Interview With Turbo Chimp Games
Here is our interview with the developer of Naked Sun game where they talk about this game along with some interesting aspects of game development.
Interview With Mercury Blue: Mini Episode Steam Game Developer
Naked Sun’ is a VR first-person shooter set in the 23rd century where a war between people and robots is raging. You play as a hybrid of human and AI, and you’re given a mission that will determine humanity’s future. A special feature in the game is that you move at about 100 km/h speed, no motion sickness. Apart from the main campaign, there’s an arcade mode with global and local leader boards.
We wanted to make a game with high-speed movement and changing environments, so players can enjoy fast-paced action in VR without experiencing motion sickness. The dystopian “AI turned against people” theme of the game was inspired by our love for sci-fi books and movies. And just how cool robots are in general.
1. Tell us a bit about your game and what was it that inspired you to make this game?
I originally wrote “Mercury Blue” as a short story about 10 years ago and decided to team up with another writer and flesh it out into an interactive adventure game. I’ve always been a fan of the old-school point and click games and thought it could translate well to that genre.
2. Naming a game is almost always one of the most difficult tasks since that’s what people identify with. Was this name the first choice for the name? If not then what were some other options you were looking at?
The title was chosen at the very beginning of development. It is inspired by Asimov’s wonderful novel, which had a major influence on our vision of the game.
3. What sort of thought process went behind the artwork of this game?
Unfortunately we did not have time to develop a large number of assets for the game, and to some extent the style of the game was dictated by this. A lot of attention was given to the assets for the player’s character, i.e., weapons, armor, and hands. We weren’t focussed on environment as much. Also from the very beginning, we realized that we won’t be able to use many of standard effects such as reflections,transparency, fire, etc., because if we use them abundantly, we wouldn’t be able to keep 90 frames per second, which is critical for VR games.
Regarding the visual style, pretty much everything was based on the plot. The dystopian future, revolt of machines against people, and of course giant integrated cities – arcologies.
4. What was the major challenge in developing this game?
Integrating FPS with a high intensity of motion. It still is a problem in the VR industry. We did a great amount of testing to figure out how to prevent motion sickness. We discovered that to make it possible for players to experience movement-rich environments and shoot at enemies on a 180-degree plane without feeling nauseous we need to put them on a platform with a frame or cabin around it. That’s how the technical concept of ‘Naked Sun’ came to be.
5. Any in-game secrets that could be easter eggs for players to discover?
Yep. There is an interesting effect that players can trigger in the first level of Story mode.
6. Why do you consider Steam as a platform for your game and is there any other platform you look forward to getting your game onto?
Well, we’ve released Naked Sun for PC so far, and Steam is the biggest platform for PC games, including VR segment. Also simply as gamers we were most familiar with Steam, and that made it all the more natural to have the game posted there first.
Of course, we strive to make ‘Naked Sun’ available to the biggest possible number of players. Right now we’re in the process of getting the game on Oculus and PlayStation VR. ‘Naked Sun’ is already available on VIVEPORT, which BTW is really great in terms of help with publishing and promoting games. ‘Naked Sun’ is also available on arcade platforms SynthesisVR, SpringboardVR, and Private Label VR.
7. How much time did it take to get this game developed and what can players expect in updates for this game?
The development process lasted for over a year. We’re already planning 2 new levels for arcade (retro style and silent movie), and the end of Story mode tells you that there are more things to come.
8. What are your future plans as a game developer?
At this point, we’re still fully focussed on Naked Sun. Working on versions for Oculus Store and PSVR, and the updates for the game. We haven’t thought beyond that yet.
9. How long have you been developing games and what is the most enjoyable aspect of game development according to you?
Naked Sun’ is our first title, but a year and a half that we spent developing the game gave us great memories. It was a lot of fun making and testing the game, seeing our ideas come to life, creating a unique world with its own rules and story. But the best part for me was going to gaming expos, and getting to meet awesome people – fellow developers, and passionate gamers. You learn so many new things! And sharing our experience with others, knowing that our advice can help and is appreciated, that’s a truly great feeling.
10. Have you developed the game solo or you have a team working with you?
We’re an indie studio, and I’m speaking on behalf of a team of 7 people. Myself as the CEO, game designer Alexey Kurbatov, C++ programmer Alexey Kryshen, Unreal developer Andrey Lebedev, gameplay designer Arseniy Golovinsky, visual designer Stas Mikhailov, and sound designer Andrew Netdog.
11. What are your personal favorite games?
I’ve had the most memorable experiences with Fallout 2, Max Payne, FIFA, Morrowind, Witcher 3, and Red Dead Redemption. An honorable mention goes to Worms Armageddon.
12. Any message for our readers?
If you guys want to have a deeply immersive VR experience that features fast-paced action, and traveling through diverse futuristic locations, or perhaps you just hate robots, check out ‘Naked Sun’.