In the world, there are special forces within different countries. Some have good intentions while others may not seem as such. But what if in the world was a secret organization and within that organization, greed and power ruled the minds more than anything? Do you think you could do what it took to stop them alone or do you think a team of the most skilled players in the game would be necessary to make sure that evil would no longer be as strong as it thought it was? It can be a tough decision when you think about it and what would be at risk. So when I heard that developer GINRA TECH brought a game that not only featured an action arcade shooter that includes not only a single-player campaign but also a 4 player Co-Op experience, I had to know more. So I reached out and the solid developer, Itzik, was happy to talk about their game, Operation Serpens, as well as talking about Virtual Reality.
Interview with the solo developer of GINRA TECH, Itzik
Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION Would you please introduce yourself and what you do at GINRA TECH?
“I’m Itzik and I’m a solo indie developer. I basically do everything it takes from idea to full game, marketing, and community management. I really enjoy the process, and I, even more, enjoy seeing people having fun playing my game.
On this occasion, I would like to thank all the people, players, and YouTubers from SideQuest, Discord, Facebook, Twitter, Itch, and Reddit who helped and still help me develop the game, without their feedback, reviews, suggestions, and ideas the game would not look like today. HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!!!”
Growing up, what were some of your favorite games to play and what was that one VR experience that made you want to work with Virtual Reality?
“As one who grew up in the 80s and 90s, I really liked the light gun games in the arcades, when I started to play shooter games in VR – it’s really reminded me this experience. the first games I played was: Drop Dead, Arizona Sunshine, Crisis VRigade, Guns’n’Stories, SUPERHOT, Dead and Buried, Robo Recall, and more.”
Ginra Tech has a history of games from titles like Three Chicks and lost of BHats, Operation Deimos, and even Sons of Warfare. Your newest game, Operation Serpens has been out for a while. What can you tell us about it and the campaign?
“Operation Serpens is a crazy fun arcade shooter for virtual reality headsets. The gameplay is very simple – just grab the weapons and shoot the enemies. This is a non-stop action game and you will need to constantly duck and hide to dodge the bullets, and eliminate hundreds of hostiles in a very short time. Overall you will get a great arcade feel, hilarious moments, and a lot of fun. The game is friendly for new VR users and also has free locomotion for more expert users.
Each level in the campaign will present a new challenge in a slightly different style, you will have missions that require climbing, avoiding explosives, protecting civilians, fighting against helicopters and planes, and more. Some of the locations will be indoor or outdoor, and others in a special location like stuck in an elevator or in the back of a moving truck.
One of the things that caught my attention was the online co-op with up to 4 players. Can you tell us more about this and did you find any challenges that you were not expecting when trying to bring the online mode to the game and is there online VOIP within the game?
“One of the challenging things for me in building multiplayer games is to do a lot of testing with real players in order to discover different scenarios that I did not think of so that I could handle them. You need to plan and balance the stage correctly so that it is fun and entertaining for experienced and new players who play together. In addition, I also did all sorts of little things that are not so common in other games, like transferring items and weapons from player to player simply by taking the item from the other player’s hand. Obviously having VOIP – this is an important part of the experience and adds a lot of fun and humor.”
The game really does have a Zombie survival horde mode and bHaptics support?
“Sure, there is a zombie stage with 100 waves, there are zombies that crawl and run like in a lot of other games, but there are also zombies that shoot! And there are zombies who even hold two guns!
bHaptics suit is a great addition to the immersive experience, you can feel the direction that the bullets hit your body and there is a lot of use of it in Operation Serpens, for example, you will feel a really cool circulatory vibration when you are using a medkit. and we are also working to expand the support and add more effects like recoil for arms.”
Are there leaderboards within the game?
“There are two leaderboards, the first is in the zombie stage and the second is in the special contest level with the little guys, there is also a score board in the co-op multiplayer and we are now working on a big achievement and challenges system.”
What are some of the different achievements that can be earned and what is that one achievement that you see that players have yet to earn?
“We have a special gun that is wrapped in a toy box with a unique barcode that players can unlock, there is also a red pill that we give to players from time to time that is a really powerful booster. It is also recommended to end the campaign to see the twist in the plot. And there are all sorts of funny things, if for example, a grenade explodes in your hand – your fingers will be cut off and you can try to pick them up.”
I do like how in the trailer, enemies are riding in vehicles. Is there a part within the games where the players actually take control of the vehicles?
“We have future plans for vehicle control but none at the moment, although we have a super cool assault drone that you can control with a remote device!”
Virtual Reality really is about immersion from the graphics to the sound. I really do like the art style that is used for the game. Was this always the style that was going to be used or did the game have a different look in the beginning?
“This look of the game is from the beginning, the concept is a retro shooter in a cartoony style. We are trying to bring back the nostalgia of the old arcade shooters but in VR!”
Was there anything that you tried to get into the game, but after many attempts, for whatever reason, just could not make the final cut and that you are hoping to add in at a later date?
“We have tons of new stuff that we want to add that was not made to the final cut, but not because we tried and failed, it’s because we didn’t have the time yet. like we said – we have so much to add to the game and we are doing as much as we can, you should expect a lot of new content in the coming year.”
Another thing that caught my eyes is the scope and how you can get a closer look at the enemies. With Operation Serpens out for the Oculus Store and Steam VR, do you see the game coming to other platforms such as PlayStation VR/2 with Aim controller support or even Viveport in the future?
“Obviously I want Operation Serpens to be available to all platforms, and there are a lot more platforms coming on besides the two that you mention. But there is also a lot of content that I want to add to our existing players, hopefully, I will manage to do all this and much more in 2022.”
If you walked through the door into THE VR DIMENSION, but entered into the world of Operation Serpens, but had to pick 3 other players to be on your team that could be from any time period, fact or fiction, who would be on your team and why?”
“As the game was inspired by the action movies from the 80s, I would take with me the entire A-Team unit (Hannibal, Face, Murdock, and B.A.). Not only are they fearlessly crafted, they are also insanely funny!”
With the content for Virtual Reality continuing to expand, what would you say to someone as to why they should experience Operation Serpens?
“Operation Serpens is a lot different from other shooters, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s all about the fun. you don’t need to be an expert shooter to just pick it up and blast away, it’s friendly towards new users and becomes challenging as the game progresses. and most importantly, we are constantly adding content to keep the game interesting and diverse.”
I really want to thank Itzik for taking the time to give us a closer look into Operation Serpens and for also talking about Virtual Reality.
Also, check out the Operation Serpens review.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.