The difficulties of travel within a virtual environment are well documented. Most developers are currently evading the problem by either keeping the player still, or using a teleportation mechanic.Sömmad is aiming to allow players to walk freely through the virtual reality (VR) environment without need for teleportation.
Sömmad is a room-scale experience that allows players to explore an expansive VR maze. The experience is designed with local multiplayer in mind, so players can assist each other one finding the correct way out. The maze and its associated map are designed using what developers Rovango Studio have termed ‘Self-overlapping architectures’. This technology is designed to allow users to freely wander around the environment while forgetting the play area is confined to a 2.5m by 2.5m space.
The developers designed the Sömmad experience primarily as a proof of concept for the self-overlapping architectures, but since it was tested at the Rovango Studio offices and was extremely well-received, the developers decided to concert it into a full asymmetrical multiplayer experience. Similar to social VR titles such as ‘Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes’ one player is ensconced in the VR environment while others consult the map to try and guide the player out of the maze.
Sömmad is expected to be released on Steam for the HTC Vive on 7th August, 2017. Users will need a play area of at least 2.5m by 2.5m to get the best out of the experience. Ideally, Sömmad should be played with one person as ‘Explorer’ inside the VR environment with one or more people acting as map ‘Navigators’ outside VR.
A price point has not yet been established for Sömmad. Further information and updates can be found on the Steam page.