‘Trover Saves the Universe’ Now Available on Oculus Quest: Interview with Justin Roiland

Oculus Blog
June 18, 2020

At long last, the wait is over: Trover Saves the Universe is now available on Oculus Quest! From Squanch Games, Trover Saves the Universe combines a distinctive art style, hilarity, and zaniness for a bizarre comedy adventure that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

To celebrate, we sat down with Squanch Games Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder Justin Roiland—whom many will recognize from Rick and Morty fame—for the inside scoop.

How did you come up with the idea for Trover Saves the Universe?

Justin Roiland: When I first started thinking about Trover Saves the Universe, I wanted to combine an idea I had previously had about a villain who kidnapped a character’s dogs and stuffed them into his eye holes with a fun, humorous, and immersive action-packed platformer that put players front and center of the game while having to work together with the main character to progress.

How did your previous work in VR help inform your work on Trover?

JR: I knew I wanted the player to be able to explore cool alien worlds, and I knew I wanted the player to meet a bunch of weird alien characters, so playing with a lot of locomotion prototypes helped to dial in how Trover would ultimately play in VR. I loved the idea of controlling a third-person character who would be talking to you and react to the way you control them. To eliminate motion sickness altogether, we went with the warp node technique and it works really well.

What does it mean to you to be able to welcome new players to the game with the Quest release?

JR: I am really excited to have Trover on Quest. The game is pretty long, and I know personally as a big Quest user that is huge for me when shopping for games. I want something quality but also a decent length. The portability of Quest is incredible, and the game plays great on it. I’m really excited for people to play Trover the way it was originally intended. As a VR title.

What’s your favorite part of the game and why?

JR: I love how improvisational and loose the dialogue is. It’s the opposite of most games that are heavily scripted. I would definitely want to make a game that way again.

What do you think Rick and Morty fans will like most about Trover? How about people who may be unfamiliar with the series?

JR: if you are a Rick and Morty fan, you’ll like how this game feels like an interdimensional TV show. It has that same insane energy all the way through. If you aren’t familiar with Rick and Morty, you’ll like this game because it’s got dogs in it. Who doesn’t love dogs?

What was your first experience with VR? What made you decide to start building games for the medium?

JR: I’ve been a gamer my whole life and awoke to the idea of doing game design once I played with an Oculus DK2 headset. The possibilities of the technology and how it could be used for comedy combined with great gameplay was super exciting for me, and something I really wanted to pursue.

What advice would you give to a developer looking to start building for VR?

JR: VR is a tough space, but it provides a lot of opportunities for developers to make players feel immersed in the game world, and an active part of the game. When developing for the platform, it is something that you have to constantly take into consideration to ensure that sentiment comes through for your fans.

I understand you grew up in Manteca. What impact (if any) do you think the Central Valley had on your unique sense of humor?

JR: Hmm. I grew up in the middle of almond orchards, so I spent a lot of my childhood exploring and imagining that creatures lived out there. I think that had a huge impact on my sense of creativity, but I don’t think it had much of an impact on my sense of humor. I think all the horror movies and comedies I watched as a kid shaped my sense of humor more than anything.

What’s next for you? Any exciting updates in the works?

JR: We can’t say much about that right now, but we are around and people are working. People are working hard on stuff that we can’t talk about. Pretty excited about what’s going on here at Squanch to be honest.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

JR: I just discovered that you can make bread pizza. I got this ridiculous Japanese toaster and you can put pizza sauce and toppings on a slice of bread and bake it either in the oven or in the Mitsubishi Japanese toaster. It’s insane. Pizza anytime. Who would have thought? Spread the word.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Justin—and for the bread pizza pro-tip.

Show your funny bone some love and check out Trover Saves the Universe on Quest or the Rift Platform today.