Less than two weeks ago, Ninja Legends was launched on the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Rift Platform. It didn’t take long to grab the attention of the VR community as it has climbed the charts at a record-breaking rate. No only is it selling well, but it has received an average rating of 4.5 stars across all platforms.
Just like a true Cinderella, the developers, Coinflip Studios, started out in the Oculus Start Program. This program was made for developers who are making their first title and wanted it to launch on the Oculus Quest. It isn’t too hard to get your studio enrolled in this program, as Oculus is happy to help teams out that are looking to make exclusives for the company. Oculus asked the Coinflip Studios main developer and designed to give advice. What he said is going to be helpful to any one person or team of developers to break into the world of VR. You can check the advice given below.
First, you’ll want to figure out a general game design paradigm that’s working outside of VR and hasn’t taken off in VR. Then ask yourself the question, “What about VR would make this concept really fun?” Do you pick things up, throw things, have fun physics interactions? Those are fun experiences for VR players. Also, right now in VR, focusing on a small, interesting mechanic will be much better than going really broad with mechanics. Go deep, not broad, with the scope of your game.
For UI, don’t try to reinvent the wheel too much. The home screens say it all when it comes to UI. These are the most polished VR UI experiences, so don’t waste your time trying to put every little bit of information in a game world object. It will be harder to use and confusing for most people.
Develop a community. This can be as easy as posting on social sites often, but the better path is creating a Discord Channel, Slack Team, Facebook Group, and/or subreddit where people can gather and talk about your game. Get them involved in the development of the game. Post dev logs about your work and your thoughts on the VR ecosystem. Demonstrate commitment to improving things and show you can accept criticism well. Don’t engage with naysayers, but counter any spurious claims they may be spreading.
And here’s a checklist of must-haves:
- Demonstrate a market need with regards to other platforms (VR, mobile, or PC)—and how your title fills it.
- Show your team can deliver on the game you’re promising, whether in terms of your collective experience, having a prototype that’s pretty far along, or both.
- Have a refined core gameplay loop to show off.
- Talk to people at Oculus and get them excited about your game. Be persistent and professional.
- Have plans in place for ongoing support after launch, including updates.
- Your game needs to run amazingly smoothly at all times—invest in that.
Not only did the studio share some insightful tips to getting your game on the Oculus Store, but they gave sound advice about getting any game going in VR. It is important to evaluate how many people want a game like you are going to create. If you are looking to make a game just like Beat Saber, it is probably a good idea to stop right there. Developers need to be original.
On top of that, you need to make sure your experience with the game is exactly what the fans want. One tip that wasn’t mentioned in their advice that they didn’t mention is testing your game on all other headsets. You need to know the limits of your game so you can make your audience as large as possible. For more developer tips and news, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.