ARKTIKA.1 Community Questions
You wanted to know, so we asked for your most burning questions, and we sat down with Executive Producer Jon Bloch to get them.
Christian Limbago asked: Would it have a mouse-and-screen-only mode?
JB: ARKTIKA.1 has been built from the ground up for the Touch platform and VR. The fundamental game design choices that define the game were made to make the best use of the specific strengths of the platform.
However, any potential additional games in the ARKTIKA universe could be made with any platform strengths in mind.
Christian Limbago asked: What lessons learned from the Metro series are carried over to this project?
JB: VR gives us a great opportunity to really push immersion to levels we've never seen before. One of our great strengths learned from the Metro series is world immersion, with details not only in art, but in the environment, characters, and overall believe-ability of the world you are in: How you can interact with the world, and how the world interacts back with you.
When in VR, you really feel like you are actually standing there, and you can actually reach out and touch it thanks to the Touch platform. We will talk more about it later, but we are really looking for new and cool ways that push that bar of environmental interaction with the player, beyond what has already become standard in VR.
It's truly something you have to experience to believe and understand the full impact.
Васил Джамбазов asked: Will ARKTIKA.1 have a full single player campaign similar to how the metro games had or will it be shorter?
JB: We aim to make this a full scope AAA single player game. We will discuss more details about what this means later, but the intent here is to make a full game, not a short experience.
Roger Anthony Essig asked: Did you discover new VR-related gameplay elements during production that surprised you?
JB: We've been experimenting with VR for over two years now and we've definitely learned a lot. Things that worked better than expected and things that we thought might work, but turned out to not translate well into VR. There are a lot of lessons that we, as well as our fellow developers out there have learned from our own experimentation and from each other. It's all been new territory, but we've seen the development community come together and contribute ideas and learnings in a really open and collaborative way.
It's very refreshing to see this change from the normal highly competitive atmosphere in the industry, especially around AAA games that we are used to. In general, it seems that developers that are building experiences in VR all want to see the platform succeed and we've all been a lot more open with each other in order to help make this a reality.
Ian Maclachlan asked: Will there be more to the game than shooting? Will there be a chance to explore? How will you be immersing the player in the games world and story?
JB: We will talk more about the story at a later date, however I can say this: traditional storytelling methods are a lot more tricky in VR; for example, we can't really do traditional cutscenes where we take camera control from the player.
So while we want to still deliver a game with a world that is interesting and that players want to immerse themselves in, we have to get creative with how we do that. There are some things that we have done in the Metro games specifically that we will be able to do in ARKTIKA, some new ideas we have as well, and we plan to do as much as we are able.
Tudor Vaida asked: What did you, developers, like most about working on ARKTIKA?
JB: The gameplay with guns has been a really big focus for us, interacting with them, holding them, feeling them work as you would expect. Finding interesting and unique functionality for the weapons as well.
In our trailer, and the demo, you see a weapon that allows the player to curve bullets around cover after locking on to a target. Being able to actually adjust that intuitively with your hand to aim through small gaps in geometry is a really fun and empowering experience. We're trying to put a lot of effort into the weapons, items, attachments, and upgrades that will be available to the player as we see these interactions as a very large part of the core game.
Chloe Hoffmann asked: Who's the voice actor in the trailer? And are they in the full game?
JB: The voice you hear in the trailer is a companion character to the player, essentially the player's handler, who you can see in the demo. She will be in the full game as well.
Chris Cooke asked: Since the game utilizes teleportation will there still be a need for exploration or is the game more linear?
JB: We want to deliver something with a cool world that people want to explore. We are working on ways to accomplish this in ARKTIKA.1. We will talk more about this on a later date.
James Corbett asked: Will traditional locomotion be included as well as teleportation, or is it a feature of the game?
JB: Traditional locomotion is not fully feasible yet in VR.
There are some games that do it now despite all the potential issues for comfort that players can experience, but we decided very early on to build around alternative methods to ensure the most comfortable experience for all players.
Some players won't suffer discomfort in VR no matter what you do, but many can get very uncomfortable very quickly if game designers are not careful. We've done extensive testing of different design ideas and in the interest of both comfort and fun, have decided to go this route.
Our gameplay is designed specifically around a teleportation method that allows for very quick movement. We don't want you to have to think about how you want to move somewhere, or the direction you will face. We want you to just instinctively be in the area you want to go, and then use your physical “playspace” and head tracking to refine your position and strategy. Levels have been carefully designed with this in mind to make it as seamless an experience as possible.