When you’re doing something new, it’s easy to screw it up. That’s a big deal when that something is surgery because some cuts are irreversible. When you screw up a surgery simulator, however, that’s something you can fix. And Bossa Studios plans to do exactly that.
Surgeon Simulator: ER for PlayStation VR has a strange control scheme, and many players have told Bossa that they hate it. Unlike in most VR games, moving your hand with the PlayStation Move motion controller is not one-to-one with your in-game hand. Instead, Bossa decided to mess with players a bit by creating a scheme where hand motion is relative. If you wave the Move wands 1 foot in the real world, then your in-game hand will actually move about 2 feet inside Surgeon Simulator. This franchise first started out on PC, and it captured an audience thanks to its abstract controls that often caused players to slap their patient’s rib cages open with mallets and other tools. It was hilarious, but Bossa chief executive Henrique Olifiers admits that didn’t work in VR.
“Raise your hand if you got it wrong,” Olifiers wrote in a post on Reddit. “When we hit on the idea of ditching absolute tracking in favour of a relative one — in that when you move your hands X amount in real space, that translate into 2X on VR — we had found a great way of making the experience feel more ‘surgeony’ by taking players out of their comfort zones and requiring them to learn something new to deal with the game. Great on paper, not so much in-game now it seems, as we have been getting a fair bit of feedback on this.”
Olifiers notes how game development can make it easy to lose perspective when you’re working up close with an idea for too long. But he agrees that the Bossa team goofed up.
“You are right,” he wrote. “Controls on the PSVR can be made way better with a few changes. And since this is the popular request, it’s our job to fix it — and do it quick.”
The team is working on the update now, and it should roll out soon.