Earlier this month, Tencent’s visually impressive first step into VR gaming, ShadowTracker, launched on Rift. To celebrate, we sat down with Tencent Senior Business Development Manager Cynthia Xu to learn more about what went into bringing this intense title to the Oculus Platform.
Tencent Games is a major player in the video game industry. What prompted you to branch out with your first VR game?
Cynthia Xu: There are lots of development teams at Tencent Games exploring and researching different fields. VR is so amazing and fascinating that our team is truly obsessed with it. We were determined to make a fun game in VR, so ShadowTracker was developed.
How did the project change over time?
CX: The first version of our game was based on the Xbox controller and didn't quite produce the feeling we were looking to achieve with an exciting VR game. When we got our hands on Oculus Touch, we were completely fascinated by it. Our team decided to develop a proprioceptive game based on Touch to enhance the experience. Players feel more immersed in our VR world as they shoot, throw, and climb, which is awesome!
How did you tackle the problem of locomotion in VR?
CX: As we all know, traditional game movement can lead to a sense of dizziness in VR, so we chose to use fixed-point teleportation instead. We also adjusted the orientation of every fixed-point teleportation in every level to make sure that players face the Oculus Rift sensor to avoid getting lost during teleportation. This helps you progress through the game scenes more comfortably. After every teleportation, there's something exciting waiting for you.
What motivated your decision to incorporate climbing as a mechanic?
CX: In addition to the satisfying, addictive nature of an FPS game, we wanted to incorporate some of the special interactive elements only available in VR. Therefore, in our game, That's why in ShadowTracker, players can not only climb, but also throw grenades, dodge missiles, and more.
What’s your favorite part of the game?
CX: We really enjoy the laser gameplay in the third level. You get to play as secret agents and hide while trying to destroy a laser device in a dark room. It just feels so real and can only be experienced in a VR game.
What’s one of the coolest reactions you’ve seen while demoing the game?
CX: In our game development process, we often invite colleagues to play. When one colleague—an FPS world champion—came to give it a try it, he froze when he reached the cliff in the first level and was too scared to move! He told us that the game scene felt so real and exciting. Thinking back, that occasion is still very delightful.
We definitely know that feeling all too well, Cynthia—thanks for your time to share with us!
If you're ready to climb, shoot, and fight your way to Earth’s salvation, check out ShadowTracker today on Rift.
— The Oculus Team