So here we are, at the start of the road, developing our first full-on VR game. And a multiplayer FPS no less! We are kind of scared, but incredibly excited at the same time. There is a lot to learn and since VR gaming is still in its infancy we thought it might be interesting to share some of our discoveries as we are developing this game.
SkyFront VR Early Art
Why are we making this game?
We love VR and believe in it as a new medium with unique immersive qualities. We also like shooters! There have been some wonderful experiments in VR but we have yet to see a shooter which feels as natural and quick and fun as your standard PC shooters. For us, the key is locomotion, the disconnect between a soldier running around in a battlefield and the player standing in the middle of their living room or gaming den. Teleporting, dashing or just pushing arrows just doesn’t feel the same. We believe that our solution overcomes this problem, that by guiding your movement with your hand in a zero-gravity environment it feels intuitive and natural. It also gives you complete freedom of movement. So our goal is to build a game around it.
This game won’t be a complete game anytime soon – our team is small and there is a long list of features we are hoping to add some point in the future. That’s why we are launching in Early Access, to get valuable feedback and develop the game with people who know VR – the owners and the players.
SkyFront VR Early Art translocator
For these 2 weeks we were dealing with
Motion sickness – we were afraid it would be a major worry because of flying and fear of heights. However, the effect of being in the action. We also took care to avoid close spaces, all rooms have at least 5 meters wall-to-wall to avoid tunneling. Grappling hook is something we still have to work on – hurtling against the wall at 100 mph seems to disconcert some players! So we introduced some collision dampening modifiers which seemed to work quite nicely. However, one surefire way to achieve motion sickness was to give the player the ability to rotate along horizontal axis. We are hoping to introduce maybe some version of it, because it might open up interesting gameplay options, but as of this moment it’s way too trippy.
Weapon balance and weapon accuracy – there are two major considerations. Firstly, the resolution of VR goggles which makes it difficult to spot targets that are far away. Secondly, our players movement speed is about 3x faster than in your average PC shooter. This complicates aiming even more. So it became clear pretty soon that aiming aids are needed. We took a look at what other VR games are doing and experimented with various scopes, heat seakers, motion stabilizers etc. Some are in game right now and some we are adding later on.
We also worked in a new character model. There’s still much to be done – movement, animations, skin customization and eventually a lot more options to choose from.