A company called eleVR, which does research in virtual reality and isn’t a gaming company at all, just shared a video for a virtual reality game they’re working on called Float. It’s a puzzle game and platform where you can visit floating islands to make them “come alive again.” You can play it on the HTC Vive, which is heavy on motion-tracking, only right now.
Almost as fascinating as the game premise itself, albeit in an early stage, is the explanation of what went on before it was playable — a lot of research. The story is fascinating, and reminds me a lot of the movie Inception as it pertains to building worlds for people to explore. eleVR’s Vi Hart explains:
The puzzle comes from how to use the moving platforms to manipulate what is within the bounds of those physical walls.
Most people aren’t used to thinking about layered spaces, especially when they move relative to each other. Winning this game requires thinking about space in a way that might be unfamiliar.
The idea for the game fell quite naturally out of the research we’ve been doing on VR movement design. Given only a small room, how do you allow someone to feel like they’re traveling through a large space? We’ve come up with a bunch of different answers to this question and this is one of them.
The soundtrack is also simply mesmerizing.
This is the part of virtual reality that gets me excited. There are tons of really talented people out there who might have a knack for storytelling and creation in virtual spaces, but haven’t gotten a chance to really channel and hone their craft. I see a group like eleVR and I’m hopeful for the future of the medium.
Here’s how they describe themselves as a team:
We are eleVR [el-uh-V-R], a virtual reality research group dedicated to figuring out how to make awesome virtual reality media while sharing our results along the way.
Since Float is an open source game, perhaps others will pick it up and build on top of it. Let’s hope so.