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Feb 16 2015

VR Development

A new year brings about new opportunities and 2015 is going to be interesting. One of...

Feb 16 2015 By: Charlie Close

VR Development

A new year brings about new opportunities and 2015 is going to be interesting. One of the main focus points for the year ahead will be to give some rightful attention to virtual reality development.

Our mission statement as a company is ‘to integrate areas of study and interest with innovative game design and development’. From the very beginning we’ve been taking on projects which have helped us grow and represented our business goals in terms of this statement. Early on we worked on a medical study aid called Ward Round, applying game design techniques. Our breakthrough came about a year and a half ago when we began working on Play to Cure: Genes in Space, which released early last year. This was a successful project and basically the epitome of our mission statement. This year we’re looking to combine our experience in the serious game space with virtual reality development, and are looking to find new ways of creating products which have engagement akin to video games, but also have a practical end use.

As game developers we are extremely well versed in creating immersive environments, which have a wide range of bespoke interactions.

There is a lot of scope for the use of virtual reality within training applications and we’re keen on exploring new VR based methods of solving problems. For example, being totally immersed in an environment has a wide range of possible applications to any industry which involves working in dangerous environments, such as the energy industry and its various sub-divisions. There is a vast scope for what we can achieve here and it can be tailored to suit specific needs.
The virtual training world can lead a user through specific tasks, which can be easily repeated, and context specific interactions would play a major role. These are all aspects that lend themselves to the domain of game development; we can script certain situations such as emergencies within a simulation also.

On the opposite end of things, we are looking to incorporate VR into our original IP, and we’ll be developing a number of prototype experiences this year, which we’ll consider carrying forward.

Speaking of prototypes, we’ve used the last two game jams to experiment with off-the-wall game concepts, where VR support breathed new life into the experiences.

First time around we made Just One Trip, a game about addiction where the challenges modify depending on whether you take the easy way out and give in to temptation.

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Then this year we made ‘What Have We Done!?’ which was all about the development process, but with an Oculus it became completely outrageous. Have a read about the process here.

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Jan 26 2015

Global Game Jam 2015

The Global Game Jam 2015 is over for another year and it’s genuinely been the most en...

Jan 26 2015 By: Charlie Close

Global Game Jam 2015

The Global Game Jam 2015 is over for another year and it’s genuinely been the most enjoyable jam we’ve attended yet.

With the office equipment boxed up and moved temporarily to Abertay University, and the core dev team stocked up on a range of healthy snacks and caffeinated beverages, the 48 hour game making marathon began.

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The theme of this game jam: “What do we do now?”

This opened up a lot of possibilities and we set about on our normal brainstorming process, although in the end we decided to do something a little different…

Instead of taking the theme and trying to fit a game concept around it, we decided to literally apply the theme to the process of building the game.

Firstly, Brian quickly hacked together a random word generator, primed with a long list of words established during the usual brainstorming session. Every two hours it produced a word telling us what we do now, so that’s the jam theme covered in a nutshell!

Art and code then set about building something which related to the word, and spent some time putting it all together into a coherent whole.

During the 48 hours, the words we had to work with were Nature, Klein Bottle, Window, Mountains, Misery, Cookie, Camera, Blue, Survival, Lever.

Admittedly, ‘nature’ was a good starting point, so we put together a lush environment, but after that it essentially it became a video game interpretation of dada…

 

We ended up with a random Klein Bottle

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A UniPig… The ability to ride a critter that’s a cross between a Unicorn and a Pig.

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And a Mountain Launcher… Yes, a gun that shoots mountains!

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And many other weird and wonderful things.

 

The reason this particular jam was so enjoyable was down to the process. Although we got a strange mash together of different objects and gameplay, the fact that every few hours there was a completely new problem to solve kept the team interested.

The game itself assumed the title ‘What have we done!’, and it’s something that could never really have been made if it’d been pre-planned in the normal way, even if we’d tried to go as crazy as possible with ideas.

It’s easily our most trippy experience to date, and with the Oculus it’s just a little insane…

 

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