UK studio Three Fields Entertainment is set to launch its debut virtual reality (VR) title today, published by Team17. Coming first to HTC Vive, Lethal VR is also in development for PlayStation VR and is aiming to be the go-to videogame for VR aficionados to showcase the new technology to their uninitiated friends. VRFocus has spoken with the team behind Lethal VR to get the finer details on the experience, the development process behind it and the future plans for VR at Three Fields Entertainment.
Founded by former Criterion Studios developers, the team at Three Fields Entertainment’s development history includes AAA in the BurnOut series, BLACK and more. The studio’s first release, Dangerous Golf, was very warmly received upon its launch earlier this year, and Three Fields Entertainment is hoping to achieve the same level of appreciation with their VR debut, Lethal VR. Alex Ward, co-founder at Three Fields Entertainment, kindly took the time to answer some questions about the studio’s position on Lethal VR, its competition, and the studio’s future in VR.
VRFocus: As a relatively new studio, what made you decide to jump into VR so early on?
Alex Ward [AW]: We have been working with VR for around 8 years now. We are a strong supporter of VR, as we believe it will open a wide range of possibilities to immerse the player in scenarios that were not possible before.
VRFocus: How has your past videogame development experience aided Lethal VR?
AW: We’ve done a lot of VR experimentation and prototypes in the past, even before we formed Three Fields Entertainment. Those early tests allowed us to have a very creative approach in what we wanted to achieve.
VRFocus: How difficult has it been adapting Lethal VR to work with the unique features of each HMD?
AW: All of them have differences of course. We originally developed on the HTC Vive as it offers a true 360 room-scale experience. At the moment we are working on the PlayStation VR version and we are really happy on the progress. Both of the versions work really well and we’re super excited for people to play them.
VRFocus: Lethal VR is a shooting range experience. There are lots of gallery-style shooters in VR currently; what makes Lethal VR different?
AW: While the mechanics can be similar to other games, I believe the idea of the FBI training shooting range and the inspiration to our favourite movie shooting scenes allow us to differentiate from the rest. Lethal VR really allows players to step into the shoes of an action movie star with over 30 missions to complete and master using a wide variety of exciting weapons including handguns, throwing knives, dual handguns, experimental weapons and even a rather deadly hat!
VRFocus: Can you offer some details of the progression system in Lethal VR?
AW: As an FBI recruit, you’ll join the Lethal VR training at Beginner level and be able to work your way up all the way to Special Agent in over 30 weapon based simulations.
VRFocus: The structure of Lethal VR seems perfect for continued support: adding additional content post-launch. Do you have any intention of adding more stages via DLC?
AW: We don’t have any plans currently for DLC. At the moment we’re finishing up the PS VR version and focusing on release, but who knows!
VRFocus: Lethal VR is launching first on HTC Vive. When can we expect to see the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift editions of the videogame?
AW: The HTC Vive version launches on the 8th November and the PS VR version will be ready later this year.
VRFocus: Most developers we speak to already have ideas for their next VR project before their current one is released. Is Three Fields Entertainment looking towards working in VR again?
AW: At the moment we’re focusing on finishing Lethal VR and we’re really looking forward to seeing what people think. We’ve a lot of experience in the industry and have many different ideas we’re passionate about however!