Holodance - jashan
Today, we finally finished a new Holodance gameplay teaser which is based on the most recent version of the game (0.7.2). We have also included a few shots from older versions, including some of our Mixed Reality sessions during Gamescom 2016 in Cologne.

Here's the link to the video on Vimeo:

Holodance V0.7.2 Gameplay Teaser (Long Version)

On YouTube, we have both a shorter and longer version (and the shorter version has some audio-issues):

Holodance V0.7.2 Gameplay Teaser (Long Version)

Holodance V0.7.2 Gameplay Teaser

If you'd like to discuss this trailer, you can do so either in our forums or also on Reddit: /r/vive, /r/oculus or /r/virtualreality

This new video (the long version) should also show up on the Steam Store page; but I'm not perfectly sure because I'm already off my office computers and working with a MacBook Pro which doesn't seem to play any trailers on the Steam Store. Otherwise, it's the short version with the audio issues that I had uploaded first. Oh well ;-)

I'm taking a short vacation now, for a meditation retreat until January 4th, 2017. Today and tomorrow, I'll still check for any questions, then I'm offline for a few days. And then, 2017 arrives and will be awesome :-)
Holodance - jashan
This will be the last update this year because I'm starting a one week meditation retreat a few hours from now (yeah, it got late again ;-) ). Most important thing are a few fixes and the new "Expert Settings" which let customize how Sliders look.

Still need to create a new gameplay teaser video with this version ... and it's late ... so ... here's the details:

  • UI: Major cleanup of Pause and Settings UI (some details follow)
  • Pause Menu: Added a way to cancel back to the level (instead of cancelling into the main menu which requires loading the environment again)
  • UI: Renamed "Advanced Style Settings" simply to "Style Settings" to make room for "Expert Settings"; also changed the layout of the UI a little to have more clarity and better consistency between "Settings" and "Pause"
  • UI: Removed "Unlock Available Story" from Settings. This wasn't really useful, consumed space and could cause confusion.
  • UI: Added Expert Settings which are currently mostly used to set Sliders up the way you like them. This is super-experimental and won't stay in the game in the current form. We're looking for your feedback to shape / polish this accordingly. Ideally, we'd like to have one default style that works for most people, and options so people that like a different style can get that as well. Expert Settings also has "Song Skipping" which is what I'll be using to shoot the new gameplay trailer. Something like this will also be available in a polished form primarily for YouTubers that want to shoot a specific section of a song from different angles or in different environments.
  • Level-00-Neutral (default level for osu!-beatmaps): Tweaked visuals of the orb source a tiny bit and made its location persistent, so now when you do "Orb Source Setup" in this environment, the game will remember where you put it. You can use this together with "Orb Timing" (which is how many quarter notes the orbs take to fly towards you after being created) to create different play styles and also work around sloppy physics, if you encounter them (stuff like orbs that you actually should have caught but that were not registered as such).
  • UI: Removed "Score-Factor" from Orb Source Setup because we're currently not using this and will also tweak this value according to player feedback. In the current form, it was only misleading. It will return.
  • UI: Moved "Orb Source Setup" button from main pause menu to Expert Settings. "Orb Source Setup" is only available for very specific environments and is also there primarily to gather feedback from players: Which is your favorite distance / location?
  • Temporarily disabled skipping in levels 2 and 3 (because it was causing unexpected and ugly behavior in those 2 levels and will be fixed with the next animation update)
  • osu!-beatmaps: Fixed another issue in the file scanner that was similar to the one we've had in 0.7.0. This happens with beatmaps that throw off the beatmap parser. Such beatmaps will be ignored for now and give you errors in the log but should no longer crash the file scanner.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Fixed an issue when one osu songs folder has multiple audio files. Holodance was using one audio file for all, which doesn't work in this case. Thanks to Noe for reporting this one, and the file scanner crash above.
  • Added a little trail effect to the controllers; this can be disabled with the particles (I'm assuming that people like the particle effects also like this little trail-effect, hope I'm not wrong but I'm sure you'll let me know if I am)
  • Added full local tracking of songs played, including player movement. This last part is from a replay-feature we've had in the very first prototypes of Holodance but then broke by adding new features and never cared enough to fix it or develop it into something more solid. But that will now be coming fairly soon.
Holodance - jashan
Sorry for being a little spammy with releases - but 0.7.1 is another important one, even if it's fairly small (unsurprisingly, given that we just put 0.7.0 out yesterday morning and 0.7.0b1 yesterday in the evening ;-) ).

The most important thing: The previous Slider updated kind of sucked, so here's another Slider update that hopefully will rock. Just a random note for those interested in these kinds of things: Yesterday, when playtesting Holodance with Camellia - d:for the DELTA, at about 4 am, my head and heart literally almost exploded from joy. No kidding. And there were no drugs involved. Just the pure bliss of hearing awesome beats and moving with the rhythm and seeing those orbs and sliders right in my face. One time, I literally stopped playing and just danced for a minute or so.

Well, ok, um ... enough of that. Here's the dry facts of V0.7.1:

  • Fixed a bug in the file browser that could cause empty lists with full libraries. (that one was already in V0.7.0b1, which really should have been V0.7.0p1 instead of b1 ;-) ).
  • Fixed text color in grouping / sorting drop down list. This was white, should have been orange. Also toned down background because it stood out too intensely.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Major improvements to progress indication and tracking of the osu file scanner.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Using trail renderer instead of particles for Sliders now. This looks much better.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Made keeping data like favorites, last played songs or statistics about played beatmaps more reliable.
Holodance - jashan
Update 1 (2016-12-24, morning): It seems V0.7.0 has a bug in the osu!-browser, so we put this into the beta-branch for now. The default branch now has 0.6.3b2 until this is fixed.

Update 2 (2016-12-24, late night): We have now released V0.7.0b1, which patches the issue in V0.7.0. There still seems to be an issue with keeping favorites and last played songs that I'm investigating, but we've moved 0.7.0b1 to the default and beta branch now, so this is now the current version. There will probably another update this year, with more fixes and polishing, and also some options (not everyone likes the new Slider-style).

Update 3 (2016-12-25, 5am): Ok, the Slider visualization in 0.7.0 kind of sucked. Sorry about that. I think I've got it right now. Doing a build right now and will release that tomorrow when back in the office (builds currently take about an hour; that's another thing that needs to be fixed ;-) ).

So this is a really big one, that's why we moved from 0.6.2, or 0.6.3b2 on the beta-branch directly to V0.7.0: With the new logo, we have redesigned most of the UI. A few screens are still in the old still and we will further polish the UI but the game now has a much more consistent look in terms of what we really want to achieve:

Imagine "dancing in the Holodeck". That's kind of obviously what the "Holo" in "Holodance" came from. The "story-mode" is really just one possible experience you can have while dancing in the Holodeck. And of course, "dancing" just means tuning into the rhythm and freely moving with the music. There's orbs you need to catch, yeah, and curves you need to follow, but we're not gonna tell you how to move because we consider dancing really a free expressive movement of rhythm and joy. Holodeck is kind of sci-fi, so that's what drives the style now. It's a big change and we hope you like it as much as we do!

Then, we have received a lot of feedback regarding our osu file browser. Shuffle (random song selection) did not make it into this release, yet, sorry - but a lot of important changes did: First of all, audio-preview! At last! We were missing that, too. Then, thanks to StreyVolt for many suggestions including adding a Difficulty Filter. You can now finally also add and browse your Favorites as well as browser a list of all Last Played songs. Grouping can be disabled if you prefer browsing a flat list (which now is much faster due to both a scrollbar and first/last buttons).

Also, all filter settings are now persistent, so you don't have to set up everything from scratch each time you enter the game. We love it, and I hope you will, too!

The prototype-slider visualization is now been replaced with spiraling particles that show up right in front of you while the orb arrives. There's more work to be done on this one, but it's hopefully a major improvement over the previous style.

That particular feature didn't make into the story-mode floating curves, yet, but, the story-mode also got some love: We noticed that a lot of people drop out from level 2 to level 3, which is really unfortunate because level 3 is one of our internal favorites. So thanks to the suggestion made by zahntorg, after completing the first track in level 2 you can now immediately skip to level 3. We have also much improved tracking your progress for each track of each song, using an actual "passed flag" for each individual track instead of the progress counter we use for unlocking tracks and levels.

There's a lot more, so here's the full release notes in detail (including the two 0.6.3 beta releases that never made it into the default-branch because 0.7.0 was coming too fast):

  • Added a way to change the orb source location (this currently works in Level-00-Neutral and Bonus-02-Clubbing); we use this to find the ideal distance that the orbs need to pass in the given time but will keep this in the game for your convenience. Reducing the distance makes the orbs arrive more slowly which may make the game a little easier; for that purpose we have added a score factor that will reduce the score per orb based on that distance.
  • osu-beatmaps: There was an issue that closing and opening the file browser caused no songs to be displayed. This is fixed now, hopefully without nasty side-effects.
  • Environments: Bonus-02-Clubbing has been significantly improved. This is still just a prototype - but it's slowly starting to take shape.
  • Story-Mode: For the track-checkmarks in the level/environment selection, we now keep track of the actual tracks played since the last reset. This makes the experience much nicer when you unlock certain levels because the game won't pretend you already have passed levels that you actually didn't pass (which it previously did). Also, this was kind of needed for the "skip to level 3" feature we're adding (otherwise, players could easily miss some of the nicest tracks in level 2). As this feature is new and we hadn't tracked the data in this way before, the game will show no tracks passed, even if you had already passed all tracks. Consider this a nice opportunity to check out the current versions of those tracks. Things may have changed since you last played them :-)
  • Story-Mode: To get from level 2 to level 3, you now only need to pass the first track of level 1. When, after that, you return to the level selection, you get a button to skip to level 3. Thanks to player zahntorg for making that suggestion (we had been wondering how we can make more players enter level 3 because level 3 is really awesome ... this feels like a really good way to achieve that :wink: ). You can (and should), of course, still play all tracks in level 2 because of them teaches you something new. But you don't have to wait as long to get to level 3 as before, so you get more variety of content quicker. This also is in tune with the game being very lighthearted and easy in the beginning, and incrementally getting more difficult and leaving you less choice (in some ways), to underline the arc of the story.
  • Added the current version of the new Holodance-Logo in various places. Our new logo will still get a little more polishing, but it fits the new style of the game so much better than the old one that we just had to put it in. Right. Now.
  • Companion Window UI: Updated the "minimal UI" in the companion Window UI to the our new UI style. Streamer Mode UI is done, too. The other areas will follow over time.
  • Companion Window UI: Finished the loading screen; this now also has a loading progress and consistent UI-style.
  • In-VR UI: Most areas of the game now use a new UI sci-fi style. This is still work in progress.
  • Fixed two bugs related to the multipliers: The magic player hands no longer started rotating faster and the multiplier rings were no longer shown. The reason was that instead of passing the multiplier, 0 was passed in one kind of hard to see place.
  • Renamed "Sandbox-Mode" to "Free Mode". Thanks to zahntorg for making that suggestion!
  • osu!-beatmaps: Made osu! filters persistent across sessions. I got tired of disabling Catch, Taiko and Mania all the time, and probably so did you. Also, the default is now only osu and catch because both of those work very well in Holodance, while Taiko and Mania are kind of a different experience.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Added new lists for last played beatmaps and favorite beatmaps. And, of course, beatmaps can now also be put into your list of favorites.
  • osu!-beatmaps: A faulty beatmap like "504958 Panda Eyes - On My Own\Panda Eyes - On My Own (Plaudible) [Hobbes2's Light Insane].osu" could crash the osu file scanner. Made the file scanner more robust so beatmaps like that will simply be ignored.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Older beatmaps seem to not have beatmapSetId and beatmapId as meta-data. Trying to work around this by using the ID in the folder in such cases. As we also don't have a beatmapId in those cases, we use the difficulty instead. This will make osu-leaderboards much more reliable because before, all maps that didn't have those properties set went into the same leaderboard.
  • Story-Mode: We have now added tracking for when you meet someone very special in the game during Early Access. We'll prepare a little surprise for those who get there.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Now also showing the "beatmap name" with the beatmaps, instead of only the song title, artist and beatmap creator (and difficulty, and game mode).
  • osu!-beatmaps: Fixed various small UI issues, like hover effects being off or too intense, or not properly reverting to "non-hovered state" after selecting something, or the group dropdown not being properly greyed out when disabled and so forth.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause controller vibrations get stuck when pausing the game (resulting in the controller permanently vibrating until you leave pause).
  • osu!-beatmaps: Added a min/max difficulty filter so that you can show only a specific range of difficulties.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Added a scrollbar and paging to first / last page, and a group toggle that lets you disable grouping.
  • osu!-beatmaps: Beatmaps are now always sorted by difficulty.
  • osu!-beatmaps: We're now locally keeping track of score and maximum score of each song and beatmap.
  • osu!-beatmaps: You now get an audio-preview when selecting a song. At last!
  • osu!-beatmaps: Improved detection of the osu songs base folder. This should now work fairly reliably under most circumstances, without any player interaction.
  • osu!-beatmaps: We're now overwriting the position for Spinners that comes from the beatmap. In osu!, Spinners are always centered, and so they should in Holodance. Apparently, some beatmaps had funny locations - thanks to Noe for letting me know.
  • osu!-beatmaps: New Slider visualization. This one is based on particles so you can see through it. Also, it shows up where the player is, instead of flying towards the player (but the orb still flies towards the player).
  • Collision Detection: In the companion (flatscreen) window, after clicking "Activate Full UI", you now see a little panel with two checkboxes to activate Interpolation (this is on by default), or "Always Interpolate" (this is off by default). By unchecking "Interpolate", you should be able to restore the behavior of 0.6.0, which in general should make collisions less reliable (that's why we had changed it) but apparently in some cases does the opposite (we have at least one player that has reliable collision detection with 0.6.0 but not with any version after 0.6.1). "Always Interpolate" will disable a performance optimization where interpolation is only activated when the orbs are in the player area. This is there so we can hopefully further isolate the issue in case disabling "Interpolate" does not help. It overrides "Interpolate", so when you have "Always Interpolate" checked, the state of "Interpolate" does not matter much.
Holodance - jashan
Update: We now have V0.6.3b2, with "release notes" in the forum to avoid patch note spam

For a little while, we pushed our releases both to the beta and default branch at the same time. We also have been keeping a "previous" branch that you can use if we push a release to the default branch that creates a problem for you.

Today, we are becoming more active on the beta-branch again: This is a very small update (keep in mind, the last full release was just two days ago, and yesterday was Sunday ;-) ).

But still, it adds a little tool to two environments that lets you change where the orbs are coming from. We put this in to gather some feedback on which distance you feel is ideal. It also makes testing this much easier for ourselves.

You'll notice a button both in the pause menu as well as the osu-file browser when you use Level-00-Neutral and Bonus-02-Clubbing.

What's also in this beta-branch release is a small iteration on the clubbing level. This version is really just here to get an idea of the rough layout and scale of that level but it already looks less than just a few primitives thrown together in Unity compared to the previous prototype.

And a tiny bugfix for the osu file browser. You should now longer need to use the refresh button to restore the list after you have left and returned to the osu beatmap file browser. Little things can make our lives so much better. I just hope that one didn't break anything (little things often do ;-) ).

Either way, there's more coming soon.

And if you're wondering how you can get this beta-branch-build ... here's a link for you: Opting In and Out of Steam Client and Product Betas
Holodance - jashan
Today's release 0.6.2 has a strong focus on "player flow": Longer time players will immediately notice that the level selection area has been cleaned up quite a bit. Instead of having everything that's available there all the time, you now enter with one new "section" called "Story-Mode", which is right next to "Sandbox-Mode" which is the new name for the area that provides third party content and eventually player-created beatmaps or simply your own MP3s.

You also have the settings in this area, and access to the prototype beatmap editor (which currently is just a viewer and was not even tested for the current release).

What new players will see the first time they play the game instead of going directly into the tutorial in level 1 is now the level selection area. This solves several issues including improved initial loading times and being able to change settings (including the comfort settings) before entering the game. Like, if you hate butterflies (some people do), go into settings / comfort settings to switch those evil insects off in level 1.

When you enter "Story-Mode", you get the 12 environments from what originally was "Episode 1: Dancing with Dragons". There's a fairly big content update coming soon but this release only has bugfixes and polishing. One noteworthy thing that is new is that level 3 now has a button to directly continue with level 6 (because levels 4 does currently not work, and level 5 only has an environment but not its own music), and level 6 has a button to directly continue to level 10. While we still have early access gaps in the content of the story, this should help people not get lost.

Another noteworthy change concerning player flow: The "next track" to be unlocked now has a blue arrow above it, making this mechanic much more obvious (a lot of players actually missed this kind of progression). In the environment selection, the blue track progress now also have an additional state, so now you see which tracks you have not unlocked, yet (empty circle), which tracks are unlocked but not passed (filled circle) and which tracks you have actually passed (orange checkmark). The logic for "passed" assumes you go through the game sequentially and fails if you use the "unlock levels" cheats.

You'll also notice an improved color scheme in some parts of the UI. This is also the first part of something bigger that should land very soon.

We've done a little work on Oculus Touch support and it should actually already work fairly well ... but ... to be honest, I simply haven't had time to set up Rift + Touch here, yet. So, use at your own risk. We'll put more time into this soon.

[EDIT: Oh, and I just shared [url=https://redd.it/5iy258]a fun story about this release on Reddit[/url]]

Here are the full release notes:

  • Changed initial startup player flow: Instead of immediately jumping into the tutorial in Level 1, you now start in the level selection area. This way, you can already review and change settings before entering level 1, and the initial load time for first time players is also significantly shorter. Kudos to Avatar for making the suggestion to change that.
  • Level Selection Area now first lets you select "Story-Mode" and "Sandbox-Mode" instead of directly throwing you into the selection of a level in the story-mode. This is to make the story mode and sandbox mode more equally accessible. We'll always have both but some players like the one better, some the other, and we want to make sure it's a great experience for both. In the next release, we'll let you select the environment for the sandbox mode the same way you can already do it in the story-mode.
  • Story-Mode: Improved how progress through the story-mode is shown: The "next" track that should be played in the current level to progress is now indicated through a large arrow instead of only the text "Next" (which players easily overlook). And in the level selection area, you now get a checkmark for tracks that you have completed because there was confusion when you had a track unlocked (which means you can play it) but haven't had it passed, yet (which unlocks the next track or level).
  • UI Polishing: Replaced the gold material used for the frames in the level selection area with the material also used for the platform; this is a first step towards a more consistent UI and color scheme for the main area of the game.
  • Fixed a bug that broke the initial quality settings recognition and defaulted to 980 Ti. Now the automatic recognition is used for the initial startup (the first time you run the game on a new machine) again, and it defaults to the 970 (lowest) setting, if the gfx card is not recognized. Kudos to Avatar for reporting this issue.
  • Fixed a long standing and very annoying bug that caused the quality settings dropdown lists to only work the first time they were called in a session, and another, related one, that caused the drop down lists in different areas of the game (companion Window UI, in-VR settings and so forth) to not be properly synchronized. Now you can switch quality settings from anywhere and it will just work and display correctly everywhere. At last :-)
  • Did quite a bit of storage space optimization which also should improve load times a little. We have some more significant optimizations coming up in that area but those are not ready, yet.
  • Skybox in level loading screen is now both sharper and more memory efficient.
  • Updated water system to PlayWay Water 2.0 beta 5.
  • Added left / head / right counts to stats shown after a level was played. You might be surprised how many orbs you catch with your head in osu! mode.
  • Added a circle indicating where you should ideally be standing. This moves, when the ideal position moves and is relative to the grid where you should catch the orbs. Currently, this uses the location used for the orbs that are just created; we'll probably change this to the actual arrival location.
  • Story-Mode: Fixed a bug in Level 1 that prevented the platform and controllers to flash up and change colors according to progress in the level.
  • Story-Mode: Polished the level progress color gradients - these are meant to first create a stark contrast with the environment and over time become more and more harmonious with the environment. This is now the case for the first three levels - let us know what you think about those colors.
  • Story-Mode: Added a "continue" button to levels 3 and 6. This way, you can go directly from level 3 to 6 (after completing level 3), and from 6 to 10 (after completing level 6). From 10 to 11, you can just continue as usual. This button will be removed once we have levels 4 and 5 ready but was needed because quite a few people got lost at the end of level 3.
  • Story-Mode: Finally fixed the first track in Level 6; this had a fairly long pause right in the beginning and also some pauses during the track. Added some nice gameplay for this instead, based on the off-beat boop track. Also activated the "door knock" track which was previously missing and can now be used for gameplay.
  • Story-Mode: Levels 6, 10 and 11 had several tracks where no orbs were visible at all. Ouch!
  • Story-Mode: Fixed scale of several objects that were way too big in level 6 (we had already done this in level 7). Now all objects in all water levels should have fairly correct scales.
  • Story-Mode, Level 6: Fixed "floating splines" (aka "floating curves") of track 2 ("DubAndOrgan"). This is just a small fix because it was really broken. The next release will bring a major update for both osu! Sliders as well as the floating spline mechanic in Holodance. This is really overdue.
  • Story-Mode, Level 6: Fixed a scoring issue: The long arcs for the fat synths only gave you 100; should have been 300 and now it is.
  • Story-Mode, Bonus song for level 1: Orbs were coming from random locations instead from Pritvitej's eyes. Fixed.
  • Sandbox-Mode: We currently cannot run levels 4 and 8, so those are temporarily removed from random mode until we have them fixed. I might drop trueSky from the project because it's been way too much trouble. Even though the clouds do look fairly awesome ... when they work.
  • Leaderboards: There was a bug in the leaderboards parser that caused most statistics to not be parsed correctly. This bug is fixed.
  • Integrated Oculus Touch controller models (as we also have Playstation Move controllers which are not supported by OpenVR, we use our own mechanism for selecting the controller models)
  • Switched level loader back to "async". The loading time is actually the same but async should provide better stability while loading and avoid "not responding" messages when checking the game Window.
  • Switched off the "robotic sound" we still had from very early prototypes of the game. This was that "weird sound" you may or may have noticed when the game starts up. It was played when the play area adjusted itself to your physical play area. That's history now.
Holodance - jashan
The most noteworthy fixes are probably that you should no longer miss orbs that you actually caught (I noticed this happening a lot in level 1 when playing in the Unity editor which causes fairly bad performance) and some animation glitches also in Level 1 that are fixed. Furthermore, spinners in the osu! integration should now behave much better.

There's also a major improvement in the party mode: You can now select from various presets and daily highscores are kept per preset, as well as the global highscores.

We also have two new bonus environments but those are actually only very early prototypes. The exciting news about this: We're moving towards Workshop support, so people that know how to build an environment in Unity will soon be able to create content for Holodance. Also, the Sci-Fi bonus level has been significantly improved.

Here are the full release notes:

  • Party Mode: Added a new party mode preset that takes you through almost all environments in about 15 minutes (note: this includes levels 4 and 8 which are currently buggy because we had to activate single-pass stereo rendering which is not supported by our cloud system, yet)
  • Party Mode: Added selection for party mode presets so now you can select which of the presets the next player will play in his session
  • Party Mode: You now have options to keep daily highscores in party mode, and also to show those daily highscores (instead of the global highscores)
  • osu!: Improved "touch detection" for Spinners. This should prevent accidentally grabbing a spinner with the wrong hand. Technical detail: Originally, we used a SphereCollider which resulted in the center going quite some ways towards the player. Now we use a BoxCollider which has the advantage that it's a flat area. Of course, a BoxCollider has a rectangular shape, so it doesn't actually represent the spinner too well. However, given that Spinners are fairly large and player's hands are not quite that long, this should not cause any weird effects like the SphereCollider did.
  • Fixed behavior of flying orbs: We had choppy movement and sometimes missed collisions (i.e. you caught an orb but the game didn't recognize you did) both due to a faulty interpolation settings. This is now fixed. For best performance, we ignore collisions in the early flying phase, so you may not be able to "catch" orbs way too early (but that wouldn't be much fun, anyways :wink: )
  • Multiplayer: Added feature for each player to have their own platform location (multiplayer still is not functional, yet, but this was one very important step of enabling multiplayer)
  • Core Gameplay Mechanics: Polished how FlyingNoteSources work; this is a preparation to give out a simple Unity project so people can easily create custom environments for Holodance. FlyingNoteSources are where the orbs are coming from. We are now also including the template level which demonstrates some of the available features. You can select this (in addition to other bonus levels) via the osu! player (when entering the level; there's a drop down list to select the environment)
  • Sci Fi Bonus Level: Created a much better platform for the player
  • Sci Fi Bonus Level: Changed the locations and sequence of the turrets / cannons for much smoother transitions, making this environment much easier to play than it was before (it did feel kind of unfair before).
  • Club Bonus Level: Super early prototype of this level. The more interesting thing about this is that we now have some fairly interesting means to create rhythmic light and texture effects to make the environment "musically aware" regardless of the beatmap that is currently playing. For now, we have a way to create a rhythmic "light sequence" so that a light can be switched on/off every 16th of a beat, in any pattern, as well as a material switch that can be used to cycle through a list of materials, again, every 16th of a beat, in any pattern. For example: If on the first, 5th, 9th and 13th, the material is cycled, you'll get a new material every quarter note (which usually equals every "beat"). But we could also easily switch only every bar (by only having the first sixteenth checked), or any kind of rhythm.
  • osu!: Changed location of stats after session because they were interfering with the osu! song selection UI.
  • Level Selection: Added "Tutorial" / "Start Fresh (Reset)" buttons for an easier to find way to reset a given level.
  • Level Selection: Fixed a bug that resulted in level images not being greyed out when they were not available, yet.
  • Level 1, Animation Pritvitej: Fixed the glitches in the landing animation (we had one pretty severe jump when that animation started, and another, less severe one after he had landed).
  • Temporarily disabled Levels 4 and 8 because they use trueSky which currently does not work with Single-Pass Stereo Rendering (but we need Single-Pass Stereo Rendering for the volumetric lights effect in the early "clubbing" level prototype to work)
Holodance - jashan
OSSIC X is a very exciting upcoming 3D audio headphone that adjusts to your ears (which is really important for HRTF to properly work). So we're quite excited that they have us featured in their current (October) newsletter.

Here's the link:

Content Creator Spotlight Holodance

If you like it, you'd help us a lot of you'd share this widely! Holodance definitely needs a lot more visibility and we're hoping this is one good step towards that :-)
Holodance - jashan
There's more ;-) ... it's almost 4am and I have to get up at 7am tomorrow, and then am off for 10 days of vacation (meditation retreat, to be precise ;-) ). So I'll keep this short: There's quite a few nice things in this update, once again - but there's also a lot of things I wasn't able to push in to this update.

Most important: osu! Sliders are now fixed and should behave correctly. I have already seen one song where they still do behave weird (Camellia - Let's Jump; awesome song by the way, gives you a really intense workout ;-) ), but most seem to be fine now - so let me know if you find one that's strange.

Release notes in bullet points:
  • Added nice fade outs and fade ins for all audio when loading levels (this was super-annoying up until now) and also when songs start or end early (something we use in party / demo mode). Comparatively small change - much better experience.
  • Made "head-orbs" in Level 3, Tracks 3 and 4 mostly translucent; also fixed some bugs we had introduced there with the new orb themes (those tracks had almost random orbs for hands / head which was very confusing). Also tweaked the head-positions. (edited)
  • Added mechanism to disable platform movement to make the "head orbs intro" in Level 3, Track 3 significantly easier to get into.
  • Fix the long-standing bug that had the track names rotate with the orbs in the track selection (I know, I know, this has been super-annoying, and it's been known for a long time - but fixing this was not as easy as one may think due to the hackish way we originally had set this up). I am so happy that this will no longer annoy the hell out of me. Thank you for your patience!
  • Added a few "jump orbs" right at the end of Track 4 in Level 3; this is the most challenging part with "head orbs" that we'll have in the game (we'll keep this mechanic only for level 3, tracks 3 and 4).
  • osu!: Fixed Sliders - these should now behave almost exactly the same as in osu! (if you find beatmaps where they don't - please post to the forum with the name of the song / beatmap) (edited)
  • osu!: Major redesign of the osu! beatmap browser. There are still a few things missing and there are bugs - but you can now browser by artist, title and difficulty!
  • osu!: Changed main font in file browser to improve readability and support Unicode artists and titles properly. NOTE: We dropped Unicode support for now because the font we picked actually didn't support the full Unicode character set. (edited)
  • Removed "osu! tutorial" from songs to select from because this cannot really be played inside Holodance
  • osu! Spinners no longer work with your head. In other words: You cannot have your head stuck to them anymore :wink:
  • osu!: Taiko beatmaps now use their beatmapID as seed so that they should play with the same locations each time. This is a first step towards making Taiko beatmaps much more fun to play in Holodance (there's more improvements to come).
  • osu!: Now showing number of songs (new) and number of beatmaps in alphabetical list - only having the beatmaps there was really confusing!
  • osu!: Fixed problem when images are located in a subfolder (thanks to Mokiki for making me aware of this issue).
  • osu!: No longer showing the song titles while loading because this doesn't really help and can cause frame stutters when using Unicode.
  • Added new Tickle-Animation for Pritvitej (you have to find out on your own how to trigger that one ... there's an achievement waiting, and it's different from how it used to be in the earlier versions of the game)
  • Fixed TrueSkyCameras in Levels 4 and 8 - those had a flipped view (except the VR camera which was set up correctly), which broke streaming / recording videos (or making screenshots)
  • Once again, improved handling of companion view UI and and in-VR UI: When a mouse button is pressed, the companion view UI is always activated; when laser pointers are activated, or the trigger of a controller is pressed, the in-VR UI is always activated. There's still the possibility of a person sitting at the computer griefing the VR-player, or the other way round (if that makes any sense :wink: ), but the solution should be much more robust than the previous one. IMPORTANT: You will now usually have to click into the game window (companion Window, on the flatscreen) to be able to use that UI. In VR, it should always work but in case it doesn't, you should be able to make it work by pressing the trigger.
  • Fixed "dismiss buttons" for osu! and editor levels (these now point left, which is where the image goes when you dismiss it)
  • Fixed a fairly nasty but that caused terrible performance in Level 6 for no good reason (this was debug-logging left in there, ooops)
Holodance - jashan
Few days, few fixes - this is a small but important update that fixes one rather severe issue we've had with the osu! beatmap support: In the initial version, it only worked when you had the osu! songs in the standard osu! installation folder. I knew I wanted to change this at some point but I wasn't aware how much this limitation sucked ;-)

The solution in V0.5.9 is far from perfect: You need to set this up in the companion Window, by copying the full path into a textbox (you can either go via the button "Activate Full UI" and then check "Paths" (a checkbox below the player height calibration area). Or, when you run into this, there's a button below the "install osu!" button.

Another really important fix was with the osu! folders caching. Again, I was aware that the previous implementation had some limitations (and even the current implementation has some) but it was much worse than I thought. So that's also fixed.

A few more smaller changes:

  • The loading screen now shows which level (environment) is currently being loaded
  • Loading could get stuck when you were in the SteamVR dashboard while loading; there is now a message in the companion Window that tells you about that (of course, you don't see this while in VR - but it helps if you think loading got stuck after settings things up properly for the osu integration ... I know because I ran into this ;-) )
  • Now always scan files when entering osu! integration - usually, this is just a very quick check to see if anything has changed, so it should be safe to do this.
  • Added a rather hacky way to configure various paths; currently used for the osu songs base path and the local highscores (this is the file where highscores from party mode are stored). The way you use this is by finding the path in the Windows File Explorer and copying the path over. We'll add a real in-VR file browser, too, but we needed a quick fix so everyone can play their osu! songs, even when they are not in the default folder.
  • Fixed render-scale: The values we had used were way too high, causing a potentially severe performance impact
  • UI: Removed a few buttons that shouldn't have been in there
  • Disabled direct access to Level 12 (oops ;-) )
  • Re-enabled subsurface scattering in water
  • Did a little bit of polishing on the companion Window
  • Fixed a bug that caused level environments to not be properly unloaded - that was a really nasty once and a good reason to do a hot-patch (I had this one in a hotfix release out already about a day ago)

Oh, and in case you missed it - we have a video withosu! Beatmap Gameplay in Holodance V0.5.8 (Reddit link ;-) ).

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