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Elemental Combat is a brand new VR game that focuses on multiplayer. It’s an FPS but the shotguns have been replaced with martial arts moves.

And you’ll perform these moves with your actual hands thanks to motion controls. You probably won’t be a martial arts expert at the end though.

We spoke to David Gattig, CEO & Co-Founder of AVRLON VR Studio about what distinguishes Elemental Combat from its competitors. Here’s what he had to say.

What do you think Elemental Combat brings to AR/VR which distinguishes it from other titles on the platform?

“We believe that Elemental Combat brings to VR unique game play elements, a novel setting and a competitive structure that makes it viable for eSports in the future.

“From day one we wanted to create a VR experience that uses all the unique capabilities that VR as a new medium has to offer. Elemental Combat was made directly with VR in mind and porting the game to any other platform would not make sense. This distinguishes it in our eyes from a lot of other VR games that copied existing games and simply put a VR view on top of them.

“Furthermore, in Elemental Combat, the player steps onto a fighting arena up high in the Wuling Mountains in China, full of nature, with waterfalls, and a calm, serene atmosphere - which is a stark contrast to the sci-fi or horror environments, which are prevalent in the current VR game market.

“Since the game is all about mastering the elements, we wanted to capture this feeling of training with ancient monks in nature, next to temples hidden in the cloud-covered mountains.

“Lastly, we are all very competitive players at AVRLON. At the same time, we have not found any intriguing competitive cross-platform VR games. So we set out to change that. Our biggest dream is to see people train the moves and tactics and then face off in competitive tournaments. We worked hard on a competitive balancing and the game offers an unbelievable high number of possible strategies for players to develop.”

What challenges did you face during development, and how did you overcome them?

“Our biggest challenge was that we had no prior VR experience and that we completely bootstrapped this project with our own money. In the beginning, we played and analyzed a lot of VR games to see what works and what doesn't and we developed our own best practice strategy for our game.

“We invested our own money into this project. At this point, investors pulled out from the VR market in masses. We could not pay for conference tickets, so we worked as volunteers for free tickets.

“We had to be thrifty. For example, we picked up a couch from the street and put it into our office. Instead of hiring and paying freelancers, we learned all the skills ourselves, like web development, graphic design, community management, and organic marketing.

“Even though we had a limited financial resources, we grew our team to eight people, who believed in us and the project so much that they joined us on this journey until the very end. Lastly, we learned a lot from this experience of questioning every expenditure and we worked hard day and night to achieve this dream of ours.”

Which part of the game are you personally the most proud of and why?

“I am a very competitive player - the most fun part of the game for me is shooting fire balls into my friends' faces and have some friendly banter with them while doing so.

“The game changes completely once you are facing off with a real human. It is then all about your tactics and mind games. How well can you read your opponent? Will he fall into your trap ? Can you execute the special move under pressure to make the finishing blow?”

What were your inspirations for creating the game?

“When I was watching TV as a kid, I would stand next the the television and imitate my heroes on the screen. I ran around the backyard with my friends shouting attack moves. I waited for my letter to Hogwarts.

“With VR I saw an opportunity to make these childhood fantasy into a (virtual) reality. I wanted to share with everyone, who had the same experience as a kid, this feeling of being super powerful like we always imagined.”

How has fan reception been so far?

“The fan reception blew us away. Our community is growing rapidly and they love the game so much that they are starting to rack up more in-game time than we have. More and more YouTubers are noticing and playing our game and they all really like this feeling of stomping earth barriers from the ground and punching fire balls around the arena.

“We don’t have a big marketing budget, since we are a small indie VR studio, but we work hard to get the word out and hope that this game will be played and loved by many more people in the future.”