Most everybody likes a bit of sun, walking around in the light, taking in the rays and the heat that the sun provides. Perhaps you are the sort of person who really likes to tan, to get a nice bronzing of the skin and enjoys relaxing in the garden at the height of summer. Maybe you do so with a good book; all covered in protective lotion and just taking in what the sun gives out.
In the world of virtual reality (VR) exploration game SUNWALKER this is something you certainly wouldn’t want to do. SUNWALKER is an open-story adventure videogame with a focus on exploration. Users take on the role of Anne, a survivor in a world where global warming has become a very real reality and the protection offered by the planet has dissipated to the point where being outside in direct sunlight for any length of time becomes dangerous. Players must take Anne out into that world, protecting her from that which once helped sustain life by manipulating the environment to shield her.
At the Game Development Conference (GDC) 2018 in San Francisco, VRFocus‘ Nina Salomons sat down with Jonathan Lin, the Co-Founder of SUNWALKER’s developer Hack and Paint (styled as Hack/Paint). A distributed VR studio made of industry veterans from companies such as Pixar, Blue Sky Studios and Ubisoft, working, according to the company website, “wherever each one of us feels most happy to work from”.
“The story… it’s a little bit open-ended right now, and we want to leave it a little abstract and mysterious.” Explains Lin. “We’re in the pre-Alpha stage, we put in together about three to four months of production time. We’re looking forward on our development road map- we’re looking to develop a 1 to 2-hour experience. We are building a universe, is what we’re doing.”
Currently SUNWALKER is a single player experience although Lin confirms that Hack/Paint’s future goals (SUNWALKER is their first videogame title) will definitely include co-operative gameplay. Although before they get to that SUNWALKER is already turning heads, winning ‘Best In Play’ from GDC’s 2018 Play awards.
“Later on, as we develop the mechanics and the world- not necessarily to set us up to pigeonhole us into this franchise, but we’re also looking to expand into bigger things.”
SUNWALKER is made with Unity and is currently confirmed as to coming to Oculus Rift at this time. Check out the interview below to find out more about the Lin and his team’s work in VR, their backgrounds and their plans for SUNWALKER, and VRFocus will bring you more news about the development of the title as things progress.