The highly anticipated Pixel Rift has received a name change, developer Ana Ribeiro has today confirmed. Set to be released under the name ‘Pixel Ripped’, Ribeiro’s team are now aiming for a release on multiple virtual reality (VR) formats as opposed to developing solely for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD).
The story of Pixel Ripped began in 2014 as Brazilian videogame design student Ribeiro elected to develop a VR experience for her degree at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). The early success of the Pixel Rift demo lead Ribeiro to establish a team in order to develop the experience into a full videogame release under the name Pixel Ripped. In September 2014, Stef Keegan, another former NFTS student, joined the team as producer and 3D artist.
“People were saying that they loved my demo, but it was hard to tell if they were just impressed by the new technology,” states Ribeiro in today’s press release. “I took the game to VRTGO and it was the first time that it was being played by people that had already seen most of what VR had to offer. And they really loved it – that’s when I knew I had something special.”
The final product will be shipped episodically, with Pixel Ripped 1989 set to be released at the end of the year to coincide with the predicted release of VR headsets. This first release will be based on the school demo that can be downloaded for free from the developer’s website.
Commenting on this first release, Ribeiro states: “We have been listening to user feedback and have a ton of new ideas to keep people surprised, you may think that you have played the school demo but you haven’t seen anything yet!”
Further levels will be added to Pixel Ripped over a period of months, each set in a different year from lead character Nicola’s life. Several different periods of videogame history have been hinted to feature in the final version, including the transition to 3D videogame worlds.
“We wanted to make each experience bigger and better, we have really strong ideas but no time to implement them all before the headsets are released,” states Ribeiro. “We don’t want to keep people waiting, so we decided to release the ideas as separate experiences starting with the classroom, which will be followed shortly by a top secret level based in a different era of Nicola’s life.”
With a release timeline planned to begin later this year it could be easy to predict which formats Pixel Ripped will be aiming for, however no confirmation is available at present. VRFocus has spoken with Ribeiro about Pixel Ripped throughout the development of the project, of which the very first interview can be seen here.