‘Budget Cuts’ Uses Portals to Solve Room-Scale Locomotion Problem

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Large tracking volumes, like the type afforded by Steam VR’s Lighthouse system, are a godsend for fans of virtual reality. But what about when you reach the edge of the wall? Where do you go then? Neat Corporation, an indie game and tool development studio, are using portals to address just that, and the results look like a blast.

Budget Cuts, a game that has you spying deep in the heart of an office undergoing budget cuts, may seem like the bastard lovechild of both the Portal and Hitman series, but the built-for-VR game’s main mechanic—its unique portal system—is cleverly sidestepping one of the problems with current room-scale tracking systems.

Although there are several ways to create what we’ll call ‘world-scale’ in-game locomotion, like Hover Junker‘s use of floating hovercraft or the direct teleport function seen in Cloudhead Game’s Blink system, portals – or more specifically portal guns, offer the user a fast-paced, nausea-free way of getting around a virtual world with the added benefit of getting a live preview of exactly where you’re going before you go there.

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Valve’s Chet Faliszek tweets “[i]f you ever heard me talk about an amazing stealth game on the HTC Vive, this is it – Budget Cuts!”

Budget Cuts is currently a finalist for ‘Best Game’ in Unity’s 2016 Vision Summit VR/AR Awards in Hollywood February 10-11.

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Still considered a “very early build,” the game slated to ‘come soon’ to HTC Vive and the Steam platform. The devs have clear interest in Oculus Touch support, but currently lack the necessary Touch developer kit to get started.

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