Oct 032018
 

Hey, guys!

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 XboxOne or 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.

Enjoy! 🙂

Sep 282018
 

TLDR:

  • 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.

Download here!

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.

Next Game

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. 😉

PS: Feel free to tell us what you think about Vaporum, either by writing a review on Steam or GOG, joining our Discord server, or by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Aug 312018
 

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.

Patch Notes

  • 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.

Enjoy! 🙂

Jul 302018
 

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.

Patch Notes

  • 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.

Enjoy! 🙂

Apr 112018
 

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. 🙂

Mar 012018
 

Hey guys!

Just a small update with a few important fixes that were found on some OS and locale combinations.

Patch Notes

  • Fixed: On some combinations of OS and HW, reading string data is incorrect, resulting in super-long cooldowns of weapons, for instance, making the game unplayable.
  • Fixed: News messages don’t show up in the main menu when subtitles are turned off in the game options.

Enjoy! 🙂

Feb 232018
 

Hey guys!

We are rolling out a new patch with a new language, few bug-fixes, and some small tweaks based on your feedback. Yeah, and one tiny detail: Linux! 🙂

Linux

The Linux build is finally here! We tested it on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and once we worked out all the quirks, it pretty much worked fine. There is one known issue: volumetric lights look weird on Ubuntu with AMD cards, and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. 🙁

Hungarian Language

Apart from Linux, we are adding Hungarian language to the game, thanks to Zsolt Brechler, who took it upon himself to make the whole translation with the simple localization tools we added some time ago. Big thank you, Zsolt, we appreciate it! 🙂

Patch Notes

Here are the obligatory patch notes:

  • Linux build! 🙂 (Tested on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.)
  • Added Hungarian language, thanks to Zsolt Brechler!
  • All consumable items can now stack. This was inconsistent where some did stack (e. g. Repair Kits) and some did not (e. g. Fumium Cells).
  • Fixed: Reinfusor & Overcharger modules have buggy interactions. You can activate gadgets for free, basically.
  • Fixed: In some rare conditions, the game can crash when unable to load & parse the EnemyShowcase.dat file.
  • Fixed a few typos in game tips.
  • Fixed: Item comparison tooltip option does not save correctly.
  • Fixed: Some shaders and materials do not work correctly on Linux.
Jan 032018
 

Nowadays, the fact that many people play games in their free time hardly ever surprises anybody. Long gone is the time when playing games was the domain of a small group of strange people. Today, we can bump into all sorts of videogames on basically any device, and nobody wonders about it any more.

But who creates these games, do you ask? There are as many answers as there are games. This piece of information is not hard to find. Footage from conferences, “making of” posts and videos, or the whole slew of post-mortem articles. We may not be able to see into the souls of game developers, but we know very well what drives them, how they create, and how they think, creatively.

On the other side of the work, a videogame in this case, is the player. Someone who gets to lay their hands on the result of years of work, with everybody hoping that the game catches their fancy. Will they enjoy it, or possibly (if the ambitions were a little greater) take something good out of it? But who is the player? What does it even mean? Aren’t we all players after all?

For game developers, players are often a shapeless mass of statistical data. Collected via research and surveys. We’re inquiring into how many of you liked which game mechanic. Why did you find this specific part of the game problematic. How far did you get in the game, where did you encounter issues. All this is seen through the optics of statistics. Sometimes you don’t even think about all the places your game could reach. At which places it could be played and by whom. It just doesn’t cross your mind that somebody might be playing your game, say, at the North Pole station, right? Why would they? But when you think about it, why not? Games are wherever people are.

That’s exactly why we were so glad to learn that one of the players waiting for Vaporum’s release was Mateusz Mandat, meteorologist, who is currently working at Svalbard.

It surprised, pleased, and definitely intrigued us! So if any of you Vaporum players work or reside at an extraordinary place, or have an unusual job, and want to share your experiences with playing the game, we’ll be glad to learn more about you via an interview.

Today, we’re going to talk to the aforementioned Mateusz about his passion of playing games and his work that has led him to the cold, distant North Pole.

Hi, Mateusz! Tell us briefly about yourself.

Hello, I’m Mateusz, 26 years old and I’m from Poland. I’m a member of the 40th Polish Polar Expedition on Svalbard.

How does a gamer like you get to live at the North Pole?

My father was here back in 2004 and I had the opportunity to come here for 2 weeks. It was a fantastic experience. I said I would come back, and now I am here for the third time. I was here before for a year in 2015-2016.

How long have you been there and what exactly do you do every day?

I’m staying here until June, which will make it one year. I’m one of three meteorologists. Every 3 days, I have a 24-hour duty. While on duty, I need to make an observation every 3 hours and send data for forecast. Every day is a new adventure. Like a visit from a polar bear, reindeers wandering around the base, polar days and polar nights with auroras…

Since we know you play games, what games have you played during your stay out there and which ones are your favorites?

I have finished about 4-5 games since I came here. I enjoyed South Park: The Fractured But Whole and its type of humor. I played it on the hard difficulty so the fights would feel more satisfying. When I played Prey, I almost felt like being in one of my favorite games, Bioshock. I’m a huge fan of board games, and Hand of Fate was a fresh experience with the mix of card game and RPG / hack & slash elements. Batman: Arkham Knight was also solid, I had a lot of fun with that game. Hearthstone is one of the few online games that work here. I’ve been playing since beta, and I’m waiting for each new expansion.

What game do you keep the fondest memories of? Feel free to expand on this.

I have finished Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 over 40 times because it’s so enjoyable every time I play it. The original Bioshock was something new with good gameplay and an interesting plot. Witcher 3 is one of my favorite games. Not because it was made in Poland, but for the world and story.

Is there any funny moment / experience in your life connected to gaming?

I played a lot of the original DOTA and I met awesome people thanks to the game. Meeting people who you only know by their voices in real life for the first time and seeing what they look like was weird. Every one of us has a life, but we maintain contact and try to meet every year.

One day, I’m playing WOW at my friend’s house, as he shares his WOW account with me, and I die in-game. I don’t want to walk as a ghost back to the place where I died because it’s a long walk. So I think to myself, “Okay, I’ll lie in bed here and just wait for my team to resurrect me.” And then my friend’s father comes into the room, asking, “What are you doing?” And I say: “I’m waiting for resurrection!” This makes me laugh so much every time I see him. I believe there are many more moments like this one, but I can’t recall them now.

What device did you play your first game on and what was the first game that blew your mind?

My brothers had one of the Atari machines, I can’t recall which one exactly. I remember some games, but I mostly remember Bang, where you have to shoot bandits who open doors in a bank. My first PC game was some kind of pool, and then the original Diablo.

What’s your opinion on Vaporum?

One of my favorite types of games are dungeon crawlers. Dungeon Master 2 and Stonekeep remind me of my childhood. When I heard about Vaporum, I was excited because there aren’t many dungeon crawlers nowadays. I enjoyed Vaporum, also because a dungeon crawler in steampunk is something new in the genre. No wizards, dragons, or ghosts all the time. Gameplay is solid, with good mechanics, beautiful graphics, smart puzzles, and an interesting story. One of the best DCs I have ever played.

What games do you plan to get your hands on in the nearest future?

One of the games that look interesting and that I’m waiting for is Vampyr. I am also curious about Cyberpunk 2077, although there is not much information yet. I’m also waiting for what Fatbot Games comes up with next!


We would like to thank Mateusz for sending us the photos and the answers to our questions!

Last year, just before Christmas, Mateusz unlocked one of the important achievements in the Game of Life — he got married. In style! Not every man can claim that his bride took a helicopter to fly over to her husband, to the North Pole! We wish all the best to the newlyweds! 😀

P. S.: If you play Vaporum at an extraordinary place, or you have an unusual job, let us know!