Late For Work - SalmiGames
Hey friends,

Our new game GrowRilla just launched in Early Access. Please check it out! We also just released the launch trailer. Honestly, I'm proud of what we accomplished both on the game so far and with the trailer given our shoe-sized budget.



Special Discount!
We're also excited to be able to follow through one of our original goals with Late For Work and our VR games: to continue to reward early supporters who believed in us or invested in us from the early days. We did it with Late For Work by raising the price over time, early supporters would get the best deal. Now we've setup a "complete the set" bundle. This is effectively a launch discount exclusive for owners of Late For Work. This bundle will only be active for a limited period during launch.

Thank You
Thank you again for all your support. Please help us make the GrowRilla launch a success by wishlisting the game, telling your friends about it, and, dare I say it, even buying it and leaving a review? We can't wait to read your reviews and feedback so we can make the best possible game.
Late For Work - Yac
Hi friends,

We want to share a bit more detail about why we're moving on from Late For Work. We first wrote this post a bit defensively, but the overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received since the 1.0 release makes us really appreciate the community around our game. Thank you for being so supportive. The positive reviews and feedback have been a joy to read for the entire team.

Why are we stopping work on Late For Work?

This game has been super satisfying to make. We think local asymmetric VR games is extremely under-served but unfortunately, after 2+ years on this project we understand a bit better why there aren’t more:
  • Making a stable VR game with local multiplayer is extremely hard. Like really technically hard, just recognizing and handling all the different input schemes and not crashing. Never mind all the gameplay balancing.
  • Most players play VR on their own. This means our target audience is a fraction of the VR market.

The frank reality is that LFW doesn't make enough for us to justify us continuing to work on it (or even the past year's worth of updates). All in all, as of July 13thth, we sold 2,417 units for a net income of $22,575. That's...actually not bad for a local multiplayer VR game. But it's not enough to justify even one person working on it full-time for 2+ years.

When we started this game, we didn't really think about this potential financial downside too much. We wanted to make a fun, social (in the classic sense) game that people could enjoy with their friends, that parents could enjoy with their kids. We're a small indie studio trying to make a mark in VR games. LFW was a fun idea and a way to deepen our skills in VR.

We haven't sold nearly enough copies to justify the investment we made developing this game, let alone continuing to support it. In order to keep operating as a studio, to keep making games, we need to start focusing on the financial side as well.

This is one reason our next game GrowRilla will be single player focused. We want to target the largest possible market. We hope you'll check it out and wishlist it.

Let's dig a little bit into the challenges we faced...

Local VR Multiplayer is Hard

We've observed the local multiplayer scene for the past two years. There are actually quite a few really great games. Check out this awesome list! But what we learned is that it's really hard to make a local multiplayer VR game, let alone a stable one with 4 player support, hot-swapping, keyboard + gamepad (and all sorts of gamepads). It's like making two separate games.

Testing alone took so much time. Check out our QA sheet. This represents just our official test list. A lot of multiplayer related bugs would only get caught after a lot of rounds of testing and trying to break things.

We're proud of where we stand in comparison to the other games out there, especially in terms of stability and fun. But oh man was it a hard and sustained challenge.

Our Codebase Got Complex

Late For Work first started out as a prototype and evolved from there. We're experienced dev but VR was a new area with unique challenges. Our codebase went through a LOT of evolutions as we figured out VR, physics issues, controller issues, player management, all the vehicle controls, the SteamVR plugin, the OculusVR plugin and so on.

Further, the nature of the game required a lot of experimentation to create new game modes. This all happened on the same codebase. Next to the 7 game modes live in the game today we also have half a dozen sitting around unfinished (including a gokart version, a tower defense-like, humans hoping in and out of vehicle and multi-stage missions). We also used the same codebase to prototype bigger experiments for future projects that haven't seen the light of day:
  • A single player story mode
  • A sandbox town simulator with giant gorilla doing odd jobs around town to make ends meet (this one was waaaaay too ambitious)
  • online sandboxes
  • an action game where you take revenge on your tormentors and you get bigger every time you eat. Sounds familiar?

Unfortunately this has become a big delicate mess of code (in spite of our best efforts to refactor and think ahead, and trust me, we spent a lot of time cleaning up). It's harder to make changes without breaking things. We're stuck on an outdated version of Unity without modern goodies like nested prefabs, too scared to upgrade because past experiences have shown us it takes so much work to fix up after.

So we want to start new and we have. We're working on a new project on a fresh codebase with all our learnings from LFW applied. It's a liberating experience for our team. We're so much more productive, possibly an order of magnitude more efficient.

Let's be clear, LFW is near and dear to us all. We love this game and enjoy firing it up on a Friday afternoon. We feel that with all the game modes and maps there's something for everyone. And we feel we've left it in a solid state. And, again, we will keep monitoring feedback for critical bugs.

So, the future of the game: this is a 1.0 release. For us, the game is mostly done. There's a ton more we would like to add, but then we will never be able to focus on the next game.

What about online?

Many players have requested this. And we agree, it would be genuinely fun. We would love to have added online but it's such a time and cost commitment without a guarantee it will pay off even if we produce something great. Getting that critical mass of players and/or really convincing bot behaviors is not a trivial effort. Online is an area we really want to focus on in future projects, but shoehorning it to LFW would have been a massive project.

We've observed other similar games introduce online and be forced to remove it due to the instabilities it introduced and the backlash from the players (both for instability and for removal).

Online is something we're continuously experimenting with, also for our next projects, but we're not going to release anything until we're confident it's going to be a net positive for everyone (stable, fun, sustainable).

How To Support Us
So those were some of the technical challenges we faced making Late For Work. We’re now focusing on our new game GrowRilla (and a few other prototypes). Late For Work has been a long and incredible journey but we are relieved to put it behind us and focus on fresh ideas on a fresh codebase.

If you've read this far it means you've probably bought one of our games and enjoy it, so first of all: thank you, we can't really ask you for more. But if you want to help us keep making games, then the best way:
  • Leave us a review
  • Buy and wishlist our other games
  • Tell other people about our games

Thank you for reading!
Late For Work - Yac
Dear Friends,

Today we are super excited to announce the 1.0 release of Late For Work and our exit from Early Access. After 23 months and 13 major updates, we are proud to release the biggest update to Late For Work yet. We also want to share our plans for the future, for Late For Work and for our next VR games but first let's go over what's in our 1.0 release!



1.0 Content Update: Polish, Polish, Polish!

Our 1.0 update is focused first and foremost on providing a stable and polished core experience. We invested a lot of effort testing the game and fixing bugs. Most (all?) of the recent player-spawning weirdness from the last updates are gone now. We've also fixed a number of other annoyances, please see the full changelist at the bottom for details.

We’ve improved and polished the UI in every game mode to better convey the score and relevant information for each game. We also updated all the visual UI assets.

We spent time going over each map. The town and seaport maps have been pretty good and balanced for a while but the valley and the snow map needed some love. Both maps are more fleshed out, with a bigger play area, more content, and more places to hide and explore. We also did a full visual color grading pass on the game.

New Game Mode: Ape Escape

We added another whole new game mode! Finally, the gorilla has been cut down to size and the tables have been turned. The now normal-sized gorilla has to evade capture from the mad scientists (non-VR players), who are hunting the gorilla and trying to capture the gorilla in their special oversized nets. Slam down your net and secure the gorilla to win. We call this beautiful game mode… Ape Escape!

Here's a funny GIF of the game mode we wish we could directly embed in this post: https://i.imgur.com/68bk6iU.gif


Gorilla Body 2.0
The gorilla has a body, finally! We've also redone the model to be more...gorilla-esque and consistent with the overall art style. The new gorilla chest is also a hit box and more easily hit from plane and tank shots. It also makes it much easier to spot the gorilla from a distance. We also experimented with a dynamic chest inclining algorithm. We think it works pretty well, we hope you like it too.



What’s Next?

With this 1.0 release, we will scale down our efforts on Late For Work. While there are tons of ideas we would still love to implement, we have decided to focus on new VR games projects to have a better shot at supporting ourselves financially. Late For Work has been an incredibly fun project to work on, but unfortunately it’s not very financially viable.

We will be monitoring feedback on the game and we will of course fix any annoying bugs but please don't expect major new content for the game (unless the sales numbers drastically spike or say, this post gets 500 upvotes or maybe we get to a hundred reviews? That would really motivate us).

In the meantime, we have started working on a new game called GrowRilla and it would mean a lot to us if you add it to your wishlist. For all of you who own a copy of Late For Work, we’re working on setting up an exclusive discount on GrowRilla as a small thank you for your support of our studio.

Stay tuned in the coming days for another update where we dig a bit more into our plans for the future, discussing our sales numbers and why we’re moving on from Late For Work.

How To Support Us
If you're reading this far it means you've probably bought one of our games and enjoy it, so first of all: *thank you*, we can't really ask you for more. But if you want to help us keep making fun VR games, then the best ways to support us are:
  • Leave us a review
  • Buy our other games
  • Tell people about our games

Thank you as always. It’s been a fun ride.

Changelog - Build 628

Improvements
  • Gameplay: Valley and mountain map received a massive overhaul
  • Gameplay: new Ape Escape game mode
  • Gameplay: Single player missions health has been adjusted to be more generous
  • Gameplay: Tank shots now have a larger impact radius and more force behind them
  • Gameplay: Changed how spawning for non VR players work in the tutorial, so you are now able to always respawn as a car
  • Visuals: The gorilla now has a new head and body for you to shoot at
  • Visuals: All maps now have improved color grading
  • Visuals: Added sidewalks to all maps
  • Visuals: You can now switch seasons in the menu
  • Visuals: Updated the desktop icon
  • Visuals: All UI icons of the old gorilla head, tanks and planes have been updated with their new counterparts
  • Usability: Multiplayer tab is now more prominent and always the default activated tab on startup
  • Usability: Removed the experiments tab as most experiments were broken
  • Usability: The menu is now less likely to be blocked by ingame objects when you open it
  • Usability: Updated the result menu to display information better
  • Audio: Reduced the noise planes make
  • AI: Improved car AI, better at hiding from the gorilla
  • UI: Updated text for non-VR players when the gorilla is in the menu
  • UI: Non-VR player UI got updated (now in the top center and displays information better)
  • UI: In-game UI is now hidden while you are in the menu
  • UI: Removed the death counter in hide & seek as it served no purpose and was blocked partly by the timer
  • UI: Non-VR player UI now displays how many VIPs are left in bodyguard mode
  • UI: Non-VR player UI now displays numbers of targets collected as well as number of UFOs destroyed in UFO mode

Fixes
  • The billboard in the “save the city” single-player mission displays the sustained damage correctly again
  • Fixed a bug where cars would drive off the road for no reason
  • You are no longer able to start a round of bodyguard when there are no other players
  • Fixed a bunch of broken disguises in last man standing
  • Fixed a bug where non VR players were assigned no unit in bodyguard mode
  • Fixed an issue where one player would control two vehicles in the tutorial
  • The font for the plane ammo no longer increases in size over the course of a match
  • Tanks no longer spawn inside of objects
  • Tanks no longer get stuck on lampposts lying on the ground
  • Fixed a bug where tanks would drop through the level on american city, but would still be able to drive around and hit the gorilla
  • The game no longer resets the gorilla’s height when you eat something while ducking
  • The menu text is no longer obstructed by the “back” button
  • Fixed a bug where the UI would display keyboard controls for controller players
  • The game mode descriptions are no longer missing when you start the game
  • Fixed a bug where two players would spawn with the same plane
  • Fixed a bug where you could boost yourself into the air in the victory screen, even if you weren’t being held by the gorilla
  • UFO mode no longer has out of season UFOs
  • The menu no longer clips into the ground and thus hides the “quit” and “tutorial” buttons
  • Fixed a bug where you wouldn’t lose the bullrun gamemode as gorilla even if you ate too many innocent cows
  • The “restart” button no longer appears if you went back in the menu, even if you never started a game mode
  • Fixed some physics issues in the bodyguard game mode
  • Fixed a bug where no AI players would join in hide & seek mode
  • Fixed a bug where some humans would not count as collected in UFO mode
Late For Work - Yac
Hello friends,

We've just pushed out a super massive content update just in time for Christmas. OK, we may be exaggerating...a lot. Let's start again.



We just pushed out a small patch fixing a few bugs that appeared with the last update. It should clean up and fix a few issues regarding the Christmas mode (which you should definitely check out). We've also improved the collision shapes on a number of our new buildings and fixed a bug with some annoying repetitive sounds when you play Hide n Seek. Below you can find the full list of changes we made.

We hope you enjoy Late For Work with your friends and families over the holidays!

Changelog - Build 580

Improvements
  • Improved physics on multi story buildings
  • Improved collision on buildings
  • Added some missing Christmas trees and presents to all maps
  • Fixed/implemented the flying billboard scoreboard in the Hill map (bodyguard mode)
  • Added additional ammunition power ups to the mountain map


Fixes
  • You could join the bodyguard game mode even if there were no players available
  • No longer play the “you found an item” tune every time you restarted the Hide & Seek game mode
  • Gorilla player didn’t actually lose after eating an innocent human in the Bodyguard game mode
  • The snow from our Christmas update is no longer pink
  • Fixed some spawns for the tanks on the mountain map, no more tanks getting stuck in barns
  • Hide the debug menu, oops
Late For Work - Yac


Hello Friends,

November is over, which means Christmas is right around the corner. Before we head into the holiday season, we wanted to get out one more Update for Late For Work. This one focuses on fixing a whole bunch of issues that many players have brought to our attention. We are always very glad for your Feedback!

Improved Controller Support

Late For Work will now work with almost any controller. We tackled this bug after this review from one of our players. We improved the way the game recognizes USB controllers and it should work for pretty much every controller out there. Some may have to be mapped correctly with Steam Big Picture before use however, please check out this guide.

Also we noticed that we (inadvertently) disabled inputs when the game’s window was not in focus. This means if you clicked away (perhaps on a dual screen while streaming) or a random windows pop-up appeared then you could lose controller input. This should also be fixed now!

If you still experience controller issues, please let us know on the forums or in Discord.

Additional Art Polish

Remember when we said that almost everything is new in the last big art update? Well now actually everything is new! Almost. We worked some more on the last few models that survived our art overhaul. This includes mainly the Cows (now properly distinguishable as bulls and cows), but also some other tweaks like improving the tanks (again).



When we replaced the car models in last release, we didn’t really pay attention to scale. Well, only insofar as the cars to the humans. For the cars to be big enough for the humans, they ended up being as big as the tanks. Long debates ensued on whether we should address this. Tweaking the scale of the tanks affects everything: controls, projectile strength, ease of cover, AI behavior.

But we couldn’t stand the idea of tiny tanks, so we scaled them up and fixed up all the ensuing consequences.



UI Improvements

This one has been on our todo list for a while and we are happy to have finally finished it. In-game UI should do a much better job of showing what is going on, current health, current score and so on. The Gorilla’s health and flat players’ lives are now clearly displayed at the top of the screen for the flat players, while the billboards show the same info for all players.

Also we’ve tweaked quite a bit the other “help” messages that appear to be less annoying and more context relevant. Specifically, the “reset camera with Z” message should appear less often. We also added some visual clarity to the “motivating” feature in the bull run mode to make it easier for players to understand its effect. Thank you for all the feedback on this one.

Twitch Chat Integration

This is something we wanted to integrate ever since we saw the first SnuggleTruck videos last year. We actually prototyped something 7-8 months ago but never wrapped it up because of the thousand other things to fix and improve. But, for this release, we wanted to include our first twitch chat experiment. This is as a small thank you to one of our nicest players, Mr. Pontus, who’s given us endless feedback (we know this is not “online support”, but let’s consider a first small step in that direction).

We’re not sure how many players want such a feature, but if this interests you, check it out. It’s still pretty basic, but play around a little bit and give us some feedback where you’d like to see us take it. https://discord.gg/salmigames

Of course there is much more than that. Many bugs have been fixed with this update as well. The full list of changes is below.

Changelog - Build 567

Improvements
  • Controls: more responsive cow movements, especially when slowing down
  • Controls: Added support for pretty much every USB controller
  • Visuals: added new models for the cows and bulls
  • Visuals: scaled up tanks so they are not the same size as the cars
  • Visuals: new map preview images with the latest art models
  • Visuals: added particle effects to a lot of objects when they are destroyed
  • Gameplay: rebalanced the health of a lot of game objects since some would never get destroyed (looking at you, barn roof)
  • Gameplay: changed Hide & Seek so that the gorilla automatically picks up items of players they destroy
  • UX: Changed the “reset camera with X” message to not appear all the time
  • UX: the “press X for help” message will now display if nothing else is being pressed
  • UX: changed the look of the aiming reticle for planes to make it more visible
  • UX: added some visual clarity to the “motivate” feature in bull run to make it visually clearer which cows are affected by it
  • Gameplay: gorilla will now lose the bull run game mode if he eats / destroys too many innocent cows
  • Systems: refactored game mode system to make it easier to add new game modes
  • Systems: “Capture VIP” game mode has been properly renamed to “Bodyguard”
  • Audio: when a witch picks up a human / cow in the halloween version of the UFO invaders mode she will give a maniacal laugh (you’ll have to wait for next halloween to experience that!)

Fixes
  • Barn roof would fail to destroy vehicles
  • Players could not join single player missions correctly
  • Billboard plane was missing its model
  • Bottom of the tank turret to not be see-through
  • Fixed the center of mass for the cows, so that they are rotating correctly when thrown into the air (thanks reddit)
  • Humans in the credit level now look in the right direction
  • Fixed a bug where AI enemies would join a game even when the AI was turned off
  • Ffixed the tutorial level so that the cars don’t collide with parts of the ground
  • Fixed a bug where the gorilla’s hand would sometimes teleport to a random location which resulted in the gorilla moving at mach 10 super speed
Late For Work - Yac


Hello Friends!

We are back with another big content Update for Late For Work. Just in time for the spooooookiest time of the year. This is actually one of our biggest updates yet, a lot has changed under the hood. Let’s dive in!


New Art

Everything is new! Well not quite everything but we’ve finally been working with professional artists to not only set a clear direction but rebuild all our 3d models and texture to fit with the overall 50s low-poly style we are aiming for. Improvements includes:

  • New Humans! Now with a multitude of facial expressions, skin colors and clothes! Hundreds of beautiful variations. No more programmer-art humans.
  • New Cars with a new, slick design that fits our 50s theme waaaay more
  • New Buildings! Having 300% more colors and details!
  • New Enemy Tanks & Planes! Looking more realistic and threatening.

and much more. We updated the look of almost every object in the game and can honestly say that we love the new look of the game. We hope you do too.

We also streamlined our pipeline and processes for updating our art assets, so expect further visual improvements over the next few updates.



New Halloween Content

It’s the spookiest time of the year and we couldn’t help but have a little bit of fun with it. We’ve implemented a bunch of truly horrifying Halloween content. We’ve added spooky lighting. We’ve messed the humans and zombified / vampirified / mummified / skeletonified them. We’ve also scattered a bunch of jack o’ lanterns and other special items across the game. The gorilla dressed up for the occasion and witches may or may not abduct some cows.

These features will be around for the whole scary season, just like our Christmas special. We hope they won’t spook you too much.



New Game Mode - The Bodyguard

Adding a new game mode was on our wishlist for this Update. Our latest addition to the roster is “Bodyguard” (in a nod to our favorite Kevin Costner movie). The flat players take control of regular-looking humans and have to kill a handful of VIPs that the gorilla in turn is trying to protect. It’s their job to blend into the crowd and assassinate the VIPs without detection, while the gorilla has to keep a close eye on the targets to identify who is friend and who is foe.

This game mode idea originated directly from conversations with fans in our Discord channel. Thank you to @Pontus for some great feedback. We hope you’ll also join our Discord and help us make the best possible VR party game.

We’ve tested this game mode in-house for a while and found it to be very fun. It still needs some balancing, especially for very high or very low player numbers, but it is quite enjoyable. Let us know what you think! We’ve got lots of little ideas on how to enhance it, little modifiers like smoke bombs or one-time weapons but we want to hear from you.

And that concludes our Halloween Update. We’d love to hear your opinion on the game and the new changes. To reach us directly and get special insider infos on upcoming updates, make sure to join our Discord.

Cheers,
Salmi Games

Changelog - Build 540

Improvements
  • Gameplay: balanced UFO game mode based on the number of flat players. Time limit and kill target are dynamically adjusted.
  • Gameplay: new game mode “Bodyguard”. VR player defends VIPs, flat players must kill them without being noticed
  • Gameplay: new “vehicle” control type: human mode
  • Gameplay: in the tutorial, flat players can now respawn after they die
  • Gameplay: re-balance the time limits of Last Man Standing and Hide n Seek based on the number of opponents. Army wave timing also change based on number of opponents
  • AI: improved cow pathfinding
  • AI: improve AI hiding behavior in Last Man Standing
  • Art: implement new models for humans, with different body parts that can be easily swapped out, dynamically generated
  • Art: implemented new models and textures for all houses and buildings with a new system to dynamically mix and match house combinations for a different look on each playthrough
  • UI: improved helper text and tips for how to use freelook camera for various vehicles
  • UI: show multiplayer menu first instead of single player
  • Physics: reworked grabbing objects, collision system, throwing system for more stability and more accurate controls (for example, you can now reliably stack objects or grab compound objects without breaking them)
  • Physics: improved vehicle flipping (after they’ve been knocked over). Should work much more reliably both for flat players and AI
  • Physics: prevent gorilla’s head from entering solid objects like the mountains. If gorilla’s head makes contact with such solid objects, movement is stopped.
  • Architecture: reworked all our game mode management to make it easier to add new game modes (and new game types)
  • Architecture: reworked out entire build process to make it easier to build and upload new builds of various games
  • Architecture: improved our localization system to catch and report missing localization strings during the build process. Also made it much easier to add new strings on the fly while building up content.
  • Architecture: general performance improvements across the board, on physics, on script updates
  • Visuals: improve the snow map to make it look less yellow-brown in certain lighting and to make the snowmen stick out more
  • Debug: added internal mode to reduce framerate in order to easily reproduce framerate related physics bugs
  • Language: added Korean language support (thank you Nat and Gina!)
  • Halloween: added event highlights in the menu
  • Halloween: spooky lighting and fog settings
  • Halloween: generate halloween characters (zombies, vampires, mummies, ghosts, skeletons, witches) during halloween instead of the normal humans
  • Halloween: UFO mode is now Witch Mode
  • Halloween: new spooky sounds and music
  • Halloween: Jason Gorilla
  • Audio: improved eating sounds
  • Audio: prevent overly annoying repeating eating sounds
  • Audio: improved human screaming sounds

Fixes
  • Prevent rare issue where player could end up out of bounds if they were moving around during loading of the map.
  • Removed rotating objects being shown in result screen for Hide and Seek
  • Cow rotation speed is no longer framerate dependent
  • Fixed rare issue with localization breaking the tutorial and the menu labels
  • “Boost” UI hint only appeared after you used the boost once.
  • Was incorrectly showing keyboard tips when playing with gamepad
Late For Work - Yac
Hello friends!

A new update for Late For Work is just around the corner, stay tuned late next week for update 11! We want to give you a sneak peak of what’s coming up in this pretty darn big update.

New Art

Since last we’ve spoken, we’ve finally started working with a real life professional 3D modeler. This means we’ve got lots of new art to work with. Real art. Real models.New models for all of our houses, humans and cars with more on the way!

We’re slowly replacing out all our hodgepodge soup of early artwork and bringing models with a more uniform and better designed look. With the new art, we uniformed our style which really improves the overall aesthetics.





Halloween Content

It’s that time of the year, the season of tricking and treating and naturally we couldn’t resist. LFW is taking part in the festivities. We’re adding all sorts of spooky scary monstrosities to our event system. It’s our spooookiest update yet!




New Game Mode

Last but not least we have a new game mode in the works. We would share more details, but we are not sure entirely sure of the final form yet ourselves. We do know that it will involve the flat players controlling humans for the first time and hiding from the gorilla by blending into the crowd. We’re still working doing a lot of balancing and experimentation but we hope it will be an enjoyable game mode for all.

One week to go!

If you ever want to chat with some of the dev team or join a community of like minded fans of Late For Work, stop by at our Discord: https://discord.gg/salmigames

Cheers,
Salmi Games
Late For Work - Yac
Hello friends,

We've been a bit quiet during these long hot summer months but fear not, we are still hard at work behind the scenes. Update 11 is taking longer than usual but we plan to release it some time in September, so please stay tuned.

In the meantime, we're excited to announce that we are working on a new game, set in the same universe. It’s a roguelite-like, in which you’re an unemployed giant gorilla living in 1950s suburban America (sound familiar?).



You must take on as many odd jobs as possible to support your family without wrecking havoc on the town. Think of it as a Singleplayer campaign companion to Late For Work, taken to a whole new level.


Enjoy ultra realistic dog walking experiences in VR

If you want to find out more, get access to a free demo and tons more, then make sure to join our Discord channel. We'll be unveiling new elements of the game every week, with special events, dev posts, behind the scenes look and much much more.

What about Late For Work?
We will continue to work on Late For Work as we bring it to a 1.0 release. We'll be updating with more details in the next update.

What's more, all the work we're investing in the new game will also benefit Late For Work as we're using the same code base. New arts, new physics, new mechanics, improved UI and so much more.

Finally, as a thank you to you, our earliest supporters, we will be giving a special surprise to all owners of Late For Work. Thank you for believing in us and investing in us.

Drop by in our Discord channel if you want to chat.

With love,
The Salmi Games Team
Late For Work - Yac
Hello friends,

We're excited to bring you Update 10, our special Spring Cleaning edition. It's the proverbial 'tock' to our tick-tock release strategy of delivering new gameplay one update and improving core systems the next. We did a lot under the hood and a lot in preparation for future updates (and new unannounced projects). Read on for more details.



Performance
We did a big pass on performance. As you know, we not only render in VR but also up to four separate views in splitscreen. This has a fairly big impact on performance and we keep a close eye on it. We did a major pass on performance (our third since we launched in Early Access) and made a lot of improvements. We shaved off roughly 3ms off an average frame. Considering we aim for 90fps, we only have ~11ms to play with, so we're pretty happy with this improvement.

New Language Support
Thanks to the awesome @Mr.Stump we now have language support for Ukrainian and Russian. As a reminder, we are willing to add support for any language, if you're willing to help us translate it. Find out how on this thread.

Gameplay Balancing
We took another run at the UFO mode in the forest. The map was way too big and open, making it super difficult for the VR player. Too much land to cover and fast moving UFOs makes for exhausted unhappy players. We've tweaked the AI as well as they were a bit to hardcore. We experimented with changing the number of lives but didn't love any new values so left it as it is for now.

Let us know what you think!

Bug Fixes
We found and fixed a litany of bugs. The full list is available in the changelog below. We hope this new build feels a lot more stable.

What's Next?
We're slowly working towards a 1.0 release. We haven't finalized what will be in it, but we're working on that. We should have more news over the summer, stay tuned and let us know what you would like to see.

Please read on for the full changelog for this update. We hope you enjoy it!

Changelog - Build 443

Improvements
  • Language: added support for Russian and Ukrainian, a very big thank you to @Mr.Stump
  • Language: auto-sync on latest language file on start
  • Controls: Mouse Freelook when holding Alt key for UFO (vertical-only), Planes, Trucks
  • Controls: fix tank lock-on behavior and range-check
  • Controls: tweak tank gamepad aiming sensitivity, a bit more precision
  • Performance: smooth plane controls, less jitters
  • Performance: improved render batching
  • Performance: improved "Update Step" performance of various components, lots of cleanup of unnecessary updates.
  • Performance: eliminated multiple performance spikes
  • Performance: spread performance intensive queries (such as raycasts) over multiple update frames
  • UI: don't show "Reset camera" message as agressively
  • Camera: refactored freelook camera system, with consistent controls everywhere
  • Camera: no longer visually cull garages when you drive in to them to hide
  • Camera: improved death camera behavior, disable control during vehicle switch so that you're not flying around wildly as soon as you die.
  • Camera: broke then fixed UFO camera controls, added alt freelook support
  • Gameplay: balance the UFO game mode in the Forest map, group cows and humans more, block off an area to restrict playspace
  • Gameplay: in Hide 'n Seek, tweak the gorilla health (120 base + 60 per opponent)
  • Visuals: improved models for power-ups (ammo and attack level up)
  • Controls: reworked right joystick camera-control. Now rotates in proportion to how far you push your stick left/right and snaps back on release
  • Physics: better collision shapes for the tanks and the power-ups
  • AI: improved cow AI
  • AI: improved UFO flee behavior, make less cautious
  • Internal: refactored camera and freelook system
  • Internal: refactored sound system
  • Internal: integrated Steam Audio, now used by default
  • Internal: refactored input system
  • Internal: refactored airplane control system, much smoother update loop
  • Internal: refactored GOAP AI system, with general AI improvements
  • Internal: add new system to support color palette switching
  • Internal: improve build process for some secret stuff
  • Internal: remove a build expiry that somehow slipped into last update
  • Internal: disable unity analytics and hardware reporting
  • Internal: improved log system

Fixes
  • UX: Height auto-readjust now works during intro screen using OculusVR
  • UX: MP deathmatch was playable with zero players, now show a helpful message
  • UX: Instant join broke, player wouldn't spawn
  • UX: tank camera reset was broken during refactor, fixed
  • UI: intro text for Hide 'n Seek mode on flat screen exceeded bounding box, looked bad
  • UI: Player icons (like AI1, AI2, etc) appeared before the player's vehicle, now both appear together
  • UI: AI Bots setting was inconsistently saved between sessions
  • Controls: Plane acceleration was broken, A button works again.
  • Oops: for the last 10 months it's been possible to adjust the gorilla's health with the G and H keys on the keyboard
  • AI: cars not controlled by any player or AI bots (possible in hide n seek) would boost out of gorilla's hand
  • Stability: fixed crash bug that randomly occured when using OculusVR
  • Stability: fixed a bunch of null exceptions that caused weirdness
  • AI: humans were not running around anymore, fixed
  • Tutorial: humans were running around, which makes it hard to see their instructions
  • City map: fixed broken textures on bottom of houses
  • Port map: fix missing graphics for some of the containers
  • Port map: had plane ammo power-ups on the ground, no longer
  • Port map: NPC car start positions were all broken, traffic is back
  • Gameplay: single player mission 2 matched against 4 bots instead of 2. 3rd mission wouldn't unlock.
  • Tank: backwards driving and vehicle flipping was no longer working
  • Single player: in horde modes, flat players could no longer join, now works again
  • Single player: make sure target kill count is correctly scaled to the number of enemies
  • Physics: multiple bugs leading to tanks falling through the ground
  • Credits screen: improved the banner, humans were jumping around for no reason, had a weird hand grabbing animation issue
Late For Work - Yac
Hello friends,

Today we are super excited to release one of our biggest updates yet to our local multiplayer asymmetric party game. We've got a new exciting fast-paced game mode that had our student intern sweating and out of breath from all mad dash efforts to protect the local populace (and cattle) from being abducted by mysterious visitors from worlds beyond. Read on for more details!



New UFO Game Mode
This is the first game mode where we had concept art influence gameplay ideas. I mean, we've toyed with a lot of gameplay ideas, but our excellent concept artist drew the art work above a few months ago. In January, when reviewing what chunky new gameplay we could bring to LFW, we settled on the UFO mode. It sounded so fun and we already had all the art.

This game mode features a brand new aerial vehicle with 3D translation movement, i.e. you can fly in all directions. And an abduction beam. Your goal? Why of course, the traditional alien invader job: to abduct all humans and cows. The gorilla cannot stand idly by and see his fellow countrymen ripped away from their lives to end up who knows where.

This mode is not final, we will keep tweaking it. But our early tests have led to quite few hilarious moments. We're also thinking about new possible weapons and power-ups we can add. We'd love to hear your feedback and impressions.

New Tutorial
A brand new Tutorial: our old tutorial was not bad, but a bit limited and some players would occasionally get stuck. Our goal is that our games are so intuitive and well guided that you can always pick it up on your own. We're not satisfied until we can just hand over controls to players and just step out of the way.

So we rebuilt it from the ground up, including little humans guiding you through your tasks and providing feedback. We leveraged a system we built for an internal prototype of something new (shhhhh, can't comment on this just yet).

It's still not perfect and will need further tweaking. We also would like to add a whole second part to the tutorial, as well as some mini-tutorials for the non-vr players.

Tank Auto-aim
In our never ending efforts to make the tanks more fun and easy to control, we've added an auto-aim lock mode. Using the left trigger you can now lock onto the gorilla and fire (nearly) perfect shots. This will hopefully come in handy for players who struggle with the dual stick controls. Feedback is very welcome. We are worried this makes the tanks too easy to play with now.

Multiplayer Menu
We redesigned the multiplayer menu screen. Our single page multiplayer was quickly becoming limiting as we added more game modes and maps. We've now implemented some long-desired changes. Creating a new round requires one or two clicks more, but we can now preview the game mode and map and easily restart a new round. This also lays the ground work for multi-round based local multiplayer games.

What's Next
Our next update is going to focus on two things:
  • Balancing and Gameplay improvements: we're going to refrain from implementing new game modes and maps and focus instead on improving the balance and fun of the current game modes. We have a lot of ideas on how to make the current game modes more fun and dynamics, with new power-ups (including for the Gorilla!), new goals and challenges.
  • Internal cleanup and refactoring: the last few weeks have revealed a number of systems built on shaky foundations and a clear set of behaviors we need to improve. We will spend time to stabilize these to make it easier to continue adding new maps, game modes and features to the game.

Of note: we did a major upgrade to our underlying engine (more details in the changelist below) and we have noticed a few difficult-to-reproduce issues, including an occasional crash. If you run into any issues please do let us know either here in the comments or in our forums. Thank you!

Changelog - Build 416

Improvements
  • UFO: added a UFO vehicle, with a new camera angle, an abduction behavior and vertical movement
  • UFO: allow camera to be pitched up and down with snapback behavior
  • UFO: small particle effect when abductees are absorbed
  • UFO: result screen, show kills and abductions
  • UFO: adapted the forest map and the town map as locations for the game mode
  • UFO: implemented basic AI behavior (target, abduct, flee from gorilla)
  • UFO: sound effects!
  • UFO: disable occlusion preventer for UFO vehicles (the behavior that hides objects that obstruct your view when controlling tanks/cars/cows)
  • UFO: gorilla can rescue abductees as they are being abducted
  • UFO: UI tips when you're out of range and control instructions
  • Tutorial: re-implemented from scratch, with extra animated billboards and little human helpers
  • Tutorial: teach how to destroy tanks, recover health and reinforce "good" movement controls. Also making it clear you can change your control settings
  • Tutorial: added dynamic speech bubbles, with image and translation support
  • Internal: implement a proper freecam to capture nicer screenshots
  • Internal: updated from Unity 2017.1 to 2017.3. This fundamentally broke the physics and we had to rebalance everything
  • Internal: did a performance pass as overall framerate seemed to have been negatively affected by the Unity upgrade
  • Internal: improved our build scripts to make sure our Steam builds don't contain artifacts from older builds
  • Internal: build scripts do more checks for missing tools (like git)
  • Physics: did a big pass on all the vehicle behaviors to be sure they are not framerate dependent. This has fixed a lot of stuttering problems
  • Physics: set physics timestep to 1/45
  • Gameplay: adjusted the punching strength to be more uniform (trees were flying a bit too far)
  • Controls: disabled mouse look with planes. Was too confusing, might add it back in in a future update, if we find a good system (ALT look?)
  • Controls: implement a proper mouse lock so that the game works ok with multi-monitor setups
  • Controls: reworked the y-axis invert toggles on the dpad. Now the left dpad toggles the left stick and the right dpad toggles the right stick
  • AI: prevent two bots from going for the same powerup.
  • AI: correct usage of homing missile => just shoot it straight up!
  • AI: rework cost functions to better balance difficulty and fun
  • UI: all map preview icons are updated to look nicer.
  • UI: updated our credits screen/scene, adding more of our friends!

Fixes
  • Airplane Billboard in Bull Run was not being updated
  • Now correctly show a "Waiting for End of Round" when you join a game late or you've run out of lives
  • Selecting "Start" in the menu or the intro screen no longer flexes the gorilla hand
  • You can no longer punch your own hands
  • Sometimes if you played a round with a couple humans and AI and then kicked out the AI, in the next round you would have extra vehicles that shouldn't be there
  • Sometimes after playing certain game modes, your camera would get stuck in weird angles in the next round
  • Fixed a lot of null references (ArcaadeCarController, ArcadeCowController, GetShootButton, AI GOAP system)
  • You can now abduct humans even if they are hopping away
  • Lampposts would not turn on at night, even though you could see the illuminated areas on the ground
  • Fixed a bunch of missing model issues with the disguide power-ups
  • Fixed missing particle effects for the guided missile
  • Fixed a whole bunch of inconsistent input issues: sometimes the non-VR player could control the gorilla with their gamepad. Sometimes the gorilla fist would stay closed after release, and so on
  • Fixed issue that a player-controlled would auto-boost when grabbed by the gorilla, flying out of the gorilla's hand
  • Prevent two tanks from spawning at the same position
  • Fixed a bad ground collision isssue in the Town map.
  • Planes had a weird offset angle on their shots, one shot would fly off in an offset direction.
  • Can no longer go through the mountain in the Valley map
...

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