Development of a VR: studio, games and “Starship Troopers” from VRT World

According to the calculations of SuperData, in three years the volume of the virtual reality market will exceed $40 billion. Almost 60% of this amount will be shared by game developers and other applications. IDC is confident that the growth of the VR / AR market will reach $ 162 billion in five years. In 2015, Oculus, which created the Oculus Rift glasses, reported about 200,000 registered VR developers. The overwhelming majority, of course, are private individuals. Not so long ago VR / AR Association reported about 3.5 thousand officially functioning companies, concentrated on developing under the whims of virtual reality. In today's material, we'll talk about such studios, their games, plus we'll dwell in detail on the promising science-fiction shooter "Starship Troopers" from VRT World project.

From indie to AAA

Any IT-trend fits into the so-called Gartner Hype Cycle, that is, the "hot period around know-how". If we don't take into consideration projects from the 90's like the Virtual Boy helmet, VR started talking loudly and actively in the early 2010s. The trend managed to sink into the "depression of disappointment" Gartner Hype Cycle and successfully get out of it. Now we are on the verge of an era of viable VR, which can push the usual game platforms — consoles and PC.

This is largely due to the startup of Oculus, bought by Facebook for $ 2.3 billion in the spring of 2014. Then the company formed a special unit — Oculus Studios, which focused on helping indie developers and publishing games for Oculus Rift. Facebook announced its intention to invest $ 0.5 billion into the unit. It seems that things are going well for him — a regular online store regularly replenishes with new products, only the sales / downloads statistics are not announced.

Thanks to the SteamSpy service, we know how VR games feel on the competing platform — Steam. True, we must take into account that Valve, which owns the store, has its own virtual reality helmet Vive (produced and released in partnership with HTC), so the choice of users of Steam is greater than in the Oculus Store.

With the opening of the era of virtual reality a new niche rushed to master both "indie" and heavyweights. Here are the statistics of sales of games from large companies (Steam):

· CCP Games: Sparc — 7 thousand, EVE: Valkyrie — 40 thousand, Gunjack — 23 thousand;

· Crytek: Robinson: The Journey — 5 thousand. Note that this shooter is also available in the Oculus Store and PlayStation Store for PS VR, so the total circulation is much higher. In addition to the Oculus Store came another project Crytek — simulator climber The Climb;

· Ubisoft: Star Trek: Bridge Crew — 50 thousand;

· Rockstar Games: L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files — 15 thousand;

· Croteam: Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope — 50 thousand, Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE — 16 thousand, The Talos Principle VR — 26 thousand;

· Bethesda / Zenimax Media: Doom: VFR — 27 thousand, Fallout 4 VR — 70 thousand.

The last point is particularly interesting. Zenimax Media has long sued Facebook / Oculus because its former employee John Carmack (the legendary programmer Doom and Quake) allegedly handed over to the new employer the internal secrets of Zenimax when he moved to Oculus. As a result, Bethesda games are not optimized for Oculus Rift. On Steam, which has an audience of 67–70 million users, HTC Vive helmets are used by 0.1% of gamers. It turns out, almost all owners of HTC Vive bought Fallout 4 VR! The virtual reality industry has long needed such blockbusters — and they finally began to appear on the shelves. In continuation of the banquet, Bethesda prepares for the HTC Vive The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim VR — adapted version of the cult RPG. On PS VR it is available since November 2017.

Picture 1. The most downloaded VR releases on Steam. As you can see, circulations for 100 thousand copies for "indie" -games are not an exception. SteamSpy Statistics.

Sony does not disclose the implementation figures for specific games. On the other hand, she recently reported that she sold more than 2 million copies of PS VR and more than 12 million games for him. This was facilitated by the presence of VR-modes in such high-profile projects as Resident Evil 7, Tekken 7, Project CARS 2 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. In Steam, meanwhile, 2.6 million VR games have been implemented.

In general, to participate in the VR-revolution, almost every well-known developer and publisher was deemed necessary: High Voltage Software (Damaged Core Shooter), Harmonix (Rock Band VR), Insomniac (Edge of Nowhere's Expedition Expedition in Antarctica), Epic Games FPS Robo Recall), inXile Entertainment (The Mage's Tale is a first-person dungeon crawler, the spin-off of the popular Bard's Tale series) … The first franchises appeared in VR — the platformer Lucky's Tale (Playful) received the Super Lucky's Tale Microsoft advertised more actively than other projects from the start line of the 4K-console Xbox One X.

Not only VR

The virtual reality hit even the director Ridley Scott, who produced the adventure of The Martian VR Experience (in support of "The Martian" movie). And within Oculus for a long time, the Oculus Story Studio department, which produced content for theaters. In general, short games in VR, promoting a product, are already perceived as commonplace.

The same can be said about teaching games. Here the Russian company Nival (although specializing in computer strategies) especially distinguished itself — in its InMind project it is proposed to study the structure of the human brain, and in InCell — the cells.

Another popular direction is virtual tours. "Tours" for Chernobyl organized, for example, the Ukrainian studio Verum Visum (Chornobyl360) and the Polish team The Farm 51 (Chernobyl VR Project).

In Russia for 2016 in the VR / AR area there were about 150 companies (source — the Russian Association of Augmented and Virtual Reality). In 2016, more than 40 projects were registered, attracted investments of $ 15–30 thousand each.

The economy of VR-games is roughly made clear by the experience of the Petersburg company Lostroom. On a short space quest Cosmos, she spent six months and 3 million rubles. Investments paid off in half a year (twice as fast as in the case of classic quarums), so Lostroom decided to create a specialized VR-department — Avatarico.

VRT World's "Starship Troopers"

However, these initiatives are paled before the plans of VRT World, which intends to launch the VR-marketplace on the blockroom and a network of virtual reality parks around the world. The first such park, Z8, already operates in Moscow.

In the future, the park network will be the largest customer of VR-projects from independent developers. VRT World itself has high hopes for a sci-fi shooter "Starship Troopers" — a mixture of Doom, Space Hulk: Deathwing and Half-Life.

At the moment, pureblood shooters in VR are not particularly common because of the high cost. They are still replaced by the so-called "virtual shooting galleries" or dueling "shooters" — for example, the game about the Wild West, Dead and Buried, Alpha Tactics, The Unspoken from the famous Insomniac, RevolVR, etc. VR Invaders from Mail also belongs to this category. ru, where you need to fight with the drones and you can slow down the time, and Unreal Engine 4 allowed you to implement a destructible environment. More interesting looks Robo Recall from Epic Games — a cheerful "simulator" for the extermination of robots that are out of control. It is allowed to catch enemy shells and send them back, the results are recorded in the online leaderboard.

"Starship Troopers" — an order of magnitude more original and bold project than anything listed above. At least because of the main feature — interaction in the VR group of participants (this was achieved thanks to the internal technology VRT World — Full Body Tracking). Events unfold in the XXII century — humanity is developing the far regions of the cosmos, and sometimes the situation in the colonies is getting out of control. This happened on the planet "Red 8–03" — experiments of scientists led to the opening of the portal in a parallel dimension, where monsters rushed. Your task as an employee of the corporation "Space Alpha" is to evacuate civilians and deal with monsters.

Armed with a plasma rifle, you will visit the station on approach to "Red 8–03", in the shuttle next to the planet, in the corridors of the scientific complex and, of course, on the surface of the celestial body. It is necessary to solve simple puzzles associated with the transitions between locations, and shoot back from crowds of monsters. There is every reason to believe that the "Starship Troopers" will do what did not happen in Doom: VFR and Robinson: The Journey, — will give a full sense of immersion in science fiction history.

Creating games under VR is profitable right now, and with the opening of the VRT World marketplace, the occupation will become even more profitable — thanks to the blockbuster with minimal commissions and a transparent distribution of revenues. Competitors from VRT World and its parks do not have — except that the network The Void, in which the American Ken Bretshneider invested $ 14 million (spending $ 250–300 thousand on opening one cell of the network). True, The Void offers rides with minimal interaction of participants and certainly without a stressful multiplayer.

To attract the investments for launching blockchain-based marketplace (in the future — the cyber-sport league and streaming service in VR), VRT World organizes the ICO. The campaign will be held on February 27 — March 27, hardcap — $ 16 million. The company's plans are not based on an empty seat: the first VR-park is in full swing, its own shooter "Starship Troopers" is about to be ready, next year several dozens more will be operating under the franchise VR-parks. 2018 promises to be revolutionary for the VR sphere.

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