There are a lot of super fun and exciting VR games out there. Today, we will be looking at one of those. Meet Blaston: a first-person, competitive PvP combat game where you duel with your opponent in slow motion. It’s developed by the Swedish-based company Resolution Games, and has been really well received by the VR community since its release.
To find out more about this exciting game, we interviewed Benjamin Thill, the game designer for Blaston, about how the game came to be, what makes Blaston special and what they envision for the future of Blaston in VR esports.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Resolution Games? How did you start working on Blaston?
It’s a funny story actually. After visiting Resolution Games while studying, I was immediately drawn to not only VR games but Resolution Games as a company. Being a student, I was nervous about how to actually send my application. A little while later, one of my mobile games was nominated for SGA (Swedish Game Awards) best mobile game division, and during the break, I saw the Resolution Games booth. Obviously, I needed to see what they were up to! This is where I met Tommy Palm (CEO) and Mathieu Castelli (chief creative officer), who then proceeded to destroy me in the prototype of what we now know as Blaston. (Which would end up being the last time I lost to them. Had to say it, since that was no easy feat!)
Can you tell us a little bit about Blaston? Where did the idea for it come from? How does the game work?
Blaston is a fiercely competitive PvP combat game that calls for a combination of skill, strategy, and speed – along with an incredible arsenal of futuristic, high-tech weapons – to rise in the ranks and become champion in this game of cyberpunk duels.
Mathieu Castelli, Resolution Games’ chief creative officer, has always tried to mix physical movement and games. His first game Mogi Mogi (2004) included components of what parents liked about Pokémon GO in our phone-invaded world: playing outside, walk motivator, map data based collection gameplay.
When Tommy invited Mathieu to join Resolution Games in 2018, he discovered the magic of connecting real-body with gaming in VR. Melee dueling felt like it was checking a lot of boxes. What if then, he thought, you separate the two fighters just enough that they can’t touch each other and focus on range interaction, to skip lack of contact feedback frustration, but not a centimeter further. Of course, at such a short distance the weapons have to be relatively slow moving. Hence Blaston’s concept was born.
In Blaston, matches are best 2 out of 3. Maximum round duration is 120 seconds, but often ends much sooner. Weapons spawn around you; each with their own unique benefits, limitations and respawn times. You are confined to a five-foot diameter platform that is five feet from your opponent’s platform. Unleash as much damage on your opponent as possible while ducking, dodging and weaving the incoming onslaught from them.
What makes Blaston so great? How is it different from other VR shooter games?
The whole concept of super close, slow speed dueling in VR is entirely new. The strategy, skill and quick thinking involved is also unique given the distinct elements including the purposefully limited space on the jousting platform, slow-motion incoming bullets, the rate at which various weapons spawn, the “deck” of weapons players choose to best their opponent and more. This all makes for unique puzzle solving that makes this PvP combat game almost like racquetball/ping pong or a sport of sorts.
The feeling of opponent-presence during the match is incredible. Sure, first person shooter games have been around for a long time, but in 2D you can often feel separated from the action. In the virtual reality of Blaston, you get to look your opponent in the eye, which really takes things to the next level.
What do you envision for Blaston in the future?
We have so many plans for Blaston in the future! But most immediately, the community has made clear that they really enjoy the social elements of the game, so we’ve been working to build that out. Right now, we have the Ozo Lounge where players can socialize, challenge and watch other matches. We have a fantastic new experience releasing very soon, explaining more about the lore of Blaston, and even introducing some new Antagonists. But most importantly, we have such a wonderful community who we listen to constantly, so there will be meta changes, new weapons and maybe even a few surprises!
Beyond that, we have several ideas built into the roadmap to continue to build upon the social aspects of the community. Be sure to follow us on social media so you find out the latest when the time comes, including an exciting update coming up in June!
What do you think about the esports potential for Blaston? How are you planning to implement VR esports?
It’s completely up to the community to decide whether or not it becomes an esport, and so far several members of the community have already organized Blaston tournaments, and they were a blast!
It’s one of those rare games where players actually look cool playing it, so it’s really fun to not only play but to watch as well. Especially if the audience is watching an advanced player who isn’t shy when it comes to diving to the side in order to dodge an attack! Combining real-world movements with what’s happening in VR makes the experience even more exciting.
Huge thanks to Benjamin for this great interview! We definitely recommend checking out Blaston if this interview got you excited about calling a friend over and having a slow speed VR duel. Of course, check out the work of Resolution Games if you want to have a look at other games they developed.
Remember to tune in for more reviews and interviews like this and let us know what you think. Also be sure to give us a follow on our socials and join our Discord so that you don’t miss any future articles, streams or tournaments. Who should we interview next? Leave your suggestions and we’ll try and make it happen!