Archangel: Hellfire Update

I recently wrapped up Archangel: Hellfire with the team at Skydance Interactive. It is currently available to play as a beta and the full free release will be available July 17th 2018.

Archangel: Hellfire is a valuable case study because we were forced to push against the grain of standard VR first person shooter games. Hellfire’s premise (as a cockpit-based mech game) allowed us to focus a lot of our development time on game design rather than VR specific feature development. By dialing back the amount of simulation and touch control based interactions, and iterating on combat mechanics, movement systems, and multiplayer gameplay experience, we discovered several valuable, yet subtle secrets to VR game development that I will cover in this section.

With a limited timeline and budget for the game, we wanted to create something that got as close to a classic first person shooter as possible. We wanted to create a fast paced, tactical experience that felt familiar and fun to play, but also complex enough for a high level of replay-ability. The last thing we wanted to see was people taking off the headset after a couple minutes and saying “That was cool, I have never experienced something like that before.

No. We wanted to see people slam the headset on the ground, scream “what the f–k”, get pissed at their opponents, and say “Put me in again so I can avenge myself.” We wanted people to get competitive as hell. We wanted to push the VR eSports universe to the next level.

And even though we wanted these things – we knew it was going to be hard to get them, simply because of the fact that relatively few people actually own headsets today. However, whatever time players would spend in Archangel: Hellfire, we would make it as intense as possible. We would set a benchmark for competitive game play in the VR space.

I will talk more about the development of Archangel: Hellfire in my upcoming book: Silicon Beach GameDev. Follow me on instagram for further updates.

Book Recommendation: “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari, for a deep historical look at the evolution of the human being as well as the society and ideology that surrounds it. Many intriguing patterns and perspectives on human kind are revealed here, all of which are incredibly relevant today.

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