Stormland is coming out next week and the anticipation is at an all-time high. This Oculus Exclusive is set to be the most expansive and fun multiplayer virtual reality game on the market, but only the community will be able to make that decision. Oculus has been conducting mini-interviews with the most important people from the development team, and this week they sat down with David Yee, the Oculus Studio Executive Producer.
Along with the exclusive interview, the VR powerhouse also released yet another game trailer. This is part 3, Sypher’s Log. We won’t spoil it too much, but this is a quick video worth watching.
At the end of the video, you see that if you pre-order this game, you will receive some collectible mini statues that you will be able to keep. It’s not a huge incentive, but it is worth noting that they are trying to push out more pre-sales.
Oculus Interview with David Lee
How did you get your start in the game industry?
David Yee: I started in the game industry in 1994. I was going to college and got a job working on strategy simulators and then spread out into other genres. One of my favorite early projects was as a designer on the first EverQuest (another designer put me in as a guest NPC with my own Magik shop in one of the starter towns).
Soon after, I moved out to Westwood Studios to work on the Command & Conquer franchise. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with world-class developers including Insomniac, Ready At Dawn, DICE, and Harmonix.
What role did you play in the development of Stormland?
DY: One of my roles is to help guide our developers to build something that is authentic to their creative vision while exploring and pushing the boundaries of VR. In many ways, I act as a sounding board while asking a lot of questions to see if we can do something that’s never been done before.
One of my favorite examples with Stormland is the concept of being able to climb on any surface. When we first talked about exploring this feature a few years ago, there weren’t any other VR games that allowed you to do this. Another example is when we were talking about the ability to move through a larger world and how it was hard to build something at that scale when we didn’t have a good way to move through it. Being able to talk to the team about all of the different locomotion options that we had seen or wanted to try was part of figuring out the structure for Stormland and how it all fits together.
One of the best parts of my job is that these conversations with Insomniac started four years ago. We’re releasing Stormland soon, but a lot of what we see in the game was built on working with this team for years.
What’s your favorite part of the game and why?
DY: My most favorite mechanic for Stormland is harvesting. Breaking apart a weapon or collecting plants is a really tactile way of interacting with the world, and it felt pretty good from the very beginning. I can remember first trying the feature and breaking all of my weapons to the point where I had nothing to use during the play session because I would snap everything in half as soon as I got it.
A lot of VR talks about presence as a visual thing. For me, tactile moments where you interact with the world and have it respond to your touch—in a way that just makes sense—is equally, if not more, important for convincing players that they’re being transported to another world.