Ikimasho means « let’s go! » in Japanese.
It’s both a tribute to the leap of faith of two friends starting a VR game company in 2017 (ancient times in our hardware-intensive sector), and a way to remember that our inspiration comes from the fun we had playing Japanese games. Had the industry be different we’d have named ourselves Andiamo, Balle or « On y va ».
Ikimasho’s story can be traced back to a very specific date, when Olivier replied to Yann about the infamous Gamasutra article the latter had just published. Since then, it’s all been uphill.
Because VR immerses us in the virtual world, we don’t just play the games anymore. We live them. To build worlds that are worth living in, we must go much further than traditional “environmental storytelling” into the realm of “world storytelling”, which encompasses just about every aspect of the game and requires the utmost attention to detail in service of the key emotion we creators are trying to convey. And one aspect in particular is paramount: the coherent relationship between player actions and the character’s actions in and on the virtual world.
Involving the body
Our players are not merely pressing buttons anymore, they now physically engage with the actions we require them to perform. This requires of us creators to design each action, even one as benign as picking up an object, into something physiologically rewarding.
Just like the real world, virtual worlds are only meaningful if they are, and keep being, rich, surprising, and allow for meaningful interaction. Us developers, especially with small teams so early into the medium, need to make sure we build our games for scale from the get-go.