PEI

Meet the Charlottetown gaming company behind an Emmy nomination

Sculpin, a division of Newfoundland-based company Other Ocean Interactive, is the technical team that worked under developers in Newfoundland to bring the virtual reality game Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality to PlayStation 4.

'It speaks volumes to the talent we have here specifically on Prince Edward Island'

'Rick and Morty are obviously iconic now,' says Owen Watson, senior producer at Sculpin. (Cody MacKay/CBC)

You could hear a pin drop in this Charlottetown office, if not for the subtle patter on keyboards echoing through the room. 

There are people from all over the world that make up the dozens that work at the P.E.I. gaming company Sculpin. Many of them silent, sporting headphones or earbuds, focused on other worlds and magical characters on the computer screens before them.

Other than the colourful scenes on their screens, it's not unlike other offices.

Except, this office is nominated for an Emmy.

"It's a great honour for us here even being a small part of the project itself," said senior producer Owen Watson. 

"Its a great honour and speaks volumes to the team here on what we've been able to accomplish over the last 10 years that we've been open."

'Its a great honour and speaks volumes to the team here,' Owen Watson says. (Cody MacKay/CBC)

Sculpin is a division of Newfoundland-based company Other Ocean Interactive and is the technical team that helped bring the virtual reality game Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality to PlayStation 4.

The game is based on the animated series Rick and Morty — which has grown from cult status to "the new Simpsons," Watson said.

"Rick and Morty are obviously iconic now," he said. "That's a big thing behind the [game].

"The voices I think are the biggest part of the game that really are fun and then just being able to interact with all the elements from the show itself."

Three other companies share the Emmy nod with Other Ocean Interactive for their work on Rick and Morty: Owlchemy Labs, Adult Swim Games and the Rick and Morty creative team.

"Other Ocean and its sister company, Sculpin, were hired due to the technical depth of our team and their experience in virtual-reality development," said Deirdre Ayre, the head of operations at Other Ocean Interactive.

"The challenge was ensuring the game played incredibly well … on PlayStation VR. It was originally designed to run on PC so it required significant changes to the code base to ensure we captured the same experience but on hardware that it wasn't previously developed or intended for."

For its work on Rick and Morty, Other Ocean Interactive was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program.

"It speaks volumes to the talent we have here specifically on Prince Edward Island," Watson said. "A lot of people don't realize just how much video-game development is done in Atlantic Canada," Watson said.

"Being tied to an Emmy at all is just mind blowing and something we're celebrating for sure."

Watson says they're facing a deadline for their upcoming game Tabletop Gods, which he hopes will be released by Christmas of this year. (Cody MacKay/CBC)

The team at Sculpin doesn't have too much time to celebrate, however.

Watson said they're facing a deadline for their upcoming game Tabletop Gods, which he hopes will be released by Christmas of this year.

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About the Author

Cody MacKay

Web Writer

Cody hails from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and is a UPEI History and Carleton Masters of Journalism alum. He joined CBC P.E.I. in July, 2017. Reach him at cody.mackay@cbc.ca