Imagine being part of a town where everyone knows everyone and it has this balance that just seems right. Then one day something happened that wiped out the town. As time passed, you would have many questions that all you want were the answers. But if you had a chance to get those answers, how far would you be willing to go to get them? Would you do whatever it took, no matter what would be in the unknown? With Virtual Reality, we are able to be put into these situations and when I heard about Into the Radius it looked like we had a way to put us into the moments of uncertainty and challenge us while doing it. I wanted to know more, so I reached out to Brandon Marsh, the Creative Manager for Into The Radius to get some more information as well as some insight about working with Virtual Reality.
Interview with Creative Manager Brandon Marsh.
Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Would you please introduce yourself and let us know what you do at CM Games?
“Hello my name is Brandon and I am the Creative Manager for Into the Radius. I look after the Marketing, PR and other aspects of the game’s development.”
For some who may not be aware, CM Games has been focused on the mobile market with racing games like Hot Wheels Infinite Loop and Drag Racing to name a few but is now getting into Virtual Reality with Into the Radius. What made you decide to take the leap into Virtual Reality?
“Into the Radius started as a personal project of Producer Aleksei Shulga, who has been working as a 3D artist and animator at CM for many years. The project got the support of Creative Mobile and it was decided to make it a full-fledged project with Aleksei and a full-time programmer to start with. Since then, the team has expanded out to a core group of 4 along with marketing, writers and outsourcers.”
What kind of challenges did you face when developing for Virtual Reality?
“As this is the first VR project for the company, and the first time we’re using Unreal Engine for game development, there’s been a lot to learn. VR is still a pretty young medium, so there is a lot of experimentation to be done and a lot of balancing that needs to be made. Thankfully our community has been really encouraging and helpful with feedback.
The other big challenge is scope, VR is very resource-intensive to develop compared to PC and mobile. Getting the project’s scope to something achievable is something we’ve been working on.”
Into the Radius looks gorgeous and does give off that eerie atmosphere, can you tell us more about the game and the what type of situations we might come across?
“Into the Radius is a single-player survival shooter set in the post-apocalyptic Pechorsk Radius zone. Life and death intertwine inside the Radius, lurking somewhere in the middle of everything is the answer to a question you can’t quite remember.
Fifteen years after the Pechorsk Event, the Radius has been almost completely abandoned and stands as an isolated and blighted territory. There are miles and miles of forests and crumbling industrial ruins to explore however you want.
Your only means of survival is to pick the right gear for your journey, stalk the strange and threatening zone filled with lethal anomalies and hostile forces. You must collect artifacts and complete the missions assigned to you by the UN Pechorsk Special Committee.”
What were some of the inspirations that brought Into the Radius to life?
“The game is primarily inspired by the book ‘Roadside Picnic’ written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (The S.T.A.L.K.E.R series and their mods share the same source material.) Other inspirations include Stephen King and MYST.”
Were there some things that you wanted in the game, but did not make it, or looking back now and thinking that you wish you could add now?
“5-10 years is a long time in tech and game development! Let’s see what kind of impact PS5 VR and Oculus Quest competitors have on the market. VR Arcades will be a good indicator of how the industry is developing in general.
This year we’ve already seen Boneworks and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners become top-selling titles in a matter of weeks. More and more top studios are starting to develop for VR, so we’ll start seeing more AAA titles and franchises getting a VR release.”
What would be your top three advice points you would give someone looking to start working in VR?
“Probably the rapid growth of the industry as a whole and the amounts of time and money that gamers are willing to put into games.”
If you could tell your younger self three things, what would they be?
- Comparison is the thief of joy.
- The future just keeps getting weirder.
- This too, shall pass.
With the games and experiences for Virtual Reality continuing to grow, what would you say to someone looking for that new game or experience as to why they should play Into the Radius?
“Into the Radius is a deep and deliberate survival game with lots of clever mechanics. Players who like dark dystopian atmosphere, strange surreal open-world environments, and strategic, hardcore gameplay that you can spend hours in should check this out.
We’re still in active development and have been making lots of improvements based on community feedback.”
I really want to thank Brandon Marsh for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share his knowledge and for giving us a closer look at Into the Radius.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.