The relaxing virtual reality (VR) fishing title Catch & Release from developer Metricminds was released on Steam back in June of this year with a PlayStation VR release coming sometime soon. Offering a rather unique experience, VRFocus’ Nina Salomons sat down with Philip Weiss, Managing Partner of Metricminds to talk more about the videogame and learn what goes into making a relaxing VR title.
Weiss starts off by jumping right into the creation of the title and what was the inspiration for the idea by saying: “Well, we’ve created a fishing experience in virtual reality that was actually born out of the misery that our team was playing Firewatch and they were loving it and at some point they found themselves on a lake with a fishing rod and couldn’t fish, so we decided to change that. So we’ve been dabbling in VR and so we decided to create a fishing experience which actually turned out quite nicely.”
What makes Catch & Release so immersive is that players are the only character within the title. Sure, there are a range of fish and animals to find but at the end of the day it is just the player and their boat. “It’s just you in a boat so it’s all the nice things about fishing” Weiss explains: “Nobody’s on the boat talking to you all the time, you don’t have to endure a fish smell, you don’t have to wait forever for it to bite. It’s a very relaxing, nice fishing experience in a beautiful environment.”
The escapism element of the title helps to sell the experience. VR has been used numerous times as a means to help users reduce stress and remove themselves from the real world. Catch & Release fits into this area of being a title that not only offers a unique gameplay experience but also allows for a relaxing escape. As Weiss explains: “You’re sitting in a boat and you can row the boat across the lake and so you can go anywhere on the water. It’s a very beautiful lake and you can check out the environments. There are geese flying overhead, there’s a bear roaming around, there are other things roaming around the shore but there are also fish that you can actually catch.”
Catch & Release is of course about catching fish and in the title there are around ten different fish, each offering in-game cash when caught. Along with the fish players might also fish up some rubbish including shoes and even jewellery. That does not mean that players won’t be able to enjoy some new content though because Weiss explains that the team are interested in bringing out more content for Catch & Release in the future.