This article is available in: French
During Laval Virtual 2023, we met the team behind the VR game Crystal Bond, available for free.
The pitch: help a small spider reach the Moon! No controllers are needed, as the game relies on hand tracking. Here is the teaser, followed by more information about the game.
Crystal Bond is a student project created by Niels Ferreira, Julian Jaworek, Paul-Eli Rawnsley, Lex Rouanet, Marie Frey, Maxime Gonzales while styding at French videogame school ETPA (ETPA has sinced been rebranded and is now part of digital arts school ESMA under the name ESMA cycle pro Jeu vidéo).
The team worked on this game for a year, and they faced many challenges. At the beginning of the development, for example, they had to choose between using hand tracking or controllers, between using the Quest 2 as a standalone device or linked to a computer running the game.
In the end, they chose the standalone mode as well as hend tracking. We feel that these are smart choices, as it makes the game more accessible to an audience that might not be familiar with VR, thanks to intuitive controls. You can protect the spider from a waterfall using your hand, for example, or create a bridge by placing your hand between two platforms. There are also several items you can interact with.
When it comes to graphics, the main challenge was to make the character cute. This way, the players won’t be afraid of it. The team also wanted to provide a calming and pleasing experience, which is why you can play the game while sitting down. The best way to play the game is on an office chair: this will allow you to turn around freely and follow the spider as it moves along.
Crystal Bond is available for free. You will need to use the headset in developer mode to install the game. Tutorials will help you to do this if needed.
Last, but not least, some members of the team are looking for a job: don’t hesitate to take look at the LinkedIn profiles of Niels Ferreira, Julian Jaworek, Paul-Eli Rawnsley, Lex Rouanet, Marie Frey, Maxime Gonzales.