Whether you’re a VR fan or not, VR is constantly evolving. Many years ago, I remember stepping into my local Dave & Busters, and playing this one very simple VR game that had me shooting down tanks (for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was.) Now, though, Oculus, HTC, Lenovo, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and even Nintendo have released their own VR headsets, and developers have made a whole slew of games for them to give gamers the opportunity to explore a whole new dimension of gaming in the comfort of their own home.
One VR developer is Yomuneco, a Tokyo-based developer that’s on a mission to create high-quality VR multiplayer experiences. Just recently, the developer released an arena-based combat VR title, Swords of Gargantua — out now on PC-via Steam, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest. Curious to know more about the developer, Swords of Gargantua, and what the future holds, Noisy Pixel’s Brad Crespo did a Q&A with Kiyoshi Shin, CEO and producer at Yomuneco.
Brad Crespo: Swords of Gargantua released on June 6, 2019, so it’s been out for a little over a month now. How has the game been doing for its post-launch phase?
Kiyoshi Shin: We’re very happy with the reception the game has received. Our rating on Steam and Oculus have been very positive, and in terms of stability, we’ve had very few reports instability and bug reports. I should mention that we’ve also received quite a bit of feedback regarding content and now the next steps for us is to address this feedback.
BC: I noticed that there was an update schedule shared via the game’s Steam page. Was this as a result of community feedback?
KS: We initially shared the road map via Reddit as we found it the most divided place in terms of opinions about the game and spread it out to our other channels. We wanted to show people that we were listening to their feedback and that we were going to continue to support the game with additional content.
BC: What would you say was the team’s main focus for the game’s development? Was it something game-related, such as gameplay, or something else entirely?
KS: The focus was on creating a realistic sword fighting system inspired by Kendo. For there we planned around the fighting system and considered how to best present the fighting system through level design.
BC: I’ve noticed several players have shared praise for how swordplay feels in the game. How did you and your team accomplish getting the combat mechanics just right? What were the challenges you all ran into when developing the mechanics?
KS: We built the combat system from the ground up. Getting it to feel right while ensuring the in-game character model didn’t look weird was challenging. It’s a never-ending process and even now, we are still fine-tuning combat to feel realistic.
BC: It seems like every year or so, there are always multiple new developments happening within the world of VR. With Swords of Gargantua, how did you take the most advantage of the hardware that seems to be evolving so rapidly?
KS: I think the Quest is a great example of this. Without the boundaries of wires, combat feels a lot freer, and we were able to utilize that and show Gargantua in its best light. Having 4 people playing in the same vicinity as each other while in co-op is a great experience.
BC: Aside from the update schedule, what does the future hold for Swords of Gargantua? Will there be DLC, such as a whole new adventure with new single-player levels?
KS: Right now we have spoken a little about the Adventure Mode (working title) which will add a new alternative way to play Gargantua in single-player and multiplayer modes. We’ll also be adding quality-of-life updates to help players get adjusted to VR play. We do have a long-term plan for Gargantua and will share more info when it makes the most sense!
BC: Since we’re on the topic of changes, are there plans to bring Swords of Gargantua to other VR platforms, like PSVR? Also, is Yomuneco currently developing any new games?
KS: We are always in R&D mode as technology has been moving quite fast in VR. There’s a lot of exciting potential and some of it makes a lot of sense for us. We don’t have any announcements at the time of writing this but do stay tuned to our social media for incoming exciting information!
BC: I was at Anime Expo this year and noticed that there are quite a few story-driven VR games, more specifically, VR visual novels, coming soon from Japan. Could there be a Yomuneco-developed visual novel in the works?
KS: Yomuneco is focused on combat gameplay for now. The beauty of virtual worlds like VR chat os that players can build their own stories. Sword Art Online-like worlds would be a great end goal, and it’s a great target for storytelling and battle merging into one.
BC: Last but not least, is there anything else you’d like to share with Swords of Gargantua fans and just VR fans in general? Any words of wisdom or closing remarks?
KS: We hope that if you are interested in VR, that you’ll consider Swords of Gargantua. You can find out more about the game and our events over at https://www.gargantuavr.com/
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