Spellbound is a new made-for-VR game which uses Leap Motion and the Oculus Rift DK2 to allow your actual hands to perform some nifty spell-casting in the virtual world, amongst other things.
In this intriguing new title from Seattle based developer Eric Nevala, you’re placed into the magical shoes of a wizard who, in the process of dabbling with dark magic in an effort to re-animate his dead wife, has managed to wake up all the corpses in the neighbourhood – as well as his dearly beloved. Cue much magic fuelled zombie slaying.
Narrative premise aside, the game caught our eye thanks to it’s use of naturalistic hand motions in order to cast spells within the game. Using a DK2 front-mounted Leap Motion peripheral, the development team have integrated a gesture based spell-casting system through which you can conjure magic. Not only that, but depending on the cut and thrust of your hand motions, you can also determine the speed and trajectory of your magical salvos.
Nevala of team tells me that the team have been hard at work on the title for over a year now and plan to hit a launch date of March / April to coincide with both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive projected release dates. On that note, once the team have their hands on Oculus Touch and SteamVR controllers, specific implementations of the spell-casting systems tuned to those motion controllers should find their ways into the game.
Our main concern is the first person perspective may be a recipe for VR sickness for many, especially given the speed at which this Wizard seems to hurl himself around the place.
I suspect there are a fair few of us for which the idea of conjuring and launch fireballs with our bare hands holds some considerable interest, who the hell wouldn’t want to do that? We’ll keep you up to speed on the title’s development.