One of the most exciting titles now available to people jumping into VR for the first time with PS VR2 is Demeo. Demeo, from Resolution Games, takes the theme of a tabletop RPG and converts it to an engaging, virtual-reality experience.
Courtesy of the PlayStation Blog the producer at Resolution Games, Gustav Stenmark, provided some additional details for players who have yet to experience Demeo.
At Resolution Games, we love tabletop roleplaying games just as much as anybody. Maybe even more! After all, you don’t make a game like Demeo without spending a few hundred nights around the kitchen table rolling dice and battling bugbears.
Yet for every tabletop gaming fan out there, dozens of tabletop-curious gamers are keen to try out the hobby but feel overwhelmed by the tomes of text and rules they’d need to parse through. And that’s before even creating a character sheet! Demeo was made for tabletop gamers — but it was made for the tabletop-curious, too.
In short, Demeo is a tabletop fantasy game for everybody.
To make the pen-and-paper RPG experience more approachable, we focused on the fundamentals of what makes these games great: challenging monsters, unique class-based abilities, narrative intrigue, and playing with friends. With this as our starting point, we designed Demeo to present these elements in a way that’s easy to understand and keeps the game moving. (Strategy is important, but there’s nothing worse than waiting 15 minutes for the nth-level wizard sitting to your left to finish their turn!)
In an effort to make actions intuitive, available choices for each party member are presented on cards that can be played on their turn. Rather than needing to remember a dozen possible actions a player can take (or memorize spell lists, or recall which perks have been bestowed upon a character by magical weapons), every possible action is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand card that keeps the game moving at a solid pace.
Some of these cards, like the Hunter’s Arrow, are replenished on every turn and act as the standard action for a class. Most, though — from the Sorcerer’s massive Fireball to healing potions and repeating ballistae — are one-time-use cards that add a crucial layer of strategy. Sure, you could use that “Scroll of Charm” to coax an Elven Archer to fight for you right now; but maybe you’d rather save it until you can convince an Ice Elemental to do your bidding in a crowded room full of spiders?
There’s an element of luck to tabletop games too, and Demeo is no different. Rather than a bag full of different-sided dice that determine hits, damage, and more, Demeo’s approach streamlines the rolling experience. A single die with three possible faces determines if a player misses, hits, or crits — and you guessed it: if you’re playing on PlayStation VR2, it feels just as good to roll the die virtually as it would with a real die in your hands.
In fact, thanks to the capabilities of the PS VR2, the Demeo experience is tactile in ways that simply haven’t been possible until now. Haptics in the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers make it so that picking up your miniature actually feels like picking up your miniature. And if your hero happens to be downed or killed by one of the many monsters, the PS VR2’s headset vibrations will make sure you never forget it.
The social experience of game night is faithfully recreated through gameplay that benefits from table-talk and collaborative strategy — but Demeo is an experience that plays well for solo gamers too. As any TTRPG fan will tell you, sometimes the greatest challenge is just getting everybody’s schedules to line up for game night. Demeo lets players scratch their tabletop itch even when nobody else is around. In fact, one of the biggest compliments we get comes from Game Masters who tell us they’ve turned to Demeo as a replacement game when someone is missing from their group that week. Instead of running a one-shot so that they don’t advance their tabletop campaign without all their regular players in attendance, they run Demeo. And that continues to knock our socks off.
Demeo features a richly detailed world filled with different settings, monsters, and scheming, corrupted villains — but as a player, it’s a world you get to immerse yourself in rather than build out moment-by-moment. There’s no need for a quick-thinking dungeon master to juggle the rules, monsters and everything else that a player could throw at them. And while there are five complete adventures included, Demeo allows players to make the adventuring experience entirely their own. Every session in one of these pre-made adventures is unique, thanks to randomly assembled levels, random monster and treasure distributions, different action cards in play, and the ability to mix different heroes together in any configuration you’d like.