Virtual Reality is a fascinating space right now. It has a lot of the game development community really excited, particularly among some of the veterans of the industry. It is totally new, different and they have the freedom to experiment – Forging new paths forward in development. It’s like reinventing the wheel, except instead of making wooden circles for horse and carts they are trying to build new wheels for a Formula 1 car.
The excitement I’ve seen, from developers, in interviews, editorials and from 1st hand experience at EGX 2016 is palpable. Speaking to the Developers at Secret Sorcery on the show floor while waiting to try Tethered highlighted that fact massively to me. Tethered is a God-Sim where you control “Peeps” and help them prosper. You do this by “tethering” the Peeps to a task, for example if you tether a peep to some trees he will start chopping them down and bringing back the wood. As you try to juggle your responsibilities as God to the Peeps, I found myself enthralled by all of it.
As a believer in Virtual Reality (Now that I’ve actually tried it) one thing in particular stands out about Tethered – The tethering mechanic itself. It works really simply, you look at a peep, hold the ‘X’ button, look at where you want them to go and release the button. I say it is simple, it is simple to use, although I’m sure it wasn’t so easy to make. It stands out to me because I can see it being used in a variety of game genres, particularly in strategy games – which have historically struggled to gain traction on consoles – PlayStation VR and the tethering mechanic could be the gateway for them into the console space. Where controllers have held them back in the past, this new technology/software combination could bulldoze through the barriers of old.
It will take people a lot smarter than me to make it happen, of that I am in no doubt. If you are reading this and you work for Secret Sorcery, then make sure to get a patent in for that beautiful bit of software you’ve built. (If you can do that sort of thing) Then licence it out, maybe give Creative Assembly a phone, I’d love to see a Total War title appear on PSVR.
Tethered is due out within a few weeks of PlayStation VR’s launch (13th October 2016) I’ll be there day 1 to tend to my Peeps. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think about this and anything else I’ve wrote, here in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter @adamthomas1994.