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Double Destruction Dev Blog 1: Coming up with the Concept – Influence & Approachable Design

By Katie on April 23rd, 2015

As we’re developing Double Destruction, we will be uploading blog posts as frequently as we can so you can keep track of what it’s like to VR Jam! Today’s development post is about how we came up with the concept and what our influences are.

 

Finding the Idea

 

After seeing the details of the VR Jam, we knew we needed to do something special. With the recent release of the Smash Hit Plunder demo on the Gear VR store we were on a roll, and wanted to play around with what we’ve learnt to date.

 

The judging criteria of the game was quite interesting, and an inspiration.

Innovation in VR Mechanics: This refers to how creatively the entry incorporates one or more mechanics in VR, including multi-user interaction, head tracking, touchpad, and/or user interface. We’re especially interested in groundbreaking uses of VR mechanics.

 

We felt that we already nailed quite a bit of the criteria with Smash Hit Plunder. We have novel use of the touchpad, full 3D exploration and making the player really feel like that they are there with the mechanics and world design. We haven’t uploaded for everyone, but our Shared Screen also adds a multi-user element with the fact that your friends and family can join in on the fun, with a leader board, giving you hints, and watching you play without ‘spoilers’.

 

However, to really nail the innovation, we felt like that we needed to expand on our Shared Screen. We needed some real interaction between the outside world and VR. This is where the idea of Double Destruction was born.

 

Gameplay Targets

 

There’s a series of phrases that will help us on our quest to complete this game;

  • - Each player feels like they are the important one
  • - Neither player minds being the tablet or VR player, as they are both just as fun
  • - You really need both players to play – otherwise there would be no meaningful interaction or point to the experience
  • - It cannot be the same game play on both screens, as both are very different devices and should be played to their strengths
  • - Make connectivity as seamless as possible – as the problem with a lot of LAN party games is the set up
  • - Still use the learnings from Smash Hit Plunder about comfort, customisation, UI, controls, tutorial etc.

 

Influence

 

In terms of game play influence, we of course remember watching Knightmare when we were younger. The asynchronous multiplayer they demonstrated was a good start – but where Knightmare falls down is the fact that basically the person in the helmet was very bored being told what to do all the time. We need to make sure everyone is having fun.

 

As for the visuals, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel for the Jam, so we’re using existing assets. However, we did have to think of player pressure beyond just using a timer – for that, we have our ghosts. We knew they have to be really approachable, not frighting or really that scary, and suitable for anybody. I have fond memories of one Minifig Lego character when I was a child – the Ghost.

lego-minifig-ghost-glow-in-the-dark
 

Aww, isn’t it so cute!

 
With the idea of the VR player being shrunken down, having these cute little ghosts floating around the miniature level was too adorable to miss out on.

SHPMM_Tablet

 
And when players are in first person, they seem only a little more intimidating.
 

SHPMM_Ghost_600px

 
The behaviour of the ghosts will be really important. We want to make sure there are no jump scares, but it’s all about just avoiding these ghosts with your friend trying to shoo them away.

 

More to Come!

 

So with that, we have the basics of our game. It took us a little while to nail out the details, and I’m sure there will be plenty of changes after we get playing it – but it’s worth the trip! Keep tuned for more dev posts about our journey.

 

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