You’ve read our article on the VIP Preview of The Gallery: Six Elements, now read the Mini Q&A. We catch up with Denny Unger, Creative Director at Cloudhead Games, to find out about what development life is like post-kickstarter.
Road To VR: How did you feel when you sailed past your final Kickstarter total and Stretch Goal back in March?
Denny: It was a HUGE relief! Our campaign was an epic rollercoaster for us, so we had a lot of people over here (families included) sweating bullets to the bitter end.
Road to VR: Has the CloudHead team grown since Kickstarter Success? How has funding helped you progress development of The Gallery?
Denny: We’ve expanded from a team of 3 to a team of 5. We would like very much to increase that number to scale our production and get more accomplished.
Funding got us up and running, accounting for some necessary production expenses, assets, software and baseline wages for those involved. More importantly, the funding made a loud statement to others that this game idea was viable.
Road to VR: Are you speaking to Sixense about possible support for their forthcoming new motion controller that people are dubbing the ‘Hydra 2’?
Denny: I think it goes without saying that our game relies on the innovation that Sixense is responsible for to give users a truly connected VR experience. We would absolutely love to support the new Sixense motion controller. When we saw the prototype hardware we were VERY excited about the possibilities. It seems like Sixense listened to the demand and came up with a number of novel inclusions which will make the system far more flexible. They chose a perfect time to embrace VR and we cant wait to see what we can do with the hardware.
Road to VR: This VIP demo takes place entirely in the sewers, what percentage of the game takes place there?
Denny: The section of the game that occurs before the Gallery itself is roughly 20% of our game (perhaps a bit less). The idea being to lull users into a very grounded, acclimated experience before throwing them into completely alien and fantastic places.
Road to VR: What are your aims and hopes with the Exploration School? What will the players and you get out of it?
Denny: Our game takes a very different approach to VR than what has been made available for the Oculus thus far. We embrace it in a way that is both challenging and exciting. The main goal of our first release is to acclimate users to using our control scheme and essentially training themselves to exist in our game world. Once they play through, they’ll be ready for a much more ambitious journey ahead that will test them in some very unique ways.
Road to VR: Are there any gaming mechanics not yet seen that you’re excited about that you’d like to share with us?
Denny: We are trying to give players a real sense of physicality in our gameworld. But unlike prebaked animations based on button presses we’re trying to offer a 1:1 interactivity in motions. So for example; when climbing a ladder you literally have to user your hands and arms to climb, rung by rung. If you make a bad grab, there are consequences. We are continually raising the bar on player/world/object interactions and some of the best elements of that we are still developing.
“We are trying to give players a real sense of physicality in our gameworld. But unlike prebaked animations based on button presses we’re trying to offer a 1:1 interactivity in motions.”
Road to VR: Would you say you’re more or less on track to meet your delivery deadlines?
Denny: I’d be lying if I said we havent experienced some very unique challenges to this format. Considering the novelty of those challenges we’re still roughly on track. In an industry where deadlines are constantly on the move we’re doing pretty good so far for a very small studio.
Road to VR: Be honest, how many Hydras have you smashed in rage when something in-game hasn’t quite work?
Denny: We try not to rage on our precious hardware. The current Hydra takes enough abuse as it is when we get caught in a tangle of wires which will thankfully be resolved in a wireless version in future :)
Road to VR: Would you consider renaming the game ‘Spooky Spelunking’? If so, can we share in the royalties?
Denny: Spooky Spelunking? Hmmm. Maybe we could release a mini-game? Seriously though, that tone is there for sure but it will change as you progress through the game. We dont plan on giving anyone a heart attack, well, short of making them REALLY excited :)
Many thanks to Denny for allowing us access to the VIP preview and for sparing the time to talk to us. You can still do your bit to help The Gallery become everything it can be at CloudHead’s CrowdFunding page here.