Sydney, Australia, December 6, 2016 – Big Dumb Fun Games has announced development of its episodic VR science fiction role playing game STRANGE ALLIES™, and it has done it in style by releasing a fully playable Proof of Concept Episode, now available for free download from indiedb.com!
In STRANGE ALLIES, you are a small-time criminal who stumbles into a military conspiracy that could have galaxy-shattering consequences. You thought you were just stealing a ship, but what you find could doom the human race.
The Proof of Concept Episode introduces the game's combat and its interactive storytelling. While relatively brief and self-professed to contain a lot of placeholder assets (not least of which is that all voice work is currently handled by a placeholder text-to-speech system, which some may find jarring), it nonetheless provides good insight into what the final game will offer VR gamers.
"We decided to start the Proof of Concept Episode at the start of Act 2, mid-way through the episode, and it ends at the completion of that Act, just after you've learned what the real story is and got some idea of how epic the journey is going to be," said the game's designer and scriptwriter, Mark Christopher.
The Proof of Concept Episode features two distinct environments. The game starts in a Navy dockyard, and later the action moves onto the ship you're there to steal.
VR gamers wanted
Big Dumb Fun Games says it is releasing the STRANGE ALLIES Proof of Concept Episode as a free download in order to gather VR gamer feedback on its gameplay, and on its trackpad walking movement in particular.
The team believes it has hit a "sweet spot" with its trackpad walking, which it says allows reasonably quick movement without causing simulator sickness in any of its in-house testers, which includes the designer himself, who is a self-professed "simulator sicko".
"Yeah, I actually suffer pretty bad simulator sickness myself," Christopher admitted, "but we seem to have gotten STRANGE ALLIES to a good place with its trackpad walking now, because I've been playing it several times a day recently and it doesn't make me sick at all anymore. Our hope is that means we've hit a sweet spot, but we're not going to know for sure until we put the game out there and gather real-world feedback."
Future vision: be the captain of your own starship!
Ultimately, STRANGE ALLIES aims to be much more than this initial Proof of Concept Episode offers VR gamers. The Big Dumb Fun Games team wants to enable you to live the dream of being a Han Solo-like character.
"Our mission in life is to make STRANGE ALLIES one of the most immersive VR gaming experiences available," Christopher said. "I grew up wanting to be like Han Solo. This game is my chance to finally do that. Hopefully I’m not the only one!"
Crowd funding plans
Big Dumb Fun Games readily admits its ambitions for STRANGE ALLIES are "lofty"—which can generally be translated to "expensive"—and so the team has set their sights on launching a crowd funding campaign in the coming weeks, once they have seen what sort of reaction the Proof of Concept receives from the VR gamer community.
"Honestly, there's so much we would love to do with STRANGE ALLIES, and so much we could do," Christopher said, "but the reality is we're a small, budget-constrained indie team, and the funds we have available currently can only take us so far. So, yeah, we're talking about running a crowd funding campaign soon. Maybe even before the end of the year, if reaction to the Proof of Concept is good. If we do, and if it's successful, it would enable us to significantly expand what STRANGE ALLIES offers VR gamers, both in terms of more things to do and more story content to enjoy."
Big Dumb Fun Games invites anyone who would like to stay informed about STRANGE ALLIES' development to Like their Facebook page, follow on Twitter @BDFgames, or visit bigdumbfungames.com to sign up for their newsletter.