REZZIL Player – The Interview

June 5, 2023 ·

As Summer starts its sunshine and longer days, there will be many of us who will be trying to keep in shape, not just for the season, but all year long. Some will go to the gym and some will play sports as a way to get that heartbeat going and try to take it to the next level. But as the days get hotter and lives get busier, what if you had a way to work out in your own home on your own time? It can be challenging and somewhat intimidating trying to add fitness to your daily routine. But when I heard that developer, REZZIL was making it easier for everyone to work out at home, I had to learn more. So I reached out and the Co-Founder, Andy Etches, was happy to talk about the game, REZZIL Player, as well as talking about Virtual Reality.

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Interview with Co-Founder & Supporting Director of REZZIL, Andy Etches

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Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Would you please Introduce yourself and what you do at REZZIL?

“Hi, I’m Andy Etches, Co-Founder & Sporting Director of REZZIL. As one of the three founders of the company, I am partly responsible for the day-to-day running of the business.  As Sporting Director, I oversee the services we offer to professional sports teams, athletes, and partners.”

Growing up, what were some of your favorite competitive gaming moments, and what was that one VR moment that made you want to do more with Virtual Reality?

“As a big sports fan, I used to enjoy the challenge of trying to take a small team from League 2 to the Premier League on Football Manager. I also enjoyed competing against friends on FIFA and the NBA games.

When we started the company in 2017, the aim wasn’t to make a game as such… It was a training tool that could be utilized to help players develop and identify their skills. My partners, Gareth and Adam were the first to show me the power of virtual reality. They had built a VR demo in which you could score goals at a Premier League stadium. I was working as a consultant for clubs at the time and I was so taken away by the potential of what had been built that we decided to team up. The rest is history!”

REZZIL has previously brought the VR fitness of sports on the Quest platform called REZZIL Player 22 and coming to PlayStation VR2 with a new name called REZZIL Player. First, why did the name change, and second, what can you tell us about the game?

“The name change was part of a rebrand when we introduced American Football and challenges into the game, we want to add much more sport content to the game over its lifetime so we didn’t want to tie the game to a specific year, so as part of the relaunch we dropped the 22.”

Can you tell us about the different activities in the game and which one you find the most challenging?

“On REZZIL Player you can take part in a host of sporting activities, from soccer headers and goalkeeping training to American Football drills.  We also have our Reaction Wall and Hoops game modes that develop sharpness, vision, and other skills that can be used across a number of sports.

I find Hoops the most challenging as it is quite a workout! You can burn up to 10 kcals per minute!”

How does the game help with technique, vision, and reaction times?

“Our drills are designed, created, and tested by athletes to ensure that they can be beneficial for people at any level of sport they may participate in. Each game mode will have its own areas that it aims to improve. For example, you may take part in our reaction wall game modes to develop your reaction times, or you may want to develop the specific skill of heading a football into the back of the net. Essentially, you can pick the best parts from each game mode to suit your own level and training needs to ensure you can develop as a player or athlete from the comfort of your own living room.”

REZZIL Player has online leaderboards and challenges to help push the player to be their best. What are some challenges can the players expect to encounter?

“On REZZIL Player, you will be able to take part in fun monthly challenges and have the chance to compete for cash and other prizes on PSVR2! We will be putting out our own challenges every month that will include participating in different game modes across REZZIL Player. From time to time, there will also be special challenges available that will be created with our partners and for big sporting events!

Adding competition to REZZIL Player was always part of our thinking when bringing our app available to download to a wider audience. We are all aware of the pace of the growth of eSports of late and as a VR sports company, it seemed a no-brainer to offer a competitive element to REZZIL and to step into this space. We are developing a tournament platform for release later this year where anyone can create, play and promote challenges on supported VR games like REZZIL Player. Watch this space.”

The Quest version had DLC packs that could be added. Are there plans to bring those same DLC packs and additional ones to PlayStation VR2?

“As part of REZZIL Player on PSVR 2, you will be able to download DLC packs from some of the world’s leading sports clubs and brands such as Adidas and Manchester City.  Each pack comes with its own custom stadium, equipment, and apparel so you can look the part while training at some of the best stadiums around the globe!”

Do you see multiplayer ever coming to the game so players can compete against other in real-time?

“This is something we are currently working on and will be in later versions of the game, players can compete head-to-head in all game modes or simply spectate and heckle friends!”

What have you learned from the Quest and PCVR versions that may have been improved with the PSVR2 version?

“It’s always a challenge to get a good balance of quality and performance on Quest and lower-end PCs, there are always concessions to be made. But with PSVR 2, we have been able to push the quality to match a high-end PC.”

What has REZZIL done to implement the PlayStation VR2 features into the game?

“Aside from the improved visuals we have introduced headset haptics for the heading games, being able to ‘feel’ the ball adds to the immersion and overall experience of the game.”

VR fitness can be very motivational. What can the player expect to keep being engaged and motivated while still feeling competitive and having fun?

“The learnings that we receive from being utilized within the professional sports industry results in REZZIL Player being the best-equipped app to help anyone to develop their skills and fitness or to quite simply just enjoy the sport!  There is no one in the industry who also supports elite sports in the way we do and we are proud to be able to knock down the barriers that may be preventing people from experiencing high-quality training, no matter what their initial sporting ability may be by using VR.  Knowing that REZZIL is tried and tested by some of the world’s best athletes can act as a big motivation for people at home to know that they are training correctly. Elite Athletes need little or no motivation, but the more casual player finds that they unknowingly get skills acquisition and fitness benefits just by playing and engaging.

Not only that, our leaderboards, challenges, competitions, and DLC packs add an extra element of fun to the whole experience. We will continually be adding new features to keep our users on their toes as time continues to move forwards!”

Virtual Reality has to be immersive for the best experience possible. Visuals and sound help with the immersion. What surprised you about the PlayStation VR2 that will really have the player immersed in playing REZZIL Player?

“The haptics and clarity of the headset were the biggest surprises, also the increase in graphics quality and adding crowds has really pushed the immersion.”

Are there any plans to add even more content including DLC and sports challenges to the game?

“Absolutely, we have several more club and brand packs coming soon, and new sports games in American Football, F1, and later this year we are adding a Boxing experience that has training techniques used by a legendary boxer. Watch this space!”

If you walked through the door into THE VR DIMENSION, but into the world of REZZIL Player and could pick anyone from any time, who would be your coach and why?

“Sir Alex Ferguson! As a Manchester United fan, I have always had great admiration for him. However, his ability to get the best out of individuals is a skill that I believe to be extremely powerful. It’s a mindset that we have adopted at REZZIL and I’d like to think that through training with REZZIL Player, a person can aim to improve and push themselves to achieve their full potential, just like Sir Alex aimed to do with his squad of players. REZZIL as a name was born out of “resilience” and Sir Alex certainly instilled that into the clubs he worked with.”

With the content for Virtual Reality continuing to grow, what would you say to someone as to why they should experience REZZIL Player?

“REZZIL is used across the world by athletes in a wide range of different sports, from academy level to World Cup winners. Our training games have been developed with the support of professional athletes, coaches, and sports scientists, providing our users with the ability to train like a pro in the comfort of their own homes. Being so involved in the world of professional sports sets us apart from anything else on the market!

REZZIL Player has received just as strong feedback from gamers, as well as athletes, due to its ability to feel like a game. It creates entertainment value for our gaming audience whilst helping them acquire new skills and increase their fitness levels without them noticing. Some casual players have unknowingly used REZZIL as a sports trainer, while others have used REZZIL to kick off their fitness journey and are now starting to see big improvements in their skill level and overall health.”

I really want to thank Andy for taking the time out of their schedule to give us a closer look at REZZIL Player and its benefits.

REZZIL Player is out now for Quest 2/Pro on the Oculus Store, Steam VR, and Viveport, and will be coming to PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store.

To learn more about REZZIL, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

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