Square Enix’s Manga VR Comic Project Hikari to be Released in 2018

It'll support HTC Vive and Oculus Rift

During the 2016 Tokyo Game Show, Japanese developer Square Enix announced a couple of virtual reality (VR) experiences being worked on. One was Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR whilst the other was Project Hikari a crossover concept whereby Manga titles can be viewed in VR. Now it’s come to light that Project Hikari is on schedule for a 2018 release on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.

Work on the project began in 2013, after Square Enix’s Advanced Technology Division in Tokyo got their hands on an Oculus Rift reports Rolling Stone’s GlixelProject Hikari is based on Tale of Wedding Rings, with the team rebuilding the manga using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to bring its 2D visuals into the 3D realm.

“We want to let the user to be able to step inside the manga stories,” said Kaei Sou, project lead, during a New York Comic-Con panel.

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To do this, the team wanted to capture the manga’s hand drawn style, with subtle and hatched shading and lines that weren’t perfectly straight.

They also had to create environments that weren’t originally there due to the originals framing. Environmental artist Hisami Miyamoto, estimates that around 70 percent of what a viewer will see had to be built by the team. “My goal,” said Miyamoto, “is to take an environment that if you took a snapshot of it, it could stand on its own as a piece of artwork.”

While an exact release date has yet to be announced – other than 2018 – it would be released on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive first.

For further updates on Project Hikari, keep reading VRFocus.

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