One of the PlayStation VR titles at Sony’s E3 booth this week is RIGS: Mechanized Combat League, which is a competitive, 3 player vs 3 player game that is like a mixture between a FPS and basketball. The overall goal is for you team to run up a ramp and jump through a hoop, but you have to kill a member of the opposite team before you can do that. I had a chance to catch up with Guerrilla Games Lead Designer Gareth Hughes at Sony’s press event at GDC to talk to him about the game design process, some of the motion sickness from VR locomotion issues that came up for me, and the process of cultivating an eSport within VR.
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Only time will tell whether or not people are able to cultivate enough individual and team skills within RIGS to the point that competitive leagues are formed. But from what I’ve seen so far, RIGS does have a lot of the key components in it’s 3Pv3P gameplay that make it perfectly primed to become one of the first major eSports in VR. If that’s the case, then either the future of competitive VR eSports will be populated with professional VR players who are immune to motion sickness or there will need to be some VR design compromises that make this type of intense VR locomotion experience comfortable for everyone.
Another key component for the future of eSports is whether or not it’s interesting and exciting to watch for spectators. Forbes recently reported that “The studio is working on a spectator mode for virtual reality viewers to watch the action when they’re not one of the six players competing in the arena.” This is a game where the audience would probably have a better view on everything that was going on rather than an individual player who can’t see the entire playing space from their first-person perspective.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League is currently slated to be a launch title for the PlayStation VR in October.