Physics-based melee is particularly intense when you’re fully immersed in first-person combat, which is exactly what Blade & Sorcery delivers. And as of today, the title dubbed “VR’s bloodiest game yet” by UploadVR is available on Rift!
Blade & Sorcery is the brainchild of WarpFrog, a one-man indie outfit run by the elusive KospY with some promotional assistance from The Baron. A medieval fantasy sandbox, this Early Access title has some serious potential with full modding support.
“I’m a modder and have been passionate about PC gaming since my childhood,” explains KospY, who Kerbal Space Program (KSP) players may recognize as the original author of the Kerbal Attachment System (KAS) and the Kerbal Inventory System (KIS) mods. “I’m also self-taught, and my last modding experience on KSP gave me a good knowledge of Unity and its physic engine.”
Three years ago, KospY got his first taste of VR and decided to put his knowledge to the test with a prototype. After roughly two years of iteration, he had the chance to turn his hobby into a full-time occupation, and he dove in head-first.
“I’ve interacted with a lot of indie VR devs over the past two years, and a common challenge I saw was small devs with great games but zero marketing power,” notes The Baron. “The big reason I began doing VR reviews was because I wanted to shine a spotlight on indie VR games to help champion these struggling developers in what little way I could.”
The stars aligned when The Baron came across Blade & Sorcery, he says, “because it combined my mission objective to promote small developers with a game that I’m crazy passionate about, so not only was it satisfying to see my efforts in promoting the game pay off, but I was extra chuffed to see KospY get the praise he deserves.”
We sat down with this dynamic duo to learn more about one of VR’s more interesting pairings.
So what’s the story behind your handles?
KospY: Sadly I don’t really have a story behind my alias. I’ve been using it since childhood, and, at the time, I just liked the way it sounded. xD
The Baron: It’s a fictitious character I created maybe 15 years ago—an amalgamation of my favorite adventurers: Indiana Jones, Inigo Montoya, and Baron Munchausen. The decision to adapt my character’s name as an online handle simply came from my secret desire to be such a swashbuckling adventurer! It’s one of the big reasons I love Blade & Sorcery so much, because it allows me to live out those over-the-top sword fighting fantasies.
How does Blade & Sorcery differentiate itself from other games on the market?
The Baron: I keep saying this, but I really believe the VR physics revolution has arrived. “Physics-based” has become a bit of a buzzword lately, and there is good reason for that. The community response to Blade & Sorcery has been really telling.
KospY: It’s not the first VR game to implement full physics-driven combat, but what I do in Blade & Sorcery is pretty different as I use non 1:1 movements and a more realistic approach to combat.
I also use physics to give a sense of presence in the world. Collisions are realistic, and a lot of things are interactable, even during combat. You can physically grab, punch, parry, throw, stab, smash, shoot, use telekinesis objects, and even climb in the latest update. The game is only at its beginning of Early Access, but the range of possibilities is large!
How would you describe what it’s like to be an indie dev working in VR today?
KospY: VR is still in its infancy, so it’s difficult to predict what will work or not. In the end, we are all VR pioneers. I believe that the VR market is a good opportunity for solo devs and small teams, as they have the ability to innovate and push VR forward.
And how exactly did the two of you hook up?
The Baron: I had been a tiny VR YouTuber for about a year and was always cruising around for little indie gems to review. I stumbled across a Reddit post where the OP was bemoaning the lack of good VR melee combat games. People were throwing out suggestions for games he could play—all the usual suspects—but buried under a bunch of comments I saw KospY had offered the OP an alpha key for his in-development “medieval fantasy melee game” if the OP wanted to try it out. What’s really funny to me is the OP actually refused KospY’s offer! I’m pro-indie, so I slipped in and offered to test KospY’s game. I remember booting it up and immediately loving that I could see my full body in the mirror, but it was after that first experience of fighting in the arena, seeing the blades clash and weapons stick that I was sold. I immediately messaged KospY afterwards with something like, “Mate, you are on to something!”
KospY was very modest about the whole thing and hesitant to release any info about it until it was more polished, etc. I begged him to let me just talk about the game and put it on people’s radar. It took about three months to convince him, but eventually I was able to make a post about the game on Reddit. I woke up the next morning to about 500 messages in my inbox, which was the most validating experience of my life. The writing was on the wall that people wanted to see more of this game! As time went on, it became clear that we had a really good combination of complementary skills where KospY could devote his time to working on the game and I could focus on being a champion for Blade & Sorcery and act as a voice for the community. And the rest is history!
Anything else you’d like to share?
KospY: With Blade & Sorcery, I’m building the foundation for something bigger, and I hope to be able to materialize that in the future. Early Access is only the first step for me—there are so many things to do after that! As a gamer myself who’s passionate about VR, I want to continue to push the boundaries of physics, show how awesome VR can be, and explore the possibilities it brings compared to flat gaming.
I also want to thank all the players supporting me and my project on Discord and Reddit! The Blade & Sorcery community is awesome and friendly. I’m really glad to be part of it, and I hope it will stay the same for a long time!
Thanks for taking the time to share your story, guys. We can’t wait for the Rift community to dive in.
Kick off your shoes and step inside a magical medieval sandbox with Blade & Sorcery now!
— The Oculus Team