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VR Overstuffed - Solve puzzles, collect objects, have fun

Hi guys,

I’m a solo Indie game developer from Bavaria, Germany. I’ve been doing game development since 2008 as a hobby. Recently I’ve started to work full time on my first commercial game, VR Overstuffed. In this topic I’ll share my progress.

About 3-4 months ago I’ve played my first few virtual reality games on the HTC Vive and I was surprised by the amount games with low quality visuals (aka “programmer art”) and concepts that are not well suited to VR. I thought to myself “yeah, I can do better than that”. Of course we’re all in the same boat, VR is new and game developers first have to adapt and test out what works and what doesn’t work in terms of gameplay. Regardless, that let me to start working on my first VR game.

In VR Overstuffed you find yourself stranded on a tropical island, where you meet a friendly, humorous alien. Together you try to find a way home. On your journey you need to solve physics puzzles to collect objects, that help you to continue your travels. Most puzzles follow the simple rule “use all the objects available to build a tower, without any of them touching the floor”. New levels introduce new, more interesting objects. Besides the story mode, which features the puzzles, there is also a custom mode. The unlocked objects can be used in custom mode to build whatever your imagination comes up with. It’s kind of surprising how much fun it is, to play with random objects in VR, without any instructions or goal imposed by the game. If you like puzzle games like portal or sandbox games like minecraft, I think you’re going to like this.

So far, most of the gameplay features are done and I’m working mainly on more content (environments, levels, objects). The game will be released on steam in Q4 2016. For now, you can check out a quick video below to get a first impression.

I’ll be blogging on my website (www.vroverstuffed.com) to keep you up-to-date with my development and showcase interesting features. You can also follow me on Twitter, Google+, or subscribe to my rss feed. I also hang out on irc (#unrealengine @ freenode) and Slack unrealslackers.slack.com

Comments, feedback and questions are always welcome.

Have a happy day! :slight_smile:

Here’s a short demonstration of the 3D menu I built for the game. Each letter is a separate actor that gets spawned at the correct location and orientation. When the page changes or the menu is closed, each letter starts to simulate physics and gets a small force in a random direction. Different modes of the controllers (indicated by different colors) allow to either grab and move the whole menu or pick out individual letters. I might do a blog post this week or next week, which shows some of the nodes involved in creating the menu. It’s all done in Blueprints. Feel free to ask for specifics or hint to things I could improve. Feedback is always appreciated.

This is the rotary user interface in my game, which spawns objects from a list. You can cycle in both directions. When grabbing an object, it scales to its final size. Initially objects would spawn at a random point in the air, dropping to the floor. It was visually interesting, but it turned out, that you had to do a lot of walking and bending over just to get the objects you need. The spawn UI on the left controller is much more convenient. In custom mode, objects don’t get removed from the list, so you can spawn as many of the same object as you like.

Another freature I added, is the ability to pull objects from a distance to return them to the controller UI. Even with the ability to teleport people kept telling me, a feature similar to the Half Life 2 “gravity gun” would be fantastic. I guess gamers are lazy, even more so in VR. :slight_smile:

Combining objects with bubble gum and taking them apart again is a key concept used in my puzzle game. In principle, it’s just one actor attaching to another with the weld option on, but the underlying logic quickly gets way, way more complicated, when you want to be able to still pick up the whole group of actors and detach them again. And some special objects, which do different things, complicate things even more. A big chunk of time in the last 4 months went into this.