Owen came from DICE and worked on Mirror’s Edge. So we started our conversation on where do you exactly begin with something like Valkyrie? Owen explained that the core game play is the key element to the game. The demo was so striking to fans and took full use of the Oculus Rift that players really connected with the full VR experience of flying and fighting in space. That is the most important part of the project for him, the core game play. Now that he has settled into working at CCP he is finally getting to the best part of his job as Executive Producer which is playing through the game. EVE-VR was a very short intense experience so a lot of what the team is working on right now is how to expand on that. Owen said that setting the expectations for development begin with making sure the core mechanics are solid. The creators of the demo ensure that part but the real fun begins when they can expand on the space dog fight scenarios.
Now that the core game is in place, the team is not only working to perfect gameplay but also on how to expand the experience. The first thing that Owen pointed out was having the EVE Universe as a backdrop to work with. The lore and history of the game lend to an amazing decade of players and stories. This is one area that really helps them expand on the core game play. Being able to work with different ships and combat scenarios really brings a lot to the table in terms of content. Part of the fun for the team is seeing what ships might work in the dog fight scenarios and how they can incorporate them. I also asked Owen if they had plans to offer ships modifications like shields, turbo engines, or enhanced weapons. He said that they are looking at all of those options for Valkyrie. They would be crazy not to customize ships for combat.
I also asked Owen about the Oculus Rift being a blessing and a curse. The headset is still very new to the market and might come at a hefty price tag. I asked if they will be making the game available without the virtual reality experience. He said that they want to make sure they can get the game into as many players’ hands as possible. How they go about doing that is a long journey that they have just begun. They understand that not everyone can buy an Oculus, but they are not ready to talk about their plans yet for the how the game will be hosted.
Owen wanted fans to know that the team has a very solid core concept. EVE and DUST 514 fans alike have enjoyed the demo so much that CCP knows the value of a solid game. Even though he could not answer questions about specific plans that the company had for Valkyrie he wanted people to know that they are exploring a lot of great options to make the game fun for the long haul. They want to have the best space dogfight game and an amazing Virtual Reality experience.
Owen said that the team will continue with development updates and make sure fans are well informed on the work building the game. We are seeing so much more transparency with games and development lately. Hopefully, FanFest 2014 will bring another close look at the game and we will be able to fight it out again.
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