Virtual reality

Your connection between real and virtual world

INTERVIEW / Geongy Gym explains to us how he created the VR game Airshift

Budi posrednik između stvarnog i virtualnog – podijeli članak:

In May, we published an article about the virtual game Airshift. In short, AIRSHIFT VR is an arcade VR game from a South Korean developer named Geongi Gim. In the game we enter the role of guardian of the sky and our mission is to eliminate enemy robots. The flight mechanics are similar to Gun Raiders – you can fly the sky, run on walls, try dash in the air.

Recently, we had the privilege of interviewing the game’s solo designer and developer, Geongi Gim.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you?

Greeting! I’m Geongi Gim, a solo game developer based in Seoul, South Korea. I’m doing Airshift, an arcade-style VR action game with epic fights in unreal celestial stations. I’m glad to do an interview!

What prompted you to start developing a VR game?

VR is an amazing technology. Its full immersion and hand interaction give players a completely different experience. During the PCVR era, I never thought VR would ever become mainstream. But Oculus Quest changed my mind. Now I think VR will become one of the biggest gaming platforms in 10 years. So I decided to jump into it a little earlier.

Doing anything alone is very difficult. How come you decided to make the game yourself?

Although the VR market is actively growing, it is still small. It’s hard to make enough money to live with an indie VR game. That’s why I started solo. But now I need my colleagues to improve the game. I’ll find one of them after I publish the game in early-access form.

When you decided to make a VR game, did you know from the beginning what you wanted to do, or Did you go from genre to genre, from idea to idea before one got stuck? Tell us more about the thought process you had.

This is a funny story. Before Airshift I was doing a VR puzzle adventure that was terrible. To improve it, I decided to add shooting. That’s when I realized that the simple shoot I did in one day was even more fun than my puzzles that lasted months. So I deleted the whole project and started doing the action game anew. The next thing I tried to do was storm the ground. But I forgot to stop the player from moving up. The player was rushing through the air and I loved it. That’s how Airshift came about.

How did you come up with the name? What other names did you have in mind?

Airshift was the first name that came to mind. I was thinking about switching to others like Airdash, Sky Dash, Sky Shift, Cloud World, Overworld and so on. But I always went back to Airshift. I think it’s the best because it’s simple and shows the underlying mechanics of the game.

What was the most difficult problem you encountered while developing Airshift?

2 months ago I was trying to add new mods to the game. That’s when I realized that my software architecture was hard to scale up. I had to rewrite most of the code. It was really painful, because I worked on it for a long time, but it turned out to be a waste of time. I was a little depressed. But that’s life. I’ll only continue as I know how.

You are very active on your discord server, reading new suggestions and feedback whenever they arrive. When you’re presented with an idea for improvement, are you trying to implement it right away or are you waiting for some more ideas to float in the air and then trying to see what might work in your game?

When a player suggests a good idea, I add it to my to-do list. It can be undone, improved, merged with another, or directly applied to the game, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes a good idea after application turns out to be a bad one. But I like to hear and apply ideas from players. It makes me look at the game from a variety of angles. It makes the game simpler and more creative.

In his game experiment with boss enemies. Can you describe them a little bit? How are they different from ordinary enemies? Do bosses have completely different designs or are they based on common enemies, but modified in a way that they are different and more intimate?

Like giants, Boss enemies are basically much bigger than normal enemies. Unlike normal enemies, their bodies cannot be damaged. Instead, you have to destroy their reactors to kill them. A few days ago, I uploaded a new beta version (v0.5.0) including the first level of the boss. Now you can play it if you are a playtester.

Do you plan to add more weapons, and swords and rifles, or are you satisfied with the current arsenal of weapons?

I will continue to add weapons, not only swords and rifles, but other types of equipment. I’m also thinking about some fun and creative weapons like a shooting sword, an insanely long lightsaber, a bubble generator, and so on. Hopefully the players will give me more ideas!

A lot of games have recently implemented a kind of grappling hook. We know you already have “time stop” and “blitz” or “teleport” mechanics, but do you plan to implement a catch hook?

That’s actually a good idea! I plan to add various player characters in future updates. Each character will have their own style of movement and struggle. I think grappling might be a great option. I’ll think about it!

Speaking of movement, do you plan to improve movement, adding more motion options such as super speed, medium-to-long range teleport, jump, or something similar?

Absolutely. As I said in the previous question, I will add characters of players with different styles of movement. Some characters may have longer Airshift, faster movement, jetpack, grab hook, etc.

Where do you see Airshift and your studio in half a year, a year? What are your plans for the future?

After I make the “Boss” levels, I will publish the early-access version on the Meta Quest App Lab. Next, I’ll start adding the multiplayer mode option. I believe Airshift will be truly amazing when it gets multiplayer. If anyone wants to see development progress, please visit airshiftvr.com and join our Discord server. There you can also join the beta test. Thank you very much!

As you’ve heard, the creator has a lot of ideas and ambitions for his game. If you want to try it out and create an opinion for yourself, join the already mentioned Discord server where you will be able to test the game.