Last week we started play testing an early version of our new VR experience, Circuit Rider, and in reflecting back I think it was important to do this for a couple reasons. First, the project we have been dreaming and obsessing about since mid-September materialized off the page and it was important to show people what we were talking about is actually happening. Secondly, despite still being at a very early stage, it was enlightening and encouraging to see people move through the work and give feedback on whether they enjoyed it or not. We actually learned a lot from both reactions and because we are still at such an early stage of our development we have the opportunity to integrate their feedback to help shape our experience.
At the moment, the industry is still very small. I have read estimates that Oculus, HTC, and Playstation are going to ship less than 1 million headsets each by the end of 2016. In addition, the titles that are currently Steam and Oculus range from cheap to very expensive and the quality can feel short or even a bit half baked. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism, but rather an observation around the state of things.
As a creator I really think about these things and other days I don’t. However, what I try and come back to time and time again is how much I love the medium. In terms of it’s future growth and potential, I have done a lot of work with the general public showing them VR over the past few months and it’s hard to feel cynical when you see them literally lose their minds playing Tilt Brush.
In thinking back to play testing, I believe that for a game or interactive vr experience to work getting feedback as early on in the process as possible. What happens is it brings to light what works, what doesn’t, and has helps us stay motivated as we continue to iterate and problem solve the experience. I one hundred percent believe that being open the way forward and I feel like this attitude is making us better creators as we continue to home our craft.