Oculus VR’s ongoing Mobile VR Jam appears to be attracting developers both new and familiar to virtual reality (VR). Indie developer and Bangor University Lecturer Dr Llyr ap Cenydd belongs in the latter category, having already gained VR fan’s attention with underwater experience Ocean Rift, which is in the works for the Gear VR smartphone-based HMD and allows players to get up close with aquatic life. For his Mobile Jam entry, however, Cenydd is moving out of the ocean and onto alien planets.
The developer has revealed Crashland Reborn, a first-person shooter (FPS) set on a hostile alien planet. Players fend off increasingly harder waves of aliens in an attempt to survive until help arrives. Defeating enemies provides players with credits that allows them to purchase upgrades that improve damage dealt, reload speed, accuracy, rate of fire and ammo capacity. Gameplay is designed around short 10 – 15 minutes experiences.
Crashland Reborn takes a unique approach to aiming using the Gear VR’s head-tracking technology. Unlike most FPS titles, the player’s gun, in this case a pistol, is decoupled from the direction in which they are looking. At any time, however, the player is able to press a button that re-centres the reticule almost in a quick-draw fashion. The result is a system that allows for fast aiming between targets. The button can also be held down to keep the reticule centred at all times.
“The aim is to develop a fast and action packed FPS that adheres to VR best practices,” the developer notes in a post revealing the title. “Of paramount importance is how comfortable the game is to control. All rotational movement will come from the player’s own body, balanced around using a swivel chair. There will be no analogue rotation. I will attempt to create an intuitive control scheme that combines head tracking with decoupled aiming.”
VRFocus will continue to follow each and every Mobile VR Jam entry, reporting back with the latest on them.