Tomorrow marks the launch of the 10-day Global Game Jam (GGJ) 2022 and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) really want those taking part to consider adding a virtual reality (VR) element. With PlayStation VR2 on the horizon, SIE is sponsoring a ‘Diversifiers’ segment geared around VR and eye-tracking.
GGJ 2022 is the biggest event of its kind in the world, where developers gather in their respective regions to build videogames within a certain time frame and if they really want to, particular design constraints. The theme this year is Duality but participants can add a little more flavour and excitement to the experience by incorporating one of the many GGJ 2022 Diversifiers.
And that’s where SIE comes in, as the company just so happens to be sponsoring the Be Visionary diversifier. This asks developers to: “Enable VR support in your game, and/or implement eye-tracking capabilities as part of your game play.” Well, if you’ve been following all the Sony VR news of late you’ll know that the specifications for PlayStation VR2 have recently been confirmed and that eye tracking is a core feature of the new headset.
This is an obvious attempt by SIE to encourage more indie teams from around the world to consider VR development, specifically for the new headset. This is nothing new as PlayStation has a long history of encouraging indie projects. One of the most prolific when it comes to VR is the SIE Spain PlayStation Talents programme which has delivered Intruders: Hide & Seek, Do Not Open and Neon Hat.
Whether anyone takes up the mantle of trying to build a VR title that includes eye tracking in the time available is another matter entirely. Whilst GGJ 2022 is active for 10 days, just like any other hackathon event participants only have 48 hours to take an idea and make a playable videogame. Site organisers can hold their 48-hour game jam at any time within those 10 days but the global deadline for submissions is 5PM on 30th January 30th.
Hopefully, someone will consider the challenge and come up with something awesome. Who knows, SIE might just want to develop it further.
As for PlayStation VR2, while we know the internal specs, details regarding what it looks like, its price and when it’ll arrive are still elusive.
For any further VR updates from GGJ 2022, keep reading gmw3.