Attention, Weary Space Travelers: Unwind at the Shufflepuck Cantina in Newly Released Oculus Rift Demo
Proof-of-concept prototype puts Agharta Studio at forefront of virtual reality adventure game development
LYON, France – January 29, 2014 – Fancy a drink in a faraway galaxy? Here’s the next best thing: Agharta Studio has today released a new demo of their hybrid role-playing / air hockey game Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe with Oculus Rift VR headset support. This demo serves as a proof-of-concept prototype for Agharta’s plan to create virtual reality adventure games, starting with an unannounced project in early development.
Agharta is a small indie studio best known for 1112, a series of episodic adventure games for touch screen devices. Shufflepuck Cantina — a nod to the 1989 cult classic Shufflepuck Café — sends a space traveler on an intergalactic pit stop to play air hockey against a variety of amusing aliens. Set in a multi-level watering hole patronized by colorful characters whose backstories influence their tournament strategies, Shufflepuck Cantina rewards players who explore the surroundings and get to know their competitors. Following an initial mobile release, an enhanced version named Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe debuted for PC, Mac, and Linux in December after being Greenlit by Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/259510/
The Shufflepuck Cantina Oculus Rift demo sets you loose to explore one of the cantina’s floors as if you were really there. Move your head to scan the room, chat with other patrons, open holographic menus, and engage in friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) rounds of air hockey. In creating this demo, the developers redesigned the UI to be comfortable and immersive in virtual reality — characteristics that will carry over into their new adventure game. To see Shufflepuck Cantina‘s Oculus Rift support in action, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gkG-Hv5Zgw
Agharta dove into virtual reality development last summer with EpicDragon VR, an arcade game prototype born out of the 3-week VR Jam presented by Oculus VR and IndieCade. EpicDragon VR puts the player on the back of a dragon, soaring the skies of a strange fantasy world while collecting Eggs of Light to counter a catastrophic solar eclipse. The prototype, which the organizers recognized as a VR Jam 2013 finalist, can be downloaded here: https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=3407
“At Agharta Studio, we like going where no one else has gone. 1112 was the first adventure game for iPhone, then one of the first for iPad. Now we want to be one of the first to make adventures for Oculus Rift,” says Aurelien Kerbeci, the studio’s CEO and co-founder. “While Shufflepuck Cantina is not an adventure game, its quirky world is the perfect place to experiment with virtual reality. Creating this demo gave us a good feel for how to use the Oculus Rift VR headset in an adventure game and we’re now applying what we’ve learned to the adventure prototype we’re working on.”
Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe for PC, Mac, and Linux can be purchased on Steam for $9.99 USD (http://store.steampowered.com/app/259510/) as well as from GetGames, Desura, and other online stores. The Oculus Rift demo is offered as bonus content through Steam.
About Agharta Studio
Agharta Studio is a small indie team located in Lyon, France. Having worked together on licensed games published by Atari and Vivendi, the principals formed Agharta in 2008 to explore new game ideas for emerging touch screen technology. An early arrival on both iPhone and iPad, their ongoing mystery adventure series 1112 has had three episodes released so far. In 2012 the team developed a hybrid role-playing / air hockey, Shufflepuck Cantina, as a homage to the cult classic Shufflepuck Café. Following a successful mobile launch, Agharta revamped the game for desktop computers and released the fully featured Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe for PC, Mac, and Linux in December 2013. The team has recently turned their attention to Oculus Rift development with an unannounced adventure game in early production. Learn more at http://www.aghartastudio.com.