Interview: Mutant Boxing League VR Follows Street Fighter Travel The World Aspects

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Mutant Boxing League VR - via Filmic Studios

Ever heard of daily workout meets VR gaming? Well, now you do because of Mutant Boxing League VR from Filmic Studios. The latest VR game is the latest entry in the boxing sports genre that features unique attention to detail that not only is fun to play but can also boost your workout performance. 

Players start with an easy-to-learn tutorial and after that, you can quickly dive into boxing with different opponents, environments, and customization options. With so much to enjoy and talk about, we spoke with Marcus Krupa and Jonathan Knape from Filmic Studios. 

Mutant Boxing League VR - via Filmic Studios
Mutant Boxing League VR – via Filmic Studios

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role on Mutant Boxing League VR?

Filmic Studios: I’m Marcus Krupa, the Lead Developer of Mutant Boxing League and Co-Founder of Filmic Studios, along with our Creative Director, Jonathan Knape.

What inspired the mix of playful and challenging gameplay in Mutant Boxing League? How does this set it apart from other VR boxing games?

Filmic Studios: Our main philosophy has been to make boxing as fun as possible while staying true to core boxing mechanics, so it’s been about finding areas where we can make the standard boxing experience more exciting. 

Inspired by games like Street Fighter, we let the player travel the world, fighting in varied open environments, such as the top of a mountain in France, the deserts of Egypt, a rooftop in Hong Kong, etc. 

When you get knocked down during matches, you face a bunch of different minigames to get back up, switching up the gameplay while keeping your pulse up. 

In the same vein, inspired by classics such as Punch-Out, the opponents have been designed to provide maximum variation, which is where we took the most creative liberties concerning boxing, so you’ll face off against huge opponents that will knock you out with a single back fist, lightning fast barrages from light-weight opponents with special ability gloves that allow them to slow down time, and to top it off, a guy with rocket gloves, who can fly around for brief periods.

Boxing Sequence
Mutant Boxing League VR – via Filmic Studios

Very few games go into such in-depth detailed mechanics for a VR game. Since Mutant Boxing League VR focuses on Strategy boxing, can you elaborate on the role of timing, precision, and positioning in mastering the gameplay?

Filmic Studios: We wanted to avoid a common scenario in boxing games, where the player resorts to spamming punches, hoping something lands, and instead reward more deliberate gameplay, where you dodge punches to create openings.

The tricky thing with this style of boxing is that it requires a great deal of skill and fitness, so we assist players with various indicators and slowdowns on easier difficulty levels so even newbies can experience this style. 

To further discourage a spammy style, we make certain punches and opponents unblockable, so there’s a lot of dodging going on, which is fun and a great form of exercise.

Fitness seems to be the highlight of the game. How does the gameplay combine the fun and daily workout?

Filmic Studios: Apart from the matches, many seem to enjoy our mini-game mode, which provides a varied and good workout, or beating our challenges in challenge mode, with fresh content each week.

Mutant Boxing League VR - via Filmic Studios
Mutant Boxing League VR – via Filmic Studios

How does the game handle progression? What kind of rewards do players unlock by winning matches?

Filmic Studios: As you progress, you unlock certain special ability gloves, league skins, and game modes. In our challenge mode, standard and weekly, you unlock a bunch of additional skins.

In future updates, you’ll unlock additional opponents by beating certain difficulty levels.

How do the special gloves (power and speed) impact strategy and gameplay? Can you describe some situations where each glove type would be most beneficial?

Filmic Studios: It’s a bit like playing Warrior or Rogue, whether you like one big swing or a thousand cuts, so it’s mostly a preference. 

Initially, the gloves were meant as purely offensive upgrades, but we soon found out that on harder difficulties, they work well as defensive tools. If you’re about to be knocked out, slow down time to dodge a tricky combo, or use your power punch to knock back the opponent to allow your health to regenerate.

I’d say the speed glove’s ability to downtime is the most flexible and more forgiving since you don’t only have one shot, but there’s something very satisfying in knocking out an opponent with a single power punch that you’ve committed to.

Mutant Boxing League VR - via Filmic Studios
Mutant Boxing League VR – via Filmic Studios

Overall the graphics also look fresh and detailed with the scoreboard and punch registration interface. How does this visual style contribute to overall game immersion?

Filmic Studios: We’ve strived for visually pleasing environments that energize the player since you’re doing a workout, so we’ve tried to capture the feeling of stepping out on a nice sunny day, where your body goes into “let’s go do stuff” mode.

Apart from that, we use a lot of energetic visual/audio cues to give that old dopamine center some kicks and forget that you’re an exhausted mess.

We also saw a variety of gloves that players can unlock. Will the game allow players to customize their gloves in-game?

Filmic Studios: Apart from choosing skins, there’s no other customization at the moment.

Mutant Boxing League VR – via Filmic Studios

How many developers are working on the project and how long has it been under development?

Filmic Studios: Our core team consists of two developers, but for around one and a half years, we’ve developed it, and around 15 people have been involved at different points.

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Filmic Studios: I hope you guys try it out, but a word of advice: wear something appropriate. We’ve ruined the evening plans of many of our poor, sweaty testers.. and prepare with a water bottle close by! 

Mutant Boxing League VR is a boxing sport game, developed and published by Filmic Studios. The game was released on April 5, 2024, on PC and PlayStation 5. 

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