Holodance - jashan
One more! One more!

When seeing recent videos and streams by players, I had been wondering why everyone was playing the Casual Orb theme. I double-checked if I had accidentally put Casual mode as default mechanic but that was not the case. Finally, on Monday it dawned on me: I messed up the default orb theme. Ooops!

Getting Back Casual Mode (if you want to)

So, this update does something that I usually try to avoid: It overrides one of your settings and restores the default. One reason I feel confident doing that is that several new players were very happy when they finally found out that there is a transparent orb theme with smaller orbs ... something everyone should see first when playing Free Mode.

Now, if you don't know what I'm talking about and want to keep the orb theme you already got used to - don't worry, here's how it works:



In words: Go into Settings, either using the gear icon in Music Library, then Game Settings (bottom left) or by pressing and holding the Menu button for about a second. Then "Style", then "Themes". There on the bottom left, select "Casual". And you're in full Casual mode. We added this because we think for a lot of people, this is actually most fun. Someone also once wrote a negative review because we didn't have that, and that always hurts. Hurt needs to stop, gotta fix it.

Single Laserblade and Dual Wielding

We will soon put laserblades and guns into a kind of skill tree that you'll need to unlock based on your gameplay skill. The reason is because it's an advanced mechanic that can be quite frustrating to new players ... and also because we like letting you progress through the game instead of being immediately overwhelmed with two gazillion game modes and options.

But first, I want to have laserblades and guns completed. This pre-beta version now also lets you play with a single laserblade without having to put one of your controllers down. Here's how you select it:



In single laser blade mode, you can switch your active hand by pulling the trigger for a moment, on the hand that you want to make active. You do not need to swap controllers (which would be hard to do with Touch controllers, anyways).

And if you don't like those silent GIFs and instead want to watch a full session with these settings and a few more - here's to you:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UatcqHwKeOs
Be sure to watch it on YouTube or Vimeo because in the descriptions, there are timestamps so you can easily jump to the different sections (this is a really cool feature that both, Vimeo and YouTube have) ... and there's also some more explanation in there.

We also fixed a few more things.

Full Release Notes
  • General: Improved tracking of handedness / dominant hand. We now have this as a solid concept and your dominant hand is whichever hand you last used to "interact". Currently, there are two interactions that are tracked for handedness: Skipping and pause (which is most likely the most reliable one), and switching the laser pointer (which is what most people will usually do if handedness was wrong). We needed this as a solid concept for what's coming next.
  • Orb Themes: This had the Casual theme as default - not cool. Also, the order of themes wasn't really making much sense. This is fixed. Unfortunately, this will result in the orb theme changing, so we reset everyone's selected theme to the default theme for now. Apologies for the inconvenience.
  • Local Music: There was a bug that caused all untagged music to get the same titleForSort, which resulted in all those songs only showing up once. The title for sorting now also uses the fallback so that the title is the full filename. It's still highly recommended to use properly tagged music for Holodance but this makes the behavior a little more acceptable. We'll have file-system based music browsing as an option in the future, for everyone who prefers that way of browsing.
  • Mechanic Selection: This was broken for Casual in a V0.9.0a18 version that only went to alphadev. It was also broken for the guns (but those are not functional, yet, anyways). Fixed.
  • Laserblades: Completed implementation of single laserblade mechanic. You can switch the laserblade by pulling the trigger on the laserblade you want to use - but it will deactivate the other one unless you have dual wielding active.
Holodance - jashan
EDIT: V0.9.0a17 (2017-02-18) is just a tiny patch that fixes the Casual orb theme which previously was way too bright. There is also work on "handedness" in that release but I didn't feel like spamming everyone with another patch notes entry for these small changes.

V0.9.0a15 was almost the last alpha: I realized yesterday that there were still a few issues that needed immediate attention: New players with lower-end GPUs (970, 1060) that tried Story Mode would see a flickering water kind of first thing when entering the game. Not cool. This one was a bit tricky to fix because it took a while to figure out that it were the post-processing effects that caused it (in combination with shadows being deactivated, VR being active, single-pass stereo rendering being active and using forward rendering ;-) ). But once I had that one figured out, fortunately, it was just updating those post-processing effects to fix the issue.

And then, one of the things that looked really broken with local music (which is still "experimental") were Favorites and Recently Played: Because local music would show up there but it just wouldn't work. Now it does. This isn't the "full fix" which requires proper identification of the songs - but what we have now is what is needed to make the old Recently Played entries and Favorites work. Obviously, as we don't have the proper identification, yet, all old sessions and favorites don't have it, so there was a need for some fallback / heuristic to handle those.

Last but not least I noticed while watching people streaming Holodance that the search would often activate the filters, resulting in no results even though there should be results. Holodance tried to be too smart - but not anymore. Now, if you don't have filters active, we don't activate them for you while using the full text search, and if you have filters active, we deactivate them when too few results show up. Let us know what you think about this either here on the forums or in our official Holodance Discord.

Full Release Notes
  • Paradise Beach / Level 1: There was a bug with the low-performance settings (970, 1060) that caused the water to flicker. Fixed by updating PlayWay Water to 2.0b16 and the Unity PostProcessing Stack to the most recent version (v1).
  • Favorites / Recently Played: These are now both filtered by what beatmaps are actually available so that when you disable Local Music, songs from Local Music will no longer show up in Favorites / Recently Played, and when you disable osu!, osu! maps will no longer show up.
  • Favorites / Recently Played: Should now work for most, if not all local song favorites and recently played. Very old entries from the earliest versions where local music was supported may not work.
  • Search: No longer automatically activating filter if we get "too many" results. This was causing too much trouble. We do, however, still deactivate the filter if a search returns too few results.
Holodance - jashan
This is mostly a bugfix release and probably the last "alpha" for 0.9 before we're going into beta:

In-VR Exit Button for Oculus Rift and Windows VR
When you use the Oculus Rift or one Windows VR (aka "MR") headsets, you may have had some issues due to Holodance not having an in-VR exit button. So now it has: It's in the old "Settings" screen that is the lower one of the three in the level selection area, where you also enter "Free Mode" and "Story Mode".

When you use a native SteamVR headset like the Vive, it's actually better to use the SteamVR Dashboard exit method because that's the standard.

Scoring Issues
Most importantly, Time Dilation introduced a "little" issue where doing Sliders while time was running slowly could result in Sliders having more than 100%. If you were very patient you could easily use that to cheat with maps with many Sliders. Not anymore ;-)

I also did some major cleanup in various areas. Most importantly, you no longer need to record gameplay sessions to get the basic info in PlaySession.txt and the PlayList_YYYY-MM-DD.txt files. For the detailed stats, you still need this.

Known Issues: Water glitches in 970 Preset
If you have the 970 performance preset active, the water in Paradise Beach / Level 1 is glitchy. I'm hoping to have a fix for this either today or tomorrow; for the time being, you can try to work around this by switching to any other performance preset. What I know already is that what's causing this is that in the 970 preset, shadows are disabled. The thing is that shadows are quite heavy on performance, so going to a higher preset on low end (VR) hardware might give you significant framedrops - but it's worth a try, especially on a 1060.

Known Issues: Single / Dual Laserblades and Guns
There already is a UI for selecting single and dual laserblades as well as single or dual guns. However, the gun mechanic is not available, yet, and the single laserblade mechanic isn't either. In the dropdown, it shows the final multipliers - but in the game, we still use the one from dual laserblades, so it's less broken as it looks. But yeah: This part is incomplete (that's why we call it "alpha" ;-) ). But not much longer ...

Full Release Notes
  • Play Sessions Text Files: Fixed double-link to beatmap.
  • Re-activated "Exit Game" button in the old Settings (3rd frame in level selection area, where you also select Free Mode or Store Mode). When you use the Vive / SteamVR, you don't need to use this - just use the SteamVR Dashboard and "Exit Game" there. But this should solve problems for our Oculus and Windows MR users until we have proper native support for those devices.
  • Time Dilation: Now properly tracking time dilation multiplier for each caught orb, with the relevant score multiplication and average for the play session.
  • Scoring: We now properly apply catcher multiplier, time dilation multiplier and easy mode multiplier to the score, before the bonuses are added. The score before the multipliers were applied is available in rawScoreBeforeMultipliers, the score before the bonusses are applied is available in rawScoreBeforeBonus.
  • Scoring: We now keep track of the total bonus score immediately while playing - that way, we don't have to calculate it using the recording data.
  • Scoring: Time Dilation could cause Sliders to have more than 100% completion rate.
  • Major Refactoring: The text files with the play sessions are now written immediately (instead of in the middle of storing the leaderboard entries), and only the details will be written with some delay, and only when the stats are actually available.
  • Psychedelic Mode: Fixed issue that disabling color effects while playing would not restore the original color grading and potentially keep everything desaturated (or oversaturated).
Holodance - jashan
Time Dilation
According to the theory of relativity, time dilation is a difference in the elapsed time measured by two observers, either due to a velocity difference relative to each other, or by being differently situated relative to a gravitational field.
Source: Wikipedia

Holodance is now a serious game. Very very serious. About physics. You are divine - you have full control of time. Watch this:
https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=lA3rkI3PF0U
How can you experience Time Dilation first hand in Holodance? When you groove naturally with the music while catching orbs, time passes normally - but when you slow your hands down, time slows down with them. If you hold your hands still, time almost completely stops. As you can imagine, this opens up quite a large range of new approaches to how you play our rhythm game. It's all about style.

And time dilation also works the other way: When you wildly swing your arms, it's like fast-forward. So you can make slow songs more fun this way, too.

The Time Dilation mechanic works especially well with our laserblades because while we do track rotational velocity as well for the score bonus, it does not influence time. So you can do some really tricky advanced moves while playing with rhythm and time.

Local Music: Better Location Mapping, Better Difficulty Presets
Important: If you have had local music set up for a little while, you need to do "Full Rescan" one time to make the 5 different difficulty levels / beatmaps show up for each song. Keep in mind that local music is still experimental / early access^2, so things like recently played, favorites or leaderboards don't work, yet. But I believe the algorithm is very close to "finished" (these things are never finished - but finished enough for now ;-) ).

Better Difficulty Metric
We had some pretty nasty bugs in our difficulty calculation (for a little while, the minimum difficulty was 1.6, while it should have been 0.0). Those are now hopefully all fixed. Difficulty is a really important metric because it determines your skill level, and your skill level will eventually unlock all those funky new features like the laserblades, time dilation, and soon guns.

At the moment, you can still access all of those easily via Settings / Style / Themes. We won't make unlocking those super-difficult because we really want you to play with all of Holodance. But some of those mechanics are more challenging and you need to have the skill level with our regular gameplay mechanics to actually have fun with them. Playing those too early will be just frustrating.

Full Release Details
  • Local Music: Added new and improved version of location mapping.
  • Play Sessions: Now linking to the new osu! beatmap listings instead of the old one.
  • Local Music: Fixed bug that unchecking "Auto" would not remove the procedural maps because they were still recognized as "osu".
  • Local Music: Added safeguard against the recursive search delivering fewer (e.g. zero) results while the "flat full search" delivered all results.
  • Difficulty Calculation: BPM, Duration, Orb Count and Slider Count difficulty values are now multiplied with the average distance between orbs to weigh them based on that value. That way, long or fast beatmaps where most orbs are very close to each other no longer result in high difficulties.
  • Difficulty Calculation: Fixed a very nasty bug that removed distance and average distance from the difficulty.
  • Velocity Tracking: We previously used real time instead of scaled time for the time tracking, and scaled time instead of real time for velocity tracking, which can cause trouble when we mess with time, which we already do in Psychedelic Mode (Bullet Time), and will do even more with an upcoming mechanic.
  • Velocity Bonus: Tweaked bonus so that slow movements will be completely ignored, and faster movements will be more rewarded now.
  • Mechanic Modes: Added Time Dilation - your controller movement determines how fast time passes. For now, you can always activate Time Dilation in the Themes selection - eventually, this will be one of the unlockable game mechanics and you will be able to combine it with other mechanic mods (e.g. Laserblades or Guns).
Holodance - jashan
So, the whole area of "procedural maps" aka "playing local songs" is still very alpha and far from "polished" - but the release is quite a step forward nevertheless. Most importantly, you can now select five different beatmaps aka difficulties for each song. The difficulty range is still fairly small, so that's something we're working ... and we'll definitely have more challenging procedural maps.

IMPORTANT: Configuration.json / pathLocalMP3s is now called pathLocalMusic - but we still have pathLocalMP3s in there so we could copy the setting from pathLocalMP3s to pathLocalMusic on the first start. Other than that, pathLocalMP3s is no longer used. Eventually, you'll be able to select that path from directly inside the game but that part is not ready, yet.

Expect a few more quick releases next week - but this is for some fun during the weekend ;-)

This also has a few small improvements in the mechanic modes we have recently added. It's not a big release but keep in mind: The last one just came this morning ;-)

Full Release Notes
  • Changed the wording for "Store Replay Data" in Performance Settings there because this data is needed for the stats, so this is now called "Store Replay Data (needed for Stats)!"
  • Added explicit multipliers for the different modes (i.e. you see those multipliers in the selections now). Also, added a Toggle for Easy Mode in the Themes screen, to make this more explicit (before, this was implicitly activated or deactivated when selecting the different mechanics).
  • Music Library / Configuration: Renamed useLocalMP3s, pathLocalMP3s and pathLocalSongsJsonFileSystemCache to useLocalMusic, pathLocalMusic and pathLocalMusicJsonFileSystemCache because we support much more than only MP3 now. The old configuration entries are still there because we need them to port the data over, but will be removed at some point in time.
  • Local Music: When scanning for local music, we now do a full recursive search through all folders below the main folder form the configuration, in the case that the initial search only returns a few songs. This is because going directly to the files apparently doesn't work well with folder links.
  • Local Music: Added support for showing album art based on any jpg, png or gif in the folder where the audio file is (usually an album). This is a fallback if we cannot get the album art from the audio file.
  • Local Music: Generating meta-data for 5 "virtual beatmaps" which have different difficulty presets. Also, assigning proper beatmap IDs for those now.
  • Local Music: Added progress for loading audio.
  • Local Music: Added progress for analyzing audio and generating beatmap.
Holodance - jashan
Stuck After Song Bug Fixed

In the previous version, I introduced a bug that you'll see when you have disabled "Store Replay Data" in the Performance Settings.

EDIT: That bug is now fixed via a hotfix I just pushed online this morning.

Local Songs: More Fileformats, Better Orb Placement



So, the actual news are only two bullet points - but if you have a large music library that's not strictly MP3, you'll be very happy about this:
  • Local Songs: We'll no longer call this "Local MP3s" because we now support: mp3 (well, we've had that - but just to be sure people randomly bumping into this don't get confused), flac, ogg, opus, m4a, wma, wav.
  • Procedural Beatmapping: First version of Discookie's placement algorithm. Currently, this is the only option, and we're still working on improving this. In one of the next releases, we'll let you select different maps (aka difficulties) with different algorithms. So if you like the random orb placement from the previous version - don't worry, you'll be able to play this again soon.
I actually learned about Opus because someone asked for it on Reddit, quite an awesome format, this.
Holodance - jashan
This version is available on all branches. I call it alpha because the new features are not quite "feature complete", yet, in other words, those are still being worked on quite heavily. But we're almost in beat with 0.9.0 ;-)

Procedural Maps - Local MP3s
So part of this had already been more or less silently released - but the current alpha now has so many improvements and bugfixes that keeping it silent and on separate branches just wouldn't feel right anymore ... so ...

Most importantly, this version has - as some already have suspected (and has already been talked about in various places) - support for local MP3s. I'll make a more formal, official announcement once this is done. The most important current limitation with this: Unless you have your music in the folder configured in Windows as "Music Folder", you'll have to copy'n'paste the path from the File Explorer into Configuration.json. Obviously, this will change.

Also, we're still working on the algorithm and also on letting you select different difficulty presets. It's marked as "experimental" in the Music Library settings for a reason ;-)

We'll also support more formats than only MP3 (flac, m4a, wma, ogg). For now, it's only mp3.

Mechanic Mods: Laserblade, Beginner Mode
You probably saw them in our previous "release-notes" - this is now half-integrated into the game: The idea is to use your skill-level, or "style skill level" so you can unlock various new gameplay mechanics. We now have a "Beginner Mode" which gives you large orbs, large catchers, and much more tolerance concerning timing. As the name implies, this is primarily for beginners, or if you just want to catch orbs casually. Obviously, this one and the Holodance standard don't have to be unlocked.

The other one that gives you dual wield laserblades. This one isn't quite complete, yet. For now, it only really works with orbs, not with sliders and spinners. Also, you'll have to have reached a certain skill level to be able to unlock it.

Currently, you can select these under Settings / Style / Themes. This will move to its own progression area, which will then also let you track progression with unlocking environments. We will probably have a few more sword-based mechanics (single-hand, sword with shield). We'll also soon have a gun-based mechanic where you'll have to shoot the orbs. The idea is to give you some choice with unlocking, so if you are more interested in guns than in swords, you'll be able to get that first (be warned, though, guns will be by far the most challenging mechanic in the game).

Polishing and Fixes
We have plenty of bugfixes and little "polishings" in this release - see the full release notes for all the details.

Full Release Notes
  • Local MP3s: Accumulated scores are now properly incremented even though we still don't keep leaderboards for procedurally created maps.
  • Leaderboards: In addition to the "Accumulated" leaderboard which basically is a grinding leaderboard, we now also have a "MaxDifficultyFC" leaderboard which has the maximum difficulty of a map that you have full comboed (no single note missed). This is currently multiplied by 1000, so if you have full comboed a map with difficulty 3.534, your "score" would be 3534, and if you managed to full combo the most difficult map (10), you'd have 10000. We may increase this if we significantly change how difficulties are calculated. NOTE: This leaderboard is currently not shown in the game, yet!
  • Audio Engine: For some very odd reason, we had BPM has int. Not anymore.
  • Music Library: Taiko maps now also use the same location normalization that we use for local procedurally generated maps which should make Taiko maps significantly more playable.
  • Music Library: Major fix in how scanning file system for MP3s works. The meta-information for the library should now be much more reliable.
  • Local MP3s: First algorithm update from Discookie.
  • Local MP3s: When going through the selection too quickly, it could happen that procedural beatmapping would deliver incomplete beatmaps. This is now fixed.
  • LIV SDK: Updated to V0.0.2.
  • Party Mode: Cleaned Up Demos
  • Local MP3s: There were apparently quite a few allocations due to code we're not even using. Disabled that code.
  • Local MP3s: Using the file name as hash for beatmaps for now, which is pretty bad but still better than using a constant string. We really need audio finger-printing now.
  • Avatar System: Fixed issue that Avatars moved a little more slowly than controllers causing Avatar hands being behind the controllers during quick movements.
  • Local MP3s: Major update to the algorithm.
  • Music Library: Fixed very nasty issue introduced in previous alpha (only went to alphadev) that caused osu songs to get stalled for 30 seconds before starting to play.
  • Music Library: Fixed a few issues where we did calculations and saving files when we really didn't have to.
  • Local MP3s: Properly updating AudioRecordings when they were updated on file system, instead of creating new ones.
  • Added a play list recording feature that dumps all the songs you played, scores and so forth into a text file while playing, with one text file for each time you started playing Holodance. This is useful if you do streams and want to let your audience know which songs you played when you're finished. This is not the upcoming feature to create playlists for uninterrupted sessions, yet ... but that will also come.
  • Local MP3s: There were still some major issues with library synchronization. The only known issue that remains: When you add and remove MP3s to your library at the same time, Holodance needs to refresh two times until everything is properly recognized. But this should be fairly rare.
  • Songs played list: Including the time when the session was started because otherwise, you only get the days, not the actual sessions.
  • Local MP3s: Fixed a super-annoying bug that caused duplicate to throw off the library synchronization under very specific circumstances.
  • Music Library: Fixed a major performance issue when scanning files.
  • Local MP3s: Small adjustment for orb placement a little more to the center (horizontally) to be less annoying.
  • Skill Ranking: Now using "adapted difficulty" for when you don't full combo a map: adaptedDifficulty = (map difficulty * notesHit * 0.8F) / notesMax
  • No longer using the initial loading scene. While this did improve the initial loading behavior a little, it also increased the loading time, and it was the cause of the particle effects failing after initial startup.
  • Metronome Timings: There were some issues with songs that had different tempi - those are now fixed.
  • General Gameplay: Sliders and spinners now also have particle effects when finished.
  • You now get a little popup message when your skill level improved in a session.
  • Music Library: There were some major issues with filtering in the durations area. Fixed.
  • Music Library: Made lists a little more robust.
  • You now get a little popup message with the current BPM when the tempo changes.
  • General Gameplay: Sporadically, you'd see random orbs appearing at the end of a song. This was very hard to reproduce but for this release, we have changed a few things that *should* fix it, and it didn't happen to me in a long test session after that fix ... so I'm hoping that issue is solved once and for all.
  • Local MP3s: Added algorithm for Sliders and Spinners.
  • Sliders: Fixed issue with path tracers that caused them being all over the place sometimes
  • Orb Themes: Fixed issue that while we persistently stored the selected orb theme, it wasn't re-activated on startup - only when you opened the theme selection UI.
  • Hitsound Themes: We've had them for a very long time - but no way to select another one. So here goes.
  • Fixed Maximum Emission for platform because this was trashing all my videos.
  • Added a prototype for swords, this is available on a separate branch. It will eventually be part of the skill-based progression (so you can unlock this when your skill is high enough).
  • Did a little project cleanup (this doesn't change anything in the built game - but it does making with the project easier during development).
  • Orb Themes: Added a new theme based on the Fireballs we use in Level 10 of Story Mode. Now you can use those as a theme, if you want fire mayhem.
  • Scoring: Added orb theme multiplier for a multiplier that we can use for orb themes that are easier or more difficult to play (e.g. large orbs in easy mode), and mode multiplier that we can use e.g. for "easy mode", which is more tolerant with timing. And also, a catcher multiplier, e.g. for swords which are harder to use. With the catcher multiplier, the average of all caught orbs is used to determine the skill level.
  • Play Area can now be moved forward, back, left and right. One issue with using this feature: In Level 3, Story Mode, the target area (where the orbs arrive) move throughout the play area. This does honor the chaperone bounds that you have set up in SteamVR - but only if you haven't moved your play area with this new feature. So that's something you need to be careful with.
  • Default Target Grid Style is now outline instead of sections - most people don't seem to like that grid all that much, so one that is less in your face will be preferable.
  • Orb Themes can now define their own hitsound themes and if you use an orb theme that defines a hit sound theme, that hit sound theme is automatically selected and you cannot change it. Most orb themes let you use any hitsound theme.
  • Beginner Mode: Added a new "Beginner" orb theme with larger orbs. Also added new, larger catchers. Finally, beginner mode will not let you miss orbs when your timing is completely off. However, beginner mode will also give you significantly lower scores and reduces the maximum skill level you can achieve.
  • Music Library: Fixed bug where faulty filenames could cause the Music Library to show up empty.
  • Progression: Temporary selection of different "mechanic mods" in the Themes area. You can now try the "Beginner" mode, which gives you larger catchers and larger orbs, and also has sliders and spinners converted to regular orbs. This mode also is much more tolerant with timing - you cannot miss orbs based on timing alone. Standard is the usual gameplay mechanic you already know from Holodance. Finally, Laserblade gives you laserblades instead of the catchers, automatically selects the lazers orb theme (but you could also play this with other themes now), activates the timing tolerance and converts sliders and spinners to regular orbs.
Holodance - jashan
First of all: If you haven't opted in to another branch before, this guide will be useful: Opting In and Out of Steam Client and Product Betas. If you want to try this current build, simply pick the "lazers" branch.

And here's what you'll get:
https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=6aNjSNJ9RKs
I have also posted this to Reddit

Back in October 2016, and again in January 2017, I mentioned an upcoming "sword-mechanic" for Holodance here on our Steam Community Forums. The idea is to have a progression in mechanics to give you more variety to play with. We already have environments that you can unlock with a "grinding progression" (your accumulated score). This one, however, is unlocked based on your skill (not on that lazers branch - that's for testing and only has laserblades ;-) ). The full deal is sword & shield, dual wield and eventually, laser-guns. And instead of making this a linear progression, we'll have a kind of "skill-tree", so you can decide in which order the additional mechanics are added.

I had even played with a sword-mechanic much earlier in 2015, while still working with Razer Hydra (primarily as a workaround for the tiny tracking area at that time - but it was easy to see how much fun this would eventually be), and a sword-based mechanic was also suggested to me here on Reddit in 2015 when I posted one of the earliest prototypes. It really clicked, however, when I saw Lightblade VR, a really nice little "practice game". With that, and what I already had in Holodance, it was kind of obvious where this should be going - long before last weekend.

One really tricky thing in game development is prioritizing which item to implement when. Usually, there's a kind of natural order to it, inherent to the development process: First, polish the core mechanics. Then, add skill-tracking. Then add new gameplay mechanics which are based on that skill. Also, make sure to answer feature requests from your players when they fit with the direction you're going. It happens that we are just finishing skill-tracking and procedural beatmapping.

And then came Beat Saber.

Awesome polished game, amazing video! Kudos to the developers, they are doing a great job with this and I'll definitely spend some time playing their game because I think it will be a lot of fun. I'm super happy that this took off the way it did because this will help VR gain more adoption, so that's good for all VR developers.

But as I had seen with Audioshield, even when you show a mechanic much earlier and even get a little bit of press coverage as we did in 2015, most people will think that the game they first heard of was the game that "invented" some mechanic (which in this case now will obviously be Beat Saber because everyone saw it). Not necessarily the game that actually did or was the first actual playable game ... especially when it's nothing but a few mentions in forum postings.

So I decided to get this ready to play with and put it into your hands. Speeding things up a little, like in Speed of Link ;-)

Even though we use a similar weapon, the mechanic we have in Holodance is quite different from Beat Saber. It's the defensive art: Lasers shooting at you that you need to block. As you can see in the video, depending on the beatmap you play, this can be fairly easy, or near impossible. We have a pretty good difficulty metric in Holodance now that will help find fitting matches ;-)

We will have slicing, too, but that's for Spinners, which are kind of rare - and those things are big, and you'll get a chance to slice through it several times (in fact, the more slices, the higher the score - this may even be easier for people to immediately get than how Spinners are spun). Sliders and spinners are not done, yet - but as mentioned above, you can already play what you see in the video, today.

Guns and actual dancing will arrive a little later (as usual, as options for those who enjoy those mechanics ;-) ).
Holodance - jashan
Sorry, can't say more about this, yet.

Experimental stuffz ;-)

We'll have an official announcement next week.

But please let us know in case this breaks anything for you.
Holodance - jashan
After a few days off between the years I'm back in full-development mode. Most of the time, I'm currently working on another little surprise and quite a bit of the foundation work for that is even already in this build, almost completely invisible (you will find it, if you look for it ... but it won't work, yet ;-) ).

Unfortunately, there was one very annoying issue that slipped by me: When you used the library from your local osu! installation, scrolling the lists was extremely slow, causing a very disorienting framedrop-party. Apologies for that!

So that's fixed in this release. Unfortunately, after doing and uploading the build, I noticed that "time dilation is now interrupted" caused a new bug that could time sometimes to get stuck half way back into normal time. I already have this fixed - but doing a build takes about an hour, and it's already past midnight ... so ... the build is running but I'll publish that fix tomorrow. EDIT: That update is now released ;-)

The Music Library not working was a really severe issue that I felt I need to fix as soon as possible. Time getting stuck can easily be worked around by simply switching off Time Dilation. Besides, that specific bug can only happen when you miss two orbs while time dilation is active ... so ... the choice wasn't too hard.

Still, this is kind of an unusual update, so that's the name of it.

Initial (Hotfix) Release
  • Hotfix for Psychedelic Mode: Time Dilation was on by default, because the main checkbox for Time Dilation was ignored. Not anymore.
  • Music Library: Difficulties could be wrong for beatmaps from osu! installation or local songs folder. These difficulties should now also always be correct (also when they were not ranked).
  • Psychedelic Mode: Time Dilation is now interrupted when an orb is missed while time is dilated.
  • Sci-Fi Tunnels: Fixed broken floor material.
  • Music Library: Fixed issue that caused major performance issues and cover art not showing up when using only "Library from local osu! Installation"

Second V0.8.12 Build (release 12 hours later)
  • Psychedelic Mode: Fixed wording - no longer use "Dream Time", use "Bullet Time" instead.
  • Psychedelic Mode: Fixed issue that breaking Bullet Time by missing an orb could result in time staying a little slow.
  • Music Library: Fixed issue where favorites and recently played would show difficulty = 0.00
...

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