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Cradle of Links VR: From Idea, To Realisation

In terms of the development of the project, Cradle of Links VR has a team of ten relatively like-minded people that have a varied experience working in game development, all across its various different spheres and ranging from 3 to 10 years of work experience. In most cases and regions this work experience composes typically different tasks for domestic as well as for foreign enterprises. Among the most popular titles the team members have worked on are Cossacks, The Sims series and free-to-play shooter CrimeCraft.

Cradleoflinks_wallpaper

From the very beginning three different concepts were developed, that differentiated from each other in style, in place and time of the action and in the particular peculiarities of the game. However, the green light for creation of the Cradle of Links was given from the inside of the team. Maybe it happened because this project is ideologically close to the art of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, who is highly appreciated in our circle.

In spite of that the team are aware that there are many zombie-related titles and ‘cosmic’-like themes. As such it was really important to give the players an opportunity to plunge into a different atmosphere and format, with a higher level of cinematography. Something that can grow and become popular in its own right.

We wanted to recreate the atmosphere of England in the nineteenth century as precisely as it’s possible. You will see it in everything, from the architecture of buildings to the clothes and weapons in use. This period has not been chosen by accident, incidentally. At that time there still existed epidemics which could decimate a population in a relatively short time, creating a ghost town that would unquestionably become a quarantine zone.

However, nobody could assume the attack of the would be an parasitic life form and that the apparently dead inhabitants would rise again, having regenerated into something… alien. That is the basis of the idea around which events for the main character will develop.

The people and animals enslaved by alien parasites have, after mutations, developed their own strict hierarchy. Finding a role for themselves in this new world. Some of them are engaged in protection of the borders, others build and spread their influence. Securing favorable conditions for dwelling on the city streets. However, the most important aspect is that each of them ultimately carries out the will of the uniform ‘Mind’ that distributes the orders. This control occurs via a special enzyme. This enzyme is spread by small beings, the aidlers, that live in nests and are located all over the city; on trees, columns, houses, etc.

The production and the usage of this enzyme is a key to opportunities of the main character to control bodies of the infected residents. This management will be performed by transferring their own consciousness to the bodies. You will be able to slip into a body of any person you will meet on the way – under the condition if it hasn’t turned into a mutant yet. Things are not that simple as you will discover, after all are you truly in control of your destiny or are you just a pawn in a bigger game? You’ll have to show true strength of will to emerge victorious.

Cradle of Links screenshot

The main thing that distinguishes the Cradle of Links VR from the majority of other projects under HTC Vive is the complete freedom of movement on game locations. We chose not to use teleportation mechanics as the chosen way to move so as to help immersion and keep the player ‘in’ the world. We understand the risks connected with such movement, but it is our conscious choice.

Be sure to study carefully that which is around you for secret places, weapon and supplies, and to solve puzzles. As for how you choose to fight, that choice is yours. Changing of bodies will allow you access to other routes and get you past obstacles.

You will also need to be mindful of your energy levels. Using bodies drains its levels, so it is extremely important within the game to refill your reserves where and when you can. It is possible just to replace swap with another body, having moved your consciousness, but the more efficient you are the better off you will be. It is something you will need to manage as the game goes on. If things get tough you can even call upon a bigger, more toxic dose of enzymes to boost your damage capabilities.

A little weapons. There will be several types of weapons of that area represented in this game, but with small upgrades for increasing in ability available. Weapons control as they do in reality, guns can be aimed with the sights as required or you could just as effectively shoot from the hip,  if you are confident enough in your skills. As well as the bullet, other means of dealing damage are available in the form of melee weapons such as sticks, maces, picks or hammers.

Cradle of Links - Hogs

Apart from fighting in game there are also puzzles and riddles. All of them will be based on interactive usage of objects by means of the HTC Vive’s movement controllers. Be it assembling a mechanism, dragging an object or connecting explosive components, it will all require the player to interact with the objects of the virtual world.

During the travel the player will visit four locations, lasting an hour and a half for experienced players, though you can expect this to be less on subsequent playthroughs. In the game we will tell, through characters and memoirs, the dead history of the world. Brought to life in English by our partners from Los Angeles and in Russian also is a must. Subtitles are available in French, Italian and German.

Cradle of Links - Demo

The market of VR games is very small and yet there are no laws which should be followed to create a safe product. Now to create a game is to constantly perform experiments and so to undertake the responsibility for every result. It is applied to many points, beginning from the movement before interaction with objects. In spite of the fact that we played all top games under VR, these don’t give us answers to many technical issues. The first feedback we received was after the DevGAMM conference, but as far as to whether we have correctly made the decisions needed, we will find out only after the release of the game.

It is really difficult to work now for VR, however it super interesting. You have unlimited opportunities and there are almost no rules. You must use your creativity as much as it’s possible.

You can find more information about Cradle of Links VR here.