VR Games Need a ‘Tourism’ Mode: Adrift
Adrift a surreal survival game staged in space which can be played on gaming monitor and/or the Oculus Rift has a stressful aspect, which is the fact that the player is always on the verge of running out of oxygen. The player needs to be continually in-touch with the level of oxygen remaining and also where to find the next oxygen cylinder. This gives rise to a passionate, conscious kind of gameplay that accentuates the characters desperation.
Right now, even that is partially subject to choice i.e. you can play a mode marked “EVA free” in which there’s unlimited oxygen levels allowing you to float around and explore space.
“It was a compromise between what players were asking for and their vision for what Adrift should be,” developer Adam Orth told Polygon.
“I don’t want to give up our vision, but there’s nothing wrong with expanding it.”
“We really believe in feedback and we also really believe in our game,” he explained. “We wanted to make a game in this genre, and we wanted to have game mechanics and systems and stuff, and we didn’t want to make a float around and look kind of thing.” But here’s the thing, it turned out people want to float around and look.
You can’t achieve anything in EVA free mode anyway all you can do is float around and savor the feeling of being in space, which is more delightful when you play it in VR (i.e. if you just want to float about and look)
“We definitely toyed with having that mode all the time; we went back and forth and back and forth with it. We decided in the end to wait and see if people want that,” Orth says. “It turns out they do. I think what we’ve given now is a good version of that. You have the intended game experience and then if you want to go off and do your own stuff you can.”
“I don’t want to give up our vision, but there’s nothing wrong with expanding it,” he said.
Many fans want to play the game in the EVA free option because of the virtual reality aspect of it. It’s exciting to demonstrate to fellow gamers what it feels like to play the VR version but even that is tasking as you are always at the peril of running out of air. It also avails one the opportunity to show friends or family (or enemy) the VR experience of the without the danger of asphyxiation.
This fad is most likely going to last for a long time. “I think VR games are going to have to start including basically a tourist mode,” Orth told Polygon.
The EVA free option presents a way to explore every nook and cranny of the game and find all the collectibles such as, oxygen canisters while totally devoid of the stress which the mechanics put on the gamer or bringing the game to an end by virtual choking; a great way to flaunt the tech to your friends.
Adrift is currently available on Oculus Rift and PC, and is coming to the HTC Vive this month.