Things have been quiet around here. It’s time to change that!
I’ve been quiet for a reason, and that reason is “Decommissioned” – a VR game about surviving on a space station. Think “Gravity” meets “The Martian”. In Decommissioned, you play as the last astronaut to visit the International Space Station, charged with successfully ending the station’s 26 year mission by deorbiting the space station into the Indian Ocean. After powering down the Station’s aging systems and prepping to leave, a catastrophic failure disables your only means of escape. Now – with your oxygen failing and your orbit plunging deeper into the Earth’s atmosphere, you must find a way to repair and bring back online the systems that once kept you alive, and finally make it back home.
Exploration and choice
Ultimately, Decommissioned is meant to be a game of exploration and a game of choice. The mechanics of the game are all being designed to reflect these two goals. In Decommissioned, players will move around the space station using their hands – reaching out and grabbing handholds, flinging themselves across the space station, and pushing off of walls. This movement system, coupled with the immersiveness of VR, feels incredibly realistic. Even in its prototype stage, it’s really enjoyable just move and explore the space, and I’ve gotten some really positive feedback.
Built on top of the movement system will be a repair and dismantle mechanic. Players will have to cannibalize space station systems for parts, to keep essential systems working. The systems inside the space station will be built to interoperate with each other in a realistic way, so dismantling a system could have far reaching consequences. Players will need to make hard choices, determining what stays and what goes, leading to tense gameplay as resources grow scarce and systems start failing. Quick and careful planning will be the only way to survive.
So what’s working now?
Check out the tech demo!
So far my main emphasis has been player movement. It is important to me to maximize the player’s freedom of movement while preserving comfort. VR sickness is the worst, and I want to do everything in my power to prevent someone from having a bad experience in my game. I feel I’ve found a good balance in that regard, and I’m really happy about how the game plays and feels. In my (admittedly small) sample size, I have had no players get motion sick from the game, several of whom are usually prone to VR sickness. I’ll be sharing more about my methods in the next few days.
I hope you enjoy the preview, if you like what you see follow me here and on Twitter: @mark_at_abxy