Interview with Julien Millet from RealityZ, First Place in BizzTech’s Online Indie Pitch
At some point in the past, Julien Millet purchased his first VR set. He was really excited about the possibilities of the technology, mainly the freedom it offered to the user, that chance to run wildly through the multiverse without leaving your house.
The trip was smooth and nice… until he bumped his hip on the dinning room table. And then accidentally kicked a chair. And then, the spell was broken: there was no freedom to be found there, only an incomplete illusion.
The story would’ve probably ended with the VR set forgotten in a drawer, if it wasn’t because Julien is now the President of RealityZ, a France-based gaming company with over 20 years of combined experience making games for the AAA industry, who is now devoted to developing Virtual Reality games.
They’ve released quite a few titles so far, most of them for VR Arcades: yes, those places where you can go and walk on a plank over a city. However, this is far from what RealityZ wanted to create, so they made “Robotic Asylum”, a VR investigation title.
“Beat Blocks VR” was born as a sort of mini game from “Robotic Asylum”, an idea of manipulating objects in a 3d space that evolved to become a perpetual movement VR Tetris, linked in concept with Tetsuki Mizuguchi’s “Rez”. That’s not a coincidence: Julien considers himself a huge Mizuguchi fan.
“Beat Blocks VR” was released on Steam Early Access in November 2018, and the positive reviews are piling up. With only 5 levels in its current state, it is quite obvious that they have a good product released for user feedback, which will grow to become something even greater once fully released.
Being pioneers amongst pioneers, they’ve stumbled with some difficulties across the road. The biggest of them is a market that is not yet ready for a fully blown single user VR title with the same depth as any AAA console game.
However, this hasn’t stopped RealityZ’s team: they are currently working in a tactical, multi-platform RPG action game that takes VR into account from the very beginning to deliver the most similar gameplay on every system.
Ambitious as it may sound, this company lays a strong bet in that freedom Julien was promised —and denied of— when he purchased his first set. No wonder they’ve got the first place in our online indie pitch: we can hardly think of anyone benefiting from the Athena Technology (developed by Blue Sock Studios) more than this guys!
For them, it was simply a matter of numbers. The potential benefits exceeded the costs by far, not only in coin but also in time, as anyone that has attended a big three-day conference would confirm.
In “real-life” those three-day trips become a week, and that’s a week not spent developing the game! This is the kind of opportunity that BizzTech’s events can offer not only to independent creators, but to everyone involved in the industry!