The Inspirations of Rez Infinite on PlayStation VR

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The Inspirations of Rez Infinite on PlayStation VR

Is it possible to give gamers that magical, musical feeling of being “in a groove?”

How do we sync graphics and sound so they combine into something more powerful than the sum of their parts?

Most importantly, can we do all of this and still make something that is fun to play?

15 years ago when I set out to create the original Rez with my team at United Game Artists, we challenged ourselves to answer these difficult questions. Luckily we had a few key inspirations to help us find answers.

Rez Infinite, Image 03

Core Influences

One was my first real experience with good techno music at the 1997 Street Parade music festival in Zurich. The power of simple, driving beats perfectly matching colorful lights and abstract imagery was a spectacle unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

…or had I? In a strange way, it reminded me of another inspiration from a totally different medium.

I had always been a huge fan of the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky who tried to evoke sound through vision (tied to a concept more generally known as “Synesthesia”). He meticulously placed shapes and colors in a way intended to create an impact beyond their visual qualities — to resonate with the other senses. And the soul.

The last key inspiration were the arcade-style shooters of my youth. Xevious made the lasting impression that this genre could be accessible to anyone, but at the same time include deep gameplay and replayability. Years later, playing Xenon 2 on a friend’s Amiga in college was the first time I realized that a rich, evocative soundtrack could help a game transcend technical limitations and become almost like a new form of media altogether.

And Now, 15 Years Later…

All this reminiscing isn’t just for nostalgia’s sake (and it isn’t just about the Rez post-mortem talk I gave today at this year’s Game Developers Conference) — the developers at Monstars and Enhance Games are working hard to keep these core inspirations in mind every single day as we develop Rez Infinite for PS4 and PS VR.

The same ideals we followed back then guide us now as we remaster assets to 1080p, remix the sound for 3D audio, and consider control options and other tweaks now that the game will also be (optionally) fully playable in PlayStation VR.

And the spirit behind the creation of the original Rez is especially important as we create the all-new, original content we teased at the end of our debut trailer: “Area X.” We aren’t ready to talk about this just yet, but hopefully the image says enough on its own.

Rez Infinite

Keep in mind this is concept art and not actual screenshots; right now we’re deep in experimentation, unsure of exactly where we will end up, but thrilled at the possibilities — just as it was with the original Rez all those years ago.

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  • I was a huge fan of it on dreamcast. Love Child of Eden as well. Port that one too :)

  • This and Space Channel 5: Part 2 were my favourite Dreamcast games.
    Tetsuya Mizuguchi makes incredible games, and I really can’t wait to play this :D.

  • Area X will be a merging of Rez and Child of Eden.

    At least, that’s what I’ll dream about every night from now on.

  • I have been in love with REZ since I first played it on the PS2. I imported a Trance Vibrator out of curiosity and I even went out of my way to get a Scuba VR headset to play REZ in non-head-tracking VR. As you can imagine, I am SO ready for REZ Infinite in full VR! REZ being on PSVR is enough for me to buy the burgeoning immersion platform.

    I always hoped REZ HD was going to come out on PS3 or Vita so I have been disappointed to not have REZ on an HD Playstation platform, so to me this feels a bit like REZ is “coming home”. I did buy REZ HD on the other console though. hehe

    Oh, and I’d still buy REZ HD for my Vita. Nudge, nudge ;)

    • Gideon , I was about to post about my excitement for this game and you pretty much said everything I would have. From importing a trance controller, to wishing it was on vita, and finally with how much I want to play more, especially in vr. This is going to be one that pushes me towards PS VR.

      Thanks Tetsuya Mizuguchi, your games helped make me the gamer I am today, keep doing what you love!

  • I’m definitely excited for this one, and will probably help convince me to purchase the VR setup. I played through the entire game a few times, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I went through that first level. Yeah, this game in VR is going to be incredible.

  • Looks like when a person takes acid & tripping out lmaooo

  • Loved Rez on Ps2 and it was the first game I bought on XBLA when I got a 360. Will be getting it yet again for PS4 and looking forward to possibly playing it on the VR (if I ever decide to drop that kind of money on it)

  • Will we be able to buy the funky suit with all the vibration pads? I would be willing to pay an absurd amount of money for such a thing.

  • Rez is one of my favorite games of all time. I sincerely cannot put into words how excited I am to try Rez Infinite in VR, eventually.

  • With this announcement I am sold on PS VR! A gamer since ’82, REZ still holds a very special place in my heart. Shut up and take my money!

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