TIPS & TRICKS
December 26, 2017
Practical Advice for
Virtual Reality (VR) Game Developers and Studios
Virtual reality games are the most common immersive experiences available today. Console and mobile video games are completely different from VR games.
Once you play a good game in virtual reality it is impossible to play another video game on a normal platform.
But, not all VR games are polished, glitch-free, fun and immersive. This is a given, and not much of a threat to the industry, but VR games need a better content rating review system.
Quality virtual reality experiences are important because the industry is so young. Newcomers will judge the entire platform as a whole based on that one horrible VR demo they tried.
Rowdy currently has over 65,000 subscribers on YouTube. Making the channel the right place to watch a variety of VR games and experiences.
Rowdy Guy is an extremely smart guy with a wealth of knowledge on consumer virtual reality games. Rowdy has played hundreds if not thousands of experiences and understands what makes a game playable or not.
I asked Rowdy, What advice, tips, do’s and don’ts for VR game developers that are trying to create a virtual reality experience.
1. Do Not Make a Multiplayer VR Game Right Now
Virtual reality has a very small consumer market for developers to be able to monetize their game and make a profit. This advice stands especially for indie developer teams without a huge amount of time and particularly, money.
During the interview, Rowdy told developers to keep in mind these factors for developing a multiplayer VR experience.
Everyone who purchases the title at first will say nobody is playing this game. I don’t want to play a multiplayer title by myself. You need money and time to dedicate to a multiplayer experience.
Successful Multiplayer VR games exist like Rec room and Onward. You can’t with these studios unless you have money and time or something very special to offer.
If you continue making a multiplayer VR game, build some sort of basic AI for players to play by themselves, or just go with a single player experience.
2. Research Your Target VR Market
“I’m targeting people with an HTC Vive”
Congratulations! Every other VR developer happens to have the same one. Your research will heavily depend on the genre, associations, and system. Sometimes, the best form of marketing is to listen to market/community.
The more information you have on a target audience, the easier it will be to market and advertise the VR game.
3. Give Players Many Game Options
Since this new market is so new and always changing that basic information isn’t available yet. What’s the best locomotion movement option that will not create motion sickness? Nobody knows yet because the definitive data isn’t available.
Rowdy told me that there are so many different types of players and options the information for a superior method isn’t available. That being said,
Don’t make your game teleport only. People will hate it because of this strict movement setting.
Make everyone comfortable by giving options. If someone writes a bad review of motion sickness no one else will buy it.
4. Be Original
While some may say creative originality doesn’t exist today, it absolutely does in the new booming VR game market.
Rowdy Guy states in the interview:
Don’t do something that’s been done before, unless you can do it in a unique way.
Learn from the great games and remove the bad elements and create a better game.
5. Don’t Make a Crappy Port
Virtual reality is becoming mainstream. Which means the market is growing and many existing developers are moving into VR.
Most of these studios don’t want to recreate a game from the ground-up. Many teams have been creating VR enabled ports as an alternative.
Rowdy Guy reminds devs to take note of:
If you port your game make sure it’s thoroughly tested for virtual reality.
ARK Survival Evolved, listed on steam as VR enabled, is a horrible VR port.
Lastly, I asked Rowdy an important question that is in-between, that I get asked by developers all the time.
Would you rather play a game that is polished but repeatable or a fun experience that is not that polished?
Rowdy told me that he would much rather play a fun and enjoyable experience that makes him come back again and again. Most users would prefer a game with potential and passion even with some bugs included, over a polished wave shooter like experience that gets boring.
Check back on this page frequently for updates and additions.
We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual Reality Industry. These few years are the first steps towards a prosperous future.