Posts By : Sam

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Steam Early Access Press Catch-Up

We’ve been a little tardy of late updating the website with all the press coverage we have received since the launch of the game on Steam Early Access, so we thought it’s about time we addressed the issue and compiled all the articles and videos below for you. So, read on!

the-virtual-reality-awards

 

First up, we won an award! We attended the first ever, inaugural “Virtual Reality Awards [2014]” and were chosen as the ‘People’s Choice – Best VR Experience’, which made us very happy and was a great way to end a roller-coaster ride of a year full of trials and tribulations. This was the first Virtual Reality Awards presented and hosted in VR!

 

Next up we have a collection of previews and reviews of the Steam Early Access, starting with the always great VR Focus. They ran a series of articles leading up to and throughout the Steam Early Access launch, including:

Steam Early Access Preview: http://vrfocus.com/archives/9242/preview-radial-g-2/
Multi-player Preview: http://vrfocus.com/archives/9492/preview-radial-g-multiplayer/
12 Days of VR Gaming: http://vrfocus.com/archives/9828/12-days-vr-gaming-day-12-radial-g/
Video Interview with our Game Producer: http://vrfocus.com/archives/9501/radial-g-dev-talks-early-access-preparing-consumer-oculus-project-morpheus/

Many other sites piled in with coverage and previews of the Steam Early Access version, many of which you can find below:

PC Gamer – Steam Early Access Trailer: http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift-racer-radial-g-launches-on-steam-early-access/
Road to VR – Steam Early Access Preview: http://www.roadtovr.com/hands-radial-g-steam-early-access-demo-60fps-gameplay/
Rift Arcade – Steam Early Access Trailer: http://www.theriftarcade.com/radial-g-out-today-on-steam-early-access/
Rift Arcade – Steam Early Access Preview: http://www.theriftarcade.com/radial-g-preview/
Rift Arcade – Steam Early Access Mutli-player:  http://www.theriftarcade.com/hands-on-with-radial-g-multiplayer/
VR Reviewer – Steam Early Access Preview:

There are many other VR-centric websites who we gave early access to the Steam Early Access version and you can find their thoughts here: VR-Nerds (DE) | Enter the Rift #1 (FR) | Enter the Rift #2 (FR)Real O Virtual (ES)

We like to work closely with various websites and help out where we can to create content and coverage for the game and we pulled out all the stops for Road To VR to create a LAN version of the multi-player server so that they could get together in a room and play against each other. You can read the write-up here:
http://www.roadtovr.com/adventures-multi-player-vr-radial-g-iracing-oculus-rifts/

The increasingly wonderful VR news YouTube segment from VirtuAlly, hosted by PixelWhipt, worked with PureVR to provide a video preview segment to one episide, which you can see below:

Other coverage came from indirect references across a number of sites covering other aspects of gaming and VR, including the Kotaku-UK51 British Games to Look Out for in 2015” article, a Polygon review of the KOR-FX haptic vest, Indie Haven‘s “Most Anticipated Indie Games of 2015” list, and our Game Producer talks about the future of gaming in 2015 to Vice.

But then, being indie and getting coverage these days isn’t all about the known, gaming-specific sites, it’s about YouTube Let’s Players and Twitch streamers and we were happy to see our lovely  fan Andy M post his thoughts about the Steam Early Access version:

and many others including Oculus Rifter, Blondy Eddy, a single player and a multi-player look from The Joe Show, Button Mash, Immersive Gamer and Stereo 3D Productions (WARNING: Coarse language throughout!) (We hear you! Easy on the splits!) ^_^

Finally, at some point over the Christmas Holiday break, when lots of people were taking the opportunity to introduce their family members to VR for the first time, this happened:

Look out for more coverage coming soon including a preview in the February issue of Indie Gamer Mag, hopefully a preview and more coverage on Polygon and IGN, industry discussion about developing for VR with Unity3D in the February print-issue of Develop, more Let’s Players and of course, details of the 1st big update to the Steam Early Access version. We will also be revealing our plans for PS4 and Xbox One releases later in the year and some hardware partnerships we’ve been working on in the background that have us very excited!

We are looking at attending a number of events again throughout 2015 and have confirmed we will be appearing at SouthWestVR VR Conference 2015, in Bristol UK. We will most likely be at EGX Rezzed in London, UK in March and are hoping to be present at GDC, San Francisco too! Plus many more we haven’t finalised yet…

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Finding Unity With The Rift: A Rollercoaster Release Ride

As 2014 is coming to a close, and it’s a week since the release of “Radial-G : Racing Revolved” on Steam Early Access, it’s time to look back at the rollercoaster ride we’ve had getting to this stage, and specifically, how we have utilised the Unity3D engine from Unity Technologies to get here.
The Beginning

 

When we received our Oculus Rift DK1 headsets from backing the hugely successful Kickstarter, we knew immediately that we could make something amazing with this new technology. We have been working with Unity for years already and had created a number of serious, non-game-related applications and experiences for clients and customers worldwide. Since Oculus Rift development supported Unity3D from the outset, it was an easy choice to carry on building upon our previous Unity3D experience and make a series of virtual reality (VR) experiences.

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We started off by finding our feet with the early beta SDKs from Oculus VR by converting some of our existing content made in Unity3D to work with the Oculus Rift, something which is simple, easy and quick to do. However we quickly learned, and were aware of already from designing 3D and VR simulations for other hardware devices, that you couldn’t just drop in the plugin and expect a silky smooth, non-simulator sickness inducing experience, you had to carefully design from the ground up for VR.

Future City

So after a couple of wobbles and queasy stomachs, and remembering to sit down when using the Oculus Rift, we set about designing a game for Oculus Rift from the ground up, bringing together our previous experience of AAA game development and rock-solid 3D simulators. We wanted to create something as exciting and exhilarating as the Oculus Rift itself, and based on the team’s love for and past history pedigree with racing games, we knew an arcade racing game was the direction to go in. (Side note: members of the team previously worked on Moto GP, Pure and Split/Second at Black Rock Studios.)

Dust Pits

When one thinks of an arcade racing game, you think of speed and thrills over authenticity and the ability to use artistic license with reality, so we looked at classic sci-fi racers from the past as our starting point for inspiration. The obvious titles that spring to mind are F-Zero, WipEout and Extreme G to name but a few. We wanted to recreate the essence of these classic titles, especially since they haven’t been updated for many years and in some cases, the studios responsible for them no longer exist :(

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We set about examining what made each of these games great in their own right and took the elements that we thought would work in VR, and lo, the early concept for Radial-G : Racing Revolved was born.

 

Design & Development With Unity3D for VR

Prototyping and developing a game, or application, with Unity3D is quick and painless thanks to being able to play the scene within the editor without need to compile a build each time to deploy. Thankfully the engine also supports Oculus Rift headsets so we can test VR within the editor too seamlessly. This saves us a lot of time as we designed Radial-G to work with and without an Oculus Rift, since we wanted to capture as large a potential user base of gamers as possible. Being a development kit only at this stage, we knew that there weren’t that many Oculus Rift headsets out there in the wild and so, in order to be successful, we had to design the game with VR in mind but also ensure the normal, non-VR experience was still as much fun and attractive to gamers.

Since we were designing a racing game based on a tubular track (hence the name), there were a number of design considerations we had to take into consideration in order to ensure that the gameplay didn’t make players instantly sick from motion sickness, and make sure that the engine and performance didn’t jitter or stutter, dropping below the prescribed frame rates so as not to induce simulator sickness.

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Some of the design decisions and factors we could actively control and make are detailed below:

  • Place the player in a sitting position so they are stable and steady as possible to begin with – this is the best way to use the Oculus Rift, since without real world visual feedback, balance is quickly lost.
  • Place the player in a cockpit to position them in a situation they would expect to be in – this in conjunction with the above, provides a natural connection between brain and senses.
  • Use futuristic, non-real-world environment to help the brain determine the difference between the game and real world – allows the brain to switch-off and have fun.
  • The pipe track asset provided a natural, stable element within the game world players could focus on.
  • Limited rapid changes in acceleration; despite the inclusion of speed boosts and slow-down gates, the overall difference in the sensation of speed experienced by the player wasn’t huge.
  • Being in a ship attached to a pipe meant there was a natural limit to player [camera] movement within the game world – but they can still naturally look around the world and cockpit with smooth judder-free performance.
  • Carry out extensive playtest sessions with as many different types of user as possible to measure responses, ability, ease-of-use and any sensations of sickness brought on through play – to date we’ve seen over 2,000 players, only 30 or so have had to stop within the first 20-seconds “hump”, after which the body accepts VR.

There were a number of factors that, as developers and users, were beyond our control since the game would be played by gamers all over the world:

  • Allow configuration for each individual user – although since then the Oculus Runtime tools have improved to make individual profiles and Interpupillary Distance (IPD – the distance between eyeballs) measurements easily.
  • Ambient temperature of the play space – it could be a basement, bedroom, lounge, located anywhere!
  • Varying ages of gamers playing the game – age affects responses and reactions to VR (although we’ve seen 88-yr old grandmas playing for over 30 minutes without discomfort).
  • Varying health status of players – stereotypes of gamers aside, health conditions affect responses and reactions to VR and suitability of use.

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Thanks to the rapid pipeline of development, we were quickly able to implement new ideas, test them out and then cement their inclusion and move on.

The other benefit of using Unity3D is the wide range of additional assets and plugins available to further expand the toolset and options open to us as developers. We took a simple plugin called Curvy and vastly expanded upon the capabilities for our needs and purposes. Now we can add additional track features, as seen in the Steam Early Access version, such as jumps, tunnels and splits to the tube, a far cry from the simpler version of tracks we included in the initial single player demo (available from our website to download for free) and we’re not done yet!

Human Garage

Another great piece of middleware we utilised is the Photon Unity Networking plugin, which gives us online multi-player servers and allows to continue working towards our end goal of supporting up to 32 players. Currently we are able to support up to 16 players online for the Steam Early Access version working within the PUN limitations. Based upon our pedigree and in-house love of the genre, a racing game was destined to be the focus of our first title. When we started out designing and deciding what we wanted from our 1st arcade racing game title, Radial-G : Racing Revolved, we knew that online multi-player was always going to be a key factor in the game features list. Considering the game is influenced by past greats such as F-Zero and WipEout®, we wanted to replicate that feeling of a busy track with a large pack of racers battling it out against each other. Therefore from Day One, we aimed for and stuck our necks out stating that we would support up to 32 players. This raised a few eyebrows amongst our fellow Unity developer fraternity, since many of them didn’t believe that it could be done.
The Multi-player Challenge

Based on the challenge set and accepted by some of our peers, we were keen to work with suitable middleware to remove a lot of the grunt work required for multi-player code and stable, smooth gameplay for all players. Therefore the PUN service from Photon seemed a perfect fit for our needs. We were looking for a scalable solution to meet the demands of our players, as our user base increased in size accordingly.

Being a new, unknown indie developer, we can only project our CCU and take up rate amongst gamers and so have started out conservative, with hopes of great success in our minds for the future.

Although we initially stated we would support 32 players online, we are focussing on 16 for our Steam Early Access release; still not a number to be sniffed at. A number of AAA console racing games still only support up to 8 players online, or 12 with only recent new-gen games supporting 16.

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Looking at the typical traffic for a multi-player racing game, and the natural emphasis on the start being crucial for a race, we have to carefully balance out the allocation of messages per second accordingly to ensure that each player has an even, equal experience without any lag or latency to ensure smooth gameplay and a feeling of fairness across the grid.

The busiest time for a race is the start, when all players are located close together, fingers itching on the trigger to accelerate off the grid as soon as the light goes green. Furthermore, because we have tested and confirmed that we can include collisions in virtual reality without causing motion sickness from unexpected impacts, it is even more important that all players are able to get away from their starting positions without stutter, causing unnecessary, unfair impacts to other racers. We all want a clean race after all (at least until we add weapons). To simplify issues however, we decided to go with “bubble shields” so there’s less geometry and less collision calculation data to pass around in order to smooth the experience out for all players. Being sci-fi based, we can get away with that.

Sending everything to everyone in a 16 player game would lead to an overload of data and would potentially overload the clients. With 10Hz it would be 10 * 16 * 16 = 2560 messages per second per room. For this reason we decided to incorporate region-based interest management to group data and messages depending upon the player location on the track compared to others.

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At the start of the race, we have 3-5 seconds of this super high data rate but gameplay tests and evaluations have shown that players soon spread out. Also with the tubular track, we are able to switch quickly to the medium group when an opposition player is on the other side of the track from the player. Over the course of a race, over a number of laps with the field spreading out, we remain within the average 500 messages p/second requirement as a result. We achieve this average through only switching to high data at the start when the last light has gone green and as soon as a player crosses the line and finishes, we stop sending any data to remove as much redundant data as possible.

Whereas a 2D game will use a grid system for this, as we are dealing with a tubular track, we work with a long line of boxes with high / medium / low-data-rate groups in order to best represent each player to one another accordingly. This means that players closer to each other will fall in the high data rate group, since you want to be able to see players ahead of you without any jitter or bouncing around the track, making the gameplay experience poor, since it makes it hard to time overtakes when you can’t accurately determine where that opponent is at any given time.

Opponents that are further up the track, just within sight but not within overtaking distance, will fall into the medium data rate group since they can be represented on track off in the distance accurately but without the need for complete precision.

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Finally, opponents who are out of sight fall into the low data rate group since it is not important to the player where they are and how they are represented, but of course the game and server needs to know their current position on track to determine player order and timing.

We achieve all this with the limit on messages per second through clever management of the groups and spatialising the track into segments, based upon the percentage of completion of the track, from 0% (the start line) to 100% (the finish line).

So far we have been able to test our 16-player online support and have seen that the game operates smoothly when players connect to a region server most suited to them specifically. We’ve tested with “foreign” connections, i.e. players in Australia connecting to EU servers, and whilst the player ping rates have increased, we haven’t seen a hugely detrimental, negative effect on the overall race experience. Certainly nothing worse than your average online race experience with some of the greatest AAA console racing games, with cars popping in and out all over the track causing havoc for other racers.

We are now focussing on our Steam Early Access release and the ability to monitor a wider-scale test with greater numbers of players.

Additionally we envision multi-player gameplay with 32-players and achieve the same level of gameplay smoothness we have achieved for 16. Interest Management will not work then any more (the high data region with 32 players) and we plan to implement message aggregation: Combine each player messages into one super message and pass these between all players simultaneously. Operating at our standard 10 Hz, this would give us the same result with 16-players but for 32.

However, this feature is not implemented in the Photon Cloud turnkey APIs and we would need to convince the Exit Games crew to implement this or host our own Photon Servers. This is something we plan to evaluate once we have been able to determine our success levels in Steam Early Access as we move towards full, public release early next year.

Since launch we have also implemented a version that operates over a LAN, utilising a localised installation of the PUN Server so we can continue to demonstrate the game at events with multi-player without the need for Steam servers or internet access, which is nice.

Events and Appearances

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Not directly related to game development or using Unity3D but showcasing the game during development and after release is an important part of the PR, marketing and raising awareness of your title to the gaming public. Unity3D allowed us to tweak and customise builds for specific events quickly and easily so we could showcase specific new features or elements at each event.

Over the course of 2014, Radial-G has appeared at the following events:

VR Brighton Meetup – numerous times, a great local testbed for us with VR enthusiasts
South West VR Meetup – as above, good to spread the VR love and word
VR in a Bar – Loading Bar in Dalston, London, was kind enough to invite us along to their first VR event where we got filmed by S4C!
Develop Conference Expo – a great opportunity to get the game in front of peers and players, and we met Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony PlayStation Worldwide Studios, who is now assisting us with bringing the title to Morpheus / PS4
Kotaku-UK / I. Am. Arcade / Fight Club – a local bar in Brighton, Sticky Mike’s Frog bar, holds monthly gaming meetups and there’s nothing we love more than the competitive nature of gaming, and beer
Paris Games Week - thanks to Microsoft, Asus and CDiscount, we were able to appear at one of the largest gaming events in mainland Europe
PAX Aus - thanks to Evocca College, we were able to appear at the largest Australasian gaming event

The Future

Thanks to Unity3D, we are in a position where we can optimise and target all the major platforms for release from one main branch of development. Looking ahead to 2015, we’ll continue our discussions with Sony PlayStation to bring the title to Morpheus and PS4. The IDXbox programme is an attractive with free dev kits available to small studios and assistance with licensing for publishing. Samsung Gear VR will be out in the UK and we can look at a lite / heavily optimised version of the game for mobile VR, which could then lead onto a non-VR version for Apple and Android tablet devices as well. Who knows, watch this space.

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Getting Started Tutorial

What do all the buttons do? What do all the dials mean? What are these things on track? How can I play better and improve my lap times?

Watch the tutorial video below for all the answers and read the additional tips underneath to find out how!

Controls

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Cockpit Layout

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Ships

There are three ships to choose from: Onyx MKII, Viper and The Hound. Try them all and choose the one that suits you best.

Tracks

There are three tracks to choose from: Asteroid Sprint, Processing Plant and Dead Zone, in order of increasing length and challenge.

Gameplay Modes

Lap Attack – Race against the clock to set your fastest lap time and practice without any other traffic.

Race – Either single player or multi-player, race against up to 15 other opponents in a single race, with the following settings:

- Normal: Standard race with slowdown gates enabled

- No Gates: Race with pure speed and no slowdown gates

- Elimination: Set the time period that the latest player gets eliminated each time the countdown reaches zero. Stay ahead of the pack to avoid being eliminated

- Death Race: No shield regeneration so look after it! Last racer alive wins, not necessarily the one at the front

Tips for Improving Your Lap Times

1. Aim for the inside line of the corners, it’s faster!

2. Can’t see where you’re going? Rotate around the track so that it’s curving up in front of you, not down away from you.

3. Chain boosts together to reach and maintain top speed!

4. Draft behind other players to get a speed advantage in the slipstream.

5. Go inverted! There are more speed boost pads on the ceiling in tunnels than there are on the track.

6. Stay in the middle of the split tracks to avoid falling off.

7. Avoid hitting the red gates… duh!

8. Balance your shield and boost by manually boosting to maintain top speed.

9. Hit the jumps square on for maximum lift and boost!

10. Practice and have fun, you can only get better ^_^

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Radial-G – Credits and Thanks

Credits

Game Director & Lead Game Designer : Geoff Cullen
Game Producer & Community Manager : Sam Watts
Developer Extraordinaire : David Lyne
Lead Artist & Music Composer : Michalis Mavronas
Concept Artist : Gavriil Mavronas

Supporting Artist : Iain Douglas
Supporting Artist : David Wilson
Supporting Developer : Josh Jeffries
Supporting Developer : Nicola Birtwistle
Supporting Developer : Paul Hayes
Supporting Developer : Nikos Chagialas
Supporting Developer : Iestyn Lloyd

Localisation Services : Loc-3

Game Music Composers:

Audio – Craven
Deadly Avenger – Skyrunner’s Revenge
Delta Heavy - Fugitive
Delta Heavy
– Pursuit
Fortran – Lazer Gazer
HERVE – Velocity
KoHTakt
 - PhaseInvert
KoHTakt - Terminal Velocity
Lab Grown Music – Rush
Lab Grown Music & Dan Page – Buzzooka
MaverickMan – Release the Kraken
MaverickMan - SlingBlade
MickX - Magnetic Flux
Mutiny UK – Overkill
Phil Johnston- Stellar
RacketBox
– Mashed
RuN RiOT – Nebula
Syndroid – Neuropunk
Tom Evans – Pro Shifter
Utah Saints – Mindwarp

Many thanks to:

Danny Goodayle , Roberta Saliani, Tom Pickard, Tom Betts & Julian McKinlay for their wise words, Thomas Bidaux for crowd-source knowledge, Foucauld Escaillet for event assistance, Pete Hobson for sheer enthusiasm and James Marsden for Sony advice and positive outlook on life. A huge thanks to everyone who backed us on Kickstarter and voted YES for us on Steam Greenlight, the welcoming /r/Oculus community and everyone else since who has shown support and encouragement for the team and the game. Thanks to AntiCleric for the Technolust cross-promotion; we love your game and the treatment of our baby in it. Thanks to those who have hosted us for various events, including Sticky Mikes Frog Bar (Brighton), Loading Bar (Dalston, London), SWVR and VR Brighton Meetups, TEDx Brighton, Evocca College (Australia) for PAX Aus and Microsoft & ASUS for Paris Games Week. A big thanks to everyone who took part in the SSST sessions and helped us test the multiplayer builds. A huge thanks to all the websites who have covered the game through the Kickstarter & Steam Greenlight campaigns and our ongoing development. A special mention to The Koshinator for setting unbeatable lap times. Last but by no means least, thank you to Palmer Luckey for inventing the Oculus Rift, Callum Underwood for excellent developer relations and the rest of the amazing Oculus team. Last but no means least, Shuhei Yoshida & Agostino Simonetta for opening the door to us at Sony Playstation and PSVR.

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Game Music Plans

As we near our Steam Early Access release on Thursday December 11th, it’s time to look at some of the game music composers we are working with and plan to work with in the future.

During our Kickstarter campaign, and since Day One conception of the game, we always stressed and knew how important game music is to our overall vision. Harking back to the days of when Wipeout first released on PlayStation, creating an amazing complete package of design, visuals, gameplay and a ear-blowing electronic soundtrack, we wanted to recreate that superior collection of elements to make Radial-G : Racing Revolved something truly special.

We reached out to indie and well-known game music composers (and a number contacted us directly,) to help realise our vision of creating an aural spectacle to match the fast-paced graphics and gameplay. So for the Steam Early Access version, we are looking to work with the following composers:

KOHTAKT

Syndroid

Breakwhore

Gizmode

Mungo Nation

Paradise Decay

MaverickMan

Phil Johnstone

 

Throughout the Steam Early Access period leading up to v1.0 release, we will then revisit our plans to work with the more well-known game music composers, now we know associated costs and can plan budgets accordingly, such as:

Joris de Man

Jonathan vd Wijngaarden

Tim “CoLDSToRAGE” Wright

Static

Chris Apple Studios

Orb Soundwerx

 

If you have any thoughts about music genres you think should be included, then share them with us! We have setup a collaborative Spotify playlist which you can add tracks to.

 

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Radial-G on TV and in the printed press

It’s been a busy week for Radial-G as we’re working towards opening the closed alpha test for multiplayer to those who have responded to our call to arms.

In the meantime, harking back to July when we attended “VR in a Bar” at Loading Bar in Dalston, London, we were featured in the Welsh TV channel S4C show “Y Ile” who were there filming. You can watch the English-subtitled version of the show over on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPzi_K1JLdg

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Then over the weekend we discovered that GamesTM had run an article on Oculus Rift gaming and listed Radial-G as one of the Top 5 Best VR Experiences! Check it out below and be sure to pick up a copy to preserve our first-printed-press milestone!

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Latest Developments – Friday 10th Oct

Hello race fans, we thought it was time to compile a big update dev blog post covering everything that we’ve been up to of late.

Firstly, in case you didn’t hear already, we have been working hard in the background to secure some additional funding to allow to continue development of Radial-G. We have now successfully gained some funding from angels who believe in our dreams and want to assist in the best way they can, with money, to see us realise them. So we’ve commenced development on the first full release of the game with much gusto!

The first outcome of this was the updated single player demo that added support for the latest Oculus VR SDK 0.4.2, Rift VR menus, virtual keyboard support and some in-game graphical and audio tweaks. The demo has now been downloaded over 10,000 times and we have well over 1,000 hot lap times recorded on the leaderboard. Here’s a video of one YouTuber doing their best to crack the Top 20 lap times.

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Once the Single Player Demo update was released, which incidentally you can download from Oculus Share, Rift Arcade Market, WeArVR and IndieDb, we began the process of determining what we could achieve as a first release for the game with the funding levels we had available to us. This was a long and painful process as it meant looking hard at the game design documentation and plans we outlined in our Kickstarter campaign originally, and deciding whether we could afford to include each particular feature or asset or not.

When that was complete, then we were able to set about planning out the development of what we could afford to create and implement into the first release, as well as create the longer term roadmap of features and assets we could implement further down the line with more funding from sales, once released. So for now we’re looking at a new environment with new ships with different handling physics, multiple new tracks and track features including jumps, inverted sections and twists. Most of the funds are going towards adding additional gameplay and features that make the game actually fun to play against other racers, such as the multiplayer code, collisions and weight and gravitas to the ships to give a less “on rails” feeling to the racing.

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We’ve reached out to our Kickstarter backers to apply to become part of the Super Secret Squirrel Test as a thank you for their initial support and ongoing belief in us, which will allow them to take part in alpha test sessions with us and feedback on the new features and gameplay types we’re working on. Once we have the alpha build to a stage we are happy with, we will look at releasing a build as your initial download for our Steam Early Access profile, which will then be regularly updated until v1.0 full public release at the end of 2014.

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Now that we have funded development with a release window, we are expecting to be able to get more media coverage with all those websites who weren’t interested in covering yet another Kickstarter game campaign. IGN has created a Radial-G wiki page, which we will look to populate soon. We’ve already had some great coverage on the larger sites such as Polygon, PC Gamer, CVG and Kotaku-UK so hopefully we’ll gain the attention of others, including IGN and Eurogamer, as well as key YouTubers to help boost our reach as we near launch. Our PR approach has always been open and honest, using guerilla tactics and we don’t intend on changing that. We managed to generate over 60 articles during the Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaigns but we know that a strong product sells itself, something that we believe we have! We might not make such bold claims as “Game of the Year” (just yet) but we’re feeling pretty confident that we’ll produce the best arcade racing experience in VR!

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Talking of VR, we had a minor setback when our Oculus Rift DK2 headset mysteriously died on us but Oculus VR Support came to our rescue and have shipped a replacement unit to us quickly in order to not interrupt development! Big <3 to Oculus VR Support! But, with all this talk of VR, and one thing that became apparent from our Kickstarter campaign, is we focussed too hard on this aspect and weren’t loud enough about playing the game without VR. So we are ensuring that the game experience and fun factor is going to be THE BEST whether you are playing on a monitor, TV -or- VR headset!

Moving forward, you can keep up to date with development of the full game here on our official website, as well as the profile on IndieDb and our social media feeds for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Looking at the timeline of key events, we are currently here:

Single Player Demo launch > Steam Greenlight launch > Kickstarter launch > Kickstarter success > Pass Steam Greenlight > Get funding > Main game development > Steam Early Access > v1.0 Public Release on Steam  

 

 

 

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Single Player Demo v1.4 Released!

The single player demo of Radial-G : Racing Revolved has been updated to v1.4!

The demo includes:

  • Oculus Rift DK1 & DK2 support
    • Direct to Rift
    • Rift VR menus
    • Virtual on-screen keyboard
  • “2D NOculus” standard monitor support
  • Xbox 360 controller support with rumble
  • Global Leaderboard
  • User Profiles (needed for the global leaderboard entries)
  • Windows PC support

Download the single player demo we have created to give you a taste of the thrill of VR racing! v1.4 now available from the ‘DOWNLOADS‘ section

 

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Steam Greenlight Post-Mortem

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By now, you should be aware that Radial-G : Racing Revolved has been selected in the September batch of Steam Greenlight titles. This means that we can officially publish and release the game through the Steam platform, the global leader in digital, online games retail and delivery! As of Jan’14, there were over 75 million registered Steam users and on an average day, there are typically between 3-6 million concurrent users online at any given time. That’s a lot of potential racers that we can now get the game in front of.

Steam opened the Greenlight programme a few years ago but there are rumours now that Gabe Newell (big boss of Valve, who operates Steam) has expressed his desire to close the service in the near future. With this threat in mind, we were keen to get through the Steam Greenlight process as soon as possible before this door was closed forever. Thankfully, on Thursday 4th September 2014, upon turning up at the office for another day of development, we discovered that we had been successful after 70 days since our profile launched on Friday 27th July.

Radial-G_Steam_Greenlight

However, those 70 days have been fraught and nerve-wracking, mostly because there is no visibility into the process of selection nor knowledge of the selection criteria and with changes to the dates, numbers selected and process along the way. When we first launched the title on Steam Greenlight, there were two selection dates per month, with each selection containing 75 titles. However, tracking the titles selected in the first batch after we launched, we soon discovered that just being in the Top 75 didn’t automagically mean you were selected in that batch. There were many other selection criteria coming into play that we weren’t aware of but we can assume they include:

  • Successful Kickstarter / Indiegogo campaign
  • Online coverage of the title elsewhere
  • General levels of hype around the title
  • Community perception of the title
  • Recent and regular updates to the title Steam Greenlight profile page
  • Recent and regular updates to the public development of the title

 

We were initially very confident of passing Greenlight quickly and assumed that we would be selected in the 2nd batch since our launch. At the time of the 1st batch since launch, we were just outside the Top 100 so weren’t expecting to be selected at that point but afterwards, we jumped up to the threshold of the Top 75 as higher ranked titles were selected and taken out of the table. From that position, whilst our Kickstarter campaign was still running, we saw a lot of traffic back and forth between Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaigns, each feeding one another and increasing our rank daily. We soon found ourselves, after approximately 25 days, in the Top 25, bouncing between 20th & 25th. Which is where we remained for the rest of the campaign until we were finally selected.

We tried a variety of methods to gain more traction and increase our daily visitor count, and most importantly our voting ratio for YES over NO, but everything we tried, we saw little increase or spikes in activity overall. We could see on the stats page that other titles ahead of us were often having huge spikes in interest and votes but not being able to see what was currently rank 5, 10, 15, 20 etc meant that we couldn’t determine what these titles were doing to generate these. We even bowed to pressure from the vocal group of Linux gamers that we would support their platform of choice, but this only saw a small bump in activity as a result. Fortune smiled on us when the gaming page of the Red Bull website listed Radial-G : Racing Revolved as one of the top 10 games that readers should vote YES for on Steam Greenlight, in an article published mid-August. This provided a boost to our visitor count and our YES votes overall.

Overall it was a fairly blind process and we learnt quickly from other devs, who have put their games on Steam Greenlight, that they were as in the dark as much as we were but had had varying degrees of success, or failure themselves. Some wallowed on the service for over two years before being selected, others are still there, struggling to get into the Top 100, despite successful crowd-sourced funding campaigns and regular development updates. Others have flown through, being selected in just two weeks since opening their game profile page up for votes. Talking to these other devs made us feel better about our chances, especially since our stats at the time were really good, apparently. In the end, we finished with a near 50/50 split as to whether Steam users wanted to see Radial-G : Racing Revolved on Steam or not. We are happy with this as we know futuristic arcade racing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and especially as we’ve positioned ourselves as being a game for VR first-and-foremost, the current userbase for Oculus Rift is tiny compared to the larger gaming community hardware.

We are overjoyed to have made it and are now steadily working through the administrative process of setting Tammeka Games up as a Steamworks developer and preparing our official Steam store page for Radial-G : Racing Revolved, with plans to launch on Steam Early Access later in 2014 before our first full release of the game. As ever, watch this space for more details! In the meantime, if you have a title on Steam Greenlight still, we’ve included our final stats below to compare against to help you understand a bit better.

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Youtube
YouTubers’ Let’s Play Videos

We can tell you until we’re blue in the face how much fun Radial-G : Racing Revolved is to play, but we’re the developers so why take our word for it!?

Why not watch these YouTubers doing Let’s Play videos, with feeds of themselves as they play, having lots of fun and showing the sheer joy and excitement of the game instead? (NFSW language in some!)

Yogscast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjglBbe-ckM

RockOn1m1 :)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VKNpc2glOg

emart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2NVbUApdYs

Cymatic Bruce: http://youtu.be/Fxjw-OfoLz0?t=41m52s

eVRrydayVR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XObDA1nsL38

Pure VR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTYgjNAFgBA

Oculus Rifter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSfawny7aF4

BroganGames1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CSV5-_Qfps

ScottofEngland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ivjr8EUAKu4

TrevorTheHyena: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=951f5sMKlak

VR Brotherhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAaQgV0G-L4

GetRift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgz3dllgIwk

Andy Mayer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTRZC1pseww

Rob Plays That Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXIweqmkNm8

Stereo3DProductions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy3jtNZl67Q

Unnecessary Pixels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjOUydCcUo0

Thanks for watching!

NB. Videos that refer to the Kickstarter: The Kickstarter campaign is no longer running.