Hyperbolic Magnetisms' latest title is basically a cross between Guitar Hero and Fruit Ninja.
Dr Doom sat down with Jan Ilavsky, one of the brains behind the game.
Hey Jan, we've been having a lot of fun with the Beat Saber beta. Feels very much like a cross between Guitar Hero and Fruit Ninja. How'd you come up with the idea?
I bought my first VR headset about one and half year ago and I was looking forward to play some rhythm games. The obvious choice was Audio Shield.
It’s a very nice game, but I wanted something more precise, and preferably not procedurally generated content.
I don’t know how, but I came up with an idea of cutting cubes, so I made a prototype in few hours. It really felt pretty nice and I thought that this could really be a game. So we started working on it.
I love seeing early prototype versions of finished games, gives you a great idea of how much polish goes into the finished product.
When did you decide on using laser blades as the weapon skin?
We decided to use laser blades instead of normal when we realized it’s not much fun to think about the blade angle. Cutting with laser is much easier.
That makes a lot of sense. Speaking of cutting, how do you come up with the cutting patterns? The game feels like it hits all the right notes.
I’m a musician, so it’s quite easy for me to come up with rhythm patterns. Most of the time I just follow the dominant sounds of the song.
If that’s too much (from difficulty point of view) I usually do something what a percussionist or drummer could play there.
Now that you mention drumming, I felt that when playing the game. It's a fine balance between large epic swings, and fast paced drum-like segments.
I know that the game is focused on custom songs + beat maps.
The fans want to know though: are there plans for auto beat-map generation, or are you hoping to keep quality high by releasing custom beatmaps?
There won’t be any auto generation. We would like to have very high quality feeling which perfectly matches the songs.
However we will release an editor and integrate some music streaming service, so people should be able to make and share levels for any song.
Oh, that's awesome. So you're saying I'll be able to pick my favorite Heavy Metal song and make a track?
That’s the plan :)
The world isn't ready for Dragonforce - Through Fire and Flames...
I also wanted to ask about Mixed Reality. You have your own implementation in the game, and you've showed it off in videos before.
What do you think Mixed Reality adds to the spectator experience?
Mixed reality makes it much easier for spectators to understand how a game works. For example it’s very hard to guess the dimensions of game objects when watching the game from first person view.
If you see the player inside the game world, you immediately know how big and how far other objects are.
Beat Saber's reception has been great, and people are very excited. Do you have any news or hints you want to share about what the future of Beat Saber might look like?
I hope that people will enjoy the game as much as we enjoy creating it 😊 If everything goes well, we have tons of plans for the future, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Just avoid loot boxes 😄!
Well Jan, you don't need us to tell you how excited the VR community is for Beat Saber. We've had a great time with it, and we're excited to share Beat Saber with all LIV® users!
Where can people follow you, your team and the game progress?
You heard it from the team behind Beat Saber themselves, folks. Go check them out, and get hype for a unique twist on rhythm gaming in VR.