The hottest summer days of 2017 are coming, burning everything under the sun. Another thing that is also on fire is the determination of Vanimals to give our Eternity Warriors VR a strong presence in the VR market in Q3 2017. This new game is very close to its beta release and is expected to be another "something" in the VR world.
A few years ago, when the whole world started to embrace mobile games as a part of its daily life, we got together at Glu Mobile studio with their experiences of game creation on feature phones, smartphones, PCMMO and consoles, and made a few successful titles as a team. About one year ago, after leaving Glu, we borrowed an office and made a prototype VR game in two weeks. The rough but also very cool action game soon drew the attention of angel investors and they funded us—Vanimals Games was established.
From August 2016, we kicked off our new journey, officially, into the next amazing world: VR games.
"All-in for VR" sounds like a cool and promising move today. However, it had never been in our minds nor dreams in the past.
If we turn back the clock to the year 2005, 99% people were playing mobile games on feature phones and early stage smartphones (like Nokia, Palm and Blackberry), key members of Vanimals engaged themselves in multiple mobile games that later gained praises and commercial successes globally. Right, those “simple games”, comparing to PC and console games, were created for ancient phones with just 100 or 200-pixel screens. We did make some “big titles” on “newer handsets” that allowed up to 600kb application file size. You still can name some of those games nowadays, like Spiderman, The Lord of The Rings, and Splinter Cell.
(Above picture shows the feature phone games we made)
Here is a terrifying story from that era…We removed our names from the About section of the game text to meet the limitation of the 64kb file size on some special cellphones. We needed to do tons of compression work. We called it “porting” on those extremely low-end devices. Removing a few dev members’ names could reduce the file size by a few bytes, and exactly those extra bytes would otherwise stop people from installing the game. I hope those victims, A.K.A my teammates, have forgotten this sad story.
Back in 2010, when almost all mobile game developers moved their focus from feature phones to the modern smartphone platforms, we were fortunate enough to create a globally known mobile ARPG franchise—the Eternity Warriors series—as a part of Glu Mobile Studios, a world-leading developer and publisher.
(Above picture shows the posters of the Eternity Warriors series)
Eternity Warriors 1 (EW1), which was debuted in 2011 by our original dev team, was a game that "defined ARPG for the mobile world". Different from the competitors at that time, EW1 was the first game that was brave enough to bring the hardcore action-y controls to touch screen devices. In its sequel, EW2, we added the Warrior's Parry, real-time cooperation and PvP, greatly improved the graphic quality, and officially started using Unity3D for this franchise. All these changes upgraded EW2 to an even higher position against its RPG and ARPG competitors in 2012.
I still remember the soaring performance of EW2 and EW3 in the U.S., Chinese, and Korean markets when both were launched on AppStore and Google Play, and they led the whole genre for a few years. Even now you can still find some classical action and UX (user experience) design of the EW series on some new mobile online ARPG games.
Of course, even at that time, we had never thought about making games for VR.
Thanks to some special opportunities, we made a big step into a completely new era in the year 2016. We established solid confidence during and after the development of that two-week prototype game in VR. We knew we had a big chance to create an equally awesome VR game for global action game fans, like what we did in the past on mobile. That was how Vanimals Games was founded.
We chase fun game-play for our games like animals chase their prey for life—it’s instinct to us. That’s why we call ourselves “Vanimals”.
Vanimals gained quick acceleration after its setup. In the first two months, we closed a partnership with our old employer, Glu Mobile, to bring their EW franchise to VR, and at the end of 2016, we brought an early demo of Eternity Warriors VR to Korea for the game show G-Star 2016. It was the first time people knew that EW VR exists and is going to be a big player in VR market.
(Above picture: G-Star 2016 and Busan, we are coming!)
When you read this, our VR game might already be ready to release in stores. Of course, this isn't the end of the story, it's just the beginning. We will get ready for the next part of the story in the future when Eternity Warriors VR has shown good marketing performance in the global regions. For now, as the game is getting close to its initial release, we—like all parents expecting a new child—are hoping the new game will hit the world again as the EW series did before.
(Above picture shows the screenshot of the VR game prototype we made in two weeks)
(Above picture shows the screenshot of the G-Star show version)
(Above picture shows the screenshot of the coming Steam version)