Deep space dogfighting and first-person parkour may not seem to have a lot in common, but according to Eve: Valkyrie's executive producer Owen O'Brien, CCP's own virtual reality dogfighting game takes lessons from DICE's Mirror's Edge.
Speaking to Polygon, the recently-appointed O'Brien said he was drawn to Eve: Valkyrie because it was a unique opportunity to do something "cutting edge" with a small team. He also plans to bring his experience working on Mirror's Edge to help inform Eve: Valkyrie's design.
"Mirror's Edge was built around a strong core mechanic [of first-person movement], but one of the lessons I learned from it was you've got to have all the other bits there as well," he said. "We had a great core mechanic, but we failed in some other areas. I think sometimes it's easy to think the mechanic on its own is enough, but it's not. It needs to be backed up with a fully-rounded game that has a reason for people to come back and start playing after they've gotten over the initial 'wow' moment."
"...We want to be the best in that genre, whether it's virtual reality or not."
Eve: Valkyrie, which previously existed as just a tech demo, is set in the rich universe of Eve Online. When it was shown at E3 and CCP's FanFest this year, it was well-received by both the press and FanFest attendees. According to O'Brien, part of the reason why people have responded so well to it is because it's an example of virtual reality finally being real.
"I was one of the cynics," he said. "It was like, here we go — virtual reality is going to be the next big thing ... again. But when you put on the headset, it really is amazing. It's a real wow moment.
"The experience is really fluid and immersive, and I know 'immersive' is a term that's very over-used these days, especially in our industry, but this feels like a product and a game that could finally deliver something that's worthy of that adjective."
And that game will have to be more than its virtual reality-based mechanics so that when that 'wow' moment wears off, players will still want to return to the game.
"Primarily, what we're looking at here is a space dogfighting game, and we want to be the best in that genre, whether it's virtual reality or not," he said. "We're not tying ourselves to any particular technology at the moment. We're just trying to make the most compelling dogfighting game experience we can."