VAST - A Marathon-inspired FPS

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Re: VAST - A Marathon-inspired FPS

Post Mar 21st '19, 15:17

Thanks for getting it! And yeah early days yet, so I plan on adding more features (like an options menu) as well as content for sure.

Before the macOS soft-launch in early March, I tested it on the oldest MacBook I have, a MacBook Air from 2009 and it runs, but barely. Apple doesn't have any way for us to set a minimum requirement; instead they test it themselves and the App Store says whether it will work on your machine you have the App Store open on. I would definitely recommend a more current Mac-- Macs have always struggled with gaming graphics and that's still the case. Last Fall, I got the 15-inch MacBook Pro (Touch Bar and Touch ID 2.6GHz 6-Core Processor 512GB Storage) to develop VAST on wherever I go, revolutionary for my workflow. On that, VAST runs like a dream. My 5K iMac from Late 2014 fans up when playing it and struggled at 4K. The new MBP struggled a bit at 4K, so I capped VAST on Mac at 2K for now. Eventually I will take the cap off once I can add an options menu that can toggle resolutions. Testing it on Windows, VAST ran on 4K a lot more easily, so once I eventually launch it on Steam for Win/Mac (maybe within a few months), the Windows version will not have a res cap in the interim before I can get the options menu in. Over the next few years, more and more people will have more current Macs and should increasingly be able to run VAST swimmingly.

It's also worth noting that it runs perfectly on iPhone 6s and up. The touch controls feel better on the 6.5" iPhone XS Max, which I got last week to optimize the game for iPhone X's ultra-wide screens: https://www.astrogun.com/2019/03/17/vas ... -displays/ The touch controls take some getting used to, but once you do, I personally feel like they work very well. Doing an FPS on touch is definitely tricky. I will also still try to do an alternative 'Easy Touch Controls Mode' that streamlines things a lot. I had a lot of fun curling up in bed last night playing through VAST Episode 1 on the iPhone XS Max; it feels really good and looks beautiful on the ultra wide display. I think it feels better on the 6.5" touch display because there are more pixels per inch so there's finer touch tracking, which especially makes the Right Stick easier to control with flicking. NOTE: be sure to 'flick' the RS instead of push. Flicking frees the thumb up so it can do other things quickly like go between Look, Fire, Jump, or Action.

I'm thinking I might remove fall damage at some point because it always was a lot of fun to fall down great distances in Marathon, particularly the classic M2 What About Bob? level. Side note, I originally first played Marathon with M2 from a Mac Addict CD-ROM demo on my family's 68040 when I was a kid and played the three levels in that demo over and over and over, What About Bob? being probably my favorite of the demo. For VAST, the player character Enzo is a mercenary security cyborg part of the Aces High treasure hunting gang, so it would make sense that his robot legs wouldn't take fall damage, just like the cyborg in Marathon. Not having fall damage might also help VAST be more accessible to the Midcore+ audience I'm targeting.

Thanks for the notes so far! I am fortunately able to work on VAST fulltime in 2019 so I'm looking forward to adding a lot of polish features and new episodes this year! VAST will evolve over time, and everyone's feedback is highly valued. If I can't implement a change / feature right away, don't worry-- As long as it fits with the overall goals and vision, I'll add it to the list and strive to get to it as quickly as I can juggling other priorities.

Here is the link to the VAST Issues Tracker on Trello: https://trello.com/b/lOCfyhay/vast-issues-tracker

This week I'm focused on preparing the VAST Pitch Deck to present to possible investors at the Investment Summit at PAX East. https://www.astrogun.com/2019/03/15/ast ... arch-28th/ If anyone is going, let me know and maybe we can meet up on the PAX floor. ;)



Cheers!
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, 15:53

New iPhone XS Max ultra-wide screenshots (here downsized to 800px wide for the forum, full-res links below)

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Post at Astrogun about optimizing VAST for iPhone X ultra-wide displays: https://www.astrogun.com/2019/03/17/vas ... -displays/
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, 17:04

xanderdavis wrote:Before the macOS soft-launch in early March, I tested it on the oldest MacBook I have, a MacBook Air from 2009 and it runs, but barely. Apple doesn't have any way for us to set a minimum requirement; instead they test it themselves and the App Store says whether it will work on your machine you have the App Store open on. I would definitely recommend a more current Mac-- Macs have always struggled with gaming graphics and that's still the case. Last Fall, I got the 15-inch MacBook Pro (Touch Bar and Touch ID 2.6GHz 6-Core Processor 512GB Storage) to develop VAST on wherever I go, revolutionary for my workflow. On that, VAST runs like a dream. My 5K iMac from Late 2014 fans up when playing it and struggled at 4K. The new MBP struggled a bit at 4K, so I capped VAST on Mac at 2K for now. Eventually I will take the cap off once I can add an options menu that can toggle resolutions. Testing it on Windows, VAST ran on 4K a lot more easily, so once I eventually launch it on Steam for Win/Mac (maybe within a few months), the Windows version will not have a res cap in the interim before I can get the options menu in. Over the next few years, more and more people will have more current Macs and should increasingly be able to run VAST swimmingly.


I know that bootcamp (Win 8) on the macbook ('13 Mid 2012 Pro) I have seems to perform a bit better in terms of performance. I know that Apple intentionally started throttling performance on macOS the older the battery to prevent it from rupturing. I think getting a fresh(ish) battery should increase performance a bit. I unfortunately cannot splurge on a new macbook or mac mini atm as I need to purchase my plane ticket for Summer Games Done Quick soon.
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

Post Mar 25th '19, 16:41

That's cool you're going to Games Done Quick TCBR! Let me know how that goes!

Also: Woo hoo! Just found out this morning that we're confirmed to have private pitch meetings with Sold Out Games, Team17, Yacht Club Games and possibly more at the Investment Summit at PAX East in Boston on Thursday!

Details here: https://www.astrogun.com/2019/03/25/ini ... east-2019/

Also here's a GIF showing off gameplay on iPhone XS Max!
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Very excited for PAX East this Thursday and Friday! Will keep you posted on any cool exciting developments after the trip! [MUp]
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 25th '19, 19:22

With VAST already on macOS, iOS, and tvOS, we're well poised to bring it to today's newly announced #AppleArcade this Fall too: https://www.astrogun.com/2019/03/25/ast ... this-fall/

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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 Apr 14th '19, 17:44

I noticed there aren't any settings options in the main menu (Mac store version) and the movement is locked to WSAD. Is there a way to switch it to the cursor keys or at least to allow for both, for players using the mouse in their right hand instead of their left for gaming? I use it in my left. WSAD sucks.
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Apr 14th '19, 18:42

Yeah— I'm planning an Options menu soon with things like this.

When I played Marathon growing up, I used the arrow keys on the right hand (no mouse) and I was always puzzled by some of the Replay videos I saw that showed play with a lot more articulation in movement and look-- because, as I figured out much later after getting out of the vacuum that was Mac gaming in the 90's, they were likely using WASD and mouse.

Arrows on right hand is of course not the norm now and legacy Marathon players running Aleph One today may be the only ones in the world I see anymore still doing this (I now play with WASD and mouse as I find it way faster and more effective). You're also the first person I've ever heard of to use a mouse in their left hand! There of course may be other examples I'm not aware of, but generally everyone today uses WASD and mouse (right handed), which also has its analogue in contemporary gamepads (that Bungie with Halo perfected!).

So, point being, adding a feature that would allow this kind of customization is something I would like to do but is much lower on the list of priorities with everything else that currently needs done. Someday! I definitely want to make sure VAST accommodates any accessibility needs for everyone too. So yeah, the goal is to address that eventually with the forthcoming full-featured Options menu.

Thanks for playing the game!
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 Apr 14th '19, 21:18

xanderdavis wrote:Yeah— I'm planning an Options menu soon with things like this.

When I played Marathon growing up, I used the arrow keys on the right hand (no mouse) and I was always puzzled by some of the Replay videos I saw that showed play with a lot more articulation in movement and look-- because, as I figured out much later after getting out of the vacuum that was Mac gaming in the 90's, they were likely using WASD and mouse.

Arrows on right hand is of course not the norm now and legacy Marathon players running Aleph One today may be the only ones in the world I see anymore still doing this (I now play with WASD and mouse as I find it way faster and more effective). You're also the first person I've ever heard of to use a mouse in their left hand! There of course may be other examples I'm not aware of, but generally everyone today uses WASD and mouse (right handed), which also has its analogue in contemporary gamepads (that Bungie with Halo perfected!).

So, point being, adding a feature that would allow this kind of customization is something I would like to do but is much lower on the list of priorities with everything else that currently needs done. Someday! I definitely want to make sure VAST accommodates any accessibility needs for everyone too. So yeah, the goal is to address that eventually with the forthcoming full-featured Options menu.

Thanks for playing the game!


Glad I started but I couldn't get past the cryopod at the start. Oh well I can always wait until it gets implemented or, more likely, connect my Duke to my Mac (And PC as of tomorrow) so I can still play as I wait as it supports gamepads and the site has tutorials for connecting them. (Hyperkin Duke would use the Xbox One method) I was considering trying Marathon with my Duke sometime too, but I usually play with mouse and keyboard on PC whenever I can manage it.

I can use a mouse in my right hand too, but my first video game was Tomb Raider 2&3 and my first shooter was the original Half Life on CD with Opposing Force as an extra, and those taught me the cursor keys were best, meaning my mouse hand had to be on the left when playing games.

I actually find with WSAD it's impossible to find the keys in the heat of the moment and it's easy to hit E, Q, the leftmost numbers or CAPS Lock by accident as well as being and odd shape, which is why I don't like it. Whereas the cursors are clearly marked and have a more ergonomic inverted T-shape to them for me. I do use WSAD as my shoot keys in the Binding of Isaac (original flash version) though and I also stick with the left thumbstick on consoles. Halo is really the only console game I use inverted aiming on (down to aim up & vice versa) but that doesn't apply when I play the PC version with a mouse and keyboard.

But yeah, I will try again tomorrow with my Duke controller on both Mac and PC as the game is cool. Thank you for the reply. :)
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post Apr 14th '19, 21:42

I always used to use WSQE because those three fingers are close to the same length. Recently I switched to WASD so I don’t have to configure keys every time I play a new game. After a little getting used to, it’s fine—I’m sure you can learn :)
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 14th '19, 22:03

treellama wrote:I always used to use WSQE because those three fingers are close to the same length. Recently I switched to WASD so I don’t have to configure keys every time I play a new game. After a little getting used to, it’s fine—I’m sure you can learn :)


It's not hard for me to change them and a few games I've played like Tomb Raider Legend to Underworld list WSAD as the movement keys but automatically set the cursors for lefties like me at the same time so it isn't a problem.

VAST also supports gamepads so I can just do that for now, as I do use gamepads on PC when keyboard and mouse isn't practical e.g. when emulating consoles, playing the Sonic games on Steam, GTA, most racing games I used a joystick for when I was a kid (due to a lack of joystick: I think the family Logitech I used as a kid is buried in the computer room/back bedroom somewhere.), certain Parkour games like Mirror's Edge and Halo SPV3. (I was used to vanilla PC on mouse and keyboard)

Thanks for the reassurance anyway. :)
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post May 16th '19, 13:23

Didn't the steam page for the game mention April 14th as a Early Access release? I'm pretty heckin sure it did. Doesn't now though.
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

Post May 19th '19, 20:31

TBCR wrote:Didn't the steam page for the game mention April 14th as a Early Access release? I'm pretty heckin sure it did. Doesn't now though.


Indeed it did, but it never came out on Steam and they changed the date to December 2 years ago for some reason. I've meant to bring up this problem for a while as I was really looking forward to buying a Windows copy on Steam to go with my Mac App store version.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1042 ... st-capsule

In Europe at least, it was set for April 15th and it still says that on the wishlist entry. Why isn't it out on Steam yet?
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

Post May 20th '19, 14:33

Hey guys— yeah when I was creating the Steam page, it required that I put a date in so I gave a guess, even though I've seen others listed as TBD (To Be Determined). I wasn't able to use that for some reason. Freelance work (to help fund the game project) and family have been a topping priority lately, which has slowed things a bit, but I hope to get it launched soon. I'll keep you guys posted here :)
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 May 26th '19, 19:20

xanderdavis wrote:Hey guys— yeah when I was creating the Steam page, it required that I put a date in so I gave a guess, even though I've seen others listed as TBD (To Be Determined). I wasn't able to use that for some reason. Freelance work (to help fund the game project) and family have been a topping priority lately, which has slowed things a bit, but I hope to get it launched soon. I'll keep you guys posted here :)


Thanks. :)
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Lion O Cyborg
UK (which is IN EUROPE!)

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