Videogame and virtual reality (VR) content developer Valve has returned to the world of the ever popular Portal series with a new VR demo that has been designed to show off the new Knuckles EV2 controller. Titled Moondust, the demo sees players working for Aperture Science’s Lunar Resources Initiative, and are sent to space to build a modular space station before beginning a number of tests on the surface of the moon itself.
Moondust offers players a chance to enter the sandbox experience and try out the new Knuckles EV2 controller that Valve are developing. The title will see you able to interact with a number of different objects and mini-games using a range of movements and gestures. Players can crush moon rocks to a fine powder with their own hands, practicing driving a moon buggy around, assemble a space station, enjoy a throwing range and much more. All of which showcases the new features of the Knuyckles EV2.
“Knuckles EV2 is the cutting edge of VR input.” Valve writes on their blog post: “Soon, hundreds of developers will get their hands on developer kits and begin experimenting, but for the last few months that task has been left up to us. During the development of Knuckles EV2, we created a demo we call Moondust – both as a way to validate design decisions, and as a sandbox to test potential game mechanics with the new inputs.”
Making use of the recently released SteamVR Skeletal Input system along with incorporating the physical motions of the player in addition to their button presses. The Knuckles EV2 is shaping up to be the next step forward for motion controllers within the VR space. The high-fidelity hand posing and force data coming from the controllers allows for greater interaction and feedback in experiences, helping developing produce more immersive content.
The use of the Portal universe for the title helps to give the player a reason for their actions as they are looking to find a new source for the company’s moon-based conversion gel, a valuable portal conductor. It offers a familiar point of reference for players to explore as they experience the new systems and features that the Knuckles EV2 offers.
“Moondust was created on a limited schedule, and is not perfect.” Valve adds: “It is, however, the best current demonstration of all the features of Knuckles EV2. Now that it’s out there in the world, it’s your turn. Take the ideas presented here and expand on them. Prove us right, prove us wrong, build on our ideas and learn from our mistakes. You are at the forefront of VR input, so get out there and make some great games.”
Those looking to experience the new Moondust demo can do so by adding the title to their Steam library here. The title is designed for and only works with the Knuckles EV2 at this time. You can see the trailer for Moondust below and for more on it and the Knuckles EV2 in the future, keep reading VRFocus.