Ultrawings is coming to GearVR!

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We are incredibly excited to announce that Ultrawings is coming to GearVR!  Now you can take to the skies while in the sky (how meta!) or anywhere else in the Ultralight, rocket-powered Glider, and Sport Plane using the new and extremely cool Samsung 3DOF controller!

We’ll have much more to share in the weeks ahead!

For now here are some screenshots taken directly from the mobile version.

 

 

 

 

 

Buckle Up!

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Today we are incredibly proud to announce the launch of Ultrawings on the Oculus store.

This project originally started about a year and a half ago with just two developers, Unity, a dream, and a couple of DK2s!

Here’s a very early Unity editor shot of the prototype.  As an aside we need to get much better engaging with the community from the get-go.  This is something we will work on for our next project.

It goes without saying but, honestly, it’s come a LONG, LONG way.  Take a look at the launch trailer!

 

 

 

Ultrawings FAQ!

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It’s been awhile since we last checked in with info about our upcoming Oculus Rift + Oculus Touch game, Ultrawings.  Now’s as good a time as any to discuss the game in greater detail as we get closer to release.

What is Ultrawings?

Ultrawings is an open-world, aerial-themed game where you pilot multiple aircraft to complete a variety of jobs across an island-themed world.  The game is powered by the ubiquitous Unity game engine and, initially, supports Oculus Rift, Oculus Touch, and gamepads.

What other platforms will Ultrawings release on?

We’ve only announced Rift support at this time.

What aircraft are featured?

We currently feature 3 very distinct aircraft – the Ultralight, an experimental Glider, and an acrobatic Sport Plane.

Is Ultrawings a simulator?

Yes but an accessible one!  All of our aircraft are governed by a realistic, flight simulator engine but we’ve made many modifications so that each aircraft is really fun to fly.  Also, the type of jobs you will take on in the game are most definitely not realistic in anyway.  When was the last time you flew an Ultralight and pop giant balloons with a dart gun?

But that’s one of the amazing benefits of virtual reality!   We’ve accurately replicated the feeling of flight but also incorporated somewhat ridiculous things you get to do while flying that just wouldn’t be possible in real life!

What are my control options? 

Gamepad and Oculus Touch.  But, honestly, we highly recommend playing the game with Oculus Touch as it’s, without a doubt, the most immersive way to play the game.  There is a bit of a learning curve as even hardened flight sim enthusiasts have never quite flown an aircraft like this before but once you’ve mastered the controls you’ll quickly realize that it’s the only way to play the game.

What do you do in the game?

The core loop of the game is complete jobs, earn in-game cash based on job performance, and then buy new airports and new airplanes.  Every time you purchase a new airport we unlock a new job type.  When you purchase new aircraft more jobs become available too!  Suffice to say we have a wide variety of jobs that you’ll get to choose from!

There is a progression path but we let you choose which jobs you want to focus on.  You won’t need to complete every single job to unlock all content in the game.

How about simulator sickness?

Yes, unfortunately, this is a very real phenomenon and it’s something we’ve spent a significant amount of time looking at ways to help players out.  We’ve implemented multiple comfort setting options as well as a simpler aircraft physics model that prevents the aircraft from rolling (the aircraft will just yaw when you attempt to bank).

Also, we can’t explain why this is the case but many players (myself included) have commented that using Oculus Touch actually helps with simulator sickness since you are actually simulating the hand controls of flying aircraft.

We’ll update this post with more answers in the coming days.  If you have a question please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at chris@bitplanetgames.com

Thanks!

 

 

Ultrawings!

posted in: Bit Planet Updates | 0

We’re extremely proud to announce, Ultrawings, our first foray into the world of virtual reality game development.

Ultrawings is an open-world, aerial-themed game where you’ll fly multiple light aircraft to complete a variety of challenges across a beautifully stylized, island-themed world.

You can check out the first teaser for the game below:

The original idea behind the game came some 25 years ago when I had a dream that I was flying an Ultralight over an ocean (no idea which one!).  I can vividly remember the wind and mist hitting my face as I came in for a landing on top of an aircraft carrier.  The dream was so real that I was actually disappointed when I woke up and quickly realized I was in my bed!   Fast forward to almost a year ago and this dream popped up when we were thinking about ideas for VR games.  And now here we are today a very unique flying game that is unlike anything you’ve played before.

Over the next couple of months we’ll be slowly revealing more information about Ultrawings including the other aircraft you’ll fly, the islands you’ll visit, and the many types of challenges you’ll face!  If you’d like to receive news about the game the moment it’s released please visit the game’s official website here and sign up on the mailing list!

If you happen to be at the VRLA show at the Los Angeles Convention Center Aug. 5 – 6 (that’s this week!) stop by our booth B30 to check out the fully playable demo!

Chris Stockman

Studio Director

 

 

Tobii EyeX Integration!

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Over the past few months we’ve been implementing Tobii EyeX technology into The Battle of Sol.  Today we’re proud to announce that the integration phase is complete and the game now fully supports this amzing technology.

What is EyeX you might ask?

You can find more info here.

How does The Battle of Sol support EyeX?

It really augments and improves the combat experience by:

  • We support infinitescreen which allows players to look around the cockpit by simply looking at the edges of the screen.
  • We support CleanUI which is a fancy way of saying the UI will slowly fade out when you’re not gazing directly at it.
  • We support Eye targeting . Simply press the EyeX key and you will instantly target any ship you’re gazing at.

To be honest I was skeptical when I first heard about the technology but after using it for the first time I was instantly sold. It really feels like the future when you can use your eyes to interact with your PC.  In fact, I liked the technology so much I decided to get another for my laptop!

If you’re at GDC next month please stop by the Tobii booth to check out the tech!  We’ll be there demonstrating a couple of games that use it.

 

 

The Fleets of Sol

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Today we’re launching our next game, The Fleets of Sol, on Steam Early Access at a super competitive price of just $7.99.

What is this game about?

The Fleets of Sol is an action-strategy, survival game that focuses on commanding a fleet of capital ships as you jump from sector-to-sector in search of stranded civilian transports while constantly being pursued by an enemy determined to bring about your fleet’s destruction.

Current Features

*Pick from multiple commanders, as each provides a unique bonus that can radically change how you approach your journey.

*Each jump is a leap into the unknown as you encounter distress calls, interdictor forces, and enemy strongholds.

*Order your ships carefully and engage or avoid hostile forces as you wait for your jump drives to come online.

*The relentless enemy are prepared to intercept you at every turn and will even use hijacked friendly ships filled with warheads to weaken your resolve.

*Discover specialists among the rescued civilians to help boost your fleet giving you a much-needed advantage.

*When enough civilians have been saved, begin the final journey to your new home planet while the enemy hatches a plan to stop you once and for all.

It’s still very early in development but we think enough game is there to get the community actively involved in the development of the game.

Launch!

When we acquired the SOL: Exodus IP early last year our initial plan was to just make some improvements to the original game and release it on the Playstation 4.  Easy peasy, right?  WRONG.

For various reasons we were forced to abandon our original plans and ended up making something far, FAR more ambitious (for our tiny team).

We remade the entire game.

What exactly does that mean?  Here’s a bulleted list of everything that changed.

– Rescaled all our ship assets

– Completely redesigned the COD Carrier to make it far more menacing.

– All new visual FX.

– All new music and sound FX.

– All new VO and story featuring some returning and new talent.

– Revamped our game mechanics (ship energy management, wingmen orders) and flight physics. 

– All new flyable ship fully integrated in the campaign.

– Over 20 missions – built from scratch – to take advantage of our new game systems,

– Multiple types of missiles.

– Countermeasures

– Full gamepad support

– All new (absolutely gorgeous) environments.

– All new space stations.

– New medal system to promote replayability

– Reworked our AI to make them far more dangerous.

– Every aspect of the game has been rebalanced

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This really was a massive undertaking by all parties involved.  However, even though we’ve officially launched on Steam we’re not done yet.  In a week or so we’ll start talking about our next project (as well as continue supporting The Battle of Sol) so please stay tuned to our Steam forums and this website.

We’re just getting started.  🙂

– BPG

 

Everything’s New!

Our original goal with this project was to simply take the original game and improve upon it.  We had planned to improve game mechanics, add a few new missions, and improve visuals.  But as work progressed we began to realize that our original plan wasn’t bold enough.  Our first game from this new studio had to be something we were immensely proud of.

So here we are just over a year later from when we started and we are nearing the finish line and I wanted to share with you what we’ve done.

People have asked us what’s new about this game.  Well the more appropriate question should be what isn’t new?  Some ships, textures,and the game engine is about all that remains from the original game.

Here’s a list of game improvements / new features:

1) Every single mission (of which there are now 21) is brand new.

2) The flight physics has been completely reworked.

3) Environments have been revamped.

4) Visual FX has been greatly improved.

5) All new VO (featuring a fantastic cast) has been recorded to accompany the new missions.

6) All new music and sound FX greatly enhance the aural experience.

7) All new game mechanics including sub-system management, sub-system targeting, wingmen orders, and missile multi-lock.

8) All new pilotable ship fully integrated into the campaign.

9) Mission branching!  Yes, some missions change based on events that happened in previous missions.

10) AI has been drastically improved!

And really so much more.  Every aspect of the game has been either reworked, improved, or completely changed.  We hope to share a video showcasing some of these improvements in the weeks to come!

– BPG

 

Steam Early Access!

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Wow, it’s been far, far too long since we posted an update.  My apologies.

As the title suggests we just released a build on Steam’s Early Access program.

This program allows the community to get in on the ground floor and help mold the future of the space genre.  All feedback will be responded to directly within the Steam forums.

 

Second Chances

posted in: Bit Planet Updates | 2

Have you ever wanted to go back to a project and fix mistakes?  Opportunities like that don’t come around very often but when one does grab it by the horns, so to speak.

But I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s travel back in time to January 2012.

Most of us at Bit Planet Games were working at Seamless Entertainment — a small indie developer — based out of Austin, TX.  We had just released our take on the space shooter genre, SOL: Exodus, for Steam.  It was met with a fair share of criticisms (many of which have been addressed in subsequent patches) and praises alike (respectable sites such as Destructoid and Escapist gave us high marks).  Sales were ok (being in several bundles helped tremendously) but, ultimately, our small studio was shuttered by our parent company approximately 6 months later.

Our dream of continuing on with SOL: Episode 2 was shattered.

Fast forward to about 4 months ago.

It dawned on me that I really wanted to try and take SOL back and A) fix all the lingering issues with the Steam version, B) bring it to next-gen consoles, and C) reunite with the old team who believed in my vision for an accessible space shooter in the first place!   So I set out do just that.  I contacted the owners of the IP and they agreed that it was time SOL came back to its original stewards. Most of the old team has been reunited under the Bit Planet Games, LLC banner.  And most importantly we are now deep in development of a much enhanced version of the game.

So what does enhanced actually mean?  How does this sound…

  • Brand new ship physics!  Ships have real momentum now and can no longer turn on a dime.  While it’s not true Newtonian physics, persay. It is our attempt at blending realism while staying true to the accessible nature of the game.
  • Brand new flyable ship (complete with new cockpit and new abilities) fully integrated into the main campaign!
  • Brand new missions integrated into the campaign.  Many existing missions have also been completely overhauled.
  • Completely revamped story with new VO recorded by our same great cast.
  • Every environment is getting a fresh coat of paint.
  • New 3D radar!  We admit our old radar was craptastic.
  • New ship subsystem controls!  Players will be able to freely transfer energy from weapons to afterburners (and vice versa).  They can also spend energy to slowly repair their ships hull integrity in mid-flight!
  • And so, so much more (which we’ll reveal a little later).

Honestly, it’s almost an entirely new game!

We’re not quite ready to announce when you’ll get a chance to check out all of this shiny, new content but we will soon.  We’re anxious to get this out there just as you are to climb back into a virtual cockpit and blow the Children of Dawn to kingdom come!

Stay tuned!!!

Christopher Stockman

Studio Director

Bit Planet Games, LLC