Behind the Build: STOIC ENTERTAINMENT Talks ‘World War Toons: Tank Arena VR’ PlatoBlockchain Data Intelligence. Vertical Search. Ai.

Behind the Build: STOIC ENTERTAINMENT Talks ‘World War Toons: Tank Arena VR’

While you obviously don’t pilot a real tank in STOIC ENTERTAINMENT’s World War Toons: Tank Arena VR, it does feel analogous to a real-world experience. Many kids grow up imagining themselves behind the wheel of a tank as they sit atop their grandpa’s riding lawn mower—and that magical experience is captured in the game’s mechanics. But what went into the game’s successful design and production? In today’s Behind the Build feature, we hear from the dev team on the making of the game.

VR-Oriented Game Design: Modeling By Sculpting

Among the VR modeling technologies available today (which are evolving in various ways), VR-oriented design stands out from modeling virtual forms only on 2D monitors as it enables modeling accompanied by a sense of volume and reality. Because it minimizes the trial and error of modeling when determining distance and size while designing UX for VR, modeling in VR helped us produce optimal quality and quick, easy kit bashing—which is immensely useful for creating prototypes and UI/UX.

This design approach is particularly noticeable with our cockpits. It’s a game made for Meta Quest 2, so we wanted to make it with Quest 2 as much as possible. Conventionally, when you design a cockpit, you start with a 2D sketch, then convert it to 3D. But since this was going to be a VR game, we wanted our players to experience the cockpit as a 3D space. So our designer said, “Why not make it in VR?”

Traditional game development is usually centered around projecting what the thing would look like on a 2D screen and then putting that into VR. But that creates sort of an empty experience. The space around you feels very sparse and empty. By building our tank interiors in VR, it feels very detailed. It’s more aesthetically pleasing, and it let us place interactable objects in more intuitive ways. Gravity Sketch plus some Adobe tools were incredibly useful. Ultimately, it was the right call to make. Since this is a VR game, it should be designed from the ground up in VR.

Taking a Quality-First Approach

During the development of World War Toons: Tank Arena VR, we reviewed many games for reference and had our hopes set high to reach a certain level of quality—then the problem of frame rate came up. We (and many developers) found ourselves with two options: lower the quality or implement new technology like Application SpaceWarp (AppSW) to solve the issue. We chose the latter.

Because AppSW is a forked engine and not the current “official” version, we knew there may be unexpected problems that we’d need to resolve. For large objects, we didn’t encounter many problems, but with small, detailed objects, we faced some issues with doubling the frame rate. The most prominent problem was the warping of the screen after modifying AppSW. Fortunately, Meta’s AppSW guide was very detailed and helpful, and we were able to modify game design factors like linear structures and shaders accordingly to get incredible results. These kinds of guides are essential for small developers without the capacity to organize an extensive R&D department. We all know we have to go through the gauntlet to adapt to new tech, but this was a triumph for us—being able to absorb and commercialize new trends and tech to pioneer the platform and its ecosystem.

Behind the Build: STOIC ENTERTAINMENT Talks ‘World War Toons: Tank Arena VR’ PlatoBlockchain Data Intelligence. Vertical Search. Ai.

Our game is literally made by VR, through VR, for VR—everything was done with VR in mind from the start. Even though that may be new territory, we’re proud that we were able to put in our gameplay features without too much trouble.

We wanted to give players the full experience of actually piloting a tank. Outside of the game matches, it’s just fun manipulating the objects inside the tank itself—that’s one of the things we’re really proud of.

In the future, we hope to take our lessons learned from developing a vehicle piloting game and use that to develop more advanced titles and share them with the community.

Check out World War Toons: Tank Arena VR on Meta Quest 2 or Meta Quest Pro today, and join the official Discord to share your thoughts and feedback.

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