E3’s IndieCade Showcase is a fascinating miscellany of smaller, independently developed games. I had the opportunity to try out one of those selected for the showcase, a VR title called Anderson, and learned how to plot an escape to a digital world.
Anderson was conceived as a means for developer AJRPG to familiarize themselves with VR, adding extra layers of immersion to an already compelling genre of game. According to the makers of Anderson, its development was a surprisingly quick, streamlined process. The came is not made with complex tools; it’s built in Unity, and all of its assets are free from Unity’s store. The point of the game wasn’t to make something huge a with unique art and setting, but rather to use simple means and mechanics to create an engaging story.
It takes a minute to get your bearings in the world of VR, but once the world—or rather, captive’s closet—of Anderson has been entered, a search for information begins immediately. Its aforementioned narrative comes to play as you try to figure out why you’ve been taken captive at all. Despite the game’s implementation of story, it begins with very little obvious exposition, relying instead on environmental cues to tell players what they need to know. I explored the smaller of the two rooms available, barely the size of a pantry, and looked from floor to ceiling for ways to decrypt a computer. The experience was, as promised, an engaging one; where a person might get bored looking through a room while operating a normal game controller, experiencing this strange captivity firsthand made the situation more real and pressing.
The game is by no means long; it should take you anywhere from a few minutes to and hour to play. Anderson is also notably available to download free of charge. The game is more passion project than business venture, and since it was free to make, the developers have made it free to play as well.
Anderson has been out on Steam since May 29, and it’s been getting positive reviews from players. You can also check out this teaser for the game if you’re curious:
Anderson is the product of a three-person team of developers, who utilized VR to add a layer of immersion rarely found in regular video games. It is available to play on SteamVR, HTV Vive and the Oculus Rift.