I recently reviewed Chernobyl VR Project for the PlayStation VR. As I played and learned about the history of Chernobyl, Virtual Reality really added to this history lesson in a way that it truly touched me. So I reached out to The Farm 51 to ask some questions about their thoughts on VR and history. Dawid Biegun was able to step up and help answer my questions.
What made you decide to do a project in VR about Chernobyl?
“When we visit Chernobyl zone for the first time, we decide, that we have to spread the story of this place all over the world. We came to the exclusion zone with plan of creating the game, but then we decided that the tragic history of the Chernobyl disaster should not come down to the level of an action game only. We wanted to leverage computer game mechanics to create an interactive account of the tragic fate of the people and places affected by the Catastrophe of Time.”
Did you find any difficulties when making Chernobyl VR Project that were easy to accomplish after a few tries or even some that because of VR just were not able to make it into the final project?
“To be honest? Not at all. All difficulties we had in the development is connected with the place where we make a scans. Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is not a friendly area for the game developers ;)”
What type of technique did you use to get such a great VR experience?
“We used our Reality 51 tech. The Farm 51’s proprietary technology, fully aligned with the emerging VR market. Chernobyl VR Project uses this technology and state-of-the-art graphics solutions, such as advanced 3D scans of locations and buildings, spherical photography, stereoscopic videos, and augmented reality solutions.”
Did you find working with PlayStation VR had it’s own difficulties with what you were trying to accomplish compared to other VR headsets you have worked with?
“Yes. All videos on PlayStation need to be changed for the different player, than on any other platforms. We had problems with good enough bitrate and framerate for 360′ videos.”
With so many subjects in history, do you see yourself and The Farm 51 continuing in this direction or do you feel this was more to just test the waters to see what you could do?
“Chernobyl VR was our… experimental project, but we do not exclude further development of this and other projects. We are looking for more popular and interesting places like Chernobyl, where we could make an another virtual journey for multiple platforms.”
Are there any future PlayStation VR projects that you can share at this time?
“At this moment we cannot announce any official projects yet, but our adventure with PSVR has just begun. We already developed another game on PlayStation 4 (Get Even), and we know how to work on this console to achieve great results.”
I really want to think The Farm 51 and Dawid Biegun for taking the time out of their busy schedules and dedicated work they do for PlayStation and PlayStation VR.
Don’t forget to check out the review. In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.