John Carmack's advice for mobile VR devs: Iterate, iterate, iterate

"It is possible to check all the boxes and still wind up with a competently implemented game that just doesn’t have any soul,” cautions Oculus CTO John Carmack.
"Watch your players very carefully as they play. The smile, grin, cheer, or even focused look of intensity is your signal to chase. Design inspiration may provide the initial points, but hard work iterating on it is how you hill-climb to the best version.”

- While function comes first, John Carmack says that devs need to pursue and inject some "soul" in mobile VR projects

In the wake of Oculus’ annual Connect conference, Oculus CTO John Carmack took to Facebook to offer some advice to devs looking to capture the attention of players on mobile VR platforms.

From his own experience with VR and what he’s seen on digital marketplaces previously, Carmack says it’s important for devs to create something that resonates with players, not just a game that checks all the quality-game boxes on paper. 

“However, it is possible to check all the boxes and still wind up with a competently implemented game that just doesn’t have any soul,” says Carmack. 

Soul can be subjective, he warns, and not an easy element for devs to pin down. But Carmack advises devs to watch people play the game and take note of their reactions, then iterate to build on those delightful elements until a final project emerges.

“Games are a matter of taste, which varies widely. Hitting on something that everyone thinks is fantastic is unlikely. If it turns out that you have made something that at least a few people are ecstatic about, even if lots of people think it is garbage, then you have a better kernel to grow from than something that is widely considered just ok.”

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