Rhythm-based music videogames are set to make something of a comeback this year with the return of both the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises. But while these titles will be offering players something they’ve seen before, virtual reality (VR) offers the chance to transform the genre into something new. Indie developer Shailesh Prabhu is acting on that potential with niVRana, a new entry into Oculus VR’s ongoing Mobile VR Jam for the Gear VR smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD).
Entered in the videogame track of the Mobile VR Jam, niVRana engulfs players in a surreal landscape in which coloured notes move towards the player. Once these notes reach a certain point they must turn to them and nod in their direction in order to eliminate them. As seen in a video below, this creates a system in which players are effectively dancing to the music as they nod in time with the beat in various directions. Player’s scores are kept as they progress. Those interested can sample the title now over on the official submission page.
As part of the videogame track of the Mobile VR Jam, niVRana hopes to secure the grand prize of $200,000 USD. Runner-up prizes are also available, consisting of $100,000, $50,000 and $10,000 tiers. A community-voted prize also offers a further $10,000. The Jam recently passed its fourth milestone, meaning that all entrants will have now been submitted to a panel of judges, with results to be announced in early June 2015. Judges include the likes of Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey, Oculus VR’s John Carmack and members of other development teams including Telltale Games.
VRFocus will continue to follow any and all entries into the VR Jam, reporting back with the latest on them.