Hi, I'm Lisa, a game designer at my company Intropy Games. We make cute games that tug on heartstrings, and currently have games on Steam, Wii U, and iOS. I frequently attend game jams to hone my craft, specifically I attended the last Train Jam where a bunch of developers hopped an Amtrak Train from Chicago to San Francisco to get to the Game Developer's Conference and made a silly game.
I was happy to see the Oculus Bootcamp when it came up in my feed and I had to apply. The reasons I jumped into making games has been that I enjoy the story based games (remember Final Fantasy) and enjoyed exploring and being taken to new worlds. I started looking at the hits of the day and seeing more violence simulators and wasn't interested in playing them. Not that you can't enjoy them, they just aren't for me. Because of the lack of the more whimsical, non-violent types of games, I decided that it was time for me to jump into a lend my creative expression into the world of video games, and I hope you'll continue to have me! Here is my pitch I sent when applying:
I've always been a big fan of the idea of flying. It's something that most people have dreamed of as children and then forgotten as they became older and more jaded about the realities of gravity. However, I believe the feeling of wonderment is needed in VR. I want to bring to it an environment of fantastic views from the clouds, finding new and interesting things from above tree level and gaining another perspective from our everyday grounded life. On your adventures in the skies, you will meet other free-fliers, others who wish to ground you, and a journey you take to find what is important to you. Flying is indeed a metaphor for freedom and we all can relate to the challenges that tie us down and the times we can roam wherever our imagination takes us.
And as you know already, they picked me! After I learned I was going, I met up with a narrative designer right away to flush out the idea and get a handle on the story aspects right away. I coded up quickly (remember, I'm a game jam nut) a little prototype that had a character flying around and plants growing. I filled the world mythos with the ideas we came up with my narrative designer. I was all ready to go!
Here's our 2 sentence pitch: Revive the world - It's never too late to redeem yourself. Uncover the story of the ruin you caused through talking with those left behind. Take flight and watch nature bloom beneath you, reviving the landscape you helped destroy. Oh yeah, and you get to take pictures. The bootcamp was great, meeting other awesome people, and getting some major knowledge dropped on how to succeed on the VR Platform. As soon as I returned I was ready from a hardware and overview perspective to start making this experience fit right into the VR world.
Now I'm taking all of this knowledge, putting things down into "to dos" and getting ready for August. Frames per second, cameras, making sure the players aren't getting sick, narrative pacing, how to get them to go to the next piece of the story, text meshes in 3D! Basically, there's a lot to do, and over the next few weeks, I hope I will be solving them all.
I do too! I can only get so many people to physically play as I bring it around to places, I've tried to get as many women to try it out because of the motion sickness worry and I've made changes anytime someone shows discomfort. I've also had guys play it and they've had some fun reactions towards the little secrets you uncover as well. I think anyone with a wonderment impulse in their body would like this. ❤️
Curved UI? Why didn't I use this before?? I was checking out @sophia and her ideas on UI with bowls and curves, and I had to do that myself! Fonts look much nicer when wearing the headset that way.
Also, extreme bug squashing has commenced.
Writing up a pitch and creating the budget for the next 6 months of development time to make this game a truly interesting experience. I fear I want to overload too much detail in my pitch, and have not enough detail in the budget. Maybe I'll just write my pitch with the numbers, and add my marketing to my budget, I'm sure that will cover my bases. 😉
Anyway, one thing these documents have that I'm super proud of is the team that has been working with me in multiple ways to bring Reviva to life. Here are the designers, coders, writers, artists, voice actresses and musicians so excited to work on this project, and have have helped me get the demo out the door.
If you've ever heard that ladies don't make games (I mean, I only hear it just about every day), I sure have seemed to find a few who do. The Launchpad program was just the push I needed to get them together and make something we're truly proud of. It's kind of amazing when you can get a bunch of women together and not get constantly knocked down by barriers. ❤️
This is a very on-point observation. Very insightful, thanks for sharing.
Players found it hard to line up shots for photos, one claimed "I suck at taking pictures", which really actually means, the game is at fault. When playtesting your projects, watch for this type of feedback because it will tell you what players are doing vs what your project allows them.
Hmm, I played with a few custom meshes by adding a Canvas Renderer (which is what Unity magically does for you for Text, Buttons, Images, etc), it should be possible, but I wasn't getting it working right away, and I need to focus on the other things instead of attempting that. 😕 Thanks on the observation, feedback is sometimes really difficult, because people are either too solution based and give you a bad fix within their 1 second of playing with something, or just won't give feedback so they don't hurt your feelings. But if you can attempt to read in-between the lines of what the actual problem is.. it's like AMAZING.