05-07-2022 06:48 AM - edited 05-07-2022 07:05 AM
Blacktop Hoops arrived some days ago on Steam - this is the PCVR trailer:
Note the motion captured animated AI opponent - really awesomely animated!
The game is also available for the Quests, but the PCVR version looks much better due to realtime shadows and more high-res textures. Get the free game here:
No doubt that the game was designed for the very weak Quest gpus, but it was cleverly designed. Of course the XR2 phone gpu used in Quest 2 can't render let's say 10 high-poly players in a crowded baskeball court. But it can do 1 opponent and a few spectators just fine:
One-on-one basketball works great in this game - note the dynamic shadow cast by the player on the ground - only in PCVR
Btw, here's an image from the Quest version - note the even colored shirt:
This is the Quest version - no real textures on clothes
This is the PCVR version:
Note the nicely detailed textures on clothes (the shirt)
Also the Quest version has no realtime animated shadows:
A faint blob shadow is seen in the Quest version - note the ground
- while the PCVR version has very detailed realtime shadows:
Note the detailed shadow cast by the AI opponent
That said, the PCVR version is close to a full Quest port - even setting in-game graphics to high, I have no trouble setting SteamVR to a jaw-dropping Index res 500% (45 mill pixels per frame combining both eyes) and I'm so far never dipping below 90 fps. I guess a GTX 970 will be more than enough for this port. But nice to have some better textures for the PCVR version and I do love the nice shadows. I think the player model has more polygons too.
Physics for the ball could be much improved, but this is a free alpha version, and the game might be in early access for long.
You can train alone, and it's close enough to feel you're using a real baskeball while shooting hoops. At least it's the best basketball game/sim I've tried yet in VR. UploadVR liked the game too:
"Unlike other VR basketball games, for example, Blacktop dares to be about more than simply shooting hoops. There’s a dribbling system that is smartly somewhat magnatized; the ball tends to snap back to your hand and will even stay there for a second or two before you throw it back down. It’s a little sticky and takes some getting used to — especially if you want to pull off tricks — but it feels like Vinci is really onto something here.
It’s even better being on the attack; trying to swipe the ball out of your opponent’s hand is a concentrated moment of focus, the exact same type you’d apply to real life, and you have a real sense of your physical presence in the world as you try and block the ball.
Perhaps my favorite part, though, is the experience. Allow your opponent to score and they’ll get up in your face to brag, conjuring a genuine rivalry between you and an AI opponent. It helps, too, that the game is absolutely gorgeous in its own right, which a wonderfully realized street-side court and diverse crowds of onlookers."
The AI opponents seems to be animated using motion capture - this is the part I like most about the game. Your opponent moves very realistically - quite impressive. The devs mentioned the use of Mocap on Steam:
"Play against dynamic mocap-driven AI recorded from pro streetball legends and dunkers. Ball out to an original 90s-inspired soundtrack with narration from legendary emcees Bobbito Garcia and WNBA legend Renee Montgomery. Unlock 30+ kicks from leading indie brands and shoe designers. Become the G.O.A.T."
The game will go through several development phases, so get in now if you want the free version and support the devs making the game:
"Blacktop Hoops will be released in three phases:
The first phase will be an Alpha demo with four modes:
The second phase of the release will include basic multiplayer with open lobbies. You'll be able to hang out and play against other players on Steam and Oculus Quest.
The third phase which will be our public Beta will be a paid version of the game and will include 3 unique characters, 2 court locations, private lobbies, and ranked matchmaking."
Btw, forgot to test if the game supports native Oculus drivers - will check later 😇
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"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"