Arca’s Path is the debut game from studio Dream Reality Interactive, and the appeal is immediately evident. The VR game is controlled by the user’s head movements, allowing them to control a sphere through a variety of maze-like levels. Although this mechanic is intuitive and inventive in itself, it’s the atmosphere, music, and aesthetic that makes the game stand out.
The developers at the studio have a solid gaming pedigree. The company’s founder, Dave Ranyard, is the former director of Sony PlayStation’s London Studio where he worked on a variety of PlayStation titles. A portfolio that includes an early AR game for the PS3, J.K. Rowling’s Wonderbook, and the excellent PlayStation VR Worlds for the PSVR. We asked for his thoughts on the current state of VR gaming, as well as what to expect from the intriguingly titled, Arca’s Path.
How would you describe Arca’s Path in 3 words?
Beautiful. Intuitive. Musical.
The game comes across as quite ‘elegantly simple’. Do you think simplicity will be a common theme with VR games going forward?
Simplicity is the key to great design across the board. VR is a new medium, and so simple & intuitive controls help a lot of people to get into it from the start.
I often think about movies. Initially, little more than a static shot of a theatre performance, without sound. The close-up, voice, foley, fast cuts, real locations, CG, VFX, animation, and a multitude of other technological advances have been introduced over the last 100 years. Imagine showing the latest Hollywood blockbuster to the Lumiere brothers – they would freak out!
And so it will go with immersive entertainment, we are defining the basics at the moment, but much more will come.
I would really like some uniformity in the devices so that we can consolidate the market. I think the emergence of the standalone headsets will make a big difference as they are very usable and remove most of the friction.
Is there anything you’d really like to be doing currently in your titles but can’t due to constraints in headset/VR tech?
Most of the tech feels like we are in beta 0.9. We have different headset capabilities across mobile, high end, front facing and different input devices from game controllers to wands to hand controllers, gloves and more.
I would really like some uniformity in the devices so that we can consolidate the market. I think the emergence of the standalone headsets will make a big difference as they are very usable and remove most of the friction. Whether that is powering up your pc or sliding your phone into something.
My guess is 3 years and we will have a strong consolidated market.
Do you still get as excited about VR now compared to when it started to kick off a couple of years ago? Any predictions on the future of VR?
Of course! I remember only a couple of years ago, every conversation included comments on comfort (and nausea). Those have disappeared and more and more the conversations are turning to new mechanics, ideas, content and more. We are in the third wave of experiences and they are getting to be very compelling.
We are in the third wave of experiences and they are getting to be very compelling.
Orbu, Dangerball and now Arca’s Path – there seems to be a common thread…why balls?
Great question! Everyone knows how a ball works, and what to expect. They made up part of our childhood and are fun to play with… We get a leg up on explaining what the game is and more. And we get to say “we make games with balls”. 😂
Finally, any plans for more games coming up from Dream Reality Interactive (with or without balls)?
We have a few more games up our sleeves – we cannot really talk about them at the moment – one is in the “games for good” category and another plays on some of our heritage (I can’t say more than that!)
Our team works on the principles of trust, honesty and respect, but most of all – having a great time while doing it!
We’re excited to see what the studio has in store and to get our hands (and heads) on a copy of Arca’s Path. It’s refreshing to see such innovation from a studio dedicated to virtual reality. It’s clear that the team at Dream Reality Interactive are passionate about the medium, and that Ranyard, in particular, is committed to expanding the VR gaming frontier.