In this issue of Mr. PSVR’s Interview Corner, we talk with co-founder and President of Survios, Nathan Burba about their newest music-rhythm experience where anyone can learn to play music in about five minutes and feel like a prodigy thanks to their Music Reality Engine and along with 40 music tracks, Electronauts. We also find out what Nathan would tell his younger self and his top three tips of those looking to working in Virtual Reality, and how Electronauts has changed his life.
Hello and welcome to The PlayStation Brahs. Would you please introduce yourself and what do you do at Survios?
“My name is Nathan Burba. I am the Co-Founder & President of Survios. I’m also the Project Lead & Creative Director on Electronauts.”
So Electronauts is out on PlayStation VR. Can you tell us what it is about? Where did the idea come from?
“Electronauts is a brand new music creation experience that lets non-musical people feel like badass musicians and DJs. It started with a fascination for music technology: quantization, auto-tuning, arpeggiators, etc. I was originally inspired by Plink, a small web game (http://dinahmoelabs.com/_plink/). This had very simple quantized instruments in it that you could play with other people online. We expanded on this idea to allow you to dynamically remix a whole track in real-time and always sound good while you’re doing it.”
So really anyone can learn to play music in about 5 minutes?
“Exactly. Its the first app in the world that makes you feel like a musical prodigy even if you have no experience. We believe that VR is a technology that should be used to empower people to have new experiences and to truly believe in themselves. This allows them to do that with music.”
How many different tracks are available and can the music that you make be shared?
“There are about 40 tracks so far, with more coming soon. You can share your DJ remixes via Twitch or other online streaming channels. We’re working on getting a “record” button in the game for songs where the artist gives us an okay to do so.”
This question comes from VR MARTIN @Martin76x…”How simple would it be to add your own tracks?”
“We’re heavily considering native mod support. We’re also keen on giving the community the ability to create plugins for the game, similar to what Beat Saber has done.”
So do you have any tips or suggestions of those just getting into Electronauts?
“If you don’t like music games or apps, then this experience is perfect for you. We made this specifically to get non-musicians and core gamers interested in creating their own music. This is a first magical step on a set of new experiences, from DJing in Electronauts to creating your own music to manning the turntables at a party with friends. Electronauts is a gateway drug to music creation.”
Are there any leaderboards or a scoring system that players can vote on or is more about the creation?
“The primary leaderboard really is Twitch for this game. We want to see people performing on Twitch and really crushing a DJ set. I like to put Twitch on and just let people DJ my daily experience using the game. Once there are many more songs, perhaps over 1000, Electronauts will be almost like a radio station, where you can tune into your favorite DJ and just listen to their set during the day.”
If you could tell your past self one thing about VR that you know now, what would it be?
“That would probably be to release products at the beginning of the launch cycle and make sure they have very solid mod support and Twitch integration.”
For those looking to start working in VR, what would you say would be your top three tips?
“For interactive VR, the important thing to understand is that VR is video games and video games are VR. They use all the same tools and technologies. So, embrace being a game developer and really dive in. Have the courage to learn difficult things. Make sure you understand calculus and computer science fundamentals.
For film VR, well, just pick up camera. Try out multiple cameras and get into the 360 video toolsets that are available.”
This question comes from Rigo @Chapulincat… “What is your next project and will multiplayer be added?
“Although there are no plans currently for multiplayer on PSVR, we are looking into it. There are numerous technical hurdles, but it might be possible.
Our next project is Creed, which we’re incredibly excited about! Electronauts creates a sense of presence by putting a complex musical simulation right in front of you. Creed is like this for boxing and combat. It truly feels like you’re in a boxing ring.”
With the catalog of PlayStation VR games and experiences along with the player base growing, what would you say to someone on why they should get Electronauts?
“Electronauts is unique. It will give you an experience you can’t get anywhere else and it will give it to you in a matter of minutes. You owe it to yourself to try it. It personally changed my life and opened me up to the possibilities of music creation.
One more thing I can say is that Electronauts has 5 stars on PlayStation, 5 stars on Oculus and 96% on Steam (as of this writing). People don’t know what to expect when they play, but the vast majority of people have an incredible time.”
I really want to thank Nathan Burba for taking the time out of his day and for Jade Hirtle for setting everything up.
Also, check out the review.
To learn more about Electronauts, please visit the site. To learn more about Survios, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.