The Spanish indie studio Vertical Robot has just launched their first VR title: Daedalus, a part platformer, part exploration game set in a spectacular oneiric and surreal world developed for Samsung Gear VR.
Daedalus, architect and creator of fantastic mechanical artifacts, was imprisoned by the king Minos to prevent him from sharing his knowledge of Creta’s Labyrinth with others. Every night, in his dreams, Daedalus explores the intricate labyrinths aboard his own winged creations, trying to relive every step, each leap, each flight to freedom, in an attempt to escape his own tragedy.
In Daedalus, the player will have to discover the labyrinth's exit by finding the platforms that unlock the next level, while exploring mysterious, dream-like environments. As the levels progress, both architecture and difficulty grow increasingly complex. The player will boost, glide, ride wind shafts, use trampolines and activate mechanisms.
Thanks to the impressive graphics, the well thought out environments and carefully designed mechanics, the player will enjoy complete immersion in the game, he will truly feel as if he were inside this dream-like labyrinth that he has to escape.
The Development process
Daedalus began as a prototype VR locomotion system for one of the games the studio is currently developing. The challenge was to create a sort of jetpack locomotion system that would permit freedom of movement and was comfortable using just the Gear VR’s Touchpad. To achieve this, we developed a system that gives the player a helping hand when navigating the environments that proved to be a success.
Later on, when the Samsung Gear VR Controller was announced, they saw it as a perfect match. They were able to decouple the direction of your movement from that of the headset allowing for even more precise control and freedom.
The art side has let itself be influenced by brutalism, surrealism and the likes of Escher and Dali. They feature realistic lighting and a strong emphasis on color.
Additionally, one of the features that makes Daedalus stand out as an authentic virtual reality experience is the fact that the team has managed to include a great deal of high-end graphical features. Notably HDR Lightmaps, Filmic Tonemapper, GPU Particles, specular roughness and even Pre-calculated fluid simulations. Samsung S8 phones even feature Parallax Corrected Cubemaps and Normal Maps,
Since the game relies on creating a dream-like atmosphere, music played a very important role in the development. The team was lucky enough to enlist the help of award-winning composer & sound designer Eduardo de la Iglesia to create the sound FX and compose its unique soundtrack.