Rainbow Smasher is a free for all arena combat game where you battle against other unicorns for supremacy. The game features online play - fight to be the first to reach the max kill count in a given round. You can play via GearVR or PC and compete freely across platforms. Rainbows will fall, cuteness will kill.

CONTROLS

Rainbow Smasher requires a game controller paired to the Gear VR headset. *Left Analog Stick controls unicorns movement. *A jumps or selects options *X shoots *B goes back or cancels *Head Movement aims

The game can also be played in the browser at http://www.wizardpolice.com/static/web-build.html *ASDW controls unicorn movement *Space Jumps *Left Mouse shoots *Esc goes back or cancels *Mouse Movement aims

MECHANICS

As this is a multiplayer game, you will need other people playing on other devices to play a match. Once you begin the game you will be given a character name and color. You'll then drop into the arena. Once another player joins the server, the game will begin. A maximum of 4 unicorns can play in a server at one time.

The goal of the match is to rack up 5 kills before any of your opponents. To shoot, look where you'd like to aim, then hold the fire button. An arc will appear, showing the trajectory of your shot. Release the shoot button to fire along that trajectory. The closer your shot lands to your opponent, the more damage they'll take. To see you or your opponent's health, just look at the unicorn and stats will appear over their head. Be careful not to shoot to closely to yourself because there is friendly fire. Also, avoid water. If you kill yourself you will receive -1 kill. Track you and your opponents progress by watching the Rainbow above with each player's initials.

Power-ups help you get a leg up on your opponent. They only last for a little while so use them wisely.

  • Rainbow Hearts - Refill your precious unicorn blood!
  • Spread Cannon - Forget firing one round at once, let's fire three!
  • Cluster Bombs - Why not have extra rounds burst out of your shot as it nears the ground!?
  • Laser Skates - Make your unicorn a speed demon!
  • Range Enhancer - Fire further across the map to snipe your opponents!
  • Bounce Booster - Get ups like Mike!

Once the round is over everyone will receive recognition for their valiant (or cowardly) fighting. After 10 seconds another round will begin.

INNOVATION

Rainbow smashers was built from the ground up to be the first multiplayer shooter that really works well in VR. Every choice from camera position, to UI elements, to visual style was built to accommodate VR first. We built a web client because VR headsets are still rare, and it would allow a group of friends to pass a gear VR around while everyone else plays on laptops.

From a technical standpoint, we haven't encountered any online action PVP games for the GearVR, and wanted to be the first. Though it was fairly ambitious, we had access to plenty of tools to make the job a little bit easier. The end result is that cross-platform online play is not only doable, but works pretty well! If you want to try it out, feel free to connect to our web build and play against somebody in the GearVR!

Keeping the camera static was our most important choice. We made the decision to keep players as comfy as possible, but it ended up providing interesting gameplay opportunities. For instance, since everyone has the same vantage point, barriers can be created that hide players from everyone's views. It makes a great cover system. The map is wrapped around the players preventing anyone from seeing the entire map at one time. Information can be placed above and around the playing field, allowing quick glances. It really starts to feel like the future of table top games.

We were dogmatic when it came to keeping all our UI in world. Information is placed where it most useful to the player. Simply look at your unicorn to see its health and power-ups. Look at an opponent to see theirs. Messages about the overall state of the game are spawned according to where the player is currently looking, but not in the way of their view. Once they appear they stay locked to the world and slowly float away. Information about the overall match is placed above the player to allow them to focus on the game. If you loose your unicorn an arrow will point in its direction. The crosshair sits in world.

The technical task of building out UI that works correctly, in-world, while remaining unobtrusive, actually turned out to be pretty fun. Looking at things to activate them ends up feeling really natural.

Visually we picked a style that looked great, and used as little resources as possible. We wanted plenty of overhead for characters and particle effects, so we kept environmental textures, effects, and polygons to a minimum. We went as far as creating environmental shadows with hand made meshes, baking out different colored textures manually, replacing background geometry with simple sprites, and, on the whole, cutting every conceivable corner while still maintaining a visually pleasing art style.

Through this singular focus we've been able to create a game that is both easier and more fun to play in VR. While the game's still playable on a laptop, it suffers being an imperfect port, like so many games currently being made for VirtualReality. We see this as a huge accomplishment.

Post Jam Feature Additions

  • Drastically reduced fill rate issues in order to get the game at a solid 60 fps with a moderate amount of onscreen activity for the GearVR
  • Added links to executables for the PC and OSX build - play with or without the Oculus Rift, against GearVR or other players
  • Added link to the rainbow smasher website

Final Release Features Planned

  • Bots for single player mode
  • Meta game in the form of a collection and unlock mechanic
  • Level polish
  • Improved game flow on disconnecting from server
  • Bug fixes for unicorn animation states and off-screen arrow positioning
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Updates

posted an update

Hey guys! I sat down and did everything in my power to eliminate the fill-rate issues in the game, and I'm happy to say I got it to run at 60fps on the GearVR MOST of the time (it can still bog down with a lot of onscreen action). The updated APK with the performance tweaks is the second of the two APK's listed. The third link goes to our web build, so you can play in a browser against users that are on the GearVR. Enjoy!

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