How one virtual reality game takes us back to the 80s
Indie game “Pixel Ripped” wants to make players to rediscover all that was nice inside an old classroom — through virtual reality.
A nostalgic and crazy experience. That’s precisely what players will see in the game “Pixel Ripped 1989,” a new title that will be launched by the end of the year as the first part of a retro quintology. Working only through virtual reality (VR), it promises to transport gamers back to the past to an old classroom full of intrigue and surprises.
There, the mission is to control the character Nicola, a girl that wants to play her favorite game without being caught by the teacher, because if it happens she’ll be sent to the terrible Head Master’s office. “Pixel Ripped is a game about being a gamer. And a smart one,” says the creator, lead designer and programmer Ana Ribeiro, a Brazilian that left her pie-making career in her homeland to come to England to pursue her dream of making games.
With the support of the British developer Stef Keegan, who had enjoyed a career in the short film industry, both are investing all the cards in this innovative and fun title for players in all ages.
Exclusive for VR
The decision of making the game from scratch to virtual reality was born because VR is considered the strongest media available for immersive experiences.“Since the beginning I had this clear goal: with a VR headset, I can put the players inside a world and make then feel they are really back in time. It works like a time machine,” says Ribeiro. According to the game designer, many developers are jumping into VR without adapting their applications to the technology, just using traditional interfaces that actually won’t work well on it.
"It’s not good because it can cause sickness and people won’t like it,” she explains. “Fortunately, we only have been hearing things like ‘first game I don’t feel motion sickness’ or ‘first game that made me wanna buy a VR headset’.”
Old, new ones
Just like many reboots we have seen these days, “Pixel Ripped 1989” delivers crisp graphics in a retro-style and great playability.
According to the Brazilian programmer, it shows that being nostalgic also means more improved titles. “Kids that grew up playing classics are now making games and most them are indies [independents] because we realize a lack of innovation in the games industry: we’re creating the games we love and that is why it’s working so well.”
Even after a recent campaign on Kickstarter which wasn’t fully successful, Ribeiro and Keegan confirm that the title will be released first for Samsung Gear VR and afterwards on Oculus Rift. Then, the plans will be making it available for Vive, Project Morpheus and Xbox. There’s no date yet for the next part, which will be called “Pixel Ripped 1978.”