Entertainment

Feature: Tackling A Timey Wimey Virus In Doctor Who: The Edge Of Reality

While many know all concerning the Doctor Who TV present, it is a franchise that has had a lot of elective lore and storytelling by means of different leisure mediums — books (together with audio books starring the principle actors), spin-off exhibits and naturally video video games. Just not too long ago the Switch obtained a port of Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, which initially made its mark on cell gadgets; it turned out relatively nicely.

Next up we now have Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality arriving on thirtieth September, and it is one other sport with a historical past. A type of the sport — referred to as Edge of Time — was beforehand launched on VR platforms. It now involves Switch and different ‘flatscreen’ platforms with a brand new identify and, apparently, an overhauled and significantly expanded story. The gameplay has been shaken up too, after all, so the brand new iteration might doubtlessly really feel very completely different to the unique.

We’ve been intrigued to be taught extra about it and had an opportunity to speak to key figures from the 2 growth studios concerned in its manufacturing. We posed inquiries to Stewart Gilray (CEO/Creative Director, Just Add Water) and Russell Harding (Studio Director, Maze Theory) to be taught extra on what we are able to count on within the sport, the challenges of working within the Whovian universe and, after all, the TV stars main the sport’s forged.

DOCTOR WHO EOR
Image: Maze Theory / Just Add Water / BBC

This has been described as a reimagined and expanded story from the earlier VR launch The Edge of Time, are you able to clarify that in additional element?

Stewart Gilray (CEO/Creative Director, Just Add Water): We’ve expanded areas and experiences in-game. Without giving an excessive amount of away, the primary degree of Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality now has about 80% extra content material than the identical degree in Edge of Time. Mix that in with new ranges we’ve added, or certainly ranges we’ve totally rebuilt, such because the forest degree and you find yourself with a reimagined and expanded story.

Some of the adjustments have been a necessity because the variations between VR and non-VR dictate that parts have needed to change. We’ve obtained puzzles which have been modified because of that transition. Conversely, VR is extra of an expertise than conventional gaming. As such we’ve made adjustments that take away a few of these gadgets solely relevant to VR.

With the sport bringing us a reimagined story, are you able to discuss concerning the inventive course of? Were there numerous stakeholders, tie-ins with broader lore to contemplate, for instance?

We have gone to very large lengths to make sure that we’re really genuine – from utilizing photogrammetry references for the Tardis and Weeping Angels, to making sure that audio (sounds and music) is impressed by the present.

Russell Harding (Studio Director, Maze Theory): Being genuine to the lore of Doctor Who is a key focus within the inventive course of, we now have now spent fairly a major period of time working intently with the BBC and showrunners making certain we’re in tone with the current seasons.

Story may be very a lot on the core of what we do at Maze Theory and at all times the place we begin, so having labored with Gavin Collinson on Doctor Who: The Edge of Time and once more on The Lonely Assassins, we already knew that there was an even bigger story to inform referring to the Reality Virus and the thirteenth Doctor.

We have gone to very large lengths to make sure that we’re really genuine – from utilizing photogrammetry references for the Tardis and Weeping Angels, to making sure that audio ([both]sounds and music) is impressed by the present. Richard Wilkinson’s music has been vastly impressed by previous and current eras of the present, and his take stands out as an genuine but unique tackle the enduring Doctor Who theme.

Also, working very intently with the BBC allowed us to harness Doctor Who lore to create new foes such because the Tazmas, Hydrocks and a nemesis referred to as the CyberReaper.

A familiar doctor...
Image: Maze Theory / Just Add Water / BBC

What was it like working with Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant on their components for Edge of Reality? Also, have been there any extra challenges in that respect as a result of pandemic, for instance?

RH: Authenticity is extraordinarily necessary to us at Maze Theory and that additionally extends to working with the present’s expertise the place doable. Jodie Whittaker at all times offers such a tremendous efficiency because the Doctor – it was actually necessary to us that she was part of the sport.

Then after we regarded on the story for Edge of Reality, there was this big alternative to introduce a second Doctor as chaos unravels throughout time and area. The tenth Doctor appeared the pure selection, and one which followers actually wished to see in-game, so we have been very excited when David Tennant agreed to return on board.

SG: Both Jodie and David have been extraordinarily skilled and simple to work with, particularly through the pandemic. When we recorded David for instance, he wasn’t capable of get to a recording studio, so labored from his personal recording facility at residence.

Another factor we have been extraordinarily eager to broaden on was that notorious Doctor Who ‘behind the couch’ second. It really made our QA lead bounce when he’d completed work for the day! So I feel we’ve obtained that one coated.

For these unfamiliar with the VR sport specifically, are you able to define the gameplay expertise we are able to count on?

SG: We needed to make some adjustments as a result of variations in VR and non-VR mediums. For instance, you normally have two controllers in VR – one to symbolize every hand – however that’s not the case for non-VR platforms. We needed to alter some puzzles and parts to work with conventional controllers.

The sport itself options numerous mechanics, together with a variety of puzzle fixing (each bodily within the sport world and psychological agility puzzles), in addition to some motion and stealth moments as nicely.

Another factor we have been extraordinarily eager to broaden on was that notorious Doctor Who ‘behind the couch’ second – these tales which have despatched children scurrying away in terror, however nonetheless wanting to look at extra. It really made our QA lead bounce when he’d completed work for the day! So I feel we’ve obtained that one coated.

RH: The Edge of Reality can be a narrative journey the place gamers help the Doctor in uncovering a common menace that’s destroying actuality. In true Doctor Who style, you’ll get to discover new worlds and time durations as you race to find find out how to cease a virus launched throughout time and area. You’ll come face-to-face with quite a few previous, favorite (and new, iconic) foes as you discover the narrative, remedy puzzles, defeat Daleks, keep away from Weeping Angels, encounter the Cybermen and attempt to escape the Doctor’s latest nemesis – the CyberReaper.

The narrative and gameplay has additionally been significantly expanded and tailored to work greatest as a flatscreen sport.

Doctor Who The Edge Of Reality TARDIS Clean
Image: Maze Theory / Just Add Water / BBC

From a technical viewpoint, what’s it been like working with the Switch {hardware}, and are there any Switch-specific options you’ve got applied within the sport? For instance utilizing the Joy-Con in an analogous method to VR controllers within the unique?

SG: We actually couldn’t retain the usage of separate controllers due to adjustments to the gameplay in comparison with the VR version. The most important characteristic we’ve needed to work on is the docked/undocked capability of the Switch, paying shut consideration to these variations throughout growth.

As the Doctor Who IP continues to evolve, how huge a task can video games play for the franchise, in your opinion?

I feel video games play an enormous position in increasing the Doctor Who IP by permitting deeper fan engagement, but additionally introducing new audiences to this well-established franchise.

SG: Well, it’s truthful to say that the Doctor hasn’t been in lots of video games over the previous decade or so. I can consider a handful of titles throughout that point. I suppose that’s true of all licensed IP. In the ’80s and ’90s, we had a LOT of licensed IP, however I really see that development reverting with an increasing number of coming by means of. It’ll actually be attention-grabbing to look at.

RH: I feel video games play an enormous position in increasing the Doctor Who IP by permitting deeper fan engagement, but additionally introducing new audiences to this well-established franchise. I feel the large focus for any IP coming into within the gaming sector is to give attention to being true to the medium and actually exploring its potential on this area, not simply strapping on some well-known sport mechanics.

Do you’ve got a closing message concerning Edge of Reality, for Doctor Who followers previous and new?

SG: We’ve tried to entertain Whovians on the market with nods to numerous issues from the Who-universe scattered all through the sport.… There might or will not be solutions to questions which have been requested for years. [winks]

RH: The Edge of Reality narrative takes you on a fantastic and different journey concerning many genres, from motion to sci-fi and horror. For followers, there are some nice Easter Eggs and narrative ties into the Whoniverse… and for those who’re new to the franchise then Edge of Reality can be a fantastic entry into the world of Doctor Who, as you actually do not want any prior data.


We’d wish to thank Stewart Gilray and Russell Harding for his or her time. Doctor Who: Edge of Reality arrives on the Switch eShop on thirtieth September.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button