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Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #5

As this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) approaches many development studios will be adding the final touches to their showcases and demo builds. Some however, will be working to the wire in order to ensure that what they show to press is of the highest quality possible. nDreams’ Jackie Tetley has taken some time to explain just what this process is like in this weeks edition of Working with Virtual Worlds.

In this fifth installment of VRFocus’ first developer diary series, Tetley discusses the issues faced by most developers when approaching a big reveal, but also those which are inherent to the new medium which is virtual reality (VR). People will be able to scrutinise your work from every angle and – perhaps worse – so can you. Below follows Tetley’s own account of these last moment changes in her own words, and VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details revealed about nDreams’ VR title.


Jackie Tetley, nDreams: Our first official, super-shiny bit of PR went live this week a tantalising teaser trailer.

I know it doesn’t give much away but we’re hoping it’ll get a few people curious, and things will become clearer when we reveal more at E3.

Dev-wise for the demo, it’s still all about bugs and polish. We’ve been donning the headset this week and scrutinising the game from all angles. Subtle changes that no-one would probably ever notice have followed, twinned with some more traditional bug fixes (falling out of the world anyone?).

We’ve been careful to partition the demo from the rest of the game where possible, but there are still some overlaps. It’s always tricky to know where to draw the line. Ideally you don’t want have to fix issues twice, but this can lead to fall-out when a change is made to the main game that we really didn’t want occurring in the demo.

As for last minute panics, well I can’t deny that there have been a few. Usually the first I hear about it is whispered discussions between the producers who sit behind my desk. My ears immediately prick up and I spin my chair round to stare anxiously at them.

Events then tend to follow a pattern. An urgent meeting, an email sent to relevant members of the team, some minor panicking followed by everything ending happily when a solution is agreed upon. Working with new technology throws up some exciting and unexpected challenges, but that’s part of what makes it fun!

Earlier this week I was catching glimpses and hearing rumours of PR materials that are being prepared by our artists for E3.  As a smaller independent developer we don’t have the luxury of a mighty marketing department at our fingertips, but everyone does a brilliant job and it’s fun to be able to spy on progress. There’s one particular piece that should generate some interesting reactions, so I’m looking forward to its first outing.

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