Have you ever read a story or saw a movie where the narration just pulled you in? What about a narrative game where you just couldn’t stop trying to reveal the details of the story? Narration can add a lot to what is being told if done right. But what if you could visit a place where mysterious creatures could roam and in this place a secret so big where the sanity you trusted, may not be what you thought it was? What would your narration be for your adventure during that journey? Imagine the lives we live now are just part of the journey where our subconscious is the narration for our own sanity if only we would listen sometimes. It is quite interesting when you really think about it. So when I heard that the developer, Ares Dragonis was bringing his story The Shore to Virtual Reality, I had to know more. So I reached out and Ares was happy to talk about his game as well as talking about Virtual Reality.
Interview with creator and developer, Ares Dragonis
Welcome to THE VR DIMENSION. Would you please introduce yourself and what have been some of the games and projects that you have worked on?
“My name is Ares Dragonis and I am a 3d character artist. My career started in 2011 when I started working as a freelance for indie games since then I made 3d character models mostly for small studios and several indie games.”
We all love games. What was that one game that really got you into gaming and what was that one VR experience that made you realize that you wanted to work in VR?
“I remember myself playing games since 5 years old but when I really got into gaming it was when I was 15 years old when I started playing Lineage 2 and then the World of Warcraft I was amazed by the whole experience. That’s when I asked myself how are these games, are made who makes these cool environments, that’s when I got into 3d character modeling. The first time I tried VR was at my friend’s house on PS4 I played several games but that’s when I realized how impressive it was, it felt like you were in the game!”
Your new game, The Shore, released on Steam in February. What can you tell us about the game and about Andrew? Is it really story-driven?
“The Shore is my first game, this whole project started as a fun side project to test my skills I was curious about what I could create inside the UE4, I was pleased with the results and after that, I took it seriously and kept going. The Shore is like a love letter to the Lovecraftian mythos it explains how insignificant and not important the humans are in the vast cosmos. Things start as simple as it can be through the eyes of a father who lost his daughter on a shipwreck on a forbidden island, it’s a slow burn which starts as a story-driven then the story unfolds through the visuals.”
Looking at the trailers, it looks like Andrew has certain weapons that can shoot a laser. What can you tell us about this weapon and is it the only weapon in the game?
“The artifact on Andrew’s hand is more like a key rather than a weapon, it was never meant to be a weapon, the artifact only helps you to clear the way forth.”
Enemies in a game can take on many forms from physical creatures to the environment itself. What can you tell us about the atmospheric environment and about some of the different enemies within the game?
“When I started making the environment I had this picture in mind that the environment itself should feel cold and lonely it should make the player feel hopelessness and at any time something could jump into you. The enemies in the game are all tied to the Lovecraftian mythos, through The Shore I wanted to bring the Lovecraftian universe to the surface by implementing as many aspects I could from the mythos.
I like the fact that The Shore will make you question your own sanity. Without given too much away, what can you tell us about some of the elements in the game that might also surprise the player?
“My first goal was to captivate the player by portraying into the visuals all of the horrors Lovecraft himself wrote, other elements that would surprise the player is the fact that it shows many deities from the Lovecraftian universe in a way that resembles a cinematic scene.”
What can you tell us about the puzzles within the game?
“When I first started making the puzzles I wanted to be original and think out of the box and be open-minded, my intentions were never meant to make easy puzzles that you just had to find another hidden number, my intentions was that the player will have to think out of the box too when I saw gameplays from people I realized they were looking for clues that they saw in other games, I found it harmful because it shows that there is no originality in other games.
The puzzles in the story were meant to harden the mind of Andrew in order to face Deities that would make you mad just by staring at them. This part will be well explaned in the VR version”
Originally was The Shore always planned to have VR or did that decision come later?
“Since the beginning, my intention was to release the game as a standard version, but the VR idea was always in the back of my head. When a lot of people saw the game they asked for the VR version and I agreed it would be a shame if I didn’t make a VR version of The Shore.”
Do we know when the VR version will be ready and will be included as an option to be played in VR or is that separate?
“I can not tell 100% when the VR version will be released, but I say that the VR version will be a separate game since I want to change lots of stuff, add extra events make a big part of the island fully open-world, add tons of new events, better Cthulhu event add extra deities, huge trophy room in the void, and so on, so yeah it will be a separate game since lots and lots of things will change from the standard release in a better way, you will have the freedom to chose which events you wanna do first and in what order, I think the VR version will be extremely enjoyable.”
In developing for VR, what have you found the most challenging and surprising vs non-VR projects?
“I can no answer that question yet because The Shore will be my first VR game.”
When creating a game for VR, do you feel that the sound and graphics are equally important to have that right amount of immersion?
” Of course everything will have to tie together in order to deliver an amazing experience”
Do you see The Shore coming to other platforms such as PlayStation VR, The Oculus Store, or Viveport in the future?
“Yes, we are planning at the moment to bring it into consoles.”
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self 3 things, what would they be”
“Keep doing what you doing believe in yourself, trust your self stay original, and don’t let others harm your vision or change it”
So what’s next for you?
“My next game is called Necrophosis. It will be fully inspired by Zdzislaw Beksinski and Giger, I have already posted 2-3 pictures on my profile hehehehe.”
With the library for VR continuing to grow, what would you say to someone as to why they should experience The Shore?
“The shore will captivate you with its atmospheric environments creepy and mysterious scenes and with its huge deities, not only that but the voice acting and the storytelling will feel like it’s coming out of a movie.”
I want to thank Ares for taking the time out of the day to give us a closer look at The Shore and as well as talking about Virtual Reality.
To learn more about the game, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. To learn more about Ares Dragonis, visit his site and like him on Facebook.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.