Tweet
  1. Refract is all about interactive art. We're a Seattle-based independent studio formed from a few of the devs behind award-winning games like Solace, Nitronic Rush, Sowlar and others. We're currently working on a Kickstarted spiritual successor to Nitronic Rush called Distance.

    Pre-order Distance today to get instant access to behind-the-scenes updates!
  2. Distance Alpha Build 2590 Changelog

    image

    After releasing last week’s update we wanted to fix some various issues regarding bounciness of the car, flight sensitivity, and some other small issues. While we were at it we also were able to add some new features such as a “Smooth Landing” points multiplier, improved physics with rotating obstacles, the jump button now handles both jumping and flying cases, etc.

    As usual we’re looking for feedback on all of the changes so let us know what you think on the forum!

    New Stuff

    • Added Flight Sensitivity slider to the controls menu which modifies flight pitch/yaw
    • The Jump button now also triggers the wings so that a separate wings button is no longer needed (though it is still supported by default schemes currently)
    • Renamed Jump and Wings input actions in the controls menu to “Jump and Wings” and “Wings Only” respectively
    • Added “Smooth Landing” feature to stunt system (where an eV multiplier is added if a trick was landed smoothly)
    • Added support for friction on moving objects for wheels
    • Improved physics behavior for rotating obstacles (saws and rollers) so that they behave more “realistically” in terms of tossing or destroying the car
    • Added huge saw to Dark Goals
    • Jumping has been reverted to a mode where jump height doesn’t vary with how long the jump button was pressed
    • Increased minimum impact speed required for driving/flying deaths
    • Car wheel images now are true to the image color and aren’t affected by car glow color (therefore more visible)
    • Adjusted point amounts for certain tricks
    • Changed the color of the road hop to be a brighter yellow
    • Added a teleporter visual to the racing modes’ end zone
    • Tweaked the building physics material a slight bit (made it less bouncy)
    • Set “Full” Anisotropic Filtering in the graphics options as the default setting
    • Updated the Free Roam set so that stunt-type levels are first in the set

    image

    Level Editor Features

    • Added tool to move car spawner to start zone
    • Added teleporters to the Library for placement in levels
    • Move Gizmo planes disable themselves at sharp angles now (to help prevent moving objects out very far when the planes are near parallel with the camera)

    Bug Fixes

    • Fixed issue where car turning sensitivity as modified by speed was affecting flight pitch/yaw (now modifiable in the controls menu separately)
    • Fixed bug where after changing colors in the Customization menu, pressing Esc, cancelling the message box warning about not applying changes, and hitting Apply no button would be selected
    • Fixed bug where saturation/brightness edit square wasn’t changing color as hue slider changed
    • Fixed issues with small size of Q/LT and E/RT text in color customization menu
    • Fixed bug where menu text would wrap or break if resolution was changed in the graphics options
    • Fixed issue where after landing the car from performing a trick or flying the impact could be uncontrollably bouncy
    • Fixed issues where menu text width wasn’t properly constrained in some cases
    • Fixed issue with direct IP address input (was set to “float-only”, now alphanumeric)
    • Fixed bug where on getting a new Steam leaderboard time the “[NEW!]” text was broken
    • Fixed bug where the final times presented in Speed and Style mode were potentially incorrect
    • Fixed an issue with the level editor gizmos taking drag input when dragging over the new properties menu
    • Fixed bug where death cam would still move/rotate if the game was paused
    • Fixed bug where offline only modes (i.e. Speed and Style) don’t pop up in the game lobby mode list if was played previously to entering the lobby
    • Fixed bug where Reverse Tag bubble would cause issues when colliding with the car’s camera
    • Fixed bug where setting Horizontal or Vertical in the split-screen mode options would function inconsistently

    1 month ago  /  0 notes

  3. Distance Alpha Build 2553 Changelog

    image

    At long last, our latest Alpha update for Distance was just pushed to Steam! As it’s been quite a while since our last update (check out the latest backer updates for more info on development details) we were able to include a good amount of new features and tweaks to the overall game.

    This includes things like re-mappable input, two new modes, a complete overhaul of the level editor menus for Founding Modders, new post-process graphics options, earnable medals, Steam Workshop support for Mac and Linux, teleporters, and more. DRM-free builds will be pushed to Humble Store as soon as possible, and check out the details below for all of the major changes!

    New Stuff

    • Steam Workshop is now also supported fully on Mac and Linux
    • Added Master Volume slider to Audio options
    • Added Car Dents graphics option for disabling car deformation (improves performance on some computers)
    • Added Motion Blur graphics option for full screen and per object motion blur
    • Going through checkpoints repairs car dents
    • New input system integrated into engine
      • Added remappable input to controls menu, customizable per profile
      • Save/load/edit control schemes
      • Added default control schemes for keyboard, Xbox 360 controller, PS3/PS4 controller, and a few others
      • Xbox 360 controllers are now supported with default mappings on Linux and OSX (rumble only supported on Windows)
    • Added “boost” ability to Credits where holding boost on any controller speeds up how fast the credits scroll
    • Added Challenge mode
      • Features short levels without checkpoints where crashing results in the level resetting
    • Added Speed and Style mode
      • Similar to Sprint mode except that the accrued “points” from landing tricks results are subtracted from the final time to get an even lower time
      • Medals have been procedurally generated to match this mode but can also be set manually by the level creator if desired
      • Looking for feedback on implementation, not currently supported in multiplayer
    • Added medal earning for Sprint, Speed and Style, and Challenge modes
      • Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals can be earned on certain tracks as designated by the level creator
    • A counter per profile is displayed in the level select menu
    • Added level “Thunder Struck” to the Challenge set
    • Added level “Broken Symmetry” to the Sprint and Speed and Style sets
      • This level is a sample of a new set of race levels we’ve been developing for Beta
      • It’s currently the first level in the set, posed to replace the tutorial entirely (more details to come later)
    • Added directional arrows to the end of Corruption to help guide players
    • Tutorial level info prompts now switch properly between keyboard and Xbox 360 controls on all operating systems
    • "Back" text in bottom right corner of menus now switches between icons for keyboard, Xbox 360, or PS3/PS4 controllers depending on which one is being used
    • In general the designation of “last used controls device” is better handled
    • Clicking on links in the Mac and Linux Steam builds now opens the link within the Steam overlay
    • Song used in Tagtastic (known on the forums as Drive) was updated in-game
    • Experimental logic was added to saws so that touching them reacts in a more hyper-realistic fashion

    image

    Modifications

    • Updated underlying menu system (NGUI) to latest version
    • Updated Main Menu colors
    • Modified menus to use more appropriate fonts when letter case is needed
    • Modified placement of most menus to visually make a bit more sense
    • Improved Game Lobby menu to better support 4:3 aspect ratios
    • Modified how the car turns as speed increases (turning sensitivity now more accurately matches speed)
      • Use debug keys (F1 and F2) to toggle between the old and new steer algorithm for testing
    • Increased bounciness of car to help avoid situations in which car doesn’t land on its tires (and make tumbling a bit more natural)
    • Modified Reverse Tag mode so that the winner is determined by the first player to reach 3 mins of being tagged
      • A timer on each car now counts up to 3 mins, versus how previously the round was 5 mins long and whoever had been “it” the longest was the winner after the time limit was hit
    • Modified large camera drone to be semi-destructible by running into it
    • After the player crashes/explodes the camera follows the exploded pieces
    • Improved visuals of Saws and Roller obstacles
    • Car compass in Sprint mode now aims at the track’s end zone (finish line)
    • When leaving the track, the car screen brings up an arrow that points you back to the closest track piece
    • Improved visibility of the Wrong Way indicator
    • Made modifications to level Tagtastic
      • Changed many colors and added new buildings and other visual elements
      • Added teleporters with sound effects that quickly move your car across a map
    • Slightly improved case where pulling out wings while upside down would result in an awkward situation
    • Renamed the “Explore” mode to “Free Roam”
    • Visuals for level arrows were improved
    • Improved flexibility and robustness of the serialization (saving/loading) system

    Bug Fixes

    • Fixed bugs where if no audio card is present the game encountered many errors
    • (Level Editor) Can no longer scale objects negatively
    • (Level Editor) Can no longer modify object’s children transforms in properties
    • (Level Editor) Car spawner is now fully rendered properly
    • (Level Editor) Mouse up doesn’t register after mouse drag now fixing a bug where the cursor would move unexpectedly or selection would occur unexpectedly
    • (Level Editor) Now properly releasing the memory of icon textures fixing a memory leak

    image

    Level Editor Features

    • Added support for generating and saving out Speed and Style medal times
    • Converted menus to use NGUI instead of Unity’s built-in GUI
      • Includes Editor, Tools, Objects, Hierarchy, Layers, and Properties menus
      • Renamed menus to be more clear
        • Objects is now Library and Hierarchy is now Level Objects
    • Added a customizable tab system for handling the new menus
      • Tabs can be docked on the right and left sides of the screen
      • Tabs can be moved freely from the side docking panels either creating a window in the center or docking to the other side
      • Window layout is automatically saved/loaded
    • Added tooltips over each tab explaining what the items in the tab are used for
    • Added tooltips over the tool buttons in the Tools tab explaining what each tool does and displaying its hotkey if one exists
    • Added a new color picker window for editing colors in the new properties tab
    • Added a search feature to properties to find specific values
    • Can toggle old and new menus with F8 on the keyboard
    • Added support for simple mathematical expressions in number input fields (example: “1/3” resolves to 0.3333)
    • Updated Control Scheme B to be more similar to Maya/Unity controls
    • Now by default the first time the editor is used it starts with Control Scheme B
    • Pause menu in play mode now has a button to return to the editor
    • Helpful text was added near the return to the editor button reminding that the editor can be toggled with “~”
    • When creating a new level a default level is loaded with a car spawner and laser grid already placed
    • Car spawner is now a placeable/removable object
    • Added a temporary tool to fix saw scales since the saws may be huge in older level files

    If you’re an Alpha backer let us know what you think on the forum! http://survivethedistance.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=605

    1 month ago  /  0 notes

  4. Happy Valentine’s Day! Distance Valentines + a new GIF!

    image

    Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! No matter what your plans are for today we hope that you (much like the car above) are having a great day!

    As a small gift from Refract to everyone, our artists Laura and Eddie created some very special Valentine’s Day cards to share with your loved ones. We hope you enjoy!!

    Download the whole set: Distance Valentine’s Day Cards (9.42 MB)

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image

    2 months ago  /  3 notes

  5. Distance Alpha Gameplay Experiments Video Unveiled

    We hope that you’re having a great start to 2014! We’ve been cranking away as usual on Distance over the past few months, and at long last we’re ready to reveal a peek into our latest developments!

    After 10 months of only releasing media updates about Distance to backers, we’ve decided to give the public a window into some of the experiments we’ve been creating. This gameplay video highlights some of the protptypes we’ve been developing with assistance from our backers such as music-based visuals, a new stomper drone obstacle, soccer mode, teleporters, and more!

    We’ll continue to plug away at Distance until we feel ready to ship the Beta, which will initially be released to backers. If you want to get in on the action get instant access to the latest updates featuring behind-the-scenes development screenshots, early soundtrack previews, and more, you can pre-order Distance’s Beta via Humble Store on our website:

    Learn more: http://survivethedistance.com

    Distance is currently planned for Windows, Mac, and Linux (via Steam and DRM-free). The release date is “when it’s ready”.

    image

    If you’re a backer, make sure to check out the full update on Kickstarter or on the forums!

    Kickstarterhttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857884659/distance-a-next-generation-arcade-racer/posts/736799

    Forumhttp://survivethedistance.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=591

    2 months ago  /  0 notes

  6. Happy Thanksgiving! Play Distance with the Refract Devs

    image
    (here’s a blast from the past, posted exactly one year ago today)

    Happy Thanksgiving to anyone celebrating this weekend! We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve received over the past year since starting Refract, and we work hard everyday fueled by encouragement from backers, fans, other devs, our families, and friends.

    Play Distance with the Devs!

    If you’re an Alpha backer and you’d like to take us on in an online match, here’s your chance. This Friday (11/29) at 2pm PST (click the link for your local time) we’ll be hosting a couple online matches to test the updated networking code with anyone interested. Simply open up Distance and join one of the listed servers in the server browser to join. We hope to see you then!

    Minor Update to Distance Alpha

    Unity was able to release an update that resolved some performance issues they accidentally introduced in a previous version. As a result we posted a minor update to Distance Alpha today (build 2318) to sync up the game with the latest version of Unity and help with the performance issues.

    Bug Fixes:

    • Fixed performance issues in the Windows build caused by a bug in Unity 4.2.2. This also brought back spotlights which were broken in build 2316.
    • Removed animated screens in Continuum and The Observer Effect since they were expensive performance-wise and didn’t bring much visual value to the levels.
    • Fixed an issue with the level editor hierarchy search keeping focus after selecting an object in the hierarchy view.

    4 months ago  /  1 note

  7. Distance Alpha 2316 Changelog

    Update: Due to bugs with the latest build of Unity we reverted some of our code to improve performance on Windows. If you experienced poor performance from build 2315, launching Distance again from Steam (now build 2316) may result in faster performance.

    The latest build of Distance Alpha (build 2316) was just released via Steam! After more testing we’ll be sending the DRM-Free builds to Humble Store in the near future. In short this update includes support for sharing levels via Steam Workshop, a new darker-themed level with new music and obstacles, potentially improved networking stability, the start of a new input system, and more!

    image

    image

    New Features:

    • Added v1 of Steam Workshop integration for publishing and downloading Community Levels. At the moment this is only available in the Windows Steam build. Mac and Linux integration is in development. You can read more about this functionality here: http://survivethedistance.com/alpha/workshop.html
    • Added new level Corruption (shown above) which features new music, new moving obstacles, and new art assets.
    • Theoretically improved networking stability and smoothness of other player’s cars during online matches.
    • Added new worker drones to a few levels.
    • Added new dropper drones to the level editor which attack the player by attempting to create an obstacle in their path.
    • Dimmed brightness on laser sparks.
    • Added new idle screensaver that displays on the car when not moving for a while.
    • Added underlying technology for MIDI-based syncing of visuals to background music. Currently a very early example can be found in Kyle’s Workshop level “Purple Flave”.
    • Added technology for a new input system which currently supports the keyboard, Xbox 360 controller, PS4 controller, Gravis Gamepad Pro, and MLG PS3 Controller. Other controllers may work but will most likely have incorrect mappings. The Controls Options now displays the current key/button configuration. Menus for re-mappable controls are in development.
    • When selecting input devices in split-screen profile selection, the menu detects which device is active when assigning a profile to it.
    • Added a low pass effect that muffles global audio after a car explodes.
    • Decreased vertical font spacing for trick text for help it read more cleanly.
    • Upon doing a trick the car’s cooldown amount is now dependent on how much eV was generated by landing the trick.
    • Modified backlight overheat/cooldown visuals to better indicate how much cooldown was earned for each trick.
    • Changed backlight default color to be grey instead of red.
    • Added Film Grain as a camera image effect in the Graphics options.
    • Enabled switching between players with spectator camera at the end of a race (check the Controls Options for the specific key/button).
    • Splattering (smashable) eggs were added as a level editor object
    • The color picker in the level editor now supports Hex colors as an input option aside from RGBA.
    • Added “horn” experiment to cars. Holding the horn button shorter or longer changes the sound (check the Controls Options for the specific key/button).
    • Better tied how important a shadow caster is to how high your graphics settings are set (somewhat of a performance improvement).
    • Improved the overall visuals of spotlights.
    • Added wider bloom for certain lens flares.
    • Made message panel 80% smaller and included transparent backgrounds for unclicked buttons.

    image

    image

    Bug Fixes:

    • Fixed a problem with text fields keeping extra character on disable. This caused issues when moving over the password field and * characters would remain in the field on OSX.
    • Fixed a bug in the splash screens where it would start with Halloween music and then eventually transition to the main menu music.
    • Fixed a bug in the level editor where an object’s materials would break leading to very strange looking textures/colors
    • Fixed an issue with level save/load when handling certain materials
    • Fixed transparency issues with level editor icons

    As usual this build is available only to Alpha backers from Kickstarter/Paypal. Enjoy and let us know what you think of the changes on the forum!

    4 months ago  /  0 notes

  8. Distance Alpha 2151: Halloween Mini-Update!

    image

    Happy Halloween! Today we’re releasing a surprise Distance mini-update for Alpha backers (build 2151). It’s only available via Steam, and it’ll only be downloadable throughout the Halloween weekend.

    image

    image

    New Features:

    • Updated the visuals and music of the main menu to be Halloween-themed (new music, added steam particles, jack-o-laterns, changed fog and environment colors, etc.)
    • Added procedural generation of smashable pumpkins to every level that features roads
    • Smashed pumpkin count is displayed at the end of every mode
    • Added functionality that syncs auto-generated pumpkins across networked play
    • Added a test Steam achievement for getting all pumpkins in a level (will eventually be removed since it won’t be accessable by players down the road)
    • Other misc. holiday decorations added (projected jack-o-latern faces, spider webs, ambient audio, etc.)
    • Included new soccer level: Momenta
    • Soccer mode cars now include a new bulldozer-like blade that helps to maneuver the soccer ball around the court
    • Soccer goals were redesigned to use side shields to funnel the soccer ball towards the goal, as well as being visually redesigned
    • Scoring a goal in soccer mode now triggers celebratory audio and fireworks that shoot up from behind the goal
    • Right bumper now functions as boost when in Advanced Controls mode

    image

    image

    Bug Fixes:

    • Fixed bug in the level editor with center points going into the editor from playmode
    • Break apart logic (i.e. running into a lamp post that breaks apart) creates the broken pieces at the beginning of the level instead of when it explodes to help with performance
    • Collision mesh for start zone fixed to not allow cars to drive above the spawn position

    As usual this build is available only to Alpha backers from Kickstarter/Paypal. Enjoy and let us know what you think of the changes on the forum!

    5 months ago  /  1 note

  9. Distance Alpha 2078 Changelog

    Distance Alpha 2078 was just uploaded to Steam, and the DRM-free builds have been sent off to Humble Bundle. Simply launch the game on Steam to get the latest version, or re-install if playing DRM-free. Here’s some of the new stuff in store:

    image

    New Features:

    • Core system architecture was refactored to greatly simplify how modes are handled between solo, split-screen, and online play (this is the biggest change, and if no critical bugs are introduced it was a massive success)
    • Optimized track discovery and pathing system
    • Low-level graphics optimizations were made to hopefully improve overall framerate on lower-end machines
    • Added options to disable upside down self-righting and flight landing assist in controls options menu
    • Also added slider to adjust turning sensitivity in controls options which modifies driving and flying controls
    • Car jump height can now be controlled by how long the jump button is held (i.e. quickly tapping jump, holding it down long, or anywhere in between)
    • Added jump to right shoulder button
    • Reduced timer for allowing a jump after being airborn
    • Split-screen now supports the option for the last player to play with the keyboard, so a player can play on keyboard if they don’t have enough controllers on hand
    • A farther back camera option was added (toggle camera view once more to see from this view)
    • Improved options for adjusting shadow quality in graphics options (which allows for potential performance improvements)
    • Added vignette flickering effect and adjusted noise and grain settings within the Film Noir graphics setting
    • Added brightness slider to graphics options to lower or increase overall screen brightness
    • Added the ability to disable particles
    • Removed DLAA option from anti-aliasing drop down in graphics options
    • Improved the culling logic for particles
    • Simplified the main menu a bit by placing Solo, Split-screen, and Online options within a single Arcade option
    • "Pre-order Now" in the main menu now links directly to the pre-order section of the updated Distance website: http://survivethedistance.com/#preorder
    • The upper left Alpha watermark text now indicates the operating system being used
    • The server browser now highlights the player count in green when a slot is available and red once it’s full, and if a match is currently underway (not sitting in the game lobby) the status is indicated as “In Game”
    • Steam leaderboards on the finish results screen now center on a player’s specific score in the list, and all scores are now visible for each level via pressing page up/down or LT/RT
    • The finish results screen now show ties in local and online leaderboard results
    • Getting a better Steam leaderboard score now lets you know that you improved
    • Moved the displaying results when people finish locally to only in sprint mode
    • When bumping or crashing the car’s screen glitches on top of the previously existing noise
    • The visuals for the holographic checkpoints and signs throughout levels were modified
    • The skybox for each level was modified to include more detail
    • A new full screen dirty lens effect was subtly added to lamps attached to the roads
    • Glass roads were added as placeable roads in the level editor, and several roads within existing levels were changed to be glass
    • Modified headlights on car to be more “realistic” (wider angle, soft shadows, using flashlight cookie, and angled down)
    • Many obstacles’ procedural audio-based visuals were modified to be perfectly timed to the beat of the music (preparing for potentially cool beat-based visual effects)
    • Subtle tweaks to existing level visuals were introduced
    • Added new curved arrow art to level editor folders and the advanced tutorial level
    • Several new in-progress obstacles, new buildings, pre-made road segments, and other decoration prefabs were added to the level editor folders
    • Added some emissive panels for use in the level editor (this one’s for you FZEROMAN)
    • Updated the cubemap in the main menu level

    image

    Bug Fixes:

    • The car boost sound effect no longer disappears when stopped and immediately restarted
    • In tag mode it should be a lot less likely that players are able to tag themselves
    • Rigidbody now properly calculates inertia tensor on car split/regeneration
    • Fixed issues with selecting profiles in split-screen
    • Fixed issues where soccer ball can score on a goal after the mode has finished
    • Fixed issues with the car accepting input after a mode has finished
    • Shadows are disabled on net cars now for performance reasons
    • Lengthened the timeout time for switching scenes online
    • Disabling cars on finish now disables the player input so pausing can’t happen on finish
    • Removed cursor from splash screens
    • Sun shaft graphics option should now save properly after exiting the graphics option menu
    • Car wheels should now have glow around them after exploding on networked multiplayer
    • Removed one of the directional lights out of Soccer Time

    As usual this build is available only to Alpha backers from Kickstarter/Paypal. Enjoy and let us know what you think of the changes on the forum!

    5 months ago  /  0 notes