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Jul 21, 2017







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Virtual reality
Local studio developing VR party game

07/20/17



 A new game called Schlocks — think Dance, Dance Revolution or Wii Sports, but in a virtual reality environment —  is being developed at a Manchester video game incubator.

Patrick Ryan, the main developer in the small New Hampshire-based video game studio Fancy Bear Games, made Schlocks to expose people to virtual reality technology by making it a more social experience.
“The idea is that each player will play a batch of nine minigames and once they are done … they will take the headset off and hand it to the next player in the turn order,” Ryan said. 
Each game is timed for 10 seconds and they come in batches of five per theme or locale. So there’s a batch of games set at a beach; another is fantasy-themed and one is set at a farm.
Some games will involve catching pigs and putting them in a basket, throwing bales of hay into a barn or picking apples. They’re each basic tasks and the graphics tend to be simple and low-quality to favor mechanics and smooth movements.
“It will be both fun to play as well as fun to watch,” Ryan said.
It’s been available for download since April as an early release on the Steam online distribution platform for $15. Early releases help developers release a partially complete game and use the money from the early sales to help finish it. Right now, it’s only available for PCs using VR equipment such as Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, but Ryan hopes to expand the player base.
“We are looking to get it on the Sony Playstation VR, hopefully by the end of the year,” Patrick said.
Modern VR equipment generally includes a headset, controls for each hand and a camera to track the headset’s motion.
The cost barrier is lower with Playstation VR so it tends to be the more popular choice, Ryan said.
So far, there are only a handful of similar VR games in this class, but Ryan said none of them have the diversity and number of games that Schlocks has.
“There’s not too many of these minigame products in the virtual reality space right now,” Ryan said. 





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