Q1. Thank you for taking the time to come together with us for this interview, As a long time player of VR3 and the additions before I know a little of your history but it would be great if you could elaborate on the development. So where did Virtual Rides begin?
PIXELSPLIT– It’s hard to pinpoint the exact date – maybe 15 years ago, a few people got together on an internet forum (at that time, people used to communicate via forums) who had a common interest in the technical features and functionality of funfair rides.
At that time, there were barely any simulations on the market, so no farming simulator or anything else. Since you rarely have the chance to control a real ride in real life, we put out a call in the community and found programmers and designers who were interested in the project. Without a detailed plan we just began developing – at that time using the 3D GameStudio A6. The team was spread all over Germany and the Netherlands and had the shared goal of introducing the topic of amusement rides to as many people as possible. Over the years, the composition of the team changed again and again and finally led to the founding of our studio Pixelsplit, which released the current version of the game, Virtual Rides 3.
The project was well received and was therefore pursued further. Over the years, we noticed that people are not only enthusiastic about kermis rides, but also about amusement parks and the rides there. This is one of the reasons why we want to venture into this terrain with Indoorlands (Early Access) in 2021.
Q2. DLCs can be few and far between but not surprisingly we imagine these sims take quite some time to create. On average from design to being added to VR3, How long does it take to create a new ride?
PIXELSPLIT– This depends very much on the specific ride and the availability of the team. Unfortunately, there is much more to a DLC than just creating a model of a new ride. For VR3, for example, the fairground has to be adapted, bugs have to be fixed and the new ride has to be married with the game, etc.
Q3. Having such a dedicated approach to recreating the rides so faithfully you must have a real love for real flat rides. So what is your favourite real flat ride? Mine is the KMG Tango and I really hope one day we have the ability to control this spectacular ride in the game.
PIXELSPLIT– Every ride has its charm. We at Pixelsplit certainly have a love for old, classic rides that you often can’t ride in real life anymore (unless you’re on holiday in Dubai). Modern rides are often trimmed for efficient transport, for logistical reasons they are more compact, whereas in the earlier days some rides were driven around the country on 8 trucks. As a result, some of today’s rides are somewhat thinly constructed; you won’t find thick steel structures here – although they were very impressive.
In this respect, we are proud and pleased to keep the spirit of some of the old rides alive in VR3.
Q4. We imagine you must get a lot of requests, What has been the most requested ride that has yet to be added to VR3? We know that two of the rides really expected has been a Huss TopSpin or Mondial Top Scan.
PIXELSPLIT– You’re definitely right with the rides you mentioned. We have a quite good overview of what our fans want. Basically, brand-new rides are always popular (especially with younger people). But the wishes also have a lot to do with the countries where people are living.
We don’t want to be too specific, but there is a TOP10 of the most requested models, all of which are requested with comparable frequency. No single ride stands out in particular. A small hint: At Indoorlands, there will be the one or other ride that can be found in this list.
Q5. Creating the rides must come with their challenges, is there any ride that has been too difficult to actually implement into the game?
PIXELSPLIT– The Zipper was quite challenging. We haven’t yet attempted rides that have a bungee cord mechanism, for example, but we could probably manage that, too. The challenge basically lies in the implementation of physics in digital space. But we have been able to gather a lot of experience in the course of our long-term work with this topic and we intend to expand on this in the future.
Q6. We are aware that VR3 is not the only platform under your umbrella of projects, can you tell us a bit about the upcoming Indoorlands and any other projects you host?
PIXELSPLIT- Aside from Indoorlands, which is probably the most interesting for your readers, we have 2 great projects. After VR3 we released Deadly Days, our popular zombie roguelite game in pixelart style. SOLOS is a game that is still in the conception phase. Feel free to check out our portfolio at www.pixelsplit.games if you are curious. We are always looking to do something new and take on new challenges. In terms of the ride genre, we ended up with the new Indoorlands project, which takes many elements from Virtual Rides, but also does many things differently and new. With Indoorlands we want to create a park management game with a focus on flat rides. What’s special about Indoorlands is that we want to bring it out via Early Access in cooperation with the community. Indoorlands will be a game that has more depth in terms of economy and construction. We also want to take creative freedom to a new level by allowing the player to freely design the entire indoor environment.
Q7. Rides aside quickly is there any interaction additions you would like to add to the effects. We already have fire, strobes and even bubbles, Can we expect water jets for instance any time in the future.
PIXELSPLIT– More effect devices? Water jets? Can’t rule out the possibility of something like that.
Q8. We recently tried VR3 through VR which was quite an experience, Salsa/Waltzer was evil on the Oculus Rift, Can we expect any chance of being able to operate the rides through VR instead of just riding?
PIXELSPLIT– That would confront us with quite big technical challenges. With a lot of effort, it would probably be possible. Unfortunately, the number of virtual reality gamers is still relatively small. It would definitely be cool, but it’s not a top priority.
Q9. This is a cheeky one but it’s all in good meaning, Is there anything you can tell our readers, current players and potential new players of what rides we can expect in the future DLCs? If there is to be more to be added that is.
PIXELSPLIT– Referring to your second question, we have quite a large list of desired rides and we are also oriented towards this. There will definitely be more DLCs and we will of course take our players’ wishes into account. However, we will not make any concrete statements about the timing and which ride will be next.
Our fans may have already noticed, but we like to keep a low profile on the subject. Once again, we would like to point out that your favourite ride may be included in Indoorlands…
Q10. Finally as this interview comes to an end, What can we expect from VR3 in the future and of course Indoorlands, What are your goals for these games?
PIXELSPLIT– Currently, our focus is on the development of Indoorlands, which, in contrast to VR3, takes place in an (indoor) amusement park. We sincerely hope that even those who are totally into funfairs will be enthusiastic about it. With Indoorlands we try to utilize features of VR3. We want to integrate a ride simulation into a joyous game, including progression and game mechanics that are appealing and fun. Combining and unifying these is the big challenge we are facing. We hope that our fans will appreciate this and support us constructively in the Early Access phase. If you want to be a part of it, you should definitely put Indoorlands on your STEAM Wishlist so that you receive direct notification of its release as soon as it is ready. There is also a generous discount for all those who have Indoorlands on their wishlist and obtain the EA version within a week of release.
We just want to say a huge thankyou to Pixelsplit for completing this interview with us. Thankyou for keeping us entertained for many years and the many years to come. Until next time PSG Signing out.
Indoorlands (Steam) https://store.steampowered.com/app/1378890/Indoorlands/
Virtual Rides 3 (Steam) https://store.steampowered.com/app/515260/Virtual_Rides_3__Funfair_Simulator/
Deadly Days (Steam) https://store.steampowered.com/app/740080/Deadly_Days/