The Happy Hour Podcast Show Visits Outhouse Games: Part 1

On Saturday, October 22, Kyle Duce traveled over an hour, podcast equipment in tow, to visit the Outhouse Games studio. We were happy to provide the opportunity for him to experience video games in virtual reality for the first time. Afterward, we sat down with Duce and recorded two episodes of Happy Hour with Johnny & Duce podcast show. The first episode focuses on his overall experience in VR and his feedback on the games he played, including our game The Ancient Remains, which is currently in production. Check out the podcast below.

 

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite moments from this episode along with some additional information we thought would be fun and interesting to share.


“The biggest difference for me was the control factor- it’s completely different!” -Kyle
(starting around 4:30 of the episode)

 After playing The Lab by Valve, Serious Sam VR by Croteam, and The Ancient Remains on the HTC Vive, Kyle immediately noticed that a big difference between playing VR games vs console or PC games is having a controller in each hand, working independently to aid you in movement, combat, and interaction while you’re playing the games. He said that the controllers were very easy to use and that they don’t have a big learning curve. Most people can pick up playing a game in VR, even if they have never played video games or it’s been awhile. However, Kyle has a unique perspective on the controllers because he has Parkinsons’ Disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. A symptom of PD is shaking, which caused Kyle to struggle with steadying and aiming the controllers independently, especially in Serious Sam VR. He compensated by resting one hand over the other to kill the mobs and still did a great job. We’re thankful for Kyle’s feedback so we can try to make our games as accessible to as many people as possible.

 


“Your guys’ bow and arrow was amazingly accurate!” -Kyle
(starting around 6:30 of the episode)

Kyle used a bow and arrow in the game Long Bow by Valve first, so he was able to compare their mechanic to ours. Take a listen to the podcast to get his exact thoughts about Long Bow. He did say that it seemed like our team captured what it really feels like to shoot a bow and arrow. We explained to him that several people on our team had real life experience with a bow and arrow. Plus our Community Manager, Liz, brought in her long bow for all of us to experience. During development of this mechanic, we tried out several other developers’ bow and arrows to see what we liked and didn’t like. We spent about 2 extra weeks on it, but we think the results made it worth the time invested.


“That’s the future of gaming right there!” -Kyle
(starting around 12:30 of the episode)

There are a few factors working against VR being in every home right now, including price point, lack of content, and complexity of the setup. If you think about when the iPhone, XBox One, or Play Station 4 came out, they were facing similar issues. With time and experience, there will be more quality content as well as a more affordable price for the systems. Kyle is convinced that once people try this, they will not want to go back to regular gaming.


“VR is a big upgrade not only in gaming, but also in technology.” -Bethany
(starting around 14:50 of the episode)

While Kyle feels comfortable using controllers that require both hands, the controllers are actually a big intimidation factor for a lot of people who haven’t played video games in awhile or ever. Most people can now pick up VR controllers and quickly learn how to use them, which we observed at OrlandoiX last month where we watched 500+ people of all walks of life try out our game. This is the technology of the future for so many more reasons than video games as well. People are creating social opportunities, entertainment experiences, virtual shopping experiences, and more.

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We really enjoyed our time with Kyle. Please take a listen to the entire episode if you get a chance. Stay tuned as we will be recapping episode 2 and sharing further insight on what we chatted about. Here’s to the future!


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Live Story: Meet Liz

Ever wonder who is behind our blog posts? Liz George is our Community & Content Manager and our final team member profile for our Outhouse Live Story. She not only runs our blog, she does marketing, community management, and partners with Bethany to provide support on our social media channels.

Outhouse Games: Let’s start at the beginning. When did you start working at Outhouse Games?

Liz George: I started with Outhouse in January this year working with the team to help manage the community and the content we create for the company.

OH: Can you tell us about the experience of getting this job and what it is like to see the company grow?

LG: I actually asked for my job. I wanted to work in games and wanted to find a good company to give my spare time to, so I reached out to Bethany and ended up meeting with her, Chris and Phil for lunch. We met at IgnitionINK and hit it off and here we are. I have community and content management background and wanted to put that experience to work in the game industry. It has been really exciting watching the company grow and I’ve been able to learn and do so much that without this, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so. This year has been such a busy and amazing year, I’m really grateful to be on such an awesome team.

OH: What made you want to work in gaming?

LG: I love games. I grew up fighting for my turn on the NES with my brothers and the only game they would let me play was Super Mario 2. Being able to play as Peach and be one of the stronger characters in the game left a bigger impression that I thought it did. I never thought I could work in gaming, because I’m not an artist or developer, but every company needs marketing and community management, so I can work closely with something I love doing something I’m good at. It is a win-win.

OH: Can you tell us what a day in the life of a Content & Community Manager is like?

LG: It is a bit all over the place, but my work is primarily project based. I like to review what projects and tasks are on my plate, make a list, and then tackle it. I like the variety, one day I can be working on a blog post and the next day on the website. The job is really creative, I can come up with content concepts that we use on the blog and social media, brainstorm ways to engage our community, and just really be different in the ways we can talk about the company and our games. It is such a good outlet, the team gives me a lot of freedom and their trust, and that feels fantastic, and I think that shows in my work.

OH: What programs and tools do you use every day?

LG: Slack for talking with the team, Grammarly to catch the little errors I might miss, Photoshop to create and edit visual assets, WordPress for the website and blog, and just a plain old web browser to get where I need to go!

OH: Can you tell us about your desk setup?

LG: My desk is portable, it is in my backpack. When I am set up at, I have my MacBook, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and a bunch of knick-knacks. However, one of the things I love about this job is that I can pack up my computer and go work somewhere. I find I work better somewhere with a cup of coffee and music playing than being in an office.

OH: What are you working on right now for our latest VR title?

LG: Right now, I’m working with Chris to talk about updating the website to start marketing for the game. Last week, we reviewed different layouts and ideas about how to promote the game. It is pretty neat to start marketing something like this from scratch.

OH: Can you tell us anything really fun or unique about our upcoming title?

LG: Last week, I was able to bring in my bow and arrow for the team to use. What was really cool was when I first tried to play with the bow and arrow mechanic in the game, it felt really natural for me. I was super impressed that it was so smooth and that it felt so accurate. The stuff our team builds always impresses me.

OH: What has been the most challenging part of your job now that you are creating things for a VR game?

LG: Before Outhouse changed its focus to VR, I didn’t really know much about VR. It has been really interesting learning about all the different products and games out there, and then seeing what we are making. Learning the new technology and then writing about it has been a challenge, but I’ve found it fun and now I’m excited to see what happens in the industry and how it changes the gaming industry.

OH: What is something that you have learned from working with VR?

LG: I’ve learned just how long this technology has been in the making. I remember hearing about the Virtual Boy, but VR always seemed like some kind of fad that never took off. Now, we are seeing the idea of VR and the technology finally match up and it seems to have come out of nowhere overnight, but that isn’t the case. There has been so much research and work done before now and I think that is what is going to make VR really stay in the market and change gaming.

OH: Any advice for someone wanting to get into the gaming industry and do a job like yours?

LG: Find what you are good at, and be the best at it. Like I said before, gaming companies aren’t just looking for artists and developers, they need everything else a standard company would need from HR to marketing. If you love what you do and add an additional passion like gaming to it, you really have an unstoppable combination. So I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t get discouraged because you can’t do the typical gaming job, figure out what you are good at. Work jobs that will give you those skills, even if they aren’t in gaming, you are still developing those essential skills that can be applied to a future role in the industry.