While visiting PAX Australia 2016 I caught up with Lisa Rye, the Creative Director at Stirfire Studios based in Western Australia. They had been working on a virtual reality puzzle game entitled Symphony of the Machine and I was given the opportunity to give the game a bit of a play using the HTC Vive (My first time using a Vive). You can read all about that here.
Fast forward to present day and I’ve been the proud owner of my own HTC Vive for a few months now and am now very familiar with its workings. While I’ve had the pleasure to look at some fantastic games in that time I’ve also played a lot of ‘shovel ware’ with repetitious gameplay and themes.
For me I see virtual reality as the perfect platform for adventure and puzzle games. I’m still waiting for a ‘LA Noire’ style game that allows me to explore crime scenes looking for clues. With a magnifying glass in one hand I could scour the rug, look under the couch and suss out the light fittings in a way you never could with a flat screen.
Likewise, puzzle titles like the original ‘Myst’ just become so much more alive and immersive in the virtual environment. It also allows designers to craft puzzles that they might not normally be able to do on the flat screen.
Symphony of the Machine is such a puzzle game. With it’s fantastic looking scenery and immersive experience I found myself caught up in the world, moving through at my own pace, enjoying the view and the fantastic orchestral score.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a 20 minute video has to be worth a few billion. Take a look at my playthrough of the preview build supplied to me this week –
Needless to say I’m excited to take a look at the completed product when it becomes available on HTC Vive and Playstation VR in Q1 2017. It’s exactly the sort of breath of fresh air I’ve been looking for on the Vive and even better yet, it’s Australian made.
I started gaming in 1982 when my father would bring home an IBM PC XT for work reasons. Naturally after he was done we'd also play some games. In 1983 we acquired the PC full time and I was also lucky enough to receive an Atari 2600 for my birthday that same year. I've been gaming for over 30 years and I've loved every minute of it. Watching games evolve from text and basic visuals to home virtual reality has been amazing. I still have a fondness for the classics though and enjoy collecting 5.25" and 3.5" PC games from the 80's and 90's.