Since its release, Valiant has quickly become one of the standard bearers of VR demos, consistently ranking near the top of the Share store. The initial fanfare over the fast-paced mounted multiplayer combat led to the game getting greenlit on Steam earlier this month. Since then the team has been working day and night making some changes to the game.
Today I had the chance to interview Chris Parkin, the game designer behind Valiant, in-game as he showed me the new Striker class that they have added with the upcoming update. The new class is “meant to be a cross between the two [original classes],” says Parkin, “we were trying to take the fun elements of both classes and put them into one.”
The Striker class features both melee and ranged combat options, with a sword for attacking up close, and a javelin for ranged attacks. One of the unintended benefits of the new ranged weapon is that you can look around the javelin as you aim, which can help you get a more accurate shot. Overall the new class feels great and is a welcomed addition to the game, adding a degree of further variety.
Speaking of further variety, Chris also spoke of the team’s future plans for Valiant, which include both new maps and new gamemodes. According to Parkin, the team has recently hired a new developer (also named Chris) to help create the new maps. Parkin says the new maps should feature both a snowy and a desert scene. Additionally Parkin spoke of the plans for two new game modes. The first planned mode intends to add a bit more of a cooperative feel to the game with a hold the flag mode. Players will work to hold on to the enemy team’s flag for as long as possible, while also preventing the other team from holding their own flag. Parkin is “looking forward to that in terms of team play and the sort of strategies that people come up with.”
There are also plans to add a “charge mode.” This mode will pit teams against each other in short rounds where they are spawned at their start zone and collide in the middle. The intent of this mode is to create some more fast paced combat.
Beyond new maps and gamemodes, the team is also striving towards a more comfortable experience as well. According to Parkin, the team is also working on “some camera smoothing stuff” that they are hoping will reduce nausea quite a bit. The system “kind of acts like a spring,” says Parkin, “it kind of smooths your motions so when you stop your horse suddenly the camera sort of moves forward a little bit and then back.”
The build I was shown also featured some very simple AI. A lone bot roamed the map while we were interviewing, and actually came in at one point and killed both of us mid question, to our surprise and amusement. Definitely a unique experience doing an interview on a live battlefield in VR. Parkin hinted at some further AI being added into the game, “something simple like archers,” would really add some depth to the experience.
Overall, the build is coming along nicely and the new class is definitely a solid addition. There is still some work to be done, as Parkin freely admits, but the progression has been extremely promising. Valiant is most definitely a title to keep an eye on.
Be sure to check out the full interview here: