VR Fantasy Game Take One

So ever since I've gotten my Vive I've been interested in a particular type of game that I would like to make. Although I don't have a ton of free time, I've been fiddling with it on nights and weekends and I thought I would go ahead and show it off a little, even though it's only barely started.

Right now I'm mostly playing with mechanics. Some of my thoughts so far:

1) I'm really interested in taking advantage of things that VR does "well" that traditional mouse-and-keyboard inputs can't do. For example, the rune casting is similar to painting using Tilt Brush, in that (although it's hard to tell in the video) it's actually drawing in 3D. So I actually have created a 3D gesture recognition software that can recognize gestures that are 3D as opposed to just 2D.

2) Another thing that's interesting to consider is what type of challenges should the game present in terms of combat. Does the challenge come from dodging attacks (like the boulders in the video) via teleporting around? I think there could be an interesting mechanic there where you have to balance how long it takes to draw a complicated rune vs how long you can stand in one spot without getting squished. Another challenge I'm experimenting with is "guiding" your spells around obstacles like the spinning boulders, which again is something that VR is good at that would be hard to do with a traditional mouse.

3) For my next mechanics experiment I'm going to look at crafting using a hammer and flames, sort of a mini-game where you have to keep it in the fire for a certain amount of time, then hammer it, etc. How well you manage to do that will determine the quality of the item in the end.

4) Teleporting around everywhere seems to be the best locomotion for this type of environment so far, but doing it over and over again just to get across the whole map is really cumbersome. Maybe there's a hybrid system I can develop where you can use teleportation to get around small rooms (like the inside of the house) and then when in large outdoor environments you can quick-jump between points of interest?

5) It really is crazy how much immersion just being in VR adds. Every time the rock boss throws a giant boulder at me, even though I've seen in a dozen times, I still get a visceral "watch out!" reaction.

Anyway, as I said, this is just me playing around and having fun and exploring ideas at this point. The game I have in mind if I do end up actually developing it would be some of the mechanics shown here, and then it would be similar to Journey in that there is a multiplayer component but it's not a full-fledged MMO or anything like that. I think that would work well since the Vive install base is kind of small right now.

But in the short-term, I think I'm going to just finish up this little "tech demo" game that has the house, some simple crafting, a few combat sequences, and then just release that for free to get feedback on how the mechanics work; then, if there's enough interest, I would consider embarking on fully developing a game.

Note: I originally posted this to Reddit, and you can view the ensuing discussion with around 20 comments here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/4i5bis/indevelopmentvrfantasymmohybridw_drawing/

Riley Dutton

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