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Reinventing game night

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Tommy Palm founded Resolution Games in 2015 with a mission: to create a studio focused on expanding the boundaries of immersive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to create games in which connection, cooperation and teamwork take center stage. Having achieved these goals with titles like Bait!, Coat of armsand Cooking: a sandwich story, the Stockholm-based developer has released games for all major VR and AR devices on the market. And just last year, the company (bolstered by $38.5 million in funding) broke new ground with the launch of Demooan ingenious virtual reality title inspired in part by classic tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons.

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But where J&D was largely two-dimensional (well, except for those polyhedral dice), Demoo is a multiplayer extravaganza that fuses sleek graphics and gameplay with the collaborative and social elements of a board game, and turns it all into an immersive VR experience. It’s this creative and community-based approach that landed Resolution Games on Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.

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“With virtual reality, you can be in the comfort of your home and then instantly be in a social gathering, doing something that really makes sense,” says Palm. “And Demoo– as well as being both fun and engaging – really shows the power of social VR. »

VR FOR ALL

In Demoo, up to four helmet-wearing users move characters (on a virtual board) as they embark on a complex adventure involving multiple paths (and a host of nasty enemies). The game currently features three full adventures, including a quest that takes you to a kingdom of rats located in the shadowy sewers below the town of Sunderhaven, with more planned.

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But rather than forcing players into a series of bloody boss battles, Demoo moves at the slower pace of more traditional game night fare, relying on team-based problem solving to defeat bad guys. “Virtual reality and augmented reality should be for everyone,” says Palm. “There are so many games about shooters and blasters and such – areas that we avoid to focus on more innovative experiences.”

A BOARD GAME REBIRTH

While the original game was developed with the then-unnamed metaverse in mind, Resolution Games wants to expand its user base: its latest iteration, Demeo: PC Edition, is an exciting four-person experience that allows for cross-play between PC and VR players. Equally important: the three-year development of the first Demoo reflects the collaborative aspects of the game. As with all of the studio’s titles, the process encouraged a free flow of ideas to help teams achieve their collective goals. “When great ideas come from everyone on the team,” says Palm, “everyone feels like they own it.”

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When creating Demoo, small teams (less than a dozen) were encouraged to push the boundaries of what was possible in the still largely unexplored areas of the metaverse. “Nobody really knows what will work well in augmented reality or virtual reality,” says Palm. “So the best way is to experiment your way to something that becomes a great product.”

This willingness to experiment has played a key role in bringing Demoo live. Indeed, Palm hopes the game will inspire more developers to apply cutting-edge gaming technologies to older, more traditional game modes. “I think board games are going to have a renaissance with AR and VR,” he says.



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