PGC Helsinki 2016: All the entries from the first ever VR Indie Pitch
By Sophia Aubrey Drake, Developer Evangelist & Big Indie Pitch Manager / Special Features Writer
As readers of our new site of course know, Virtual Reality is becoming essential to the global gaming industry. So it's important we shine a spotlight on the talent behind the unique and amazing experiences.
So for the first time ever at this year's Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2016 our parent company Steel Media launched the VR Indie Pitch, bringing together 12 of the most exciting indie VR projects in development.
From stepping into the shoes of a giant monster, to exploring the Moon from the cockpit of a giant mech, and even a spot of calming ice fishing, there was an awful lot to get excited about.
The winner of this VR Indie Pitch, and definitely a deserving one.
Nemesis Perspective takes the simple idea of the boss battle, and turns it into an experience that just isn't possible outside of VR.
In this local PvP game, one player straps on the HTC Vive headset and controls a massive monster, whilst the other controls a hero with a traditional controller.
The title is still currently in the early stages of development, but is certainly one game you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for. You can read about it here.
Combo Breaker & Tower Studios
Sociable Soccer is the spiritual successor to the one and only legendary retro sports sim Sensible Soccer. It's also the deserving taker of the runner-up prize in the VR Indie Pitch.
Through Sociable Soccer, Jon Hare and the team over at Combo Breaker are looking to return to the good old days of fun, fast paced arcade football, all with a modern look and feel.
Coming to both mobile platforms and consoles, Sociable Soccer will be heading to both PC and mobile based VR as well, offering players a seat in the stadium from which to view all the action.
Header Goal VR
Header Goal VR is fun physics based virtual reality sports game. So fun it took third place in our inaugural VR Indie Pitch.
In Header Goal VR you play as Axel Rix, a former international footballer who has fallen on hard times. He's now dedicated himself to his training, testing himself with increasingly preposterous header practice sessions after dark.
With an excellent physics system behind it, a high level of polish, and a story that grows to include alien sports and a zombie invasion, Header Goal VR is an addictive and fun game that promises hours worth of enjoyment when it launches on the Oculus Store and Steam later this year.
Mikael W Bergene
Created by one lone developer, BAMF is an intuitive puzzle-based platformer, and the perfect stepping stone for anybody wanting to experience VR for the first time.
In BAMF players teleport from one location to the next and navigate numerous different environments in order to collect all of the glowing Crystals.
What's more, with its one-touch control system, the game is extremely user friendly. BAMF is currently available for Google Cardboard via Google Play, with an upgraded version coming soon to Gear VR.
With Mech Ace, Area 1 are hoping to blend together popular elements from titles such as Titanfall and Crossout in order to make a unique experience. One that can only be had in VR.
Although still very early in development for the HTC Vive, we were able to explore the Moon both as a human-sized player, staring up at a giant mech unit, and then from up in the cockpit of one.
Ever wanted to go ice fishing but don't really live anywhere cold enough? Well that's where Ice Lakes comes in.
Merging real life fishing with elements of arcade based gameplay, Ice Lakes really is quite a relaxing experience, whether you consider yourself a pro fisher or not.
What's more terrifying than an army of cute chicks storming your location?
Well ok, a lot of things, but that doesn't remove the tension of having to blast away one chick after the next as you try to survive long enough to move onto the next location.
Chick 'n' Charge is set for release on mobile VR platforms later this year, and really captures the essence of mobile bitesize gaming in VR.
Earth Defense Program: Wayfarer
Earth Defense Program: Wayfarer for the Gear VR places you in the helmet of a lost space explorer with amnesia.
You must set out to reclaim your memories whilst exploring the cold lonely vastness of space.
Whilst still in the early stages of development, the developer promises that the game will include many different gameplay elements, such as flying simulator and first person shooter mechanics.
Led It Rain
Ever wondered what Duke Nukem crossed with Sons of Anarchy with a smattering of sharks would look like? Well here’s your answer, and what’s more, it's in VR.
Utilising the HTC Vive, Led It Rain puts the handlebars of a motorcycle in one hand, and a revolver in the other before letting you drive around levels that range from Hell to the Moon, all in order to grab that high score.
It also features a soundtrack creating entirely by a local Finnish heavy metal band.
This is a very secret project that we can't talk about too much.
Nevertheless, what we can say is it's an exciting audio visual project that looks to push the limits of current VR technology, whilst also allowing you to experience music in a variety of totally unique new ways.
Bleak is a first person puzzle/adventure game for Gear VR with a mysterious storyline in which you play a comic book creator who finds himself thrust between alternating realities.
Based on what we saw the game promises to be one of the best looking Gear VR games around.
Sick Game (Working Title)
Clusterloop have taken a slightly different approach to VR development with their medical based title for the Google Cardboard platform.
Sick Game isn't being targeted towards the general consumer market, and is instead being developed as a training tool for medical professionals.
A three-lane runner, it tasks you with diagnosing medical conditions that afflict your character whilst on the move, and hopes to blend fun and learning together.
Developer Evangelist & Big Indie Pitch Manager / Special Features Writer
Queen of all things Indie. Sophia is Steel Media’s Big Indie Pitch Manager and Developer Evangelist. She’s also a global speaker and lifelong gamer with a fanatical love of all things Nintendo and Japan. So much so that she’s written a thesis on one and lived in the other.