The 2014 GameCity festival is currently running across Nottingham, UK, with plenty for virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts to see and do. But if hands-on with the likes of Pixel Rift and Smash Hit Plunder isn’t enough then perhaps you should turn your attention to Nix, a new VR compatible puzzle experience that has today been announced the winner of the 2014 Off The Map competition held by the British Library, Crytek and GameCity itself.
Nix is developed by Sebastian Filby, Faye Allen and Jackson Rolls-Gray of the University of South Wales and is inspired by the British Library’s collection of Gothic literature. Using the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), the title tasks players with solving puzzles to reconstruct Fonthill Abbey, a country house formerly located in Wiltshire, UK before being demolished in 1846 follow the collapse of its 300-foot tower.
Players are taken on a first-person underwater journey through the abbey, which has been remade using original drawings, maps of the estate and sounds held in the British Library’s current exhibition named ‘Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination’. A trailer for the experience can be seen below, showcasing a surreal atmosphere in which players tour cel-shaded caverns, other realities, underwater halls and archaic architecture. The title was developed using Crytek’s CryEngine 3.
“With the theme of Fonthill Abbey, the winning team took the fantasy route and twisted the story into something fresh and completely different,” CryEngine Sandbox Product Manager and Off The Map panel judge Scott Fitzgerald said of Nix‘s victory. “The mechanics used to progress through the game and the switching between the two realities make a very interesting experience for the player.”
It’s not yet clear if and when Nix might see a release online. VRFocus will continue to follow the title in the future, reporting back with any further updates.