Saturday, 17 March 2018 08:12

Three For The Wizards: OPN Dev Talk with Carbon Studio

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Editor's Note: with our latest Dev Talk series, Three For, developers make a case for their upcoming release, gaming history and industry trends considered. Acknowledging the busy market that has become the indie scene and today's abundance in options, our questions invite developers to make a case as to why their labor of love is worth what's in your wallet.

1. The Description

Q: The Wizards is an action-adventure made for VR. What can we expect?

On the full release, The Wizards will get access to three new story chapters, two of them including epic boss fights. The update will also bring "Master Enchantments" - powerful upgrades for all the spells. We also managed to highly optimize the game and increase its visual fidelity. The major and most visible difference is in the lighting. Since the full release, all spells will cast light on its surroundings, which will lead to quite interesting visual effects.

2. The Quality-Check

Q: What was it like, developing a magic-driven fighting game for VR? Was your embracing of the new technology cause for Early Access?

We have decided to release The Wizards on Early Access after our experiences with the latest game - Alice VR.

When Alice VR was released, it turned out that there were several aspects of the game that did not meet players expectations. With The Wizards we wanted to make sure we spent our time on features relevant for players. Since the game is magic-driven and focuses on casting spells with hand gestures, we wanted to make sure that all of them were fun and well designed. Interestingly, the main concern players had after the Early Access release was not in the spells, but in the fact that The Wizards was teleportation-based only. We have spent six weeks redesigning the game for free locomotion. Luckily and thanks to Early Access, players showed much patience and gave us time to shape The Wizards based on their feedback. Now we have 90% positive reviews on Steam, so I believe that we have managed to fix the locomotion system and meet players expectations.

3. The Original

Q: Indie studios that experiment with innovation keep the industry healthy. You claim a unique system of casting spells, and players can make the game as challenging or as casual as they'd like with Fate Cards. Tell us more.

The unique aspect of our casting spells in the The Wizards lies in the fact that it's fully gesture-based. Using only triggers on your motion controllers, you can conjure six different spells and use them against the enemies, each in a different way. When you cast a fireball, you have to literally throw it towards the enemy, there's no shortcut here, it won't fly where you look, but where you throw. There are no pop-up menus, button combinations, etc - only gestures to remember and master. Fate Cards, on the other hand, allow players to modify game difficulty in quite a sophisticated way. They can modify enemies health or speed, or even decrease players life to only 1HP. Each card modifies the score multiplier, so when you make the game more challenging, you will get higher place on the leaderboards and get more points to spend on upgrading spells. With upgraded spells, you will be able to make the game even harder, get even more points and so on.

4. The Unnanounced

Q: I couldn’t stop. Here’s Question #4. Do you see a future for multiplayer with VR? Perhaps even eSports? The Wizards is single player but it reeks of competitive potential... Are there aspirations from Carbon Studio, on this title or the next, to take a step in that direction?

Personally I believe that multiplayer is the future of VR. I think that VR, being more of an experience than gaming, is social in its nature. When you feel that you're in the game's world, you basically want to share your experience with other people, and sometimes you can even start feeling lonely playing single player VR games for too long. The Wizards will most likely remain a single player game, but we have some plans to implement co-op in our future projects. And yes, I see a bright future for VR eSports. Virtual Reality can move eSports to a higher level and make it even more exciting to watch. Currently eSports is already a very interesting thing, but you basically watch all the players sitting still in front of their monitors. VR adds a whole new level of excitement that comes from the fact that players have to physically move while using motion controllers. I'd say that games like Echo Arena go beyond what we call an eSport today, requiring competitors to use both their brains and muscles.

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