Los Angeles based White Elk Studios have revealed further details on their forthcoming virtual reality (VR) project, Eclipse (working title) to VRFocus. Following a tease late last year and a playable outing at the VRLA Conference, White Elk Studios founder Jonathan Hawkins has previewed the work-in-progress videogame with VRFocus.
Eclipse is an experimental VR experience in which the player is transported to another world. A science-fiction videogame in which the player is given the opportunity to explore and will be confronted with moral dilemmas, Eclipse is an ambitious project that started from very humble beginnings.
Hawkins, a former employee of Sony Santa Monica working on the God of War franchise, spoke with VRFocus about the project: “The gameplay of Eclipse focuses on three major tenants: it has a cryptic and mysterious world like Myst, it has the gameplay of Metroid focusing on exploration – scanning abilities and player upgrades – as well as the world is filled with the magic of someplace like Neverending Story, but also kind of a creepy, almost dark history like Prometheus.”
The demo version of Eclipse that VRFocus has been afforded hands-on time with was very limited and extremely short, however it did offer insight into the unique art style that the videogame will benefit from. This interesting deflection from super-realism came about through a collaboration with Section Studios.
Cecil Kim, Creative Director & Chief Creative Officer at Section Studios, retells how they became involved in the project: “I knew Jon from working at Sony. I’ve been working with him for 10 years, and Jon started his own company and he came up to me with this game idea. He pitched the idea to me and it was one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard in my career.
“I had my whole art team from my company on-board and we started from the very beginning, talking about the idea and the art direction: what’s the best approach to visualise his vision?”
The demo version of Eclipse shown to VRFocus utilised the second iteration of the Oculus Rift development kit (aka DK2) and a DualShock 4 control pad. However, White Elk Studios are yet to confirm which formats Eclipse will eventually launch on. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details from White Elk Studios, including a hands-on preview of Eclipse coming soon.