IRIS VR launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign last month for LOW-FI, an atmospheric cyberpunk virtual reality game and so-called spiritual successor to TECHNOLUST (2016). The campaign is now over, having garnered $108,191 CAD (~$81,000 USD), a bulk of which came in the campaign’s first week.
Update (October 3rd, 2019): The Kickstarter is now over, although IRIS VR promises to open up an Indiegogo campaign in the coming days for anyone who wants to pre-order the game. The Kickstarter’s closest stretch goal wasn’t met, which was said to bring robot fighting to a casino area, and while the game won’t include robot fighting, the casino area has been confirmed by the game’s developer Blair Renaud.
Update (September 6th, 2019): The Low-Fi Kickstarter has reached its ~$45,000 ($60,000 CAD) goal in less than 3.5 days. The remaining 26 days will move the campaign closer to its stretch goals which range from additional music and game content to a version of Low-Fi for next-gen PSVR and Oculus Quest, as well as a handful of stretch goals in the interim which haven’t been announced.
The two major stretch goals for a next-gen PSVR and Quest version have also been reduced, putting them closer within reach. The next-gen PSVR port is now promised at $256,000 (~$380,000 CAD), and Quest at $600,000 (~$780,000 CAD).
Update (September 3rd, 2019): Just 30 hours into the Low-Fi Kickstarter, the project has raised nearly 75% of its ~$45,000 ($60,000 CAD) goal. With 28 days remaining in the crowdfunding campaign, the project looks well on its way to surpassing its goal and starting to eye up stretch goals.
The first stretch goal at ~$52,500 ($70,000 CAD) will bring new licensed music to the game, while another ~$7,500 ($10,000 CAD) after that will secure new content called ‘The Wasteland’, though exactly what that entails hasn’t been revealed just yet.
The following three stretch goals thereafter are not yet announced, but way up there at ~$375,000 ($500,000 CAD) is a stretch goal to port the game to the next-gen PSVR platform, followed by an Oculus Quest port at ~$638,000 ($850,000 CAD).
Original Article (September 2nd, 2019): Low-Fi is now on Kickstarter, aiming to raise roughly $45,000 ($60,000 CAD) in 30 days for an ambitious VR title. The game is set in a cyberpunk world from the mind of creator Blair Renaud; he doesn’t hide his inspirations, saying much is drawn from “great cyberpunk, noir, and sci-fi works” like Blade Runner, RoboCop, Outland, Alien and more.
The Kickstarter pitches the game’s premise as such:
LOW-FI is the street name given to those who cannot merge with The Platform, a ubiquitous virtual reality simulation where most of the population now live their lives. You are a low-fi police officer that has recently been transferred to a particularly crime ridden section of city-block 303. The only inhabitants of note in your jurisdiction are other low-fi, and human intelligence (or below) artificial life forms who have remained among the citizens after the AI singularity.
Somewhere, there is a crime happening. You’re the law around here, what’s your idea of fun? There’s plenty to keep you occupied. From investigating the death of the man you’re replacing as sheriff to the “white collar” crimes and petty street stuff. It’s up to you what you allow, and who or what you pursue.
With that interesting backdrop, Low-Fi promises the following:
- Massive non-linear open world
- Hundreds of crimes and stories to solve and explore complete with branching narratives and dialogue
- Procedural markets with thousands of purchasable item possibilities
- Interactive Photo-realistic NPCs
- 3D positional Audio
- Augmented Reality within Virtual Reality with multiple overlay programs
- Companion NPCs (biological and synthetic)
- Gun-play (Optional)
- Arcade Mini-games
- Playable on min-spec VR capable PCs
The Low-Fi Kickstarter has a range of tiers: the first to offer a finished version of the game comes in at $35 CAD (this is excluding an already sold-out Early Bird tier). Higher tiers offer access to the developer’s Discord server, where they say backers can “help shape the game,” as well as “immediate access to the development build of the game.”
The latter bit I found confusing, because “immediate access” will not come until the conclusion of the Kickstarter in October, Renaud has confirmed. Further, the ‘October 2019’ expected delivery date listed in all tiers refers to the development build, while the retail version of the game isn’t expected until the end of 2020, though this isn’t specified on the Kickstarter page.
The game is being built for PC VR platforms, though there are significant stretch goals (if the project exceeds its funding goal) which would bring next-gen PSVR and Oculus Quest support, along with smaller stretch goals which would add additional music and content to the game:
- $70,000 – New Licensed Music
- $80,000 – Unlock the Wastelands
- $100,000 – LOCKED
- $120,000 – LOCKED
- $130,000 – LOCKED
- $500,000 – Next Gen PSVR Port!
- $850,000 – Oculus Quest Port!
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Renaud ran a successful Kickstarter for Technolust, a similarly-themed VR title, which raised $64,477 CAD (double its goal) back in 2014. The title shipped alongside the launch of the original Rift back in 2016, where it remains available today. Though not a direct continuation, Renaud says that Low-Fi is a spiritual successor to the game.
In developing Low-Fi, Renaud plans to employ the help of several pioneering indie VR developers: Mark Schramm (Gravity Lab, Nighttime Terror, Technolust), Nick Pittom (Apollo 11 VR, Windlands, Dispatch), and Noah Rayburn (PixelGod), and is further engaging SECRET SIGN and others to give the game an authentic soundtrack.