Fancy a drink in a faraway galaxy? Here’s the next best thing: Agharta Studio has today released a new demo of their hybrid role-playing / air hockey game Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe with Oculus Rift VR headset support. This demo serves as a proof-of-concept prototype for Agharta’s plan to create virtual reality adventure games, starting with an unannounced project in early development. Does the name Shufflepuck Cantina sound slightly familiar to you too? Oh please don’t let me be the only one here who remembers Shufflepuck Café, because that game was awesome and whle Shufflepuck Cantina is not affiliated with it, it is a spiritual nod of appreciation towards the 1989 classic.
Shufflepuck Cantina sends a space traveller on an intergalactic pit stop to play air hockey against a variety of amusing aliens. Set in a multi-level watering hole patronized by colourful characters whose back-stories influence their tournament strategies, Shufflepuck Cantina rewards players who explore the surroundings and get to know their competitors. Following an initial mobile release, an enhanced version named Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe debuted for PC, Mac, and Linux in December after being Greenlit by Steam.
The Shufflepuck Cantina Oculus Rift demo sets you loose to explore one of the cantina’s floors as if you were really there. Move your head to scan the room, chat with other patrons, open holographic menus, and engage in friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) rounds of air hockey. In creating this demo, the developers redesigned the UI to be comfortable and immersive in virtual reality – characteristics that will carry over into their new adventure game.
Agharta dove into virtual reality development last summer with EpicDragon VR, an arcade game prototype born out of the 3-week VR Jam presented by Oculus VR and IndieCade. EpicDragon VR puts the player on the back of a dragon, soaring the skies of a strange fantasy world while collecting Eggs of Light to counter a catastrophic solar eclipse. The prototype, which the organizers recognized as a VR Jam 2013 finalist, can be downloaded here.
“At Agharta Studio, we like going where no one else has gone. 1112 was the first adventure game for iPhone, then one of the first for iPad. Now we want to be one of the first to make adventures for Oculus Rift,” says Aurelien Kerbeci, the studio’s CEO and co-founder. “While Shufflepuck Cantina is not an adventure game, its quirky world is the perfect place to experiment with virtual reality. Creating this demo gave us a good feel for how to use the Oculus Rift VR headset in an adventure game and we’re now applying what we’ve learned to the adventure prototype we’re working on.”
Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe for PC, Mac, and Linux can be purchased on Steam for $9.99, the Oculus Rift demo is offered as bonus content through Steam, but of course you’ll need to have the VR headset at your disposal.
Thank you Agharta for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Agharta.