Owlchemy Labs Develops Avatar Customizer for Vacation Simulator, Launch Pushed to 2019

The team spent 2000 hours developing the feature for players to express their style.

Having debuted its latest title Vacation Simulator during last years Game Awards, virtual reality (VR) developer Owlchemy Labs has revealed new details regarding the project, an Avatar Customizer, as well as confirming that the videogame has been delayed until next year.

In a blog posting this week Owlchemy Labs talks about its ‘VR for everyone’ ethos, so no matter who you are, you can be what you want to be in VR.

“When we started development, we realized that vacations are filled with activities that require you to see yourself—dressing up for your destination, checking out new outfits in the mirror, and of course… taking selfies! For players to truly bring themselves into VR, we knew it was essential to build an avatar system beyond a floating headset and hands,” states the team.

So the team has spent around 2000 development hours creating an Avatar Customizer where players create their avatar in-game, able to alter skin tone, visor colour, hairstyle + colour, facial hair, and glasses.

“Sometimes, representation even meant developing new tech,” the studio goes on to explain. “When tackling black male hairstyles, we implemented a method for transparency gradients in hair to capture the look of the fade. We also wanted longer hairstyles to move with the player, so we developed custom physics tech for long hair to feel more realistic. For the hijabs, we had to create a new animation rig so that the hijab would stay anchored to the torso and never reveal the skin of the neck.”

VRFocus previewed Vacation Simulator during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018, finding that: “From this introduction the videogame certainly looks like its going to continue the studio’s strong lineage, with Owlchemy Labs promising a bigger experience with more of a storyline for the single-player title, and plenty more to do.”

Owlchemy Labs has now confirmed that Vacation Simulator will be arriving for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR in early 2019, with no specific date mentioned just yet. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Vacation Simulator, reporting back with the latest updates.

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