Sports Scramble mixes traditional athletics with a grab bag of surreal elements; think playing baseball with a golf club or bowling with pineapples. This oddball formula is what makes Sports Scramble, the latest game from Armature Studio, such an unexpectedly wacky treat. Today, players can take up their bats and rackets (and a slew of far-weirder items) to play Sports Scramble on Rift and Rift S. Better still, the game now supports both cross-buy and cross-play, so anyone who bought the game on Quest can download it free on Rift and Rift S, and then go for gold using their headset of choice.
We caught up with Armature Studio’s General Manager Greg John to hear the latest on Sports Scramble for Rift and Rift S.
Can you give us the Sports Scramble elevator pitch?
Greg John: Take your favorite sports and mix them together! Play Tennis with a Golf Club. Bowl a strike with a Basketball. Smash a HomeRun with a Hockey Stick! Each of the three main sports (Tennis, Bowling, and Baseball) has its own single-player Training, QuickPlay, and Challenge modes. You can also show off your skills competing against other players in online Multiplayer matches.
The Project Tennis Scramble demo was a hit at OC5 last year. How did it evolve into Sports Scramble?
GJ: We used Project Tennis Scramble (PTS) as a proving ground for the core features we needed for all of Sports Scramble. PTS was the vehicle for finding the “fun” in the overall title. The goal was to figure out the best VR experience for the player. Seeing how well it did at OC5 was very reassuring to us that we were going in the right direction.
What’s the funniest reaction you’ve seen while demoing or playtesting the game?
GJ: Players really get into playing – VR is the perfect way to fully immerse someone into the game. The most satisfying thing has been seeing players giggle at hitting the perfect shot or getting a strike in bowling.
Any fun anecdotes from the development process?
GJ: We spent a lot of time figuring out the math and physics to allow players in different size tennis courts to play against each other in a way that felt balanced. Each time we explained this concept to someone new on the team, they all had the same reaction: disbelief. First, they’d question why we decided to tackle such a difficult problem, then they’d propose the same set of solutions (which don't work), and finally they’d accept we needed to solve the problem.
How did you go about bringing Sports Scramble over from a mobile chipset to PC VR? What technical challenges did you face, and how did you go about overcoming those obstacles?
GJ: Bringing it over to the Rift platform was reasonably easy since all the VR aspects of game had been answered in the Quest version. The Rift is a mature and developer-friendly platform that’s a joy to work with.
If people take one thing away from Sports Scramble, what do you hope it would be and why?
GJ: That it’s a great, fun VR experience. It’s cool for people to be aware that we solved some hard problems under the hood, but in the end, that players simply enjoy playing our game is the most satisfying thing.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
GJ: We’d like to thank all the people who have played our demo and especially those who bought and continue to enjoy our game!
There’s never been a better time to storm the court. If you’re ready for a little virtual competition, try Sports Scramble on Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform today!
— The Oculus Team