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Messages - sorensilk

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PlayMaker Tips & Tricks / Re: Tools For SteamVR
« on: May 10, 2016, 10:20:47 AM »
Do you have a list of actions that you've included?

User Showcase / Re: Verde Station - Already Greenlit, Coming soon
« on: September 05, 2014, 08:56:16 AM »
Greenlight campaign here

tl;dr - Tried to make the best campaign video and description I could, stayed involved on the campaign's page, not a lot of press reach out, got one article on RPS.

For the campaign I focused on trying to create an interesting video that piques people's interest immediately but doesn't spoil the game. Since it's a discovery/experience type game I do have to be careful how much I share. The whole point of the game is to experience what's going on. If players know that ahead of time it loses a bit of weight.

So with this in mind I also made use of the spoiler tag in my game description. This meant that there were black bars after paragraphs with different info in them. People that were curious enough to mouse over the black bars got to read more. I think this fits well with the game and also makes the description more interesting to read than most because it creates a mini-game. I don't know that I'm the first to do this but I hadn't ever seen it done before.

I spent most of my effort focusing on making the greenlight campaign interesting because a lot of what I read said that traffic from outside sources (twitter, news articles, etc.) don't make up much of the traffic that actually gets to your campaign and turns into a vote. A lot of this is because if you're coming from a website, the links go to Steam's web version, you have to log in, and potentially go through the steps to authorize your browser if you haven't already, and potentially find the game's Greenlight page again. It's way too many steps for most people. From what I found of my analytics this was true.

As far as press reach out, I emailed a short list of journalists (only about 25) that I thought might enjoy this type of game. I think that is important. I didn't blast every site I could. I went through old posts, people I already follow on Twitter, etc. to find specific people that might be interested in my game. I sent short, to the point emails focusing on what makes my game interesting and what makes the development interesting.

I didn't get a huge amount of write ups from sites but the little I got was positive. The biggest was Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The game was also written up on a few small VR sites since it includes Oculus Rift support. The craziest moment for me personally was that right after the RPS article went up Steve Gaynor from Fullbright (makers of Gone Home) tweeted the article and we chatted a tiny bit over Twitter. Gone Home is definitely an inspiration so it was a bit surreal.

After that I just continued to post about the campaign's progress on Twitter and share the numbers. I always included a screenshot of the graph since I know I enjoy them from other devs. Compared to other campaigns, it wasn't getting a huge amount of votes but from Steam's graphs it said it was on track to hit the top 20% within 30 days. However, after just 15 days I was extremely surprised to find that it was greenlit! It was way faster than I was expecting but unfortunately Steam doesn't provide you with a definitive list of reasons why your game was greenlit. However, I did a news post on IndieDB talking through the stats and my thoughts in a bit more detail if you want to read that.

Overall I spent about a week putting together the video, email list, sending emails, writing the description, etc. (of course that doesn't count the weeks of reading articles, and post-mortems on other Greenlights and trying to brainstorm ideas for mine). After it went up I spent about half my day on the campaign updating Twitter, doing a few more press emails, and staying very active on the Greenlight campaign to answer questions. I added an FAQ announcement on the Greenlight page and updated it with questions/answers as they came up every few days. Then another announcement with more details on gameplay since that was a common question. And a short one about the RPS article.

That's about it. Let me know if you want any more detail on anything.

User Showcase / Verde Station - Already Greenlit, Coming soon
« on: September 04, 2014, 05:21:44 PM »

Hello all,

I don't post on here very often but I read the forums constantly.  They've been a great tool for me whenever I get stuck.

I just wanted to share a game that I've been working on by myself the past few months. It's called Verde Station and it was made using 99% Playmaker. I am a huge fan of this tool, there's no way I could have made this game without it.

It's a discovery exploration game set on a space station where you are on a year long solo mission. You main responsibility is taking care of the greenhouse. As you explore you learn more about what's going on. Or at least you think you do. The game messes with the player a bit and reacts to how they play.

Verde Station was Greenlit on Steam about a month ago and I'm hoping to release if very soon. I'll be sure to update here when it's out. If anyone has any questions about the game or how I use Playmaker just let me know.

The trailer above is from the Greenlight so it's about a month and a half old. The main change since then is that I completely updated the computer terminals so it actually feels like an old school OS. Below is a screenshot of one of the terminals and what it's FSMs looks like. And there are tons that look like that. A bit complex but it makes sense to me, and more importantly THEY WORK.  ;)

Game Site
Game Twitter
Personal Twitter

PlayMaker Help / Re: Raycast help for picking up items
« on: June 11, 2014, 03:54:37 PM »
Oh, I also wanted to share my GUI Text Manager. I don't know if this will be useful for you but I wanted something a bit more extensive than Setting the GUI text each time. Also helps with accidental spelling errors since everything is in one spot. Or maybe helpful for anyone else reading this thread at some point...

First I created a standard GUI Text which is positioned right above the mouse, blank to start.

Then, I created an empty game object as my GUI Text Manager. On this I have a listener with all my potential text pop ups as global events. Each of these take us to the next state which is a Set GUI Text action with the text I want. There is even a blank one for clearing the text.

Then, when you want to set the text at any point, from any other FSM, instead of doing Set GUI Text each time you just do a Send Event action. Target the Game Object FSM, your GUI Text Manager and you can select the global event from the drop down box. I named all my global events the same as the text so it's nice and easy.

PlayMaker Help / Re: Raycast help for picking up items
« on: June 11, 2014, 03:35:18 PM »
Thanks, Ooghe. I used your method but tweaked it a bit. Images below, but basically this is what I changed:

Picking up State:
Added a Set Rotation action so that the object being picked up faces the camera. You could probably also do this with the iTween Rotate To, Look At, or Smooth Look At actions too. It just depends on how your objects are setup and what kind of visual effect you're going for.

Picked Up State:
I changed the drop transition to Mouse Up, not Mouse Down so the player has to hold down the mouse to hold the item. Just my preference.

Examine State:
I only used the iTween Rotate Add: 180 degrees in 1 second with an ease, Self space. I also added a start event of Finished and unchecked Stop on Exit. So hitting 'E' rotates the item 180 degrees and immediately kicks back to the Picked Up state. It works great, the only weirdness is if you mash the 'E' key over and over it will interrupt the rotation so it may not do an exact 180 rotation.  I'm only planning on the player examining the front or back of objects so this works for me. If you want 360 degree rotation it won't work.

Dropping state:
I just used Set Parent to none, turn kinematic back off, and gravity on. This just drops the item.

My only problem:
For some reason, when I've picked up an item and try to walk straight forward or backwards the character controller gets hung up on something. Strafing left or right works fine. Or if I point the object all the way up at the ceiling or all the way down at the floor the player moves fine. It must be a collider or rigidbody doing something weird but I haven't figured it out yet. Did you ever get that bug?

PlayMaker Help / Re: Raycast help for picking up items
« on: June 10, 2014, 04:29:53 PM »
Hey Ooghe,

Thanks for the response. I may have found a way to get the raycasting portion to work. I'm still having a bit of trouble with it but as soon as I figure it out I'll post back here. It should work with bringing objects up to the camera.  Still not sure about rotating objects but that's not a deal killer for me.  What about you?

That's looking really great so far. Especially considering you're doing everything yourself. That's how I'm working too and it's definitely fun but challenging.

Also great to see more Oculus Rift developers working with Playmaker.

PlayMaker Help / Re: Raycast help for picking up items
« on: June 09, 2014, 09:39:58 AM »
Any ideas? The most important part is the raycast when the player looks at an item then looks away without picking it up.

PlayMaker Help / Raycast help for picking up items
« on: June 04, 2014, 04:17:04 PM »
TLDR - How to pick up items like in Gone Home?

Sorry this is so long, just trying to give everyone enough info.  I need a bit of help with raycasting. I've been searching for a really long time and haven't found any answers but please let me know if I missed them. Essentially I want to create item interaction like in Gone Home. This is how it works in the game:
  • If the player is close to an item and looking at it, text pops on screen saying something like "Pick up"
  • If they look away the text goes away
  • While looking at an item they can pick it up with 'E'
  • This holds it in front of the camera until they hit 'E' again which will toss the item a few feet.
  • While holding an item they can rotate it by dragging right mouse

Ideally this is done as a FSM only on the Character Controller or a template that I can just attach to any object without having to customize. This is my current setup, screenshots too:
  • First Person Controller
  • GUI Text Manager that I created, creates text on screen or sets it to blank
  • FSM is on the main camera
  • Main camera has an empty game object about 2 feet in front of camera (this is where I want the object to move to.)
  • All items that can be picked up are on the 'Interactive' layer.
  • State 1 is the Raycaster - has a Hit Event to go to State 2
  • State 1 stores the hit object in as a variable (does this need to be global?)
  • State 1 has a filter to only hit objects on my 'Interactive' layer.
  • State 2 sends an event to my GUI text manager and creates the text
  • State 2 has a Get Key Down action for 'E' to go to State 3
  • State 3 has an iTween move to action that should move the object to the empty game object in front of the camera

State 1 works. The variable works (it stores the object hit), my GUI text manager creates the text. Pressing 'E' goes to State 3. Then I start running into problems. Since all my objects need rigidbodies gravity takes affect as it's moving towards the camera and it falls to the ground. Objects that don't have rigidbodies move fine but then stay at that exact world vector and don't move as the player continues to move.

How do I reset the Raycast/GUI text if the player looks at an item then looks away? I tried doing another Raycast in State 2 with an inverted mask but that creates an infinite loop.
How do I move the hit object to the empty game object in front of the camera and keep it there until the player presses 'E' again?
How do I rotate a held object when the player right clicks and drags? One axis is fine.

Thanks for any help. ;D

PlayMaker Tutorials / Re: Official Tutorial Request Thread
« on: May 30, 2014, 04:27:44 PM »
Great start with the Rift to Mecanim tutorial. I vote for anything and everything else you can related to the Oculus Rift. Specifically:

Raycasting for object interactivity (as in, highlighting an object that you are close to and looking at).

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