Every now and again you get an opportunity to play something quite new in terms of experience. Probe: A Game Dev Experience! is a game about being a game developer making a game so hopefully it shows the behind the scenes elements but also keeping it fun to play otherwise it might put some future game developers off pursuing a career in the games industry!
Probe: A Game Dev Experience! attempts to showcase the magic of the videogame production cycle from an initial idea to being sold. You are able to go behind the scenes and get an insight into how they are designed, the programming that is required to get things moving and also the digital art which brings a game to life for the player. Probe: A Game Dev Experience! takes this from an educational perspective, it’s not just to be played for enjoyable, you are meant to learn how things work. There are even modules for prospective students in real life to look at.
You start off as a freelancer at a company called Ecosoft in Probe: A Game Dev Experience! You’ve been employed to help out with a new game called Solar Blossom and also do some additional work for another title Emissary. From a first person perspective you can walk around the pleasant looking studio interacting with a variety of characters. After you’ve spoken to enough people you get your first task which is simply adding light to a videogame. These tasks slowly help develop the games you are involved with, once you finish the lighting aspect you move onto the next stages which include 3D modelling and Sequencing for example. As each tasked is finished, you are thanked for your help and then you move onto the next one, from an educational point of view it’s lacking why you’re doing the tasks you’re doing.
Probe: A Game Dev Experience! is predominantly a PSVR game which control wise works fine from that aspect. You can however play using your controller but it’s a painful experience unfortunately. What should be very easy straightforward tasks using the controller are very frustrating to implement, to the point that I recommend that you should not play it that way otherwise you’ll just want to throw your controller away. It’s not a great advertisement to be a games developer.
Graphically Probe: A Game Dev Experience! contains quite a nice looking office to work within. The tasks when completed show off your technical achievements is a well presented way. There are a fair few staff to talk to and the models come across well. Unfortunately there’s no speech involved so those interactions with your fellow developers can feel a little cold. When you complete tasks you unlock QR codes which give you access to further educational resources which you can use which is a useful inclusion.
Probe: A Game Dev Experience! is an interesting educational concept giving an insight into game development. The biggest issues with Probe: A Game Dev Experience! is that it’s a very light look at games development whilst the non PSVR controls are borderline unplayable. You will learn how lighting and digital art are added to games but there is nothing further to keep you playing long enough to get the kind of experience that makes you want to go back and learn more about game development unfortunately.