VR game Nock comes alive with Y2K-inspired graphics

The Collected Works created an extensive suite of futuristic in-game designs for Nock, a VR game that sits somewhere between football and archery

NYC-based VR company Normal calls itself “a community of creative misfits, artists, engineers, and storytellers, working at the intersection of design and technology”. Founded in 2016 by Max Weisel, the company is known for its cloud game server hosting service Normcore, as well as being the creators of the games Half + Half and Nock.

Nock, the company’s latest release, is a VR game that merges archery with football, à la Rocket League but without the cars. Fast-paced and highly competitive, it has received rave reviews since its launch – thanks in part to its compelling futuristic aesthetic.

Boldly coloured and rendered using an eclectic art style, Nock feels like a dream world where the laws of physics – and the rules of archery and football – don’t apply.

Creating this world involved an intimate collaboration between Normal and local design studio The Collected Works (TCW), whose team were behind the game developer’s most recent brand identity system.

Joining forces once again, TCW was this time tasked with fleshing out Nock’s virtual world, helping to make in-game models, textures, 2D assets, trailers and more.

“The more we worked with them on Nock, the more we realised nothing was off limits,” explains the team at TCW. “We paired Nock’s high octane gameplay with a futuristic Y2K-inspired aesthetic that helped give each Nock item a distinct look and feel.”

Working across a vast array of in-game items, TCW assisted Normal in providing players with a highly customisable experience by designing hundreds of decals to be used as fictional logos, stickers and patterns on player’s bows, block items, and even the arena itself. The graphics were partly designed to give the impression of having sponsors and brands in the Nock universe – just like a real-world sports tournament would.

The team describes the different styles on offer as ranging from “industrial to alien” and “minimalistic to high tech” – allowing players to express themselves visually through their respective item designs.

These designs also ended up transcending the virtual world and entering the real one in the form of T-shirts and other merchandise, offering fans the chance to connect with Nock even when they’re not plugged into the game.