How we got started in Virtual Reality
How we began
We are a VR game studio located in Teneriffe, sunny Brisbane Australia. We started our company about a year ago after being inspired by the possibilities of creating stories and games in Virtual Reality.
We always remember the first time we tried VR and that initial feeling of being thrown into another world. This feeling has not left us yet! Tim's background is Film and TV. My background is in games and concept art. We are both really excited about the potential for VR to create new ways forward in all these industries.
We're also lucky enough to have some amazingly talented developers working with us. Deon and Jack have guided us through many dark days with their Super Saiyan programming skills. In addition, Azam, Patricia, Kylie and Locky have contributed some of their amazing art to the characters and world we have created.
Early on, we began by brainstorming some projects that we could adpat to VR. We started out trying to put together a 'choose your own adventure' VR experience. Eventually though, the scope of this proved too large for our resources. We loved this original story though and eventually plan to return and take another look. After going through this initial process we resolved to cut down on scope and generate some fresh ideas.
We ended up with two possible projects to develop. We made a prototype of both. The first idea was based on a bow and arrow mechanic with focus on character, story and arcade-like game mechanics. The title was 'Cupid's Bow'.
Our second idea began as a cross between a body movement and puzzle game whereby tetris like blocks approach the player in VR (similar games can be seen on Japanese gameshows). The player's goal would be to stretch their body into all kinds shapes and positions to avoid the blocks. We code-named the prototype 'Omni'. Art was done by me, story and development by Tim and programming by a talented young fellow who we called Tim H. We allocated three weeks per prototype not including art to
determine which idea had more potential. At this time, Tim was gracious enough to allow us to use his dungeon/office (complete with spider webs and mould).
We started to move towards Omni because of it's potential as a body movement game and beyond that, potentially a dance game. We began adding music into Omni and created a system where the walls would send down patterns on major beats. The system evolved so that the player could load in any song on their computer and the walls and patterns would generate to those beats automatically. Omni was starting to become a lot of fun to play and we tweaked the systems so we could include difficulty settings.
At this time we had also been developing a story and characters to include in Omni. This was really important to us as we still feel a lot of VR titles lack these elements. When we started we always wanted to build a world with interesting characters in addition to fun gameplay. We're constantly reminded about how many resources this can take but we still feel it is important. We continued regular work on Omni and eventually re-titled it to fit our new Dance-focused direction. The name hinted at the competitive and futuristic setting of the story: Dance Collider.
I had been racking brain to come up with a title that we liked and had been reading some articles on the the Large Hadron Collider. The name stuck!
The New Dance Collider
We've been working really hard over the last year to bring Dance Collider to this point. Creating systems, modelling characters, composing song challenges. The game is really starting to take shape. In addition to the core game we're also super excited about including a custom song editor designed and used in-house by Deon. All the puzzle pieces that were once scattered are now starting to come together in a really cool way.
So there's the beginning of how we got started on this crazy journey. We've come a long way and learnt a whole lot that we are keen to share with everyone. We are looking to release Dance Collider in Q3 2018. It's been a lot of work and still more to come but we're excited with what we've come up with so until next time it's heads down and tails up...see you soon!
You can follow more of our art and story on instagram here: @emergeWorlds