Community Announcements - The Lab Team
Developing games is hard. When you add in the unique challenges brought on by an entirely new medium, it is arguably even more so. Last October, several members of the team behind The Lab gathered at Steam Dev Days to talk about the experiments, difficulties, failures and successes that ultimately led to The Lab's creation. We thought some of you might enjoy this peek into the process:

Developing “The Lab”

If you’d like to see more talks from Steam Dev Days, you can find them all here.
Community Announcements - The Lab Team
  • Oculus Touch users can press the X and A to rotate in place, 90 degrees left or right.
  • Fixed issue with Korean subtitles displaying the wrong language in Slingshot
  • Localization update
Community Announcements - The Lab Team
  • Longbow: Barrels and Oil now respawn when Wave 1 begins
  • Longbow: Fixed a rare bug where The Lab would hang if exiting to the miniature view with only one controller turned on
  • Xortex: During the title screen, the drone now instructs players to "Defend your ship"
  • Engine updates to improve performance and stability
  • Localization update
Community Announcements - The Lab Team
  • Fixed a lighting bug in the hub
  • Updated localization
Community Announcements - The Lab Team
Update 1
  • Engine updates to improve stability and performance
  • Fixed a bug which could prevent Slingshot from loading when playing in certain languages
  • Updated localizations
Update 2
  • Fixed a lighting bug in the hub
Update 3
  • Rolled back the lighting bug fix in Update 2 as it was causing the "Headset Not Found" screen to appear if not running the SteamVR Beta.
Community Announcements - christen
  • Fixed an issue in Xortex Infinite which caused certain enemy types not to properly self-destruct after a time out. Unfortunately, as this bug could impact scoring, we have reset the global leaderboard for Xortex Infinite.
  • Fixed the ‘-longbow’ launch command not properly starting the player inside the full scale castle
  • Fixed a missing localization string in the hub and in Longbow
  • Updated localization files

    Also, a reminder to players that Leaderboards can be found on the web from The Lab’s Steam Community hub under ‘View Stats’ -> ‘Global Leaderboards’, or directly at this URL:

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Philippa Warr)

It upsets me that I associate the phrase “Appliance of Science” with Zanussi because it means that at least one of my chances to create a treasured childhood memory was co-opted by a white goods manufacturer’s advertising campaign. ANYWAY. Appliance Of Science is also the name of Valve’s new update to The Lab [Steam link] – its VR experiment anthology.

The big thing? It’s adding competitive global leaderboards for Longbow (the archery one), Xortex (the space shootery one), and Slingshot (the box explodey one).

There are also a number of changes to the modes. I’ll list them out at the end but here are the basic points to note:

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - christen

Update News
What's science without a little competition? Why, it's barely science at all! That's why we applied some science to The Lab and created the Appliance of Science Update, introducing a spirit of bloodthirsty competition to the world of ethically questionable research.

Now you can compete with your fellow test subjects on the new global leaderboards for Longbow, Xortex, and Slingshot, and prove to the world that you're the best at science. But hold on to your grant money, because we didn't stop there. We've also made a bunch of gameplay adjustments to all three games.

Longbow now features an unlimited number of enemy waves, along with a new scoring system to reward slaying enemies, nailing headshots, popping balloons, and more. Each successive wave includes more enemies, who will move faster and have an increased chance of wearing armor. Your exploding barrels and oil cauldrons reset every eight waves, so be sure to use them!

Xortex now offers a brand new way to play, Xortex Infinite, with progressively more frantic action as you maneuver your drone to collect powerups, increasing your score multiplier while gunning down enemies. Xortex Infinite also replaces the Laser with a powerful Bomb, which destroys all nearby threats. Use it wisely, however--detonating your Bomb also resets your score multiplier.

Finally, the rebalanced Slingshot will present you with new core calibration career opportunities. Wipe out the Aperture Storage annex with bigger, better barrel explosions, as well as a host of scoring adjustments to help you solidify your place as a world class calibrator.

Speaking of world class, the Appliance of Science Update also adds support for subtitles and text localization, along with a host of other additions and improvements. You can read all about those in the patch notes.

The Appliance of Science Update is now included in The Lab, available for free on Steam. So strap on your headset, grab your Nobel Prize or other favorite blunt object, and populate those leaderboards with your own empirical data, for science!

Longbow Updates
  • Longbow now features infinite waves and a global leaderboard, visible on the rear tower
    • The first 8 waves are the same. From wave 9 onward, enemies slowly become faster, more plentiful, and have an increased chance to wear armor
    • There is a break every 8 waves
    • Oil Cauldrons and Exploding Barrels are restored after each break
    • New scoring system added which awards points for enemy kills, headshots, popping red balloons from enemies if gate health is full, remaining oil or barrels at wave end, and for completing a wave.
  • Fixed several cases where enemies would get stuck as they tried to walk past each other
  • Using the -longbow launch command now places the player directly into the game, skipping the approach to the miniature
Xortex Updates
  • Added Xortex Infinite, a boss-free score attack mode with a global leaderboard visible at game over
    • Picking up powerups increases a score multiplier. The maximum multiplier is 10
    • Super Laser replaced with a Bomb which destroys nearby enemies, charged by picking up 2 powerups
    • Using the Bomb resets your score multiplier
    • Enemies and bullets become progressively faster with time
    • Added a new enemy which appears in Xortex Infinite and Classic: The Spinner, which spews bullets from its front and behind as it spins
  • Enemies in Xortex now heat up and glow as they take damage, and then begin to heal over time
  • Certain enemies die automatically if left alive for too long
  • Scoring removed from Xortex Classic
Slingshot Updates
  • Rebalanced Slingshot, and added a global leaderboard visible above the conveyor belt
    • Adjusted point yields for towers, barrels, and tracer core boxes
    • Adjusted points needed to earn an extra core
    • Barrel explosions are now more powerful
    • If all platforms are cleared, any remaining cores will yield bonus points
Other Updates
  • Added voice subtitles and text translations for several languages for the Intro, Hub, Slingshot, Robot Repair, and Secret Shop. The language is set by your current Steam language. Subtitles can be toggled on and off by using the panel in the title scene.
  • Added a scene selection dropdown interface to the monitor's viewer window
  • The computer screen viewer window can now be set to full screen with a launch parameter: -fullscreen
  • Added more scene selection launch parameters for the Lab, Secret Shop and Robot Repair: -hub, -secretshop, -robotrepair
  • There is now a haptic controller response when petting Fetchbot. Who's a good bot?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Richard Cobbett)

Like most people who can’t resist casually mentioning they have an HTC Vive, I recently acquired a HTC Vive. Finally, I have the ability to personally step into worlds of wonder and creativity more realistic and inspiring than anything mankind has ever created before. Instead, I’ve… uh… been playing mini-golf. Like, a lot of mini-golf. The one VR experience I could literally have better and at higher resolution by getting up going into my own town, only that wouldn’t be cool, because I wouldn’t regularly float over cliffs as I cack-handedly putt-putt away like I’m trying to join a parade.

I have no idea if virtual reality is the next big thing or just a passing fad. Even as potential fads go though, I can’t wait to see what it has in store for RPGs. As long as it’s not giant spiders in my face, obviously, I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Philippa Warr)

Last night I spent about 20 minutes faffing about with The Lab [Steam link] which is that collection of little VR experiences and arcadey games Valve offer you free of charge for Vive. I then proceeded to have an utterly weird, fake seeing-the-Matrix experience.

… [visit site to read more]


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