Frima Studios on Developing for VR
Having been active in the videogame industry scene since 2003, Frima Studios is possibly the most prolific development studio that you’ve never heard of. It’s likely that you’ve played one or more of their titles though, having had a hand in the likes of Desktop Tower Defense, Family Guy: Stewie 2.0, Pocket God and Zombie Tycoon to name a few. Developing their own original intellectual property (IP) would be challenging enough, however doing it for virtual reality (VR) is a whole different ball game.
“Starting a new project is always thrilling and frightening at the same time,” states Michaël Dubé, Lead Programmer on the recently revealed Fated, at the official blog for the videogame. “Venturing into virtual reality using a completely new technology, Unreal Engine 4, was something we were mostly excited about, though. Everyone on the team was super hyped for this project (and VR in general), which made the terrifying parts (hello performance!) not so terrible to bear.”
The latest update from Frima Studios tackles everything from the basics – common VR terms such as ‘refresh rate’, ‘screen door effect’ and ‘presence’ – to correctly configuring your hardware (and how to avoid the pitfalls therein). Dubé also discusses an issue that has been dubbed ‘37.5 fps lock’ by the development community:
“This lockdown would normally happen if the frame rate drops below 75 frames per seconds, but this was not the case for us and some other developers. Some Oculus staff was involved in pointing this out, and this may not be necessary anymore once the consumer version is ready, but it definitely helped for Fated.”
Fated is currently being developed for unspecified VR platforms, though VRFocus recently got hands-on with the title through the use of an Oculus Rift development kit. A hands-on preview will be coming soon, along with more coverage of this intriguing VR proposition.