"Really leverages the capabilities of Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra." - realovirtual.com
Now supporting the Leap Motion Controller!
What Is Smash?
Smash is a fast-paced virtual reality game. It requires an Xbox One, Razer Hydra or Sixense STEM to play. You can play Smash on a monitor or with the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles.
The Bee Shotgun. A shotgun... With bees... Designed by the backer Michael Ensly. (Weapon Smith)
The Kaiyuan Compound Bow. An accurate, time-slowing bow that's currently in development. Designed by the backer Brett Armstrong. (Level Architect)
Oculus Rift play gameplay demo with an early alpha.
Realovirtual review of the an early Smash alpha. Be sure to turn on English captions.
The Smash Story:
In my younger days, I spent weekends playing Asteroids and Space Invaders on my Atari 2600. Occasionally, my dad would even let me play Cannon Fodder on his Amiga 500 (or at least not be there to stop me).
There was something very visceral and satisfying about those early games. They had a way of placing me into a cool, calm, zen-like state.
As I moved into high school I saw video game technology move from 2D to 3D. From Cannon Fodder to Goldeneye. Games quickly became more immersive and controls more precise. I remember thinking fondly about the exciting virtual reality future that lay ahead. Surely stereoscopic 3D games with 1 to 1 controls, would be here by the turn of the century...
But that future never seemed to eventuate. Game development became all about pixels, processors and quick time events. Worse yet, we didn't even have jet packs or flying cars to while away the time (seriously future, what the hell?!)
Then, in 2011 Sixense and Razer teamed up to make this.
Less than a year later the Oculus Rift was invented.
In early 2013, while working on my Master of Information Technology, I received one of the early Oculus Rift developer kits.
After playing every Oculus/Sixense compatible game I could get my (virtual) hands on, I noticed that something was missing. These games were fun, and technologically impressive to be sure, but the feeling I got from playing those old arcade games was just not there.
This realisation led to a question:
What would happen if the fun and addictiveness of an old arcade game was mixed with the control and immersion of modern VR technology?
Smash is my attempt to answer that question.
Progress To Date:
At the end of each month a new version of Smash will be released for alpha and beta backers. These are the planned features of each version.
Aug 2013: Smash Prototype ✓
- Shattering Watermelons. ✓
- Hands and baseball bat. ✓
- Oculus Rift Support. ✓
- Razer Hydra / Sixense STEM support. ✓
Sep 2013: Smash Alpha 0.1 ✓
- Ability to grab weapons out of the air. ✓
- Handgun. ✓
- Sound effects. ✓
- Mum loves it. ✓
Oct 2013: Smash Alpha 0.2 ✓
- 4 new weapons. ✓
- 4 new fruits. ✓
- Sound track.✓
- Tested on PC, Mac and Linux. ✓
Nov 2013: Smash Alpha 0.3
- Space level. ✓
- Dynamite! ✓
- Menu. ✓
- This version is the first received by Alpha backers (PC, Mac & Linux).
Dec 2013: Smash Alpha 0.4
- Experiment with new gameplay ideas.
- Leap Motion support (if stretch goal is met).
Jan 2014: Smash Alpha 0.5
- Experiment with new gameplay ideas.
- New weapons, power-ups and levels.
Feb 2014: Smash Beta 0.6
- All backer designed weapons.
- All backer designed power-ups.
- All backer designed levels.
- This version is the first received by Beta backers (PC, Mac & Linux).
Mar 2014: Smash Beta 0.7
- Gameplay tweaking based on feedback (speed, what's fun, what's not etc...)
- Balancing Smash based on feedback (points, weapon power, weapon drop-rate etc...)
Apr 2014: Smash Beta 0.8
- Graphics / Sound effects tweaking.
- PrioVR support (if stretch goal is met).
- Reactive Grip support (if stretch goal is met).
May 2014: Smash Beta 0.9
- Wiggle room.
Jun 2014: Smash 1.0
- Xbox one version.
- Playstation 4 version (if stretch goal is met).
- This version is the first received by all backers (PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One & PS4).
Content Creation Guidelines:
When you are coming up with ideas for weapons, power-ups and levels in Smash, please keep the following in mind.
Keep it balanced: Weapons, levels and power-ups should involve some level of skill to use and provide a challenge to the player. e.g. A hand grenade would keep the game interesting, a nuclear bomb would not.
Keep it legal: Your weapon, level or power-up should not infringe on anyones' copyright or break any other laws. e.g. A flamethrower of your own design, cool. That flamethrower gun that Gary Oldman uses in The Fifth Element, not so cool.
Keep it classy: Weapon, level and power-up names and attributes should not be rude, inappropriate or offensive... I'll let you guys use your imagination here...
Keep it possible: Futuristic or magical designs are great. However, all weapons, levels and power-ups must run smoothly on a reasonable computer. e.g. Suspending a player's disbelief with a power-up that makes your gun fire guns is no problem. Suspending a player's computer with a power-up that makes your gun fire gun firing guns (creating an infinite loop), is a problem.
If you have an idea that you want to suggest, but are not sure if it meets these guidelines, feel free to message me and we'll see if we can work something out.
Risks and challenges
As a backer of 38 Kickstarter projects myself, I understand the potential for delays. I also understand that the most important thing to backers is for me to give regular, honest and open updates and to try to do the right thing by them.
Short of an alien invasion, or angry vegan protest about the promotion of violence against fruit. Smash will be released. The game mechanics, kinks and physics of Smash have been worked out. More importantly, the game is already at the point where it is fun to play.
The good thing about building the game mechanics first is that the remaining time can be spent adding gameplay, weapons, levels and polish to an already existing framework. This means that future work will be less "Can I do this?" and more "How long will it take me to do this?".
How long will it take me to do this? There is still a lot of work to be done on Smash. To estimate the remaining time, I have extrapolated from my current progress and added a 1 month buffer.
This should give me enough time to turn Smash into a polished release on all platforms.
If any unforeseen delays do occur, you guys will be the first to know... Well, the second to know... I suppose I'll be the first to know.
Console releases are harder to guarantee for independent developers. Console development is expensive and applications to Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network need to go through an approval process, which can take time.
If it comes to the point where Smash is not able to be released on a promised console within a reasonable time, backers of that version will be offered a choice of the game in another format or a full refund.
The important thing in all of this is that I will do the right thing by my backers.
- (30 days)