On top of that, there are concerns with kids playing games in VR, so it would help if there is a non-VR component as well. Next we need to look for content that different people can enjoy with each other. In the same way that we look for movies and TV shows to watch together — not the ones we would necessarily choose to watch by ourselves, but which overlap our shared tastes — we need games that have something for everyone. Enter the Angry Birds, who for ten years have been an entry point to mobile games of many different styles, and are also major movie stars. Just like everyone gets picking stuff up, everyone gets the Angry Birds.
The local nature of the play leads naturally to asymmetric gameplay. Two interfaces, a first person view in VR and a top down view on TV. Two ways to play, two roles.
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This is the starting point. What are the player roles? The TV players are the crew of that submarine, doing repairs, crafting torpedoes and storing treasure. The VR player is in charge of the TV players, and is able to help them out with gameplay and learning.
The captain monitors event and grabs as much treasure as possible from the ocean, which the crew then store in the sub. In our user tests, some captain players directed their crew closely, others ran a looser ship.
Some flung their crew around without even asking. The captain has a lot of tools to help the crew enjoy their game.
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Plus, any crew player that wants to graduate to captaining the sub can do so. The captain sees the ocean filled with fish, coral, undersea treasure, and the ancient ruins of Piggy civilization, all in VR. They can also see their crew, scampering around the sub, and interact with them.
The captain has a gameplay tool called the Magnashot, which is a classic Angry Birds slingshot with a magnet in it. It can suck stuff up and throw it back out — including the crew players. This gives the captain a lot of power. But there are things that only the crew can do, such as load machines and move explosive crates which do not mix well with the Magnashot.
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This division of labor promotes communication. It must be disposed of immediately. But only the captain can activate the furnace, so the crew need to shout at the captain. Furnace, furnace, furnace! And what happens when things go wrong? For friends playing together, when things go wrong they laugh.
This is a slapstick game in which fumbles multiply, small setbacks snowball, and bad things could happen to anyone. Everyone can contribute, and anyone can make a mistake, with consequences just as entertaining as a win, if not more so. In the game, consequences tend to revolve around misplaced explosives.
Or players falling in the furnace while trying to dispose of those explosives. Or the sub being hit by a giant tentacle while the captain is distracted helping players out of the furnace. But hold it together, team!
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The captain and crew roles complement each other, which creates a unique experience — but also gives the captain lots of tools to help new crew learn the game. Did you like this? Like this Like this. The asymmetry was a lot of fun to explore during development. The first time we had the captain sucking up crew with their Magnashot and throwing them around — that was a good day in the office.
Thanks for your interest! Can you elaborate on your point a little? Second, a playground is an entirely different environment, and likewise for adults at an outdoor sporting event or park, then yes, you may naturally expect to interact and play together. I want to relax and unwind. Good points, well made. I also like to chill out with a game, and it does sometimes frustrate me that games spread their focus across multiple play modes instead of concentrating on doing one thing well.
Our game does have a single player mode, but the core design is local couch co-op; the multiplayer is not shoehorned in.
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To return briefly to the point being made in the blog, however — my claim in the text was that if we want to introduce VR games to a wider audience, our number one tool for this is social play. In our case, experienced PSVR owners can introduce the technology to new players through our social screen play, which is simple, fun and inclusive.
In other cases, players might demonstrate games they love to others, or invest in VR to play online with friends, or simply discuss games on the internet — all social interactions that can help promote the technology.
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What are your thoughts? How do you think a game might best evangelise VR play to new audiences? If you're not in a relationship, this course will help you be a better version of yourself for your next one so it's not like the last one.
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