Hello! I’m Balthazar Auxietre, the co-founder and creative director of Innerspace VR, the team behind Maskmaker, a spell-binding PS VR adventure game launching tomorrow.
We’re excited to dive into the making of the game, and the adventure awaiting players in the mysterious mask realm.
From studying cinema to exploring VR
While I was still in school, I had taken a more traditional course in cinema, but after graduating I found that I wasn’t very eager to join the cinema world, as I felt there were a lot of stories that had already been told through the medium. I remember as a child, I was intrigued by the potential of video games to tell different kinds of stories, so after making a few short movies, I moved onto using game engines and exploring that potential.
I had heard about this post-graduate art center, where artists were experimenting with new technology to move storytelling beyond the traditional language of cinema, so it was a perfect fit for me. I was able to get there and started working VR for the first time. Right away I spent almost all of the grant I had on buying this really primitive headset, which had a resolution of no more than 800 x 600 pixels and tried to do all sorts of things on it to make it work. It was how VR was in 2010!
… pretty underwhelming. But as I started to dig more into the potential of storytelling in VR, and it was very clear to me, even with the limitations of the technology at the time, that there were so many possibilities to tell these amazing stories through this medium.
The DNA and philosophies of Innerspace VR
Our studio was founded in 2014 in Korea, during the very early stages of the rise of VR. Early on, we started with a really small team that grew organically, project by project, and eventually moved back to Paris.
These past few years we have worked on all kinds of VR projects, and have been recognized for our sense of innovation and our artistic approach. A Fisherman’s Tale was our first game, but besides games we still work on many other experiences such as VR art installations.
Our DNA is both narrative and artistic, however we’ve always followed closely where gaming in VR was headed. Our goal hasn’t changed much over the years: we strive to explore the medium artistically, especially the storytelling potential through interaction, and try to make great VR, whatever that is! One of our mottos is that if VR cannot bring something significantly transformative to whatever it is that we are creating, whether it is a narrative or gaming experience, then we need to rethink our approach.
Learning from the past
Our first game was A Fisherman’s Tale, which was a real blessing for us as it is now recognized as one of the best VR narrative games. But of course, as