Lethal VR developer, Three Fields Entertainment, has spoken out about developing for Sony’s PSVR platform as an independent third-party developer, the struggles of being one, and what Sony could do to help.
For those not in the loop, Lethal VR is a game that was released for the PSVR. It’s basically a shooting gallery simulator where you have to shoot different targets with a variety of weapons. It’s a simple game that Pure PlayStation’s Kyle found to be fairly good in his review.
Three Field Entertainment’s ‘CrashedAlex’ took to Reddit to clear up any misgivings players may have about the game.
Firstly, Alex sought to mention that he and his team are just a team of seven people and that they all worked together to create Lethal VR in two months, funded by their own money. No handouts were given. It’s for this reason, says Alex, that the team can’t afford to spend time to put together a demo for Lethal VR, despite it being a popular request. However, Alex thinks that perhaps Sony could fund smaller independent developer so that they can create a playable demo, something that the new platform desperately needs. It was already a gamble to pay the £350/$400 for the headset, so it’s understandable that players will be careful with their game purchases, especially when duds such as The Martian are released for insanely high prices for what they are.
It’s not all bad news and complaining, mind, as current Lethal VR players may have some treats to look forward to in the future. Alex suggested that if the game sells enough then the team plans to patch in global leaderboards. This would give the game a bit of extra replayability and could foster a nice little community around it by constantly attempting to usurp the leader.
It has also been mentioned that the team has written up a feature list for a possible sequel. According to Alex, however, it is “very early days for that” and that what the team has right now are just some ideas. Still, we’re pretty stoked that the idea is being floated around, and we’re sure others are too.
Alex also gave a bit of insight into developing for PSVR as a third-party, specifically how it goes with getting units for development purposes. This is going to be a bit of a surprise, but Three Fields Entertainment weren’t supplied with PSVR headsets, but were instead told by Sony to go looking in second-hand shops for a unit due to the stock shortage. It’s a bit of an embarrassment for Sony yet this isn’t the only case where developers are struggling to get units in for testing. According to Alex, most third-party developers are following the latest goings on with the PSVR and its stock issues, presumably to get a feel for whether their game will be able to reach the audience needed to turn a profit. Then again, they may just have a weird fascination with stock-related news… We’ll never know. [Ed: In writing this piece, we did actually reach out to a couple of developers to see if this is correct. It is!]
The PSVR release back in October 2016, though many people have had an excruciatingly long wait to get their new kit due to stock being shipped in dribs and drabs. It’s expected that more stock will arrive on UK shores early next month. If you’re in mainland Europe, or don’t mind ordering from there, you can always get a unit imported if you have the know-how and contacts; Amazon stock may fluctuate, but the things are sitting alongside bratwurst and beans in German supermarkets.
Did you know that the team that worked on Lethal VR is comprised of ex-Criterion developers? Criterion is best known for its work on the Need for Speed and Burnout franchises, so it’s no surprise to hear that Three Fields Entertainment is working on something car-related for its next full project. In VR? Maybe, we’ll have to wait and see.
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)