厂商专访︱指挥家VR:从泛房产到泛娱乐,技术沉淀至关重要

编者按:继四分卫的《野猫小队:营救莱恩》(Wildcats: Rescue Lane)和黑桃银月的《撩妹日记》后,本次的专访给大家带来的仍是一款VR游戏——Convict VR。有意思的是,这款游戏是由以VR地产业务闻名的指挥家VR开发的。相信有不少读者和VRPinea一样,对Convict VR,对指挥家VR未来的布局和业务走向充满好奇。为此,VRPinea对指挥家VR的联合创始人白志艺及其游戏工作室的负责人Frenkie进行了专访。

作为国内最早一批的VR厂商,指挥家VR在2014年就切入了VR地产领域。发展至今,指挥家VR已经和万达、绿地、万科、恒大、当代置业等40多家地产商达成合作,VR房产项目超130多个。目前除台湾和西藏两地,全国各大省份城市均已有指挥家VR以及VRoom的足迹,还研发了目前独有的多人VR看房VRoomX。毫不夸张的说,指挥家VR在VR房产领域是标杆性的存在。而这家以VR房产闻名公司,突然对外推出了自己的第一款VR游戏——ConvictVR,旗下游戏工作室Shortfuse入选HTCViveX并获HTC投资,惊喜诧异之余,还有满腹的疑问和不解。

指挥家VR联合创始人白志艺

看似从泛地产到泛娱乐,实则万变不离其宗

小编在前文曾提到过,指挥家VR在VR泛地产领域做的非常成功,为什么一家已经拥有稳定现金流的公司会涉足相对来说赚不到什么钱的VR游戏项目呢?对此,指挥家VR的联合创始人白志艺的回答是:“跟大众爱好有关。除了VR房产,VR游戏和VR影视业务我们很早就有规划。但2014年底,VR市场刚刚起步,晕眩感、体验感以及交互等都是问题,这并不是一个研发VR游戏的好时机。所以我们当时决定先从TO B方面,即商业化应用(如VR房产)方面入手,到15年下半年才开始尝试一些泛娱乐化的业务”。

小编曾于今年4月对指挥家创始人曾子辕做过一次专访,问到指挥家VR的业务布局和走向时,曾子辕的回答是:“在保证VR地产项目持续进行且有现金流的情况下,研发‘好玩的、有临场感,能实现交互的’VR游戏及影视。”而指挥家VR当前的业务动作,是对这句话最好的解释,除了成立游戏工作室,指挥家还将在VR影视领域发力。

“我们正在尝试VR影视相关业务的开发,主要想往互动性方向上走,和目前指挥家推出的样板间的感觉有点类似。VR样板间主要是一个静态化的展示,而VR影视则是情节化、结构化的动态展示”,指挥家VR影视工作室的负责人向我们介绍道。不难看出,他们的VR影视也是奔着互动性去的。在目前还没有真正意义上的VR影视出现的情况下,希望指挥家VR能从叙事结构上验证VR影视的可行性,早日开发出有水准有高度的VR影视作品。

杀手级应用尚未出现的情况下,技术积累是关键

对指挥家VR来说,涉足VR游戏这些短时间内不会实现盈利的项目属纯投入,并不急着通过游戏挣钱。“我们是做VR核心技术起家的,房产、游戏、影视等应用相当于构建在VR技术智商的内容和表现形式。我们希望通过制作一款VR游戏,把我们对VR游戏的理解,VR游戏的可玩性,需要配备的技术和团队人员摸清摸透,把相关经验沉淀下来,把底子打好。”

作为最早切入VR内容领域的一批人,当被问到其对VR内容、VR创业的想法是否有所改变时,白志艺理性又实诚的告诉我们:“还是会先以商业为主,最后再走入C端用户。而走入C端的时间点是前置还是后退,现在还是不太明朗,毕竟目前还没有杀手级应用出现。”同时,白志艺也表示:“和一开始相比,大家的技术水平都提高了,只是艺术表示形式还不太明朗。当新鲜感过去后,提高用户粘性就成了关键,我们将线下版本做成竞技形式,就是为此考虑。”

关于Convict VR,你想知道的都在这里

以下是VRPinea和指挥家VR游戏工作室的负责人Frenkie的采访实录,悉数奉上,以飨读者。(由于Frenkie为外籍人士,故采访以英文进行,贴心小编为英语渣提供了中文翻译,职责所在不必言谢。)

Q:When did you start your first VR game "Convict VR", which engine did youuse?

when will you finish it, could you pls note us the currentprogress of it?

指挥家的第一款游戏ConvictVR何时立项的?目前进展如何?

A:We started theproduction in May 2016. Before that we worked on the concept for about 6 weeks.

We currently have sheduled our firstrelease on October 15th 2016. This will be our arcade edition which isoptimized to be played in VR arcade halls. After the arcade edition we plan todo a steam version which will be release a couple of months later. For thatversion there is no official release date yet but we expect it in Q1 of 2017.

我们是从2016年5月开始打造这款游戏的。在此之前,我们考虑了6周左右的时间。

我们的首个版本(街机版本)暂定于今年10月15日发布,适用于线下体验店。明年的第一季度将推出正式版本,登陆Steam 以及HTC Viveport平台。

Q:Ok,then which game engine did you based on ?

Convict VR是由什么引擎开发的?

A:ConvictVR is beingdeveloped in Epic's Unreal Engine 4.

Our parent company 指挥家 has beenworking with Unreal Engine for a long period due to the high visuals the engineoffers. This meant our team was very familiar with Unreal which made it alogical choice. Another great feature of Unreal is their Blueprint system whichmakes prototyping a lot easier for our designers which speeds up ourdevelopment process. VR is a lot about experimenting, so our designers beingable to do that themselves is a tremendous advantage.

用的引擎是Epic's Unreal Engine 4。因为指挥家与Unreal Engine一直保持着长期的合作关系,UE4的显示效果非常好。我们对UE4也很熟悉,其最大特点——Blueprint system(蓝图系统)简化了我们设计师的工作流程,提高了工作效率。VR是一个需要反复实验的技术,能够简化工作流程、提高工作效率对游戏开发而言,是一个巨大的优势。

指挥家VR游戏工作室负责人Frenkie及RJ

Q:We know the type of this game is FPS+MMO, Small arena withlots of obstacles, whydid you choose such type of game as your first VR game?

Convict VR是一款什么类型的游戏,FPS+MMO,小型竞技场、多障碍?为什么会想到做这样一款这样类型的游戏?

A:Yes, Convict VR is amultiplayer VR first person shooter. Right now, there are a good amount ofshooters out already. Most of these are based on 'waves', meaning A.I. enemieskeep coming at you and you need to stay alive as long as possible. While someof these game are stunning and a lot of fun. Their replay value goes down veryfast. Multiplayer adds a social layer and keeps the game much more interesting.A fight is never the same because you battle actual people. This makes it morechallenging and much more rewarding.

Convict VR是一款多玩家的第一人称视角游戏。这种FPS类型的游戏现在市面上已经有很多了,大部分都是属于敌人入侵、玩家守卫防护的。虽然这些游戏很令人感到惊艳,也有很多的乐趣,但其自身的价值却下降的非常快,并不能长期吸引玩家。而多人游戏的出现,增加了社交性和互动性以及游戏的趣味性,玩家每次的战斗都是不同的,能感觉到玩家是在跟真人游戏和斗争,这使得Convict VR更具挑战性,更有成就感。

The small arena and the many obstacles area design choice we made while experimenting with level design. We have anunique teleportation system that prevents sickness and keeps fast paced actionbut VR limits the distance you can travel. Traditional first person shootersoften cover and extensive amount of ground and you run around 7 times fasterthan in real life. In VR you actually are walking so players move much slower.

开发小型竞技场和多障碍,是我们在对关卡设计进行实验时确定下来的,我们有一个独特的隐形传输系统,可以防止眩晕且保持快节奏的动作。传统的第一人称射击游戏往往有大面积的空间让玩家快速的前进和活动,这种速度比现实生活中快了7倍多。但VR限制了玩家前进的距离,在VR中玩家的移动非常缓慢。

In order to give the players an element ofsurprise we needed to add places to hide and find cover. It was reallyinteresting when we were testing. We started with big maps thinking of epicbattles, but it turned out to be a game of hide and seek. So we needed to adaptin order to make it fun in VR.

So it wasn't so much as a choice, but itnaturally happen as we were testing our original concept.

为了给玩家带来惊喜,我们提供了尽可能多的可隐藏空间给玩家提供掩护。我们起初用大地图的思维来打造游戏,但后来发现大地图使游戏变成了捉迷藏。因此我们放弃大地图模式,转战小型竞技场,以便于为玩家带来更多的乐趣。

与其说这是一种选择,不如说它是我们在测试过程中找到的一种解决方案。

部分研发人员

Q:Sobesides moving around, can players jump in this game? if so, how did youachieve it?

Convict VR是否能实现玩家的跳跃和走动?若能,是如何实现的?

A:Jumping is aninteresting thing in VR. Just like walking in VR it is the same as in reallife. So in theory you can jump as high as you can jump in real life. But if wewould recreate jumping, it would be an involuntary action which equals gettingsick in VR. So we did not create the ability to make your character jump.Instead we allow players to teleport upwards to higher places so you can stillfind a good spot to take out your sniper rifle.

在VR中跳跃和走动是一件非常有意思的事情,如同行走于现实世界中,所以理论上来说,玩家可以在VR中实现跳跃和走动。但如果在VR游戏中增加跳跃功能,会增加玩家眩晕的风险。因此,我们放弃了跳跃,而是将玩家直接瞬移到高处。

Q:Ok,you said you have an unique teleportation system that prevents sickness, butwill players still feel sick or dizziness when they played for a bit long time?

游戏时间久了,玩家是否仍会有晕眩感等不适反应?

A:About 500 peoplehave now played the game. These were people that attended MWC and Chinajoy,none of which have reported any sign of VR sickness. Long play test have beendone in the office where nobody at this point has experienced VR sickness.Unfortunately, I get sick very fast when viewing motion in VR so I am a greattest subject. The longest play session I had was two hours and I had to stop becauseI was physically exhausted but not sick. So far play time is limited by yourown stamina.

包括在CJ等大型展会上试玩的,目前已经有500名玩家体验了该游戏,没有人表示其感到眩晕。长时间游戏的测试我们也已做过,也没有人表示感到眩晕。不幸的是,我本人在长时间的VR游戏后会感到恶心,玩两个小时后就不得不停下来,所以我认为眩晕取决于个人的身体素质以及玩家的忍耐力。

Q:Now,let'stalk about some details in the game, how do you set the bullettrajectory in thegame?

Convict VR的弹道是如何设置?

A:For bullettrajectory we use the linetrace (ray casting) functionality in blueprint. Wesetup two points within the gun mesh to get the angle and direction the gun isfacing and create a forward vector. The point where the forward vector collideswith an object is where the bullet impact will be.

对于追踪子弹轨迹,我们使用了蓝图line trace(光线投射)的功能。我们设置了枪和子弹的角度和方向,并计算了子弹向前的轨迹。其中,前向矢量与物体碰撞的点是子弹会冲击到的地方。

Q:Howmany types of guns the game provide?

Convict VR中的枪械有几种?

A:In our Octoberrelease there will be 3 characters available all with unique weapons. Therewill be a sniper, a soldier and a ninja. There will be 5 different weapons,when we add new characters in future updates it will also mean more newweapons!

在我们10月发布的版本会有3个角色:一个狙击手、一个士兵和一名忍者,配备5种不同的武器。我们也会在后续的更新中添加新的角色和更多新的武器。

Q:OK,and which is the Battle Mode you set? Coordination, Confrontation or Fuzion ?

Convict VR采用了哪种对战模式?协同,对抗还是大乱斗?

A:We have 3 gamemodes. They all depend on which map you play. There is "search anddestroy", where two teams both have a shield to protect and attack. Thereis the traditional 'Death match' where everybody attacks everybody and you needto get as many kills as possible and we have 'King of the hill' where bothteams compete over the control of a central point in the map.

我们有3种游戏模式,每种模式都搭载一个不同的地图。第一种是传统对战模式,两队玩家各拥有一个基地,游戏目标是摧毁对方的基地。第二种是“血战”模式,所有玩家的目标就是干掉尽可能多的对手。最后一种是“巅峰王座”,玩家会分成两队,双方以控制住一个中心区域为游戏目标。

Q:Didyou add any "physical crushing effects" into the game during theattacks? such as render the visual effect when the bullet breakdown sth,in order to shock the viewers. If so, how did youachieve it ?

Convict VR是否有物理破碎效果?若有,是如何做到的?

A:Yes, when wecalculate the bullet trajectory. We receive a hit point and what actor(object)it is. Based on that information we spawn visual effects at that exact locationso the player sees the impact of the bullet.

是的,当我们计算子弹轨迹时会用到,比如计算子弹的命中点和命中对象时,我们会在确切位置的将物理破碎的视觉效果呈现给玩家。

Q:Ok,then which peripherals and carriers can this game match? For example, HTC Vivehandle or other carriers?

Convict VR能匹配和兼容那些外设和载具?

A:We have focused onthe HTC Vive in this stage of development because their hardware perfectly fitsour needs. We consider other platforms in a later stage.

我们已经考虑的是HTC Vive,因为他们的硬件设备十分契合我们游戏的需求。但我们也会在游戏后续的更新中陆续支持和适配其他平台的设备。

Q:Sinceyour official edition will be come out next year, will it be available on steamor other platforms? if so, How cloud you solve the problem of the delay duringthe cloud battle ?

Convict VR会上架Steam等平台吗?云端对战中的延迟如何解决?

A:Yes, we aim torelease on Steam and HTC Viveport.

Currently we are experimenting with this.To make sure that lag stays at a minimum we are optimizing our backend systemand increasing the amount of players gradually. We started with 1vs1 andcurrently support 3v3 battles. We will improve on this as we go.

我们前期的目标是Steam和HTC平台。

关于延迟的,目前我们还在不断的试验和尝试中。为了确保将延迟保持在最低范围内,我们优化了后端系统,并逐步增加玩家的数量。从一开始的1VS1到目前的3V3,后续将逐步提升。

Q:OK,so as a whole, is there any difficulties you met when you are developing?

Convict VR在研发过程中有没有遇到什么困难?

A:The most difficultthing is 'not knowing what works best' in VR. We all have experience in gamedevelopment, but the things that worked great in games before are not so greatin VR. So many assumption are wrong so you often find yourself changing things.

It also makes it more fun because it is achallenge again. I have a lot of fun battling my colleagues and I am sure ourplayers will feel the same way when we release.

最困难的事情是对于VR,“不知道有什么效果最好”。我们有很足的游戏开发的经验,但在传统游戏中效果很好的一些技术和经验,在VR就不一样了。在研发过程中,我们发现之前的很多假设都是错的,需要随时改变自己的想法。

而这也使得开发VR游戏变得十分有趣。在大家激烈争论的过程中我也收获到了很多,相信我们的队员都会有同样的感觉。

Q:What about your opinion on the "VR games industry" ? It may not pay back soon, but there are so many companies and studios rush into it ?

对于VR游戏产业,你的看法是什么?

A: Making money in VR is a challenge. But this is also a unique opportunity to be part of a new industry from the beginning. Those that develop for VR now will be the one who really understand it when it is more mature. It is an investment for the future.

现在想靠VR赚钱是一个很大的挑战,但同时也是一个难得的机会。VR是一个全新的产业,最先入局的公司会成为最早了解VR的,当VR发展成熟时,这些公司也将最早获益,这是一项对于未来的投资。

时隔小半年再访指挥家VR,从单人看房X项目Vroom到可多人交互式VR地产应用VroomX,泛地产之余还开始尝试VR游戏、VR影视等泛娱乐项目,发现其不论是技术还是业务布局都已拓展和成熟不少。相信今日的成就与其坚持自己的市场判断,稳扎稳打,以技术沉淀为主的做事方式分不开。在资本寒冬的现下,希望能有更多的VR公司能够像指挥家VR一样自给自足,给我们带来行业的惊喜和福音。

原文发布于微信公众号 - VRPinea(VRPinea)

原文发表时间:2016-09-01

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