Who would have thought that a game about watching grass grow would get you a free ticket to the annual E3 conference in California? As of a few weeks ago, the answer to that question would be Fire Station 101 member and Pillowhead Games Director Braycen Jackwitz.
Braycen has been creating virtual reality experiences for some time, with an early claim to fame being a virtual reality version of the viral game hit Flappy Birds. More recent projects include collaborations with Fire Station 101 member ImmersePort to produce work for companies such as KPMG and Audi.
When Braycen heard that game retailer GameSpot was hosting a VR games pitch competition for a trip to the E3 Gaming expo in Los Angeles, he knew he had to come up with something unique. He went above and beyond the video pitch and actually created his game in a week.
Grow your grass
The premise of the game is simple. Built for the room-scale HTC Vive VR system, your job is to watch grass grow. The longer you watch the grass, the more it grows. The higher it grows, the more points you get.
Sounds easy, right? Even relaxing? Perhaps, if it wasn’t for the rabid dogs that attack and block your view, or the men on trucks who throw grenades to light your grass on fire. If all that wasn’t enough, you are growing against a time limit until a giant asteroid inevitably flattens your grass.
Thankfully, Braycen has equipped us to address most of these challenges. Using the HTC Vive controller, you can reach behind your back with one hand to grab your rocket launcher, and reach with your other hand to grab a rocket to put the dogs and grenade throwers in their place. Your grass will inevitably catch fire from the grenades, so you will need to reach behind you again to grab your water bottle and put out the fire.
Reflecting on the state of VR
We were proud to send Braycen off before he left at the monthly Fire Station 101 BBQ with a ringing of the Celebration Bell. We also caught up with when he returned from his world travels to hear his perspective on all things E3 and VR.
Braycen’s main take away was how much VR was there and how many developers were getting on board. There is a lot of hardware support currently and more on the way. He is encouraged by the level of his own work and inspired to keep working on his games to show off at E3 next year.
Pillow Head Games is creating innovative experiences in Virtual Reality gaming. Give a like to the Pillow Head Games Facebook page to keep up to date on upcoming releases.
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