Pol­yarc’s de­but adventure lends VR a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive


Leav­ing a hugely suc­cess­ful stu­dio to work on a whole new medium may be the def­i­ni­tion of leav­ing one’s com­fort zone, yet for the for­mer Bungie staff who founded Pol­yarc, com­fort re­mains the cor­ner­stone of the stu­dio’s de­but VR ti­tle Moss.

“That re­ally formed the art style,” Pol­yarc art di­rec­tor Chris Alder­son tells us. “You’ll no­tice when you’re in the game’s lush for­est en­vi­ron­ments – it’s very open, and the colours are very warm.” That’s ac­cen­tu­ated by the adorable ro­dent pro­tag­o­nist Quill, who we first hear from the rus­tle of fo­liage be­fore she pokes out from the trees and no­tices our in­ter­lop­ing pres­ence. Un­in­tim­i­dated, she ap­proaches and of­fers a friendly welcome. “It’s all to make you feel good and in­vited.”

A puzzle adventure may seem a de­par­ture for a team whose past cred­its in­clude Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach and Des­tiny, but Moss was born of more than just a de­sire to start afresh. “When we de­cided to take the plunge into VR, we asked our­selves, ‘What makes a good VR game?’” Danny Bulla, de­sign di­rec­tor, ex­plains. “We quickly came to the idea of in­ter­act­ing within this space in front of you phys­i­cally, and with a char­ac­ter that can re­act to you. Quick-paced action [in VR], even for us, would make us feel un­com­fort­able when we’re play­ing. It’s not en­joy­able.”

Old Lu­casArts adventure games were an in­spi­ra­tion for the team when de­sign­ing

Moss’ screen-to-screen tra­ver­sal sys­tem

ABOVE Com­bat is fairly rudi­men­tary, with a quick­dodge avail­able when press­ing jump right af­ter an at­tack, though the abil­ity to phys­i­cally get in­volved adds an ex­tra di­men­sion

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