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.
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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