Community Gaming @ Vandal Overnight Games – Fall 2018

This fall we were able to showcase Solaroids at the local Vandal Overnight Games event.  Vandal Overnight Games or VOG for short is hosted twice a year by the University of Idaho.  Lovers of all types of games can be found spread throughout the event space.  All types of games are represented, from card games, board, tabletop and live experience games, to PC, console, and VR experiences.

I was able to setup three screens across from the University of Idaho’s Polymorphic Games running versions of Solaroids.  I even had one running an early prototype port on an Xbox One X Dev kit.

Players battled it out Co-op style, with a bit of competitive death-match style action tossed in here and there in the beta of a new local multiplayer game mode.  Previous local multiplayer was limited to a dynamic split-screen mode that adapts the number of splits based on the number of players that have joined.  The new Shared-Screen mode instead places all players on the main screen, and uses dynamic camera tracking and zoom to keep all players on screen Super Smash Brothers style.  I had just implemented the feature over the few days leading up to the event, so I was a bit nervous about any remaining issues that might be lurking, as well was what general player reaction would be to the new play style.  Fortunately bugs were minimal, and both new players, as well as a few that had played it before took to the new play style.

Usually I have an 80″ LCD TV kindly provided by the U of I at these events, but with the event moving to a new building, access to those screens wasn’t available.  With the smaller 40″ or so screen provided, the shared screen mode worked well even with the reduced screen size.

I was also able to let players play using some new background elements planned for later stages.  Like the shared-screen mode these were recently added just prior to the event.

Here’s some footage of the new mode, as well as the new background elements. I’m playing against three “dumb” bots here that I use while developing, though I plan on including some better bots in the final game for those players that don’t have friends on-hand to battle it out.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.3.1 — Mini-Mines, Screen Shake, and Player Spawn Positions Oh My!

Hello! Another small update to release a few small fixes and a couple of new features.

I’ve added a new type of mine I call Mini-Mines. These are smaller weaker versions of the larger mines already in game, but don’t unleash a plasma wave when detonated. They also have an interesting feature where their lights blink the closer you get and make an audible chirp. I may add this effect to the larger mines too, since some times they are a little too stealthy. What do you think? They are now introduced on the level the existing mines were, and I’ve moved the existing mines a few levels later.

Another feature is the addition of an option called Player Spawn Position to choose where new player ships spawn. This is mostly for multiplayer scenarios, but like other options can also be used in single player as well. The default has always been for players to spawn near the sun. Under multiplayer situations, especially Player vs Player setups, this isn’t always ideal. So now there are two other modes available under the Gameplay options menu in addition to the default of Near Sun. Random will spawn player ships at a random place on the map, and Near Other Players will spawn player ships near the average of the positions of other players. This later mode is useful when playing Co-op.

I hope you enjoy the tweaks.

New Features

  • Mini-mines – Smaller less devastating mines with blinking lights and alarm sounds.
  • Player Spawn Position Option – Choose alternate player spawn positions.
    Pick between the original near the sun location, a random location on the map, or near other players.
  • Camera shake is now used at key events like destroying bosses/mines regardless of how close the player is.
  • Increased amount of camera shake (still adjustable).

Issues Addressed

  • Fixed issue where rumble could get “stuck” when playing in shared screen mode.
  • Fixed issue where camera shake wasn’t working when taking an impact.
  • Fixed issue where explosions were not being drawn in certain situations.
  • Minor changes to the new threat display (justification/sorting).

Once again… Happy blasting!!

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!