We talked to Farnborough based nDreams and their CEO Patrick O'Luanaigh about the company's focus on virtual reality and the specifics of the exploration heavy adventure The Assembly.
"We did a lot of experimenting with VR to see what worked and what didn't work," said O'Luanaigh when asked what came first the VR tech or the idea for the game. "And one thing we found was actually that a slow paced adventure game where you are exploring and looking around and figuring stuff out worked really well with VR. So we decided that's what we wanted to do so the story kind of came from that."
With a lot of the game's story being told via monologues the player hears we asked O'Luanaigh about that balance act.
"We've been playing around with that and I think we've got a nice balance. We wanted to get a lot of story in there. We wanted to get quite a lot of narrative, but also you're on your own quite a bit as well, exploring and so one thing we found with VR is that players don't necessarily want to dive into action and do lots of stuff straight away. They want to look around. They want to explore the room they're in. They want to look up at the cobwebs on the wall and see the detail, cause VR is brilliant at that. So we allow people to do that and we try not to let the narrative get in the way, but we've got this great story that pops up all the time..."
O'Luanaigh also discuss nDreams' appraoch to the various input devices from DualShock 4 and Move with Project Morpheus to mouse and keyboard or other devices with Oculus Rift.
Speaking about the prospects of VR in general, O'Luanaigh had this to say:
"Things like Facebook buying Oculus really should help keep the price down. You know, they don't have to make a profit. They can sell the hardware at cost in order to try and make it successful. And I think that's going to be a really good thing. Price is coming down on the components all the time. Technology is getting better every single month. One of the fun things for us working with Oculus and Morpheus during this development phase is the hardware is always changing. Which is interesting and a challenge, but actually it's very exciting as well."