Topeka native James Iliff is co-founder of Survios, a California-based virtual reality developer pushing for success in a relatively young industry. His work, and that of co-founder Alexander Silkin, was recognized by Forbes magazine, which named the pair to its 30 under 30 list in games, as leading a “technological and artistic revolution.”
Iliff, 27, said the award validated the hard work he and Silkin have put into growing their virtual reality business, which began with a VR hardware and software project in 2011.
Survios released its first game, Raw Data, in the past year to critical and commercial success, he said. They’ve raised $56 million in venture capital and have partnered with MGM Studios.
The immersion in a different world that occurs with virtual reality — the interactivity and action — excites Iliff as much today as they did when he was a boy and first learned about the technology.
”I feel the most successful when I’m creating something,” Iliff said. “It’s all environmental storytelling, which is kind of the way that VR is working as a medium. You walk into a virtual space, and you observe the aftermath around you. It’s new and fresh, but at the same time it’s also very old because it’s the most raw and the most intuitive way to experience the story. You actually feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve popped into this world. I’m embodying this character.’”