We want to make transparency a key part of our group. We haven’t always been good at it.
Let me tell you what happened during our summer.
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The Big Messup
On April 27, 2018, we made a big deal about the alpha version of Yugioh AR/VR, asking for interested participants before summer began.
On May 11, 2018, we announced our random selection of participants. We had originally planned to release something for end of May 2018.
It was a big mistake on our part.
It’s end of summer, and we still haven’t released anything. Why?
That’s on me. I know that members of our team wanted to get something out as soon as possible.
I got carried away with the excitement, and I let an end of May date get decided without proper testing and careful thinking.
When late May 2018 came around, we had so many bugs that would have absolutely killed the Duel Monsters experience.
It would have been unplayable, so we kept on delaying the Alpha Release over and over again.
What did we do during the delays?
Every weekend, both Joe and I spent portions of our weekends, fixing bug after bug after bug.
I had spent the majority of late 2017, working on Duel Monsters AR for those of you who remember.
I wasn’t upfront with Joe about all of my concerns.
The original Duel Monsters project was a Windows manual dueling simulator for the Microsoft HoloLens.
When Joe joined the team in March 2018, we had to take netcode designed heavily around the Microsoft HoloLens control scheme and limitations (it didn’t have matchmaking), and make it work for all PC-compatible VR devices: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and WindowsVR.
It was easy to get things working for WindowsVR. We had a working version as early as April 5, 2018, which is why we made a video update.
But to get things working on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, we came across a lot of problems.
Joe wasn’t familiar with how I had done the Unity netcode, and to make the transition happen, I had to have those VR devices as well.
In May 2018, before I had the VR devices, we had situations where perhaps, a netcode bug happened while Joe was trying to integrate a VR feature, and since I didn’t have a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift at the time, there was no way for me to test what was happening with 100% confidence.
We had game breaking bugs that would have killed the experience for everyone like a monster being summoned, but it was summoned twice.
In June 2018, we were given an opportunity to work for Oculus Launchpad on our VR MMORPG.
Oculus Launch Pad is a program designed to support promising VR content creators from diverse backgrounds, so they can take their unique ideas and bring them to market.
June 2018 comes along. I finally get the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift set up.
Then, on June 14, 2018, Joe’s laptop died, so he sent it back to the manufacturer for repairs.
In July 2018, Joe got into a bad car accident.
The Oculus Launchpad wanted updates to our VR MMORPG, so also in July, we created a YouTube channel called Sloth Paradise with weekly video devlog updates.
On July 28, 2018, Joe gets his laptop back from the manufacturer. Yes, it took that long.
We split our time, working on Duel Monsters and Oculus Launch Pad while juggling our full-time job responsibilities.
During the time that Joe’s laptop was in the shop, I had a chance to catch up to Joe’s VR knowledge since I had never developed anything with VRTK before whereas Joe had already been a full-time VR developer for over a year.
In the middle of August 2018, one of our team members moved to a new room. Game development isn’t a luxurious lifestyle.
We spent the majority of our August 2018, developing VR controls and a netcode system that could be used by both games.
Because we were working on the fundamental netcode structure to function better and more smoothly, we didn’t do as many Duel Monsters updates.
May 2018: The Duel Monsters game was in an unacceptable state.
June 2018: I get a HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, but Joe’s laptop died.
July 2018: Joe gets into a bad car accident. I catch up to speed with VR development and trying different VR experiences to see what works and what doesn’t work. Joe gets his laptop back from the manufacturer.
June 2018 – August 2018: we juggle Oculus Launch Pad and Duel Monsters.
I know. We need results.
- We will be doing more polished edited updates on our original game or Duel Monsters on the new Sloth Paradise channel.
- We will be doing more personal updates on the MicrowaveSam channel. A personal update could be a demonstration, or Joe or I or one of us talking to you, or us playing Duel Monsters, or something else.
- I will livestream working on both projects, but I haven’t figured out the best schedule or setup yet. To be determined.
- Duel Monsters Alpha will come around eventually. You’ll see more video updates or blog post updates.