We learned a lot about VR, so here is why we are rethinking Among the Sleep
Some of you may have heard that we have discontinued the VR implementation for Among the Sleep. We made a full DK1 version but that made us realise our game didn’t make a good fit for VR.
A huge focus when creating Among the Sleep was to make the player feel like he or she was controlling a small child. To accomplish this we spent a lot of time on camera movement. We wanted to simulate the way children waggle when they walk, their perspective and movement when crawling. We made climbing animations simulating how small children climb, we made the player fall over occasionally when running because, you know, that happens to small children.
All of these techniques are essential to project the feeling of being a child to the player. They make the player feel small, fragile and vulnerable. But unfortunately they don’t work in VR. They can create motion sickness with the dissonance between your body and what you see, it feels forced, like someone is holding your head.
We are very sorry to disappoint those of you wanting a complete, high standard commercial VR-experience. As a young studio (we started developing Among the Sleep while we were still in school) we jumped at the opportunity to explore new tech and didn’t think about limitations. We have learned a lot in the years since then and as a studio we would much rather be honest with our players about our shortcomings and what we have learned than keep on stalling and promising stuff we know we can’t deliver. We thought we could do it, we thought it was a natural fit but we were wrong and we’re sorry.
We are now considering using assets from the game for a smaller and more focused VR-demo. A tight and focused experience tailored for VR. It will be a small part of the game, stand alone from the rest of the story, but a much better VR-experience than the original game forced into virtual reality.
We absolutely want to underline that this is the only stretch goal we are editing. You have gotten the DLC, you will get the commentary track and everyone that backed the relevant levels will get their physical rewards. Games, t-shirts, art books, and CDs will be delivered to you. The rewards are in production and we will give you the word ASAP when they are being shipped. We just have to apologize again for the time this is taking.
Ending with some good news! We recently won an award in Hamburg for Among the Sleep! You can read about it on the blog. This would not be possible without you, so thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts! <3
In the meantime, we wish you all the best!