Patch time! A big one this time!
We’ve been silent for a long time now because we’ve been hard at work on porting Vaporum to Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. As that work is mostly done, we were able to put our attention back to the desktop version again.
Apart from smaller bugfixes that we found ourselves or that you guys reported to us, there is a whole host of optimizations and improvements going in with this patch.
For the game to work on the consoles at our expected standards, we had to dive deep under the hood and optimize lots of stuff. While some of these changes are specific to specific console targets, most are universal and will bring performance benefits to desktop targets as well. As a result, the game should perform better on any hardware, on any OS, and takes about 40% less space on your disk.
As always, we’ve been listening to all the feedback on our forums, and so we added new game options you guys asked for, and fixed issues you reported to us.
Here’s the full list of changes:
- Added an option to toggle head bobbing while moving. Motion sickness no more!
- Added an option to toggle Stop Time Mode sounds.
- Added options to toggle audiovisual indicators when you’re low on health.
- Added an option to set the type of your controller. This should fix, hopefully, all issues with controllers. If your controller doesn’t work the way you’d expect, this setting will force the game to make the controller behave. 🙂
- Improved the performance when reapplying the same skill to the player over and over (acid pool and such effects).
- Improved the performance of the auto-map and the GUI overall.
- Improved the performance of animations, some visual effects, and post-processes.
- Improved culling to increase performance.
- Improved overall rendering performance.
- Reduced the disk space the game takes by about 40%.
- Fixed: Tooltips hide when you move items between containers and your inventory.
- Fixed the cursor misbehavior when the supersampling setting is not set to 1.0.
- Fixed a few issues in localization.
- Fixed: The button after the flame turret in L05 (The Riddle of Steel) can sometimes get you stuck, closing the door behind you, with no way to open the door again.
- Fixed: Some controllers may crash the game.
- Fixed: When you move into a hole in the Stop Time Mode, you don’t fall. 😀
- Fixed: Some “bloody” effects still show up when the Gore setting is set to off.
- Fixed: Shock Spider’s light shines through walls.
The world of Vaporum is not only comprised of the mysterious tower somewhere in the middle of an ocean. The Arx Vaporum (the Tower) is just one part of a larger world, and various bits and hints on this world lie hidden in the tower’s depths, in the form of readable notes and audio phonodiaries, waiting to be found by the players.
In an unexplained way, we just received a scrap book filled with snippets of newspapers from that world. Maybe a teleportation system malfunction…?! There’s no explanation of that in the snippets. However, thanks to them, we can take a peek into this world. A world ruled by a strictly bureaucratic, science-powered government of the Supreme Bureau. The oldest snippet comes from almost 120 years before the events of Vaporum, from the time when the Supreme Bureau just assumed power.
Just a small patch for Linux only this time.
Some controllers on Linux could crash the game, as reported here. This is a Unity bug, which we can’t fix ourselves, but we created a workaround. If you happen to have such a controller, the game will not crash anymore, but if you wish to use the controller, you will have to change one setting by hand.
The game should warn you about the issue on start. If so, go to the
Vaporum/Settings/GameSettings.yaml file and change the
ControllerType to either
PS4, according to your preferences. The controller should work as expected.
In case you want to know, the valid values for the setting are:
None: Disables the controller support.
Autodetect: The game will try to detect what controller type you have. This is the default setting.
XboxOne: Enables the Xbox One & Xbox 360 controller support and scheme.
PS4: Enables the PlayStation 4 controller support and scheme.
Note: The XboxOne and PS4 settings should work fine with most other controllers.
- Vaporum has been out for a year!
- -40% week-long sale (starting today at 19:00 CET) on Steam and Humble Store.
- We’re releasing an early prototype of Vaporum from late 2014 (Windows only). Download here!
- We’re working on a prequel to Vaporum!
- Thank you all for the support!
One Year of Vaporum
Time flies. It’s been a year since we launched the debut game of our small studio — Vaporum. We’ve managed to do quite a lot during this time. The game has won several awards: Best Graphics at Game Access 2017, Best Game Design and Best Debut at Slovak Game of the Year 2017.
It’s doing good in terms of ratings, with 90% on Steam, 4.5/5 on GOG, and 78 points on Metacritics. It’s been localized into 11 languages and ported to both Linux and Mac. And currently, we’re working on ports for Xbox One, PS4, and Switch.
We’ve released 12 updates, including the extensive Accessibility Update, which was our attempt to make the game a lot more accessible to people with disabilities. One of the major parts of the update was the Stop Time Mode, mostly aimed at players who found the combat and the timed puzzles too hectic, or outright impossible due to a physical disability.
In another big update, we enhanced the RPG system with a new exo-rig and three new circuits. This greatly increased the number of possible combinations of rigs and circuits, which allowed our players to replay the game with fresh ideas on how to build the character.
We’re quite proud of the game and we’re very happy players receive it so well. It’s a great feeling of satisfaction when the game is well received by the people for whom you’re making it. The journey to releasing Vaporum was not easy, and that’s why this anniversary is not only a celebration of the release, but also the path to it.
Sale & Prototype
On this occasion, we decided to run a -40% week-long sale (starting today at 19:00 CET) on Steam and Humble Store, and also release an early game prototype that we used in our search for funding for full development. The prototype represents a single level, showing our rough vision of how the game could work, what types of gameplay situations the player was to experience, and the general atmosphere.
The prototype also served to see if the mechanics the game was built on worked or not. A small group of about 8 friends and relatives, quite spread all across the spectrum of gaming genres, focus-tested the game and gave us lots of invaluable feedback on things that weren’t working, but also gave us a signal that the game had good potential.
Of course, the prototype is buggy and rough around the edges, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Multiple systems are provisional (RPG, AI, etc…), implemented only up to a state of being able to present our vision. Therefore, we don’t guarantee anything; it very well may not even run on your machine. It’s not a full game or a demo.
Please take the prototype as is. It’s just a curiosity from the history of development of Vaporum, for you, the fans.
It’s you, our players and fans who we make games for. We’d like to thank all of you for all the support you’ve given us.
We’d also like to announce that we’re working on a game that will bring you back into the depths of Arx Vaporum, this time with a different protagonist, new levels and toys to play with, and a few new nasty enemies. 😉
Hey guys, we have another update for you today!
Vaporum now natively supports controllers, so you can enjoy the game from the comfort of your couch. And we also squashed some nasty bugs still roaming the tower of Vaporum.
- Added controller support.
- Fixed: When you quit to the main menu while the automap is out of order, it will remain so even when you start a new game.
- Fixed: The unique sword Lithe Blade’s burning effect (DOT) does not deal damage to other nearby enemies.
- Fixed: Return damage from some shields and the Heavy Rig resets the behavior of an enemy affected by the Manipulator gadget. This is inconvenient, as sometimes the enemy resets right after you use the Manipulator on it.
- Fixed: Some specific values of FOV (graphical setting) can cause visual glitches when being pulled by a Magnet Golem.
Hey guys, we have a big update for you today!
Vaporum is now available on Mac! We have also added a few game tips to clarify some game mechanics and fixed quite a few bugs.
- Added Mac support.
- Added a few game tips to clarify some mechanics & interactions. This is also due to the upcoming controller support.
- Added a “Toggle HUD” button (default: F4). You can use this to make HUD-less screenshots.
- Fixed issues in Slovak, Japanese, and Chinese localization.
- Fixed: While you’re in the process of dying and a game tip shows up, the game crashes.
- Fixed item container size.
- Fixed tooltips for Fumium Capacitor, Combat Fuse, Tech Fuse, Toughness Fuse, and Cicruit Upgrade.
- Fixed other minor bugs.
Dungeon Master was a defining game of this type, but many of us have also spent a lot of time playing one of its successors. We could even say that it is the second best known representative of this sub-genre of RPGs. Eye of the Beholder is very close to our gamers’ hearts, and, several decades later, it definitely was one of the strong examples we were drawing inspiration from while creating Vaporum.
Perhaps if it wasn’t for Legend of Grimrock, nobody would even think that this old type of gameplay could work in modern times. But, as Grimrock has proven, and we hope that Vaporum has too, a system based on the legacy of Dungeon Master and the likes works like a charm, even today. So it’s no surprise that while working on Vaporum, we sometimes talked about Eye of the Beholder and its appeal. What could this game look like in this age, with today’s possibilities? Dressed in modern 3D graphics, yet at the same time staying true to its original style?
During the winter holidays, we created a small visual homage to this big piece of inspiration of ours, and now we want to share it with you. 🙂