Final Submission Notes
- Device: Snapdragon chipsets with Lollipop installed are not supported! It's a bug in the current Unreal Engine build
- Audio: Unfortunately, UE4 does not support the FMOD spatialized audio plugin yet.
- Controls: A fixed position FPS. Tap touch pad once to enable auto-fire and the back button to pause game.
- Mechanics: Use a swivel chair to immerse yourself in 360º game environment. Fire at all invading spaceships to get through waves of attacks. Grab powers-up by shooting down the mothership.
- Innovation: Immersive Virtual Environment using audio cues to associate where the danger is coming from and to instruct users as part of the UI. Additionally, parametric level design for a smooth learning curve; a subtle non-liner enemy flight path; and randomly generated attack waves so no 2 levels will ever be alike.
All the ideas outlined originally a month ago have been implemented and we look forward to polishing off the gameplay next month. Once the known issues above are resolved we will be submitting this app to the Oculus Store. Finally, here is a shortened link to the globally-signed APK: http://bit.ly/1KVmBUv
We hope you enjoy playing HEADGEAR's first VR game and thank you for your consideration.
As a casual first-person shooter WE COME IN PEACE... is a first-timers VR app. A perfect place to start for those who have never 'gone under'. With the the built-in limitations of a stationary fortress defence gameplay and the playful unassuming graphics, this alien sci-fi adventure is closer in feel to Hitchhiker's Guide... rather than HR Giger's beautifully gruesome aliens.
Taking a cue from the arcade games, the simplistic gameplay is intended not only to invoke a very playful atmosphere, but also to give users that impressive wow factor with 360º of freedom to look around from just outside Earth's atmosphere. By looking down on Earth and then up above the horizon to the moon provides just the right balance of comfort/unsettledness and familiar/unexpected emotions when entering an immersive virtual environment.
As the title ironically suggests, the object is to shoot and destroy alien vessels hell-bent on taking over the planet and subjugating its populace. Players are the last line of defence by controlling drone gun turrets that orbit our planet. Each player's headgear connects to one of these weapon satellites that also operate as shield generators holding back a full-scale invasion, hence the reason why the UFOs are not directly bombing the planet.
The attack from above, afar and behind comes in waves instead of a singular onslaught. With programmatic level design the game keeps the learning curve very shallow and unique with every iteration of the level. The game also remains extremely lightweight for this reason (see tech specs below). To make matters even easier for onboarding the gameplay is managed solely via an intuitive look and aim mechanic.
Game progression through each level is accomplished after all wave attacks are repelled. After each completed mission you are re-connected with another drone satellite above a different continent/land mass. This gives players the required emotional connection that they are saving the planet.
The game is best experienced from a swivel chair, which the user is prompted to adopt from the very beginning whilst the game is loading. The menu screen drops you straight into the gaming environment, and instinctively players will begin looking round to get their bearings in a new and foreign place. This intrinsic reaction when experiencing presence in a virtual environment aids players with identifying the scope of the playing field prior to starting.
Since the waves of attacks can come from just about anywhere, each wave begins with aliens warping/wormholing into the vicinity. By using spatialized audio as the trigger for each of these events, the player is instantly aware from which direction the imminent threat is coming. Turning their head or in their chair will reveal the next batch of baddies needing obliterated.
The firing mechanism is also simplified by means of auto-fire. Tapping the trackpad on GearVR will switch this on and off, whilst an auto shutoff occurs when the user looks down to the Earth below. This keeps gamers present in the environment and without any need of an additional controller to aim.
Evaluation still required for...
- scoring mechanic
- enemy fire, if necessary.
- an additional bonus weapon via swiping.
- profiles to save accomplishments.
- multi-player challenge mode.
As part of team HEADGEAR's "Road to VR", there has been serious investment in keeping the game design and especially the level design extremely lightweight. Two apps previously published in the Google Play Store have used various random behaviours to keep performance optimised (even for mid range handheld devices) whilst using such a powerful engine like Unreal.
Continuing in this vein the attack waves and the enemy formations are also implemented via random generation and parametric design. This provides the end-user not only with a manageable file size on the device, but also an unique gameplay experience every time a game is started. No two plays are alike and game balancing is achieved with simple set of rules for engagement instantiated at the start of every mission level.