What is something you can't do in the real world without consequence, but it would be really fun to do? Break stuff!
In virtual reality, you can smash and destroy to your heart's content in BREAK STUFF VR.
BREAK STUFF VR is a pure and simple game that is fun on a primal level. Created for any age and any experience level, while at the same time designed to have the breadth of play to intrigue and engage advanced gamers. Players participate in the metaverse robot game show called "BREAK STUFF".
As game show contestants, players throw virtual objects at other objects in the environment to earn cash. The goal is to break all of the environment's objects while racking up the highest cash score possible before the timer reaches zero. There are four stages to advance through: a office construction site, a parking lot, a carnival, and a china shop. There are also four bonus stages where players are given a melee weapon and an opportunity to bash and break objects, such as pinatas, fax machines, a glass showcase, and a car!
The game is laden with entertaining surprises that happen when the player destroys all of the objects of a similar type. Each surprise usually has an additional destructive effect that presents the player with opportunities to optimize their targeting strategy. There are also several "Easter egg" style surprises tied to either destructive effects or achievements.
Even if players use their optimal strategies, they are still challenged when they skillfully execute their plan to clear stages and top the leaderboards. Each successful throw that breaks an environmental object will increase their combo counter, which increases the cash and time multiplier. Due to their nature, bonus stages do not use the combo counter system, but they still provide an entertaining challenge.
Based on lessons learned from the first launched game, the design goals for BREAK STUFF VR were drastically different. The inclusion of all types of players and experience levels was paramount. The goal was to create a game that's universally appealing while still having the breadth to intrigue and engage hardcore gamers. Another goal was that players should be having fun within 30 seconds.
The reaction of players breaking glass jars in the menu area of Psyche Soldier VR seemed to fit the bill. A prototype was created, playtest feedback was obtained, and the concept was enthusiastically proven. Design and development began immediately. An artist, Eric Rico, was recruited to ensure that the game is visually stunning. The game continues to be playtested with overwhelmingly positive responses at game development meet ups, anime/comic conventions, and game conventions. From all indications, the game appears to be a break-out smash-hit!
Development is complete, and the game will be released on PlayStation® VR2 on June 6, 2023.
Design: Steve Westhoff, Eric Rico
Programming: Steve Westhoff, Eric Rico
Art: Eric Rico, Steve Westhoff, Ruslan, Lisa Westhoff
Music: Zack "Z.J." Walter, Walter Prettyman
Sound Effects: Imphenzia, Steve Westhoff
Thanks: Westhoff Family, Rico Family, Erica Ward, Mallori Cabrera, Central Ohio GameDev Group, Nathanael Anderson, Adams Family, McGuigan Family, O'Brien Family
June 6, 2023
Single Step Games
Single Step Games
English / French / Italian / German / Spanish
Digital Download via PlayStation™ Store
What if renowned Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, were to have made a Virtual Reality game? It would have been something like Psyche Soldier VR.
Psyche Soldier VR is a challenging, truly dynamic, duck-and-dodge shooting gallery game that takes place in the player's subconscious. Players cast light energy to battle against the shadow aspects of their psyche in seven different themed missions: Agency, Attachment, Fear, Procrastination, Shame, Stress, and Perfection. Each mission features unique enemies related to the theme along with a challenging Boss Fight! In addition, there is a Secret Boss Fight! There's even a dog you can play fetch with in the menu area, who can also appear as an energy form in the subconscious to save the player from failure.
Unlike games with a passive shield, the action-based Power Up ability is both defensive and offensive -- surrounding, protecting, increasing damage, and strengthening slowing power with the press of a button. Add that to the five Caster abilities, the Spotlight slow, the Energy Collect channel ability, the fluid energy system, and the 18 different enemy types, and what you get is an on-the-fly strategic and athletic game that truly uses the dual controller and room scale aspects of VR, making it unlike any other!
There is an experience-based upgrade system to empower your abilities and chances, and four difficulties to test your skill: Easy, Normal, Mentalist, and Psychonaut. There's also an infinite wave Endurance mode with a leaderboard where you can see how deep into your subconscious and how high up the ranks you can go!
After experiencing a few virtual reality shooting gallery games that were fun but somehow lacking, Steve saw an opportunity to make a truly dynamic game that delivers physical action, on-the-fly strategy, and split targeting. Wanting to expand beyond the 'stand-behind-a-shield-and-spray' playstyle that has dominated most VR shooting gallery games, Steve created a design that includes an active power up that is tied to a resource, a large variety of enemies, and completely separate abilities for each of the player's hands. With the gameplay design complete, what remained were a setting and story.
When discussing a book, "The Divided Mind" by Dr. John E. Sarno, with a friend, the idea of battling psychic shadows in the subconscious using light and energy brought all of the dynamic elements desired neatly together. With all the elements ready, Steve immediately got started and worked relentlessly until the vision was brought into reality... virtual reality.
Psyche Soldier VR is available now on Steam for HTC Vive™ and Oculus Touch™.
Design: Steve Westhoff
Programming: Steve Westhoff
Art: Unity Asset Store, Steve Westhoff, Lisa Westhoff
Audio: Steve Westhoff, Lisa Westhoff, Unity Asset Store
Thanks: Lisa Westhoff, Cory Jackson
December 15, 2017
Single Step Games
Single Step Games
Digital Download via Steam
E10+ (Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Crude Humor)
Single Step Games is an independent game studio located in Columbus, OH and was founded in 2016.
Single Step Games is operated by developer, Steve Westhoff, who has experience designing for AAA studios, such as Sony Online Entertainment and Disney Interactive.
Psyche Soldier VR (2017, HTC Vive™, Oculus Touch™)
BREAK STUFF VR
After working in Austin, Texas as a game designer on a several published AAA projects, undisclosed intellectual properties, and mobile games, Steve wanted to bring professional game development to Columbus, Ohio, where his family currently resides. He knew his bold and ambitious venture into the independent games space would be challenging and require him to learn the new skills necessary to make a game independently. Steve's vision is to build upon success and aims to grow his studio's size and scope. This journey, however difficult, would be approached a single step at a time, hence the company was named to reflect that simple yet determined approach.
A major milestone has been reached in this thousand mile journey, the first official release has been achieved! Psyche Soldier VR is now available on Steam for HTC Vive™ and Oculus Touch™.
The studio's next game, BREAK STUFF VR, is currently in development and has seen an overwhelmingly positive response whenever demoed.