COMPOUND is an intriguing VR hobby project from developer Bevan “NotDead” McKechnie which drops players into a “rogue-lite, free-roaming shooter” for VR, with a totally unique and authentic pixel-art feel. We’ve had our eyes on the game since 2017, but with no official announcements from McKechnie in nearly nine months, the fate of the title was beginning to look uncertain. A recent post from the developer assures fans that the game is still in the works, with an updated demo and Early Access launch coming soon.

In a recent post to Compound’s Steam page titled “I’m still here!,” McKechnie apologies for the months of radio silences, but assures fans that he’s “been constantly working on Compound for a while now and I’m getting very close to releasing a hugely updated demo and an Early Access version.” A series of GIFs in the post show new weapons, enemies, and environments:

New weapon: the double barreled shotgun

New weapon: the clip-loaded railgun

Two new maps, three new enemies, and lots of other new features and improvements

McKechnie says there’s “much, much more than I could show in a few gifs, but I hope you get an idea of how much Compound has been evolving.” He further says that the game’s Early Access release is “close to being ready,” and that much more content is planned between Early Access and the game’s eventual 1.0 release.

SEE ALSO
Retro Rogue-lite VR Shooter 'COMPOUND' Launches on Steam Early Access

In the meantime, players can still download the free Compound demo from Steam, with support for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

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  • Nosfar

    One of my all time favorite VR experiences,and still one i use to show off VR.if youve not tried it get it itz free

  • ummm…

    been waiting on this one for a while. simple, solid, fun. i thought this was dead.

  • impurekind

    Can you PLEASE add Google’s very specific “tunneling” system/solution* (as I’ve only seen done in this precise way in Google Earth VR to date–this is not the same as the “tunneling” you see most VR games), into this game in order to eliminate motion sickness during free movement. It is the ONLY solution I have seen that ACTUALLY works.

    Here’s a link so you can see it in action yourself, but I’d seriously recommend actually playing Google Earth VR and trying/studying it properly so you understand precisely what it’s doing and why it’s different to what every other VR game is doing right now to [ineffectively] remove motion sickness when free moving in VR:

    https://youtu.be/6NsI6XgzSn8?t=257

    Note how it’s about rendering an actual static 3D room of some sort outside the peripheral area of your view that’s cut off when most modes of this kind are activated, in this case a kind of holodeck, which is used as a fixed/static 3D reference point that does not move as the player moves, so they can also see they’re actually stationary even when the main game view is showing them moving and turning around all over the place.

    Seriously, without this I have not found a single first person moving around game in VR that has not eventually made me feel kind of sick and queezy, and that ends up meaning the game is pretty much unplayable for me ultimately, which is clearly not what any developer wants.

    I really hope you listen to what I’m suggesting here and actually try implementing it because I think this could take your game from something I really like the look of but basically can’t play/enjoy and turn it into a game I’m going to love playing and tell everyone else to play too.

    • Meow Smith

      Go here -> https://steamcommunity.com/app/615120/discussions/0/ and suggest it to the dev you will most likely get a response from him.

      • impurekind

        Done. Cheers.

    • Firestorm185

      It’d be cool to see this as a comfort option, but it definitely shouldn’t be the only option, I personally have no problem with full-locomotion games with complete perifery and would hate to lose the FOV because of moving.

      • impurekind

        Yes, to be clear, it has to be OPTIONAL.

      • JJ

        yes optional because for me adding those tunnels is the equivalent of me getting tunnel vision which makes me feel more sick. I haven’t tried this demo yet and i cannot wait to

    • drd7of14

      This?…

      Finally took some digging to find what you were referring to. Since you couldn’t provide a link, I wanted to see what you were actually referring to as a reference point. Works for almost 2% of games. Unless it’s a strictly visual experience, this doesn’t work. You may as well just put a cardboard cut out near your peripherals to lessen the FOV for the player…Or better yet, not use VR? Just play on a TV, cause that’s essentially what this is doing.

      You’re effectively using 15-20% of the game, limiting your Field of View on the peripheral…Which is essential for “seeing” what’s there. That’s pretty ineffective, obstructive to the entire experience (as I said earlier when you first described it on a different thread), and would most certainly not work for all games/experiences. Try finding a needle in a haystack…Now try doing it with one eye looking through the center of your hand light a pirate’s spyglass…Enjoy?

      Look, I’m not saying that idea doesn’t work…I guess. But at that point, I have another wonderful solution for people that suffer heavy motion sickness from VR, don’t play it. Or if there’s a non-VR alternative, play that. It sucks…Yeah. But this would be a comfort setting for games, it would be a serious handicap. It’s fine for Google Earth, cause it’s not a game. But it would not work for Doom VFR, Skyrim VR, Rec Room, Moss, Wipeout VR, Gorn, Alumette, Sariento VR, Battlezone, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Megaton Rainfall, Superhot VR, X-Wing VR Mission, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Batman: Arkham VR, Thumper, The Invisible Hours…The list goes on.

      It’d be like playing with any eye-patch on one eye, and a donut on the other. I’m all for comfort settings, but this would fundamentally change the design of the games/apps for the developers. They’d have to keep in mind that a very rare and select group of users may have the donut eye patch mode enabled, so they can’t make it too unfair. You may argue that they wouldn’t have to, and people would accept the limitations…But you’re just wrong. People aren’t that well minded. They’ll get confused with the settings, and the games would suffer because of it.

      It sucks that games cause motion sickness, but real life causes it too. You just gotta deal with it at this time until we have a proper 360 degree mobile movement solution…Which we’ll get to eventually.

      • impurekind

        99.9% of other games that have “solutions” to reduce motion sickness during free movement in VR just shove a black circle around the edge of the screen on place some static border HUD image around the screen. This is an order of magnitude better than that.

        Also, you might not be getting what’s going on properly from the videos online: While it may look like Google is cutting off 70% of the view area with this technique in video footage, that’s not how it appears inside the actual headset. It takes about 10-20% of the view around the edges for the effect, and you barely even notice it is happening in practice, but the effect works to basically remove motion sickness for most people extremely effectively–and more so than any other software solution currently out there that still allows for free movement.

        • drd7of14

          I understand what you’re saying…But again, it’s a very specific type of game where this would work. If we humans didn’t have our peripheral vision…We’d not function as well. Seeing things from the corners/sides of our eyes is essential.

          When they designed VR, they could have limited the FOV in the same way, to make it smaller (thus negating motion sickness for people similar to your type), but…That would have just been weird. Even the FOV they have now isn’t as high as many would like it to be.

          I’d say what will likely be a better solution is foveated rendering through way of eye tracking…But that’s not going to be a built in standard till 1 or 2 generations from now. Some 3rd party devices exist as peripherals to Vive/Rift, but again…It’s not very well supported, has other problems (like limiting FOV and light bleed in), and it being bulky. It’s also not ready as a consumer product, so I can’t speak on it as a complete review/analysis based on experience, but from what they’ve shown (and roadtovr/uploadvr articles) it may satisfy the same sort of peripheral issue you’re having. Granted, it’s not a static border/grid, but it blurs any surrounding area you’re eye is not focused on. It’s pretty neat. The goal here is optimizing performance, but it could possibly help with other issues as well.

          And I stand by my claim. It does remove near 70% of the area you see, but that’s mainly on the peripheral. Our eyes see a lot, much more than our focal point. Putting this mode on, as I’ve went back and tested since yesterday to get a proper idea of it cause it had been while, may be wider than a spyglass…But it’s still limiting the FOV vision similar to that of a full 1080p television except with rounded corners. The horizontal resolution takes a huge hit with this enabled. The capture isn’t wrong, it’s your perception that’s misunderstanding it.

          But let’s just say it only removed 10% or even 5% of the screen…That’s still too much. Anything percent is too much. If you look all the way to the left with your eyes, you shouldn’t see the grid, you should see the actual game. Cutting anything out of the game, altering the FOV, adjust the screen space…That’s just not what people expect/want with VR. I do believe there are solution out there to help further, I don’t think it’s completely futile. But your solution works in a very specific subset of titles, which are mostly apps/experiences. We want it to look like we’re in 1st person, not 1st person with an eye injury, eye patch, or anything else…Any the games/apps/experiences are designed as such.

          Furthermore, I didn’t address this earlier, but burn-in is an actual concern with any screen. Granted, regardless of what you do…Burn-In will eventually happen to some degree, but any sort of static imagery is not the greatest idea for screens at this time. Hopefully future VR/non-VR displays will address this. It’s not nearly as bad as the Plasma/CRT days, of course…But it’s still there.

  • PJ

    The demo is REALLY good, looking forward to the release

  • Head First

    The demo is one of my top 3 fave games on the Vive, can’t wait for the full version.

    • gothicvillas

      i ddint know there is a demo. thanks

  • Net Shaman

    Yeah, it is cool to see some news about this awesome game !
    Can’t wait !

  • jarjarplinks

    Just tried the demo after reading this, it’s pretty darn good. A lesser developer would sell this demo alone as full game as really it is more than a demo. Added to my wishlist in anticipation.