When you think about nostalgia and video games, what really comes to mind? A game from your childhood, a specific genre of games, or maybe a certain year for gaming. But when you are able to be in a game within a game and in Virtual Reality, it is a different type of experience that should not be missed. So when the sequel to the hit Pixel Ripped 1989 was announced, I was very excited to see not only how the series could continue but how it could be pushed. So I reached out to AVORE Immersive Experiences and they were happy to give a closer look at Pixel Ripped 1995 and the Pixel Ripped series.
Interview with Ana Ribeiro of ARVORE Immersive Experiences
Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Could you please introduce yourself and what your typical day is like at ARVORE?
“I’m Ana Ribeiro, the creator and director of the Pixel Ripped game series. I usually start the day with a meeting with the core team where we all talk to each other to see where everyone is at, then I have a management meeting where other directors and producers from ARVORE participate so we can discuss relevant issues that may need C-Level attention.
For the rest of the day, I try to make sure all the tasks are prioritized to the team together with the producer before I get a task myself to work on. The creative direction is my main rule, but I don’t want to abandon what I love the most which is actually working on the development of the game. I feel like this is really important for the creative process and this is when best ideas come. That way I feel I can be more close to the team so we don’t miss opportunities when these ideas pop up during development.”
When Pixel Ripped 1995 was first announced of being in Virtual Reality and how it played homage to the early days of games, it really put a smile not only on my face but for many gamers. What were some of the ideas floating around for this sequel?
“We are really happy that we ended up covering most of players expectations. I remember before we even announced which games we were going to reference, they got most of the main ones, like Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania, Star Fox and Donkey Kong. the only thing were not fully satisfied was the replayability factor, like collectables and hardcoremode which we had to cut to release the game on time, but I’m happy to say we are now working on these updates and they will be coming out soon on the upcoming months.”
Pixel Ripped 1995 has finally released and I know everyone must be excited with your hard work. Can you give us some of the backstory that players will get to experience?
“Our game is a trip to the history of gaming and more importantly a trip into peoples childhood memories as a gamer. Players experience the transition of the 2D games to tridimensional worlds and the technical struggles attached to that, the 16 bit console wars era, etc. We reference many games like Zelda, Castlevania, Streets Of Rage, Donkey Kong, Road Rash, Sonic, Castle Of Illusion, Metroid, Mario Kart, Star Fox and other great classics from that period. Players tell us how much nostalgia they felt revisiting a rental store, playing against other kids in an Arcade and trying to hide from their mother while playing games at night.”
Pixel Ripped 1995 has released and many have been very excited to experience it. But for those that have yet to embark on the Pixel Ripped Journey, can you give some of the backstory of Pixel Ripped and what we can expect with Pixel Ripped 1995?
“I would tell them that Pixel Ripped 1995 is a Virtual Reality game that pays homage to the games that left a mark on the generation of gamers of the 90s. It is the year 1995 and you are Dave, the best player of the popular adventure Pixel Ripped, only he can save the video game world from the evil forces of the Cyblin Lord. As in movies like Inception, you will jump into the worlds of David’s games that Cyblin Lord is corrupting. Pixel Ripped 1995 mechanics contain numerous references to the genres that were popular during the time, fighters, RPGs, platformers or racing games will have a strong presence in your adventure to save the game’s world. At the same time, players will remember that classic feeling of adrenaline when trying to play post-bedtime without getting caught or the thrill of finally finding that brand new game at the local store… Pixel Ripped is like a time machine in nowadays VR technology and with that magic of the adventure teenage-films, many of us who grew during the 80s and 90s watched.”
Is there something you learned from Pixel Ripped 1989 development that you either tried something different that didn’t make it into the final game and you tried it with Pixel Ripped 1995? or was it more of this is a working formula so let’s see what else we can do type of feeling?
“Some things like the water mechanic, for example, were not possible to be added on time for 1989 so we saved those ideas for 1995. Funny enough, there are many ideas saved for the next Pixel Ripped game which we couldn’t add into 1995. But apart from that, we tried many different changes into this game, like the narrative for example which was the main evolution comparing both games. We had a narrative designer added to the team, Barbara Framil, who really helped bring the narrative to another level. Giving to Pixel Ripped 1995 a much deeper connection between the 2D game character and the real-world ones. You also get to be more involved with Dot and Cyblin Lord. The more elaborated narrative has been the attention of the positive reviews we got from our fans.”
Good things most of the time can come in threes. Are there any plans or ideas for a Pixel Ripped 20XX?
“Not yet, but we are open to change the upcoming episodes we had previously planned, so we never know. But one thing I can say for sure, there will not be an episode set in the year 2020.”
Also, check out the review.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.