VR works best when you are examining objects and exploring scenes. We decided to create a game that really encouraged players to push VR to it's full potential.
When I was smaller, I used to watch a UK game show called 'Finders Keepers'. Two teams of two are given the opportunity to "raid the room" across eight rooms and two rounds to find hidden objects, identified by clues read out by the host prior to raiding. When thinking of the concept of exploring, I remembered that I really wanted to play this game show while I was younger, and use to in my own bedroom - upsetting my mom when my bedroom suddenly became a state. Ultimately a much improved video game version, where you didn't tidy up afterwards, was too hard to resist.
How it works
Smash Hit Plunder lets players explore and wreck a dungeon, looking for as much treasure as possible. Rediscover the joy of smashing things, making a mess, and finding money down the back of your sofa, all without the job of cleaning up afterwards. Stand up, sit down, multiple game modes, smashing and crashing, and play without a controller – Smash Hit Plunder is designed and developed for Gear VR.
Challenges I ran into
There were a few challenges!
- Touch pad only control - key to the idea was that anyone could play, so naturally on the Gear VR that means a touch pad only game by default. We needed to allow players to explore anywhere in 3D space, and pick up objects to look for things.
- Player comfort - we came up with a few interesting ways to be able navigate and explore 3D space without players becoming ill
- Play testing - the Gear VR is entirely mobile, and we needed to be able to see what players were doing. Our multi-player Shared Screen allows us to do that. Using a PC too, we can stream data from the game onto another version, allowing people to join in and allowing us as developers to watch how people are playing.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We're very proud with what we've managed to accomplish on a zero budget and only after hours work. We love the interesting solutions we have come up with that work. But most of all, so many people love the game, just love the concept, and have a great time.
What I learned
Everything. There's a lot of skill in creating a VR experience that makes you really believe you are there, and that doesn't make you ill.
What's next for Smash Hit Plunder
We're busy creating a demo, then onwards to a commercial release!