For almost as long as I can remember Virtual Reality as a concept has been the mental framework for many daydreams and imaginative journeys of the mind for me. The sled racing game and the giant gyro in The lawnmower man was my first encounter with this completely magical concept.
I don’t really remember how I felt about the movie or those specific scenes (probably not good, since it’s a pretty shitty movie :D ), but I do remember that it rooted VR in my mind, laying the foundation for somewhat of an obsession. Later on The Matrix came along and completely blew my mind and left me in a permanent state of burning desire for VR.
Shortly after seeing the Matrix I remember having the following pictures taped up on the inside of the door to my teenage room (next to the Quake 3 and Unreal logos, because they were so kewwwlll).
This is interesting because I was the kind of kid who normally had no pictures or artwork on my walls. In other words – I was smitten. My obsession eventually went into a semi-dormant state because it was virtually (pun) impossible for me, and for most people on the planet for that matter, to get my hands on any equipment that would enable me to experiment with, or at least try any VR. But I always had this intuition that video games would be an integral part of VR, whenever the time came for VR tech to be widely available. Luckily for me video games was another one of my major interests. To play, to think about, to make. Perhaps because of VR! So, I pursued a very deliberatly chosen career in this industry, right after high school. Years passed. Fun was had. Then! Out of nowhere came Palmer Luckey and the Kickstarter for Oculus…
The obsession was rekindled and I am now living my teenage VR dream. Not only am I doing my PhD in VR game interaction design, the fantastic people att Coffee Stain have also given me the incredible opportunity to lead their VR publishing initiative!
Now that you know a little bit about me I want to share a bit about what I intend to do with the glorious power I have been given!
I want to share it with you.
Yes, you, junior indie developer. I want to empower you to pioneer VR. I want you to come up with all kinds of crazy, thoughtful, inspiring stuff and let people experience the magical feeling of living a piece of your imagination. Castle Game Jam is the perfect opportunity for us to reach out with this message, and the perfect opportunity for you to take some time to tinker with VR. Regardless of where you are (let the spirit of jam consume you!). Anyway, here’s how:
- Make a prototype/demo that lets us get a feel for your skill level and try the experience you have in mind.
- Make a pitch deck that communicates what the greater vision is, what you ultimately want to achieve with the VR experience at hand, and how you’d like to make that happen. Also, carefully describe what you need in terms of support and what you’re willing to give back in return.
- Send the above to me (email@example.com)
This is what I’m looking for right now, games/experiences that:
- Can be ready for Early Access on this fall.
- Have a scope that fits a maximum budget of 300 000 SEK.
- Are primarily for PC, room-scale.
- Also have multi-platform (PSVR/Rift/Vive) in mind.
- Are sharable and social (for instance MULTIPLAYER with room for body language, interesting to watch for those not wearing the headset, and easy and interesting to share to social media).
- Are rich in interaction (perhaps interaction with familiar objects, but in surprising contexts).
- Have completely experimental mechanics or great translations of proven mechanics.
And, yeah, if you could make that happen by July 10th… that’d be great.
I hope I inspired you and that the tight time frame doesn’t discourage you. I admit, it is quite a challenge, especially if you haven’t worked with VR before, but it’s a great opportunity to learn and/or just have fun with it. I do believe that we have realistic expecations of what can be done under these circumstances. And at the very least I promise to have a conversation, and provide some solid feedback, with everyone who dedicates their precious jam time to take a stab at this.
Lots of love to you all!