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Among the Sleep is a first person horror adventure, in which you play a two year old child.
Among the Sleep is a first person horror adventure, in which you play as a two year old child.
Among the Sleep is a first person horror adventure, in which you play as a two year old child.
8,110 backers pledged $248,358 to help bring this project to life.

We learned a lot about VR, so here is why we are rethinking Among the Sleep

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Hi, everyone!

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! 

Talk soon!

Love,
Krillbite Studio

Manburger, Iguana Baritone, and 39 more people like this update.

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    1. Missing avatar

      Ateo Bertozzi on

      So, are you also not supporting PlayStation VR?

    2. VoodooPuppy on

      I totally agree with this assessment. :)

    3. Gary Coughlin on

      I don't really have any interest in VR right now. And I don't know how hard it would be but can't you just take out the camera movements and falling over and all that for the VR version? Why not just give a VR version that has a more stable movement system to prevent motion sickness? Keep the custom camera stuff for the non-VR version?

    4. Alexander Alvarez on

      I never got one of the codes or whatever it was for the digital version but since I don't have a pc at the moment and I saw that your game is coming to ps4 on December 10th is there anyway I could get a code for that? I'd even pay the difference of whatever I got it for from here.

    5. Adeon Writer on

      As a backer, one that owns a DK2 no less - don't worry about it. I agree with you, it's very easy to make people motion sick, and unless a game is made from the ground-up for VR, things usually just don't feel good in VR. I support your decision - and hope you will work on some VR-dedicated projects in the future!

    6. Evan King on

      When you're working in a new medium - you have to find out what works by trial and error most of the time. I think you guys have done a great job.

    7. M.A. on

      Seems kinda silly from the other supporters to demand being repaid for VR support not being included, this isn't VR demo. It was promised as part of the stretch goals tho, but those are stretch goals. I would like to point out that simulation sickness is not something everyone suffers from.

    8. Dale Frewaldt on

      Like a number of individuals, my sole reason for backing Among the Sleep rested in its intended support of VR. I've spent only 2 minutes with the game open in Steam. While I'm not one to disregard a game for the lack of an optional feature (which VR is in games like Among the Sleep), and especially for a game that is critically acclaimed, it was the very highly publicized VR support that drew me, and my money, into supporting this game.

      The excuses used to justify canceling the VR support are just that, excuses. Case in point; your studio uses the same campaign update to announce abandoning support for Among the Sleep, yet announce using the game's assets to create a Tech demo. Either you're all in or not, in supporting VR in the way you promised. I did not fund a VR tech demo. I funded Among the Sleep, under the assumption that I would be receiving a VR supported game.

      And while things change, features shuffle around, and you eventually have to consider the final financial, artistic, and technological limitations that exist in developing games, Among the Sleep released well over a year ago. It's enjoyed post crowdfunding success, and the platform limitations of VR are continually improving.

      I seriously doubt anyone will be receiving pledge refunds, but for the large number of VR supporters out there, we'll remember Krillbite Studios.

    9. Cecil Karner on

      I can easily respect your decision. The outstanding feature that makes your game unique is playing from a toddlers perspective and I love that.
      A friend of mine is also developing a game with VR and I recently tried it out. It was fun because it was new but in the end the game was as much fun without. For me VR is a gimmick and many people seem to want to press it on everything and anything. This seems to be a little like 3D when after Avatar movies got changed to 3D no matter what and simple gimmicks disctracted from the actual vision and story of some of the movies. Some movies work with 3D, some don't. Some games work with VR, some don't. I appreciate that when you noticed that your game belongs in the "does't work category" that you didn't try to force it.

    10. Missing avatar

      Riku Sasaki on

      Wow, any way for me to get my money back? Since haven't played the game 'cause I bought it specifically for VR. Refund please.

    11. Jason Lentz on

      As a fellow developer I really respect you guys for this decision. Of course you could remove a lot of the camera animation for the VR kit, but you put it in there for a reason, and when you found out that the VR headset worked against your vision for the game, you made the right decision.

      Thanks again for taking the time to be up front with your backers too. I'm sure you'll still get some backlash from this, but I support your decision 100% for whatever that's worth. And congrats on the award in Hamburg!!! It's very much well deserved! Keep on rocking on!

    12. Missing avatar

      Retour2Kick on

      I seriously can't wait for consumer VR gear to release, I've been saving up money for that since the Oculus Kickstarter (fuck Palmer btw, we gave this guy the chance of his life and he blew it for a bunch of FB shares), and I still completely understand the point there: Among the Sleep was crafted in a way that can not work with headtracking.

      I really appreciate you lads at Krillbite truly took the time to explain how and why it happened, acknowledging that yes, things have changed since the initial draft.

      The VR tech demo could indeed be an awesome plan, especially if you could get it working with the handheld controllers (like with the HTC/Valve one)!

    13. CapnBludd
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm not happy about this at all, I've been waiting on a DK2 version for ages..I don't get motion sick, if people do then /shrug, why do those of us that don't have to miss out?

    14. Missing avatar

      brian alvarez on

      That's disappointing.

    15. Missing avatar

      Topi Lindholm on

      I'm so disappointed. I still haven't played this game as I was really hoping for a DK2 version and I backed this project way back in 2013. It's been a long few years.

      I'm sure you guys at Krillbite are honest and hard-working people, it's just hard to not feel cheated and I'm sure there are quite a few people who feel this way. :(

    16. Ian Schmidt on

      Fine with me, the game's an outstanding experience as-is and all current VR tech makes me extremely sick. It's an overhyped gimmick that will pass, like 3D did before it.

    17. Mark Hurst on

      I am fine with that, the game is great as is!

    18. petermolydeux on

      The reason I backed among the sleep was because you play from the perspective of a baby, something that I have never experienced before. Having the player randomly trip over is so much more innovative and pushing the boundaries than porting the game to low end VR. The explanation provided makes complete sense, if you take away aspects such as the random trips to avoid motion sickness you take away the heart of the game. Indeed, VR was an interesting exploration into what a VR game would be like from the perspective of a small person but that's all I ever wanted from a VR experience, an exploration. If the team are excited about VR they would be better to create a new game from the ground up, rather than trying to make a non VR game work in VR by removing unique parts of their incredible and wonderful game.

    19. David Lundin on

      This has nothing to do with VR tech, which is ready and coming right now no matter what you may think. This is just the developers screwing over Kickstarter backers that backed this game solely for the promised VR support.

    20. tequilapuzh on

      Narq, that is not quite the case. When you get the chance to try VR with some of the big 3 HMDs that are releasing soon/next year with projects made for VR you will understand.
      They simply didn't realise at the time of making the game/kickstarter campaign that when making a VR game, you can't use camera as a tool to set emotions for the Player. Camera has to be 100% free to the Players input, at all times. That's all there is to the problem at hand.
      For example, if you wanted to make VR game where player is a baby, you'd have to find a way that would make Player want to role play being a child. I'd personally would like to just set the camera free and let us explore the world freely. Maybe make it so you have to enable it in .cfg file, so it's not that obvious.

      Anyway, my point is that's it's not the technology that is at fault here. I'm also not mad at Krillbite, hope you guys keep on rocking. :)

    21. Narq on

      You guys just realized what a lot of developers are going to understand too late- VR tech is not ready! Just like 3D, a lot of folks are experiencing negative physical effects. Our brains are having a hard time processing the images with the rest of our senses. I expect a host of new "VR" games are going to prove problematic for players and developers. While I hope the tech can be 'fixed,' I think it's going to be a long journey to get it right.