Wow! OK, so it’s always a bit nerve-racking to let people play a game you’ve been toiling away on in secret, especially when there’s still so much more work to be done on it. But we had been looking for a good place to start letting people get their hands on Jupiter & Mars and Bitsummit, the largest independent games festival in Kyoto, Japan, seemed like the perfect place. After all, for those of you who aren’t aware, Tigertron’s Creative Director is also the Creative Director for Bitsummit and was one of the founders of the festival. So a few weeks ago Tigertron packed its bags and spent the weekend in Kyoto showing the game to some of the over 10,000 people who attended the event.
For Bitsummit, we decided to show the first level of Jupiter & Mars, Sunpool, as it’s a good intro to the game’s mechanics. Players seemed to immediately take to the underwater experience in VR and many seemed to enjoy the soundtrack (one girl was even outright dancing to it, much to the delight of our composer Jonathan Atkinson :) ).
Throughout the show, Tigertron’s booth basically had a steady line of people wanting to get their hands on the game, which made us so happy to see. We were also really happy to see that no one at all got motion sickness from the game, which is often a problem with VR games. Pretty much everyone who played the game really seemed to enjoy their experience, with many people telling us it was one of their favorite games they played at the show (!).
Of course, not everything was perfect - some people ended up getting lost in the environments and a bunch of people had trouble finding all the objectives hidden in the world. But for us, there were plenty of great takeaways from watching people play that we’re using to make adjustments for the final game.
But in addition to seeing the responses of gamers at Bitsummit, several Japanese media outlets wrote up some great impressions about their experience with the game, and we’ve highlighted a few below.
“The visual are awe-inspiring... the blue water, the reflection of the sun on the ocean’s surface, the coral, it feels good just to explore the environment... the VR experience itself was not too stressful and felt like the game could be played over an extended period of time. “ - IGN Japan
“As soon as you put on the HMD, you’re transported into the ocean. It’s so beautiful. You feel in awe of the beauty of the ocean all around.” - 4Gamer
“Not only are the graphics beautiful, but has a lot of gaming elements. It promises to be a fun game to play while also learning about ocean conservation.” - GameWatch
“It felt great to experience the sense of swimming underwater. It felt real.” - Famitsu
Next up, we’ll be showing the game at The MIX at E3, so we look forward to seeing North American players get their hands on Jupiter & Mars soon!