When we launched our Kickstarter in March 2013, VR as we know it didn’t exist. The Rift didn’t yet have positional tracking, roomscale was a pipedream, and hand tracking was produced with electromagnets instead of light and lasers. The whole industry was in its infancy, fathered by the Oculus Rift, and we were there with it, wagging our tongues in delight.
Now, with the upcoming release of the Oculus Touch, we’re returning to our roots with an updated version of Call of the Starseed built with the Oculus SDK and tuned for play with Touch. If you have your sensors set up to support Oculus roomscale, you’ll be able to play Call of the Starseed just as you would with the Vive. If you don’t, we’ve added a few new features to make the game more comfortable for forward-facing mode as well.
In forward-facing mode, we’ve added a special floor dais and other effects which keep you spatially oriented. While Oculus Guardian will keep you from moving out of your set boundaries, these settings will help avoid tracking loss if you accidentally turn the wrong way. We’ve tweaked pickup range as well to be more liberal for objects low on the floor or just out of reach.
We’ve also remapped controls, adding new ways to grab and Blink in order to make the Touch intuitive and comfortable within The Gallery. The grip button can now be used to grab, and you can even flick the thumbstick forward to do a quick Blink. The ergonomics are great, and the new Touch control scheme might be the most intuitive way to use Blink yet.
Finally, we have plans to release a free content update near launch which will also include brand new hands. This won’t your regular old hand job–the work we’ve put into these new hands will make your human hands jealous. And if your hands had hands, they’d be jealous too.
In all seriousness, we were one of the few developers to create hand models for use with the Vive controllers, and the Touch makes hand presence even more important. Our new hands will feature a slew of additional animations, building on our robust interaction system, and paving the way for future episodes. Our programmer and animator developing the new hands are incredibly excited to share their hard work; we’ll talk more about that and the rest of what’s going into the Oculus update next month.
At long last
To make it official: The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed will launch for Oculus Touch on Oculus Home on December 6 at our new price of $19.99. This is a fully considered port that will support the full range of Touch playmodes, from standing 180 to full roomscale. If you own the game on Steam, the content update will also include proper Touch support and the new Touch features when it’s released near launch. If you’re a Kickstarter backer who selected to receive the Oculus version of Gallery, you’ll receive your code for Call of the Starseed on Oculus Home at launch, but if you’d prefer the Steam version, let us know!
Oculustober, as we’re calling it, has already been our busiest month since launch—and it’s not even over. We’ll have a bigger blog update talking about all the new things going on at Cloudhead (except for the Top Secret stuff) once we’re through the thick of it. We’ll also talk more about the content update, as well a special blog from our co-lead programmer about our digital manicure, so stay tuned for those.
As for Episode 2, we’re happy to announce that Heart of the Emberstone will have Touch support at launch. Until then, you can check out our new game page for Call of the Starseed on Oculus Home, and select to be notified when it launches and your adventure begins.