Earlier this week on his livestream talk show, God of War and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe received a phone call from Cory Barlog, the director and writer for the most recent God of War game that released this year on PlayStation 4. During the chat [warning: language is extremely NSFW –Ed.], they discussed the series, God of War’s overwhelmingly positive reception, and their futures.
Near the end of the part-interview part-casual conversation, they start talking about VR, mostly focused on PSVR at first. Specifically, Jaffe (a huge fan of VR) wants to know if Barlog is going to work on a VR game.
“I don’t know, who knows what the future holds on that one,” Barlog says. “I still have not gotten to a point where I don’t get nauseated after about 25 minutes in VR. … I played that Farpoint game, which is so phenomenally cool with the gun controller, but man, moving around, oof, that made me nauseous.
“Then there’s the new one that [Adam] Orth worked on, Fireteam [sic Firewall: Zero Hour], and that one looks amazing! I really want to play, but I’d be the guy that says ‘Guys, I gotta stop, I’m getting sick.’”
After hearing that reaction, Jaffe shifts gears to talk about room-scale VR, since that’s a great avenue to help cut back on motion sickness.
“Once you do it [room-scale VR] you never want to go back, it’s f***ing amazing,” Jaffe says. “VR has its hooks in me so deep and so wonderfully, that if I could create the opportunity for myself to get back into games with VR, I would be all over it, that’s how transformative it can be if you have a good VR experience. The dream was always let’s make games in the holodeck, but we’re not gonna live long enough for that. Room-based VR at least makes you feel like it’s the future of interactive entertainment.”
After creating and working on a litany of Twisted Metal games, as well as designing and directing the first two God of War games, Jaffe moved on to his own studio, The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency, which released Drawn to Death last year, a free-to-play third-person arena battle/shooting game with a bold, hand-drawn aesthetic.
After discussing VR a bit more, Barlog asks Jaffe what type of VR game he’d want to work on and, surprisingly, Jaffe already has a very specific vision.
“I would want to do a horror game,” Jaffe says. “I have a game about, sort of like when the levees broke in Katrina. I’d like to do a horror game based around, they had all the coffins floating down the street. … I love the idea of doing a horror game that’s like scuba diving and you’re on a boat and it’s constantly raining, kind of like a supernatural version of Jaws set in this sort of flooded New Orleans town. I’d like to do some kind of horror game based on that.”
Near the end of their conversation Jaffe sheds some light on why he’s so entranced with VR, specifically VR horror, as it all started with Resident Evil 7, a game he played completely in VR.
“There was a sequence in that game [Resident Evil 7] where you’re out on the docks, the swamp, and there were no monsters around or anything like that,” Jaffe says. “And at that moment, in that part, I just said I’m gonna come out here, sit down on the dock, and be in that space. I’ll just listen to the f***ing frogs and watch the f***cking fireflies. That is one of my top ten game experiences of all-time, Resident Evil 7 on PSVR, it’s like I was there. To the point where I was saying I didn’t even need to go to a haunted house this year, this trumps that. … The moment you put the VR headset on, it blew my f***ing mind.”
If you have 20 minutes to spare, it’s a great, insightful discussion between two prolific game designers full of fascinating details. As long as you don’t mind mature language, I’d highly recommend listening to the entire thing or even considering checking out his talk show when it airs.