When PlayStation VR first came out a year ago, there was a collection of games that came with it. That game was PlayStation VR Worlds. The one game that I really kept coming back to was the London Heist. It brought something new and refreshing by putting you right in the middle of the action. The immersive feeling it gave to you as you picked up the cigar to put it up to your mouth, then to be in the car and look out the door behind you, you were there, in that world. So when I saw Blood & Truth announced, I got that smile on my face again and thought to myself, it’s time for another ride.
So I reached out to Stuart Whyte from Sony London Studio to get his thoughts and feelings about Blood & Truth and about VR in general and he was happy to help out and just give some more insight on his passion and love for the industry.
Stuart Whyte the Director of VR Product Development from London Studio
So tell us about you and what you do at Sony London Studio for those who may not be aware. When did you get started and how long have you been with Sony?
“Hi! My name is Stuart Whyte and I’m Director of VR Product Development at London Studio. I’ve been there since May this year. I’ve been in the industry for a *long* time – worked at Microprose, Bullfrog, EA and most recently I was Studio Director at Lionhead for over 10 years.”
What are some of the games and projects that you helped bring to life?
“I’ve worked on a number of games over the years – my first game was F-15 II on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis! Some titles you may have heard of – X-Com: Terror from The Deep and X-Com: Apocalypse, Populous: The Beginning, a couple of Harry Potter games, The Movies, Black & White 2 and Fable Lost Chapters onwards through to Fable Legends.”
I loved The London Heist. What was that one magical moment that made you want to test VR?
“I first tried VR twenty years ago – I borrowed, I think it was a CyberMaxx headset and played Interplays Descent. I mean it was more… attempted to play!
Obviously, there were various issues, from lag to latency and the experience just wasn’t comparable to what we can do in VR today, thanks largely to technological advancements and developers having naturally more knowledge about the sector.
My first experience of this current gen of VR was the London Heist experience. I was lucky enough to be able to venture Behind Closed Doors to play the Heist at E3 in 2015. It was very cool! I think, for me, the thing that blew me away was the sense of immersion. In my view, you just don’t get that in TV-based games.”
Do you think VR is the future of gaming? Or do you think both normal gaming and VR gaming as something that can co-exist forever?
“Absolutely I think VR is part of the future of gaming. We’re right at the beginning of the journey of where this exciting medium will go – but the potential is clear.
I also think it can definitely co-exist with TV play, VR offers so much and is additive to the entertainment experience.”
Does PlayStation’s commitment to VR make you strive to raise the level of VR games seeing as how you have such a major audience to show your game to?
“When we made PlayStation VR Worlds it was very much a team exploring the potential of VR. Learning the design language. Across the 5 experiences that shipped in that game we experimented with drama, interfaces, controls etc. etc. It was super useful.
I think the first year of the platform has been really exciting – we now have over 100 games available to play – which is amazing for a piece of tech that’s only just celebrated its first birthday. What’s great is that this has opened the door for bigger, flagship, titles, we are looking forward to seeing more AAA style titles enter the VR space.”
With Blood & Truth being announced at Paris Game Week and seeing the reaction live and also on the Internet, how does that make you feel knowing all the hard work and passion is coming together like it did?
“It was amazing. I mean you cross your fingers and hope you get a great reaction but the internet can be a ‘challenging’ place. But… the feedback was great. Twitter, Reddit, youtube – all the comments were super positive. Plus seeing the reaction to the myriad of journos that we got to speak to was great too!”
So in Blood & Truth, we get introduced to Ryan Marks. What can you tell us about him? I know that after playing The London Heist, I wanted more as I am sure a lot of gamers did. In the trailer, there were some parts that had that London Heist throwback moments to it such as the shooting scene where we got to duck and shoot. Please say we will get more of that car action where you can open the door and look behind you like we did with The London Heist. Lol.
“So… we’re still keeping a lot of the story under wraps at the moment. What I can tell you is that Ryan is an ex-SAS (Special Forces) soldier who returns to London to face his most dangerous mission yet – saving his family against a criminal overlord. Also… we’re not showcasing all our features yet… but if it’s in the London Heist then we want to better it for Blood & Truth…”
So is Blood & Truth a continuation of The London Heist or related to the story in any way? Or is it a new story in a different time or place?
“No. They’re different. London Heist was more of a proof of concept for us. It was a love letter to the classic Guy Ritchie-Esq Eastend Gangster movies. With Blood & Truth, we’re very much using the Heist as an inspiration but we wanted to move into a new direction – one inspired by our favorite action Movies. If anything you’ll see more of a connection to the Getaway series than Heist…”
Now after watching the trailer, we see where you can have dual weapons using both Move Controllers. Will there be a mode to have Aim Controller support?
“At this early stage in development we’re very much optimising and focussing the experience currently around Move controllers, we don’t want to reveal much more than that just yet.”
About how long will the game take to play? Will there be any trophies? Any chance for maybe global leaderboard of some kind so we can see who the best in the world might be?
“It’s a bit soon for us to be talking about game length, but we are working on this to be a ‘big’ game and the story/campaign will be much larger than the London Heist. Trophies – definitely. Leaderboards etc. are all things we are considering!”
Now that the trailer has officially released, do we have an official release date and cost that can be shared at this time?
“Not yet! This was very much our announce – we’ve got a few more opportunities in the future to give out this detail!”
I really want to thank Stuart for taking the time out away from his busy schedule. Blood & Truth looks amazing and I along with others cannot wait to play this. To learn more about Blood & Truth make sure you visit the site. Also, to keep up with more magic that Stuart Whyte makes, make sure you follow him on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.