DvG: Conquering Giants takes a few twists and turns to retell the classic story of David versus Goliath in virtual reality. While the narrative borrows a few pages from the Bible, the direction takes from Hollywood for an immersive experience.
DvG: Conquering Giants is being developed by Immersive History, a studio which was found “with the intent to recreate moments from the past and immerse users into the greatest stories from history.” Jarom Sidwell heads Immersive History and who previously worked as a visual effects artist on Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar, Transformers, The Hobbit, The Avengers, and The Adventures of TinTin.
“Learning at the feet of these amazing storytellers [James Cameron and Steven Spielberg] was humbling and also made me want to tell a story of my own one day,” said Sidwell in a recent interview with SegmentNext.
DvG: Conquering Giants follows a young David as players lead him to protect his flock and family from various dangers, including Goliath. The game will “get your heart racing for sure,” said Sidwell, but was also “designed for those new to VR.” There will be an in-depth tutorial to help players familiarize themselves with the controls and movements, which according to Sidwell will take hardly a couple of minutes before they start “slingshotting rocks like pros.”
The sling will obviously be the main weapon of David and actually supports realistic physics. DvG: Conquering Giants will in summation require players to learn how to sling rocks and just as in the real world, everyone uses a sling differently. “The sling mechanic is unique in that the physics work in multiple ways,” explained Sidwell. “We’ve had softball players sling underhand, baseball pitchers throw sidearm, and the majority do a short handed overhand throw – all with precision accuracy. It takes a little bit of practice, but it is sooo gratifying to master something hard like that!”
Sidwell also wants to assure players that there will be no motion sickness which is a common problem with virtual reality games. DvG: Conquering Giants “boasts a movement set similar to Creed in which you pump your hands to move. We took it a step further where whatever direction you pump your hands is the direction you’ll move, allowing you to turn your back on enemies and even look backwards while you run away. Moving your hands like this more closely simulates real like walking, which helps your brain make sense of your actions, and we’ve seen very few reports of motion sickness. This combined with the sling weapon makes DvG: Conquering Giants incredibly active, challenging, and immensely fun!”
We really wanted to offer a family friendly game that friends and groups could enjoy together. And yes oh yes, its some great entertainment watching and playing together!
DvG: Conquering Giants is in development for a number of major virtual reality headsets out there but when asked if there was a clear favorite, Sidwell noted that in his opinion, the more important aspect is content.
“Stellar content helps drive adoption. Ease of use goes a long way as well.” He pointed out how Half-Life: Alyx was specifically designed for Valve Index to push hardware sales and how Oculus Quest did wonders for adoption because of accessibility. “I’ve been working and collaborating in VR for five years and I’ve seen such an evolution from people not knowing what I meant by V.R. to those same people now owning a Quest or buying one for their family for the holiday season so their wife can play Beat Saber and their kids can use a lightsaber in Vader Immortal.”
On the subject of next-generation consoles, Sidwell assured that the game “should be compatible with PlayStation 5” for those sporting PlayStation VR. He also exclaimed that if a next-generation PlayStation VR 2 headset does launch in 2021, he would want to see an “upgraded resolution beyond 1080p and more robust tracking for the higher end experiences, as well as more awareness of your external environment that other headsets are already doing.”
The day is not far off when the VR headsets we know today will shrink to a small, comfortable wearable – offering Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality in one, all powered by some amazing Artificial Intelligence engines – that will be the day when VR and immersive technologies will be so integrated into our everyday lives, it will be similar to how we use smartphones now.
DvG: Conquering Giants will officially release for Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, and SteamVR on November 23. The game will then release for Oculus Quest 2 and PlayStation VR on December 23.