During times of the pandemic, there are many of us who want to get into shape, keep up the heart rate, and just overall improve our reaction times. We want to be able to train like there is no tomorrow all why trying to have some fun while doing it. If you train from the world’s best sports professionals, what would stop you from stepping up to become a better you…from training like a pro? Honestly, there may not be much stopping us at all except for ourselves. So when I heard that developer, Rezzil, was bringing their workout to those of us at home, I had to know more. So I reached out and Development Director and Co-founder, Adam Dickinson was happy to talk about their newest game, Rezzil Player 22 as well as talking about Virtual Reality.
Interview with Development Director and Co-founder of Rezzil, Adam Dickinson
Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Would you please introduce yourself and what you do at Rezzil?
“Hi, I am Adam Dickinson Development Director Co-founder of Rezzil with Gareth Thatcher and Andy Etches.”
Growing up what were some of your favorite games and what was that one VR moment that really hooked you in?
“I started playing games a while ago and Bruce Lee on Spectrum was my first game obsession, along with heated games of Match Day 2 with my brother Craig. He would kick the power pack if I started winning! Other games I played obsessively were Stuntman, and more modern games Uncharted series and Rocket League. My first VR experiences were on some pretty shonky 360 experiences; we could see the potential though and even though the resolution was horrible. The Tuscany Demo on DK1 was a real ‘this is ready for people to use’ moment. From that point, myself and Gareth began building B2B experiences for brands and broadcast. As we explored our own prototypes we created a very early version of Rezzil.
Rezzil’s newest game, Rezzel Player 22 is coming out soon. What can you tell us about the game?
“Rezzil #Player22 is our baseline product for consumer VR. It is bringing all our learnings from working with pros to people at home, so they can train like a pro – train like nobody’s watching in their very own elite gym. We give you a full-body workout, but importantly were giving resilient athlete intelligence, so helping you develop key attributes cognitively that make the difference. These transferable skills like better reaction times can help in real sport and also in areas like competitive gaming.”
What can you tell us about the different activities in the game?
“We are well known for our work in Football/Soccer globally with World Cup winners and the very best teams. So there is a healthy dose of that in there but over the last two years, we have increasingly worked across more sports. So we have Basketball, drills, reaction gym, racket-based sports, and a few surprises. With a lot of more sports coming and being added each month.”
So really, Player 22 can help with not only technique, vision, and reaction times?
“Absolutely – Player22 isn’t just a fantastic calorie burn, we track everything and help you improve things other experiences just cannot. There are some amazing research studies we have produced to back it all up, and one of the biggest things affecting real sport is the use of our heading drills to replace the impact. Anybody who has a child playing soccer right now should be looking to Rezzil to help them get their reps in.”
What can you tell us about the leaderboards and will there be new challenges introduced?
“We will be adding more and more challenges, modes and games – were really in this for the long term. The beauty of Player 22 is that Olympians, F1 drivers, and National team players are using it daily – so you don’t know who might pop up on the leaderboards! You can compare yourself and in some areas, you may even beat one of these elite athletes. Our investor athletes alone are all pretty keen players.”
Are there any plans to add new activities in the future?
“Our roadmap has us planning to drop updated content thick and fast as soon as it’s passed our super tight QA. Add on’s, team packs, and additional levels for existing games for free, and then there will be drills, games, and lots of different sports. Generally speaking, as we launch updates there will be a “Drill” there will be a fun game in the same pack. We want to offer a total choice for the players and lots of content. We have engaged with Oculus Quest community groups and are hoping to get some direct feedback on changes, improvements, and what people want to see in future updates.”
VR fitness is growing, have you seen some results with various players in Rezzil Player 22, that really put a smile on your face seeing what the dedication and hard work can accomplish?
“We have been mainly working with pro athletes for the last four years, they have seen some incredible results to them so we can only imagine what impact we can make to people at home. It’s safe to say we all trimmed up a bit while testing ourselves, much needed after lockdown.
Watching the trailer, you can tell that the music has a fast beat. Will there be a variety of artists for the game that the players can look forward to?
“We are creating some bespoke tracks, and some games need a certain BPM. But we are also intending to cater for all genres, like the rest of Rezzil we’re a bit of a swiss army knife, music being no exception!”
Did you find any surprises about bringing the training and exercises into Virtual Reality?
“Always! There are no mistakes just happy accidents! We iterate and change and test everything extensively, sometimes concepts roll into one another, generally speaking, we don’t assume something will work, as soon as possible we get prototypes in front of elite athletes, medics, and coaches early so they can inform and help shape. They are the experts, we translate their problems and wish lists into drills and games that can make a real difference.”
What would you say has been the most challenging when incorporating any type of continuous movement with Virtual Reality and making sure the experience is the best for the player?
“We have maximized and taken advantage of every bit of performance. We are used to zero latency being demanded, so have solved the challenges as we have gone along pretty well we think! Big on our wish list: if we could track full-body right now (including feet) everyone could benefit from ALL our drills.”
When working with the graphics and immersion, what surprises you still that works incredibly well within VR?
“We work across a wide range from really high-end PCVR and Oculus. We have been amazed how high we have been able to keep the visuals on Oculus Quest. I am always impressed with load times and framerate.”
Do you see Player 22 coming to other platforms like PlayStation VR, Steam, or even Viveport in the future?
“We have our Rezzil for PCVR already on Steam and Viveport, which requires trackers. It’s safe to say without giving a lot away we have devkits and work underway for all platforms you would expect us to go on. Even some that aren’t announced yet!”
If you entered a door into THE VR DIMENSION and you could pick anyone from any time to train with in the world of Rezzil Player 22, who would it be with and why?
“My team I’d build would be Daley Thompson, Maradonna, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods. I think we have all the bases covered there!”
With the content for Virtual Reality continuing to grow, what would you say to someone as to why they should experience Rezzil Player 22?
“We have built something quite different which everyone will find accessible and take them to another level or let them experience something truly unique. We have brought our console game-making heritage and fused it with working in elite sport. The authenticity and validity of what we have created are unparalleled. We have had to make everything fun and engaging for all levels and ensure there is also a challenge at the highest levels.”
I want to thank Adam for taking a break from his training and day for giving us a closer look at Rezzil Player 22 and for also talking about Virtual Reality.
Rezzil Player 22 is out for the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 on the Oculus Store on August 10, 2021.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.