Sponsored: How one Korean studio brought its hit mobile game to VR
Presented by Nanali Studios
Fruit Attacks VR is based on the mobile game of the same name launched in 2014. Since its initial release, 'Fruit Attacks' has borne some fruitful results. It has recorded over 560,000 downloads worldwide and been featured in the iOS App Store’s “Best New Games” category in nearly 130 countries.
As you can see in our market page and YouTube trailer, Fruit Attacks VR is a casual defense shooter taking place during an alien invasion, caused by humanity’s unpleasant penchant for consuming fruit. Players pilot one of three distinct “SATI,” powerful speaker robots whose devastating sound wave attacks are the only weapon capable of destroying the fruit aliens.
‘What if we made a VR game?’
It's a real coincidence, by the middle of 2016, one of our team members went to try VR game for the first time. It was a Space Pirate Trainer and The Lab. Some of them got to experience it, and it was a lot of fun. What started to think, “what if we did a VR game?”
But the problem was the budget. At the time, Korea’s government and local governments were very interested in VR. We started filming video clips and got a good opportunity from the Korea Creative Content Agency. We collected the necessary people with the funds we had, we learned about the market, and we went to various events such as GDC 2017 with the build from the prototype stage. With so many opportunities, we completed Fruit Attacks VR finally launched on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. It even was a selected exhibit at the Busan Indie Connect!
Curved shooting in Fruit Attacks VR
Fruit Attacks VR introduces a concept we call “curved shooting,” which we believe gives players a really interesting experience in 3D space. That is a two-finger control method Fruit Attacks for mobile, but in the VR version, players use both hands to change the trajectory and shoot.
We implemented a casual, cute art style in 3D (the first time we experience it), and we focused the gameplay experience to shorten the play time (and studio development time). We were working on prototyping, and brought an incomplete build to GDC. But since the game wasn't complete, I remember rushing to develop the key parts and putting the background and effects into the original 2D game so we had something to show.
After GDC, we made additions like implementing an easy-to understand tutorial, and we upped the pace and diversified enemy patterns. We also felt the need to develop network-related features, leader boards, and co-op and competition modes.
After GDC, it was a race against time, sifting through user feedback, which proved essential to reaching the quality we desired in the final product. We received feedback, including feedback from people who have used VR before, and those who have not. We also invited one or two beta testers to conduct in-depth game analyses. We ended up focusing on recognizing our strengths as game developers, and actually simplified the game.
A great learning experience
What we felt after the launch Fruit Attacks VR earlier this year was that VR’s install base really limits the number of players you can sell to. And certainly, the users who actually buy VR games are hardcore gamers, so they don't feel our game is very difficult, and wish our game had more content, modes, etc. Although we are still receiving good reviews overall, we are planning to incorporate these in our next game, which will make the game even more enjoyable for our users.
We hope you find our tale of VR game development interesting, maybe even inspiring! We wish our fellow game developers the best of luck in their own endeavors. Check out Fruit Attacks VR here!