Contagion VR: Outbreak
Contagion VR: Outbreak is a first-person survival horror built from the ground up exclusively for VR. Fully immerse yourself in a world initially familiar to you, and witness it’s transformation into something much darker as it rapidly changes right before your eyes.
You assume the role of one of the many characters presented to you and experience their stories first hand. The end of the world as we know it is filled with horrors the likes of which were never fathomed, but in all the darkness lies a beacon of light, tales of heroism and sacrifices made so others could carry on. Explore highly detailed environments, search for scarce resources and see if you’ve got what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse!
When I started working on this full-time there were only three of us actively working on it. By the time I left the project that count was double. It was a great experience overall as I was not just the Lead Programmer but also took care of Public Relations and Production Management.
Since this was an all-remote dev team, it presented many unique challenges that I had never encountered before. I pushed and organized the team from using SVN, Skype and Google Docs/Sheets to Perforce, Discord and Hacknplan (although we still did use Google Docs for some documentation).
As the Lead Programmer, I basically did every major game system (Multiplayer/SinglePlayer) but AI work (we had someone else dedicated to it), ensured that everyone was abiding by code standards, and looked into integrating new technologies (software/hardware) into the project. I was also in charge of the Beta Testers, so I coordinated with them on getting bugs properly recorded on our Hacknplan and also following up with them. I worked on hotfixes independently when needed, but that was mainly after Early Access launch on Steam. Other than that, here are some other common tasks:
- Created playtest builds (almost on a daily basis)
- Created final builds for players
- Verified and, if necessary, delegated bug reports to other devs
- Ensured that bug reports were completed within a reasonable time period
- Created and delegated tasks to achieve milestones based on roadmap
- Maintained several Perforce branches
- Updated Unreal Engine 4 to newest version when possible
- Audited Perforce commits for possible issues
- Audited programming team’s code for possible optimization or workflow improvement
- Kept up to date with all the new engine changes
On the Public Relations front, in the beginning it was all about building that HYPE! Afterwards it was about transparency and also showing our potential playerbase a look behind the scenes as I streamed development live through Twitch and YouTube. Other than that, maintaining and actively engaging with our playerbase through Steam, Discord and elsewhere.
On the Production Management side, I developed roadmaps and set up milestones based on current goals and tasked out and delegated what needed to be done so we could meet our deadlines. Also, did quite a bit of pestering to make sure things got done on time.