Announcing a game is exciting, exhilarating, and honestly… it’s pretty nerve-wracking. The veteran developers on our team have been through it many times before, but debuting Golem as a PlayStation VR exclusive in front of an enthusiastic crowd at PlayStation Experience was a remarkable moment. It was a significant milestone for Highwire Games, too, since Golem is our first game as an independent studio.
There is always a certain tension when you try to introduce a game with a movie-style trailer. How do you capture the dynamic nature of a game in a non-interactive video? Do you try to communicate the gameplay, or just focus on telling an interesting story? Do you accurately represent the look of the game, or blow the budget on a pre-rendered cinematic?
For a virtual reality game, made from the ground up to be played inside a head-mounted display, that tension hits a breaking point. Not only is VR interactive, it is transportive; it takes you into another world in a way traditional video just cannot capture. There is a sense of real dread and bodily danger that you get as you slowly creep through ancient ruins in search of artifacts and treasure, and it is something you have to experience for yourself.
So, when we were deciding how to introduce Golem to the fans at PlayStation Experience, we knew we couldn’t directly convey the experience of being a giant stone golem exploring an abandoned city. However, in our game you do not play as a single golem, but as someone with the ability to control golems, seeing through their eyes and directing their movements. Could we show the audience what it might be like to watch someone else controlling a golem, and indirectly communicate the sense of power and presence that the game offers?
It actually turned out to be quite effective to show both the golem and the one controlling it as separate characters in a more traditional trailer. We were able to introduce the fans to the world of Golem and give them a hint of the game’s mechanics. While you may not immediately know what it will feel like to put on a PlayStation VR headset and control a golem, at least you’ll know what to expect when you get a chance try it yourself!
We hope you enjoyed the Golem trailer and we look forward to revealing more in the coming months.