With positive reviews coming out of OC3 and two successful beta weekends under its belt, Landfall has already attracted a number of followers. Today, we take you behind the scenes with Force Field Chief Creative Officer Martin de Ronde to learn more about the game and why you’ll want to join the community.
What was the initial inspiration behind Landfall?
Martin de Ronde: We were really keen on a world that people could easily relate to, yet still feel sci-fi enough to allow for cool weaponry and war machinery. The whole idea of the earth flooding and people slowly reclaiming their land by building dams is something that’s also very close to our Dutch culture, since our ancestors basically built 50% of the Netherlands on the same principle. Waterworld, Mad Max, and Destiny were all mentioned in the project’s early months as references for this post-cataclysmic world.
We have a bit of a track record with top-down shooters, so our own Gatling Gears, Halo: Spartan Assault, and Halo: Spartan Strike were all games we looked closely at during the transition to VR.
What motivated you to take the plunge into VR development?
MdR: We think VR holds great promise, not only for experiencing new things, but also to experience existing things differently. With Landfall, we took the classic top-down, third-person action genre people are familiar with and brought it to the world of VR. By focusing on the familiar, we were able to offer a complete gaming experience, since that’s what we think VR as a platform needs more of.
How does Landfall take advantage of VR as a medium? What sets it apart from more conventional titles?
MdR: When we started working in VR, there seemed to be this automatic assumption, which we also had, that VR should always be first-person. There’s obviously a case to be made for that, but since first-person titles only represent a fraction of all non-VR games, we felt it would be a waste not to look beyond that and see what VR could do with other genres.
The first thing that struck us about converting top-down to VR meant that you could survey the entire battlefield. In top-down action games, there’s no sky(box)—and now we suddenly had one! That introduced ideas like incoming airships and action going on in multiple areas, with the player having to constantly scan the entire battlefield instead of the mini-map in traditional games.
Why did you decide to design for gamepad rather than Touch?
MdR: As cool as Touch is, we felt there was room for experiences that use VR to the fullest but also offer the comfort of playing the game with a gamepad while seated. This was particularly important for Landfall since we’re talking about hours of single-player and co-op gameplay, not to mention online multiplayer. We also made an effort to let people play the game with Touch, almost like holding two sides of a split joypad. This lets players seamlessly switch between Touch-specific experiences and Landfall, without having to switch controllers.
What’s your favorite part of the game?
MdR: Teaming up with friends or strangers to snatch victory from the hands of your enemies at the very last minute through clever collaboration, tactical thinking, and good old-fashioned reflexes.
Thanks for letting us behind the Force Field, Marvin! Ready to take a shot on Landfall? Get it now for Rift on the Oculus Store.
— The Oculus Team