We all love playing games. From first hearing about the game to the new trailers that are released, and even the final product can bring an amazing amount of joy and excitement. It really is a fun way to see how it goes from being first announced to being able to experience everything. But have you ever wondered how the process of having the idea to the creation of that idea comes about? It really is a different process when you think about everything from the people who help make the game to the decisions that have to go into everything. So does developer VOXEL LABS S.L. show what it’s like with the production of how games are made? Let’s find out with Probe: A Game Dev Experience for the PlayStation VR.
In Probe: A Game Dev Experience you will go behind the scenes and discover how video games are designed, the programming which underlies them, and the digital art which brings them to life as you broaden and deepen your understanding of this videogame design and development in this educational experience. Now before we begin there are a few things here that we want to make sure of first. For one, have some patience. Two try to go in this with an open mind. Third, understand that this experience is not going to be for everyone. And fourth, make sure your DualShock controller is charged. With all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start out you receive an email from the one and only Adam Helms who is the creative director and founder of EcoSoft, a video game company. Mr. Helms would like some help to reinforce his team as he has seen your profile and thinks that you would be an excellent choice and if interested to come on by to get caught up on things. Within nothing else to do it seems, the only thing to do is take the job and head to EcoSoft to help um save the day.
When you first enter the doors of EcoSoft, you will notice that once you start engaging with the different people, it’s all done through chat. Like typed out chat. You can hit a button to speed it up, but throughout the entire game, this will be the communication. Once you talk to Mr. Helms, he is trying to prevent his people from spending more hours than necessary at the office to help prevent burnout, which is a really good thing to try and accomplish if you think about it. He is also telling you about some of his main leads at EcoSoft and will be up to you to then just freely walk around and find anyone you can to try and talk with.
Meeting different workers of EcoSoft may result in different tasks that you can help out with such as learning about the different ways lighting can help in a game. One of the first tasks you get to do is placing a light to try and wake up a sleeping bear on the floor by using different lighting techniques, placement, and direction. Completing tasks will open a QR Code for you to receive more info to register at Voxel Online and receive access to free educational content which is a nice bonus to have. Some of the other tasks will have you creating different variations using the Kitbashing technique as well as using logic to help with movement when making a game just to name a few.
Most of the people you run into are engaging or at least attempt to be. But there was one who I don’t know what their problem was, but could tell they didn’t want to be bothered.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound in the game. When looking at the graphics, I do like how each person I ran into at EcoSoft has a different look about them almost like each has its own style and personality. Also, looking around at the different ways each of the rooms is set up is kind of interesting and might provide some idea of how things really are at a game development studio. Sound-wise, there really isn’t too much here other than the music and that audio when switching to do a project that seemed sort of futuristic. Sure, you hear your footsteps as you are walking around, but there is no audio when the characters are speaking.
There are some things that I hope to receive an update on. For one, the controls. You are using the DualShock 4 controller which isn’t a bad thing, but there is something about when you have to rotate objects that just seem off. Maybe adjusting the way you have to use the thumbstick for rotation or incorporating the Move controllers into the mix just to find different ways of using the controls. Second, the sound. As I mentioned there is some game music and whatnot here, but EcoSoft sounds almost empty with the number of people working or lack of working here. It would be great to hear some communication even if it did sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. It also would be great to hear someone speaking when you are communicating with them. There is a lot of reading and all in caps and not everyone may want to sit and read after a long day at work as they may prefer to actually hear the voice of another person. And third, are the instructions. Some may find that some are more clearer than others.
Probe: A Game Dev Experience may not be for everyone, but for those wanting to get an insight into what it is like to see how games are made along with the ability to receive some free online educational content may find something worthwhile here if just given the time to do so.
Probe: A Game Dev Experience is out now on the PlayStation Store and can be played in VR on the PlayStation VR and can also be played in non-VR on the PS4 and PS5. A review code was provided. To learn more about VOXEL LABS S.L., please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.