Contraption PS VR Launches July 11th

Thanks to a ton of hard work at Radial Games, Fantastic Contraption will be coming to PS VR next week! Here’s the announcement (reposted from the Official Playstation Blog).

Chris Floyd from Radial Games here, with an exciting message from our giant videogame zeppelin flying high overhead. We’ve been working day and night to create a most exquisite and whimsical virtual reality morsel: Fantastic Contraption for PlayStation VR!

Release Date

That’s right! We’ve been having a blast creating Fantastic Contraption for PlayStation VR, and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be sharing all of our hard work with you on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017. National Fantastic Contraption Day, mark it in your calendar! It will retail for $19.99 usd with an extra launch-week-special 10%-off if you have PlayStation Plus.

Seated Gameplay Specifically Designed for PS VR – The Most Relaxing Way to Play FC!

Sure, you could stand around, windmilling your arms in our magical virtual reality wonderland, but now you have the choice to sit back and play Fantastic Contraption right from your couch! Imagine! We redesigned the gameplay experience especially for PS VR, taking advantage of the likelihood that you have a favorite place to relax in front of your PlayStation 4. We’ve included special PS VR-only features that allow you to resize and position your gameworld at the press of a button, which we’re sure you’ll find slick and amazing.

It has fast become my favorite way to play, and makes contraption-building feel a whole lot like model-making, which we are Very Big Fans of here at Radial Games.

New, Unique Levels for PlayStation VR


We have a handful of brand-new, PlayStation-exclusive levels in the release. Try your hand bouncing around some moguls, attacking a big-bricked wall, and more! We’ve designed a few challenges specifically around seated play, and we know you’ll enjoy them.

Dynamically Resize the Entire World in the Brand-New Resize Island

Welcome to Resize Island, where you can dynamically resize the entire world around you! This opens a world of customization for your preferred way to play. You can make the world really huge to fit your standing-style gameplay preferences, or shrink it all the way down to fit on your lap, where you can marvel at tiny Neko. That’s right, THE CAT RESIZES TOO. You can do anything in videogames.

PS4 Pro Enhancements

For those of you with a lovely new PS4 Pro, we’ve spiced up the game a bit extra for ya:

  • 8xAA – We averaged out all those sharp corners for smoother looking curves!
  • Higher-resolution textures – you can almost smell that wood-grain!
  • Improved backdrops and scenery
  • Additional special-effects and visual flairs
  • Extra island decorations
  • 125% resolution oversampling – A fancy way of saying that things look real sharp in there.

Let us know below what you’re most looking forward to, and I hope to see you having a great time with Fantastic Contraption when it launches next Tuesday!

Contraption Anti-Oppenheimer Update 1.6.0

This is the last update we originally planned for the game, making 1.6.0 the final cherry on the Contraption sundae.

But why “Anti-Oppenheimer”? Because:

leveleditor_out640

“Now I am become Editor, the creator of worlds”

Now you too can defy – nay, define – physics as the creator of your own Fantastic Contraption levels using the new built-in Level Editor. To get started, first put on the helmet to enter dark world, then look for a mask above a statue of a two-toed sloth. Don the mask to enter:

The Level Editor

As Andy Moore says in the video above, we think the level editor is a key piece to the Contraption experience. The original 2008 Flash game had 47 official levels, and half a million user-generated ones. Not only did player-made levels give the game more content, they let people come up with whole new ways of playing that we hadn’t even considered.

To be honest, the level editor’s practically a game in itself. Move aside TiltBrush, it’s time for art class with Mrs. Fox:

Next we’ll recreates a cartoonish prison stereotype using dynamic blocks (aka “moon cheese”):

The Sarahfox

Ring the bell to summon the Sarahfox, your tutorial guide to the Level Editor (voiced and acted by yours truly!). She’ll introduce the basic controls: grabbing, stretching, copying, and using the precision movement flowers.

We recorded the Sarahfox’s movement using a system we wrote into the game, so she can interact with pre-scripted objects and give a demonstration right front of you. It’s remarkable how much life a character can have in VR using only 3 points of motion capture data.

Switch the Dog

You’ll meet Button the Dog’s cousin Switch when you first arrive in the Level Editor. Use him to toggle between Build Scale (where it’s easier to reach the whole level) and Test Scale (where it’s easier to playtest). There are no functional differences between the two modes, so you can edit level pieces and build contraptions in both and it’s a cinch to test on the fly:

Contraption pieces will be saved along with the level terrain, so make sure to delete them when you’re done testing, unless you want to include them as a challenge or example to people who play your level. It’s also possible to save levels that don’t have a goal or are missing a goal ball. We recommend testing before you save!

If you save a level you made to any shelf on the save table, it will be published online. To delete your saved level or contraption, throw it into the Trashcan Frog’s mouth.

Lippy the Mouthmoth Keyboard

Grab Lippy or double-tap the trigger to call him down to you in the dark world. Move him over to the maquette minimap to name your contraption or level (if no name is set, a random one will be chosen when you publish online).

You can also move Lippy to the save table to filter it by contraption or level name. For example searching for “mi” will find things named Steep Mitten or Miserly Devil.

Infinite Levels

We’ve seeded the user-made levels with some we designed that didn’t make the official cut, or that we’ve been inspired to create since trying out the new editor (which is much easier to use than our old system!). To check them out, enter the dark world and set the save table’s mode lever (the one on the right) to Levels, then use the left lever to select Levels by Rating or Levels by Date.

Don’t forget you can favorite user-made levels (or contraptions) by giving them a kiss. This feeds into the online ranking for the Levels by Rating shelf.

Zumi the Moon Mouse

Zumi Mouse didn’t live in a house, he wanted to live on the moon!
As the world cat passed by, he rode up to the sky,
And round his head put a balloon.
He munched and he chewed, ’till the cheese moon was hewed,
And Zumi had plenty of holes he’d accrued.
But what a mistake – such a bad bellyache,
Zumi’s home is his favorite food!

Full Changelog

We don’t have any more major updates planned for Fantastic Contraption, though we’ll continue to maintain the game and support new hardware (the PS VR version is coming soon!). Radial Games and Northway Games will be moving on to new (and so far unannounced) things next.

  • New Level editor! To use it, first put on the helmet, then put on the creepy mask in the corner and ring the bell for a tutorial. User-made levels can be shared online and loaded via the save table just like contraptions.
  • New Mouthmoth keyboard lets you name contraptions and levels, and search by contraption / level name
  • Added interactive art elements to side of maquette and Kaiju scale
  • Autohide the companion desktop menu and limit desktop display framerate
  • Show purple building bounds if cheating detected during tutorial
  • Hide black sphere during startup
  • Improve look of pins on Neko’s head
  • Adjust some sky characters
  • Sky color variation
  • Sounds for items including non-spinning green wheels and eyeballs
  • Disable musical sounds if you’re holding an item
  • Tweaked throw force for Kaiju scales
  • Improved haptics
  • Improved tutorial text font
  • Optimized first person companion view smoothing
  • Optimized avatar shadows
  • Optimized Twitch panel memory usage
  • Fixed some menus not updating when language changes
  • Fixed models disappearing after you drop them on a save table shelf
  • Fixed Button the Dog ghosting
  • Fixed disappearing Neko eyes and ghosting
  • Fixed obscure crash bug with some webcams
  • Fixed cat skin modding
  • Fixed sticky tutorial messages
  • Fixed laserpointer positioning for Twitch/camera menu
  • Fixed feedback form submission issues

Cheers and happy 2017 from the Fantastic Contraption team!

Contraption coming to PS VR!

Our friend (and Rebuild 3 writer) Stephen Gray has joined Radial Games to work (among other things) on the PS VR version of Fantastic Contraption, due out in Spring 2017.

Kert Gartner used some wacky techniques to film this and our Oculus Rift trailer, and today he shared some of the cinema techniques he used to get shots you usually only see in movies or tailored cutscenes. He also filmed gameplay footage in 4k split screen so he could get 1st person and 3rd person shots with both the Oculus Touch and Playstation Move controllers all at the same time.

We’re working hard to bring the best experience possible to this console version and so far the results look great! Stay tuned for more news…

Contraption Oculus Touch release!

Yes Oculus players, the wait is finally over! Touch controllers are available starting December 6th, and with them Fantastic Contraption is coming to Oculus!

We’ve sometimes been caught comparing the Oculus and Vive hand controllers, but one thing we definitely agree on is that grabbing stuff with your hands in VR feels amazing, and we wouldn’t want Fantastic Contraption played any other way. So we’re glad we waited!

You may also notice some teasers in the above video for the Fantastic Contraption level editor. We’re putting the finishing touches on it right now so you can expect to see it in an update soon.

Contraption Kaiju Update 1.5.0

This update is so big, it’s Godzilla big. Because now you are the monstrous, lazer-breathing beast that hovers over Fantastic Contraption levels, the contraptions and wee Neko so tiny and innocent down there on the ground. Yes we do love room scale, but there are times and places where you just want to reach over your entire contraption without walking across the room.

And so we present: Kaiju Scale:

[Unicorn SFX: DA-DUUUN]
[Pegasus SFX: DAH-DUUUN]

We’ve packed a ton of new features into this update. Read on, or watch this TL;DR video to get brought up to speed!

Kaiju Scale

You can scale from 50% of regular room scale size, which can be comfortably played while standing in one place, way down to 10% roomscale which feels like playing with a miniature set of contraption pieces about the size of Lego. The controller flowers shrink down to smaller precision buds so you can more easily see what you’re doing in this tiny, detailed little world.

contraption_scale_fling

If your VR hardware is configured for a small space, the Room Setup menu will appear automatically the first time you play. You can force Fantastic Contraption into Kaiju Scale and reconfigure your space via the companion menu on your monitor:

During Room Setup two batons appear in the middle of the level. While wearing your HMD you can grab these to scale, raise and lower, move or rotate the world to fit your play space.

We’ve made some changes to the dark world to make everything more easily reachable. The Trashcan Frog has some new friends who proudly hold up the credit statues and other toys to play with. At the smallest scales everything appears in miniature. The tiny table filled with tiny tiny models is soooo cute.

Playing as a giant in a miniature world can give you a different perspective on levels. My favorite way to play is to scale the world down to about 25% and place it right on the floor, then I sit down on the carpet cross-legged and play like a toddler stacking blocks. I’ll let Colin illustrate:

Floorscale

Companion Eye-Cam

You could always tear your eyes out of your head, but now you can switch the companion-camera to follow your eyes around! Great for giving your viewers ringside seats to the entertainment.

Rating Contraptions

There’s a new way to keep track of your favorite Contraptions both local and online: give them a smooch to favorite them! This bedazzles them with hearts and will cause them to rise in the ranks on the “Online Contraptions for this Level” shelves.

contraption_scale_kiss

Neko Modding

Our favorite toolbox-cat Neko’s been given a bit of a makeover, with a toothy new grin. We’re also using him to test out Steam Workshop modding, by letting players provide a replacement skin texture to change Neko’s color and appearance. Try it out! Here are the Modding Instructions.

contraption_scale_neko

Those teef!!

New Languages

We’ve started localizing Fantastic Contraption into other languages. First up is Japanese, which we needed last month when we showed the game at the Tokyo Game Show (where we won an award for Best Tech!). You can switch languages via the companion menu on your monitor. We may be adding more soon, or you can make your own using the Steam Workshop (see modding instructions here).

contraption_scale_japanese

New Avatars and Hats

We’ve been having a bunch of fun bringing new 3rd person avatars and hats into the game. Change avatars or hats by grabbing the maquette and pressing the directional thumb pad left/right/up/down. Switch to 3rd person view (camera icon on the companion menu on your monitor) to show these off to people watching in the room, or use the Twitch tools or GIF recorder from our Social Update to share online.

contraption_scale_hats

Twitch Avatar Voting

New for Twitch: people in chat can now vote for the avatar or hat you’ll wear by typing !avatar wolf or !hat viking. Votes are tallied every 60 seconds and the avatar and hat changed to the crowd favorite. Full usage:

Twitch Command          Effect
!avatar {NAME} Vote for an avatar by number {0-18} or name {sheep, wolf, frog, cat, unicorn, rabbit, walrus, monkey, fox, snake, mouse, elephant, pig, beetle, pegasus, pony, gorilla, dog, otter}. After 60 seconds (the default), votes are counted and the winning avatar selected. If typed by a chat moderator, the avatar changes immediately.
!hat {NAME} Vote for a hat by number {0-19} or name {crown, princess, gentleman, viking, catHead, fez, tiara, dog, party, halo, laurels, hardhat, headphones, pirate, dogPrincess, constructionCat, anglerFish, bamboo, chef, unicorn}
!avatarvote {COMMAND} {TIME} Chat mods only: possible commands are {enable, disable, once} and time is in seconds. !avatarvote enable 300 changes voting rounds from 60 seconds (the default) to 5 minutes. !avatarvote once 10 gives everyone 10 seconds to vote once, then disables voting. !avatarvote disable turns it off.

Full Changelog

There have been quite a few other changes to improve stability and prepare for the upcoming Level Editor (next major release!). And there’s more yet to come…

  • Kaiju Scale: full support for playing in smaller spaces including seated. (Re)configure world size and orientation via the companion menu on your monitor (settings > standing scale > configure standing). Config will automatically run once if SteamVR is set to “Standing Only”.
  • Steam Workshop support for modding Neko skins. See our Steam Workshop and Modding Instructions
  • Workshop support for other languages. See our Steam Workshop and Modding Instructions
  • Japanese language support. Change language via the companion menu on your monitor. Other languages coming eventually and/or create your own using Steam Workshop.
  • Rate and fave saved contraptions by giving them a smooch
  • Throw level from maquette to frog to delete autosave and revert
  • New avatars and improved avatar model physics
  • Change avatar by using the touchpad while grabbing maquette
  • New avatar hats and improved existing hat models
  • Twitch chat voting on avatars and hats with “!avatar wolf” or “!hat 5”, defaults to 60 second rounds. Twitch mods can disable, trigger rounds, or force a change immediately.
  • Avatar shadows
  • Command-line arguments to run in demo mode, eg “-demo”. Contact us for full list
  • Rearranged things in dark world
  • Combined level and contraption save tables into one
  • New look for Neko
  • Highlight Neko’s parts when you’re close enough to grab them
  • Improve Neko animation performance
  • New look and animation for victory spheres
  • Improve stereo shader rendering
  • Tweaks to tutorial messages
  • Hourglass loading indicator
  • Fade out effects
  • Selection highlighting on camera bug and some other things
  • Sound tweaks
  • Tweak and tune all haptic responses
  • Added arrows to tutorial umbilicals
  • Minor tweaks to several levels (must delete autosaves to see)
  • Hide online contraptions made with newer incompatible game versions
  • Fix helmet obstructing first person companion view
  • Fix error on loading corrupt save files
  • Fix Twitch panel error and bloat
  • Fix SteamVR init crash
  • Fix physics issues caused by variable framerate
  • Fix respawn delay after taking items from Neko
  • Fix hitting start/stop while loading
  • Fix several levels so they’ll break less
  • Fix snaps disappearing or being where they shouldn’t
  • Fix and tweaks to camera bug
  • Fix Neko’s missing eyes on blink with helmet
  • Fix spelling “comfortably”

Fireside Chat

Andy Moore sat down with our friend and fellow VRnaut Kayla Kinnunen for a little fireside chat to discuss all the above features in a much-too-long-winded fashion. If you want to experience the thrill of awkward pauses and dry jokes, check out the 15-minute epic on youtube!