While the 4th of July is still a way off, there’s no reason why you can’t start celebrating early with some fireworks – virtual ones, of course. We chatted with Virtuallight VR‘s Johan Sundkvist, game designer and developer of Pyro VR, about all the pretty fireworks in his sky.
Hello Johan! Tell us what Pyro VR is, in a nutshell.
If you love fireworks and crackers, or just want to blow sh*t up, this is the game for you. Imagine having your very own warehouse of fireworks and pyrotechnics at your disposal. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to enter a firework shop and yell “Hey, I’ll take it all” and later that day go bananas in your backyard with all the pyrotechnics? Or why not plan an awesome firework show?
How much, let’s just say ‘research’ did you do for Pyro? Are the fireworks modeled on real ones, or did you just go nuts in creating new stuff?
First of all we contacted the pros in town, the local pyrotechnicians. They handle all the firework shows in the county and they know, without a doubt, what they’re talking about.
They brought us to their storage hidden deep into the woods, which used to be the old military warehouse for ammunition and mines. Today it’s packed with hundreds of shelves and boxes containing fireworks and pyrotechnics. A wet dream for any pyro-nerd!
Together with the pro’s and a sound engineer we spent the whole evening shooting fireworks, recording all the sounds to Pyro VR and at the same time learning more about the work. (
All fireworks found in Pyro VR are modeled after real products and should sound and behave like the real deal. We also added products that are less “Pyro-nerdy” to attract a big crowd.
How many fireworks are in the game, and what can you do with them (except the obvious)?
At the moment you can find around 50 different pyrotechnic products in the game (and more are coming). Our goal is to make it easy for the player to tell exactly what each product does when they’re making a firework show. Therefore we have provided a label with information on each firework. You can mix and match colors, sizes and effects as you please, and don’t forget our fuse modules that will let you connect several fireworks for a bigger bang.
Are you a ‘fireworks fanatic’ in real life?
I’ve absolutely loved fireworks ever since I was a kid. Every year before New Years I collected firework ads that we received with the mail, cut out pictures of different ones and planned how to make the best show for New Years. No doubt, a lot of my saved pocket money was spent that day every year. I also knew all the names of the fireworks sold in town. I guess you could say literally a real firework fanatic.
When I got older I was always the only one sober at New Years, guess why? Yes, because I had a firework show to take care of later. I had been planning this for days, the exact time and setting for each firework, everything to make it perfect. Here you can see one of my “shows”:
After the release of Airborne VR 1944 we felt like we wanted to focus more on gameplay and therefore a firework simulator seemed like the way to go.
Oooh, pretty! Now, we all know there’s only one thing missing here. That’s barbecue. Any plans for a virtual backyard to let us virtually cook out?
Oooh, BBQ sounds tasty, let’s put virtual cook out on our to-do list!
What’s next? Any fireworks you still want to add and haven’t managed to yet?
First of all we want to complete the game, at the moment it’s an early access and our deadline is set for September 2017. Players can expect more products, bigger bombs, new locations and an entertaining career mode where you get points based on your skills as a pyrotechnician!
Thanks for talking to us Johan – we’ll let you get back to setting off fireworks.
Pyro VR is available on Viveport.