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‘To Develop an Action Based Virtual Reality Game – Without Players Getting Injured’ Live Blog

This week’s Develop Conference in Brighton is full of virtual reality (VR) focused talks and workshops, and VRFocus is bringing you all the latest from the event. Today this includes a live blog of ‘The Challenge: To Develop an Action Based Virtual Reality Game – Without Players Getting Injured’, a presentation hosted by Bandello’s Julie Heyde. Check below for Heyde’s talk.

Beginning a little later than anticipated, Heyde’s early warning of a swear-fuelled talk proves truthful from the very off.

The title being shown was developed initially on a whim, but as development progressed the experience received so much positive criticism that Heyde decided to continue with the project.

Heyde talks about presenting her videogame at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March of this year, where Sony’s Project Morpheus was revealed.

She suggests that the standing design and the use of PlayStation Move controls was exactly what she wanted to see.

The biggest problem with Heyde’s project, Xtodie, is that people are compelled to move. This can, as the title of the talk may suggest, lead to problems when you’re not in familiar surroundings.

Heyde is now showing concept art for the beginning of the videogame, which is currently a test level designed for the original Oculus Rift development kit.

Heyde has now requested a member of the audience to come on stage and play this early prototype.

The volunteer dies quickly but soon gets back into the videogame and has a more successful second run.

The idea of this section is to outrun a giant and reach a cave. The volunteer stops to explore the environment and Heyde warns him that he may not make it without haste.

Once having entered the cave there is nothing but darkness. The player must throw fireballs in order to see anything.

“I don’t have the golden answer of how to ship the game,” states Heyde. “The only thing I can do is try to help the player through design.”

“It would be very nice to have 3D audio,” states Heyde.

Heyde also namedrops Survivos, the Californian team making a portable control system and VR display for a single person.

“I see a lot of games that are made for desktop and then just added for VR,” states Heyde. “For me, that just doesn’t fly.”

“It’s nice that you have different VR developers all working at once. Everyone’s working and prototyping right now… I’m really looking forward to what the future will bring.”

“Right now, it’s a fantastic space to be in.”

Heyde suggests that it’s hard to tell what the differences between HMD will be when the consumer versions come around, and furthermore who will emerge as the leader in VR.

The floor opens for a Q&A session. The first question put to Heyde asks about navigation, in which she enthuses about the idea of limiting movement to the direction your facing only.

Heyde also talks about her collaborative works with the developers of SUPERHOT, in which she suggests that the teams conflict about many things but also manage to reach conclusions about VR development much quicker because of this.

The next question discusses the Omni treadmill, for which Heyde said she would ‘love’ to use it for her work, but that it’s cost is prohibitive for consumers.

Heyde brings the session to a close and offers the audience a fake tattoo of the wolf featured in the videogame.