Pssst – wanna try an alpha ? A work-in-progress rogue-lite for Cardboard VR

Here’s something I’ve been working on for several months now, designed specifically for Google Cardboard.

It’s a turn-based “rogue-lite” dungeon crawler, set on an abandoned space station.

You gather loot in procedurally-generated levels, battling holographic monsters with your completely unauthorized black market Plasma Cutlass(tm).

It’s not done yet ! However, I’d love to get some early feedback to help shape the direction.

What it’s got:

  • Basic procedural map generation
  • Level navigation, lootable crates, throwing
  • Two monster types
  • Two item types
  • Positional audio, occluded by walls

What’s missing:

  • Stat upgrades (beyond basic HP replenishment)
  • More item types
  • Lots of level decoration (framerate permitting)
  • More atmospheric sound
  • Balancing, difficulty progression
  • An ending – currently levels are endless
  • Polish, polish, polish !

Some notes on the design:

One of the challenges in this project has been to see how far I can push a gaze-only UI for navigation, inventory management and interacting with the world. I didn’t want to rely on the magnetic trigger in Cardboard v1 since it can be unreliable (depending on the specific phone / viewer combo), and personally I’ve found games that require constant clicking of the trigger become frustrating and unwieldy.

For this reason, I wanted a navigation method that was gaze-only. I found a ring of directional ‘gaze buttons’ around the player works okay, but it’s not ideal because looking down all the time doesn’t feel very natural. After the Cardboard v2 design was revealed, supporting a more reliable ‘tap’ of the screen via a conductive trigger, I added tap-to-move where you can just look in the direction you want to go a tap to move one tile. This feels a lot more comfortable, but I’ve left the ‘legacy’ directional buttons in there for the moment. In a future version I’ll probably make these an optional toggle.

The internal project name has been “Cardboard Rogue“, but I’m cautious about using that since it seems Google might be banning any third party VR apps using “Cardboard” as the first word in the title. The tentative release title is: “Spectral Station for Cardboard“.

Constructive feedback much appreciated !

The alpha is available here, check it out:

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1 Comment

  1. Jonathan

    I’ve got the game and I’m enjoying it more and more as I play, can’t wait to get the full version!

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