A Year in Review

Howdy. It’s been a little while.

Things have been crazy over the last year, for a number of different reasons. I feel like such a different person than I was when I first started working on this project… it happened bit by bit, so I never noticed.

post shovel aesthetic

Well, it’s just snow here.

Anyways, why don’t we take a look at everything that happened in 2021? I could use a trip down memory lane.

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v0.5.5 - Visual overhaul, new characters, physics determinism, and more

We’re sorry to have kept you waiting, but we promise, we’ve got something good for you to chew on today! We bring you the ultimate gift in competitive, animal in ball style racing! DETERMINISTIC PHYSICS! We’ve overhauled our entire physics engine which takes a long time to ensure that when Multiplayer hits you all get the best experience possible. We’ve also overhauled a significant amount of the world backgrounds, polished up some stage visuals, and we’ve got a couple new friends for you to play as well! It’s time to roll up your sleeves and Roll Out!

  • Uses stage config v0.4.0
  • Uses course config v0.1.0

Added

  • New characters for you to select
    • Flotsam, the Axolotl (they/them)
    • Guava, the Koala (they/them)
    • Rook, the Field Unit (she/her)
  • More events have sounds now (post-goal launch, 1-up)
  • Additional and updated VFX for several events
  • There is now a volume slider for the timer tick sounds
  • New stages
    • Disarray

Changed

  • Physics simulation is now deterministic across different computers. This should allow for input-based replays and rollback-based multiplayer in the future.
  • The timer ticking sound has been changed to be more subtle
  • Various stage layout changes
    • Adapter
    • Bridgemaking
    • Doorways
    • Revolver
    • Rollers
    • Tiltstacles (now called Seesawbsticles)
    • Seesaws
    • Up & Up
    • Warrior
    • Zigzag
    • Pattern
    • Not-So-Quicksand
    • Jumpy Options
    • Pyramid of Pain
    • Sandy Panels
    • Watch Your Step
    • Boost Through
    • Dart Cannon
    • Frantic
    • Funnel Cake
    • Manual Power
    • Mechanical Configuration
    • Windmills
    • Foursquare
    • Holes
    • Lateral Rungs
    • Pathing
    • Return
    • Fling Rings
    • Crescents
    • Levels
    • Spinner
    • Blossom
    • Future Time
    • Scary Fall
    • Teacups
  • IL leaderboards have been cleared on the above stages where the change results in any practical difference in how the stage is played for a speedrun
  • Besides the above, a lot of stages got a visual overhaul (but otherwise play the same)
  • Many backgrounds got a visual overhaul
  • The control binding UI has been tweaked to fit in slightly better with the existing UI theme

Deprecated

  • The none seesaw axis has been deprecated in stage configs - see the stage config changelog on the docs for more info.

Removed

  • Removed Desolation Goal Post Test
  • All course leaderboards cleared except for Cozy

Fixed

  • When getting a time on the leaderboard, rank recalculation now skips over ranks appropriately (Eg: going #1, #2, #2, #4 instead of the old behaviour of #1, #2, #2, #3)

2021 Rolled Out Go Fastathon

2021 Rolled Out Go Fastathon header

It’s time to shatter the sound barrier.

Hey, you, there, reading this. Want to win a cool, unique, and not for sale Rolled Out Shirt? Keep reading.

Mystery shirts

We’re holding our first ever leaderboards contest in Rolled Out! The official 2021 Rolled Out Go Fastathon! Many of our courses have been optimized to the ends of the Earth, so it wouldn’t be a fair contest. We decided that for the sake of keeping the playing field even, we’re going to run on the new levels added in patch 0.5.4.1, available in the “Basic” arcade course. 15 never before seen stages, 15 new chances to prove your speedy skills, 15 stages to optimize and perfect. Make sure to take breaks, and remember the wise words of Confucius. “Going faster than light will only leave you in darkness”

…he probably said that, at some point.
We’re still finishing up the shirt design. It unfortunately couldn’t be ready for our release date, so we’ll be updating this blog, our Discord, and Twitter with the final design soon.

So how does this work? Easy. First, you have to sign up here - this competition is purely optional to everybody. You then have to be on top of the time leaderboards for the new course by the end of the contest (2021-08-13). So sign up, go fast, and win some sweet shirt based prize wear.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

The top 5 times on the leaderboard for the new “Basic” course, who have signed up to be in the running, will get a shirt, so get rolling out or be left in the dust!

v0.5.4.1 - Bug Fixes and more Beginner Levels

It’s 0.5.4.1 Why are we delivering this patch in parts? What does this mean for you, the player? Does Veronica from my math class actually like me, or am I reading their signals wrong? Well, we’re going to answer a few of these questions, at least. For now, let’s talk about 0.5.4 part 1.

Never rolled an animal in a ball before? Good. That’s normal. But it means you might have some trouble playing this game… Twilight has been hard at work to make a new set of beginner levels to help players new to the genre develop some animal-filled ball rolling abilities. Crue has also been hard at work improving the menus experience for controller players. It’ll be a lot easier to adjust your bindings through the in-game menus, now.

What’s going on?
So as far as Patch 0.5.4 goes, what’s going on? What do we have behind the curtain that didn’t make the cut for this release? To start, we’ve gutted all of the engine’s math, and substituted it with our own! Because, historically, any time we’ve run into a problem with an existing system, our solution has been to remake it from scratch. This is an insane practice, and you shouldn’t use us as inspiration.

So, we’re implementing something called Fixed Point Math. Most 3D math is done using ‘floating points’, which are a computer’s way of representing a number with a fraction. But they aren’t always deterministic between different computer types - doing the same calculation across different processors might have a slightly different result. Fixed Point Math will eliminate that divergence, so what happens on your computer will happen in the same way on your buddy’s computer, and their buddy’s computer, ad.infinitum.

Having this level of consistency in our math is no easy feat, but it makes things like replays and multiplayer possible. Your gameplay, replays, and your friend’s gameplays will all sync up perfectly based on inputs alone. This is all in service of allowing us to have stable, low latency replication, alongside consistent replays. And if we do it right, you won’t notice a difference in how the game plays or feels.

It isn’t ready quite yet, though… we have to replace a lot of math in our code, and it’s long and tedious work. Consequently, we opted to split what would be patch 0.5.4 into three parts. Part 1 is more levels, and open communication about what we’re up to. Part 2 is finally getting Fixed Math in your hands, and then part 3 will be the long awaited multiplayer update. We hope you’re as excited as we are, until then please enjoy the new levels.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask us on Twitter, or on Discord!

  • Uses stage config v0.3.0
  • Uses course config v0.1.0

Added

  • 15 new beginner friendly levels
  • Added left and right arrow graphics to the options menu
  • Added checkbox graphics to the options menu

Changed

  • Changed the Ball Trails button to say coming soon when clicked
  • Wormholes which aren’t being actively rendered now use an opaque material

Fixed

  • Fixed a bug that caused some levels to display a soft lock message after restarting a stage from the pause menu
  • Fixed being unable to navigate off the Customize Ball Window with a controller
  • Fixed being unable to adjust controls in controller mode

v0.5.3 - The online leaderboards update

Felt cute, might upload our times later. It’s the long-awaited Leaderboards Update! Leave your friends in the dust as you rush through every stage at maximum speed! As soon as the update goes live you’ll be prompted to opt into the leaderboards. So opt-in and start running for your spot on the top of the leaderboards.
As always, your feedback has been instrumental in our development. So please, keep requesting features and reporting bugs via the suggestions chat in our Discord, and via our public GitLab!

Want to help out?

We’re looking for feedback on the user interface of the game - in particular, to improve the practise menu, but we’re also gathering feedback on other sections too. If you don’t mind sparing five minutes, shooting over your thoughts over at https://airtable.com/shrzEsNrzrrgYdV5U would be much appreciated!

  • Uses stage config v0.3.0
  • Uses course config v0.1.0

Added

  • Online leaderboards now exist
    • Log in with steam
    • Submit times/scores for stages and courses
    • View top times/scores for stages during gameplay (There’s a new option to view a mini leaderboard in-gameplay, defaulted to off)
    • You’ll be asked if you want to participate in the leaderboards on first launch after the update
    • View leaderboards at https://scores.rolledoutgame.com
  • Animal voices get their own volume slider now, instead of being grouped in with the announcer volume
  • The timer now plays a ticking sound every second
  • If the game suspects you managed to get into a softlock position, you will now be prompted to pause and restart the stage
  • The UI now has various hover and press sound effects
    • If you don’t like these, they have their own volume slider too
  • There’s a new accessibility option to always show the ball trajectory

Changed

  • The customization UI has been reworked to fit in with the rest of the game’s style
  • Camera turn multiplier can only be set to a limited handful of fixed values now
  • The default stage tilt multiplier was changed from 0.65 to 0.6

Fixed

  • The texture mishap in 4-D has been fixed
  • Fixed specular in Touch Activation
  • Fixed goal collision in the Desolation world
  • Fixed collision issue in Frantic
  • Fixed misaligned spawn and goal locations in Peek-A-Boo
  • Fixed Unreality world lighting
  • Various UI quirks have been fixed
    • Scroll bar handles no longer extend past the end of their background

v0.5.2 - The accessibility update

Custom balls? New stages? Accessibility options? You want it? It’s yours my friend, so long as you have enough bandwidth. In response to your feedback we implemented some accessibility options. Stage tilt multiplier should help people who are prone to motion sickness, and you can now dim the backgrounds on a per-world basis! If you’re looking to express yourself a bit, we’ve also enabled the ability to pick and recolor your ball! Now you can roll around in a spike ball, or a cube, or even a series of floating orbs combining to make a singular orb! Remember to keep sending us your feedback, as it’s extremely valuable in determining what gets tackled next!

  • Uses stage config v0.3.0
  • Uses course config v0.1.0

Added

  • Warp goals (goals with a warp_distance > 1) now have particle effects
  • There’s a few accessibility options now!
    • Stage tilt multiplier is now an option, if you want to reduce the amount of tilting
    • You can dim the brightness of backgrounds per-world now
  • New stages:
    • “Abduction”, located in Candy Factory
    • “Crescent Rider”, located in Candy Factory
    • “Dart Cannon”, located in Candy Factory
    • “Ramp Rush”, located in Candy Factory
    • “Sierpinski Seesaws”, located in Virtual Reality
    • “Twin Inversion”, located in Ice Cave
    • “Neapolitan”, located in Heavenly Chamber
    • “Diving Wire”, located in Vortex
    • “Double Helix”, located in Vortex
    • “Perpetual Passage”, located in Vortex
    • “Gyro Engine”, located in Desolation
  • When focusing, you now get a trajectory visualization
  • Added character/ball color customization - the UI’s a little jank right now (it’s an old holdover from September 2019 ;3)
  • Your character is now displayed on the minimap, over your ball
  • In the pause menu, you can now restart an arcade course from the beginning
  • Exiting from practise mode will now drop you into the practise menu, instead of the title screen

Changed

  • Changed layout of the following stages:
    • Tripledecker
    • Obstacles
    • Canister
    • Gyro Engine
    • Little Seesaws
    • Sandy Panels
    • Watch Your Step
    • Return
    • Pathing
    • Holes
    • Crescents
    • Roiling
  • Adjusted cycle of the following stages:
    • Safe Zones
  • Reordered the ‘Standard’ and ‘Challenge’ courses slightly
  • Menuing on the pause menu can now focus disabled buttons - this should help with not hurting muscle memory when, say, you want to change options while “restart stage” is disabled

Fixed

  • Character rotation should be less jittery now (This was caused by ball rotation and character rotation being desynced, the former happing at a fixed 120 Hz and the latter happening every frame)
  • Fixed sunlight specular for the ball on MasterMap
  • Fixed wind particles disappearing seemingly at random
  • Fixed the live preview for camera options being broken in 0.5.1
  • Fixed camera pitch calculation not accounting for the user’s pitch offset when determining max angle

v0.5.1 - Whole bunch of bugfixes and responses to your feedback

It's update time!

ROLLED OUT VERSION [0.5.1]

Patch 0.5.1 is mostly focused around responding to player feedback regarding some stages, fixing some options, and correcting some of the more obvious bugs. Your best scores are now saved, and menu music has been added! We also fixed a couple of crashes, did a couple of things that may help increase performance, and even changed how your times are displayed. Please continue to provide feedback and bug reports through the Discord, email and GitLab!

  • Uses stage config v0.3.0
  • Uses course config v0.1.0

Added

  • VSync is now a toggle in the options menu
  • When playing a course in arcade mode, the UI now shows what stage number you’re on
  • Selected worlds/courses are now highlighted when browsing the practise/arcade browser UIs
  • When stage config parsing fails, you now get a message dialog explaining why
  • Added a toggle to disable wormhole see-through - may be useful on low-end machines
  • Added “Are you sure?” dialog when trying to exit out of gameplay
  • Added in-game log for indexing/stage errors (Hit F4 to toggle between hidden, errors-only, and all messages - hit F5 to clear)
  • Best course scores are now saved
  • Added menu music - it’s the Tranquility music for now
  • Fallout volumes are now functional

Changed

  • The framerate cap slider in the options menu now goes up to 240 (up from 120), beyond that makes the framerate unlimited

  • The default framerate cap has been changed from unlimited to 120

  • The coin count in the game HUD now uses at least 2 digits, to line up with how the life counter uses at least 2 as well

  • Improved lighting in Desolation

  • Tranquility BG shrunk dramatically

  • Ice Cave BG shrunk dramatically

  • Changed layout of the following stages:

    • Sticky Floors
    • Conveyor Belts
    • You Will Love This Level
    • Carved Tube
    • Seesaws
    • Springs
    • Tunnel Fall
    • Back & Forth
    • Get Over It
    • Tiltstacles
    • Icy Bridge
    • Wire To You
    • Landscaping
    • Canister
    • Planeswalking
    • Turning Wire
    • Squiggly
    • Touch Activation
    • Pattern
    • Watch Your Step
    • Funnel Cake
    • Flower
    • Crescents
    • Skate Tricks
    • Interwoven
    • What Goes Up
    • Walkways
    • Branches
    • Levels
    • Teacups
    • Swervy Pistons
    • Hourglasses
    • Beholden
    • Centripetal Jumps
  • Changed cycle in the following stages:

    • Jumpy Options
    • Fling Rings
    • Archway
    • Peek-a-boo
    • Not-So-Quicksand
    • Sunken Wire
  • Reduced wind strength in the following stages:

    • Crosswind
    • The Cure
  • Made latter two seesaws in “Foursquare” a little less aggressive

  • “Snake” renamed to “Wavelength”

  • “Link” renamed to “Basics”

  • “Conveyer Belts” renamed to “Conveyor Belts”

  • “Icey Bridge” renamed to “Icy Bridge”

  • “What The Hell Do I Name This Thing” renamed to “Decomposition”

  • “Quicksand” renamed to “Not-So-Quicksand”

  • “Punched” renamed to “Swervy Pistons”

  • The “Course complete!” dialog now shows milliseconds to 3 decimal places, instead of 2

  • Times in the UI are now formatted like 00h 00m 00s 000ms, instead of 00:00:00.000

Fixed

  • You can now unlimit the framerate again from the options menu if you change it from the default
  • Fixed crash if there was no audio device to output music to
  • Fixed bug where input was occasionally ignored for a frame after the timer started
  • Fixed some randomized announcer lines never playing
  • Ticking is now paused when loading in world backgrounds - this should help with spin-in cutscenes appearing to start halfway through their animation on weaker machines
  • Fixed geometry hole in “Crescent”
  • Fixed geometry hole in “Decomposition”
  • Fixed random erronous gravity flips in “Inverse”
  • Fixed missing touch platform material animations in most touch platform stages
  • Fixed broken animation in “Roiling”
  • Fixed missing goals in “Destruction”
  • Fixed flipped wormholes in “Planeswalking”
  • Fixed flipped wormhole in “The Cure”
  • Fixed crashes in “Scoopers”, “Tracks”, and “Blades”
  • Fixed missing stage previews
  • The game icon is now the Rolled Out! icon, instead of the Unreal Engine one
  • Input button states are now cleared during loading sequences - no more holding W before a loading time and having the menus go crazy when it finishes loading
  • Minor sizing tweaks to the arcade menu
  • Fixed various crashes/issues in the arcade mode menu, where it was possible to start a course beyond its end, or try and start a null course
  • If you finish an arcade course but don’t start at the beginning, the run is disqualified and scores are not saved
  • Fixed best times/scores not being saved

v0.5.0.1 hotfix - Increased default strength of controllers

In the 0.5.0 release of the game, controllers that the game could automatically generate bindings for had a ball movement multiplier of 1.0. For many controllers, this meant that diagonal inputs couldn’t be maxed out since you couldn’t simultaneously push 100% right and 100% up, for example.

With 0.5.0.1, this multiplier has been increased to 1.5. Existing saves will have their multiplier bumped up to 1.5 if they started at 1.0, however if you prefer, this can be reverted back to 1.0 and the game won’t touch it afterwards.

Full changelogs can always be viewed at https://docs.rolledoutgame.com/changelog/

Dev Blog 34 - No Way Amogus

Howdy! It’s quite late, and I’m quite tired, but I feel an odd sort of energy taking over me. If you’ll recall correctly, I talked about how I’ve been doing some Super Smash Bros. Melee modding in my free time. Well…

geez, that's a lot...

…”some” might be an understatement. It’s basically all I do outside of Rolled Out! work, now. These are all individual animations I’ve completed for a custom character I’m working on. Character animation is a lot of fun!!!

Maybe, after Rolled Out! is done, we’ll make a platform fighter. That’ll be the day…

Anyways, let’s jump into the update.

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