Community Garden started with a dream. It was an ambitious dream, but I’ve wanted to build something like Community Garden since I developed my first virtual reality game, In Space, No One Can Hear You Dance, back in 2015 on the DK2. It’s been a long journey with many ups and downs. The result of all of this was a world unlike anything currently available in VR. Community Garden is a large, open world, persistent world built on SpatialOS. I’ve only scratch the surface with what I wanted to accomplish. So what does the future look like? Well, I’m happy to announce that Somnium Space has acquired Community Garden! I have joined the team and currently working to make the dreams I had with Community Garden a reality in Somnium Space. I highly recommend checking out the awesome VR community there and attend one of their events.
I've been a bit silent lately thinking about the direction of Community Garden. Getting a large scale persistent world working in VR was no easy task. While this was a first for VR and cool, it’s not very fun. Now that I have a platform to build on, my goal is to create a fun experience for players.
In order to provide more gameplay elements to Community Garden, I’ve added survival gameplay. Players must eat to stay alive. You're health will degrade over time. You will know how hungry you are by your field of view and the sound of your stomach. If you fail to eat, you will die and return to your apartment.
Food is scattered around the world but is found in greater density in certain places.
You can now choose between blink teleport and instant teleport. This should improve some players immersion in the game. You can choose this by pressing the menu button on your controller and selecting the movement button.
After some struggle, I'm now able to run Community Garden on a much larger server configuration. I'm hoping this means less timeouts for players.
I've expanded the world to about 12 sq miles or 31 sq kilometers.
I’ve made some tweaks to help with performance on lower end PC’s.
Community Garden's latest update is big. How big you ask? 8.5 square miles of city to explore kind of big. In addition to the increase in world size, many new features have been added like the much needed avatar system and a wrist watch menu system. Download the update and see for yourself what the future of VR looks like.
- Explore a 8.5 square mile city
- Relax in the park and toss a stone or two into the pond
- Visit a gym and shoot some hoops
- Find the edge of the world and gaze out into the unknown
- Toss a gnome or two around
- Customize your avatar
I’ve been working hard pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with SpatialOS and Virtual Reality. The next update takes Community Garden to the next level: A Massive VR MMO Simulation. Players will be able to go anywhere and explore this vast world.
Players will also have access to their own personal home in the metaverse. You will be able to customize your home and buy additional property in the world. This is your own space to get away from the city streets and relax.
Players will also be able to customize their avatars. Have a more personal experience when interacting with other players. Options for customization will be limited in the first release but more options will be available in the future.
This release is just the beginning. There is still so much to simulate. Join me and become a part of the virtual reality revolution.
Community Garden now supports Windows Mixed Reality. To play Community Garden on you Mixed Reality HMD just download Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR and launch Community Garden. Also, I fixed the physics lag issue reported by users. Throwing and catching objects is smooth and accurate. Make sure to let me know if you have any issues and thanks for playing.
Thank you to everyone that tried out Community Garden. My main goal with this release to Steam Early Access wasn't to release a final product but to get something real in front of players right now. SpatialOS has not been easy to work so gathering real world data is important. The result, I felt was very positive. So many people have downloaded and tried out Community Garden. There has been some good discussion on the Steam Discussion Forums. I even had a chance to meet people in world and discuss the future of Community Garden. I was able to fix a number of bugs as well. The following is the top feedback I received.
- Add community goals for all players to work towards.
- Fix physic lag issue when throwing items.
- Make the world bigger.
- Handle player bad behavior issues.
The lag issue when throwing is definitely an issue that will need to be addressed. It breaks immersion and can be frustrating. Bad player behavior also has a potential to be a big problem. Right now players can spam seed box creation and throw items outside the reach of other players. This will take some thought to fix but right now it's not a priority because the world needs to grow and become more interesting before worrying about what players will do with it.
The next steps for Community Garden is to add community goals and to scale the world using procedural generation. This will give players more to do and keep them in world longer. I will post some more on this later.