What is ‘Black Island’?
‘Black Island’ is a first-person, open world horror game, set on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. The player is stranded on the island and has to solve riddles, to be able to call for help. But even though no human can be found on the island, he is not alone. Optimized for playing with the Oculus Rift headset, the player can enjoy an immersive horror atmosphere in 360 degrees.
Why are you using the Oculus Rift?
When the headset showed up on Kickstarter last year, we backed it immediately, knowing we had to make a game for it. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to develop for something that would make gaming so immersive. It started more as an experiment, but over time, we decided to work towards a release, because we want other people to play it, too!
Why a Horror Game?
What game would you want to look away from? A horror game. Where can’t you look away from the monitor, because it’s on your head? In the Oculus Rift. The combination of those two was a logical step for us. We want to create a game, in which players can lose themselves. And what better way to forget you’re in a game, when you run away screaming? (Well, your character at least)
Well, what can I do in the game?
Glad you asked, I was just getting to that. You can explore the open world island and stitch together what happened there, through notes collected in your journal. If you want to escape from the island you have to solve several quests and avoid getting caught by the things that live in the darkness. Your ultimate goal is to escape from the island, and for that you have to sacrifice a part of yourself.
Will the game work with a normal monitor as well?
Our main focus is the Oculus Rift, but the game can be played with a normal desktop setup as well. You can optionally use a gamepad to control the action in both modes.
Have you thought about Mac players?
We did! As we develop in Unity3d, there will also be a version for Mac!
Who are you, anyway?
We are ‘wotokah’, a 3-person team from Zurich, Switzerland. We’re working on ‘Black Island’ in our free time. Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to work on the game full time, and we all have to do freelancers jobs (in game and app development) to keep afloat. Life in Switzerland, unfortunately, isn’t cheap.
What is the money used for?
Firstly to cover some expenses, we had during development since the beginning of the year. Stuff like licenses for Unity Pro and several plugins. We paid for everything like traveling expenses for events and PR from our own pockets so far. As I mentioned before, we can only work on the game in our free time, because we somehow have to earn a living.
Secondly we’d love it if we could take a month off our day jobs to really get into the development and polish everything before the launch. The rest of the money, after covering the expenses, is used to give us the crucial time we need before October 31st to produce a quality game.
Is there a website of your game?
There is! Visit http://wotokah.makegames.ch/ to get more info and bigger screenshots. There’s also a blog, where you can get news and information about the development of the game.
When is the game coming out?
When it’s done! Just kidding (I hope). We aim for a release on Halloween 2013, but it could take a little bit longer, depending on how the game turns out until then. If we’re not happy with it, we will continue to polish it for a little while longer. But it’ll definitely be out before the Holidays 2013.
Cool, I’m in Zurich on Halloween. Will you be doing some kind of launch event?
Actually, we are! We will hold a Halloween and Launch Party in dock18 in Zurich on the 31st of October. If we don’t manage to have the game ready by then, we will throw a Halloween party anyway! ^_^ More info about the party will follow.