Gadgeteer PCVR / Quest 0.4.0 Released – “The Well-Thawed-Out Update”

Today, we’re releasing our biggest update yet for our PCVR build of Gadgeteer! As a bonus, we’re also releasing an update for our Quest build which shares similar improvements as the PCVR build.

Before we begin, we want to apologize for this long-awaited update. The entire team has been working hard on Gadgeteer but a lot of the work during the last few months have been either for: 1) Big upcoming features, 2) Backend systems that players don’t see, or 3) An augmented reality (AR) Magic Leap version of Gadgeteer.

One of the biggest tasks we’ve had to tackle is creating internal tools that allow us to use a single Unity project to create builds for vastly different VR / AR headsets. With these tools completed, we’re now able to sync up all improvements and updates across multiple device platforms. The biggest benefit of this can be seen in the significant optimizations we’ve made for the Quest build that is now available for all PCVR versions of the game.

Here are some optimization stats:

GPU

  • Graphical batches: Reduced by 80%
  • SetPass calls: Reduced by 75-90%
  • Draw calls: Reduced by 75-80%

CPU

  • Per-frame computations went from ~10ms to ~2ms. That’s a whopping ~80% reduction in CPU load! 

With these improvements, players will be able to build bigger and more complex chain reaction machines.

It took us a lot of effort to merge all of our different versions of Gadgeteer into a singular version. However, this will save us a lot of time in the long-run!

Here are several big changes that are non-optimization related for the PCVR update:

Updated gadget freeze visuals to make frozen and unfrozen gadgets more distinct. Frozen gadgets now appear to be iced over:

Added option to change the time of day in Sandbox mode. ‘Sunset’ is our team’s favorite:

Improved catapult trigger reliability for impacts, particularly for high velocity impacts:

Added laser pointer for long distance interaction with the panel for quick access:

Added three new saved machines called, “Frozen Skull”, “Yes Yes No Yes”, and “Oddly Satisfying Sometimes”:

 

Here are the changelogs for both the PCVR and Quest updates:

[Gadgeteer PCVR – 0.4.0 – Release Notes]

Features:

  • Updated gadget freeze visuals to make frozen and unfrozen gadgets more distinct. Frozen gadgets now appear to be iced over.
  • Added laser pointer for long distance interaction with the panel for quick access.
  • Added ability to unlock the next room by completing the current room’s final puzzle—even if there are unsolved puzzles remaining in the room.
  • Added option to change the time of day in Sandbox mode. ‘Sunset’ is our team’s favourite.
  • Added three new saved machines called, “Frozen Skull”, “Yes Yes No Yes”, and “Oddly Satisfying Sometimes”.
  • Silenced the barking dog. Visit him in Sandbox mode by loading up the saved machine called, “Good Boy”.
  • Improved gadget texture quality and grid visual quality. Go to Puzzle mode to see all changes.
  • Changed the icon for the gadget library tab on the panel so it is easier to understand.
  • Added build version number in the Drafting Room.
  • Added option for controlling SFX and Music volumes separately for fine tuning.
  • Added option for changing the language in the (in-game) Settings menu.
  • Updated visuals for gadget “hover over” effect. Gadgets now gently light up instead of having an outline.
  • Upgraded Unity Engine to 2019.2.5f1 for stability improvements, compatibility fixes, etc.
  • Optimized performance for gadget freeze / unfreeze.
  • Added lighting to cubes in night levels to make the gate timer more visible.
  • Improved catapult trigger reliability for impacts, particularly for high velocity impacts.
  • Added player location as part of Sandbox machine save files. When players load a machine, they will be brought to the location where the saving was initiated.
  • Improved spawning orientation of wooden and metal gadgets. Friendlier on the wrist!
  • Improved button interaction reliability for buttons in the drafting room and on relay cubes.

Fixes:

  • Fixed flat domino’s visuals to match with its colliders.
  • Fixed bug where moving the left joystick without activating the capacitive sensors wouldn’t activate smooth locomotion.
  • Fixed broken tutorial if the vacuum tool is held active between tutorial steps.
  • Fixed cable lighting bug in Puzzle mode. Light will now travel from the final level cube of each room to the central machine.
  • Fixed clashing level of detail (LOD) visuals for various gadgets.
  • Fixed bugs where catapult jittered when locking and catapult popped open when spawned.
  • Fixed auto-save so placed gadgets should always be restored.

Refinements:

  • Optimized performance for gadgets rendering.
  • Optimized performance for apartment rendering.
  • Added FPS warning overlay at the earliest sign of dropped frames for better communication.
  • Removed wrist rotation locomotion to avoid accidental rotations.
  • Added missing translations to in-game text.
  • Added environment SFX to Drafting Room for better ambience.
  • Balanced music volume to SFX volume.
  • Improved loading screen to face player during startup.
  • Removed LOD culling to prevent gadgets visually disappearing at low performance or when distant from player.
  • Resolved exceptions relating to freeze graph, panel items, gadget state, storage, and player interactions.
  • Game now compiled using IL2CPP.

[Gadgeteer Quest – 0.4.0 – Release Notes]

Features:

  • Updated gadget freeze visuals to make frozen and unfrozen gadgets more distinct. Frozen gadgets now appear to be iced over.
  • Improved gadget texture quality and grid visual quality. Go to Puzzle mode to see all changes.
  • Changed the icon for the gadget library tab on the panel so it is easier to understand.
  • Added build version number in the Drafting Room.

Fixes:

  • Fixed flat domino’s visuals to match with its colliders.

Refinements:

  • Enhanced determinism for better physics. No more “Poltergeist” dominoes!
  • Optimized performance for gadgets rendering.
  • Optimized performance for apartment rendering.

If you have any questions for the devs, ask away on:

See you in the next update!