an object, look at it until it glows and tap and hold the touch pad
* To shake an object, while holding the object, rub the touch pad
* To throw an object, while holding something, swipe the touch pad in the direction to throw – letting go of the pad in the process
* To interact with buttons, look at tap
* To bring up the book in front of you, tap the Options button
* If you choose sit down mode, you can turn around by swiping the touch pad in the direction you want to turn, while you are not looking at or holding a close object
Accomplice Player (Android Tablet or Phone)
* The lamp needs fuel in, in order to light
* To change the lamp, move the camera by swiping to the workshop area
* To fuel the lamp, pull open the draw on the lamp, and pick up and drop in fuel
* To light the lamp, drag over the candle to the lamp wick
* To affect the brightness of the lamp, change the gold slider under the wick
Double Destruction, and it’s sister game, Smash Hit Plunder, are explicitly designed for VR and take advantage of what VR is great for – exploring space, and rewards players for doing so.
It uses the wireless advantage of the Gear VR to allow players to look entirely around, without the worry of getting caught up in wires.
There are a few features that make this game perfect for VR;
In order for players to really truly believe they are somewhere, they need to feel like they have real impact on the world rather than just observing. Double Destruction encourages players to interact with the environment, make it a mess, make it their own, by doing what they want with it. This is core to the game mechanics so players are reminded that they are truly inside the game world second by second.
It’s so important to have controls that the player has to activate themselves, so to allow a feeling of player agency, control, and empowerment.
Smash Hit Plunder was the first game on VR that allowed for 3D exploration of the environment in first person using the touch pad. Double Destruction uses this method of walking to allow players to get anywhere they wish within the level.
The very simple touch controls of Double Destruction allow non-gamers and less able players to enjoy and play the game on the same level as hardcore gamers. Anyone can play with the simplest of tapping controls, while slightly more advanced players can get used to the more interesting contextual interaction that can be found secretly in game.
The fact that it’s such a simple interface, the human brain instantly forgets that they are just touching a touch pad and really feels like they are interacting as the players in game avatar suggests. This happens while humans are driving too, rather than saying ‘I’m turning the wheel to turn the car to turn left,’ they just skip all that and say ‘I’m turning left.’ Simple tool use has been built into us for countless generations, and the touch pad allows this.
We are playing to the strengths for the fact that VR allows you to go to places you will never be able to go in real life. The art style feels like a game you would have played as a child, old pixel art. With VR you can finally run around that pixel world, like you have been teleported inside the game itself.
We needed to create something that looked friendly, fun, and wouldn’t scare you, in order to tempt first time VR users. This is not only in the art style, but now in the design, audio and behaviour of the ghosts in Double Destruction.
Players are very easily scared in VR, and it’s not always a positive thing. Players that get too scared will take off the headset and refuse to go back in. This is a negative reaction and if that player was a first time VR user, they may not ever return to the technology. Because of this, we felt we needed to make any in game threats really soft, friendly looking almost – and never jump the player.
* The ghost look goofy almost, like they don’t really pose a threat
* They are always lit, so if they are in the same room, the player can always see them
* They move slowly, bob in a cartoon-like fashion, and don’t make any sudden movements so not to startle the player
* They always spawn outside the level, and slowly move in, again, so not to jump the player
* They are always making cartoon like ghost noises, so you know where they are relative to you, and you know what state they are in
UI in the World
As soon as the players start the game, all UI, including the pause menus, are inside the world and all make contextual sense within it. This is to keep the player feeling like they are actually inside a world, rather than observing a screen.
In Smash Hit Plunder we created our Shared Screen, which allows non-Gear players to join in on the fun, bantering and observing the Gear player by watching the action from a 2D map on a PC server screen. We felt like it was important that we made VR a together positive experience. VR normally is quite isolating, with this device covering you from the outside world, and you make be the only real human inside this whole virtual world. The Shared Screen breaks players out of that and gets their friends to join them on their quest.
In Double Destruction, we wanted to make this a key feature of the game. The ‘Accomplice’ is an app which joins to the Gear VR, and allows players to help out the Gear VR player directly, with very real side effects. The multiplayer is co-op so to encourage as much talking as possible, reminding the players that they are in the game together.
The Accomplice can move their lamp around a tiny table top version of the world which the Gear VR player is running around. Only the Accomplice can light the world, and the Gear player can see that lamp moving around. Only the Accomplice can see where fuel is hidden, light up the world and scare ghosts that are after the player. Both players have to communicate as part of the core gameplay. The multiplayer really means something and if the players both win is decided upon not only skill, but how the two work together.
Read more about the shared screen here
Badly designed VR can make players feel uncomfortable. We’ve done a lot of research and play testing to create various features that stop players feeling ill.
Read more about these comfort features here.
Comfort isn’t just about stopping motion sickness, it’s allowing players to feel like they are themselves. The simple option of being able to change the colour of your own hands makes players feels like it’s them running around, rather than being forced into a body that isn’t theirs. Along those lines, we purposely do not show more than the hands of the player. this is because there are so many body shapes in the world, and we felt like that having no body was preferable to looking down and not seeing your own body.
We want to move beyond our Shared Screen to a genuine interactive social experience. VR can be a lonely place, more often or not you are the only person in that environment and you have a large device blocking you from the outside world. We want to break open that barrier with multiplayer that encourages communication and real consequences in the game between VR and Tablet.
We decided we wanted something that was approachable for non-competitive players. We’ve found that VR has a much broader range of audience than most other games. People old and young wish to experience and share it. Competitive multiplayer can be a friction point for a lot of non-gamers, especially when they feel overwhelmed by a particularly skilled opponent. We want to encourage players to help each other, work together.
The chances of players having two VR devices, let alone two Gear VRs, is very small – so we didn’t want to produce a mode which hard anyone will be able to enjoy. Again, this goes back to making a game that’s approachable and accessible, which also means that the hardware also needs to be as accessible as possible.