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Amid Evil VR: How Heretic-Inspired Shooter Made It To Quest & SteamVR

Amid Evil VR: How Heretic-Inspired Shooter Made It To Quest & SteamVR

Amid Evil VR is debuting on Quest & PC VR following a 2019 release for traditional PCs.

From New Blood Interactive, Amid Evil VR is inspired by the classic medieval shooter game Heretic and the earlier PC version carries an "overwhelmingly positive" rating on Steam. For someone who's never heard of Heretic, it's described by New Blood's Dave Oshry as "DOOM without the guns!"

"If you like first person shooters but always wanted to wield magical weaponry like tridents and maces and axes instead of shotguns and rifles, then this is for you," he explained to UploadVR over email. "The levels and worlds are massive and trippy, the enemies are fast, but you’re faster."

Preview: Amid Evil VR Is A Promising Retro Shooter
Preview: Amid Evil VR is a great homage to classic boomer shooters like Quake and DOOM.

As Amid Evil VR's team explains, the VR version is making its debut on Quest and Steam because a developer named Andre Elijah wouldn't stop emailing Oshry about making a VR adaptation.

Oshry replied:

"I played the original and absolutely loved it, and Dave was something of a mythical legend to me," Elijah wrote to UploadVR over email. "I love old school shooters and I thought the market was ready for a VR game in this aggressive style with the guardrails taken off. My biggest data point was the Dr. Beef unofficial ports of older id games getting so much traction despite the friction in getting them running on headsets."

I asked what specific challenges were involved in adapting Amid Evil to VR. Elijah wrote:

"The feel of it. The original was an incredibly tight feeling game. How do you bring it to another medium with its own quirks and maintain that high bar? It was a lot of discussions, and feeling things out for the better part of a year and a half with our own interpretations of mechanics before Noah and myself brought it back to New Blood and Indefatigable and had them systematically break down every mechanic and make sure that the nuances of the weapons and level design shine through! Also, don’t forget that the original flat screen game’s weapons were all sprites. So translating them to 3D and 6dof movement was quite the process. Where do you grip each weapon? How should you be able to two hand them? At what point in the arc of a sword swing do you start to shoot projectiles? How do you communicate to the player where they’re aiming? There were a lot of things to work out besides bringing the sheer scale of content to VR."

Elijah's development partner Noah Rayburn noted Amid Evil's 7 episodes, 21 levels and 7 boss fights are all included, with particular attention paid to weapon mechanics, like "whipping lasers out of swords" or "blasting enemies to bits with a planet launcher". Rayburn acknowledged it was a challenge getting it running on Quest 2 and they "lost a bit of quality compared to the PCVR version."

As for what's next for Amid Evil VR after release? Here's Oshry:

Well, we’re keen to see how the world reacts to the game first, make any hotfixes and tweaks we need to - then it’s onto some new content for the game. We’ll be updating the game with the ‘Hordes of Evil’ endless mode with leaderboards and maybe some new fun features, then we’ll be bringing over the (soon to be released) prequel expansion ‘The Black Labyrinth’ to VR as well. Once all that’s done, we’ll start to look at DUSK in VR and ULTRAKILL in VR. Hopefully players show up for AE VR to make VR versions of those games a WORTHY endeavor. But only time will tell!

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