RAGE was created in a project where we attempted to create an arcade gun. The idea was to design it so that the user would get a really heavy impression, both from the guns actual weight, its fake recoil and its interaction and visuals.
While I wasn’t able to make anything new worth bringing to this year’s Automat event (I had to work on Enbarr until and some time after the event opening) I figured out what a next step would be for both of the projects. When working with prototypes that are placed on the bodies of players, cables are an obvious weak spot. I think it’s about time I came up with a go-to solution for wireless communication.
While I’m aware that many of my projects already use wireless communication, over wifi for instance, what I want is a plug-and-play ordeal in the style of what wireless keyboards and mice have in their nano USB dongles. I looked around for a out-of-box solution, but couldn’t find any. Electronic components to be used with an Arduino like MC are huge in comparison to your average USB dongle, so now I’m looking into finding wireless keyboards with small ICs that I can hack.
There are a few days left until this year’s Automat. The theme for the games this time is “Neon”. Because of parental leave, I haven’t helped much in organizing the event (except fixing a venue to be at : )) and neither have I made any games for it. But with a few days to go and no other current project on my hand, I thought I should give it a go on iterating on Enbarr mac Lir and this porject. We’ll see how far I get…
Brought the RAGE gun to the local, annual retro game fair. Super fun! While the main fair (consisting of a retro game market) was in a huge hall, indie games, game events and exhibitions were held in a nearby event house. It was super hot, but lots of people attended and the gun almost stole the show at times (especially when we lost power for a while and RAGE was the only thing relying on battery, my laptop, for visuals). Lots of kids loved it, I guess violence and VR can be a recipe for success there, but I had all sorts of players. Really looking forward to improving on it further.
I brought the RAGE gun together with the PickaBoog cabinet to the local game developer’s meetup, GDL, yesterday. The gun was really easy to bring now that it only needs to be connected via regular wall plug and USB. Sadly, given that I have focused mostly on PickaBoog lately, I did not manage to have new or figure out the old game from January this year. The event was in a club environment, suboptimal for last minute fixes, so people only got to try the recoil without the game or VR. Got some good feedback nevertheless, fun evening. :)
Tomorrow is GDL, a meetup for local game developers. I have signed up to showcase games and games I will show. I’m bringing the RAGE arcade gun along with the PickaBoog cabinet, both as is. They are by no means very polished pieces, but they are functional and I feel it will be super much fun if I can just manage to drag them there. I don’t really have a car to take them in, but I think it might work out with a bunch of large plastic bags and sheer grit.
We have successfully managed to improve on the gun on some well needed aspects. The handle had to be screwed onto the frame in order for it not to break of should the weight of the gun rest on it. The gun now has its own power supply attached, avoiding the need for a separate heap of metal to lay on the ground and preparing for a single cable solution. Furthermore, we have attached the air spray, though only physically, not functionally.
So we finally got around to work in the other of our jobs’ workshops. This coincided with an upcoming project which I’ll be happy to write about in a little while, also VR related. Towards the end of the day we got around to do some upgrades on the gun. We gave the recoil its own power supply and added some springs to re-center the piston after use. Feels better, though we are still looking for more juice.
Global game jam, one of the great annual events! Several things have happened in my life, I turned 30 during jam and earlier this month I got a little child. So, it’s indie dev hard mode from here on, although I have a very neat full time job besides my game dev so I guess it’s not that hard mode… Anyway, this year’s GGJ theme was “transmission”. I, however, used the event to put together the RAGE gun and made a little game for it. To make it more convenient to bring to the venue, I picked up HP’s Mixed Reality HMD rather than the HTC Vive which is a little bulky to jam with. I also brought a new computer, with all that comes with it in terms of missing software and linking issues. So I had some issues, but in the end I had time to be with my family and not be stressed towards the end of the event, and I got something working out of it! I also had a bottle of sparkly wine. All in all, great event.
I attended this year’s Automat arcade event! It was super fun, attendance could have been better, but given the somewhat remote location and the wonderful visitors I think it was great never the less. Sadly, I didn’t have the time I had hoped for to prepare Enbarr mac Lir and RAGE for the event, so in the end Enbarr was pretty buggy and I didn’t even bring RAGE. The issue with Enbarr was mostly that I hadn’t had time to test it fully and the cables I brought were glitchy and such. I also managed to break one of the chair chips due to unexpected need to pack the chairs in a compact way… and then I had to fix a software thing rather than fixing a new chip for the chair. Well well, I had a really good time.