Hey everyone! I’m Steve, Inventive Director over at Pixel Maniacs. As a few of chances are you’ll keep in mind, we launched our puzzle shooter ChromaGun on PS4 in August 2017. A bunch of you talked about you’d like to see the sport on PS VR. At that time, we hadn’t deliberate on making a VR model of the sport in any respect. However I, in my charming naiveté, advised you we’d do it, when you spammed our inbox with requests.
Nicely, you probably did. And thus started our timeless love for the PS VR neighborhood, as you, and the stunning avid gamers over at r/PSVR started showering us with emails about bringing the sport to your HMD.
It’s been fairly a trip, however I’m unbelievably pleased to announce that ChromaGun VR shall be dropping solely for PS VR on February 19.
This concludes the TL;DR part of the PS Weblog put up. What follows, is a rendition of the pains and joys we went by means of to make this occur. Notice that this will likely get a bit technical.
You’ll in all probability know that VR calls for much more efficiency from a gaming system than an everyday, flat sport. It is because every little thing must be rendered twice, as soon as for every eye (which is why there’s no VR for spiders). Moreover, VR video games want to realize constant, excessive body charges, to maximise immersion and minimise the danger of movement illness.
Now, ChromaGun was our debut title, and we had not a clue on the planet, what we had been doing once we began creating it. With out going into an excessive amount of element, simply think about the sport’s code as a giant messy ball of spaghetti. We did get it operating easily at 60 FPS on PS4, however simply barely. On PSVR, we needed to do every little thing twice as quick. If that doesn’t sound onerous sufficient to you, strive consuming heaps of spaghetti till you’re full, after which eat the identical quantity of spaghetti once more.* It’s like that. However much less scrumptious.
*Please don’t truly do this, it’s a metaphor.
To get the efficiency we would have liked, we switched to baked lighting. The flat model makes use of dynamic lights and semi-realtime international illumination (principally simulating mild bouncing off surfaces). This appears good, and allowed us to alter lights whereas the sport is operating, nevertheless it’s additionally very efficiency hungry. So as an alternative, we’re now fully pre-computing all lights. It’s not dynamic, nevertheless it’s lots cheaper, which is what we’re on the lookout for in VR. And with the proper settings, it may look simply nearly as good.
There’s obstacles within the sport, referred to as Colour-Defiant Particle Meshes, that block the droids’ attraction to coloured partitions, however nonetheless permit the participant to shoot by means of them. Within the flat model, these are ceiling-high clear partitions – an enormous hit on efficiency. So as an alternative, in ChromaGun VR, they’re now knee-high limitations, that behave in the very same approach. They only look completely different.
There are a number of extra issues we did to reinforce the impact of VR. For one, the principle menu is now a complete room you’ll be able to stroll round, together with the lamest movie show ever, that solely ever performs the credit of the sport. To additional improve the depth impact, we added tiny mud particles that float across the air. They don’t change something (and also you won’t even discover them), however VR feels much more immersive with such particulars.
Whereas we did resize a few of the chambers to enhance efficiency, and make gameplay extra snappy in VR, we selected to not change the general gameplay.
There are not any new chambers in ChromaGun VR. This was a sensitive choice to make, as a result of plenty of ranges comply with a curve, forcing gamers to show round. Had we designed new ranges for VR, we may’ve made them lead straight forward, making it extra comfy to play. However ultimately, we wished gamers to have the ability to expertise the unique ChromaGun in VR, not some watered-down port of the sport.
What we actually love about ChromaGun VR is working with the Intention Controller — there’s simply one thing magic about that factor. Strapping on the headset, after which truly selecting up the ChromaGun, is simply one thing else. We put nice element into completely aligning the 3D mannequin of the ChromaGun with the precise Intention Controller, to verify it feels excellent.
There’s a bunch extra we did to carry ChromaGun to PSVR, however this could offer you a glimpse of what we’ve been doing for the previous yr and a half.
If you happen to’ve learn till this level, you’re fairly accustomed to the story of ChromaGun VR, and also you’ll be capable of admire my good friend Andi, who was the only programmer on the PSVR port and is liable for the sport occurring.
Thanks, Andi. You beast.
Now, it’s time to wrap this up. We actually hope you’ll take pleasure in ChromaGun VR. In case you have any questions, be at liberty to ask!
– With love from everybody at Pixel Maniacs