Hard work paid off big time for Cloudhead Games developers with a win for best VR Game of 2018. ©Cloudhead Games
OCEANSIDE — A relatively small video game company in Qualicum Beach says their recent win for Best Virtual Reality Game of 2018 validates all the passion and effort they pour into their games.
Cloudhead Games won the top prize at the VR Awards 2018 in London England, for their game The Gallery-Episode 2. In the game, players interact with a destroyed world through virtual reality and complete puzzles to learn more about how the world you're exploring ended.
“It was really a tremendous validation of what we've been doing over the last five years,” Cloudhead Games CEO and creative director Denny Unger told NanaimoNewsNOW.
Though it's a relatively niche part of gaming, Cloudhead Games faced stiff competition in the category from games with huge teams behind them. Two of the biggest titles, Fallout 4 and Skyrim, come from studios with years of experience and budgets over $100 million.
By comparison, Cloudhead Games has a core staff of roughly 15 people.
“I think why we won, ultimately, was because we have a very different approach to how you tell stories in VR,” Unger said. “Many of the games we were up against weren't made specifically for the platform.”
With virtual reality, Unger explained they're bringing someone completely into a new space, rather than making something to be played at home on a couch surrounded by distractions.
“The systems, the mechanics you're building around the player have to really anchor them in the experience, that's what matters. When I reach out and touch an object in VR, I shouldn't have to think about pushing buttons and doing anything weird. It's just a natural extension of how I'd interact with something in the real world.”
Though the profile of Cloudhead Games has risen steadily over the years, Unger said this recent win has given them more confidence to grapple with virtual reality and push systems to the limits.
A sequel to their award-winning game is being worked on, though there's no release date currently.
Unger coudln't share what project they're currently developing, though he confirmed it's with an “industry giant.”