The votes are in and after much deliberation the winner of TagJam 2016 is Terminal Station, designed, built and tested by How is Possible in just 24 hours!
A slightly murderous take on Guess Who, Terminal Station is a two-player co-operative game where one player goes inside the VR unit to act as an assassin, whilst the other player acts as their accomplice in the real world. As well as the VR unit, the game also requires players to utilise the top-secret scrapbook, which is full of information describing the various assassination targets in the game.
In the VR world, the assassin is given the name of a target via text message (see image above), which they must tell to the accomplice. The accomplice must then describe the target using information from the top-secret scrapbook. If they have listened carefully, the assassin should then be able to identify and shoot the target. If the player identifies and shoots the correct target it's onto the next one. Get the wrong target or fail to make the assassination in time and it's game over!
If all that sounds a little complex then watch the gameplay video above and everything will become clear!
The team at How is Possible were delighted to snatch the top prize at TagJam 2016 after a long and often arduous night. Programmer Scott Downie said "For many of us it was our first time developing a VR game and we're proud of what we achieved in the short timescale, particularly the level of polish we managed. We were up against some really ambitious projects and winning really validated our design decision to focus on a good core game."
Though How is Possible scooped the top prize, TagJam 2016 saw all our teams deliver some fantastic VR experiences in one caffeine and pizza-fuelled marathon. Team Highlander got to grips (literally) with Oculus touch controllers to deliver Vanny McVanface, a neat take on the Endless Runner format which sees you clear a safe path for your onscreen avatar rather than control it directly. Using the touch controllers, you grab, slap and swat away obstacles including cactii, sheep and boulders from the road to create a safe passage for your speeding campervan.
Taking a slightly darker tone, (symbol)(symbol) served up an arachnophobe's nightmare with their survival-horror title Spider Spider. Again using Oculus touch control, the game features fully-rendered forest and castle environments, which players explore whilst being stalked by an eight-legged fiend. The player's only defence is their candle, which is controlled in real time and keeps the spider at bay, but allowing the candle to go out will result in a straightforward meal for our web-spinning chum.
Last but not least, Tim Burton meets Tom and Jerry in #BSD's Mouse of Horrors. Set in a creepy mansion, the game casts the player as a tiny, hungry mouse, who must explore the area in order to find and escape with a slab of cheese. Unfortunately, a large and distinctly unfriendly cat has other ideas, so you'll need to stay hidden in the shadows as much as possible to avoid meeting a grisly end in kitty's stomach. The video above will give you an idea of what to expect (apologies for the lack of sound.)
Overall, TagJam 2016 was a fantastic experience for the whole team, that allowed us both to test our skills with some new technology and experience some wild hallucinations due to sleep deprivation. We've already started thinking about where we can take our creations next and how we can apply what we learned about VR development to future projects, so watch this space for further updates!