At E3 2015, Montreal-based Minority Media – the development team behind indie darling Papo & Yo, released a trailer for the studios’ next title: An ambitious Oculus Rift-exclusive game called Time Machine.
Time Machine was announced a number of months ago at Pax East and GDC, but E3 marks the first time the game has been seen in action, giving observers a glimpse at what might end up being one of the video game industry’s first commercial virtual reality titles.
In the the trailer the player travels back in time in order to study dinosaurs in their natural habitat, all while trying not to interfere with the fragile fabric of time. Time Machine is set in the year 2033 and the player takes the role of a character who has been tasked with recording the earth’s “pre-history.”
If the Time Machine’s trailer is any indication, players will be able to witness the earth change as well as scan and carefully probe various prehistoric creatures for valuable data from a first-person perspective.
The dangers of getting too close to a dangerous, enormous dinosaur also seems to play a significant role in Time Machine, adding a level of tension to what otherwise seems like a relaxing journey at first.
It will also be interesting to see if the emotional tone and direction of Papo & Yo, an atmospheric, artistic title about a young boy’s troubled relationship with his father, will weave its way into Time Machine, a game that seems to have a more straightforward, action oriented tone.
In general the game seems to drop the player into a time-traveling dinosaur safari. Time Machine also seems to take inspiration from the underappreciated Wii ocean exploration title, Endless Ocean, but with the added immersion capabilities of VR.
VR is increasingly becoming the home for many independent developers’ inventive ideas, and hardware manufacturers continue to hop in on the trend, with companies like Valve announcing SteamVR, HTC’s Re Vive, and even console makers like Sony jumping into the mix with Project Morpheus.
While it’s still unclear if virtual reality will reach the popularity levels many developers, hardware manufacturers and publishers hope it will, and while a significant amount is still not known about Minority Media’s Time Machine, the game certainly seems to be taking the concept of VR and video games in general, in an exciting new direction.
Time Machine does not have a specific release date yet.