Rowing A Boat Through Hades in Journey for Elysium

When Knight Moves and Once Storytelling needed to puzzle out the in-game physics of rowing a virtual boat in Journey for Elysium, they approached us to provide a playable prototype.

Here’s a quick preview of the virtual reality game prototype, utilizing Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch for hand control and movement.

  • Really? The best part of this is it’s super intuitive. The power of virtual reality combined with hand controls means you pick up the oar and start rolling down the river, just like you would in a real boat. There are no keyboard or controller commands to figure out. Sit down and start paddling.
  • The force applied to the boat is opposite the movement of the oar blade when pushing through the water. Paddling off the sides generates torque on the center of the boat because the paddle’s force is outside of the player’s center of mass, which is sitting in the middle. We’ll go into more specific physics details in a separate video.
  • Notice how you can push off obstacles with the paddle, or bounce off them directly, and drift slightly away—an action that mirrors the experience of being in a watercraft.
  • When the player approaches points of interest along the route, the boat automatically aligns and stops, making access easier (and a bit more obvious).
  • Dropping the paddle simply causes it to respawn, as opposed to watching it float away, though a nimble (or showoff!) player can also toss and catch it in midair.

Check out the game teaser on the demo website. Our client currently has the game in pre-production (thanks to support from VAF Game Fund) and we’ll be watching for their future KickStarter campaign.

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