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An Interview With The Developers Behind Sci-Fi Shooter Mortal Blitz

Author: Gina

Everything you need to know about the sci-fi VR shooter, Mortal Blitz. We asked developer Skonec, the team behind the action pumped game, what was their inspiration, how to alleviate motion sickness in VR and what exactly is a Groggy Finish?

What do you have to take into consideration when building a VR game?

When developing VR games, it's always worth considering UI and UX for the VR environment, specifically, it is most important to alleviate simulator sickness. No matter how well you made the game, it would be useless if you take off your headset due to motion sickness. Nausea usually occurs when there is a great deal of disturbance between the motion in the virtual space and the actual motion in real world. The most common example is the sudden change by forcibly controlling the movement of the camera in order to produce an event (cut-scene) commonly used in general games. In VR, this production is very dangerous. The player is definitely not moving, but the situation in which a sudden forced movement of gaze causes 'cognitive dissonance' and it consequently leads to motion sickness, so be careful. In addition, it is important to maintain the head tracking accuracy of the HMD device, 60 ~ 90 fps, in order to reduce the gap.

Do you need to consider player's reactions to enemies as the game is so immersive?

In general, what you can do if you encounter an enemy attacking a player in a game is to fight against (attack), avoid (avoid / take cover), or prevent (defence) from attacking. Mortal Blitz is designed to play all of these actions moving your body directly. This has helped to build a more realistic gaming environment.

How do you change up the levels to keep players on their toes?

In the beginning, you will learn the basic shooting sense but after that enemies occur on various routes which makes the gameplay more difficult. So you have to reverse these dangerous situations by utilizing the special ability of the main character (Yuhei) in addition to the basic shooting. We gradually increased the weight of the situation and worked to create an environment in which players cannot relax.

What is your favourite feature in the game?

I like the 'Groggy Finish' system, which leads to stylish gameplay. An enemy will be in the Groggy state when his stamina is low and you have the opportunity to pull the enemy to the location where you are. If you pull the enemy at this time, it becomes a temporary slow-motion situation. At this time, you are given the option to fire intensively at enemies and shoot other enemies at the same time, so you can make your gameplay more stylish.

Do you have any planned updates for the game?

Currently, Mortal Blitz's mission 'Episode 1' is released. 'Episode 2' Mission Pack DLC is planned. 'Episode 2' is composed of new contents such as new theme, new enemy, bigger boss stage, etc. In addition, free costume DLC is scheduled.

Did any games inspire Mortal Blitz?

Since most VR devices utilize 'Positional tracking' technology except mobile, I wanted to create an immersive environment in which I actively utilize this technology to move and cover and fire in the battlefield. For this immersive environment, Time Crisis, the arcade rail shooting game, has become a reference. I also wanted to move the stylish actions I had seen in movies like Matrix, Equilibrium more into the VR environment. If you have an experience in following the actions in the movies and thinking 'I want to be the protagonist with that brilliant action!' you will definitely know what I am talking. The system designed in this way is the aforementioned 'Groggy Finish' system.

How easy was it to implement real time physics in an immersive VR environment?

The developers tried to achieve the physical effects as close as possible to the real world at first, but from the concept of 'fast tempo battles', which is aimed at Mortal Blitz, It is true that there was a complaint about operating the game. To make up for this, A.G.C (Anti-Gravity Control) system which is inspired by telekinesis, can interact with distant objects and is added to the game for complementing the convenience of operation.