Do You See Us?

With the release of our new website comes an abundance of other preparation. Social media presence has taken precedence as one of the most important segments of our company to establish. With that being said, our marketing team is actively busy creating profiles across the web and researching the best sites, blogs, and events to gain ubiquity in the gaming world. So keep a lookout in the coming weeks for RillyBoss presence and support us by bringing awareness to your own social network and friends!

Playable Demo

In the coming months we aim to start gaining traction not only in social media, but also physically in the real world by allowing people to start test driving the game content we push. To start, we are going to premier our games at local gaming events in Denver, CO and get feedback on what to improve and what people would like to see in the games we release. We will be posting the locations of these events on our social media pages, just check out the social links at the bottom of our website. If you are in the area this Monday, drop by the Platt Park Brewing Co. at 6pm to play some games and possibly get some RillyBoss swag!

Lookin’ Good

If you’ve visited the website you know that its super new, but the content is blooming. Our team has been working diligently to update the site with great content, images, and graphics to make it look pristine. We’ll be releasing our current game development project pages on the site for everyone to preview within the next week!

 

If you build it, they will come.

It has been another busy week here at RillyBoss Studios! I have been hard at work developing a smarter enemy AI as well as building and polishing a demo level which we will share at an upcoming event. Taylor was able to book the event on short notice and there is so much to do to get ready! I am really excited about this as it is our first event, and hope to see some friends and fans there! For those interested in attending, Taylor will be providing more information this week. Keep your eyes posted!

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

The core focus of our new Virtual Reality game is to provide interesting, intuitive, and engaging combat to the players. The first iteration of enemy Artificial Intelligence was – for lack of a better term – quite dumb. Enemies would walk in a random direction and rotate every so often. This often lead to enemies that blindly walked into objects and structures. If a player was within a certain distance, the enemy would run towards the player in a straight line, again not taking obstacles into consideration. Although this worked for a very simple prototype, it was far from fun and looked quite bizarre.  Therefore, I have spent past week improving the artificial intelligence of enemies. I have developed a modular Finite State Machine which controls the enemies AI. The system works as follows:

  • Each enemy can be in only one state at a time.
    • For example, the enemy may be patrolling, searching, chasing, fleeing, dying, etc.
  • Each state consists of one or more actions which are performed.
    • For example, during the patrol state the enemy will walk to a series of patrol points.
  • Each state has multiple decisions which will allow it to transition into a new state.
    • For example, during the search state the enemy will survey the area and decide if it can see a player. If it does, it will transition to the chase state, otherwise it will transition to a patrol state.
  • States are modular and easily customizable.
    • New states can easily be set with unique actions, decisions, and state transitions. This will allow us to quickly create different enemy behaviors.
  • State Transitions are synced over the network.
    • This allows all players in the game to be updated with the current enemy state.

Finite State Machines are very useful in game programming, and by implementing this system for our project we have gained a great deal of flexibility for rapidly creating and testing multiple unique enemy behaviors. As I code new actions and decisions, they can be easily inserted into existing game assets.

 

The above video shows the game from a debug view. By manually manipulating the players position, I am able to test the AI system. In this video, the enemies start in a patrol state. As they patrol, the decide if they can or cannot see the player. If they can, they will transition into the chase state. Once they get into range of the player, they will transition into an attack state. Here you can see each enemies detection radius as well as the line of sight rays. While patrolling the enemy checks if any players are within it’s detection radius. If an enemy is within range, rays will be cast from the enemies eyes to the target. If the ray is within the field of view of the enemy and not obstructed by any objects the enemy will begin to chase and attack the player.

Live Demo Event

As discussed earlier, we have been given the opportunity to present a demo of our game at a local event on Labor Day (September 4th, 2017). We will be offering free live multiplayer demos during the Nerd’s Night Out at Platt Park Brewing Company. Bring and a friend, enjoy some craft beers, and give our game a shot!

For this event, we have started building out a custom demo and it is really coming together nicely. However, there is still a lot to do and I really want the demo to impress. I’ve included a sneak peak of what we have built thus far:

Other Updates

The following items have been updated and/or added into the current build:

  • We have removed permanently holstered weapons. Players will need to find armor and weapons within the environment to defend themselves, which will require one or two hands to hd. This forces players to prioritize what items they bring with them.
  • As you can tell from the video, we have updated a large chunk of the graphics. We have also decided on a visual style for our game. Moving forward, we will work to make all of the artwork match the aesthetic in the video.
  • Enemies can now be killed.
  • We have added a torch which can be equipped by the player to illuminate the environment.
  • Blood effects are now shown when enemies are hit.
  • Fire will illuminate the area.
  • Snow and Wind audio and visual effects.

Closing Thoughts

We hope to see you on Labor Day for our first showcase! We have a lot to do before then, but I am confident we will get it done. I am very optimistic about the future of this project and hope to grow with the help of the community!

Much love,

Billy

A first time for everything!

After roughly a month of work, I am excited to publish the first entry in the RillyBoss Studios Blog. My goal is to publish an update once per week – if my schedule allows it. I would love any feedback regarding the blog, and how it can better make the development of our software at RillyBoss Studios as transparent as possible. Our goal is to work directly with the community to build software that is fun and engaging. The past month has been quite busy as we are working not only on developing our second project, but also on growing and building our business.

New Faces

I am pleased to announce that Taylor Pepler-Madsen (Taylor.PeplerMadsen@RillyBoss.com) joins RillyBoss Studios as our Community Manager. Taylor has been working with RillyBoss Studios, as he designed our logo and a majority of the graphics in our mobile game RillyBoss Reversi. Taylor will now be responsible for communications, web development, PR, graphics design, social media, events, and content creation. Taylor brings many years of web design and graphics to the table and we are very lucky to have him on board! Keep an eye on our website over the upcoming weeks, as Taylor will be performing some major and much needed visual overhaul.

Community Update

It has been a stressful week – working full time while trying to get the business off of the ground has definitely been taking its toll. I spent the beginning of the week designing and implementing a basic system for computer controlled enemies into our untitled upcoming VR game. The second half of the week has been devoted towards the administrative side of the business. I have been working on securing an LLC, launching the company website, and building a presence on social media. I truly hope in the long run that these endeavors will pay off.

E-mail Woes

A major source of stress has been caused by GoDaddy and Office 365. I manage an enterprise Office 365 environment at the office and am very familiar with the product. Because of this, we use Office 365 as our e-mail platform, and I originally purchased the product from GoDaddy. Unfortunately, the product from GoDaddy is missing many features from the Official Microsoft product. After using GoDaddys version for the past few months, I’ve finally had enough and reached out to Microsoft to migrate my service. In order to migrate, Microsoft had me purchase all new licensing and instructed that I request a refund from GoDaddy. Unfortunately GoDaddy does not offer refunds after 30 days, even though Office 365 is a subscription based service. The same product from Microsoft can be refunded at any point during your subscription. All said and done, I have lost $150 for a service that I can no longer use. I would definitely not recommend GoDaddy for Office 365 to any one.

Looking Forward

We are looking to start building social media presence as well as finish our website design. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

RillyBoss Studios dives into Virtual Reality

We are currently working on releasing a Virtual Reality game targeted for PC Players with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift with Touch headsets. Our unnamed project is early in development. The inspiration for our project comes from the “Quest for the Golden Trophy” minigame in the VR title Rec Room. The game is being developed in the Unity Engine, and is written in C#. We are hoping to have an alpha build of the project available by the end of October.

Our New Project

The focus for our new project is to provide a multiplayer game that provides both cooperative and competitive game play. In cooperative mode, players will journey together to ultimately defeat an evil presence within a fantasy virtual setting. In competitive mode, players will battle for honor and glory in game modes such as Capture The Flag and Team Deathmatch. Players will use weapons such as swords, bows, maces, axes, and more to defeat their enemies. By utilizing motion controllers, players will need to physically swing and dodge to defeat their opponents.

We currently have implemented the following features:

  • Motion controllers which track head and hand movement.
  • Track Pad Locomotion.
  • Objects which can be picked up and wielded by the player including swords, shields, arrows, and bows.
  • Enemies.
  • Online Networked Multiplayer which syncs players and objects.

Before our first alpha build is available, I would like have the following features implemented:

  • Cooperative Mode with up to 5 levels.
    • Each level will feature at least one unique boss, which will need to be defeated to progress to the next level.
  • Multiplayer Mode with two Game Modes.
    • Capture the Flag
    • Team Deathmatch
    • Each mode will feature a unique map for play.
  • Player Customization
    • Players will be able to customize their gender and appearance.
  • Multiplayer Lobby
    • Players will meet in a single lobby where they can choose and start games.
  • Network Voice Chat
    • Players will be able to communicate via voice.
  • Additional Locomotion Options
    • Allow for teleportation locomotion.

Enemies

The game is coming together nicely, but our players need something to fight! This week was spent building a basic enemy AI system, which will track players within a certain range. Currently the enemies do not take any damage from the players. I need to determine the best way to allow for weapon swings to damage an enemy as a player could wildly swing their hands to cause massive damage. I may implement a “cool down” period where the weapon cannot damage an enemy for half of a second after first damaging an enemy. This would also help deflect damage when wielding a shield.
I am also working on implementing different enemy behaviors which will allow for enemies to not only attack the players, but allow them to also run, hide, etc.

Once we have fleshed out the enemy behaviors, we will start designing the initial cooperative maps. Stay tuned!