The world’s first vir­tual re­al­ity rock climb­ing video game.

A MON­U­MEN­TAL SHIFT is com­ing to the video game world this year with the ar­rival of long-awaited vir­tual re­al­ity head­sets. Cry­tek, a ma­jor video game stu­dio known for state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy, will be launch­ing The Climb, a game that em­u­lates real rock climb­ing. We spoke to ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Eli­jah Free­man about the ex­pe­ri­ence of vir­tual climb­ing. We wanted to cre­ate a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence, de­signed specif­i­cally for this new vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) hard­ware. We took some of our best pro­to­typ­ing de­sign­ers and thought, “Hey, what could we de­sign that would make sense in VR?” Climb­ing wasn’t our fo­cus, but we have rock climbers on the team. They be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with the ver­ti­cal­ity and built a [very ba­sic] pro­to­type. The sense of scale you got from climb­ing up and see­ing the en­vi­ron­ment was amaz­ingly fun, and we knew we had some­thing spe­cial. Then the other climbers in the stu­dio got re­ally ex­cited and started grav­i­tat­ing to­ward it. The game started tak­ing shape, and there was no other op­tion than to move for­ward. I wouldn’t call it a sim­u­la­tor, but it is cer­tainly a climb­ing ad­ven­ture that you can have from your liv­ing room. a more nat­u­ral po­si­tion. You’re climb­ing for fun, but you’re look­ing for speed and ac­cu­racy. As you move up into the more dif­fi­cult routes, we in­tro­duce dif­fer­ent hand grips. There’s a crum­bling hand grip, for ex­am­ple. That one gives you a cou­ple sec­onds on be­fore it falls away. There’s a chalk­ing mech­a­nism also. If you chalk up, your stamina drains slower. All these things com­bined make re­ally in­ter­est­ing routes and game­play. The head­set is tracked, so wher­ever you look, that’s where your hand lands. You’re also hold­ing con­trollers. Pull the trig­ger and you’ll grab the hand­hold. That’s how it works with the ba­sic game con­troller, but even­tu­ally, we’ll be us­ing the Touch con­trollers [a more ad­vanced con­troller]. Then you’ll raise your hand up and pull the trig­ger to grab some­thing. na­ture. We also have a Ger­man/Aus­trian Alps lo­ca­tion, and the rest we’ll be an­nounc­ing at launch. They go on field trips to the gym on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, at least to in­ves­ti­gate cer­tain kinds of hand­holds and things that will be ev­i­dent when you play the game. Our in­ten­tion wasn’t to go out and build a rock climb­ing game. We built it from the ground up as a fun me­chanic for VR. It just lent it­self to rock climb­ing. While we didn’t in­tend to make it a sim­u­la­tor, the guys that climb on a reg­u­lar ba­sis say it feels re­ally ac­cu­rate to the sen­sa­tion of climb­ing, at least as close as you can get in a game. The climbers on our team added a lot of lit­tle nu­ances that make it all the more en­tic­ing for rock climbers.


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