Experience the out of this world finale of beloved VR game I Expect You To Die in “Operation: Death Engine,” releasing today on Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform! This free downloadable content includes all your favorite IEYTD gameplay—spies, escape room puzzles, and witty humor—with an all-new outer space setting. Since releasing the game in 2016, Schell Games has produced plenty of free DLC levels, but nothing quite like this. A cumulation of three years of spy-themed missions (and deaths), “Operation: Death Engine” is the finale we’ve been waiting for!
“Operation: Death Engine” picks up where “Seat of Power” left off, with you trying to keep the world safe from Dr. Zor’s diabolical machinations. Step back into the shoes of a super secret spy and travel into space to the Zoraxis Space Corporation’s Space Station where the death engine is in orbit. Get ready for your final showdown with Dr. Zor, destroy the death engine, and save the world.
IEYTD’s Project Director Charlie Amis spoke with us about early inspiration for the franchise and what players should expect from the newest level (other than dying repeatedly, of course).
What was the inspiration behind I Expect You To Die? How has the game changed over time?
Charlie Amis: I Expect You To Die started as a small experiment in the early days of the first Oculus Rift dev kits. It was before Touch controllers, so we were looking to find ways to use a mouse and keyboard to interact inside virtual reality. This exploration gave rise to our telekinesis system in the game. We thought an adventure-style game where you solve puzzles in a closed space would be a great fit for VR.
Since then, we’ve continued to learn what makes for a great mission in I Expect You To Die: a clear goal, lots of obvious ways to interact with the space, plenty of freedom to experiment and explore, and lastly, deaths that teach you something.
Why do you think IEYTD has remained so popular with VR gamers since its initial release?
CA: I know for myself that it’s a great game to share with friends. Whether you’re going back and forth sharing the headset or watching a friend play after you’ve beaten it, it makes for a pretty great party experience when you cast it up on a screen.
It’s also a comfortable entry into VR because there’s no locomotion, but lots of stuff you can only do in virtual reality with your head and hands.
What’s your favorite part of the new and last level?
CA: According to our playtesting, the best thing is all the close calls. There’s nothing better than being the secret agent who finds the solution in the nick of time. The challenges in this level definitely lend themselves to this scenario.
Why did you decide to set the final level in space?
CA: We wanted to end this game in a grand way that topped all of the other places the agent has been so far—and it’s hard to top space! We also found the anti-gravity element of the “Operation: Winter Break” level to be quite fun and wanted to play around with gravity a bit more.
Any cultural references players should be on the lookout for?
CA: We pulled from lots of different inspirations this time around: Moonraker, the real International Space Station, old ATM machines, and even vintage juice pouches. Overall, though, this level is less referential and more of our own creation. Its main inspirations came from the past levels themselves!
What’s next for you? Any exciting updates in the works?
CA: Because of the success of I Expect You To Die, the team hopes to continue this franchise into the future. But at this time, there are no definitive plans. In the meantime, players can battle crazed neon creatures in our newest game, a VR sword fighting rouge-lite called Until You Fall. We’re also hard at work developing HistoryMaker VR, a puppeting tool for classrooms that encourages history learning for high school students.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CA: We had an amazing time making this level, and we really hope everyone enjoys it. The greatest reward after launching an I Expect You To Die level is watching the videos posted by fans of their playthroughs. We can’t wait!
Thanks for speaking with us, Charlie. It’s the end of an era, and we’re excited to see how the franchise continues to develop!