Stress Level Zero co-founders Brandon Laatsch and Alex Knoll say they’ve spent as much as three hours each without taking the headset off in their upcoming VR game Hover Junkers. That’s not play-testing, that’s just enjoying the multiplayer gameplay. Three hours is an important marker to think about because most people can’t play Hover Junkers yet but it’s available for pre-order at $35 through their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It is scheduled to be released in time for the HTC Vive launch in April.
They say they’ll finish the game in time to launch with Vive no matter what but they’ve started the crowdfunding campaign to give early supporters a way to pre-order it and get their name in the game along with other perks. The game is also expected to sell for $35 on Steam when it launches widely, so the price offers an early glimpse into indie pricing for PC-based room-scale VR game software. It’s more than double the highest-priced games on Gear VR but less than some of the most expensive $60 console games.
“In more traditional PC gaming you’ve seen bigger studios moving to free-to-play,” said Laatsch. “That can’t exist in VR until you have a large amount of consumers.”
In Hover Junkers you get a hovering ship as big as, or smaller than, your play space and then arrange walls made of junk around the perimeter to provide cover. Then you do battle against others, popping up and around cover to fire and dropping behind your walls for protection.You’ve played first-person shooters but not one where you have to physically duck down to avoid getting shot. Based on the development videos, it looks both tiring and fun, with 10-minute matches and short rounds planned to give people time to catch their breath.
“I’ve woken up the next day with sore legs,” Laatsch said. “It’s very similar to a game of laser tag.”
There’s also a single player campaign that’s similar to the classic Oregon Trail, but the multiplayer gameplay is what they are designing to be the biggest draw to the game and the reason people will pay $35 for it. If it’s half as fun as it looks in their videos, it should be a heck of a time. Stress Level Zero also plans to release the game for Oculus when the Touch controllers are released.