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We've updated the game to 0.7.30, adding the Gas Sampler tool and many other improvements, tweaks, and bug fixes!

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Hello subROVers! We've updated the game to v0.7.30 😁 Let's take a look at all the new stuff!

Gas Sampler and Tools transport

The all-new gas sampler, docked on the Experiments Platform

gas sampler, docked

The Sampler is a modular tool made of several identical units connected to a common funnel. Each unit consists of a bottle connected to a valve system operated with a handle that rotates into three positions: closed (handle’s arrow points up or down), open (arrow points right), or purge (arrow points left). To sample a gas seep, you rest the sampler directly on it, and open any of its valves. A blue light blinks while it's filling up, and turns green when it finishes. The same light turns red if you happen to sample a second source with the same bottle, indicating an invalid mix, which should be discarded. To empty any of the bottles, you set the valve to "purge".

Opening the valve. It is not necessary to fit the grip with such precision, but it does fit

gas sampler in game, valve operation

Currently, the Gas sampler can be found on the South-East vent site at the Rise of the Vents dive, though we'll gradually incorporate it to more dives, where you'll use it to sample gas seeps, gas leaks from pipes, and fuel/oil leaks.

X marks the spot

gas sampler location

We've also made several fixes and improvements to the arm and grip, and devised an automatic system that keeps tools in place while they are being transported on the Platform (in real life they would be secured beforehand), plus we've improved handling of tools (the platform, the sampler) so they are less prone to "break through" the arm's grip while held when the ROV moves fast. This will become increasingly important as we add new tools and objectives that require transporting them to different sites, or if we eventually allow deploying and retrieving the platform itself from the ship.

Control Tweaks for players using Gamepads

We've changed the "main click" from the "A" button to the Right Trigger (X and R2 in a playstation controller); during gameplay, "A" is now bound to the sonar ping. In this way, sonar and scan controls are next to one another and going through menus and the game controls is more comfortable.

controls

Note that this change will apply automatically to the controls in the Main Menu, but not to the gameplay controls (to avoid overwriting your custom bindings). You can either change these bindings manually (if you want to, that is), or just reset all the bindings in the options menu.

We've also changed the Main Menu scroll controls (gallery, settings) from the DPad to the Left Stick, and tweaked the scrolling speed, which was way too high.

Revised Time Control

Time Control is the feature that allows you to descend and ascend rapidly between 50 m depth and 50 m altitude.

turbo lift

We've revised this feature to remove (or noticeably reduce) the frame rate drop experienced in some computers at the maximum setting. We've also renamed it to "Turbo Lift" because this describes better what it does, and we've substituted the "timesX" indication with triangles representing steps.

Added Leatherback Turtle, and fixed the Tube Worms

Leatherback turtle


Most of the work in this update went towards the Gas sampler, but we've added the Leatherback turtle to the water column, and we've fixed two bugs that were preventing the Tube worms from being scanned, and kept them with their plumes permanently hidden in the tubes. You can find the worms close to the gas sampler, in the Rise of the Vents Dive -try touching them with the arm and see what happens 😀

And more!

There's a new option to disable the "camera wobble" while playing. This comes after a request from someone who wrote it was triggering their motion sickness. When this option is active, the main camera won't move, and its field of view will also be slightly bigger to cover all the panels at once.

The sand in the corer is a bit darker now. This is also after feedback that it was difficult to see.
The marine snow (particles surrounding the ROV) is much denser now. Again this comes after feedback that sometimes it was not dense enough to give a good sense of movement.

We've tweaked the ROV's main light: if you're close to something you'll see more of it's "natural color", and as you move away from it it will shift to blue, as the light gets affected by the water in between.

Here's the full log:

New Features/Improvements:

  • Dives: Time Control renamed to Turbo Lift. This feature has been revised so that the game doesn’t need to go further than 4X real time, avoiding frame rate drops.
  • Dives: Added the Gas Sampler Tool that allows the player to take samples of gas seeps, and added a dock to the Experiments Platform to transport it.
  • Dives: Added Gas seeps.
  • Dives: Revised the arm’s setup and collision volume.
  • Dives: Revised handling of the Experiments Platform, especially when loaded with other tools.
  • Dives: ROV turn speed reduced when the arm is extended.
  • Dives: Arm’s grip now has independent extend/retract speeds (for faster retracting).
  • (feedback) Menu: New option to disable the "camera wobble" while playing. The main camera won't move, and its field of view will also be slightly bigger to cover all the panels at once.
  • (feedback) Dives: Darkened the sand in the corer.
  • (feedback) Dives: Increased the amount of marine snow around the ROV.
  • Dives: ROV’s main light shows objects with their natural colors when close by and shifts them to blue with distance, simulating the effect of the water in between.
  • Dives: Added Leatherback Turtle.
  • Menu/Dives: Gamepad default “select” binding changed to Right Trigger.
  • Menu/Dives: Gamepad sonar ping biding changed to A.
  • Menu: Gamepad Scroll up/Down bindings changed to Left Joystick.
  • Menu: Gamepad scroll speed reduced (e.g. in the Gallery).

Bug Fixes:

  • Dives: ROV arm moves back and forth with ship’s motion when ROV is docked.
  • Dives: Arm's grip doesn’t stop closing when it touches an object.
  • Dives: Retracting the arm when the grip is opening closes it again.
  • Dives: Exp. Platform’s handle sometimes goes through the ROV’s arm grip when moving or turning.
  • Dives: Can’t scan tube worms.
  • Dives: Tube worms’ plumes are always retracted.

Get In Touch

Updates will slow down a bit this week for obvious reasons, but we'll be active if you need any help. Here's a list of the many ways in which you can reach us:

Here are the many ways in which you can reach us:

Acknowledgments

We've like to say thank you to TheNorseman, who tested the betas and pointed out issues when handling the Gas Sampler, to FlyinJ, who sent constructive, helpful criticism about the gamepad controls, and to everyone who's sent us anonymous feedback.

Teaser

Hoel

Happy subROVing! ⚓ 😁


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