Need a little time out from all the zombie shooting, sports car racing, and epic adventuring you’ve been doing on your HTC Vive recently? Cubicle Ninjas has just the thing.
You might well have heard of Guided Meditation before. It’s the developer’s popular relaxation app that whisks you away to peaceful landscapes and lets you take part in meditation sessions. It was previously made available on the Gear VR and PC with an Oculus Rift DK2, but is this week launching on the HTC Vive with a whole host of updates and new features. The piece is available now at a discounted price of $9.89 (normally $14.99) via Steam’s Early Access system, where it intends to stay until late 2017.
Guided Meditation has a genuine ambition to help you relieve stress, and goes the extra mile to do so. Rather than simply letting you stand on a beach or atop a cliff, the experience comes with 25 different meditation sessions, each of which is voiced by one of four different teachers and based on their own styles.
It looks like there’s plenty of new content to enjoy in this updated release. Speaking to Upload, the developer’s Josh Farkas confirmed that there are now 12 environments in the game, ten of which are brand new. These areas feature more than 120 meditation spots, which offer the best sights and sounds for relaxing, though you’ll also be able to explore than using room scale tracking and a teleportation mechanic.
“Room scale was a fun challenge,” Farkas said over email. “In the past we’ve known the user would be sitting and where exactly they’d be in that space. Since users likely start while standing, we had to remove animated locomotion or they’d fall over, so now we instead transition them seamlessly in the menu.” Not knowing where a user would travel to also led Cubicle Ninjas to widen each area’s safe spaces.
“Additionally, because they could stand, we had to try and limit the slope of the ground beneath a user,” Farkas added. “If too extreme a user would begin to wobble. In the end, it is a different feel, more intimate and user-focused.”
Cubicle Ninjas has also used development time to greatly increase the game’s visual fidelity, with Farkas stating that it runs at about 20 times the performance of the previous edition for DK2. 3D audio has also been integrated.
But this is all just the beginning. Cubicle Ninjas also plans to deliver free updates throughout Guided Meditation‘s Early Access phase. You may have also noticed a tease for a “one-of-a-kind” feature to be added soon.
Farkas told us that this was to do with biometrics. “In the future a user will be able to place their finger over the front camera and we can share their heart rate, though the fidelity is why we’ve held back from releasing this yet.” It’s a feature that Farkas admits is better with the Gear VR version thanks to Samsung’s cameras, but may still see a “fun” Beta release on PC. The team is also looking at breath capture, which Farkas described as “a bit more promising” with the Vive.
If you want to use VR to help escape into a more soothing atmosphere, then Guided Meditation is definitely the app for you. Heck, after the next two weeks, we might need it too.