Introducing XR Hub team: Critical Charm

Jul 13, 2020

Critical Charm is making fun and family-friendly virtual reality games.

Six members of the Critical Charm team.

During 2020, we have been posting articles about our XR Hub teams. These articles have been written based on interview questions answered by the teams themselves. If you have missed the previous articles, you can find them in the Hub Team Introductions category!

Let us introduce to you the creators of the VR game A Giant Problem, Critical Charm!


Critical Charm

What does your team do?

We make fun, family-friendly virtual reality games.


What is the idea/mission behind your team?

We see a gap in the growing market for exactly what we’re making: fun, family-friendly VR games. So we’re starting with a smaller game, that’s relatively simply, but our plan is to grow into more storytelling focused games.


Tell us about your team members!

We’re a team of six with a changing assortment of trainees and freelancers supporting us. We’re led by Marjo Sutinen who’s our CEO and producer. Then there’s Zach Laster, our CTO and lead programmer. And we couldn’t do what we do without Minna Salminen, our Art Director. There’s also Rasmus Stenberg and Patrick Klinecz, our Game Programmers. And finally Gregory Pellechi, our Chief Storyteller.


What project(s) are you currently working on?

Our game A Giant Problem is currently out in Early Access on Steam, so we’re supporting that, and you should too! You can buy it today!

We’re also doing some contract work, and we have some other secret projects we’ve been tinkering away on.


Why did you decide to join Helsinki XR Center’s XR developer hub?

We saw Helsinki XR Center (HXRC) as an opportunity to join and grow Helsinki’s XR scene. There weren’t many VR game studios when we started, so sharing knowledge and learning from others wasn’t always easy. HXRC changed that. It provided a community along with a location and resources. So how could we not join?


When did you join the XR Hub, and how long had your team existed before joining?

We joined in June 2019, before the official opening. We had been in existence for a year at that point, and now we just celebrated our second birthday!


As a part of the XR Hub, how has your experience been so far?

It’s great to be able to walk over to the desks of another team and ask them for feedback, or recommendations on how to solve a particular problem. We just hope there’s more game studios that join so we can share what we know with them!

When it comes to this spring, COVID-19 closed the office, which really hampered the growing of the community, especially as new teams were set to start… Hopefully this changes after the summer, and we’ll get back to more regular chats over coffee!


What is the most interesting or exciting thing about extended reality?

The actual constraints. Whether they’re physical or computational or humane. It’s the constraints and how we work with them that drive innovation and creativity. VR headsets have limited field of vision, and some have a limited movement range. The computers or headsets themselves can only do so much. And then there’s the people using any VR that you have to account for. It’s a lot to take it, but it’s a fantastic challenge that results in some truly innovative ideas.


Critical Charm links

Screenshots of Critical Charm’s VR game ‘A Giant Problem’.

This post is a part of the article series about Helsinki XR Center’s hub teams. In this series, we have been posting team introductions on a weekly basis during the year of 2020. This has been your chance to get to know our talented XR community!

If you missed the earlier XR Hub team introductions, they are available in our website’s News section.

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