Secret Location, developers behind Blasters of the Universe (2017), today launched a Philip K. Dick-inspired VR adaptation of The Great C, a sci-fi short story that follows a tribe of humans oppressed by an artificially intelligent overlord.

The titular VR experience takes you to the ruins of a typical American city, now entirely depopulated with a tribe of hunter-gatherers living at its periphery. If you’ve read Dick’s short story, which was published in 1953, Secret Location has significantly turned up the malevolence of the AI overlord, dubbed ‘The Great C’, by adding in a twisted human servant to the mix who makes sure its yearly ‘report’ is carried out.

Image courtesy Secret Location

Here’s Secret Location’s back cover blurb:

The Great C follows Clare, a young woman who finds her life upended when her fiancé is summoned for this year’s pilgrimage. Leaving the safe confines of her village, Clare must decide whether to accept the rules of her harsh society or fight against the oppressive powers that created it.

Without spoiling the 37-minute real-time rendered experience any further, it’s safe to say The Great C is an early triumph in VR storytelling. It’s a visually compelling experience that marries expert voice acting, motion capture, and classic movie-style pacing that will leave you wishing it were adapted into a fully explorable VR game.

As a VR short story though, you’re swept through the narrative via predetermined camera spots, letting you soak in a variety of richly detailed locations as the action unfolds. Since nature has reclaimed much of the world, you’re treated to visually stunning landscapes and crumbling cities.

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Image courtesy Secret Location

The experience offers both a normal viewing mode, which automatically teleports you to discrete viewing areas, and a ‘cinematic mode’, which takes you through sweeping camera shots and fluidly scales your point of view from area to area. The latter I found to be somewhat uncomfortable, as constantly scaling from small to large can be fairly disorienting.

The Great C is now available on Steam (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift) and the Oculus Store (Rift) for $6.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • VRgameDevGirl

    This sounds awesome, can’t wait to try it!

  • 3872Orcs

    Cool! Bough, downloading and testing tonight! Hope it’s well made!

  • Sky Castle

    This hasn’t gotten much exposure before release honestly I haven’t been following it either, but I have been looking forward to it since I first heard about it.

  • 3872Orcs

    Yep! That was very good! I can recommend this! Now imagine what can be done with movies in VR in the future and with bigger budgets! God damn that’s exiting to think about! I want more :D

  • Mike

    “Dick-inspired VR Story ‘The Great C’”
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • Ragbone

      Its pretty short but does the job.

  • nipple_pinchy

    Getting it.

  • Jorge Gustavo

    I am a professional 3D animator dreaming to do something like this since the CV1 launch. But I’ve been busy doing client work for advertising industry in my country and this dream of producing cinematic/animation content for VR is still on hold. Glad to see this. I am right now preparing a marijuana joint to watch this in a very high state

  • Seems cool, I want to try it

  • Kavorka9

    I have to say that the experience itself is amazing. That being said, I am not a fan of the servant they added at all. Why add some demon woman thing to the mix when you could have just made a cyborg or something that makes sense.