Schell Games New Project Looks For Best Use Of VR Physics

I Expect You To Die and Until You Fall developer Schell Games’ next VR title will try to find a balance between physics-based gameplay and hyper-reality.

Studio head Jesse Schell teased as much to UploadVR in a recent interview (of which there is plenty more right here). Talking about design philosophies, Schell expressed caution in fully embracing physics-based mechanics in VR. “I think you have to be careful when you’re focusing too much on the idea that, ‘Oh, if I just simulate reality, that’s going to be the most fun’,” he said. “I always think about what Kirt Vonnegut said is that ‘God never wrote a good play in his life.’

“You’ve got to make things hyper-real. Reality isn’t your goal, you’re trying to create a certain experience for the player. And there are elements of physics-based play that can do some of that, but it’s only a part of it. So you have to strike that balance. We’re doing some work now on– I’m trying to think can I talk about that? I’m not sure I’m supposed to talk about that. I’m probably not supposed to talk on that.”

But talk about it Schell did, if only a little: “We’re working on a game that involves a balance between physics and reality and figuring out when to use the physics in order to enhance the experience and when to say ‘Okay, that’s enough. That’s not what we want, we’re going to make things a little simpler right now’.”

Don’t expect this new project to fully simulate the combat of, say, a Boneworks or Blade & Sorcery, then. But it sounds like the game could be more physics-driven than the arcade action of Until You Fall. “I think physics-based games can work well, but you can’t be purely physics-based because it gets boring, complicated, and there’s too many ways to cheat it,” Schell continued.

“You don’t want people finding ways to just do this spammy thing and then it works. This is an ingredient, it’s like salt. The right amount of it? Yeah. It’s really good. Too much? It can be not the best experience.”

Given that Schell’s latest VR title, I Expect You To Die 2, only launched last week, it’ll likely be some time before we hear about this new project on a more official basis. For now, make sure to catch up on our thoughts on the latest puzzle hit.

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