I recently got the opportunity to interview Nick Pettit, the developer and designer of the new exciting deep sea adventure game, Neptune Flux.
You can find some extra information about the game below the interview!
Can please start off by telling me a little bit about yourself and your company? How many people do you have working there? How long you’ve been about? That sort of thing.
“Sure! Back in December 2013, my New Year’s resolution was to create a video game. Drawing on my experience from other large scale software projects, I thought it would take about a year. It took much longer than that, but a lot of the time was spent learning.
As I was getting closer to a playable product, I formed a company called Zoxide Games to help facilitate the business side of creating games. Presently, it’s still just a 1-person company (me, Nick Pettit), and while that may change in the future, I like the way things are right now.”
Where did the ideas for Neptune Flux and its storyline come from? Are there any books, movies or games that gave you inspiration?
“Neptune Flux takes place in the deep sea, and the setting actually came from technical constraints.
When virtual reality started catching fire in 2014, I decided that I wanted to make a VR game. When I was experimenting with VR, I noticed that 3D models that had higher poly counts tended to look significantly better, because VR allows the player to see objects in stereoscopic 3D. So early on, I decided I wanted high detail models. This meant that I couldn’t show too many models on the screen at once, so I needed some way to limit how many things could be seen.
Fog is a common technique for cutting the draw distance in games, which is the distance that the virtual camera can see. Typically a long draw distance is desirable and the fog is annoying, so I tried to think about settings where the fog would feel like a natural part of the world. That’s when I started thinking about the deep sea.
In terms of media, I think Ready Player One was probably my biggest inspirtation, cliche as it may be in the VR space. After reading that book, I realized that the deep sea left a lot of room for interpretation, and that almost any wreck site or story could feel believable.”
Wow! Very detailed and interesting answer, thanks!
Even though Neptune Flux is a VR single player adventure game, do you have any plans of multiplayer whether that be online or local co-op?
“No plans for multiplayer or local co-op right now. The experience is very much a single-player story, and while I can imagine some multiplayer scenarios, it would take a significant amount of work to make it multiplayer. If I ever do explore these ideas, it would be in a totally new title that’s designed for multiplayer from the start.
Okay, I see.
I noticed you had some other goals on Kickstarter that would help you with extra story and things like that. Would these updates be either free or paid DLC?
“If the game is successful, I may add some additional content after release. There’s a few things that had to be cut to make release in a reasonable amount of time, but a lot of the difficult parts like writing and recording dialogue is already finished. If people want to see more, there are a few more things that can be added, and I doubt I’ll charge for it. Creating DLC is a lot more work than it sounds like, so I’d rather just release it as a free update to the existing game.”
What feedback have you recieved about the game itself and the vr expirience that goes with it?
“The feedback I’ve received has been mostly positive. People that have played the game at industry events or in the closed-beta have provided a lot of valuable insights that led to real changes. Originally I had no plans for a compass or map markers, but players were getting lost pretty regularly, and both of these UI additions helped balance the line between exploration and feeling lost.
Creating comfortable VR experiences can be difficult, and improving the comfort levels of Neptune Flux is something that didn’t come easily. It took a lot of experimentation and feedback, but I’m happy to say that after testing around 100 people in the latest build, everyone felt that VR comfort was pretty solid.”
Nice!! Anything you’d like to add to the interview?
“I think that just about covers it! Neptune Flux is among the first narrative games designed for VR and the whole thing was kind of a big experiment in that regard, so I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say.”
As you can see, Nick is a great guy with some very good ideas for his game, Neptune Flux. He wants to hear what people have to say about his game, whether that be good or bad, so be sure to check out the game when it releases.
There will be a full review of Neptune Flux out here on Irrelevant Gamer, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Neptune Flux will retail for $19.99 USD on all platforms when it releases in a few months.