Based in Toulouse, France
October 15, 2016
Jonathan Sprauel is an independant developper, based in Toulouse (France), with a focus on Virtual Reality games.
ACROSS started as an exercise in game design: in virtual reality (VR), you are limited to the physical space available; and if you want to go further, you need mechanisms such as teleportation.
ACROSS solves the locomotion problem... by making you go back and forth between each level.
Based on this core idea - having portals between which you navigate - each level was constructed through trials and errors: most of the time, things don't turn out the way you expect in VR!
For instance, the early tests showed that it feels really unnatural to dodge with your head: it was hard to see what was happening on the level, since your view tended to be always blocked by incoming lasers; and you had to keep your sword close to your head, but it was then hard to see where you were aiming the deflected laser.
The solution was to adapt the gameplay to the strength of the platform, instead of forcing a mechanism that did not work well in VR: having the enemies aim at an external target - the bear - made the game easier to navigate and benefited from the precision of the tracking of the Vive-mote.
ACROSS took 4 months to make, with a release scheduled in end 2016.