October was so chock full of events that while our developers hunkered down on Episode 2, the rest of us spent pretty much every breathing moment not at a conference on a plane to the next conference. Here’s the breakdown:
Oculus Connect 3:
We opened the month with Oculus’ premiere event, where we announced that Call of the Starseed will release as a launch title for the Oculus Touch on December 6. We also announced that Episode 1 will launch on Oculus Home at our new, permanently reduced price of $19.99. You can read more about our Touch version in our last blog, or stay tuned for more info in November.
The day after Connect, we were honoured to win Best Narrative Experience at the Proto Awards—the closest thing the VR industry has to an Oscars ceremony. We’ve won an award every year since its inception in 2014; first for Best Sound Design, and then for Most Transportive Experience last year. This year, we were nominated for two Proto awards: Best Game, and Best Narrative Experience.While Space Pirate Trainer deservedly took home Best Game, we were proud to have won an award so dear to us as a narrative-driven experience. You can check out Denny’s Proto Awards acceptance speech over on Youtube.
Steam Dev Days:
At GDC 2015, an early version of The Gallery was used as one of the very first demos to introduce the Vive to the public. At Steam Dev Days 2016, history was repeated when a special version of Call of the Starseed was used as the primary demo to showcase and reveal Valve’s new VR controllers. It was an incredible moment seeing thousands of peers and developers in line to use the interactions we programmed with never-before-seen hardware.
VR on the Lot:
Denny spoke on a VR game production panel in front of Hollywood at Paramount Pictures Studios. We were one of the only independent developers invited; the remainder of the speakers and attendees included high profile directors and head honchos from Fox, CNN, Intel, HTC, and Oculus. We made great connections with filmmakers and innovators who see the potential of VR and storytelling, tying together the games and film industry. And to top off the night, we spoke to Kent Bye of Voices of VR about storytelling and the new SteamVR controllers.
Canadian Video Game Awards:
Last month, we were humbled enough to be nominated as Best Debut Game with the TIGA Awards—one of the biggest video game awards to come out of Europe. This month, Call of the Starseed is a finalist for nine Canadian Video Game Awards across a whole whack of categories, including Best Game Innovation and Game of the Year. It’s been an amazing six months since launch, and to be recognized by our VR peers, videogame veterans, and our countrypeople is an unbelievable honour.
Some of you may know, but our studio space was once the town fire hall, destined to be demolished before we offered to repurpose the building. This year, we’re doing our first annual haunted house in the truck bays using a ton of old props from a retired Hollywood SFX veteran. A gaggle of high school volunteers helped put together six spooky rooms, and we’re more than excited to make it a tradition. If you live near us on the Island, come by the studio tonight. Otherwise, check us out on Facebook or Twitter for some pictures.
And that’s pretty much it. The dark hours of October are ticking to a close, and it’s only a matter of hours before we’re singing Christmas carols and eating snow. Stay tuned later this week as we’ll finally be continuing our Meet the Dev series starting Friday! In the meantime, you can vote for us as your favourite maple-syrup made game over on the Canadian Video Game Awards website.