Friday, 6 December 2013

Dream weaving, day night cycle and a lot more lore.

Beta 14 of Wander is now uploaded. There is a lot of new content in the latest build. We have a day/night cycle now so you can see the sun moving and work out when to find shelter. We also have some new voice actors, Kathy and Rebecca. Elaine has recorded a lot of new content from these two, written by our writer, Crystal.



We're excited that the first initial version of the dream weaving is now live. As you learn more in Wander, you can imagine more things in the dreamscape. You enter a dream by being in a shelter when night starts. If you're in a shelter with other players you will be able to visit each others dreams.


We've got big plans for the next month as well. Antony and Ralph are hard at work implementing Crystal's concepts for the new Hira (humanoid) characters and then they are getting to work on new Oren and Azertash characters, to join the Griffins we released last month. Sarah and Aaron are adding new content as always and our composer, Ben is going to be recording a lot of new music with a collection of amazing musicians.

If you have an Oculus Rift and would like to see what Wander looks like with the Rift before you buy the beta, we've uploaded a video in Rift mode. To toggle Rift mode in Windows or Linux just hit the Pause/Break key.



If you haven't yet voted for Wander on Steam Greenlight, we'd love your vote!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

New griffins in the latest beta.


We have just uploaded a new beta (beta10) with two new griffin cultures. Antony and Crystal have been hard at work and we're really excited with the results. The environment continues to get more detailed due to Sarah, Aaron and Elaine's hard work. We've been looking at a lot of source images to improve our ground textures and ground cover and that work will be coming to Wander in the next month.


We have also updated the Oculus Rift SDK and fixed some Linux and Mac specific bugs. We have very big plans for the next few releases. The dream weaving design, code and art is progressing very well and we are hoping to have an initial version for players to test in the next beta. We're really excited about it.


The new cultures and the dream weaving all play a part in the narrative of Wander. We have some very interesting voice actors coming to Wander. We're planning to have new narrative content added each beta from now on.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

New cultures coming to Wander, nominated for a few awards!

As always lots has been going on with Wander. Each of the existing forms are now made up of multiple cultures.  We've also been working on a huge collection of other things since the last blog post. We've improved our lighting and vegetation rendering, made a lot of new content and fixed some bugs.

It's been a very successful time for Wander recently.  We're a finalist at the h├│PLAY 2013 awards, were nominated for Best Narrative and received an honourable mention for Best Art and Best Design at FreePlay 2013 and were nominated for Best Accessible Game at the Australian Game Developer Awards. We're very happy with this given that we're still in beta!

Some of the new griffon cultures are almost done and we're very happy to show some of the new elf concept art:








Each of the cultures in Wander have distinct myths and a place in the narrative. We're also making good progress with dream weaving.


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Wander, the non-combat MMO coming to PS4

We are very excited to announce a major event for Wander today. Wander will be coming to PlayStation 4. PlayStation has always been the home to amazing experiential games and we're thrilled to bring Wander to the highly anticipated next-gen PlayStation platform, PS4.
 
 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

PAX Prime, Melbourne Fringe Festival and a thylacine

We're back in Australia after PAX Prime and we're very excited how it went. We launched the beta, met a bunch of amazing people and had a fantastic time. Thanks to everyone who played, AIE for supporting us and the enforcers that helped out. Thanks to MAINGEAR for providing the wonderful computers we used.

We were very happy that Massively described us at the biggest surprise of PAX Prime and wrote a lovely article about Wander. It's great that so many people are supportive of Wander, and the concept of collaborative exploration, in a non-combat MMO.


Some pax prime pics, and some general pretty shots

This week is the start of the Melbourne Fringe Festival where Fringe Festival artists are presenting their art in our world. The event is called Digital Gardens and is launching at City Square, in Melbourne CBD on Thursday. Come by at 6pm to meet the Wander team and play Wander, and see the wonderful Fringe Content in the world.

The team have been hard at work over the last few week and tomorrow a new character will be added to Wander, the thylacine. Thylacines will fit in differently than the existing characters. The lore and new cultures are getting more detailed, with some great concept art giving the team inspiration for what is coming next. We've also been continuing the constant battle of making Wander better looking and faster at the same.

Some pax prime pics, and some general pretty shots



Our wonderful players have been busy as well, in the forums and on Google+. We've also had some amazing videos from our players, including this wonderful one from WelshPixie. There are some spoilers in this though.




The beta of Wander is available from GamersGate and our site. We're still on Steam Greenlight if you haven't voted for us yet.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

PAX Prime and open beta launch!

We're very excited to be in America for PAX Prime. Come and check out Wander at the AIE Booth, number 6002. We will be showing Wander with the Oculus Rift and our new support for XBox360 and PS3 controllers.

There have been a huge amount of changes made on Wander since PAX Australia. Crystal has finished writing a significant amount of lore for Wander and we have a rich backstory now. We're very excited to have people finding it around the world and coming to understand the cultures in Wander. The lore can be found around the world as stones that talk to you when your close to them. The stones are voiced by Elaine, Gaelle and Meaghan. They were recorded by Elaine. We have also fixed some major bugs, improved performance, added support for XBox360 and PS3 Controllers, run time switching between Oculus Rift and normal mode.

As always Sarah, Aaron and the rest of the team have been hard at work adding detail to Wander and improving the experience. David has been working on designing the new controller control schemes and coming up with some amazing ideas for what comes next in Wander. We're going to need some help from you to decide what of these to focus on next. We will be running a few polls to find what's most important for Wander.

Major news is that the beta of Wander is available to purchase on our site, we will hopefully soon be on Desura and GamersGate. If you would like to purchase Wander through Steam, please vote for us on Steam Greenlight. Our site includes a huge range of ways to support the development of Wander, including designing variations of existing characters and even supporting the creation of a whole new playable form of your design. If you supported our IndieGoGo campaign you'll get details on how to get the latest version of Wander soon.

We're looking forward to chatting at PAX Prime and seeing you in game!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Post PAX Australia update

First of all, thank you to everyone who came to the booth at PAX and everyone who helped us to get there. We were all very happy to meet players and chat in person. It was great introducing Wander to new players and chatting to some of our amazing alpha testers in person for the first time after seeing them online so often.

We have been  attempting to rest and recover from the PAX pox for the last week. I (Loki) am still out of action but some of the rest of the team can now get behind a computer again. We have big plans for the next few months so hopefully they will start to come together soon.


PAX Australia was fantastic for the Wander team. For all three days we had a long queues of exited players keen to play and our latest version worked smoothly. It's quite scary demoing a rather massively multiplayer online game at a expo like PAX but it was great to have the four players at PAX running into each other in the world.


We tried our best to be efficient at PAX and allow as many people to play Wander for a reasonable time as possible. If you were put off trying Wander by the very long lines at PAX or just want another go we will be showing Wander again in Melbourne in September and the public early access / beta release of Wander will be announced hopefully next week, or as soon as we're over the PAX flu.

If you want to read in a bit more depth our idea about Wander, there has been a few more in depth interviews related to Wander at Capsule Computers and Black Panel

It was great to chat to the Oculus team and check out the HD Rift. We are looking forward to seeing Wander with the HD Rift. Our cosplay prize winner looked amazing and was very exited to win a Razer Carcharias headset. Thank you to Razer for supporting Wander and providing us with wonderful Razer keyboards and mice for the booth. They were a joy to use.



There is a lot of new content in the version of Wander that we should at PAX which we haven't released screenshots of yet. We will be releasing these soon. If you want to see more photos from PAX we have posted a set on our Facebook page.

We still need more people to vote for us on greenlight, please get involved and help to get us on steam.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Wander Postcards

We had this postcard available at PAX, drawn by the amazing Shelley. Then we figured, we are not going to limit the availability to only the handful of people who could present at a single place for a limited time period. So! We are sending you a postcard of us Wandering. If you are comfortable with giving me your address (PO Boxes are fine!) via email, Shelley shall chuck you a single postcard with a few lines of what natural explorations she happened to come across; as well as a few blanks for you to send around too. This will continue until we run out of stamps.

We will get a proper post PAX update out soon! After we all recover from PAX flu.

Monday, 1 July 2013

New Trailer for PAX Australia

The big news, our PAX Australia trailer is up:



If you're in Melbourne for PAX Australia, come our booth and have a play. We will be demoing Wander with the Oculus Rift. We are also running a cosplay competition with prizes provided by Uber, Razer and us. Come to the booth and have your photo taken to enter. Prizes are awarded each day for best dressed Wander and Non-Wander character. Our Steam Greenlight page still need your help too, if you haven't voted yet.

The elf now has some new tattoos:

New paths and elf textures

And our paths are getting better!

New paths and elf textures

New terrain shader.

The team have been hard at work last week. We have a new terrain shader and Sarah has been working hard to make the terrain looks as wonderful as possible.

New terrain shader and textures

You can see that the grass and rocks now blend much more realistically. It's also very nice when your at the beach:

New terrain shader and textures

This is just the start of our new look terrain and we will have some more screenshots of it soon.

Tomorrow we will be uploading our first PAX Australia trailer. Which will show off a bit of the new areas, the new sound scape and set to some great original music by Justin.

The texturing team have been making great progress and next week we will have some new buildings and new tattoos for the elf.  Elaine and Chris have been filling out the sound of the world and the characters now have better sound effects and there is a lot more going on in the rainforest.

On Monday, the wonderful opera singer Seraphim and Ben will be in the studio recording the songs that the unlock stones will sing to players.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Level Design Updates from Aaron

Dear fellow Wanderers,

It's Aaron or known as SkadiWu on the forums. Haven't seen many players Wandering around lately so I'm writing a letter to see how you all are! The team are busy working on their parts to make this game a fantastic experience for you all to enjoy.


Loki is hard at work positioning bar of "multitasker" to grand new heights  He has the first round of character powers coming. Also he's focused on some performance issues. 


The modelers are busy making coral, elvish like structures and we have plenty of new content to work with!

The Sound team are busy adding affects to every corner of the world and focusing on minute details that makes the world come alive. I was shocked the other day when I was flying through the flight challenge to hear a chime. I didn't know that had happened and was very excited lol

I've attached some photos of things I've been working for level design purposes! Sarah and I have divided the world up and are working together to get things popping up on all the islands. So all of those testers that said "typical put things where we've already explored!" Well... We can't help you've gone around the world with your Griffon and scouted the whole place out! You're just going to have to do it again... and again


First up I'll point out that these shots are currently "as is" in the environment. So expect more/less trees, debry, grass,lifts and dips in the terrain and maybe a spice or two before release. I'll keep you posted as they progress.


Griffon Roost

All Griffons need to come from somewhere. So I decided to give Griffons a roost / nesting ground / sanctuary. Here is the beginnings of the design for the roost. There is a mountain trail to the top for adventurous Elves. There is also alcoves dotted around this mountain with griffon nests tucked inside.





Hidden Ancient Environment #1
Dotted around the islands will be ruined structures. Some more intact than others. Some may hold secrets. Some may not. Regardless they will be a joy to explore and discover the mysteries. 

This one lies in a large flat area surrounded by dense forest






Hidden Ancient Environment #2
This one lies in a tight valley with two gateways concealing a few crumbling buildings.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

PAX Australia cosplay competition

Hi everybody, with only 48 hours left before the completion of the IndieGoGo campaign there is a lot of (hectic) energy in the team! 
The big news is that we've announced our cosplay competition which we will be holding at PAX Australia. If you come to our booth and have your photo taken you can enter the competition for best Wander character or best non-Wander character. The Wander team are all coming dressed as Wander characters so we hope anyone attending PAX Australia will get involved. So far we have Razer announced as a prize sponsor and will be announcing other sponsors soon. Winners will of course win a copy of Wander as well! The categories we are currently contemplating are:
- Best Wander Group
- Best Wander Individual
- Best Non-Wander Group
- Best Non Wander Individual
- Crowd Choice
For the crowd choice we are planning to post the pictures to our Twitter and Facebook pages and which ever one gets the most likes/retweets/favourites wins. We'd love some feedback about the format. People can enter on multiple days if they cosplay on multiple days. We will be giving out the prizes from the booth. Wander's PAX Australia booth is in the Australian Indie Pavilion.
Elf and sun rays

Visually the game is continuing to improve with not only new shaders and textures for the rocks but additions to level designs including new places to explore. As always, we're finding it's the small details in game that are continuing to develop the beautifully rich landscape which then hopefully translates into a more immersive experience for you guys - and not just visually either. This past week our audio team has been hard at work adding character sounds and our composer, Justin is working on more beautiful music for Wander. Anjay has been doing tons of modelling so the underwater areas will soon have beautiful coral reefs to explore. We're really excited to have the support of marine biologist and ecologist, Kat, helping out to make the nature in our world with floating islands as realistic as possible. Our game designers have been busy tuning the game mechanics and the next alpha release will have a huge amount of new stuff. Our alpha testers have been testing the collaborative spice collection and we've now fixed a lot of the bugs they have found. We're really excited to see them using all their new found spice on the new character powers. We will be showing some videos of these very soon.
If you like what you hear about Wander, our IndieGoGo campaign  and Steam Greenlight still need your help!

Friday, 5 April 2013

IndieGoGo, Steam Greenlight and Floating Islands!

It's been another fantastically busy week for Wander but it's also been very productive. We've now got a lot of new content in the form of flying and swimming challenges, a floating island, and underwater areas.


The big news is that Wander now has an IndieGoGo campaign  and is on Steam Greenlight. If you like what you see, please vote for us, and fund the game. If you're keen on knowing more get on the forums and sign up for the alpha.




Tuesday, 2 April 2013

IndieDB, Twitter,.

Things have been going very well for the Wander team! Our fantastic alpha testers are doing a great job of finding bugs and suggesting improvements. We're focusing our news posts, and from now on you should check out the indiedb page: http://www.indiedb.com/games/wander where we have a lot of new screenshots and videos. For day to day news keep an eye on twitter https://twitter.com/wandergame and our forums. We're contemplating replacing this page with a screenshots only snazzy splash page, but we're not sure when we're going to get around to that!

Friday, 15 March 2013

First Wander Alpha Version Released

We're excited to say that the first alpha release of Wander will be available today! If you have already signed up, expect an email in the next few days with details on how to download the alpha. We will be releasing it to a small group first with a few different test systems and then making it available to more people each day, as we expect to find some small bugs early on and don't want to make everyone hit the same bug. The main purpose of this step of alpha is to test in the multiplayer part of the system is working correctly. The game mechanics are very limited at the moment, and many parts of the game are still to be added. We really want to make it clear that Wander is far from finished yet, and there is more stuff on our todo list than on our done list but that this is an important step. The main technical stuff is done and now we can focus on the overall experience.

What should you test in this stage of the alpha:

  • try find each of the character unlocks, there are 3 in the alpha: Elf, Griffin and Azartash
  • try to find where a shelter is, in case there is a storm
  • try and find one of the flowers and pick it
  • fly somewhere
  • look at the waterfalls
  • chat to other players
If you have a multi gpu system (SLI/CrossFire) we'd love if you could tell us your FPS with all gpu's active and with some disabled

Known bugs:

can't look around with the mouse while flying
some rocks are missing collision meshes
performance is pretty terrible
you can walk through trees
tree rendering bug with water overlapping

We are not the kind of game that requires you to sign an NDA and not talk about anything during alpha testing. We'd love if you posted any screen shots or videos of Wander any where you want and you are encouraged to discuss your ideas about the game. Please make sure to mention that it's from the early alpha release and isn't what the final game will look like. Also if you're running on anything but the best settings, please mention that. The alpha is missing a lot of important stuff that will be in the version released in July, but we think it's important to get feedback from players now.

When you find a bug, or have any feedback, please post in the appropriate part of the forums. We will be adding sections for each.

Thanks to everyone who is testing Wander and everyone who has supported the game so far. We're really excited to hear your feedback. 

Wander is brought to you by:
Aaron, Anjay, Alex, Birrin, Chris, Daniel, David, David, Elaine, Garth, Jack, Joe, Justin, Loki, Sarah, Shelley, Sinead, Tadgh, YueYue

Monday, 11 March 2013

Demo of flight mechanics, first stage of alpha testing starts this Friday

Things are fantastically busy for the Wander team at the moment, but we are getting a lot done. A short demo of the new flight mechanics & character morphing UI is available here: It's silent for now, but the sound team is hard at work!

I am very excited to say that the level design team have been busy and the planet has some exciting new features, my favourite of course being waterfalls!

We've also been making a lot of progress on modelling and texturing, including this beautiful work from Sarah, using Shelley's pictograms:

 The first stage of alpha testing will start this Friday. If you haven't yet signed up, click on the sign up as a tester link. We're going to be release to a few testers first and then expanding from there.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Unity Editor, Flight and HUD

So we've made some wonderful progress over the last week, and tomorrow we will be uploading a video showing a few of the new things. It's only a few weeks until the first stage of alpha testing so we've been testing a few new things internally, including making sure Wander works on all three platforms, getting the new flight mechanics and UI into the game and making a giant amount of progress on make the planet look better.

Things haven't all been perfect though. The source control we were using turned out to be problematic, and the alternatives we have found so far seems also to have some issues. I'd love to hear if anyone has a good solution for source control in an environment with a lot of large binary files. We've also had some nasty issues with the Unity editor crashing on loading the project. Hopefully we will work out the solution to those soon so that the effect team member can get back to being productive.

Tomorrow, new video and some screenshots. :)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Progress: hosting, lightmapping, rocking and grading

It's been another really good week for the Wander team. We made some great progress with level design and rock placement, HUD / UI art, terrain textures, lighting, hosting and more. We also got one of the most difficult bits of the coding done, and you can now see when another player picks a flower, that the flower disappears. Many of the team are quite tired today though after Melbourne hosted the amazing White Night festival last night.

We've started setting up a few more servers ready for the start of alpha testing. We're using Microsoft Azure and some dedicated hardware for the servers. Azure so far seems amazingly painless to use. I've set up Amazon EC2 a number of times before and found it quite fiddly. Getting things going with Azure was quick! There is still a few more things  to work out before we've got all that done but it's good to have made some progress.

Thursday was a day of things breaking, when the version control system we were using decided not to work. I suspect the problem would have been fixable but the benefits it was bringing were too small for the amount of additional effort to use it. We've now swapped from Plastic SCM to a combination of AeroFS and Git. Hopefully this will be more straight forward for us.

We've got some big plans for this week and as soon as we've got the tropical planet light mapped we will be releasing some more pretty screenshots.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Last weeks progress, interface concept and pretty stone

This week we are focusing on level design and getting all the rocks and trees place nicely on our tropical planet. Then we're progressing onto placing the waterfalls, lighting and the tasks (quests and puzzles). We've finished the terrain and textured it and we're very happy with how that's looking. Garth has been doing a great job there.

We will have some pretty picture of that in the near future, but for the moment we've got a prototype of the interface, featuring the ideas for the character morphing menu (the thing in the middle of the screen, it will contain pictograms of each character) and shelter indicator:


And we've got a stone tile showing the first bits of our writing system.

The writing system is inspired by the one used by the Naxi people in Yunnan, China.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongba_symbols

Monday, 4 February 2013

IndieDB, Facebook and progress

We spent a bit of time on the weekend setting up a Facebook and IndieDB page for Wander. This blog and our twitter will still be the main places for updates. We've got a very exciting week planned, with new pictograms for character unlocks, colour grading, final terrain texturing and a few more of the quests.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Global Game Jam

It's been a busy weekend for the Wander team! Quite a few of us were at the Global Game Jam and spent the weekend making games involving the theme, the sound of a heartbeat. We're pretty excited to be back to working on Wander though.

The sound team have been hard at work recording character and atmospheric sounds. We're looking forward to rendering them beautifully in the world, but that is currently a bit confusing as neither FMOD or WWise support headphone 3D sound (HRTF). Currently it looks like we will have to work out how to integrate OpenAL-soft into Unity. If anyone knows anything about this, or the use of HRTF/Ambisonics in Unity please get in contact.

David and the rest of the game design team have been busy over the last week designing the tasks (quests and puzzles) for the tropical planet. We're really excited to test a few of these over the next two weeks coming up to the next internal release.

The big news of the last few weeks is all the progress on environmental art. Garth has produced some great looking terrain using L3DT, extensive hand sculpting and some custom shaders. We will be putting up some work-in-progress images to give some background to the terrain creation process.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

New Screenshot - Griffin

It's been rather an challenging few days for getting anything done for me as I've been moving house. Luckily the rest of the team have been hard at work and we have a new screenshot. Flight mechanics are still being worked on so we might not actually have the griffin being properly playable until our second alpha release or the first beta. I'm very happy with the volumetric clouds. They move nicely and you can fly through them!

I had some challenging debugging with unity over the last few days:
 The file 'sharedassets0.assets' is corrupted! Remove it and launch unity again!
[Position out of bounds! 354928768 > 354928764]
This was causing the controls to not work in the game, but was only affecting the built version. In the editor, play mode was fine. After some searching I found that this occurs when you have two scripts of the same name but different types, i.e one js script and one boo script both called Controller. Not the most useful error message.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Logo!


It's pretty awesome that new exciting things seem to be happening everyday on Wander. Today's major excitement is our new logo though.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wander - Launching at PAX AUS in July

First post on the new blog and in the new year. It's going to be an exciting year for Wander, and the first week has been great.

Wander is a non-competitive, non-combat, collaborative multiplayer game. (MMO) In Wander player explore planets, finding out how the storms and the items in the world came to be, while solving puzzles. Players start of as an animated tree (Ent) and can later morph into other forms such as a dragon, griffin, elf and an amphibious creature.

Wander is launching in July at PAX Australia.  We will be posting new screen shots or videos  around the 15th of every month, and hopefully posting technical blogs in between. Here is one we posted on twitter earlier to get it started:

The whole team is keen to blog so we're hoping to have posts about environmental art, level design, coding, animation, sound design and music.

Anyone interested in being involved in the alpha or beta for Wander should fill in the form: form if you want more info contact testers@wanderthegame.com 

twitter: @wandergame
or facebook facebook.com/wandergame