When I first heard about a new emotional journey was coming to PlayStation VR, I became happy. When I saw some of the screenshots I got very excited about what this would be like. What would we be doing in this and how emotional could this ride actually be. So I reached out to Frost Earth Studio to find out more about Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams for the PlayStation VR and they were happy to help out.
Frost Earth Studio
Welcome to The PlayStation Brahs. Please introduce yourself and what do you do and what is a typical day like at Frost Earth Studios?
“Hi, I’m Andrea Marinelli the founder of the Frost Earth Studio which is a team highly focused on virtual reality game since the first Oculus Rift development kit came out. We love to develop VR games and experiences and we’re doing this during the last 5 years.
A typical day is basically starting to work in the morning after taking a look at our schedule to make sure I’m gonna work on what has been prioritized. Our team is constantly online connected using Skype and other digital communication tools. It’s a lot of work on Unity, make some tweaks then make a build and test it on PS4 with PSVR. Especially this last few weeks and months where we’re doing the last things to make sure everything is good, everything is bug free most of the time is spent on debugging and doing everything needed to make sure the player will have a smooth experience.
I’ve known my publisher Oxygene Media for Sony PS4 which was thinking about this project since few years and we started to work together with the same intent of trying to make emotions through images and music. Sergio Pisano, the head of the production, besides being a psychologist he also has a huge multimedia experience since 80° both musical and technological. So it has been straightforward to make a team of experts, psychologists, sound designer and lovers of Virtual Reality. The soundtrack of Mind Labyrinth is truly unique and the artists that have accepted excitingly to work with us are really huge and some of them have won the Hollywood Oscar award.
I believe this is our small contribution to make our lives better in a world always more complicated and we’ll make sure to give to the game a continuity with DLC along the way.”
For the gamers out there who are new to PlayStation VR and VR in general, what are some of the other games that you have worked on or been a part of that we might be familiar with?
“I have worked on a couple VR games in the past and the most recent one is called Mind Unleashed which was released on Steam only with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive support. It was an fps wave-based game and it was quite different from what we’re doing right now which is honestly one of the reasons I’m so excited about this last game. Something completely unique both for us and our players which are gonna play it soon.”
So Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams is coming to PlayStation VR. Is it more of a game or experience?
“Yes, it’s coming soon! Honestly, I wouldn’t define it as a “game” only nor as an “experience”. I think it’s truly something in between… It definitely has some aspects typical of a game where you need to find something or you need to solve some fun puzzles around but the core of Mind Labyrinth is definitely the experience behind it. It’s something we want players to come back to and play every time they need to relax or live some specific emotions.
Once you visit one of our scenes it shouldn’t feel like you have nothing more to do on it because the scene itself has been thought as something you’ll want to come back just to look around, relax or maybe just to find what we call “opportunities” which aren’t gonna spawn all the time but just if you stay there enough to make it happen (as in real life).
Also, we’re trying to focus a lot on the gorgeous and powerful feelings that just music and beautiful environments can give which is why we have a specialized group that works only to the music production and the selection of the best international artists for our soundtrack and future DLC.
So… it’s definitely an experience you’ll launch every time you need to have your own VR world to stay in… But there will be some gaming aspects to it.”
So tell us more about Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams. About how long will it take to complete or is that more up to the player?
“Since the game itself is a mix between a game and experience it’s definitely up to the player to “complete it”. That’s also because there isn’t a definitive end to the game. If the player will be able to find all the hidden opportunities in every scenario he’ll unlock something “special” and we could say like he has completed the game but the truth is as I said before that we’re building something for players to come back every time they need. To give them their fantastic and dreamy world they always dreamed about and not just “another game to complete”.”
Will there be trophies to collect and will there be any online aspect or are you leaning more towards the single player experience?
“There definitely will be trophies to collect! However, Mind Labyrinth will be a single player experience at first but we definitely do not exclude anything in any next patches or DLC or whatever will be next! We’re just gonna release it but a lot more stuff will come soon after.”
Can you share with us the control scheme? Is this fully used with the Dualshock 4 controller or with the Move controllers?
“Sure! Mind Labyrinth is recommended to be played with two PS move to take full advantage of two hands and truly appreciate the interactions of the game. However, we’ve made sure the experience is absolutely perfect on a Dualshock 4 as well and you’ll be able to aim and shoot your magic abilities with your controller. You’ll be able to interact and do everything you can do with 2 PS Move with a Dualshock 4 as well.
Since we’re also talking about control schemes I’d also take the opportunity to briefly talk about the movement system we have in place. This is a VR game after all so as default locomotion system we have the classic teleport ones. So you can point and teleport where you wish. However, we also give the player the chance to disable the teleportation mode and be able to freely walk around to explore everything as you prefer.”
When you approached the idea to Sony, where they very welcoming with the idea?
“I can’t talk too much about what Sony thought about the idea but I guess I can say they definitely seemed to find it interesting and our trailer will be published in official Sony PlayStation YouTube channel.”
Working with PlayStation VR, did you find it more easy to work with than you first thought?
“I have to say it wasn’t something easy but especially because developing a game on console has always its own challenges. But overall with the help of Sony and the community, it’s smoother than I first thought.”
When can we expect to play on PlayStation VR?
“We’re aiming for a late June release at the moment. I can’t say more than that because the date is not set in stone 100% but we’re getting there, all depend on the long and accurate QA process at Sony.”
Are there any future projects or any announcements you would like to discuss at this time or maybe something in the future that is coming out on PlayStation VR?
“I can say that Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams is definitely just the beginning. We’ve planned to expand over it and release multiple DLCs with more music, more scenarios, and more stuff to do on it and why not maybe some kind of multiplayer interactions. But I can’t speak about what’s coming after this title just yet.”
I really want to thank Andrea for taking the time to help out with the interview. Be on the lookout when Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams comes soon to PlayStation VR.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.