This week we talk about what SWCTN has enabled us to create so far, and where we will be heading next.
Our big news is that thanks to the tools SWCTN have funded, we have Unseen Diplomacy 2 scaling to your play space! No more being limited to 3m x 4m! Whatever room scale setup you have, even if it’s all wibbly – small or big, Unseen Diplomacy 2 will use the full area of that space to the best of its abilities. This has meant that rather us drawing out quick square playspaces in our office, we actually draw out the nooks and crannies that are empty too, and the game will fill them.
At the moment we can say we can comfortably support down to 2m x 2m, and are planning ways to get that even lower. We can go up to whatever your hardware can support and gives us access to – so that’s 10m x 10m for Lighthouse 2.0.
We’ve also been adding gameplay as you may have seen. Lasers and doors of course, crawling is back and a new type of action – ducking. It uses a completely different set of muscles and requires a different kind of dexterity! Ducking adds extra gameplay by creating small, tight spaces that just about have enough room for obstacles and puzzles to be set in.
Crawling can be a hard activity for some, and so ducking also enables a way for wheelchair users to take part in cramped space gameplay. You can set your options at the start of the game and the game world will adapt to your needs and preferences.
Our time with SWCTN has been incredibly useful to us. We’ve been able to focus on getting these tools up and running which shows off the adapting nature of Unseen Diplomacy 2, we’ve made some example content for testing on users and the system. We have got to talk to an expert in procedural generation which has helped influence the direction we go in for how to improve the tools and we’ve been able to spend the time iterating on them.
Our first showing
Monday 17th June we showed a very early demo at Venturefest. It was mainly a business event so was great for play testing with complete VR and gamer newbies. The demo went really well – we set up in an odd space, took up as much area as we could, and the game adapted to fit within it. It was really fun to play in a larger area than our office and see how the game changed. It was a great time to spot a few things that needed fixing – so that’s what we’ve been doing this week.
Still plenty more to do!
With a bigger space, we found out that some new gameplay we added (but yet to share with you!) actually got much harder. So if you were to play in our office space you would have a good time, but if you theoretically played in a football field – the game would be nearly impossible to complete! We need to sensibly scale difficulty so that’s an area we’re looking into.
We have more work to do with our portalling system, including physics and lighting, and we have a big list of accessibility features and filters to add.
Now we have a lot of our core tech working, it’s time to start thinking about content more. There’s a pacing system we need to prototype to allow designers like myself to create level flows and other cool gameplay, and stop the game from using too many of the same bits of gameplay.
And that’s just a tiny list of what we need to do!
In the short term – we’re heading to Develop Conference in Brighton on 9th – 11th July. It’s a mainly Developer event but feel free to come and talk to us! Otherwise, we’ll be looking for funding so fingers crossed.
And on Friday 12th July our demo will be at the SWCTN showcase. We can’t make it there ourselves but it’ll be an event worth heading to if you can get tickets.
Some of the tools we’ve created with SWCTN are already very close to being in a state to release on the Unity Asset Store. Keep an eye on our Technie Tools for when they get uploaded.
We’re really happy seeing this system working, as it’s been a long time in the making with plenty of research and prototyping. How well the game adapts to different spaces and people shows us that what we’re doing and how is the right approach, and SDKs permitting, means that it’ll scale to future hardware with bigger and bigger playspaces!