Next in our #SDCVR series, we explore how VR is adding new dimensions gaming. We spoke with Chetan Bedi, Lead Designer on World War Toons, to hear his perspective on the biggest challenges, opportunities, and misconceptions around VR.
Tomorrow, the Studio Roqovan team is incredibly proud and excited to launch World War Toons, a zany combat game designed for VR. It’s hard to believe World War Toons was my first foray into VR – it’s been such a big part of my life for the past two years.
I gravitated towards VR because it’s the next frontier in entertainment. We are only at the tip of the iceberg of what VR has the potential to be. It allows us to experience things we can’t experience any other way, and is transforming gaming as we know it. When you step into a VR game, it’s totally immersive. You can feel your physical presence and interact with more elements in interesting ways. In turn, these elements provide meaningful, tactile feedback – so it’s a much more compelling experience to get lost in.
The biggest misconception with VR is that it just simulates the “real world”, when in fact that barely scratches the surface. VR offers experiences we can only dream about, or haven’t even considered in the realm of possibility. For instance, the sensation of a phantom limb can’t be reproduced in real life, but in the virtual world there’s a way to mimic it.
My best piece of advice for developers wanting to get into VR is to go beyond the everyday and create novel experiences that players can’t get anywhere else. Think of extraordinary encounters we can’t have in real life. In movies, we see astronauts flying spaceships – thanks to VR, the average person may know what that’s like. And if you simulate experiences that can be had in the real world, such as shooting hoops, figure out how to make it better than the real thing.
Another tip is to tailor the design to the game you want to make. This sounds sort of obvious, but it’s tempting to add extra details and get overly ambitious, and that’s when things spiral out of control. Forget the bells and whistles. Focus on doing one thing well rather than ten. Do players shoot from a turret in your game? Make that the best possible experience, and the game will shine.
Finally, if you really want to make an impression, find a solution to locomotion – how players move around in the game, while remaining seated in the real world. This is our biggest challenge right now. An ideal solution that works for the majority of scenarios would be a huge game-changer, and alleviate pressures on R&D.
The great thing about VR is that it’s still relatively young. There’s a lot of experimentation, but no clear market leader has emerged. This means anyone can make their mark. Create something unique, and the first foothold could be yours.