Cosmic Overdrive promises a challenging procedurally generated sci-fi runner, which takes off later this year on PC VR and Quest.
Developed by a two-person team, VRGE Studios gave UploadVR a breakdown of Cosmic Overdrive’s gameplay loop. It tasks you with progressing as far as possible without crashing, maneuvering a spacecraft with “classical steering, lateral thrusting, and boosting forward.” You must master each movement type to avoid environmental hazards, reaching portals within a set time and shooting down the portal’s guardian before advancing. You can watch the teaser trailer below:
We recently asked VRGE Studios a few questions to learn more, which were jointly answered by creative director John Schwarcz and software engineer Tzuri Teshuba. Telling us development began in late 2021, Cosmic Overdrive was initially designed as a “complex” multiplayer VR space combat game, though the team soon narrowed its scope.
“This allowed us to hyper focus on an amazing base experience that can be branched into many game modes,” VRGE explains. “We had a very immersive, comfortable and rewarding set of movement mechanics alongside our procedurally generated environment. We thought of a simple and fun gameplay loop that we could build on top of the framework that we now call Cosmic Overdrive.”
Citing Robo Recall and Beat Saber as inspiring them to develop a VR game, VRGE claims much of Cosmic Overdrive’s gameplay inspiration was based on problems they had with other games.
I cannot stand moving in VR via the controller’s joystick, so we designed and implemented an interface that feels like it could belong in a real spacecraft. We wanted a VR game that is difficult, fair, fast paced, and comfortable. This motivated the environment design, where the player always progresses forward and only faces threats within close view, but is constantly calculating the best move.
VRGE also explained how much interactivity your spacecraft offers, asking whether there’s more to the cockpit than steering and weaponry. “The interactivity is all through the handles of the spacecraft’s ‘armbar machinery’. This is the player’s sole interface to the ship used for all movement and shooting. Aiming of the weaponry steers the ship simultaneously,” the team replies, highlighting a need to keep things simple. “When playing at a proper difficulty, there would not be much time to interact with other items, so it was important to keep everything in one place.”
Cosmic Overdrive arrives on PC VR in Q2 2023. When asked about other platforms, VRGE Studios clarified to UploadVR this includes the Meta Quest platform, also stating “we definitely intend on providing the game for other headsets, such as the Pico and Vive XR Elite.”