Owlchemy Labs, the studio behind the hit VR parody sport Job Simulator (2016) and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality (2017), debuted their upcoming sport right here at GDC 2018, an aptly named sequel to Job Simulator that delves into the imagined world of what holidays will need to have been like for us people earlier than all the roles (and presumably holidays) have been automated away. Called Vacation Simulator, I bought an opportunity to go hands-on with what goals to be an extended, narrative-driven sequel within the rising franchise.

Vacation Simulator, I used to be informed by CTO Devin Reimer, options an iteration on the studio’s node-based teleportation system developed for Rick and Morty VR, which lets you traverse a number of objective-based ‘stations’ as a substitute of standing in a devoted stage like in Job Simulator. This, I might be taught, would change a number of basic issues concerning the rising Simulator franchise; it allowed for extra various play areas in a single stage.

Putting on the HTC Vive Pro headset, I used to be greeted by a familiar-looking floating robotic buddy, a staple quest giver and all-around supply of goofiness first launched in Job Simulator. The robotic beckoned me to wave to him, one thing new the studio added to make the robots extra interactive. A easy wave began the demo, and I used to be off to a cartoony seaside rife with potentialities.

picture courtesy Owlchemy Labs

Stepping onto the seaside, I discovered a half-dozen teleportation nodes, every of them that includes their very own particular person actions; there was a sand castle-building station with block-based logic challenges, a cabana stocked with a grilling provides for madcap meals prep alla Job Simulator, a dock-side store the place you should purchase objects with sand and obtain mini-quests to get you exploring the lovable, if not crowded, seaside cove.

I particularly appreciated the sand fort constructing station, which gave you a graph paper chart displaying a 2D illustration of the fort you’d have to copy. Or, I might simply screw round and construct a large sand fort and reserve it on a floppy disk, and toss it in my backpack for later. The backpack, the sport’s new stock system that you simply entry by bodily reaching behind you, incorporates a Polaroid digicam and house for a number of objects—illustrative of the form of missions forward that might require you to gather, tote and fetch issues for numerous bots.

While solely a single participant sport, there may also be an avatar creator so you possibly can create your personal distinctive look, one thing I used to be informed would play a task within the full sport. For this demo although, I bought an opportunity to see myself in a mirror and take a selfie with my Polaroid.

picture courtesy Owlchemy Labs

A giant departure from Job Simulator: the bots have been all so care-free; all however one, a bureaucratic grey-faced bot who at all times tried to place the kibosh on the enjoyable. After an impromptu dance occasion took maintain of the seaside’s monitor-shaped residents, the grey-faced fuddy duddy finally reappeared, pausing the simulation and ending the demo. This, I sensed, can be the premise of the continued story; a boss who couldn’t bear the considered inefficiency in a simulation about rest.

It seems from the demo that we’re in for lots of the identical sort of actions as Job Simulator, albeit with a way more expansive and unified world to interact in. There’s additionally the promise of a narrative to entice you again into the simulating fold, however precisely how concerned that story is, we simply can’t say at this level. There can be many extra areas than the little seaside space, I used to be informed although, and the bureaucrat would play a central position within the battle to chillax.

Vacation Simulator is slated to launch on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR someday later this yr. We’re sure to listen to and see extra of Vacation Simulator within the coming months earlier than launch, so we’ll maintain our eyes peeled.

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