Last year, Finnish developer 3rd Eye Studios launched its for virtual reality (VR) title, Downward Spiral: Prologue. The sequel to this zero-g space adventure is due for release later this year, and the development team are lifting the curtain to show details on its development.
Downward Spiral: Horus Station is a first-person sci-fi adventure title that follows on from the original game, putting the player on a lost space vessel that has been mysteriously abandoned by its crew. Players will need to use hardware items such as rivet guns and arc welders to take down enemies and solve puzzles to discover the secrets of Horus Station.
The developers have created a title that has minimal dialogue, and the developer video diary goes into detail about how this apparent lack by discussing how sound still plays a critical role in creating atmosphere.
The developer diary introduces Can Uzer, the sound designer of Downward Spiral: Horus Station who speaks about drawing on the soundscapes of classic sci-fi horror/thrillers such as Alien, Moon and Solaris, using sounds such as hiss and whirr of hydraulics that echo through the station to craft an ominous atmosphere of abandonment.
Sound design is an important component of the player experience, one that can be easily overlooked in favour of more obvious factors such as locomotion or graphics, both of which are important in VR, but the team at 3rd Eye Studios have chosen to eliminate dialogue in favour of a more subtle take on storytelling, opting to create a 3D soundscape that offers a utilitarian flavour of sci-fi.
Downward Spiral: Horus Station is due to launch in Spring 2018 for PlayStation VR, Oculus Vive with Touch, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. A price point for the title has not yet been confirmed.
The developer diary is available to watch below. VRFocus will bring you further news on Downward Spiral: Horus Station and other upcoming VR titles.