It’s been a long time since virtual reality (VR) fans have heard anything from indie developer Jake Slack on his anticipated upcoming videogame, Private Eye, for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). Earlier this year the developer did enter an official Gear VR jam with a spin-off of the title with Private Eye Case Files: The Wooden Lady, but the full videogame has been decidedly M.I.A. for some time. This week sees Slack break his silence on the title, announcing a new development grant and, finally, a projected launch window for its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign.
Private Eye has been awarded a grant from UK-based foundation, Wellcome Trust. This won’t be funding the full project, but instead giving the developer the time and resources it needs to set up a solid Kickstarter campaign, complete with a brand new 20 minute demo. Slack has suggested that this will mean the Kickstarter effort can get underway in October 2015, having been promised for well over a year now. It also means that the Gear VR spin-off is being put on hold, though there are plans to return to it later down the line.
Finally, the grant has also introduced the developer to Dr. Daniel Freeman, a professor of clinical psychology. As fans will know, Private Eye stars a detective that is trying to piece his memory back together following a tragic accident, and Dr. Freeman’s help will go towards creating an accurate, authentic psychiatric experience within the title. Dr. Freeman also operates his own VR lab that focuses on treating such conditions. The developer will also continue to work with Dr. Nathan Illman, who holds a PhD in memory impairment.
“It has been quite a journey to make it this far and so much as been acquired in the process,” Slack said in an update on an official blog. “The story has been developed vastly as we have learned more about what we want to say and what is and isn’t possible within the resources we have.”
VRFocus will continue to follow Private Eye closely, reporting back with any further updates on its progress.