There is something about the calmness of space. Seeing all the stars, being able to see incredible views and the weightlessness. It’s all very beautiful and poetic. But all that beauty could turn into something fearful if something went wrong. What if your time was limited? Who would hear you? What would be some of your possible last thoughts? So when I heard that Anshar Studios was, in fact, coming out with Detached for the PlayStation VR I had to know more. I had to see if some of my questions about what could happen if a normal situation turned bad and we were left all alone and how weightlessness would transfer over to VR.
So Jakub Kwinta from Anshar Studios was happy to help and give us a more in-depth look into Detached for the PlayStation VR.
Jakub Kwinta of Asher Studios
Welcome to The PlayStation Brahs. Please introduce yourself and what is your position at Anshar Studios?
“Hi! My name is Jakub Kwinta and I’m a PR & Communication Specialist at Anshar Studios; primarily responsible for contact with players and press materials. Feel free to contact me if you want to say hi or share your feedback!”
For those that may not be aware, what are some previous games or projects that you have been a part of? What about Anshar Studios?
“Detached is one of the few games we’ve created so far. In particular, mobile players can associate Anshar Studios with match-three game – The Path of Kara for Windows Store. It is worth noting that the greater part of our studio works on projects and games for third-party clients, thanks to which we had the opportunity to develop an interesting game, for example, a detective hidden objective game for Artifex Mundi – Kate Malone. We also built a training program for Polish firefighters in VR. For more information about Anshar Studios, please visit our website http://ansharstudios.com/ ”
Detached just got released on the PlayStation VR. Can you give us more insight into the game such as story and the objective?
“Detached is above all an extreme survival in a futuristic vision of the cosmos, which, like no other game, offers full freedom of movement in weightlessness. Undoubtedly, the mentioned freedom and the lack of limits in space causes the players are willing to test themselves in the role of an astronaut and experience what previously was unattainable for an ordinary mortal. Especially Simulation Mode deserves attention due to the mapping of conditions prevailing in the zero-G environment. The player’s task is to master the EVA Suit controls, which may seem very hard at first try. However, getting to the exit from the first training hub and seeing the endless cosmos is worth it.
Returning to the story of the game, we play the role of a space scavenger who, as a result of problems with interception of cosmic scrap, was left alone on an abandoned space station. At this point, the fight for survival begins. Exploration of the next parts of the space station is necessary to find the rescue and to supply the escaping reserves of oxygen and fuel. Over time, the player will discover that the advanced EVA Suit modules that will be an invaluable help in the fight against successive adversities.”
Do you have any tips on how the players can have the best experience? Any surprises to be on the lookout for?
“First of all, Detached has to be considered in other categories than the space shooter or something similar. We do not experience enemies in the game, there are no frags, killstreaks (despite the PvP cross-platform mode, which puts two players against each other). Everyone certainly though once wondered what man feels in the space vacuum, and Detached is just an attempt to present the conditions that prevail there. Sit comfortably in an armchair (or play in a standing position if you have an iron stomach) and make subtle movements. Remember that Newtonian laws do not apply in space, so every move must be countered!”
How long has Detached been in development for? In the early planning, was Detached going to be a different type of experience?
“Due to the profile of our studio and work on both the 1st and 3rd party projects, Detached was quite long in the development phase, almost 3 years. Our assumptions regarding the game have not changed. At first, we were going to create two paths for each player and make the single-player campaign more like co-op style game. Also, we were not able to create a unique immersion experience in the multiplayer mode. The first concepts of the game also assumed more sterile rooms, which can be seen in the following screenshots. Ultimately, everything became darker, conquering the harsh climate of the cosmos. After a few weeks of development, we decided to make major changes and delete the described things.”
Was Virtual Reality always the important feature that Detached had to be in or was that thought about a little later?
“We should not conceal that Detached without VR goggles may seem to be a boring game for many. All the magic lies in the VR version and without them it’s hard to experience incredible immersion. The game is created from the beginning with VR in mind. After last year’s premiere of the game on PC VR, we decided to create a port for the PS VR console, and to prepare a Non-VR version, for players who prefer to play in cross-platform PvP multiplayer modes (you can play with players with VR and Non-VR version together at once).”
Do you feel that besides the immersion aspect, that Virtual Reality is gaming going forward?
“It seems to me that the first dynamic growth of virtual reality is behind us and now we are successively getting more interesting projects that improve technology. For sure, we need wireless devices and a larger implementation of motion trackers for full happiness. I dare say, however, that VR does not die and develops in the right direction. We also do not want to forget about VR and look into the future when it comes to our next VR projects.”
Did you find out some surprises when working with Virtual Reality that you did not think about?
“The process of creating Detached has made us aware of how many elements need to be improved, as well as what to look for when creating an open 360-degree world. First of all, creating a VR game requires a lot of restrictions. We had to keep in mind that spatial immersion has to be preserved as much as possible, without decreasing extreme sensations during the game.
Detached had to be adapted to play in at least 60 frames per second, and the user interface had to be part of the virtual world. The player must be able to look around. Taking away the ability to look in the direction you want, or forcing the camera during the cutscenes will effectively thwart the immersion. In our view, virtual hands also destroyed the immersion when touch controllers were not available on the market. Therefore, picking up objects in the game (oxygen, NANDs, fuel) looks awkward, but it feels fine.”
What are your top three suggestions for anyone wanting to make games, experiences or content in Virtual Reality that they should always follow that you wished you would have known yourself?
“In addition to the above technical advice, you definitely need to remember to test the game, preferably on a group of potential customers; players. The QA team will quickly get used to the issues in the game. Detached during all the gaming shows was shown to several thousand players who tried extreme gameplay in VR. This gave us the image that about 20% of the entire pool has problems with nausea in the game.
The VR market is dynamic and creates the game as soon as possible. A good example of the release of the controllers for HTC Vive and Oculus. Rift, which forced us to create full support and redesign the game mechanics. Our advice? Do not spend such a long time (3 years) developing a VR game because the market will evolve while you develop it.
Last, quite a general but it is worth remembering – VR will give away everything so be creative – shooters, space flights or rollercoaster ride is not everything that VR can do!”
With the catalog of games, experiences, and player base growing, what would you say to someone on why they should pick up Detached for the PlayStation VR?
“Just try, and I guarantee you that space has never been at your fingertips :)”
I really want to thank Anshar Studios and Jakub for taking time out of his day to give us more insight into Detached and talking to us about Virtual Reality. To learn more about Anshar Studios, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.