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Release Notes Sticky

A topic by Don Whitaker created Apr 24, 2017 Views: 366
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(16 edits)

Alpha 12 - November 22nd

  • New menu look and layout. Still chunky but more 'put together' and consistent across all the tabs.
  • New menu tab called Collections. First page shows your collection of Vision Mods - they work like camera filters. Collect them by eating new fruits.
  • Occlusion Culling to reduce number of objects being drawn each frame.
  • Player now harvest fruits by eating instead of the hand-attached harvester. Player will eat everything to collect, harvest, or learn about things. nomnomnom!
  • Water-vision can be toggled off by selecting the water tool a 2nd time. Same with the fertilizer.

Alpha 11 - October 28th

  • Newer new terrain system. Main island is now using Unity Terrain instead of a custom mesh.
  • Fancy-schmancy terrain textures with height-based blending.
  • Grasses and weeds swaying in the wind.
  • Biomes. There are now 4 areas with different soil conditions, colors, and grasses.
  • New Trees. A new kind of plant. Less active with fruits that are good for a quick boost of Energy. For now the player cannot harvest or plant these.
  • More critters. A little more life in the Sim with RoboBees, RockNoms, and Herders. The Herders will eat some of your plants and be repelled by others. If they do eat your crops they will leave behind a little fertilizer as a thank-you. ;)
  • Floating islands are back. They are still pretty much empty, but that will be changing soon.
  • Help Tab on the menu with basic info and instructions.

Alpha 10 - April 27th, 2019

  • Mega Island home. Greatly expanded area for the  player to plant and explore.  Approx 4 square kilometers, or 1.5 square miles.   Sounds huge when I write it down. :) Not finished decorating but it looks great so far.
  • Spiffy new soil system. Live updates to the soil's texture that reflects current Water and Compost levels. This has been my holy grail since the beginning of the project. I finally have a version that is fast enough for VR - less than .3 milliseconds to update the soil textures. 
  • Eat fruits! Harvest a fruit and shove it in your face to see the world in a new light. :)  Soon this will also give info about the plants and other goodies. 
  • Quick Teleport. Press A/X button on Touch or Click the pad on Vive for a quick Teleport in the direction your are pointing.
  • Long Teleport.  Use the Stick or Touchpad to fine-tine the teleport location and distance.
  • Beginnings of the Save/Load system. Very crude at the moment but you can save your current plants and load 'em later. Soil conditions not saved yet. This was a big step for me, never coded anything like this before. :)
  • New and in-progress plants. Some are not yet fully functional. All are kind of a mess in regards to growth parameters water use, compost use, etc. 
  • Lots of changes under the hood for the plant growth system. More efficient now and much easier for me to create new plants and variations.
  • Changes to the lighting system. I've given up on full real-time lights in favor of baked lighting with light probes. Looks great and the performance is much improved.  This also lets the player see shadows for the full camera rendering distance.  
  • No floating islands at the moment. I had a system set up for fading them in and out but something went wrong and it's causing crashes. The islands will be back soon. 

Alpha 9 - October 13th, 2018

  • New Cloud system. Clouds now drift about and occasionally clump together. When enough of them gather it will rain.  This will be xpanded on later with new types of 'rain' - including pests and other challenges for the player. 
  • Tweaks to the zero-G locomotion. Still tweaking the various Speed settings for the free move locomotion. Really need some more testers for this. I'm pretty much immune to VR sickness so it's hard for me to judge what is too intense. :)

Alpha 8 - October 1st, 2018

  • Removed the Full Body Avatar. I've been messing around with the player movement system and the avatar was requiring way too much attention. I had to tweak and adjust it along with every change I made. So it's gone for now , but may be back in the future. 
  • New "Artist's Palette" style menu. The Menu button opens the menu that's held in one hand as you select an icon with the opposite hand. 
  • Point at a seed or tool to see a short description and inventory amount
  • New Options tab on the menus. Lots of locomotion options:
    • Snap turn + angles
    • Smooth turn + speeds
    • Teleport
    • Free Movement + speeds
    • Swap move/rotate hands
    • steer with hand or face
    • swap hands for info text scree - coming soon.
  • Menus and controls are all fully ambidextrous.  Use anything with either hand.  
  • Revised movement system. Smoother when switching gravity on/off and overall more consistent between modes. 
  • Some tweaks to Teleport system, but it still needs work.
  • New cursors for grabbing, info, and menu selection. Should be easier to tell what you are pointing at. Player can still only grab ripe fruits. 
  • Basic sound effects when player bumps into things are skims across the ground. 

Alpha 7 - January 15th, 2018

  • Full-body avatar test. Using a fantastic unity plugin called FinalIK to add a full body, animated avatar for the player to control. All of the animation is generated on the fly from the position of the player's head and hands. Very tricksy. 
  • New Pest - called RockNom for now, but hoping to come up with something better. ;)  Eventually will spread as part of a 'thunderstorm' type event, but for now a sparkly comet might deliver some to your island.  They'll eat all the nutrients in your soil and they multiply quickly. You can eliminate them with one of your garden tools. 
  • Tweaks to player controls and grab system. 
  • Alignment of scanner, delete, grab, and other lines was changed to match the new avatar hands. Eventually there will be options to adjust these angles.
  • When Gravity is On  your avatar is a humanoid figure that walks and mirrors your movements. With Gravity Off you are a disembodied cloud of  fire and stone floating through space. :) New avatar set-up will allow for some fun character customization options. 
  • You can now see the active Tool or Seed in the palm of your hands. 

Alpha 6 - November 8th

  • Updated game engine to Unity v 2017.2
  • Nifty new shaders that supply a slightly cartoonish look.
  • Grab all fruits with both hands - current fruits active on GeoMelon, CosmiCorn, Bambooya, and DingleBerry
  • Tele-grab. Grab things from a distance. Your hand turns green when it's ready to grab. Uses the Grip button to grab  Soon an option for trigger, too. 
  • Tele-harvest. Harvesting 'portals' attached to your hands. Turn your  ripe fruit into more Seeds, Energy, or Compost.   Finally have an actual Game Loop. :)  Plant, Care, Harvest.
  • More tweaks to the locomotion system. Trying to make both modes feel consistent even though the Gravity On version needs to be different to make it work on uneven terrain.
  • Teleport now works when gravity is off. Just point into space to TP.  Set distance for now - later the player will be able to adjust the distance. 

Alpha 5 - October 6th

  • New player controller. Now it's all under one coherent system, all physics based.
  • Teleporting is no longer a tool based action. 
  • Player can change locomotion modes: teleport or thrusters
  • smooth turn or snap-turn
  • snap-turn by specified angle or choose any angle with stick/pad
  • turn strafing on/off
  • Improved teleport controls and marker
  • fixed velocity of thrown objects
  • fixed: some held fruits pushing player around

Alpha 4 - September 6th

  • Player can now harvest fruits from plants. Right-hand only for now. Grip button when your hand is near a ripe fruit. 
  • Fruits now give an indication when they are ripe.  More colorful and brighter is ripe.
  • Improved Clouds.  Now physics-enabled and more efficient. 
  • 14 new islands to find and explore.  Empty (for now)
  • 4 new farm-able islands. 
  • Velocity is transferred when player turns gravity belt off. 
  • Water and fertilizer particles now inherit velocity from player
  • Improved skyboxes

Alpha 3 - July 31st

  • Updated to SteamVR plugin 1.2.2
  • New Hands. Wanted to see what the game feels like with hands instead of controllers. Feels good. Just a few generic poses for now, but I will add more specific poses as time goes on. 
  • New configuration for fly/walk. Toggle between flying and walking by pressing the right stick/trackpad. Much easier now to switch between modes. No more 'pull-string' rocket tool, but I may bring that back in the future. 
  • Lots of new floating islands - I made a baker's dozen of new islands to populate the sky. All empty for now but eventually they will have things to discover and experience.
  • Dynamic lights -  similar to a day/night cycle without the annoying night time. :)  Still needs work but I like this first pass. Adds some nice variation to the visuals without bringing affecting performance significantly. 
  • Player now rotates around their head, instead of the center of their playspace.  More comfortable.

Alpha 2 - June 20th

  • Updated game engine to Unity v 5.6
  • GPU instancing now functioning properly along with Single Pass Stereo Rendering. Big performance boost!  
  • New plant - Energy Bubblers
  • New skyboxes
  • New control  to apply modified colors and image effects 
  • Delete plant tool
  • New cloud system
  • Beginnings of Inventory system
  • Harvest water from clouds, energy from stars, fertilizer from planetoids

Alpha 1 - May 14th, 2017

  • Basic player movement - classic first person controls or teleport
  • Bare-bones menu to choose plants and tools
  • Tools for watering and fertilizing soil
  • 7 different plants that grow, die, produice fruits, and respawn
  • Gravity jets that allows players to fly and navigate in 3D space
  • Scanning tool for testing soil conditions and identifying plants