After 17 seasons on our tellies and several international spin-offs, perhaps it shouldn't come as a massive surprise that Taskmaster has been adapted into a video game (and a live experience, and a book, and a board game).

Advertisement

But what might surprise some onlookers is that Taskmaster has become, specifically, a VR game.

With traditional consoles like PS4, Switch and Xbox having far bigger player bases than any VR headset you could mention, why bring the Taskmaster brand to VR instead of aiming for consoles, or PC, or mobile even?

Prior to today's launch of Taskmaster VR, RadioTimes.com chatted over Zoom to Taskmaster creator Alex Horne about the project. We got some way to understanding how and why it came to be in this form.

So, how did it come about that Taskmaster would get a VR game?

More like this

As Horne puts it: "Well, it wasn't our idea. So, occasionally, people come to us and say, 'How about a Taskmaster board game?' Or book. Or in this case, VR game. And the company that make it, Scallywag, are absolutely brilliant. They know what they're doing. We don't.

"I have had a VR headset for a little while. I've got three boys who are 11, 13 and 14. And they like it. And it was obvious that the game they like best is something called Job Simulator. They like games where you pick things up and do things with it.

"You know, what they like best is... Have you played on an Oculus before? So, there's the intro, sort of demo function, where you can make paper aeroplanes and chuck things about. That's what they like best.

"They like Beat Saber, but they like things where you wander around the thing, and pick things up, put things down and muck about, and you don't have to clear up afterwards.

"So, I think we were instantly interested in Taskmaster being a VR game, because it's that. Because it's mucking about."

Horne added: "Yeah, so somebody came to us, and my rule of thumb is we'll only do a Taskmaster collaboration if we think it's gonna be good.

"We were quite keen not to dilute - and I hate to say this - the brand.

"We don't want to do rubbish things. We don't want to look like we're milking it in any way.

"But this did feel like it had potential, and it's taken years and years and years. So yeah, they came to us and we agreed that it was worth exploring."

As for how involved he's been since that initial discussion, Horne said: "I've been involved, in some way, for years, it feels like. And it made me realise I'm very glad I do what I do, and not what they do, because it's painstaking, the process [of making games]."

Horne is also quick to praise the Taskmaster credentials of the developers: "First of all, they knew the show inside out, which is great. They were bigger fans of it than I am. And that's a really good starting point.

"But then they came to the house and the studio to try to faithfully recreate every detail. Then they would send us pictures of how it was shaping up. But that was years ago.

"And then they would start plotting tasks. And they made up tasks, with our sort of input. But they knew what works in their world. And I know what works in our world. So it's a bit of a collaboration there.

"And then we wouldn't hear from for them for months and months and months, because they were drawing and modelling and testing.

"Then Greg [Davies] and I got in to do voices, a bit of movement. And again, then there was months and months of waiting. I mean, it takes so long to put these things together.

"And then I finally got to play it recently. And then there's more pick-ups, and you realise it's a very much trial and error process, it seems like. Unlike on the telly, where we pretty much just have a go and film it.

"So yeah, that's been the process. It's been them working very, very hard. And me dipping my toe in every now and again."

To see more from this interview, check out the advice that Alex Horne has offered for Taskmaster VR players.

Taskmaster VR, developed by Scallywag Arcade, launches today for Meta Quest headsets and Steam VR. You can learn more on its official website.

Advertisement

Check out more of our Gaming coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement