What’s better than Justin Roiland making a VR game? Justin Roiland making a VR game and releasing it for free. That’s right, newly formed VR studio Squanchtendo’s first game, Accounting, will be completely free.
Road to VR got a brief sneak peak at Accounting while at this year’s PAX West in Seattle, and it is as hilarious as you would expect. Fair warning however, This article contains some minor spoilers from the first 15 minutes of the game, so skip it for now if that’s not for you. Also, despite what you may think about the field of number crunching, Accounting is not safe for work or children.
Accounting starts off in the messy, windowless office of an accounting firm named Smith & Smitherson. The accounting firm has brought you onboard in order to balance the books with the power of virtual reality. Your first task, shouted to you over the phone by your dubiously qualified coworkers, is to use your Windows 95 pointer hands to riffle through the mess and find a virtual reality headset.
After putting the virtual headset on, I was transported to an idyllic forest where a tree-dwelling cloud-person began shouting obscenities at me. It was surprising because not only was it the first time I can recall hearing an F-bomb dropped in a VR game, but it was directed at me with such visceral hatred. This angry little character (voice acted by Justin Roiland), and many others throughout the demo underscored how big of a role dialogue plays in Accounting. The voice acting is so engaging that it got to the point where I would deliberately stop moving the story forward just so I could listen to everything the characters had to say.
I got the chance to got through two additional worlds during my time in Accounting. The first scene was a dungeon occupied by a horribly obese king. Eventually I found a knife and it quickly became clear that the only way to advance was to stab the king, pull another virtual headset out of his entrails, and put it on my face. Everything about it was delightfully absurd, and I wouldn’t expect any less from Squanchtendo and collaborator Crows Crows Crows.
Continuing on the theme of absurdity, the third room of them demo contained a xylophone made out of a human skeleton and two talking skulls. The skulls asked me to play them and to my surprise, their bones seemed to function as a fully capable xylophone. As I played their bones, their pleas to keep going became increasingly salacious. Just as the weirdness of the whole situation came to a crescendo, Justin tapped me out of the game and ended my brief tour of the varied and intricate world of Accounting.
After the demo, I sat down with the dangerously competent trio of Roiland, Pugh, and Tanya Watson, the studio director and co-founder of Squanchtendo, to talk about what they had created. In the interview the team talk about what drove the creation of Accounting and reveals that Squanchtendo’s collaboration with Crows Crows Crows came about through a happy mix of tactical subterfuge and chance.
Squanchtendo is directing those interested in the game to visit the VR accounting web page here. At the time of this writing, the page simply has placeholder text, but Roiland says to watch this page, the Squanchtendo Twitter, and sign up for the Crows Crows Crows mailing list to be the first to know when the game will be released on Steam for the HTC Vive “very soon”.