VAST - A Marathon-inspired FPS

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

VAST - A Marathon-inspired FPS

Post Mar 7th '19, 23:58

Hi Everyone!

Been playing Marathon since 1996 and really appreciate Aleph One and all the great work done here. Between ages 11 - 16, I practically lived in Forge and Anvil. I since have gone on to work in the triple-A games industry (www.xanderdavis.studio) and am now indie with my own studio Astrogun. Marathon has meant a lot to me and always will.

Now, my own game VAST has launched and is in part inspired by Marathon, in some ways as an homage! In other ways, I'm also trying to merge an FPS with a JRPG for a unique hybrid. VAST launched on tvOS as an Apple TV timed exclusive and was the first and only sci-fi FPS on the platform! It won BEST FPS by ATVG. I've been wanting to tell everyone at the Pfhorums about it for awhile!

VAST is available now across macOS, iOS, tvOS in an episodic model (working on the next episode now!) with ongoing updates, polish, and expansions free to all customers as we go. Check it out:

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Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDZjlQuidFA

Also, my wife and I play the voices of characters in the game and here is a Let's Play VAST video we did recently. We're literally a mom'n'pop shop!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWpnidRkj6g

I'd also like to invite everyone here at the Pfhorums to hang out with us at Astrogun at our Forum and our Discord! I will post updates there but can also keep you all posted in this thread too. Being die-hard Marathon fans, you are all VERY welcome to hang with us! I sincerely hope everyone here likes VAST, and with it, we are keeping our love of Marathon alive in new ways.

All versions support MFi Gamepads like the Nimbus and Gamevice for iOS. But the macOS edition, in addition to supporting keyboard and mouse / trackpad, also supports gamepads from all major consoles including the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with Grip, the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4, the PlayStation 3 DualShock 3, and the Xbox One Controller!

Like Bungie, we at Astrogun are also getting our start by releasing on Apple platforms. You can get VAST at these three stores currently:

VAST at Steam (Win / Mac / Linux - Wishlist!): https://store.steampowered.com/app/1042500/VAST/
VAST at the macOS App Store: https://apple.co/2U96FsC
VAST at the iOS App Store: https://apple.co/2Nve82R
VAST at the tvOS App Store: https://apple.co/2Ea4Sgb

Enjoy VAST and, as always, see you Starside. [a1logo]

Xander
Last edited by xanderdavis on Mar 8th '19, 20:30, edited 3 times in total.
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 8th '19, 00:36

Always nice to hear of an old Marathon vet going pro :)
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Mar 8th '19, 02:12

Any plans to port this to Linux or Windows?
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Mar 8th '19, 02:14

ravenshining wrote:Any plans to port this to Linux or Windows?


We are indeed currently working on a Windows edition, but that's all I can say at this point. I might have some more news on that front soon. :)
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 8th '19, 02:17

Cool. If you ever make it to Linux, I'll give it a shot :-)
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Mar 8th '19, 02:22

ravenshining wrote:Cool. If you ever make it to Linux, I'll give it a shot :-)


I'm actually open to doing that-- I'll have to get a Linux machine to test builds on, as I've never owned one before, but it's on the to-do list! [MUp]

PS: Any recommendations for a Linux gaming machine? Doesn't have to be too fancy-- VAST is built on the Unity game engine, so these are the current minimum system requirements here. Since VAST can run on an Apple TV 4 from 2015, it probably will run on most current machines in general.
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 8th '19, 14:38

Oh man, this looks really cool! :D Definitely want to give this a try if/when it comes to Windows.
welcome to the scene of the crash
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General-RADIX

Post Mar 8th '19, 19:41

I'll need to get it for my mac right now or at least as soon as I can. Are Windows and Linux versions planned? Also, the little red cat guy in the promotional images at the top looks like Snarf! (superior 2011 version of course)
Last edited by treellama on Mar 8th '19, 20:43, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: why u quote the whole thing
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 8th '19, 19:43

Lion O Cyborg wrote:
xanderdavis wrote:entire first post


... other questoins that have already been asked and answered

This whole post was stupid.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Mar 8th '19, 19:54

Wrkncacnter wrote:
Lion O Cyborg wrote:
xanderdavis wrote:entire first post


... other questoins that have already been asked and answered

This whole post was stupid.


That was uncalled for. -_- I've only just seen this thread now and all I did was reply to it before reading further. Don't be rude.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 8th '19, 20:04

Glad to hear you're going to check it out on Mac! And yes, as mentioned hehe, we are working on other platforms to expand VAST out further. :)
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 8th '19, 20:21

xanderdavis wrote:Glad to hear you're going to check it out on Mac! And yes, as mentioned hehe, we are working on other platforms to expand VAST out further. :)


Thanks. I hadn't read the other posts before replying as I was distracted by the excitement of being able to get the Mac version first. I may need to wait till tomorrow though as my account isn't set up for card payment and I don't have the £20.00 I need.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 8th '19, 20:28

Good news!

We just now got approved by Valve to get the VAST Steam page live!

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VAST STEAM PAGE - Wishlist! (Win / Mac / Linux)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1042500/VAST/

Woo hoo! I've been dreaming about getting a game on Steam for literally a decade. We're very close now. [MUp]

And of course you can still get it right now even before the Steam launch on the macOS App Store.

[a1logo]
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 8th '19, 20:31

Pfhorrest wrote:Always nice to hear of an old Marathon vet going pro :)


On the subject of such, Ken Levine was a Marathon fan it seems. That's why System Shock 2 took place at Tau Ceti f (as opposed to Tau Ceti e like Marathon does) and Bioshock Infinite just "happens" to have a couple of similar themes in places to Infinity, including a suspiciously similar title. I'd normally just chalk it up to coincidence if it were not for it occurring at least twice. The Pattern Buffers in SS2 are more a coincidence though as SS1 has them as well and the floppy version of that came out just a couple of months before Marathon, and the CD game the same month as Marathon.


[quote=https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/BioShockInfinite/TropesQToZ] Shout Out: The Infinite title is one to Marathon: Infinity. Both have a fair number of dimensional hopping, mind screws, alternate timelines, events being repeated, a Mind Screw ending where a character who's been with you the entire time muses on all the multiverses and the main character's death, as their universe collapses.[/quote]
Last edited by Lion O Cyborg on Mar 8th '19, 22:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 8th '19, 21:09

I never knew that-- that's awesome :)
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 8th '19, 22:11

That's interesting to learn Lion-O, though I'm pretty sure nothing in Marathon canon says it takes place at Tau Ceti "e". It's always "Tau Ceti IV". Lia can probably clarify this since she seems knowledgeable about these things, but I always took that to mean the fourth planet of the nineteenth brightest star in the constellation Cetus. I don't know where an "e" or "f" would factor into that designation.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Mar 8th '19, 22:21

Pfhorrest wrote:That's interesting to learn Lion-O, though I'm pretty sure nothing in Marathon canon says it takes place at Tau Ceti "e". It's always "Tau Ceti IV". Lia can probably clarify this since she seems knowledgeable about these things, but I always took that to mean the fourth planet of the nineteenth brightest star in the constellation Cetus. I don't know where an "e" or "f" would factor into that designation.


I always thought Tau Ceti e was Tau Ceti IV. The fourth planet of that star appears to be so.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Ceti#Planetary_system

Pardon the giant image. The resize BB code doesn't work, as I found out the hard way before.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 8th '19, 22:42

Huh. I didn't realise that Tau Ceti IV was the canonical location of Marathon, I just chose fourth planet - calling it E, per IAU convention - because in real life, it's within Tau Ceti's habitable zone. Neat!
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Mar 9th '19, 13:46

ravenshining wrote:Huh. I didn't realise that Tau Ceti IV was the canonical location of Marathon, I just chose fourth planet - calling it E, per IAU convention - because in real life, it's within Tau Ceti's habitable zone. Neat!


I also love in Eternal X's Marathon chapter skybox, you can see the colony lights at night on the ice shelf by Tau Ceti e's sea and on an island just off the coast.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/ ... 1675097959

I've used a link as the image appears far too big if I imbed.

I thought that the planet had desert continents, going by the below image, but from what I recently read up on the Tau Ceti IV regarding the source of that image, it may actually be a cold desert world, using Antarctica as an on-Earth example. This fits with how in Marathon skybox plugin mods and in Eternal, Tau Ceti e looks like an ice planet.

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https://yiwashington.com/2014/10/21/tau ... w-earth-2/

Imagine Earth as she is–her grandeur, majestic mountains, continents separated by seas. Think of the Serengeti, the Iguazu Falls of Brazil, the volcanoes of Iceland, the Amazonian rainforest, and the jungles of Peru.

Now, holding the images in your mind, expand the earth to about 2 x’s the size of our planet. Add four planets between it and the system star and you have Tau Ceti e.

The planet orbits the G-type star Tau Ceti, or as it is also less commonly known, Durre Menthor. This star is smaller and less hot than our own, so any planet in the habitable zone would be cooler than our Earth.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 9th '19, 18:19

I didn't know that we actually knew that much about any exoplanets. In Eternal I imagined Tau Ceti IV at the time of Marathon as in the very early stages of terraforming, and as a part of that process, virtually covered in simple algae and lichens busy transforming bare rock and water and atmospheric gasses into soil and breathable air. So everything is sort of green and slimy, especially the oceans, and the atmosphere is in a hazy tumultuous state.

What you've interpreted as an ice sheet in the Eternal Tau Ceti spacescape was actually meant to be a shallow sea, but I'm glad that it works as an ice sheet too if that's more fitting with the real planet.

I made that image based off of a modified photo of Mars, BTW.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Mar 9th '19, 20:29

Pfhorrest wrote:I didn't know that we actually knew that much about any exoplanets. In Eternal I imagined Tau Ceti IV at the time of Marathon as in the very early stages of terraforming, and as a part of that process, virtually covered in simple algae and lichens busy transforming bare rock and water and atmospheric gasses into soil and breathable air. So everything is sort of green and slimy, especially the oceans, and the atmosphere is in a hazy tumultuous state.

What you've interpreted as an ice sheet in the Eternal Tau Ceti spacescape was actually meant to be a shallow sea, but I'm glad that it works as an ice sheet too if that's more fitting with the real planet.

I made that image based off of a modified photo of Mars, BTW.


Nice. the blue bit I thought was the sea must have been the landmass and the hand shaped island with lights in the fingers would be a lake?
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 9th '19, 22:45

The bluer bit is supposed to be the sea. I thought you were reading that as an ice sheet instead. The colony lights are around a kind of bay, and on an island in that bay.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Mar 10th '19, 12:16

Pfhorrest wrote:The bluer bit is supposed to be the sea. I thought you were reading that as an ice sheet instead. The colony lights are around a kind of bay, and on an island in that bay.
Ah, so I was "sort of" right the first time. The white bit that the colony is on is what I thought was an ice shelf. (as icecaps are usually white) It could have been intended to just be clouds or something.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Mar 20th '19, 18:15

We're bringing VAST to the Investment Summit at PAXEast in Boston on March 28th and 29th!
Details here: https://www.astrogun.com/2019/03/15/ast ... arch-28th/

Anyone from the Pfhorums going to PAXEast next week?
Marathoning since 1996. Teens spent in Forge and Anvil. Worked in the triple-A games industry, now indie dev at Astrogun making a Marathon-inspired game called VAST out now for Steam (Wishlist), macOS, iOS and tvOS!
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xanderdavis

Post Mar 21st '19, 14:50

Collecting my very few intial thoughts here in regards. I may cross-post on your message boards as well so it's "on the record" so to speak.

After hilariously fighting with the App Store application to even process my payment, I let the game download overnight as I passed out.

Early this morning, I booted up the game and realized that my battery-less MacBook Pro is chugging to keep up even on the main menu. I did note that there was no options for graphical settings or windowed mode at the current time, but as the game is in early access, that's fine.

The only game-play thing I noted due to both system shitting itself due to No Battery Throttling and my short time-frame of looking into is the implementation of fall damage. I'm noting it mainly because I think that is an interesting implementation for a marathon-like game. Once I either get a battery for the Macbook I will look more into it.

EDIT: It should be noted that AFAIK, the only two games that implement fall damage on the marathon engine is Damage Incorporated and Prime Target.
Marathon Speedrun Times: Discord
M1A1 - 26:57 - PB
M2 - 33:52 - PB
M2 - XBLA - 33:00 - WR
M2 - Coop with ApertureGrillz - 27:17 IGT/29:09 RTA - WR
MInf - 15:42 - PB
Minf all main levels - 27:49 - PB
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TBCR
Raleigh,NC

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