We wanted to give you a progress report and let everyone know we are working hard, even through the weekends, to finish TPS and implement community requests.
We have started a thread which will itemize each bug fix, community request, improvement, and optimization as they are completed up to release. If you want to review our progress, feel free to follow this thread. We will be updating it regularly: http://forum.themeparkstudio.com/index.php?topic=2346.0
So far, we have implemented Oculus and Vive support, Xbox controller support, Vive controller support, and by community request we added hot keys for quick teleporting to coasters and rides. We even added a ride reset that allows the player to jump right into the seat at anytime. So far, the Gyro Swing, Turbo Force, and wood coasters have received some great feedback, with our unique physics based flat ride solution producing an ultra real VR experience. We will also be posting some great new VR parks, and plan some great dark rides for our VR audiences.
With most of the VR work complete, we will be dividing our time between finishing TPS and polishing VR with our VR test group. We are nearing completion of TPS Gold edition and, after this final round of bug fixes/optimizations, we will add the Platinum features and ship the boxed edition.
In case you missed the previous announcement, here is a summary of what we have been working on the past few months.
Before we completed our final round of cleanup and bug fixes we had one more obligation to meet, VR support. As you may know, we had VR support up and running last year. Back then, Direct mode was not compatible with the graphics library we were using, so we wrote some custom shaders and worked with the best tools we had at the time. Since then, the new Oculus runtime has unfortunately made the entire graphics library completely incompatible. We do understand Oculus decision to drop this API support, and that it was simply due to progress. However, because of this change we were faced with either completely rebuilding our graphics pipeline or abandoning VR altogether. Neither option was good.
Then the Vive was released, and it was truly impressive. Now we had 2 very solid pieces of equipment in our hands. We knew TPS’s extensive customization features, our immersive environment, and Live Parks was a perfect match for VR. So, in order to fulfill our obligations we decided to buckle down, strap ourselves in, go face down for a few months, and completely rebuild a new graphics engine
The results have been fantastic. The engine has been ported, extensive optimizations have been added, and we even rebuilt the multi-threading which is far superior to previous build. We're now getting dramatically higher frame rates in our runtime player pushing the framerate into the area needed for VR.
Multiple requests for VR from the community, and strong support from hardware manufacturers, reinforces our belief that TPS and Live Parks are an excellent fit for VR and we're looking forward to the official release.
If you own TPS, and have a Vive or an Oculus kit, we hope you will join our VR beta testing group by clicking here. http://www.instant.ly/s/8yq8q
If you do not have a VR device but would like to join are expansive Live Parks testing group you can sign up here: http://www.instant.ly/s/s8LhR
We have had strong support from the community for Live Parks and appreciate all those that signed up. Live Parks testing is a lot of fun and includes socializing with other members of the community, competitive racing with leaderboard high scores, exclusive sneak peeks at new parks, and more. We hope you will join us
Since TPS was first announced, the theme park sim genre has grown considerably and there are many new players on the market. It is great to see the genre revive. Our future roadmap goals include expanding on what makes us unique, and separates us from other products, including extensive customization, custom materials, in game physics based animator, programmable particle effects, interactive rides, and of course Live Parks with each park looking completely unique through specialized custom scenery and animations. Here are renders of one of the Live Parks being built by a member of the community. You can follow the authors progress here www.disneyparksearchive.com
and on his twitter handle @DPEarchive.
TPS has grown exponentially since our announcement. If you look back to original videos you see it has expanded way beyond our original design. Early Access gave us the opportunity to take it further than we originally planned, which has not only benefited our backers but also helped us to build a product with unprecedented customization options and, through Live Parks, a new immersive social theme park experience.
We appreciate all our backers support, patience, and contributions along this incredible journey. Thank You
Theme Park Studio Team