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Serious Wednesday update!

A free update for all Serious Sam owners, Serious Fusion 2017, is coming. Also: SteamOS/Linux/OSX support, more VR games and The Last Hope “Shanti” update are on the way!

New planet, new guns, new enemy type, new features AND a new boss. Shaanti update for SSVR: The Last Hope is coming!

Good news everybody! A great PR team could milk this list for an entire month or more, but since our PR team (and in reality it’s just me, the bald middle aged guy writing this. Hi!) never claimed to be any good we’re just going to drop this right here.

It’s been an incredibly exciting time for us as we launched our first VR title and our first game in Early Access. We were amazed with the amount of positive comments, great ideas and new features that our fans suggested. We were also amazed by our own stupidity and naivety. We tried to implement, well, almost all of those ideas.

While co-op was and remains one of the often requested features, the truth is that a fairly small percentage of players actually plays in co-op. But we said we’d listen, so we rushed to implement this feature and were very proud that we actually pulled it off. Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope in co-op requires serious skill and teamwork at harder difficulty settings and the game is even more fun when played with a friend. The thing is, the decision to implement co-op straight away made a joke of our timetable for regular content updates and this left us with more and more fans requesting a status update on the game (we DO have one today).
Note to self: stick to the original GDD and ship planned features first, collect Early Access feedback and implement those ideas later.

Case in point: one of the most requested features from VR fans was actually moving around the map and exploring. Since The Last Hope movement was on a room-scale level and the whole game is essentially an arcade-like experience and a love letter to old machines, adding full locomotion to the game meant that we’d have to start from scratch, ditch or re-make most of the levels and basically abandon the original idea altogether. Instead, we started experimenting with VR and prototyping movement in The First Encounter and made surprisingly good progress. So good, in fact, that we felt confident that the game was *almost* ready for VR. The decision was made to bring this game to Early Access as well.

The good: we couldn’t have possibly predicted all of the preferred ways of locomotion, but once more we got amazing feedback and added even more ways to move around the virtual world. And comments like this kept us moving.
The bad: We now have two games in Early Access, both set in Serious Sam universe, which seems to create some confusion among fans and it’s our fault. To make things right and to make it perfectly clear that those are two very different games, we came up with a brilliant plan (if we do say so ourselves): we’ll just add two or three more games into the VR mix! That way there can be no doubt: we remain committed to VR and having fun with this amazing new tech! Of course, we’ll first ship updates and work faster to complete the existing games in Early Access. Our VR teams were recently expanded and today we’re announcing a tech update that will enable us to easily ship updated code more regularly!

Finally, it’s been a really long time since somebody asked about Serious Sam 4 in the comments section, but we’ll go ahead and say it anyway: yes, it’s still happening.

Oh, right, here’s the news:

[Read More]

15th anniversary of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter

So… almost a year after the release of The First Encounter, on February 5th, 2002 (though some shops in the UK started selling the game two weeks earlier!), we released Serious Sam: The Second Encounter worldwide. We worked even harder on that one, as TFE was received with such critical acclaim that we didn’t want to disappoint our fans, so the sequel had to be even better than the original.

Naturally, in order to fill shoes that big, we had to bring more people on board. The first two to join the party and increase our number to a hearty dozen were Ivan Mika and Nikola Mosettig. Ivan was hired as a level designer, while Nikola ended up in the programming department, though he wanted to be a designer as well… Fifteen years later, and they are both still with us, we just can’t get rid of them (and Nikola is still not a level designer) 🙂

Here is what they have to say:

The first level I built was inspired by Teotihuacan, an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a huge flat valley. I was so excited that I was given a chance to work on it, that I just worked and worked and worked on it, day and night until it ended up being so big, we had to split it into three levels in the end (which was exactly 1/4 of the full game)! It also contained some experiments I did with jump pads and gravity that turned out to be some of the most memorable experiences in the game (and probably the most difficult and hated ones).

Ivan Mika, Level designer for TSE (today: Level design lead)

During the development of TSE, we had some issues with framerate, mostly in our newly built particle system. I managed to single-handedly DOUBLE our framerate just by deleting a duplicate line of code that was making everything render twice (which I introduced into code in the first place)!

Nikola Mosettig, Content programmer (today: CIO)

 

By the end of the development cycle, we had to make decisions regarding retail box. Our publisher sent us box cover art, and boy, we had so much to say.  Turned out we were short on time and most of our remarks ended up in “can’t be done now” category.

SSSEBox_modifications

Sometime in that period, we managed to rent a much bigger office, where we had so much space that we didn’t know what to do with it, but we knew we liked it! So we brought even more people aboard, to prepare working on XBOX edition that will include both TFE and TSE. But that is another story…

Here are few pics and concept art from that era, hope you’ll enjoy them

        

 

 

 

Croteam actually gives a buck for education

Videogame development is booming in Croatia. New studios are founded almost on a monthly basis and the existing ones are rapidly expanding. But there’s a downside to this exciting story: it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit new talent in the industry.

The main culprit is easily identified: there is a huge technological and mental gap between what the Croatian education offers and what the contemporary young people and game development studios need.

And it’s not a small gap. Should educational system be reformed to include STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) it would take decades for first results to show.

So what does Croatia do? Instead of waiting for the abstract curricular reform that may or may not happen, an Indiegogo campaign was recently launched to place BBC micro:bit technology in every elementary school in Croatia. Croteam was just one of its many backers.

“We backed this campaign because we are selfish.” said Croteam’s CEO Roman Ribaric. “We want young people to get started with programming as soon as possible, so we can snag them to come and work with us on future projects as soon as possible.”

“It’s simple and honest, but when you consider that every other dev studio and IT company wants the same, it’s no longer about private interests.” explains Croteam’s CTO Alen Ladavac. “It’s a national interest and it’s great to see that more and more people understand this and support the campaign.”

The crowdfunding campaign raised over 200.000 USD, more than three times its initial goal in only five days, quickly becoming the most successfully funded Croatian campaign. Indiegogo campaign was launched by Croatian Makers led by family Bakic (Nenad and Rujana), a private initiative for better education.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this STEM revolution in Croatian schools will result in a lot of gifted young developers” said Croteam’s Chief Creative Officer Davor Hunski “and thanks to this campaign the revolution is exactly what we started. In fact, I’m sure many of those who’ll receive this technology today, will join Croteam on some future projects.”

Are you deeply concerned about the state of education in Croatia? There’s still time: you can back the Indiegogo campaign here.
Kampanja

The ‘Giant’ update for Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is here

A new update has been released for SSVR: The First Encounter, bringing many bug fixes and tweaks to the game, but one new feature literally stands out: world and weapon scaling! What it means is that you can make things smaller or bigger in the game to make them look just right. Or go overboard with the slider and become a giant Sam. Or a vertically challenged Sam. Look for this option in – wait for it! – Options (and then select Game options).

The game now also supports blink teleport and includes first experimental support for gamepad or keyboard and mouse, since both features have been requested on Steam forums. Read the whole change log here.

This update includes all fixes from previous beta builds, including optimization tweaks to the locomotion system and improvements in the low-level rendering systems for both DX and Vulkan.

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Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is available right now! NOW!

Just in time for a Christmas surprise – we are proud to present you fast paced arcade action FPS and best VR experience ever –  Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter.

The game is released on Steam Early Access and is available at 10% off for the first week. But that’s not all!  There’s an additional 10% discount for owners of Serious Sam HD: TFE and 20% for owners of Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope which makes it for a maximum total discount of whooping 40%. Yaaaay! (no, you won’t get a set of knives with it)

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is a full locomotion game with the smooth trackpad movement for the brave ones, built-in teleportation system to dodge the enemies and plain teleport with aiming for entry-level VR players. It features single player and a multiplayer mode which includes up to 16 players in various cooperative and versus modes. Deathmatch included. And that one is a blast!

Double the gun, double the fun and gain the courage to oppose Mental because your ultimate goal is to stop him once and for all. Travel back through time to ancient Egypt and fight against various enemies in what is considered to be one of the most visually enjoyable VR experiences.

Since the game is released in Early Access expect major upgrades, tweaks, and bugfixes soon.

 

Co-op mode for Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is live right now

Together with our friends and publishers Devolver Digital we can announce the first major update for Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope – online cooperative game mode, now available on Steam Early Access.

The new co-op mode allows for two players to play campaign online. This puts players side by side inside the VR simulation of Captain Sam’s combat logs with each player controlling one of two virtual-but-deadly versions of Sam Stone to deliver double the damage on Mental’s hordes of enemies. Players can jump in and start doling out destruction via either HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Now you can finally blast those enemies with your best friend!

In addition to that, players can choose between two new difficulty settings: Tourist and Serious, both in single player and co-op mode.

Follow us on our social channels @Croteam and Croteam Facebook for more updates.

Time for a Serious Christmas

Need a gift for your Serious Samantha? Are you looking to surprise your basic pleasure model replicant? Or would you rather buy something nice just for yourself? And what if we’re all just androids?

Find answers here: http://merch.croteam.com/

christmasmerchsale

SSVR is now available for Oculus Rift with the Touch controllers

Yes, the rumors are true. Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is now available for Oculus Rift with the Touch controllers. After few months of speculations Oculus Touch controllers are now ready for the delivery as of this week. Set contains two controllers specifically designed for your left and right hand and a second sensor that goes along with the first one. This should improve your gaming experience even more.

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is available through Oculus store by following the link below.

https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1021037564670339/

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope

SCUM: Announcing Croteam’s cooperation with Gamepires

Real, brutal, hardcore, kick-ass, next-gen, “finally, THE survival”, – basically everything that hardcore survival player is expecting to get – down to loosing teeth because of lack of vitamin C (or getting short in heated discussions), then asking politely others to give you their healthy teeth, so you can use learned dentist skill of crafting your own dentures – it’s going to be crazy deep in upcoming PC Steam online survival game called SCUM.

SCUM is coming from our friends and ex-Croteamers at Gamepires, published by also our friends at Devolver Digital, where Croteam is producing, co-financing and also helping with the development in photogrammetry and mocap areas.

SCUM also has a Steam page, so go there, wishlist and follow the development! Also, check out the latest video, screens and post comments (and best wishes) in Steam’s discussion forum:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/513710/

scum3

 

Nominate Serious Sam and Talos for Steam Awards

This year members of Steam Community will get the chance to nominate their favorite games for Steam Awards. This is the great chance for you to express love for your favorite developers.

Rules are simple. Select the game(s) Serious Sam and/or The Talos Principle, click “Nominate this game for an award” and select a category, the “Test of Time” category for Serious Sam and the “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” category for The Talos Principle.

Thank you all for voting.

For more info regarding Steam Awards click here.

Presenting new Croteam and Binx project

Our friends from Croatian game dev studio Binx Interactive are currently working on an interesting new project set in familiar surroundings. It’s an arcade shooter titled “Serious Sam: I Hate Running Backwards” which is in development for a few months together with the members of our team.

Game was presented at this year’s Reboot InfoGamer in Zagreb where it received indie award for the best gameplay.

More details regarding the development of this new exciting project can be found in the latest article on GameIndustry.biz.

croteamandbinx