Your spaceship had been struck by a meteor and is now gravitating toward a blackhole. As commander of the ship, you are woken up from hibernation by your AI assistant. The situation is critical, and your survival requires intelligence, courage, and perseverance. To escape and navigate toward safety, you must repair the spaceship and initiate its warp engine before the ship crosses the event horizon (where escape from the blackhole becomes impossible).
This is a scenario that Event Horizon, Virtual Reality at Berkeley’s new project, strives to create. Event Horizon is a story-driven, escape-room-style game, in which the player is guided by an AI assistant to complete various tasks, with the final goal of fixing the spaceship. The concept is inspired by the 2016 movie Passengers.
Virtual reality is still a relatively new field with many open questions waiting to be solved. How do we make VR more immersive? How can movement in VR be more intuitive and compelling? Event Horizon seeks to innovate and push the boundaries of the VR experience:
1. Since the gameplay involves a time constraint, we will explore how to effectively create tension and a sense of urgency through visual and sound effects, as well as haptic feedback;
2. Given that the game is set in space, we will experiment with new locomotion schemes (for both regular and zero-g environments) with the goal of minimizing nausea and maximizing immersion.
We hope to share our findings with the world by publishing the game on the Oculus store by the end of our two-semester timeline.