Preparing for Blast-Off! | State of Matterless #56
Hi there and welcome back to our weekly blog! We made an AR piano, added sounds to Floorcraft: Arena, and introduced a new vertical slice of our racing game!
Let’s start off with the cool stuff!
Every two weeks we do a Creative Friday, a way for our team members to team up into smaller units and create something they think would be fun to make. Robin is exploring the possibility of playing music together in AR (Was I the only one who immediately thought of the name ARtunes?). Robin, who has a passion for music, from classical piano to composing chiptunes, has started prototyping a playful AR music experience.
The idea is to create matterless instruments that users can interact with naturally using their hands, which could include dynamically emerging sounds as they move a hand through a glowing area. Before even getting to the actual instruments, Robin started addressing some underlying challenges. First up was to make tap detection work. This is built using the hand reconstruction feature in ConjureKit (from our mother company, Auki Labs).
Next, Robin wanted to figure out the best way to play the sounds in multiplayer when you’re all in the same room. Apart from a piano, the team could create other completely new types of matterless instruments. Sound could emerge dynamically as you move your hands through a glowing area. It could be a way to put synthesizers into a spatial context which you can naturally interact with using your hands. There’s a lot to explore here, and Robin is looking forward to continuing prototyping! (Stay tuned for more progress on this in the coming month!)
On Floorcraft: Arena
Floorcraft: Arena is blasting forward with lots of momentum. It has many new powerups and features to deepen the gameplay in many ways fundamentally. During playtesting, Jason and the team had a lot of fun with one of those features that they felt they could quickly push out a smaller more focused experience before getting back to the full-scoped Arena.
From a quality assurance perspective, Michal and the team are testing more robust analytic data to improve user experiences in Floorcraft: Arena. Basically, this means the team is looking into how they can provide users with better analytics, which can help them make informed decisions about their experience with Matterless products. They are also preparing new power-ups and spawning systems to provide players with more tools to have fun with! (BTW, if you haven’t downloaded Floorcraft: Arena, click this link to see what you’re missing out on.)
Sounds like music to our ears!
If you’ve played Floorcraft: Arena, you would know that one of the first experiences you’re met with on the app is that of an engine starting up. Dusko and the sound team are finalizing the sound design for the lasers, power-ups, and the Hornet model hovercraft.
Here’s a teaser:
What the Blasters?
You’re probably wondering what Floorcraft: Blasters were from our blog last week. Well, here is that all-exclusive news we promised you! (Medium heard it first!)
—Drum roll, please —
Introducing Floorcraft: Blasters
Floorcraft: Blasters is our latest game design that will feature the laser as the primary weapon. The gameplay revolves around sniping each other, avoiding shots, and taking cover behind obstacles (Think laser tag but in AR). Blasters will also be the first Matterless app to support persistent arenas, and static lighthouses, an area the team thinks has potential.
It’s also an internal exercise in managing scope and quickly executing on small spinoffs or pivots, which will help gather battle experience. In the bigger scheme of things, we see Floorcraft not as a single game but as a genre of experiences built around the similar core of having a digital AR toy hovercar.
Stay tuned to our socials for a launch date, and follow our blog to get notified of the latest updates on all things Floorcraft: Blasters!
To ensure that our development pipelines align, Floorcraft: Blasters will have a similar UX flow to Floorcraft: Arena but with an overhauled brand and UI. Charlie and the art team are designing a new streamlined, enjoyable experience with a distinct flavor.
Finally, Merlin has been busy developing a new art direction for the launch of Floorcraft: Blasters, which has taken inspiration from Mech anime references such as Mobile Suit Gundam. The team has used the style guide to produce a new placable obstacle, the largest we’ve ever built, standing between 0.5–1 meter in material space. Players can deploy the cover around their playing field, sparking new opportunities for tactical gameplay. (We are psyched about Floorcraft: Blasters)
We’ve been hard at work polishing the laser, wrecking ball projectile, and experimenting with vehicle physics. Continuously iterating and improving the gameplay has become an obsession we love to keep tinkering with daily.
The atmosphere in the office feels like we’ve reached a pivot, and the team is excited about the progress we’re making. Keep reading every week to get all the best updates first.
Until then, find us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, and Discord are places we update you daily.
-Shwetha Suredin | Digital Marketing Manager