Old School Gamer chats with Into the Radius Producer Aleksei Shulga, who details the project and lets us know why it’s a special one for him. Inspired by classics the likes of X-Com and Doom, it not your usual VR game.

Old School Gamer: How did you get involved in this project? 

Aleksei Shulga: I’ve been working as a 3D artist and animator at CM for many years and started making this game in my spare time. I noticed a lack of single-player games that had any sort of depth in VR.

The project got the support of Creative Mobile and we decided to make it a full-fledged project with a full-time programmer and myself to start with. Since then we’ve expanded out our small team to a core group of 4 along with marketing, writers and outsourcers.

Old School Gamer: What did you play as a kid? Was gaming always your ideal career destination?

Shulga: I’ve been playing computer games as a child, I have fond memories of starting on the ZX Spectrum. A few of ‘classic’ favorites of mine would be X-Com, The Might & Magic series, Fallout, Doom, Quake, Heretic, GTA, etc.

I didn’t really consider game development as a career. I studied material science in university, but always had a passion for computer graphics and animation.

Autonomous from Aleksei Shulga on Vimeo.

Old School Gamer: Any fun/interesting stories about the development cycle so far?

Shulga: We organized a launch party during the most recent Euro VR conference that was happening in Tallinn. The after-party event was in an old Bunker, converted into a bar – perfectly dystopian and packed with VR developers, professionals and academics.

Old School Gamer:
What do you think makes the game special?

Shulga: This game has a very surrealistic and atmospheric world that tends to really hook people. We’re one of the few games that offers open-world free exploration and detailed gun interaction.

Old School Gamer: What do you hope the legacy of the game will be?

 Shulga: That Into the Radius becomes a VR cult hit and I spend the rest of my days talking about it at GDC and writing a book about its success.

More seriously, I think that VR players have a wish to move beyond shallow arcade experiences and that this game will prove there is an audience that has a wish for this kind of game.

Old School Gamer: How has this game affected you as a developer? Major lessons learned?

Shulga: This is the first game that I’ve produced, so there’s been a lot to learn. The main thing that any game developer has to learn is don’t over scope! It’s one I’m still trying to learn.

Since VR is a young medium, it still needs a lot of experimenting. You can’t always trust the common knowledge of what’s being done, sometimes you should go against current development trends to accomplish something unique.

Old School Gamer: How would you like it to be remembered?

Shulga: That this game ascended to the Valhalla of games! haha

I fondly recall a session I played awhile back; I was low on ammo, creeping through a ditch to trying to complete my mission while the night sets in and the fog rolls over the land.

I’d like players to look back fondly on the feelings they get from the game’s atmosphere and thrill of surviving in a dystopian zone.

Old School Gamer: Anything else you’d like to add?

Shulga: Buy the game! Right now we’re on Early Access on Steam and coming out on Oculus in the next few weeks.

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Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (326 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com