Game Idea: Suspense-Horror with Oculus with Tactile Information via physical objects
Oculus game again. You and your Oculus are in a small room, 10 x 10, or the standard living space in downtown San Francisco for your month’s paycheck. But the room is set up with hundreds of tiny jets, like the ones from Jacuzzis and jets are laced throughout all planes of the room. The floor, the walls, the room. Maybe there are obstacles around the room, with air jets on them as well. But here’s the fun part, it’s a chase game, e.g. SlenderMan or If Only.
I talked about different controller types lending itself to the birth of different gameplay mechanics here, well the new interactive medium will be the room itself. Suspense/thriller games get you to jump by two main means, jump scares and creep-factor. But now you have a new set of mediums in the room to mess with your adrenal-glands.
Say it’s another of those collect-5-pages-to-not-poop-your-pants-anymore type of games (SlenderMan), or a find-how-to-stop-your-death type of games (Only If). You explore through the room, with its furniture and chairs strewn about the room, and you hear something wandering the halls just outside. You focus on the door, but then you feel something blowing gently against the hairs on the back of your neck. The sound passes and you continue looking
Several minutes later, the wandering turns to stomping, which quickly picks up in volume. In a panic, you hide behind a couch in time to hear the door swing open. No noise, but the door hasn’t closed yet. One step. You wait. Another step. A bit of wind blows up from the floor. Do you make a noise? Do you give away your hiding spot because of you were startled by the wind? The thing goes away and you continue looking around, while terrified throughout and the wind going from puffs to gentle but eerie streams of it blow at the parts that make you feel the tensest.
Obviously this isn’t made for a home setup, since the game would have to know where all of your furniture is in the first place so you don’t go running into it while walking about the room.
I do envision a place similar to renting out a Karaoke room or a session at Laser Tag, where the room is already set-up to a particular layout, the Oculus cord won’t get tangled and the little air jets are already functional throughout the room. You rent out the room for an hour or so and you can play-out different scenarios depending on the game that you’re interested in. Survival-horror, solve-a-mystery, or some other sort of experiential game. This way, you can have as fancy of a setup as needed to get the most out of the game, but you don’t need to buy any extra equipment yourself.
The Oculus on its own is a powerful device already, but the VR barrier is still an issue because the only added tactile information that a player can acquire is visual. We’re still playing around with other inputs to help deliver more information to the player, but it will always feel weird to try and grab something to only feel nothing in our hands but hold it in our virtual hands. At least with the set-up that I proposed, we can have a bit more tactile information being delivered to the brain and help close the R/VR barrier.
Let me know what you guys think. Maybe there’s a better combination for a room than a horror game. The idea was more for a set of small rooms that can be rearrangeable depending on your needs, but having one or two big rooms would be a cool experience as well, right?
Other game ideas can be found HERE