A Chat with the Team Behind VR Puzzler Tetris Effect
Tetris® Effect, the latest incarnation of the popular block puzzler, debuted on Oculus Quest last May. Since then, longtime fans and newcomers alike have fallen under its psychedelic charms, with Polygon noting “This is a portable version of a game that became an instant classic, on what may be the best VR hardware for most players. It couldn’t have come at a better time.” The Verge also gave Tetris® Effect good marks, saying, “...as with every other game for the Quest, it’s wonderful to play without wires and to be able to jump in right away with minimal fuss.”
If the combined cerebral might of players accrues enough points in the allotted time — the event lasts 24 hours — all participants win a special avatar.
How does VR change the way players experience such a classic puzzle game?
Playing Tetris® Effect is like going to a live fireworks show; you hear the sounds and watch the effects live. In 2D, you were playing Tetris on the other side of the screen, but in VR, you’re experiencing everything from the inside. With the 2D screen removed, you feel like you’re there, with the game unfolding right in front of you.
Can you talk about some of the different game modes? Which is your favorite?
We all like Journey Mode, but our favorite Effect Modes are Purify and Master. Purify is a mode in which you “purify” the dark blocks with Line Clears near the infected block. The focus here is to keep the Combo going, which makes this mode unique.
How do spatial audio, haptic feedback, and other VR features enhance the experience?
The haptics were designed to match the beat of the music and enhance the experience by complimenting the flow of the music and levels.
Can you talk about a favorite level or scenario that stands out in your mind?
THE DEEP: This is the first stage we worked on during development, and we worked on it until the very end of the project. The stage was the beginning of Journey Mode, and the beginning of our development staff’s journey as well.
What’s the “Weekend Ritual” event all about? Any highlights you’d like to share?
This happens every Saturday, for 24 hours. If 100% of the Community Goal is reached in 24 hours, a rare avatar unlocks for anyone who participated in the event.
How has the gaming community responded to the game so far?
Most people who play the game prefer the VR experience to playing on a standard screen. We are also honored to have won awards and accolades that include Game of the Year 2018 from Giant Bomb and Eurogamer, a SXSW Gaming Award for Excellence in Musical Score, and a BAFTA nomination for Audio Achievement.
Jul 10, 2020 at 18:25