Update 1.6 Assimilation Brings New Weapons, Modes, and Challenges

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Highlights of today’s free Espire 1: VR Operative Assimilation content update include:

New Operative Weapons
  • Vector SMG: This semi-auto weapon is an excellent choice for mid-range combat, providing for accurate and quick bursts of controlled fire with one bullet firing upon the first trigger press and the last bullet firing upon release. With an extended clip of 45 rounds and very low recoil, it is the weapon of choice for the new “SMG” weapon challenge mode.
  • Sawed-off Shotgun: Get up close and personal with this new shotgun, boasting a wider spread for close quarters combat. Its compact design allows for the shotgun to be holstered as either a sidearm or primary weapon -- and reloads via magazine clip instead of individual shells.


New Virtual Challenge Game Modes
Experienced Espire agents can also look forward to three new Virtual Challenge game modes, featuring new stealth gameplay not featured in the campaign. These new Virtual Challenges focuses on weapon mastery, climbing and intel gathering stealth skills essential to completing missions quickly and efficiently. Test your skills against players around the world with an improved leaderboard.

  • Weapon Challenges: Run, weave, duck, climb, jump and zipline your way through seven courses designed to test your mastery with each weapon class. Rack up the highest combo while eliminating static, moving and explosive targets, as well as enemy combatants in order to reach the top of the leaderboard.
  • Climbing Challenges: Overcome climbing puzzles where speed and timing is paramount to completing the course with the highest score. Make sure to avoid getting squashed by the fast-moving crushers!
  • Intel Challenges: Explore four completely new environments. Locate and hack intelligence from all workstations in the area and reach the extraction point. This game mode builds on the core Espire gameplay from the campaign.


In addition, Espire agents can expect a variety of technical and quality of life gameplay improvements based directly on player feedback and requests with today’s free release of the Espire 1: VR Operative Assimilation content update.

The full changelog for bugs fixed is not yet ready, but when it is it will be added below.
 
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This update will be live later today on Steam and Oculus, and we expect to push it to PSVR in a few weeks. The PSVR version will include the improvements from update 1.4 and 1.5.

New Features - Weapons
  • Designed and created new weapon - Espire Semi-auto SMG
  • Designed and created new weapon - Sawn-off shotgun
  • Added new "magazine reloading" animations to all weapons
  • Downsized shotguns, SMGs and pistols to be more realistic for players, these weapons were previously rather large
  • Added a new shotgun shells "Box" onto the player's belt. It appears while they are reloading the pump-action shotgun
  • Re-designed weapon “holographic sights” to make them easier to use and to address player feedback
  • For all holographic sights, we also reviewed them so their size was more consistent across all the weapons. This was also done so the Holosights are easier to see on low resolution HMDs
  • Adjusted all weapon SFX for improved performance during heavy combat
Game framework
  • Significant improvement to loading times when launching or restarting missions and challenges. In some cases, loading times have improved from 28 seconds to just 3 seconds.
  • While improving loading times, we were able to heavily reduce the amount of RAM required by the game, freeing up over 350mb of RAM on the Oculus Quest for example.
New Challenges
  • New Virtual Challenge Game modes - Intel mode, Climbing Mode, Weapons Mode
  • Adjusted the main menu so all new Virtual challenges in the 1.6 update will have a “New!” icon on their thumbnail
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - Pistol - VC_Wpn_Pistol_Sarina (1st difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - Pistol - VC_Wpn_Pistol_Ctenus (2nd difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - Pistol - VC_Wpn_Pistol_Cursor (3rd difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - SMG - VC_Wpn_SMG_Lampona (1st difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - SMG - VC_Wpn_SMG_Huntsman (2nd difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - Sawn off shotgun - VC_Shotgun_Darlingi (1st difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Weapon - Sawn off shotgun - VC_Shotgun_Venatoria (2nd difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Intel - VC_Obj_Int_Incei (1st difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Intel - VC_Obj_Int_Microps (2nd difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Intel - VC_Obj_Int_Cyrba (3rd difficulty)
  • New virtual challenge - Intel - VC_Obj_Int_Militaris (4th difficulty)
  • New Virtual Challenge - Climbing - VC_Obj_Clm_Inclemens (4th difficulty)
  • New Virtual Challenge - Climbing - VC_Obj_Clm_Viridas (5th difficulty)
  • New Virtual Challenge - Climbing - VC_Obj_Clm_Gibberosa (6th difficulty)
Campaign Improvements
  • Significant Polish Pass of the entire Espire 1 campaign to address logic issues, visual issues and lighting defects throughout the Missions:
    • Mission 1.1 Espire Labs
    • Mission 1.2 Reech Division
    • Mission 1.3 Research Sector
    • Mission 1.4 Data Centre
    • Mission 1.5 Ventilation System
    • Mission 1.6 Basement Level 1
  • Three new rounds of guard encounters have been added to the Central hub in Mission 1.6. A new squad of guards will appear after completing each objective in the mission
  • Brand new calibration sequence added to the start of Mission 1.1 Espire Labs
    • New voice over dialogue for the “Ashley Baker” character, thanks to the awesome Sarah Kennedy reprising her role
    • Players now have the chance to play with some weapons in a safe space
    • Learn to holster and grip primary and secondary weapons
    • Eliminate the need to customise the belt locations to make it easier for first time players
  • Mission 1.4 Data Centre: After the player completes objective 1 (Destroy laptops), we have added an audio cue instructing them to return to the airlock to address player feedback.
  • Mission 1.5 Ventilation: Address collision issues in elevator shaft at the start of the mission. Players reported dropping down through the concrete pillars.
  • Mission 1.6 Basement: Players reported running out of guns/ammo in the final command centre environment so we have added some additional weapons in this area to address the feedback.
Graphics and VisualFX
  • We did a complete visual pass of the entire game with the following goals:
    • Unify Lighting between PC, PSVR and Quest. The Quest version of the game is unable to have post-processing controls, so all lights had to be adjusted
    • Fix issues in the PSVR version of the game where areas were very dark, making it hard to navigate
    • Revise lighting of key areas in the campaign so it’s clearer to players where valid hiding spots are
  • Adjusted “tone mapping” in the PC and PSVR version of the game in order to improve realism. The environments have far less artificial ‘contrast’ now and instead rely completely on the lighting to achieve natural contrast between light and shadows
  • Improved the visual quality of our “spectator cam” on the PC version of the game - designed for streamers to record their gameplay
  • Improved the quality of reflections in all campaign missions. These improvements are for all 3 versions of the game, most significantly on PSVR
  • Increased texture resolution for all assets in the Quest version of the game
  • Roughness has been added to new Climbing VC's on Quest
  • On the Quest and PSVR versions of the game we did a polish pass of the many “pallet stack” 3D assets that have been used
Voice Commands
  • Detection of the “Freeze” voice command on PSVR has been improved (further improvements to come)
VR Interactions
  • Created manual vaulting option for climbing. This will give players the option to auto-vault when they get to the top of a surface or control it manually by letting go of the grip button when the vault icon appears.
  • Improved holstering logic to address players grabbing at holstered weapon locations and picking up nothing.
  • Revise grip priority logic to improve Grip interactions when grabbing guard's bodies from the ground.
  • Improved logic and sound effect for the Remote Cam "Noisemaker" distraction
  • Rewrote the logic for “Espire Force Grip” - where key items can be distance-gripped; flying to the player’s hands. The distance grip interaction is now easier, where previously you would have to point your hand directly at the item, now you do not have to be as precise
  • Adjusted grip logic to based on player feedback. Now when players crouch down to grip a guard, the guard’s body has grip priority over the items on your toolbelt, which could previously accidentally get gripped instead.
  • Adjusted Espire force grip logic so that if you now try to distance-grip and item and then release the grip button before the item reaches your hand, it’ll fly out of your hand. Previously it would incorrectly remain gripped in your hand.
  • We did a pass of all props in the game in an attempt to improve the realism of their physics interactions.
Settings and Customization
  • Added a new "Calibrate anytime" feature to the main menu and pause menu. Players can now recalibrate their Espire Unit at any point during gameplay. A new “RECALIBRATE” option in the pause menu allows players to adjust the location/size of their belt and chest holsters, change their dominant hand and their recorded standing height.
  • Based on player feedback, we created a new gameplay option to make ‘'auto returning weapons' an optional feature. This has also been added to the save game feature so it is remembered for players. With “Auto returning weapons” disabled, guns will no longer teleport back to their holsters if players drop them.
  • Created a new gameplay option to make "Manual Vaulting" an optional feature. This has also been added to the save game feature so it is remembered for players.
  • With the creation of the new calibration sequence we have also reset all saved calibration data to the new default values. This will address feedback from players who had calibration issues making the game unplayable but still allowing customisation for those who want total control.
User Interface
  • Remade an improved graphic for the initial "E" loading screen at the start of the game
  • Created a new 3D game splash screen for main menu
  • Created new key art for Espire 1.6 Assimilation update
  • Removed the requirement to say “Open Console” or press a specific button in order to open the Agent Select menu when first launching the game. The new splash screen replaces this sequence and you can press any button to skip it
  • Redesigned and rebuild the Leaderboard UI
  • Created new leaderboard functionality so players can filter the leaderboard to show only them and their friends
  • Extended the main menu system so players can view a leaderboard for any mission or challenge from within the main menu. Previously they had to start or even complete a mission in order to see the leaderboard
  • On the Quest and Rift platform, we’ve Integrated our leaderboards with Oculus’ new “Scoreboards” app
  • On the Quest and Rift platform, we updated all leaderboards on the Oculus backend to be user facing, and send notifications if a friend surpasses an entry.
  • Fixed various leaderboard-related bugs (leaderboard score not saved if user is temporarily disconnected/reconnected to their wifi when the mission finishes)
  • Altered UI button logic so all buttons in the menu now activate on press, not release
A.I
  • Based on player feedback, we’ve Adjusted A.I logic for non-lethal takedowns. Now on “normal” difficulty, guards will only ever wake up if their body is discovered by an ally. On “hard” mode, they will wake after 15 minutes have passed.
  • On the Quest platform, we’ve Improved handcam logic so if guards are viewed with the handcam / remote cam they will still animate even if they are not being rendered by the player. Previously they would slide across the ground.
Bugs Fixed
Thanks to the members of the Espire Community who reported these bugs.
  • Fixed an issue where the Mission 1.2 “Reech Division” “Trial 5, You Won't See Me Coming” would not be unlocked correctly
  • Fixed an issue where the Windows Mixed Reality controller bindings were not being initialized correctly when the game launched, as a result the “Voice command” button would not correctly be setup
  • Fixed an issue where players would sometime simultaneously distance grip a nearby gun while trying to grab the body of a stunned guard
  • Fixed an issue where on Loading screens occasionally incorrectly display once at eye level, then flick down to display at floor level.
  • Fixed an issue where on Oculus Quest, the M9 pistol didn’t show a muzzle flash when fired.
  • Removed floating radio antenna and other small geo issues in the starting area of the Mangora, Maevia and Mira VCs
  • Fixed a mesh visibility issue in the last room of hostage rescue 3 - Emilia on Quest/PSVR
  • Fixed collision issues in the elevator in the Ornata VC
  • Fixed geometry issues in Mission 1.1 Elabs - Hardware reception on Quest/PSVR
  • Fixed an issue where guards could incorrectly see the player through a large one-way glass window in the “Atrium generator room” at the end of mission 1.1 Elabs
  • Fixed an issue in Mission 1.6 Basement where If the player aborts a mission, then attempts to resume the mission in progress, music will not initialize correctly
  • Fixed an issue where Audio from tongue drones can be heard in menu after the user has died in Missions 1.5 and 1.6
  • Fixed a rare case where the game could crash when shooting while detected in the Security offices in 'Mission 1.3 Research Facility'
  • Fixed a UI issue where the 'LOG OFF' option was unnecessarily displayed on Agent’s profile screen after logging off the agent from Pause menu
  • Fixed an issue in the Hold Up #2 VC where the 'Quit' and 'Next Challenge' text in the summary screen would get partially obscured by the 3D environment around it
  • Fixed several localization issues in the game’s UI where text was incorrect or would ‘overrun’
  • Fixed an issue where Crouching SFX could be heard while all audio volume settings are set to 0 when switching stance between standing and crouch
  • Fixed an issue where Several assets pop in and out of view when approaching them throughout Mission 1.1. Espire Labs
  • Fixed an issue where Rarely, the game would crash during the loading sequence after selecting Resume Mission in the Main Menu
  • Fixed an issue where the Hand camera would spin continuously when dropped on top a mounted turret
  • Fixed an issue on Quest and PSVR where some desks would not render, appearing invisible during the Hold-Up Challenge 05
  • Fixed several small collision issues in the “Tripmine lift shaft” at the beginning of mission 1.5
  • Fixed an issue on Quest and PSVR: where some light fixtures in the Mess Hall had incorrect textures
  • Fixed an issue in Mission 1.6 where players could bypass the keycard near the chain-linked
  • Fixed an issue where Ophis member 'Lobe' could be seen T-posing at the end of the cinematic in Mission 1.5
  • Fixed an issue where a Blue Laser appeared to be floating in Hostage area on Mission 1.6
  • Fixed an issue where a Floating lamp light could be seen in the room near the overhead doors in Challenge Mission 5 - Cinnamon
  • Fixed an issue where a Challenge could fail after a successful completion If the user was able to pause the game at the exact same time they stepped onto the goalplate
  • Fixed some UI Text overlaps that could be seen in the challenge Mission results menu in Hostage Rescue and Person of Interest
  • Fixed an issue in mission 1.2 where players would lose any special weapons they’d been carrying with them after trying to possess a new Espire Unit in the “Generator Room”. The previous espire unit would become in-accessible in the control room. Players can now return back to the control room if they want to collect their special weapons again
  • Fixed an issue where some tripmines were stuck inside geometry inside the liftwell at the start of mission 1.5
  • Fixed an issue where one optional Level-3 door did not open after obtaining the Level-3 Keycard in Mission 1.6
  • Fixed an issue where a Locked vent door could not be opened after removing the lock in the Material Storage Area in Mission 1.6
  • Fixed an issue where the generator room screen console displayed an Inverted image in Mission 1.2
  • Fixed an issue where the player could fall out of world or be presented with a black screen when reloading saved progress at the Airlock near “Director Kamen’s office” in Mission 1.4
  • Fixed an issue where players could get stuck in a wall in the Data Centre tunnels in Mission 1.3
  • Fixed an issue where Enemy Soldiers would not correctly re-initialize in the central hub area of Mission 1.6 if the player returns to the hub area via a specific vent shaft
  • Fixed an issue where Severe “Z-fighting” could be seen in the Director's Office after taking possession of the "Herbert" Espire model in mission 1.4
  • Fixed an issue where players would see the environment load in-front of their eyes if they entered the “Storage Wing” via a small ventilation duct in mission 1.6
  • Fixed an issue introduced in our 1.5 patch where if the player holds up a guard, then knocks out the guard while the guard is talking, the guard's dialogue will incorrectly continue to play even though the guard is knocked out.
  • Fixed an issue in virtual challenges where if the player was able to meet a challenge’s victory conditions while standing on the goal plate, the goal plate wouldn't activate until they stood off it.
  • Fixed an issue in Mission 1.4 Data Centre where one of the exits for the ventilation system in the main halls was missing logic to turn on parts of the environment. As a result, some meshes in the hallway would not render after the player left that vent exit
  • Fixed some texture artifacts in the “Gigas” virtual Challenge
  • Fixed an issue where some meshes were missing in the main Ventilation Shaft in mission 1.5
  • Fixed an issue on Quest and PSVR where the game could hitch while attempting to possess the "Sim_J" Espire in mission 1.4 Data Centre
  • Fixed an issue in Mission 1.1 Elabs where rarely the lab environment would render black if the player attempted to possess one of the 3 available backup Espire robots after having their previous robot destroyed in the Marionette underground server room
  • Fixed an issue with tripmines where the tripmine physics had no damping, meaning the mines could travel at very fast speeds if a large enough force was applied.
  • Fixed an issue with tripmines where If the player disarmed an explosive tripmine, attached it to a surface, then triggered it, the destroyed mine would incorrectly remain grippable.
  • Fixed an issue where the ‘siren’ sound effect for an alarm tripmine could get into a state where it would loop indefinitely
  • Fixed an issue with tripmines where the tripmine could get frozen in mid-air if the player detonated it mid-flight
  • Improved issues players reported when hand-placing tripmines onto surfaces - the tripmines would not sit flush on the surface
  • Fixed an issue where NPCs could only be shocked with the repair tool once. If they were woken by an ally and returned to their post, the player was unable to shock the same guard again
  • Fixed an issue in Mission1.6 where the Player was able to fall outside of the world in the Helipad area
  • Fixed some holes in the large yellow pipe that overhangs the tunnels in Mission 1.2 Reech Division
  • Fixed an issue with two new challenges from the 1.5 Lunar update. Auratum & Misumena did not have "initial clusters" set up correctly causing the background to go completely black behind the summary screen upon failing the challenge
  • Fixed some texture and shadow issues in the Cinnamon challenge and storage wing area of mission 1.6
  • Fixed some mesh and shadow issues in the Mission 1.2 Reech generator room
  • Fixed an issue in Mission 1.2 Reech Division where players could fall out of world in the reception area
  • Fixed an issue in Mission 1.3 Research where one piece of geometry in the Espire backup room missed some triangles and the player was able to see out of world
  • Fixed a UI issue on the Agent Profile Selection Screen where the 'Confirm' and 'Cancel' options could appear disabled after creating and deleting the save file multiple times in a row
  • Fixed an issue in mission 1.2 Reech Division where reinforcement troops could rarely be spawned half-standing in the floor in the mess hall cafeteria
  • Fixed an issue where if the player was rapidly toggling the Espire Instinct ability, the ‘instinct’ sound effect could incorrectly continue to play out for a few seconds even after the player had stopped using the instinct ability
 
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Notes on PSVR
The PSVR build is coming very soon. The PSVR patch notes are included below. For PSVR, our 1.6 “Assimilation” update is our biggest yet as it also includes: