Archiact is proud to announce that Waddle Home is coming to Playstation VR! What’s new? Intuitive controls through head and controller tracking, greater accessibility, and more VR interactions than ever before!
Waddle Home began as a prototype exploring Lemmings-style gameplay for mobile VR. The goal was to create a polished puzzle experience that took advantage of the 360-degree, immersive nature of virtual reality. We threw in penguins, composed an adorably melodic soundtrack, and brought together a visually-astounding game. We’ve made a ton of enhancements to make this game an incredible, must-try VR experience.
One of the biggest changes that we’ve made since the original build is the incorporation of head and controller tracking. With VR head tracking, the levels in Waddle Home feel like a doll house in front of the player. They entice you to get up close, to move around, and investigate. We redesigned many levels to take advantage of this — hiding secret tunnels and building areas that you have to peer into in order to conquer the puzzle. These changes in level design help to make the game feel custom-built for virtual reality, and encourage newcomers to VR to take advantage of the 360-degree perspective that VR offers.
The addition of controller tracking also allowed us to change the mechanics of the game. “Bopping” the penguins to speed them up, or bopping switches to toggle them, became important gameplay mechanics. We also added custom animations for objects when struck by the controllers. The shift from touch input to controller input allows for a more immersive, full-body experience.
We also wanted to make the game inclusive, in terms of both general gameplay and control schemes. During testing, we recognized that different players had fun interacting with the game in different ways. So, with that in mind, we support both a physical “bopping” interactivity, where the player can reach out and hit elements in the game, and a laser pointer control scheme, where they can quickly point and interact with puzzle features. We also worked to make both control schemes work on both the DualShock and Move controller, and it was fun adding a xylophone-style mallet to the DualShock to let people bop away!
Of course, we wanted players of all ages to be able to experience Waddle Home. To do this, we made the game platform to be height-adjustable, and as such, a comfortable playing experience both for children and adults.
When we showed off Waddle Home with head and controller tracking for the first time, everyone wanted the world to respond to their touch. People tried splashing the water, patting the penguins, and bashing the spaceship. Our testing phase helped us to realize that the moments where players discover ways to interact with their environment have the potential to make VR experiences much more impactful (especially during the first few minutes acclimating to their new world). As such, we dedicated effort into creating fun interactions in the environment that could help players ease into the world. Experiences such as freezing the headset, hitting the spaceships, and splashing around or tracing shapes in the water also help to break up some of the challenging puzzles.
We hope that you enjoy the game that we’ve built for you. Now grab your headset, and help those penguins waddle back home!
P.S. Let us know if you have any ideas about what you’d like to see added in the next update of Waddle Home!