Valve and their partner HTC stole VR enthusiasts’ hearts at GDC last week when the unveiled their Steam VR platform. Now, a new game coming to Steam VR, Skyworld, demonstrates a use for that room-space tracking with this debut trailer.
Those of you out there old enough to remember the original Amiga/ST classic Populous (1989), a strategy game which had you assume the role of a deity who cajoled his subjects to victory through divine intervention, will probably recognise Skyworld’s MO.
The game is built for Valve’s Steam VR platform, where you play as the sole heir to the throne of your father’s once mighty dragon empire:
Armed with the king’s scepter, powered by the most powerful magic in the world, and with the knowledge of the magic book of spells at your fingertips, it is up to you to recapture and reunite the Skyworlds; shards of the world broken off by a coven of evil witches. The quest to redeem your father’s legacy begins… Can you tame dragons?
The game is a top-down turn-based strategy game which looks like a modern Populous, although comparisons with the classic Civilization (1991) are probably more accurate. You view the world as it were a beautiful, 3D diorama around which (thanks to Valve’s Lighthouse tracking-based Room-space VR) you can walk and peer in on as if you were a god. The gameworld though is divided into hexagonal grids – a la Civilisation.
It’s been developed from the ground up for Steam VR and the new HTC Vive headset, which is due for release by the end of the year, by Vertigo Games (of World of Diving fame) in conjunction with Wolfdog Interactive, and looks to represent a VR and Strategy enthusiast’s dream come true.
“Developing Skyworld in such close cooperation with Valve’s Steam VR team has simply been amazing. We are thankful for the support and trust they have shown our studio over the past couple of months, and believe this has given us a crucial edge to develop the best experience possible for this amazing VR technology,” said Richard Stitselaar of Vertigo Games.
Skyworld is one of a handful of games announced for the Steam VR platform, to make use of Steam VR’s HTC Vive headset, other include Owlchemy Labs‘ Job Simulator and Cloudhead Games‘ The Gallery: Six Elements. Ben Lang went hands on with the new system at GDC and you can read his impressions here.
Release date is not yet set, all we know is that it will be in 2015 – so fairly likely this will form part of Steam VR’s launch line up come its release, currently assumed to be November.