Industry Direct by By Masaru “Nogi” Ohnogi, Executive Producer of X8 at Thirdverse
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We’re excited to launch X8, our 5v5 VR Multiplayer Hero Shooter, today on Meta Quest and SteamVR. We wanted to take a moment to look back at the game’s development journey and our efforts to foster an engaged community.
Focusing on Quality and Community Building
At Thirdverse, we’ve always believed that the heart of any game lies in its community. From day one, we set out to create a game that not only provides a quality VR and multiplayer experience, but also fosters a thriving community of players.
One of our main points of focus for quality was on the VR experience. We employ complex weapon manipulation, introduce a unique ‘throwing knives’ system where players can directly damage opponents, and have players perform gestures to prime their abilities. We want players to feel immersed to really differentiate our playstyle from 2D games of a similar genre.
Our journey began with two Closed Betas, which allowed us to gather invaluable feedback from our early players and helped us identify and address critical issues, such as improvements to the onboarding system. We continued to update the game based on this feedback, ensuring that the community’s voice was heard.
We decided to launch on Meta App Lab and Steam for Early Access in late May to build and strengthen our existing community and refine the game. In less than four months in Early Access, over 100,000 players have installed X8.
After the Early Access release, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We fixed several hundred bugs, fine-tuned game balance, and implemented many requested features such as the knife-throwing mechanics, cross-platform party code invites, improved custom games quality of life, added links to our community-made ranked game discord, changed inputs for a more streamlined game based on first user experience, and a reporting and blocking system.
This ongoing exchange with our players has been instrumental in shaping the game. We couldn’t have reached launch without our dedicated community of players and their invaluable feedback.
Driving the VR Esports Industry
One of our most ambitious goals with X8 is to establish VR esports as a mainstream phenomenon. We believe that VR has enormous growth potential and are determined to be at the forefront of this movement.
We’ve hosted three VR esports events with X8, including an Early Access Invitational Tournament in May, and a tournament at the Tokyo Game Show in September. This event marked the first-ever VR esports event in Japan, setting a precedent for the future.
Starting the First Official X8 League
In August, we launched the initial trial of our first official Early Access X8 League in partnership with VR esports organization, Virtual Athletics League (VAL). To test the market for an X8 League, we kicked off the eight-week season in late September where players competed in 5v5 demolition matches each week to climb the rankings and aim for a piece of the substantial $10,000 cash prize pool. This high prize pool is a testament to our commitment to promoting VR esports and providing competitive opportunities for our players.
Launching Soon: The Exclusive Founder’s Pack
As we gear up for the official launch, we’re excited to introduce the Founder’s pack designated, ‘Mythos,’ which includes The Knife ‘Evenstar’, The Pistol ‘Prelude’, The Auto Pistol ‘Chronos’ and The Tactical Rifle ‘Genesis’. Forged of Atlantean Ores and assembled by skilled eremite hands, these weapons were designed to bring down Demi-gods.
A one-time, fantastic deal is exclusively available to those who download X8 during its launch period, now through December 7th.
Additionally, as an appreciation to the early access community and Discord family, we will be making the Watermelon blade, pistol and SMG available for free in the upcoming weeks. Don’t miss it!
Why We Made X8 ‘Free to Play’
We made the deliberate decision to make X8 a ‘Free to Play’ game. We took inspiration from the success of non-VR shooter games like Overwatch, Apex Legends, and VALORANT, which have thrived under the free-to-play model. Moreover, we are dedicated to building a thriving VR esports ecosystem. In traditional sports like basketball, soccer, or baseball, anyone can play for free with minimal equipment. Similarly, we want X8 to be accessible to as many players as possible, ensuring that everyone has a chance to compete and succeed.
Follow the X8 Journey
X8 is not just a game; it’s a movement. It’s a VR native multiplayer hero shooter designed to push the boundaries of what’s possible in virtual reality. With a strong focus on community engagement, esports, and a commitment to quality—we are confident that X8 will continue to thrive. We’re just getting started, and we can’t wait for you to join us on this incredible journey.
The post [Industry Direct] Building a Thriving VR Multiplayer Hero Shooter Game & Community – The Making of ‘X8’ appeared first on Road to VR.