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Interview: Owlchemy Labs On Its Absurd 'Job Simulator' VR Game And The Vive Pre (Video)

When we tried the HTC and Valve Vive room-scale VR system for the first time almost a year ago at Mobile World Congress, one of the demos we were shown was Owlchemy Lab’sJob Simulator. Out of the four demos I tried, I said at the time “that I had the most fun playing the Job Simulator demo because it was the most interactive of them all.” Fast-forward to CES 2016, where we got to spend some time with the updated HTC Vive Pre developer edition, and Job Simulator played a prominent role again in our Vive experience. I got to try a new level of the game, "Office Worker," and once again out of all the VR demos I tried, it was the most fun and definitely the funniest.

We were lucky enough to get a chance to chat with Owlchemy Lab’s Alex Schwartz and Devin Reimer (a fellow Canuck) at the show about Job Simulator and the HTC Vive Pre, which you can check out in the video below.

Although it is long, it’s worth the watch, because we do discuss a fair number of interesting topics, including Owlchemy Labs' makeup (it has teams in both the U.S. and Canada) and how they got into VR (they are the creators of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaCULUS!!!). They also talk about how they started working with Valve and HTC to create content for the Vive and the inception of Job Simulator, its pop culture references, and the challenges of adding humor to games. Currently, three out of the planned five levels (well, jobs) of the game have been shown – Kitchen Worker (the demo we played at MWC), Office Worker (see trailer above), and Convenience Store Worker (see trailer below), which we haven’t tried yet. Schwartz and Reimer wouldn’t disclose to us what the other jobs are.

They also talked about the differences between the Vive, the Oculus Touch, and the PlayStation VR versions of the games (it is one of the few coming to all three VR platforms). From what we understand, the Vive version is going to offer the best experience because its room-scale VR technology allows for full 360-degree gameplay. Both the Oculus Touch's and PlayStation VR's current tracking systems for their controls limit the gameplay to 180 degrees in front of the player. Each version of Job Simulator is configured to provide the best VR experience within the limitations of each platform.

Schwartz told us that Job Simulator will be “Day zero on all three platforms,” and with the Vive scheduled to be the first to ship with the motion controllers required for Job Simulator (pre-orders start next month, with shipping expected in April), that version of the game will be the first to be released. We are certainly looking forward to playing 2050’s vision of what today’s jobs entail in VR, and we are also eagerly anticipating news on what the two unrevealed jobs are. Leave your guesses as to what they’ll be in the comments below!

Update, 01/22/15, 8:00 am PT: clarified wording about which VR platform ships first.

Alex Davies is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware and Tom's IT Pro, covering Smartphones, Tablets, and Virtual Reality. You can follow him on Twitter. Follow Tom's Hardware on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.