When you hear the word dance, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s a school activity, maybe it’s people dancing out in the streets or competitions or maybe in the clubs as a way for people to escape. But there is one thing that dancing has is movement and exercise and the creativity for you to make it your own. So when emergeWorlds released their newest title Dance Collider towards the end of 2019 on PCVR and then not that long ago on PlayStation VR, I wanted to know more. So I reached out and Tim Maloney of emergeWorlds was happy to talk about Dance Collider and Virtual Reality.
Interview with Producer, Tim Maloney of emergeWorlds
Hello and welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Would you please introduce yourself and what you do at emergeWorlds?
“Hi my name is Tim Molony and I am mainly a producer at emergeWorlds… but also do am little of everything in game design apart from programming. I am not very good at programming.”
For those who may not be aware, emergeworlds does some different things with VR such as First Aid and property tours with Spaces, what other projects have emergeworlds been a part of?
“We like to work on a vast range of projects and try and focus our work in emerging technologies. We created a cool motion capture maze running game that is at the Science museum in Canberra Australia. Players have to duck, jump and move. Their movements are motion captured and placed on a virtual rag doll that runs through a dangerous obstacle course. If they don’t duck low enough they are going to get hurt!”
Your newest game Dance Collider came out for PCVR towards the end of 2019 and now has released on PlayStation VR. What can you tell us about Dance Collider?
“We started Dance Collider before Beat Saber came out. We thought it would be a cool idea to be able to dance in virtual reality because you can immerse the player in different worlds and make dancing very fun. Our first iteration was very similar to the game Oh Shape where a wall would come at you and you would have to fit inside. We then moved away from the wall and created orbs for the player to hit. One thing that we tried to do in Dance Collider was to really get the player moving. In a lot of the other games, you can just stay in one spot and not have to move too much. Dance Collider is very different in its movements.”
Being the word Dance is in the title, we can all expect that we will need to make sure that we have some space as we will be moving and sweating in Virtual Reality?
“Yes, you do need a bit of space to move around in. Sometimes the layer will need to take a step each side of the center area so make sure you have a bit of room. Hopefully, no-one will be putting holes through the wall!”
Would you consider Dance Collider more of a rhythm game or a workout game?
“It’s a bit of both. If the player just wants to go in and have fun you can still do that. You do get more points the faster you hit the nodes so that is where the workout element comes in. We also tried to include quite flown movements in some of the songs, kinda like thai chi on steroids!”
In March of 2020, there was a Hardcore Update for Dance Collider. What can you tell us about this update and will it be coming to PlayStation VR as well?
“This Hardcore update increases the accuracy level and skill level of the player by a lot. We found a lot of people complain it was too easy to get to the end of the songs. So we went pretty extreme with the accuracy levels.Yes it will come to Playstation soon.”
There are 45 songs by F-777, on the PCVR side of things, there is a dance editor. What can you tell us about the dance editor and is there any chance of the dance editor coming to PlayStation VR?
“We create all our dances in the game with this dance editor. It’s quite unique and once you get the hang of it you can create a dance very quickly. It was built around a PC file structure so we are looking if it is even possible to get it on the Playstation VR.”
Are there any plans for future ‘dance packs’ that will be released?
“We want to do a more alternate dance pack. One based around up and coming soundcloud artists. If any artists are keen to be in the game get in touch.”
With emergeworlds already working with Virtual Reality, are there any things that still surprise you when creating for VR?
“For me time and time again it’s the immersion the player experiences with VR. I love seeing someone try a a good VR experience for the first time. It’s crazy how overwhelming it can be the first time you try it.”
Why do you feel that VR is such a beneficial platform to develop for compared to non-VR?
“It’s a small but ever expanding audience. At the moment you can get your foot in the door before all the big guys come in. You just need a good idea that translates well for VR. It’s amazing how many games are just waiting to be created that in VR have not yet been made.”
What do you feel makes for a good vs great VR experience?
“For me it’s the difference between how the experience is designed and the thought put into the small details and gameplay elements. I also love VR games where they immerse the player so much that you forget the real world even exists.”
If you could tell your younger self three things, what would they be?
“Don’t stress too much about fitting in, get a haircut! , enjoy life.”
“We are working on a new game called Dros. It’s a 3rd person puzzle adventure game where an unlikely duo must combine their powers to overcome the evil Black Alchemist.”
With the catalog of VR experiences and games continue to grow, what would you say to someone looking for that new experience or game on why they should enter into the world of Dance Collider?
“There are plenty of rhythm games out there. Not many will make you move as much our break a sweat like Dance Collider does. Plus it has oversized cheesy 80’s like characters in it. How could you go wrong :).”
I want to thank Tim Maloney for giving us a closer look at Dance Collider from emergeWorlds and for talking to us about Virtual Reality.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.