Today, Headtrip Games has officially revealed the trailer for its atmospheric guided narrative game, iOmoon. You can watch the world exclusive trailer above to see several scenes from the game and get a sense for what’s in store with this haunting, immersive, and sometimes-terrifying made-for-VR experience.
iOmoon has been in development for over a year and half by the two-man team of Headtrip Games. The team consists of CEO and Co-Founder, Drew Medina, as well as producer Richard Franklin. Medina has a history of success in the game industry, coming from a background of art direction at Rockstar Games. iOmoon will also feature an original score by BAFTA-award winning composer, Gary Schyman, who has previously worked on the Bioshock franchise.
Medina stressed to me how important it was that they truly evoked a sense of not only presence, but deep emotional connections to the game world through all players.
“I tried to really focus on the player’s sense of feeling like they are really there,” Medina said. “In VR, the scale and spatial layout is very important and fun to play with. The tight, dank, dark tunnels are super creepy if you just sit or stand there and experience it…You can lean out of your probe and look down at things crawling around or hide the probe and be fully surrounded by it.”
Part of that ability to truly evoke a sense of isolated captivity in this strange new world is iOmoon’s relative realism. After crash landing on the planet iO, which is one of Jupiter’s moons, you’re tasked with uncovering the secrets that lie within. “As a science explorer your mission is to observe and document, there is no killing,” Medina insisted. “To me, it’s a cross between a dark ride and a walking haunted house or fun house. It’s extremely creepy at times, wondrous at others, and it features sandbox-type gameplay throughout.”
One of the core components of the game is your ability to utilize a floating probe which can be used to not only help you explore the environment, but also to actually take pictures within the game. In fact, all the screenshots you see in this article were taken in-game using the probe itself. It’s a fun idea that makes even more sense in VR since it’s often difficult to coordinate how and when to take a screenshot while wearing a VR headset.
“We have to be thoughtful and design for a really wide range of players and how they like to be in VR,” Medina explained. “Having multiple movement modes for comfort, a cockpit that you can toggle on/off for greater immersion, 3D audio that matches the 360 degree world – all things that weren’t truly relevant until now. We are all learning the new rules of VR as well, so we will be updating and adding to it for a while. I also felt having no load screens was important for immersion, so we use level streaming once you have crash landed until the end.”
With a heavy focus on immersion, exploration, and a unique sense of desperate excavation, iOmoon is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing made-for-VR experiences. It’s not trying to replicate a standard non-VR game experience and is perfectly content with blazing its own trail in the budding world of VR gaming.
No official release date has been announced, but they’re targeting for it to be available in the launch window of all three major headsets – the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR.