Featured Member: Cloudhead Games

Featured Member: Cloudhead Games
24 Sep 2020 by DigiBC


Cloudhead Games is an award-winning VR studio located on Vancouver Island and was founded by Denny and Tracey Unger. As an early adopter and being a ‘90s VR garage hacker enthusiast’ from building collimated displays to designing Oculus’s first logo, Denny’s involvement in VR spans decades. His early work includes the creation of a board game company deploying over 104 products, advergaming design and creative direction, and a deep dive into groundbreaking VR video game production culminating in the creation of Cloudhead Games. Tracey has a history in general management with their previous company, as well as experience and formal education in stage management. She has also helped open several franchise restaurants with a focus on human resources, including hiring and training.

Cloudhead has been developing in VR since late 2012 and this led to a successful Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2013 that gave them the mandate to create the first-ever announced, built-for-VR game, previously known as The Gallery: Six Elements. They have since gone on to release other prominent titles such as Pistol Whip and Aperture Hand Labs. Cloudhead has partnered with industry-legends Valve, Sony, HTC and Oculus to create for the next-gen VR hardware. Always innovating, Cloudhead is best known for their early solutions in VR locomotion/comfort with snap turns and teleportation, as well as VR motion capture and hand interactions. We recently caught up with Cloudhead to see what’s been happening at the studio, what’s on the horizon and how they have been adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.


How would you describe your company culture?

Collaborative, Creative, Innovative. We are an open, honest, and accepting culture that values hard work and dedication to crafting the best VR experiences. We have quite a diverse team that relies heavily on collaboration, which allows us to create the best entertainment experiences possible.

 

What would you say sets Cloudhead apart from other studios?
The people, no doubt! Cloudhead Games is a diverse team of VR veterans and enthusiasts with a combined drive and passion for creating.
 



What games have you previously released?

 

What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently hard at work on our first action pack for Pistol Whip called, 2089. It’s a cinematic action campaign with new scenes, weapon types, enemy types and mechanics, slated for release this holiday season. It’s by far the biggest Pistol Whip release we have created and we’re extremely excited about all the interest we’re receiving.

 

Has the studio won any awards or received any accolades?

● Nominee: Canadian Game Awards 2020 – Game of the Year

● Finalist: 4th International VR Awards 2020 - VR Game of the Year

● Winner: UploadVR Best of VR Awards 2019 - Developer of the Year

● Winner: D.I.C.E. Awards 2020 - Immersive Reality Game of the year

● Winner: UploadVR Best of VR Awards 2019 - Developer of the Year

● Winner: Road to VR's 2019 Game of the Year Awards - SteamVR Game of the Year

● Winner: VR Fitness Insider's VR Fitness Awards 2019 - Best New VR Fitness Game of the Year

● Winner: VR Fitness Insider's VR Fitness Awards 2019 - Best Action VR Fitness Game of the Year

● VRGear's Best VR Games of the Decade (Top 10)

● Polygon's 50 Best Games of 2019 (#50)

● Gamespot's Best VR Games of 2019 (Top 5)

● Forbes' Top Ten VR Games of 2019 (Top 10)

● VRFocus' Best Oculus Quest Games of 2019 (Top 10)

● VRFocus' Best Oculus Rift Games of 2019 (Top 10)

● GameRant's Top 10 Virtual Reality Games of 2019 (Top 10)

● Eurogamer's Favourite Games of 2019 (Ian Higton's Top 5)

● Giant Bomb's Top 10 Games of 2019  (Mike Drucker's Top 10, Kahlief Adams' Top 10, Will Smith's Top 12)

● Winner: 2018 VR Awards - Game of the Year

● Winner: 2018 Viveport Developer Awards - Best Entertainment Experience

● Winner: 2018 Cinequest Awards - Best Episodic Game

● Road to VR Best of 2017 - Top 5 Oculus Rift Game

● Road to VR Best of 2017 - Top 5 HTC Vive Game

● Winner: 2017 Cinequest Awards - Best Game

● Winner: 2017 Cinequest Awards - Best Game

● Winner: 2016 UploadVR Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Technology

● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Game Innovation

● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 UploadVR Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Technology

● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Game Innovation

● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

● Winner: 2015 Proto Awards - Most Transportive

● Winner: 2015 Proto Awards - Most Transportive

● Winner: 2014 Proto Awards - Best Sound Design

● Winner: 2014 Proto Awards - Best Sound Design

 

Are there any other exciting facts about Cloudhead we may not know about?
How about some fun holiday-themed facts? Cloudhead Games loves giving back and for the last four years has hosted an annual charity haunted house in conjunction with the city where we are located. Check out some eerie examples on our Instagram page! Unfortunately, there won’t be a haunted house this year due to COVID-19, but we’re already brainstorming on how we can give back while staying safe this holiday season.



Are you currently hiring? If so, what are the open positions?

While we aren’t actively looking to fill any particular positions, we are always interested in hearing from smart, creative people who are passionate about virtual reality. Apply or keep an eye on our website to stay up-to-date on future career opportunities. https://cloudheadgames.com/careers/

 

Are there any updates you want to share about how the studio has been adapting to WFH and working through the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 certainly presented some challenges, particularly with a team like ours which is quite close but it was nothing we couldn’t handle! We’ve been working fully remote for the last six months, during which we have released two major updates, been involved in some massive events such as Facebook Connect, and also launched on a new platform with our PlayStation VR debut.