Fantastic Contraption Is Coming To PlayStation VR

by Jamie Feltham • December 15th, 2016

Last month we created a list of the five Oculus Rift and HTC Vive games we wanted to see head over to PlayStation VR. Today, one fifth of our wishes came true.

Fantastic Contraption, Northway and Radial Games’ wonderful building experience that can be traced all the way back to a 2D browser game, is making its way to PS VR next spring. PlayStation Move support will be included (you can see the controller models in the trailer below), as will all of the original 50 levels.

One interesting aspect of bringing any Rift/Vive game over to PS VR is tracking. While PS VR and two Move controllers offer pretty good tracking when facing forward, occlusion becomes an issue if you turn around, as the system only has one camera to refer to your position with. In the past, Fantastic Contraption has made a great showcase for room-scale tracking — it was one of the free launch games for Vive — but how does that translate to Sony’s headset?

“Room-scale doesn’t work on PSVR because of the single camera; turns more than 90 degrees or so can easily cause occlusion as well,” wrote Radial Games developer Andy Moore in an email to UploadVR. “Because PS VR users will play seated, standing, in close quarters, or in an open living room, we had to allow the player to move, position, and scale the island to make maximum use of their space. The further back from the camera you stand, the more you can expand your work area.”

A version of the game was shown at the PlayStation Experience conference recently, and Moore said “players were playing about 10 feet back from the camera and had slightly less than 2 yoga mats worth of play space in front of them; at another station we set up a chair and people played with the entire game contained in their lap.”

Critically for Fantastic Contraption’s jump to PS VR, the developers recently introduced the “Kaiju Update” that allowed for resizable levels. The update adds a ton of flexibility in how the game is played.

 “All these configurations have their pros and cons, but thankfully at these smaller sizes controller occlusion isn’t as big a deal as we first thought it would be,” Moore wrote. “We’ve attained flexibility here, but it still is more fun the bigger you can make it.”
We look forward to seeing how the game works on PlayStation VR. They’ve certainly got some time to keep working on it and refine the experience before launching in Spring 2017.

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