When you step into an arena in Virtual Reality surprises can be at any turn. The action and the fighting from enemies from all around you can strike at any time with any obstacle. The way you can physically move to make your strike or block that attack is really quite fascinating when you think about it. This is what makes Virtual Reality so special and allowing you to enter that arena and almost test to see what you are made of. But when I heard that there was an arena waiting to be entered that allowed not only realistic body movements and a life-like injury system, I had to know more. So I reached out and Deep Type Games was happy to discuss their game, Hellsplit: Arena and to talk about Virtual Reality.
Interview with Deep Type Games
Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Deep Type Games?
“Hello! We are the Deep Type Games team – a small indie game dev studio located in Perm, Russian Federation, currently working on our major VR project – medieval horror-slasher Hellsplit: Arena.”
What was the one game that made you want to get into Virtual Reality?
“When we started the development (in late 2016) there were very few games available. Particularly good ones. We were mostly focused on short VR-demos. When it comes to the games that impressed us the most at that time – it is the Lab.“
Hellsplit: Arena came out in 2019. What can you tell us about the game and how has the feedback been?
“In spite of the fact that our game has been officially in release status for a year and a half, we continue our active work on its improvement. Our friendly community of gamers helps us a lot, hinting us at the most important directions of our work.”
Can you talk about the life-like injury system a little bit more?
“It is a complex system that we have been working on for a long and consider it to be one of the main features of the game. In our opinion, it most successfully combines realism and certain schematism determined by gaming conditions. In our injury system, not only the weapon type is taken into consideration, but also with what part of it the hit is made and how strong it is. Due to this reason, the weapon effectiveness feels different in the game and strongly depends on its owner’s skills.”
What are some of the type of enemies one can face in Hellsplit: Arena?
“There are not so many types of enemies yet. First and foremost, these are traditional zombies and skeletons. There are also more serious enemies and even bosses. We are currently working on the addition of the new enemies to our game.“
Watching the trailer, you can really hear the punches and the way you come in contact with the enemies. How important was getting the sound just right for the experience?
“Sound is a very important part of our game. We really wanted the player to immerse himself in the dark world of Hellsplit to the full extent and therefore we had a serious approach towards the sound recording in the game. We wrote the original soundtrack and personally recorded many of the sounds. Of course, some lack of experience in this field had an impact on the quality, but we are learning quickly and a number of tasks related to the game’s sound refining are planned as well. This is exactly the area in which we still have room for improvement.”
From the pics alone, you can really see that a lot of work went into the details of the game. Was there anyone particular thing where you just had to keep improving an area until you felt it was just right?
“The physical model of the weapon was the most challenging for us. It is truly not the easiest task for VR games. As practice shows, we are not alone in this. Few have managed to convincingly give the sense of medieval weapons in the game. Hopefully, we are one of those few.”
Developing a game like Hellsplit: Arena looks to have a lot of love and dedication. What have you found to be the most challenging when working with Virtual Reality?
“Virtual Reality is a relatively new area, where the basic standards and the rules of work have not been established yet. This is probably the most difficult part of our work. When creating a game you simply cannot know how to actually proceed. The desire of experimenting is constantly suppressed by the awareness that this or that mechanics can be met negatively by the players.”
Was it difficult to get the fighting mechanics just right?
“Yes, very. Moreover, we are still unsure if it is 100% correctly configured. We continue working in this direction.”
It does look like you will need to have some space to really get the most out of the experience. I know you are hoping to bring Hellsplit: Arena to PlayStation VR. What have you found that when you look at the PCVR version, that needs to be reworked for PlayStation VR, and do you think PlayStation VR players will be able to enjoy the game in 2021?
“Currently, we are more focused on PSVR 2. Insider information reveals that the second iteration of the SONY headset matches better with the specifics of our game. Unfortunately, according to our information, the release of PSVR 2 is not expected until next year, so players should be patient.”
Are there any more plans for updates to the game or possibly DLC and if so, what can the players look forward to the most?
“Our update system is not quite traditional for modern games. We do not focus on DLC, but periodically release small but very important updates instead. By the way, one of these will be available soon.”
Knowing what you know now, if you could go back 5 years, what would be the top three things you would tell your younger self about making the game that you wish you would have known?
“Add Valve Index support at the start :D”
What’s next for Deep Type Games?
“Hellsplit for now, and only Hellsplit. There are still a whole lot of things to do ahead of us to make the game exactly what the players and us would like to see it.”
With the content continuing to grow for Virtual Reality, what would you say to someone on why they should experience Hellsplit: Arena?
“VR is about new experiences and emotions first of all. Who among us gamers has not dreamed of getting inside the game, becoming a hero himself, and crushing enemies with his own hands? Acting in a way as if it were in reality. Getting tired, being afraid, angry, overcoming. We put all this in one way or another in our game. Our goal was and remains to unlock the potential of virtual reality to the fullest possible extent. If you are interested in the capabilities of modern VR then you are definitely very welcome to join us.”
I really want to thank Deep Type Games for taking some time from their day and updates to give us a closer look at Hellsplit: Arena as well as talking about Virtual Reality.
Hellsplit: Arena is out now on Steam and coming to PlayStation VR.
To learn more about Hellsplit: Arena, please visit their site and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Deep Type Games, make sure you visit their site, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.