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Tactera Launched!

As of a few minutes ago, Tactera is finally out on the Gear VR!

It's been an unexpectedly long time in development, and although the game is complete and ready for download, I don't plan to stop development now! Tactera started out as an entry in the Mobile VR Jam, so it was first publicly playable in May of last year. In December, the Tactera Demo was launched on the Gear VR store, offering a taste of the final gameplay and graphics. Today, the full version has launched, but there's still more improvements to come. So what has changed, and what's still on the way?

What's Changed

First, there are new gameplay features. Bases can be upgraded or boosted, you can redirect units after they've been deployed, and there's a whole new tutorial to teach you these new mechanics.

Second, there are a bunch of new units, from gunships to mobile artillery to orbital strikes. Since choosing units is the biggest strategic choice in every Tactera battle, this adds a lot of variety to the game.

Third, there's a new campaign mode, adding a higher level of strategic gameplay to add context and meaning to the individual battles.

Fourth, multiplayer! Tactera is launching with a simple head-to-head multiplayer mode. I suggest you find a friend with another Gear VR, hit the Quick Match button together, and enjoy seeing them sitting across the table from you!

Lastly, the 3 maps from the demo have been replaced with 9 new maps so that you can enjoy all of the above on a variety of terrain.

What's Coming Up?

The game is launched, but that doesn't mean that development has stopped! I still have a list a mile long of potential improvements, new features, and some minor bugs that still need fixing. Some of the things you can look forward to:

- Multiplayer improvements. Right now, there's only simple first-come-first-served matchmaking. I'd like to add private matches (hopefully integrated with the Oculus's social features), and also I plan to add the ability to play skirmish games while waiting for opponents to show up.

- Better gameplay balance. I think the game is pretty well-balanced already, but the biggest test is always at launch. Once lots of real-world players are interacting with the game, I plan to listen to their feedback and take it into account. If anything is clearly overpowered or underpowered or otherwise unfair, I'll deal with it.

- Campaign expansion. Right now, the campaign can be reset, but it lacks a proper ending. I'm half-finished with a feature that will allow you to finish the campaign and continue to a more difficult version, sort of like a "new game plus". Adding a couple higher difficulty levels should make the full campaign experience much longer and more satisfying.

- Improved visual feedback. I have all sorts of ideas for how to make it more clear when you've selected bases or units, or when they're attacking, or when they're taking damage. I just ran out of time before I could implement them!

- Better sound effects and graphics. The silliest thing about this launch is that I ran out of time to properly plug in all of the new sound effects and new 3D models that I got since the demo. These include great sound effects for the new units and the campaign mode. They'll definitely be included in the first update!

Of course, all of these things are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. I hope that you'll enjoy the game today, and you can look forward to the game getting even better!

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