First let me wish you all a Happy New Year! 2013 was an exciting year for VR and I think 2014 will be even more thrilling!
A couple of months have passed and I thought January 1st would be a good day to give you all an update. Development has been going slow, but steady and Linger 2 is coming along nicely. I don’t have any juicy screenshots to show you yet though. The last couple of months have been mostly about experimenting a lot and not working on a final product yet. It feels good to not rush this and try to get all the important details right.
We have tested a ton of different types of houses, from small cabins to huge mansions, to figure out what would be the best fit for Linger 2. And we eventually settled on a farm house design, which will be based mostly on well-known horror houses, in particular The Conjuring and The Amityville Horror. Our house is approximately 3 times larger than the house in Linger 1 and has a much better flow. Tristan is currently finalizing the model and adding all kinds of interesting details.
While developing we also realized that a sense of scale is a very tricky subject in VR. One virtual meter doesn’t feel like a meter at all and that’s one of the reasons the house in Linger feels claustrophobic. This seems to be a problem in general with VR creations at the moment, but I’m glad to say we finally managed to remedy this. Tim has created a brand new character controller, which in combination with better interior design, gives a much more realistic sense of scale. There’s a lot of awesome in this new character controller, but Tim will write a blog post about this later this month. He has also completed step 1 in the multiplayer networking implementation last month. If we were creating the “jump around in a house” game, we would be done already, because we could jump around with 4 people very smoothly!
Next I want to say some things about Sanctum, the smaller project I intended to develop simultaneous to Linger 2. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to work on this project, because of other (non-VR) projects. I did create a forest scene to experiment with and that gave me some insights. The most important thing I learned is that with the current low-resolution screen of the Rift, sitting in a forest isn’t a very exciting thing to do. The main reason for this is that everything you see in the distance becomes a blurry mess of pixels very soon. And because my intention with Sanctum was to disable user movement, it stays a blurry mess of pixels. So, I will have to re-evaluate my plans for Sanctum. Maybe I figure something out, or maybe I will shelve it for now and start working on something completely different, so don’t expect anything soon. ;)