As Hollywood looks to find new ways to expand their franchises with exciting virtual reality (VR) experiences Pacific Rim has done just that with Pacific Rim Shatterdome Showdown. VRFocus’ Nina Salomons sat down with Steve Bowler, President and co-founder of CloudGate Studio to talk about the title and learn about the challenges of working on a big intellectual property (IP).
CloudGate Studio worked for Legendary Studios in conjunction with Pure Imagination Studios to create the VR experience. In the interview Bowler talks about how the industry is seeing more interest from Hollywood to go to experienced developer houses to build immersive content. Bowler notes how just because an experience is a movie tie-in title it does not have to be bad. He jokes about the ‘console day curse’ of how movie tie-in titles were seen as being bad by default.
With experience in building move tie-in content before, CloudGate Studio were approached by Pure Imagination Studios to build Pacific Rim Shatterdome Showdown, to which the studio were more then happy to. Bowler comments on how hopefully the studio will have more of these times of projects in the pipeline for the future.
Pacific Rim Shatterdome Showdown is an experience that is designed to give users a chance to see the Pacific Rim universe up close and personal. Starting off by taking users on a tour of the hanger for Gipsy Danger until a Kaiju attack happens, leaving them as the only one able to take control and fight off the attack. Rather than jump in the suit and take full control you will make use of gauntlets to puppet Gipsy Danger and go toe-to-toe with the Kaiju.
When asked if Pacific Rim Shatterdome Showdown is designed for being enjoined before or after seeing the films, Bowler notes that the title is fine to be experienced before or after. Rather then tell a big story that links to the film, it is a standalone product that allows users a chance to be apart of the action, expanding on the enjoyment of the films. Planned to be released in VR arcades and popup venues in movie theaters, Pacific Rim Shatterdome Showdown was designed to be played with both a HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
One of the interesting points that Bowler notes is that the client wanted to have a cinematic ending to the experience, which Bowler mentions the team had to communicate what not possible. As taking the camera away from the user is not a good idea in VR titles, Bowler expressed how being able to communicate the design and development process to their client was key to building a successful product.
CloudGate Studios are of course the creative minds behind the recently released Island 359 which VRFocus’ Senior Staff Writer Peter Graham reviewed saying: “It’s been a long wait but it was worth it. Island 359 offers a proper showcase of what can be built specifically for VR when enough time and effort is put in. It’s not 100 percent perfect in places but the videogame offers enough of everything that you won’t really care. Grab that gun and get hunting in this thoroughly enjoyable and engaging VR shooter.”
VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on Pacific Rim Shatterdome Showdown in the future so make sure to stay tuned for more. You can watch the interview in full below.