Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #6

As this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) draws ever closer it’s understandable that many videogame developers will be getting nervous about the event and the reactions to the products that they’ll be showing. Under usual circumstances all gamers would have to go on is intuition, but here at VRFocus we offer exclusive insight into the workings of a studio preparing to reveal their debut virtual reality (VR) videogame for the very first time.

Speaking on behalf of nDreams, Jackie Tetley is clearly both passionate about their upcoming project and anxious about revealing it. The mixed emotions are clear for all to see in her words below, revealing the inner workings of a team on the other side of those E3 booths and demos. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on nDreams’ upcoming reveal and other VR projects from the studio.

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Jackie Tetley, nDreams: One of our managers required an emergency operation last week. The same manager who was due to accompany our CEO to E3.

Although he is recovering nicely (as indicated by the constant stream of messages/mails/instructions he is sending from his sofa), it was decided it was better that he didn’t risk hopping on a plane to LA.

A replacement was needed at short notice, and as the theoretical fount of all knowledge on the game, I was chosen.

This now means I will see reactions to the demo first-hand. Every tiny facial tick (those that can be seen around the headset), exhalation and carefully-worded response will be mine to witness as I lurk around people playing the demo.

I’m definitely a worst-case-scenario person, so I’ve already imagined every kind of feedback we might get. I’ve even imagined getting feedback I couldn’t imagine, which is a tricky one to pull off.

As much as an unstinting outpouring of praise would be nice, I’d be happy with some positivity, some constructive criticism, and a little outright negativity, providing this last one was closely followed by my being passed a consolatory cake/drink/red panda.

I am far too cynical to pronounce the demo perfect, but I am proud of what we have achieved and feel immense affection for it, so I’m just hoping over-protective Momma Bear mode doesn’t get triggered.

I’m now also hyper-aware of bugs showing up when we are out there, and am starting to get scared to touch the level in case I introduce something which I later have to awkwardly watch players encountering. That said, I am looking forward to seeing their delight in the immersion of VR, and their anticipated enjoyment of the experience.

I’ll probably be able to squeeze in one more diary after this one before E3, and I’m really hoping it will be extremely dull, because that means nothing disastrous happened in the last week and instead we sat patting ourselves on the back for being finished early before suddenly remembering we had a whole game to complete!

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