How CCP brought EVE: Valkyrie from Rift to PSVR without sacrificing quality

Lead designer Andrew Willans discusses the process of creating a VR dogfighter game with balanced, cross-platform gameplay.

“We’ve been regularly playtesting cross-platform battles for nearly half a year, and I think that’s a critical part of the process…Aside from maintaining that all-important gameplay parity, it also helps you develop and improve interactions within menus or in balancing inputs and key bindings.”

- Andrew Willans on developing EVE: Valkyrie for multiple VR platforms.

In a recent Polygon interview, lead EVE: Valkyrie designer Andrew Willans discussed how the team at CCP Newcastle managed to make their game both look and feel just as impressive on PlayStation VR as it does on Oculus Rift, despite the former operating on less powerful hardware.

The interview should be of particular note to developers who are interested in the technical and design decisions implemented by the CCP Newcastle team to make cross-platform VR gameplay balanced in regards to both graphics and mechanics. 

One of the major challenges the development team kept in mind was ensuring that players on one VR headset wouldn’t have any advantages over players on another. Willans says community feedback and the six-month playtesting process were both a huge part of why Valkyrie now works so well as a cross-platform title. 

“Our technical director would shoot me if I said easy, but it actually wasn’t too stressful. This was due to some good foresight when planning and designing our own, in-house backend systems,” said Willans. “Cross-platform play was a consideration from day one, and having full control over those systems meant we [weren’t] reliant on anyone else. As Valkyrie evolved, and continues to evolve, we have the systems to plug straight into.”

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