This week we’ve learned a few things about VR games. For starters, Star Trek in VR is a perfect recipe for a good time — especially when joined by friends. Also, not all VR mini-game bundles are created equal, as evidenced by the release of Ripple Effect.
When I first learned about the concept behind this ambitious project from Well Played Studio I was cautiously curious. The premise is that Ripple Effect itself is just a hub that connects a variety of different game worlds together. There are small mini-game experiences, detailed environments to explore, and even some multiplayer events to try and it’s all included in a single package. It’s reminiscent of PlayStation VR (PSVR) Worlds or HeroCade in a way.
The idea is for the team to release new worlds and new content on a consistent basis so the worlds you visit act like a ripple slowly spreading to encompass more and more ideas. They’ve already got a planned release schedule through to the middle of July.
When the platform launched this week it came with a handful of interactive games and explorable environments — the developers tell me a total of 12 games are in active development right now. The secret sauce of what makes this possible is that each game is very tiny, boiled down to a core mechanic that’s polished and extrapolated into a small game. But what makes this so remarkable for the VR market is that each of these mini-games resemble something most indie VR developers have simply posted as a standalone project and charged money for using the guise of experimentation and Early Access. That’s not the case here.
“Every universe started with a big bang,” reads the press release. “From the first spark of creation, a wave of energy expanded out and spawned a multiverse of new environments and infinite possibilities. This is the Ripple Effect. Within each Ripple, there is a diverse landscape of “Worlds” to be discovered. Users can explore each world, interact with one another, and discover portals that will transport them into a multitude of games and multiplayer experiences.”
On May 31st Ripple Effect launched with a slew of game worlds and five specific games to try. Night Flight is a flight-based game that tasks you with soaring through the air passing through rings, Spear Toss has you throwing spears at enemies, Sky Roots is an aerial vine-swinging challenge, Hammer & Shield is a melee combat scenario, and Mountain King is a racing game that challenges you with racing against others online to the top of a mountain.
It’s unclear how Well Played Studio intends to monetize all of this, but that will likely come after they’ve established a strong reputation with users.
For more information about Ripple Effect and to download the platform for free to try for yourself you can check out the company’s official website and Ripple Effect’s Steam page with official Rift and Vive support.