Bazaar is launching November 17th 2015!

 

I’m rounding up screenshots to show off all our new launch features.

Monkeys jump on your head and you must shake them off since their paws block your eyes.  Crocodiles lurk quietly, but don’t double back once you’ve agitated them!  Sea corbras and dart traps lie around every corner.  We’ve even given the ability to fly up and down once the player has recovered Lamassu’s stolen wing.

We’ve worked around the clock since our OC2 visit to Hollywood to put in the features folks have asked for and tighten up the design to deliver and intuitive game that I’m so proud of.

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From sketch to programmed particle

Here’s a little example of our process.

We start with a problem.  We have fountains in game, and they’re meant to soak through and ruin the map.  The player can pop and umbrella open to protect themselves, but how can we best give feedback that this is happening?  In VR its more important than ever to give tons of feedback since the platform is so new and the relationship between player input and game interaction is so unestablished.

I start with a sketch.  The simpler the better, the idea is just to get motion or animation across.

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Then I screenshot the game and paint directly over it.  This removes any wasted time in concepting that has to then be translated artistically and molded to fit the camera and game.

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2D animation is more useful than you might think in a 3D VR game.  B is our resident 2D animator who translates my screenshot paintovers to technically tackle what I’m trying to do.

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GIFs are our friends.  We post lots of these to prototype how an effect will play out before programming it.

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The Temple Gates Games mission

12047021_10104650248686163_7718549599281507808_nWhat problem are you looking to solve?
Temple Gates Games wants to create compelling, delightful games that will attract new folks to VR platforms.  We want to deliver the best game content in the VR space.  Many of the games we’ve seen lean more toward a gritty, realistic and hardcore aesthetic, both visually and mechanically.  We want to bring a punch of joy with our quirky, upbeat games.  Our team members have created games like Plants. Vs. Zombies, Cannon Brawl, and a few of us met working together on Spore.  Our games stand out as colorful, approachable gems that follow through with engaging strategic play.
 
Why is this an important problem?
The tidal wave of VR consumption is just around the corner, but many larger AAA game publishers are taking a conservative stance.  While some are dabbling in small scale R&D, the risk of headset manufacturers slipping distribution dates, or just being dependent on something so new, is too much of a deterrent.  Many of them are waiting for the VR market to prove itself before dedicating significant budget shares toward VR development.  This lack of market in general makes it difficult for anyone to be creating content right now, creating a deficit that needs to be addressed in order to deliver magical first experiences to new consumers.
When will people be able to experience what you are working on?
After winning Silver in the oculus VR jam, a free demo version of our game has been published on the Oculus Challenge Post site.  This version works for Samsung GearVR with Note 4 on the KitKat OS.  We hope to be a launch title on on major HMDs, so hopefully people will be playing the full version very soon!
 
What are the major benefits that your platform/project brings to VR/AR?
We’re building our game to show off what VR can do.  Performance, player comfort, and the joy of discovery are paramount to us, as we take the responsibility of being many people’s first VR experience seriously. It’s also fun to push the boundaries, since we’re at the bleeding edge of this new technology.  Designing new player interactions with the headset, such as a nodding/shaking head mechanic to accept or reject quests, is an exciting way to coax immersive behavior that pushes the player deeper into their experience.
 
How do you differentiate yourself from other companies operating in a similar space?
We are a team of industry vets, including Tod Semple, creator of Plants Vs. Zombies, Theresa Duringer, creator of Cannon Brawl, Jeff Gates of Spore, Patrick Benjamin of SimCity, and Ben Rosaschi, polish master from Zynga.  On top of that, we break out of the mold with our development practices, such as creating our own custom engine which gives our game a unique flavor, gives us tight control, and allows us to concurrently develop for multiple platforms.  We also bring our experimental tac toward solving tough problems, such as by creating our ‘Hybridscopic’ vision solution to draw stereo in the foreground and monoscopic in the background to save on polycount since distant verts are virtually colocated.
What about VR and Future technology inspires you most? 
When people put on a headset for the first time, their jaws drop.  Their expectations are consistently blown out of the water.  After demoing at Maker Faire, Levi’s Stadium, as well as lots of industry events, I’ve been lucky enough to witness first hand the sheer magic of someone experiencing this new frontier for the first time.  This visceral reaction drives us to create content that will live up to the potential of VR.