Unsigned – The marvellous universe of action VR shooter Star Shaman

This article is a part of MCV/DEVELOP’s Unsigned, bringing a spotlight to unsigned indie games in partnership with Unity.

Star Shaman is an action VR shooter/roguelite set in a marvellous universe with sparkles of French Touch music and a unique spellcasting system designed to empower the players in their movements.

Olivier Piasentin

Developer: Ikimasho

Location: PARIS, FRANCE

Team size: 10 people, full-time

Progress: Oculus Quest and PC version released, PSVR in development.

Contact details: olivier.piasentin@ikimasho.games

Tell us about your game and why you decided to develop it?

The idea for what eventually became Star Shaman initiated in 2018, when we would go to VR arcades and see people were not engaging physically with the games they were playing. We thought we should create a game that required you to move in a way that would make you feel powerful through these very movements. So in early 2019, we built a new team – including the lead choreographer from Just Dance – and started working on these ideas.

Who do you think the audience is?

The current VR audience is the competitive type that looks for short energetic sessions (7’-20’). They play for the challenge, and keep coming back for achievements and scoring.

What experience does the team have?

Ikimasho was created by 2 friends. One’s a video game producer (Ubisoft, gumi) and the other’s a movie producer who also produced 360 fiction and immersive VR experiences. Their combined interest for VR as a growing market and an experimentation field led to the birth of the studio, which today includes 40% women among its staff.

Why did you decide to use Unity to create this game?

At Ikimasho, we believe great games are the sum of innumerable small and very diligently executed strokes of genius that coalesce into a coherent whole. We empower our creatives to take risks and pursue those strokes of genius in many different ways, and Unity is a cornerstone of this approach. We also support a vast array of VR headsets, ranging from untethered to fully dedicated PC-VR with specialized gaming hardware. ‘Fun’ fact: half of the headsets we are currently supporting with Star Shaman had not yet been released when we began prototyping. Unity helps us minimize the compatibility effort and smoothes the whole process. The broad community and extensive resources and documentation available to us as an indie developer were also one of the strong points in us diving into the Unity ecosystem and extending it at our scale.

How long will it likely take to complete?

The game’s development started right after Oculus Connect 7 (Sept 2019) and we released within a year on both Oculus Quest and PC-VR – we are focusing our current efforts on the PSVR version, with an additional
co-op meta game mode and a Q3 2021 release target.

What kind of support are you looking for?

We are looking for a publisher who will support the development and release of the PSVR version with its co-op features, both financially and marketing-wise.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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