Following my hands-on preview of the upcoming PSVR shooter, Farpoint (which you can read here), I was also given the opportunity to ask Seth Luisi a few questions about the game itself. Seth is the founder of Impulse Gear, so you can almost say without him Farpoint would not exist. It was interesting talking to him as he is the first developer I’ve spoken to that was developing solely for PSVR. PlayStation Australia also just released a video which explains some of the processes that went into the development of the Aim Controller. If you read my preview, you would know that I enjoyed my time using this peripheral and that playing Farpoint without is doing yourself and the game a disservice.
Watch the video below
or click here.
DYEGB: Who are you exactly?
Luisi: My name is Seth Luisi, I am the founder of Impulse Gear and game director of Farpoint.
DYEGB: This is the first game that players will be able to use with the new Aim controller, given that this is new tech for a relatively new system, have there been many difficulties making sure it functions as intended?
Luisi: We built Farpoint from the ground up to use with the controller. We collaborated with Sony Japan. We were creating the experience tailored to the new peripheral.
DYEGB: What would you say to people that were considering using the Dualshock 4 instead of the Aim Controller?
Luisi: The Aim Controller offers an immersive experience, placing ti in your hands, using it aiming it helps make you feel like you’re on the planet. everything ties into how you move it around.
DYEGB: What benefits will PS4 Pro users see?
Luisi: The PS4 Pro will render the game at a higher resolution and use super sampling to downscale to the display of the PSVR. In doing this, users are allowed to notice smaller details in the world. In saying this, we have spent a huge amount of time making sure the experience is still optimised to its best capabilities on the base PS4 as well.
DYEGB: Were there any inspirations for Farpoint’s narrative?
Luisi: After looking at other VR titles and what they did right, we saw what we wanted to do with Farpoint. In a VR game, it is easier to immerse the player with the characters as the system allows for players to feel like they are right next to the other characters. It allows for more deep and personal story telling.
DYEGB: How has the narrative focus impacted the dev cycle of the game?
Luisi: We prototyped the core combat and movement first, but we looked at the narrative and looked at how we could integrate it. After looking at the core mechanics we saw that we really wanted to bring a narrative into the world with while still allowing for fun and addictive gameplay.
DYEGB: Are there any day one patches or updates?
Luisi: There will be one day one patch which further refines the game and is approximately 2.5GB in size, however I can’t quite remember the exact number.
DYEGB: What engine is being used?
Luisi: We used Unreal Engine 4 and customised it to our needs. The great thing about this engine is it was made by a massive team but allows for a smaller team like us to capitalise on all the strengths of the engine itself. Our small team of 15 people really appreciated the easy-to-use nature of the engine.
DYEGB: Are there any plans to support Farpoint post-launch with downloadable content?
Luisi: For the time being we have nothing to announce in regards to expansions, but that doesn’t mean it is entirely out of the question.
DYEGB: In what ways have you guys optimised Farpoint to ensure that it is an accessible experience for both VR users and people that don’t particularly use VR?
Luisi: We spent a lot of time working on the game and making sure it’s comfortable. There are four different ways to turn and rotate allowing for more accessibility and tailoring to each person in a broad way.
DYEGB: Is there anything in regards to settings for colourblind people?
Luisi: Because of way we designed Farpoint, there is no reliance on a HUD or UI elements. As a result, there wouldn’t be things indicated to you via colour coding. We haven’t really had anyone with colourblindness experience the game as far as I’m aware, so I would be interested to see how people with those impairments perceive the game. We’re always listening to fan feedback in case improvements need to be made.
DYEGB: I noticed the co-operative felt almost like an arcade game in the way it was designed. Given that single-player and co-op are separate experiences, what prompted this design choice?
Luisi: Co-op is meant to be played once you have played through the entirety of the single-player narrative. We wanted to have a mode which would keep people engaged for a while. Leaderboards add a competitive sense to the game for those who seek that top spot.
DYEGB: Were there any ideas you wished you could have put into Farpoint?
Luisi: We had ideas constantly flowing around allowed for us to expand on. But if we kept trying to get all our ideas in the game, well the game would never release!
DYEGB: What’s next for Impulse Gear?
Luisi: We are looking to continue working on Farpoint through polish based off of feedback from main players.
DYEGB: Last but not least, how would you describe Farpoint?
Luisi: Farpoint is a fully immersive experience, it places you in an alien world and you are trying to find your teammates while also adding some fun gameplay. It’s an experience that will be entirely new for people that use VR and for people that don’t.
Overall, the experience (including the hands-on preview) was incredible. I cannot thank the folks over at SIE Australia for inviting me over and Seth for being such a lovely person to talk to. If you have a VR, I would definitely recommend looking at Farpoint when it release on May 17. If you’re looking for reasons why, head on over to my hands-on preview.