Author Archives: mzandvliet

Chat in the Forums

I haven’t streamed anything on Twitch yet this week, my apologies.

We now have a discussion forum though! Come chat about the game, share screenshots and videos, and gently nudge me about making new builds.

I went to Indievelopment¬†on Monday. The event wasn’t as interesting as last year (it was heavily geared towards students this time around, and talks had less oomph), but I had a good time with friends nonetheless. Drinks and discussions on ludology make for a good evening!

I spend an afternoon doing a code review for the work Frank has been doing. As mentioned last time, he has worked on the new GUI system and some other parts of the game. His style of programming is very different from what I’m used to (functional, as opposed to my mostly imperative approach), and we’re learning to find a middle ground.

The heartbleed bug in OpenSSL also prompted us to perform some updates on our servers, and to actually force blog administration to use HTTPS. I feel just a little bit more secure now.

Anyway, that finally lets me back at actual game development. Let’s code!

Development Updates

A quick update for today!

You can now catch me working on the game live regularly on Twitch.TV. I’m also more active on social media these days, so follow the m_zandvliet & voloairsport twitters for more immediate updates and streaming announcements. I even set up one of those things!

I have a couple of in-depth posts queued up that will outline both the more immediate and far-off plans I have for the game. Look for them this week!

The Aurora Wager V4 (And What’s Next?)

Download The Aurora Wager V4



  • Split-screen multiplayer support (just technically though, no real gameplay changes yet)
  • In-game graphics and input configuration screens
  • Overhauled wind field system (smoother, more variation, some interesting anomalies, less prone to crashing the physics engine)
  • Overhauled wind graphics (More particles, longer trails, wider range, optimized performance)
  • Linux version now comes with both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries

Continue reading

Site Update

I finally updated the site to the latest, fixed version of WordPress. Welcome back to hyperlinks and media embeds! I also organized the header so downloads for both Aurora and Volo are now easier to find. Those download pages will always point to the files you need.

Below all posts you will now find that Disqus is used to handle all our discourse. If you’re wondering where all the old comments have gone: They’re still here, just hidden. I’ll try and import them into Disqus in the next week.

I’ve set up a Feedback and Feature Request Page using Uservoice. I’m using their free plan just to see if I like it, and it only supports The Aurora Wager right now. The idea is that you can submit ideas for both games, or vote on existing ones. Popular ideas bubble to the top, and if we like an idea enough we can commit to putting it into the game. Keep in mind that this is just an experiment for now, but if you have some feedback for us please take a look there! It also has a knowledge base on which I posted a guide on reporting crashes and bugs)

An avid Aurora Wager player called Sam created a Wikia page for The Aurora Wager, check it out!

In typical Tinus fashion The Aurora Wager V4 took longer to create than promised, but it’s pretty much done. Some highlights:

  • Split-screen multiplayer support (just technically though, no real gameplay changes yet)
  • In-game graphics and control configuration screens
  • Improved wind field system (more variation, anomalies, less prone to crashing)
  • Improved wind graphics (More, longer trails, optimized performance)
  • Fixes to grappling hook physics
  • Flag now rotates with wind direction
  • Fuel amount per canister cut in half

Look for it this week! (Yes, definitely.)

After V4 is out I’m back on Volo Airsport for a bit. It needs love, and I have love to give.

Oculus Rift

I received my Rift developer kit this weekend! I’ve played around with it a bit, and have started adapting the code for integration into Volo and Aurora. First impressions: moments of intense wonder mixed with moments of intense seasickness. I’m excited, but there’s lots and lots of caveats. More detailed post coming next week!

News & Updates


The Aurora Wager (and Volo) got features on Rock Paper Shotgun by Craig Pearson, check it out!

I got contacted by Alan of Oculus Hut. He inquired about my plans for supporting the Oculus Rift head mounted display, and whether I had experimented with the Razer Hydra motion controller. I totally do, and I totally did! (See our Armed & Dangerous prototype)

I ordered the Rift on the first day the Kickstarter launched, so I should be getting my development kit real soon. I’m really excited to bring it into Volo and Aurora and see what happens.

Alan kindly offered to list The Aurora Wager on his website, take a look!


I’ve pretty much finished the split screen audio and input configuration plugins. Finally! I’m bringing them into Aurora for a trial by fire, and Volo follows immediately after that. Once that’s done it’s back to making features. Sweet, sweet features.

I’ve also started experimenting with procedural terrain generation, and am really excited about the prospects. I had already have a ‘huge-world’ streaming system for Aurora, but with only a small selection of islands it gets kind repetitive after a while. Doing terrain procedurally will hopefully allow much more variation while keeping download sizes small.