Oculus is in the midst of a 4 week interview process with Twisted Pixel Games, the developers behind the new hit game Path of the Warrior. The insight to development is incredible from this studio is incredible. This game is a fantastic hit on both the Oculus Rift Platform and the Oculus Quest. If you are looking for a fun, old-styled VR game, you can buy this one for only $19.99 right now.
When asked about the motivation behind this game, the Project Director of Art, Todd Swanson, said that “Specific inspirations for this game were obvious ones: Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, Scott Pilgrim. We started the game with the mandate of recreating the feel of Streets of Rage in a first-person VR format.”
The game will take you through many different environments and locations, really changing many times throughout all of your gameplay. How did the team maintain the same consistent look throughout the game? Swanson explains.
“The look of all of the levels came from our environment concept artist, Ted Pendergraft,” Swanson explains. “He worked very closely with the artists and designers to ensure each space had a unique look while also showcasing our game’s core mechanics and features. The balance was established throughout the process, with Ted knowing his concepts needed to include points of interest for hostages and hot spots.”
When it comes to Swanson’s favorite gameplay setting though, he had a clear-cut favorite. “I think, overall, the amusement park was my favorite to work on,” he says. “Who doesn’t like beating the crap out of a clown?”
The animation of punching in a video game isn’t too hard to work on, but making it feel real when playing in VR is a whole different task. “The punched-in-face animations started as very basic stubs in order to get the feel correct,” says Swanson. “Project Director of Design Eric Wenske and myself were able to find a good balance of hit-stop and face pose holding through prototyping early on. After we had the first grunt established as our example, we then set that as a rule for all hit reactions. It took a bit of time to get right, but once we did it was easy to use as a template for the rest of the game.”
The developers also worked hard to make the game reference plenty of their other pieces of work. Hidden jokes and references are plenty in Path of the Warrior. “My favorite in-joke in Path is one of the arcade cabinets called ‘Hands R Tied Now,’” says Swanson. “A while back, a few of us passed around a clip of a comedian named Chris D’Elia making fun of a scene in the movie Cop Land, starring De Niro and Stallone. In it, there’s a scene where Stallone is talking to De Niro while he’s eating a sandwich, and De Niro explodes and makes a really weird hand gesture saying ‘My hands are tied now!’ It’s very funny to a few of us.”
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