Vertigo Games this week released one of 2023’s most unusual remakes: A VR-based remake of 90s-era adventure game The 7th Guest. Originally announced at the Meta Showcase event in June, the game brings a new version of the puzzle adventure to PlayStation VR2, Meta Quest and Steam VR headsets. GamesBeat got a chance to speak with Paul van der Meer, the game’s director, about bringing the classic to VR.
Van der Meer spoke about how influential the original CD-based title was with its full-motion video and soundtrack. “You saw the real actors and hear them — it was their real voices, not beeps and boops. It was leaps beyond what other games could do because everyone was still stuck with floppy disks. As soon as everyone saw what the CD-ROM could do for gaming, everyone had to be on it. It was the new standard. It was a very effective showcase for all the razzle and dazzle that was suddenly possible.”
According to van der Meer, the remake has been a VR title since he first pitched it, saying, “A secluded, isolated mansion would be perfect for a VR title.” The new title rebuilds all of the puzzles, as none of the original assets function in a 3D environment. The remake is not a perfect adaptation, but rather adapts “recognizable aesthetic elements paying homage to the original,” according to Vertigo Games.
7th Guest uses volumetric capture, courtesy of 4Dviews, to capture its actors. Unlike motion capture, it doesn’t require actors to wear special suits. Instead, they’re acting out the ghostly party that the player character witnesses as ghostly flashbacks. According to van der Meer, this helped keep the spirit of the original game’s full-motion video while working in an updated VR environment.
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“The technology has been around, but there hasn’t been a showcase to instantly tell people how much impact it can have,” said van der Meer. “What the original game was to the CD-ROM — ‘Wow, you can do those things with it!’ — that’s what we want to do with this game.”
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