First Gameplay Teaser
This first gameplay video is the result in my first attempts to adapt a top-down, 36 year old arcade game to a first-person VR game. Be sure to read my previous post for more on the challenges associated with this game design wise, but here I want to touch on why I chose to replicate an arcade game at all.
A cornerstone focus of Hypernoodle Games is a fast paced, physically active gameplay loop. A player should be able to jump in and play as soon as possible. That means few cut scenes, text only when absolutely needed, and natural interactions. That last point is especially important in VR, where we as developers have the chance to de-abstract interaction with the game world. Hovering a mouse over an icon and clicking can be replaced by pressing a physical button. Pressing the shift key on a keyboard to crouch isn't needed when the player can physically lean down near the floor. To that end, Root Beer On Tap is an exploration of just how few buttons you can get away with using while still creating an intuitive game.
Why Replicate an Arcade Game?
As a independent developer, creating a game on nights and weekends- the size and scope of whatever I make must be extremely limited or I'll never get to the point of actually shipping a game. Choosing the premise of a classic arcade game gives me a simple, direct guiding path that I am free as a developer to weave off of slightly, just as long as the core of the game still invokes an image of that arcade classic.
Why Root Beer Tapper?
Root Beer Tapper's core mechanic is zipping to one table after another and throwing mugs to customers. Simple mechanics for sure, but in VR simple mechanics become incredibly engaging. When throwing something in VR, the player has direct control over angle, speed, and height of the throw, where in a non-VR game the player will not always have those same options. Root Beer Tapper's mechanics also allow a player to only play for five minutes if they want, just do one run and then go to play something else. At the same time they could spend an hour trying to best their high score.
And why root beer instead of just beer? I could say I had very well laid out thoughts of appealing to a larger audience, staying as kid friendly as possible, avoiding a strict rating associated with depictions of alcohol in a game, etc. But in all honesty, it's because I really, really love root beer.