Oculus VR recently invited us to an event to cover its new VR collectible card game Dragon Front, and while we were there, we got to interview some folks from Oculus Studio.
In our video interview below, we spoke with Oculus Studio’s Jason Rubin. He addressed concerns about VR input fragmentation, since the Rift will be shipping with an Xbox controller as opposed to its motion-tracked Oculus Touch VR controllers. Surprisingly, in our discussion, Rubin said, “We don’t know which control is going to be the control people want to play with,” in regard to VR input. He added, “I’m pretty sure after 30 years of making games that people are going to want to play with different types of controls.” Making the argument to ship with an Xbox controller, he stated, “If you wanna play a game for hours, if you want to sit around and explore a massive world, being on your feet, having hand-tracked controllers is probably not the way you’re going to do that for the same reason most people don’t get up and hike every day; it’s tiring. There’s a real reason to have a gamepad.”
For those unfamiliar with Oculus Studio, the subset of the company is responsible for ensuring that Oculus has high-quality content across the board, whether that pertains to movies, games, or VR experiences. When I asked them what they saw in Dragon Front that made them want to make it an exclusive launch title for the Rift, they asserted that it’s not only fun, but social as well. While Rubin once again admitted that he doesn’t “know which controller spec is going to be the controller that most people play on” in VR, he is confident that the social aspect of VR will be huge moving forward.
Delving deeper into Dragon Front, we conducted a follow-up interview with High Voltage Studio’s Eric Nofsinger, who is the developer’s Chief Creative Officer. The game is a CCG that features a grid movement–based system, but there’s also a champion in addition to your deck. The game also has your and your opponent’s avatars head floating over the board, so that you can see where your opponent is looking. This is a nice little touch that only VR can provide.
High Voltage also wanted to incorporate a rubber-banding effect so that when one player is losing, they’ll be able to cast abilities for less MP. Aesthetically, Nofsinger says they tried to get the game to look like a mixture of WWII meets Diesel Punk plus high fantasy. It definitely evokes those themes from the 20 or so minutes we played of it.
In the interview, Nofsinger also talks about what VR adds to the game and some of the design challenges that come along with it.
Dragon Front is set to release in Q2; Nofsinger says they’re entertaining the idea of releasing the game as a free-to-play title with micro-transactions.