I know, the title is a corny D&D joke that has been overdone, but I just couldn’t help myself. I apologize and I will make it up by providing an update on what has been going on at Proverbs for 2020 as well as where things are heading.
The short of it is that 2020 was a year of rebirth and growth. If there was a 2-dimensional line showing progress it would seem as if things barely changed for the entirety of the year, but when you see that Z-Axis extending off into the third dimension you come to realize that progress can take many forms. That’s what the majority of the past year has been for both myself, Proverbs, and, I’m sure, many of you.
For Proverbs that has meant dropping from the smartphone market and renewing the focus on Virtual Reality. S.C.O. has been placed on the back-burner, as it still has great potential for both smartphone and VR platforms. Fae Fighters has been dropped completely from the games in development. These were both tough decisions to make and came down to work vs reward not making sense, and not just on a monetary point-of-view but for players as well.
Fae Fighters was being developed as an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile app with a lot of awesome features that might have looked great but would have taken a ton of man-hours to fully flesh out without providing any real player benefit beyond a one-time, “wow, that looks cool.” Those hours seemed to be better spent on other projects when you consider the reality that AR games are in the “that looks cool” stage of being.
Which leads to the refocus on Virtual Reality (VR). First, let me state that when I refer to VR I am referring to head-mounted display (HMD) VR. That out of the way, 2020 has seen a huge growth in VR players and while there are new games popping up in VR all the time, there is something missing from the majority of them. Some of these games are absolutely great, but very few are great VR games.
What I mean by this is that most games do not actually benefit from being in VR, outside of that one-time “wow, that looks cool” factor. The vast majority of games in VR would be just as good (and often better) as a desktop PC game or even a tabletop game. If you look at most tabletop games that have been moved to the desktop you can see advantages of playing them on the computer: distances are no longer a factor for multiplayer, computer-generated maps, AI opponents, ease of saving and picking back up later, playing with random strangers from across the world, etc. Now, look at most VR games as compared to their desktop counterparts and the answer is… “Wow, that looks cool.”
That said, there are quite a few games that do benefit from VR and would be lesser games (or even impossible) on other platforms such as (the infamous) Beat Saber by Beat Games or The Climb / The Climb 2 by Crytek. Both of these games not only benefit from VR but would be otherwise impossible outside of a VR environment. If VR is going to continue to grow and not fizzle out (again) then the world needs more games that make putting that VR headset on worthwhile.
And that is what the focus for Proverbs has become: making games that benefit from being in VR. Games that will make you want to put your headset on (and for some of you, to just buy a headset). I can’t promise you that every Proverbs game will be amazing, or even get released, but it will be the goal.
Lastly, Omega Connection. Not on the back-burner and not dropped. Not a VR game either. Omega Connection is still being developed, just at a slower pace. Massive games take time. Stay tuned.