Trebuchet, a game studio specializing in virtual reality (VR) games, has recently launched its latest title, Broken Edge, a swashbuckling fantasy fighter. The game, initially released for platforms like SteamVR and Meta Quest 2, has now made its debut on the PS VR2, bringing the exhilarating experience of sword combat to PlayStation players.
Broken Edge’s combat system is designed to provide a satisfying and skill-based sword clash. The studio aimed to create a gameplay experience reminiscent of epic sword fights seen in movies and games, while still closely mimicking actual martial arts techniques. The combat system encourages precise and deliberate movements, rather than relying on “hyper-speed movements” like wiggling. Players must master the unique techniques and powers of historical warriors, such as samurai, pirates, and knights, in order to defeat their opponents in intense player-versus-player (PvP) combat.
One of the biggest challenges faced by Trebuchet in developing a sword combat system for VR was dealing with the performative nature of the human body. Rapid movements could result in latency issues and variations in collisions within each player’s game instance. To address this, the studio incentivized deliberate movements and created distinct gameplay experiences that emphasize roleplay.
To provide feedback and evaluate players’ performance, Broken Edge introduced “shadow-collisions,” translucent representations of blade clashes that manifest where the collision occurred within each player’s instance. The depth of the blade clash, or how deeply the blades are cut, is determined as an average result from both players’ instances.
In terms of tactical depth, the game offers layers of techniques with varying degrees of complexity. Newcomers can focus on mastering fundamental principles, such as targeting the opponent’s body for an instant kill and strategically attacking their blade while protecting their own. As players progress, they can unlock more advanced techniques and delve into the class-based “Awaken” system, which rewards skillful play and unlocks a complex meta of feints and strategies.
The development of a PvP melee combat game in VR presents unique challenges but also holds great promise. Trebuchet aims to provide a satisfying and immersive gameplay experience in Broken Edge, allowing players to engage in virtual swordfights with real movements.
– Trebuchet Game Studio
– Game Developer Magazine