Monument Valley developers’ GearVR game, Lands End, to debut at Oculus Connect

by Will Mason • September 18th, 2015

Looks like the Monument Valley developers took a look at all the fun everyone was having with VR and said, “Ustwo.”

In a pair of tweets the morning, Ustwo announced they would be debuting their GearVR title, Lands End, at Oculus Connect:

The game looks to take on a similar aesthetic and gameplay as Ustwo’s previous title, and that doesn’t appear to be a coincidence. “The first thing we did with it was drop a 3-D virtual reality camera into a Monument Valley level and had a look around,” Peter Pashey, Ustwo’s technical director told Wired.  “It was beautiful; there was this feeling of awe of being in these structures and being able to get a sense of scale.” But the project didn’t quite translate 1:1, there were issues with comfort especially with the sharp 180-degree turns that are crucial to Monument Valley‘s gameplay.

According to the Wired magazine report, the game was originally targeting a December release, but the December came and went without a much of a peep from Ustwo on the project. It looks like the team wanted to give the project more time for the game to mature. In the Wired piece they stated that they were still trying to figure out the language of VR, “No one has any idea of what they’re doing; they’re finding their way for the first time,” he says in the article, “It’s a little scary to be on the vanguard, helping dictate the direction of future VR games. But it’s also pretty damn exciting.”

And that it is, Ustwo succeeded with Monument Valley in a number of different ways, winning countless awards including a BAFTA for best mobile game, the 2014 iPad Game of the Year award, and the Apple Design award, and many others but that only accounts for part of why this is so exciting. What made Monument Valley so great was that it was something that had absolutely universal appeal. To use a personal anecdote my mom, who claims she has never played a videogame in her life, was the one who introduced me to Monument Valley for the first time when I caught her playing with it on her iPad. I mention this because it speaks to just how broad the potential reach could be for Lands End, which appears to be torn from the same cloth. If Ustwo brings the same level of universal appeal to it, Lands End could easily become one of the platform’s early successes and could help propel the medium to a new audience.

What changes and improvements have been made since then are still masked in a mystery to be revealed next week. We have reached out to Ustwo for further comment and will update this piece if we hear anything more.

 

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