Some games just have that thing about them. The kind of things that make you want to learn more about them and play them. There was a game that came out in November of 2016 that came out shortly after the PlayStation VR that I think many of us might have missed out on, but there was something always in the back of my mind that had me wanting to learn more about it. When I learned that it had an online multiplayer and had PlayStation VR support, I had to know more. I had to see what this was about. I reached out to Strange Game Studios and Reggie was more than happy to help me learn more about the studio, Honor and Duty, and Virtual Reality.
Tell us about yourself and what you do at Strange Game Studios. Can you tell us about some of the games that you have worked on that some of the gamers and players might know the team’s work from?
“SGS is a micro-studio composed of myself and various contractors. I’m the owner and main developer. We currently have an artist and another programmer working on our upcoming games so right now we have 1 full time and 2 part-time people working on projects. Most of our games were made on the 360 Indie games channel with our biggest selling game being Paintball Wars. On the PS4, we also released a small puzzle game called Tina’s Toy Factory based on the match 3 games.”
So Honor and Duty has been out since November 2016, but is now getting a PSVR patch, is that correct?
“Yes, we added the VR update partly as a learning curve and because we thought it would be fun to add to the game. We really underestimated the interest and thought no one would even see the multiplayer aspect.”
So Aim Controller support will be included?
“Yes, we are supporting the aim and the DS4 controllers.”
What were some of the advantages you found when working with VR?
“I’m not sure I would say there are any advantages. It’s harder because it’s so framerate sensitive. If any, there are real disadvantages from the developer side. From the player side though, VR obviously makes for a more immersive experience. I think FPS’s though specifically benefit from improved aiming and more realistic gameplay. Because movement is slower, gunfights are more realistic. Additionally, since VR is generally not as sharp as TVs, you get a type of distance blur that allows players in the distance to blend in like they would in real life.”
Did you find any difficulties that you were not expecting and actually surprised by when working with PlayStation VR?
“The biggest surprise was how hard it was to get through the VR testing phase. Because the PSVR is new, they really want to make sure games do it right and don’t cause motion sickness. There were a lot of things we had to address even after the VR part was done and fully working.”
With the PSVR patch being added, is the whole game going to be in VR or just certain parts?
“The entire game is in VR including MP. We did have to remove some details like grass and trees to get the rendering performance up for VR but that’s mainly because the game was never made with VR in mind. We would have done things a lot differently if we had known from the start about the framerate demands.”Are there any special trophies that can be earned by playing in VR?“The trophy pack can’t be changed so since the game was made prior to VR, there are no VR related trophies. I don’t think Sony would allow us to do that anyway as they tend to make sure players are equal across the board.”The PlayStation VR library is growing and many new players as well as ones that have been around since the beginning, what would you tell someone on why they should pick up Honor and Duty?“We didn’t realize it until about the time it launched but H&D is the first game to offer team-based online play. One of the reasons we had so much interest was because we were the first game to allow online PvP action besides Farpoint’s 1v1.”
Are there any special projects that you are working on that you would like to let us know about? Anything special in VR?
“With all the interest in H&D’s online play, we changed our plans around and are now working on a made for VR sequel to Honor & Duty. It will initially launch at a reduced price with multiplayer-only and then an SP campaign will be added via DLC. The game will feature vehicles including planes and we post regular updates and videos on social media. Here’s our most recent video showing the tank interiors in VR.”
I really want to thank Reggie for taking time out of his busy schedule and letting us know more about Honor and Duty: Arcade Edition, Strange Game Studios, and his thoughts on Virtual Reality.
Honor and Duty: Arcade Edition is out now on PlayStation VR.
Also, please check out the review.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.