Aquagena is a video game. Aquagena is also a planet, in a solar system of the Andromeda galaxy.
VR Drones Racing Beta subscription
Subscribe here to be part of the (Android) VR Drones Racing beta test, you’ll be notified by email as soon as the beta is available (in the comings weeks).
In a first time, these subscriptions will be limited to 100 seats.
Making of VR Drones Racing first track with LightWave
Introducing the VR Drones Racing project
You may have noticed my interest in VR headsets and race tracks’ modeling, well i think it’s time to introduce you the project i’ve been working on for several months now : VR Drones Racing
You guessed it, this project is about a drone racing game for virtual reality.
It’s intended to run on Android and iOS, maybe on oculus later, but this is not my first target. I really think that VR will be a mobile thing.
My current prototype allows me to play against 5 oponnents on a complete track and is running quite smoothly on an old Galaxy Nexus.
I still have to rework the oponnents’ AI, and produce most of the 2D and 3D graphical assets.
I will publish posts as much as possible during the development.
A First Person Shooter in Spherical Geometry
FPS (First Person Shooters) have become very popular and never ceased to improve since twenty years. They propose players to explore worlds in three dimensions, in a very simple and intuitive way. In this constantly renewed kind of game, using the same rules and codes, original variations sometimes appear:
In “Earths Of Alioth”, released in 2015, Space has become Spherical: the notion of high and low is completely gone: and for good reason, we are on satellites orbiting distant exoplanets in a fairly realistic space environment.
However, most FPS rules are present. Only the movement mode changes: You must jump from satellite to satellite, pursuing drones, also in orbit. The issue of space management, essential for the player, is thereby upset: How to move toward or away from another point of space? How to find the shortest path from one point to another by jumping on the satellites, themselves in movements? These issues are more likely common to a Space Agency, but they find immediate intuitive responses in the game.
According to us, these intuitions are natural because there are links between two-dimensional geometry, three-dimensional, and spherical geometry, the latter sharing mathematical properties with the previous two.
Video games have experienced a two-dimensional era, then a three-dimensional, it makes sense that more “Spherical Games” make their appearances. Today’s Haptic screens and tablets fit that perfectly.
“Earths Of Alioth” is available on iTunes App Store and Google Play.
Lightwave Quick n’ dirty HowTo : creating a simple spaceship race track
This is a Quick and dirty HowTo demonstrating the basic method for modeling a wipeout like race track in lightwave using the Rail extrude tool.
My experience with VR Headsets
Since Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign was launched, Virtual Reality became a growing trending topic. In the mid 2014 i decided to finally make a jump in it, but as i’m more interested in mobile development, i bought a Durovis Dive, an accessory that basically convert your smartphone in an Oculus like VR headset.
The Durovis Dive is more like a Google Cardboard in plastic with some straps to maintain it on your head (the Google Cardboard was not existing yet).
You launch your favorite VR app on your phone , put the phone in the Dive , put the whole thing on your head, and your are ready to go. No cables, it just work as well as the app is good at tracking your head movements.
It’s made with more or less cheap plastic, but it’s OK because it was just less than 70 euros. (latest version is now available for 50 euros)
The other minor cons of the Dive are :
- the size of the lenses
- the lens holder itself
- the phone mount system
Despite this i was happy with the Dive and started to work on my own VR experiments and a brand new project (but it’s another story).
To make the Dive a little more immersive, i purchased new lenses from magnifiers found on amazon : http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-SV-2LP-LED-Pocket-Lighted-Magnifier/dp/B000BQSWK8/
and downloaded a new lens holder to print it via shapeways : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:277225
It was better but some weeks later i found the crowdfunding campaign for the Homido headset. The final product seemed to be more qualitative for the same price, and it’s a detail, was built in my country. So i participated to the campaign and received mine some weeks later.
The Homido headset is way more better than the Dive, good plastics, big lenses, comfortable and the lens holder is robust and fully adjustable.
Now that the Samsung Gear VR is available for some little more euros, i ‘m still using the Homido, because it’s a really good headset for my needs.
To fully complete my VR equipment i use a wireless PS3 compatible gamepad via the Sixaxis controller app
Redefining the colors
When i started my game Bubble Alkemist in 2013, when i was designing the bubbles , i used the same colors that i had used for the blocks in swipeblock. This can be seen in this video of one of the Bubble Alkemist early prototypes :
But in the feedbacks i had from Swipeblocks, some were relating the fact that some colors were not enough differentiated and some others not enough eye candy , so i decided to set some more traditional colors for this kind of game:
i was quite happy with this setting, but sometime after the release of the game i get some feedbacks again about these colors.
During the development i used a Galaxy Nexus, an LG L1 2 and a Nexus 7, on all this devices, the colors were OK, but it appears that it is not the case on some other screens.
Here is a simulation of the current colors as they are rendered on such screens:
As you can see, violet and blue are near.
Red and orange, green and yellow are not so far from each other, but violet and blue are the worst case.
So here comes a new photoshop round, and i finally get this :
and its tinted counterpart :
Let’s compare the old and new colors, first without the screen tint:
And with the tint
Most of the work was done on the blue and the violet, to remove the red component in blue and the blue in violet. I also gave more power to the red, more luminosity and less blue in the yellow. Orange get a very subtle saturation boost and green was unchanged.
Now i have to test on real devices, i think the red and violet are too near on “normal” screens now, maybe i’ll have to bring back some blue in it.
Official Aquagena blog opened…
Main informations about that game on www.aquagena.com/blog
Here, more technical posts comming soon…