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Students to unveil groundbreaking virtual reality game in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:01 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 12 October 2018

A new virtual reality game will be unveiled at The Forum in Norwich on Sunday. Picture: Spillage Games

A new virtual reality game will be unveiled at The Forum in Norwich on Sunday. Picture: Spillage Games

Archant

Gamers will be able to take to the skies when a pair of students unveil their groundbreaking virtual reality project in Norwich.

Shoppers in the city centre can assume the role of a dragon at The Forum on Sunday, October 14, as young entrepreneurs Alex Spackman and James Baxter present ‘A Dragon’s Tale’.

The game allows players to flap their arms and swoop through the air by donning a headset, an ability that has so far evaded the majority of VR technology.

Mr Spackman, who lives in Hethersett and recently graduated De Montfort University with a games programming degree, explained why the creation stands out.

“One big limitation of existing VR is that you can’t go very far,” he said. “At the moment you can get around by pointing, holding down a button or walking around, but you are limited by room space.

“We wanted to break the mould and find a way for people to be free, to explore big open spaces - something which hasn’t been done before.

“You don’t have to move. You can just flap your arms to fly and squeeze the controllers to swoop around.”

Having come up with the idea for his final year university project, Mr Spackman enlisted the help of lifelong friend Mr Baxter with the intention of turning it into an authentic product.

They set up Spillage Games and drummed up enough financial support to recruit experts including 3D modeller Graham Smith, music composer Imco de Gier and animator Rob Munday,

The team worked full-time for eight weeks, building the basic structure of the game, creating animated characters and mastering intricacies like fire-breathing.

Mr Baxter, who lives in the south of Norwich, added: “The entire team put so many hours into this and the work has really paid off. Every day over the summer we were in contact, planning parts of the game and bouncing ideas off each other.

“This is my first time doing anything like this and it’s been a huge learning experience.”

Mr Spackman and Mr Baxter must raise £15,000 via Kickstarter to be able to work full-time over the next few months and complete their game.

They will demonstrate A Dragon’s Tale between 9am and 5pm on the main floor of The Forum in Norwich this Sunday.

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