You’ve just been nominated for a Viveport Developer Award, how do you feel? It feels amazing to be nominated. As an artist and creator it is wonderful to be recognized. We put so much time and love and energy into our work and it's great to have that be appreciated. Where did the idea for Arcade Artist come from? We wanted to make a world that you could feel transported to and also create something that was just a fun escape. I love the feeling of holding a tool in your hand in VR and being able to look at the details and for that tool to be something that you can actually use. How big is your team and how long did it take to develop? There were two main developers and then a small amount of additional artists as we needed them. In all, the team at its largest was probably eight people. We spent about six months on it. Tell us something about Arcade Artist that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport? I guess that the amount of hours that went into it would be surprising to most people. During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect? We are constantly pushing the envelope artistically so we are learning everyday how to balance the art and performance aspect. What differentiates Arcade Artists from other creativity experiences? I think the quality of our work is at the top and I am very proud of the team and the work. What do you hope people take away from Arcade Artist overall? The biggest thing that I want people to do when they play Arcade Artist is smile! Are you planning future updates and adding more features to Arcade Artist? Absolutely! We have some really fun new features in store and we are also going to be making Arcade Artist a full multiplayer and social experience. If you could have anyone experience Arcade Artist who would it be? Hmmm....I guess Steven Spielberg! What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers?
Just do it. It's trite, but jump in and fail fast and learn and go for it.
Arcade Artist is available now on Viveport.
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You’ve just been nominated for a Viveport Developer award - how do you feel?
We’re exhausted! Also very excited that Mars Odyssey has been well received. We’re very proud of the team and the passion project they’ve brought to life.
Where did the idea for Mars Odyssey come from?
We’ve always had a strong passion for education and science. Joshua Qualtieri, one of our studio co-founders, studied Astrophysics in college with the goal of eventually working for NASA on their Mars missions, but instead he ended up making films and games. Using VR to experience Mars and simulate space exploration has been a dream come true for Joshua and Steel Wool Studios.
Do you really think there is life on Mars?
We think it’s possible. If there is life on Mars, it is some form of super hardy microbial organism that’s yet to be discovered. There’s a lot of interest in Mars these days. If Mars Odyssey can add to that excitement and motivate someone in the not too distant future to get on a rocket to have a look around on Mars, that would be awesome.
How big is your team and how long did it take to develop?
The Mars Odyssey team is relatively small. About eight or nine members were involved with the project from beginning to end. In total, it took about 10 months to develop and put final touches on the project working on it part-time for most of the Mars Odyssey team.
Tell us something about Mars Odyssey that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport?
Mars Odyssey was built to possibly be part of a larger educational narrative structure. In Mars Odyssey you are simply “The Traveler” and your guide is “Athena”. Our concept is to continue developing educational simulations in which the Traveler and Athena jump from experience to experience, not just space exploration themes. Think “Quantum Leap” meets The Discovery Channel.
During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect?
Actually, we never realized how large Olympus Mons and Valles Marineris truly are. Mars is a little over half the size of Earth but it is home to the largest volcano and canyon in the solar system.
What do you hope people take away from Mars Odyssey overall?
I hope that people find Mars as fascinating as we do. We get so focused on our lives that we sometimes forget to look up at the night sky. We are amazing, albeit flawed, creatures. We have landed humans on our Moon, shot probes deep into space, and sent robots to Mars, concepts that even now sound insane if you really think about it. Mars is an incredible world and worth exploring. Landing humans on Mars will teach and further inspire us. We are not meant to stay solely on Earth; hopefully we’ll soon take those first steps towards the Red planet.
Are you planning future updates and adding more features to Mars Odyssey? What’s next for Steel Wool?
There are some tweaks we have in an upcoming patch to allow the player to replay the Rover and Lander sequences without having to accomplish the tasks -- tourist mode, essentially. Beyond that, we’re gearing up for our next project coming out later this year, Bounce. It’s a VR physics-based puzzle adventure that’s getting great feedback. It’s totally different from Mars Odyssey, but that’s one of the best parts about being an independent studio - we get to work on cool stuff that excites us.
If you could have anyone experience Mars Odyssey who would it be? Has Matt Damon tried it yet?
Unfortunately, Matt hasn’t returned our calls, yet. If we could have anyone experience Mars Odyssey, we’d be honored to help Buzz Aldrin to virtually step onto the surface of the red planet.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers?
Keep your artists and engineers collaborating at all times. It’s important for us that both groups understand each other's concerns, and learn from each other.
Mars Odyssey is available now on Viveport.
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We're thrilled to announce the second wave of nominees for the Viveport Developer Awards (VDAs). Each of these VR experiences brings a new and exciting dimension to Viveport, and we're proud to support them. The nominees are:
Allumette, by Penrose Studios
Cloudlands: VR Minigolf, by Futuretown
Mars Odyssey, by Steel Wool Studios
Arcade Artist, by Groove Jones
Fantastic titles like these enable VR fans like you to Explore Worlds, Create Things, Connect with Friends and Experience Stories, so we congratulate these developers on their accomplishments. If you haven’t installed these titles already, check them out via the links above.
We can’t wait to see your feedback about these apps on Viveport. Remember that we also have a Community Choice category, so make sure to let us know about your favorite VR content.
We are grateful to all of you for joining us on this journey to amazing destinations.
The Viveport Team
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Our team loves Halloween, so we’re stoked to announce Fright Fest on Viveport with some new, scary destinations at spooktacular prices. Get these spine-tingling titles this week:
A Chair in a Room: Greenwater, by Wolf & Wood Interactive – 25% Discount Daylight’s End VR Edition, by Groove Jones - 80% Discount Emily Wants to Play, by SKH Apps – 80% Discount The Night The Carsons Disappeared, by NostalgicBear VR – 50% Discount Horror Experiences Invisible & The Game in Jaunt VR, by Jaunt – Free
Our Halloween promotions are available now, and the sale ends on Tuesday night (11/1). Be sure to visit http://www.vive.com/setup/ to install and set up the Vive software, which will also install the Viveport desktop app on your computer.
If you are out trick-or-treating, you can use the Viveport app on your Android phone to choose anything in the store and queue it up in your library for when return.
Whether you spend Halloween in VR or the real world (or a combination of both) we hope you have a fright-tastic time! Happy Halloween!
The Viveport Team
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I haven't tried wireless earbuds, @Ahr69 - I guess that'd add to the amount of Bluetooth signal flying around, but I doubt it'd be too much of a problem? Someone test it and let us know. ;)
(Or we can all get Apple W1 compatible stuff I guess....)
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As silly as it sounds, it would be cool to bring new angles to existing staples. Like I am a huge fan of F1 and racing games, but it would be awsome to be a tire guy for pit stops or jack person. a fun mini game that can have a real impact on the race as well.
That reminds me of old games like Puzzle Pirates, where you had to team up and assign different tasks so that you could sail your ship together. I'm hoping that Star Trek: Bridge Crew has that sort of feel (out next March). Being part of an F1 pit crew could be pretty intense!
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Got a few ideas, wanted to do them but have no idea how to make games. Trying to decide on what engine to learn.
Anyone played Magicka or Magicka Wizard Wars? Some sort of 1st person game where you can combine spells/skills to try to take out mobs or other players. Have like a button assigned to each element. Could have different effects like push controllers is to fire offensive and raise controllers up is to raise a shield,
Some sort of TCG like HEX or MTG. I've grown up with cartoons like Bayblae, YuGiOh and the like so anything like that would be cool now its actually possible.
1st person Scribblenauts like game where you can call out items, weapons, pets for a dungeon crawler type game. Always imagined it as some NPC firing arrows at you and you scream sheild and 1 appears in your hand ready.
Also, I'v seen a lot of appartment simulators but with nothing that usefull in them. Maby like an apartment you can make yourself and decorate, then set interaction points with the TV to watch from a video folder on your machine. A bookcase that interacts with a folder full of PDF books on your machine. A Computer that you can sit in front of that is just a desktop port of the machine your on.
These are all cool ideas! Square has made a VR TCG called Project Hikari, but I'm sure there will be more TCGs. Magic: The Gathering could be amazing if done right.
I'm sure your virtual apartment could be done in Vive Home before too long. I think I'd go for something more crazy though. How about the Batcave? Or the surface of Mars? :)
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