Next week sees Techland launch a brand new virtual reality (VR) videogame from its sister studio, Shortbreak Studios. That videogame is The Collider 2, a fast-paced runner in which players navigate a space craft through the tight corridors of an enemy mothership in an attempt to blow it up. It’s coming to both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well as non-VR PCs on 19th April 2016 and, ahead of that launch, VRFocus sat down with Techland to learn more about the title.
In the interview below the team’s Joe Bognar talks about the decision to make this sequel a VR experience, and designing what it claims to be the fastest title in VR to also be a comfortable one.
VRFocus: So what have you guys been working on in VR?
Joe Bognar (JB): So basically we’re showing off The Collider 2. The Collider 2, according to our research, the fastest game in VR. The whole story behind it is that you are a fighter pilot and your homeland has been invaded by an alien mothership which tries to destroy your homeland. And you’re there to actually defend it and destroy that mothership from the inside. Thanks to that fact that we’re working on the VR version was well in tandem with the Steam version it allows us to actually create a perfect and – I think – seamless switch between the two versions. And our whole goal and aim was to make sure the game is ready for the release of VR headsets.
VRFocus: Visually it’s very different from the first game. What changes have you made there?
JB: Well basically the first one was such a popular game with a certain set of people that called out for some extra improvements. And we thought a lot of people instantly connected with the game and connected it with certain aspects and certain ideas. Like it’s the neural system or the super hadron collider and stuff or a spaceship. And the whole idea came from that and I think ShortBreak Studios jumped on that we and managed to develop that and the whole aspect of The Collider was to just test your reflexes and give you that visual reflex test experience. And we’ve turned that experience into a full-fledged game.
VRFocus: You started by saying it was the fastest game in VR. That would cause a lot of people to step back for a second and ask if this was something they wanted to play. Can you talk about the process of developing and making sure it was comfortable?
JB: I still believe that statement is true for the moment anyway. The whole idea behind developing the actual game is – especially when you play it on Steam without VR – it’s a very easy game to pick up and quite hard to master, to be honest. But it’s still a good game, it’s a bite-sized game. However when you put it in VR it’s still a different experience. So how to make it still accessible while still making such a statement as ‘It is the fastest game in VR’? Well, the progression level and the progression system, how it actually works, it will let you ease into the speed of things.
So, for example, we have six sectors. Sector one is quite an easy place to be but as soon as you get to sector four, things get quite hard and sector six is just totally insane. Now, when you experienced it yourself, there is a seated experience which we recommend. However a standing experience gives you an extra thrill because a bit of a different experience gives you a range of different motions and how you move your body. But obviously we don’t want anyone to feel sick and so far we haven’t had anyone that’s felt motion sickness after playing our game so we wanted to make sure this stays as it is. And I think that the progression system helps in that.
VRFocus: Between the two versions there’s quite a difference in control schemes. Do you find there’s a better success rate on any particular version?
JB: To be honest, I like both versions. It’s two different kinds of experiences. If you play off VR then it’s a different sort of experience. To be honest, there are a lot of people who have played it off VR and they preferred to view the ship and as soon as they put on VR they wanted to have that first-person view because that gives the impression they are in the ship and the whole UI suggests that you are in the ship so I don’t know. I don’t think that either of them is better, they’re just different. Both of them are really good.
VRFocus: So the PC launch is coming up, are there any plans for console? Perhaps with PlayStation VR compatibility?
JB: Currently we don’t have anything to say about that as I’m not really sure myself. But, as I said before, we want to make sure it’s ready for all the VR headsets so, hopefully it will happen but I cannot comment yet.