While Oculus is faffing around with making VR as simple as possible, those developing for the HTC Vive are often taking the opposite approach. Boneworks has just been announced by Stress Level Zero, they of Hover Junkers and Duck Season fame. It’s touted as being a next-generation VR showcase, one designed to provide advanced VR mechanics and concepts the likes of which we’ve not seen before.
The whole thing is definitely giving us Half-Life/Portal vibes, which I suspect was every bit the studio’s intention. We’re suckers for crowbars and headcrab-type creatures though, so they know what they’re doing.
Just to add a further layer of intrigue to all of this, Boneworks has been added to the Valve master games package on Steam. This is the collection of all Valve titles and suggests that Valve is either publishing Boneworks or it has acquired the studio outright. Considering just how much like a theoretical Half-Life VR would look like, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was the latter.
Boneworks is a narrative-driven action adventure game that places a big focus on the use of physics to solve puzzles as well as to come out on top in combat. The new SteamVR Knuckles controller for the Vive can actually be used to grip and point at things, adding a new level of interactivity to VR that just wasn’t possible before.
At the moment there’s just a fuzzy 2019 release date attached to Boneworks, but when it does come then you’ll need a pretty capable PC to run it well, from the sounds of it. Stress Level Zero suggests there’s a lot of strain on the CPU for all the physics-related craziness, meaning they recommend an Intel Core i7-7700K. If you’ve blown all that money on the latest HTC Vive VR kit though, we suspect most have probably got a decent PC to go along with it.