Exclusive Preview – ‘A Township Tale’ is Bringing Deep Crafting to Quest


A Township Tale is an intriguing MMO-like VR game that’s been in early access on PC since 2018 and is heading to Oculus Quest next month. We got an exclusive tour around the Quest version of the game by developer Alta.

Beyond perhaps any VR game I’ve seen to date, A Township Tale has built itself up around an intuitive and interactive crafting system. Rather than simply collecting ingredients and pressing a button to create something, A Township Tale takes a very hands-on approach that lets players experiment and cooperate as they learn and perfect their crafts.

To get a sense for how things work, A Township Tale game director, Boramy Unn, gave Road to VR an exclusive tour of some of the crafting mechanics inside a beta build of the Quest version.

What we saw in the tour is only a portion of the crafting systems in the game. From the walkthrough it’s clear to see that there are processes to be learned and mastered, enough so that you might even want to become an apprentice to another player to learn the ropes.

Image courtesy Alta

Luckily, A Township Tale’s multiplayer underpinning makes that possible. In the Quest version, up to eight players can play simultaneously in a persistent world. And nearly every object in the game is interactive and networked between players. That means that if a master blacksmith is walking you through the process of running the furnace, you can literally hand them resources as they ask for them, or hold a blade on the anvil while your friend forges it with their hammer.

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But of course crafting needs resources and they aren’t all just laying around. A Township Tale isn’t just a job simulator, there’s a whole world surrounding the town with monsters to fight, camps to scavenge, and dark mines explore.

Image courtesy Alta

Exploration is really the name of the game in A Township Tale, both of the world and mechanically. Very little is handed to you outright, and players will need to work together to discover how it all works as they go. As you explore, you’ll learn how to improve your crafting, learn new abilities, and even upgrade the town for everyone.

Image courtesy Alta

We’ll be digging deeper into A Township Tale as the game’s July 15th Quest release date draws closer. If you can’t wait to jump in—and have access to a PC VR system—you can already check out the free-to-play game today on PC.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Charles

    Yesterday I was reflecting on the 17-year cicadas and what has and hasn’t changed since the last time they were out.

    I specifically thought about how the majority of VR games today are still the EXACT same graphics quality as back then, 17 years ago – even the same apparent resolution, given the average headset.

    This game looks just like Wind Waker, from about 19 years ago.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, that’s more due to VR requiring a lot of graphical power, and the mainstream GPU’s (which means max $300) haven’t progresses enough to be able to handle better graphics. Yes on highend rigs with a double 3090 you can probably power a real 4K per eye display at 120fps for a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 type of graphics.
      And to be honest, I don’t mind VR graphics looking like cartoon like in these video’s.

      Also, if you really REALLY are gonna compare the graphics with 17 years ago, even these are much better than they were 17 years ago..

      • Charles

        I know, higher demands – but not THAT much higher. My 2014 cell phone was able to play high-end PS3-quality games at 1440p – 7 years ago. Surely a Quest could too.

        A lot of PC VR games today look better than PS4 and run smoothly on moderate PC hardware.

        I’m sure this could be a fun game, but it just reminded me of how outdated the graphics in a lot of VR games today are. Cartoony graphics can be fun, but the quality of cartoony graphics should be improving, moving towards things like Toy Story and other Pixar-type films. This game looks like a slightly-improved version of Wind Waker from 2002 (19 years ago).

        • Andrew Jakobs

          A lot of PC VR games today look better than PS4 and run smoothly on moderate PC hardware.

          Sorry, but I haven’t seen any PC VR game that looks better than a PS4 game and certainly not run smoothly on a moderate PC hardware (coming from someone with a RTX2060Super, which is already above moderate PC (especially with the insane prices of GPU’s these days where a 1660ti costs 650 euro’s).

          And the hell that your 2014 cell phone did run a high-end PS3 quality game at 1440p, just run it on a real 1440p 27″ display and you’ll see it actually has lower detailed models as a high-end PS3 games.

          This game looks like a slightly-improved version of Wind Waker from 2002 (19 years ago).

          Again, go and look at the game you mention on the original hardware from 19 years ago and you’ll notice MAJOR differences..

          • Charles

            “haven’t seen any PC VR game that looks better than a PS4 game”
            Easy example: “Half Life: Alyx”. And there are plenty of others that are at least PS4 quality, such as “Creed: Rise to Glory”.

            “the hell that your 2014 cell phone did run a high-end PS3 quality game at 1440p”
            FIFA 2016 Android:

            “go and look … major differences”(Wind Waker)
            I had already compared. They look very similar. This game looks a little better, which I said already. But only a little.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            You think creed looks that good? Also it all depends on the GPU hardware you gave in your PC.
            And fifa2016, what native resolution did it actually run on your 2014 phone, you wouldn’t know how it actually would look until you push it out to a 50″ tv or something like that. And who knows how fifa2016 would look on a PS3, so not much of a compare.

            I’ll give you the way it looks like wind walker, but that could just also be their intent. Maybe you don’t like the graphical style, but that’s something completely different.

          • Charles

            I think Creed looks like a typical PS4 game. And that’s not really such a big feat, given that the PS4 was released 8 years ago and was only moderately-powerful relative to other hardware at its time of release (as consoles always are).

            My 2014 phone screen is big enough to get close without losing focus (Galaxy S6). It looked like 1440p to me. The PS3 was released in 2006. Just saying it looked like the better-looking PS3 games I’ve seen, though admittedly there’s not much to render in a scene other than the players (the grass is a flat texture).

            Yeah I think Wind Waker may have been part of the inspiration for this game.

  • Geoff

    I like the mechanics of this. Hope the gameplay is as good too.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    But is it also playable as a single player game?

    • benz145

      Technically you could play in your own server alone but I think it would be a lot of work and not nearly as much fun without other players to contribute and adventure with.

    • Barbara Dailey

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  • Perfect demonstration of VR news media. Awesome game that’s been tested for years on PC where it’s been freely available and constantly shaped by player feedback to an ever improving state gets zero mention until or if they announce a Quest port. So much for all the indies denied by Oculus or games that are impossible to port down (including even some of Oculus’ own older PC VR games so not by some fault of the developer). And lol @ pretending UploadVR’s Showcase didn’t happen/all the trailers didn’t debut.

    • Jeff Axline

      The Quest is obviously where all the money is in VR. If they have 90% market share how do you think the news sites are going to reflect that? There’s not much choice on their part. For PCVR A Township Tale has indeed been around for a while. It really didn’t light the PCVR world on fire. Coming out for the Quest is big news as the platform needs an app like this. Obviously the developers know all this and are going to start making real money. I’m not saying this is how things should be but what do you want RTVR to do? Do you believe they didn’t give this app enough coverage in the past? I’m also unsure what your last sentence means. Maybe you can elaborate a bit. One last thought for me- I hope Sony helps develop a lot of games for PSVR2 that port over to PCVR. Save us Sony!

      • That has literally nothing to do with anything I wrote. This is a news site, this game has been news years now yet never reported. Surely if you’re correct in that it hasn’t done great numbers on its micro transactions (it’s a free game after all) then part of the reason may be that those who claim to inform VR enthusiasts about what’s up in the VR world, do not. Though I think you’re a bit preemptive on that, after all it’s still an alpha and not everyone likes testing software, even if free, or paying while testing.

        Anyway, contrary to your misinformed statements, the biggest VR games on PC sell at least as much if not more than the biggest on Quest, smaller games may sell half or a third of what they do on Quest which still makes that version more than worthwhile to have, even smaller sell some on Quest and none on PC and the rest nothing anywhere.

        Quest being a newer store that only approves a few developers is part of the reason, which is good for those approved, but bad for those not so. Hardly an ideal scenario. And it too will change, just as it changed for Switch which was praised by indies early on but by now indie success stories are no more common on it than they are on PC.

        Still, it only takes one game doing well to show that there’s a paying VR audience on PC and that the reasons for lower sales lie elsewhere and there are many more than just one by now between Alyx, Boneworks, Beat Saber and others. Regardless, sites claiming to cover VR rather than being Facebook or Sony fansites should inform VR enthusiasts regardless of what they think will sell the most. They often go days without meaningful articles where they just recycle Quest charts that are the same games over and over or lists of accessories or whatever after all.

    • benz145

      I’ve been in touch with the developers since day one, played the PC version, and have actually been asking them to do a deep-dive interview of the game literally for years. They told me they’ve been keeping their development close to the chest and have not done any media outreach for a long time. It wasn’t until they were further along with development and ready to bring the game to Quest that they wanted to sit down and talk about it on the record.

  • Mantax

    Enticing and interesting to read about a VR game like this. Great article!

  • Looks nice, I especially love the ability of working together on something by handing objects the one with the others