Papo & Yo developer Minority Media already has one virtual reality (VR) videogame in the works. The studio is creating The Time Machine for both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus head-mounted displays (HMDs). The title will be on display next week at E3 2015, running on Oculus Rift’s Crescent Bay prototype. But this isn’t the only VR project that the developer has in the works right now. The studio has this week revealed Cali, a new third-person platform-based experience for the Gear VR mobile HMD.
Announced over on Polygon, Cali was actually codenamed ‘Ico 3.0’ in its early life. The label was symbolic of what Minority Media CEO Vander Caballero and his team are trying to achieve with the title, building on the kind of relationship that was first seen in the PlayStation 2’s 2001 cult classic, ICO. In that title, players control a boy named Ico and help guide Yorda, a young girl, through a castle. It’s one of videogame’s most celebrated accomplishments, but Caballero personally found frustration in the pair’s relationship and its restrictions.
“What happens at the end? She becomes a key, and then you get pissed because she’s using you to escape, but you’re not getting anything from her,” Caballero told the site. “I was like, ‘Come on! Give me a hug! Do something or I’ll throw this controller away!’”
Cali, then, is Caballero’s response to those unmet expectations while also serving as what he describes as an ’emotional successor’ to Papo & Yo, which was based on his experiences with his abusive father. In particular, the title reflects a particular memory in which Caballero’s father set him up to sleep with the daughter of a prostitute. The developer fell in love with the girl, which caused upset within his family.
In Cali, players will control a boy named Massi who is selected by his small village to be sent to the gods. To do this, he must cause a fairy named Cali to fall in love with him. Players will solve puzzles and gather gifts for Cali which she can choose to reject, something that Caballero sees as a major mechanic. First person segments will allow players to grow a connection to the fairy, even allowing Massi to caress her face and attempt to kiss her.
The title started life long before Minority Media became involved with VR work but was put on hold and later revived as a project for Gear VR and other HMDs that are yet to be named. It’s not yet clear when it will be releasing.
VRFocus will continue to follow Cali closely, reporting back with any further updates on the project.