Today, we’re excited to announce that Elevator... to the Moon!—the world’s first VR space repairman simulator—is coming to Gear VR and Rift this October.
You’ll find yourself trapped in an underground facility, as unhinged President of the World Doug Slater-Roccmeier demands via intercom that you repair his broken space elevator.
This is the first VR title from ROCCAT Games Studio, an in-house development team launched by the gaming peripheral manufacturer earlier this year. While a team of 10 works on Sick City, a real-time tactical combat game, the Elevator crew is currently made up of just ROCCAT Game Director Marc Barnes, Developer Carsten Busold, and 3D Artist Hannah Paulmann.
“The original idea of solving puzzles in a moon elevator built by a bossy president came not long after Google Cardboard was announced,” says Barnes. “That way you wouldn’t have to worry about tracking or complex inputs and the puzzles, and the environment would change as you ascended into space.
After pitching the concept to CEO Rene Korte, it seemed the team was onto something. Plans were then made to expand what Barnes calls “the little demo that could” into a full release for both Rift and Gear VR.
“Developing a Gear VR and Rift version in tandem is a challenge,” he adds. “Carsten and Hannah have worked hard to come up with some really creative solutions to support multiple controller types and a graphical style that translates strongly across both platforms.”
So far, that work appears to be paying off. Early demos have proven successful, with one woman spending over an hour on a single level—cracking up the entire time.
“I was a little worried when she came out,” Barnes explains, since her 90-minute play session was much longer than any other playtesters up to that point. “Turns out she got distracted, trying to throw things at bats, finding the tape for the boombox, throwing stuff into the lava—just generally mucking around and making the president angry.”
Pop-cultural references and obscure references abound—often spliced together for mutated comedic effect. There’s President Slater-Roccmeier, obviously, plus a mysterious AI that Barnes describes as “like if Max Headroom and David Bowie had a baby.”
Mark your calendars—Elevator... to the Moon! blasts off on Rift and Gear VR this October.
— The Oculus Team