A rather playful and breathtaking (pun intended) experience by the title of “Prana” is currently under development for all high end VR platforms (Playstation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift) by the developers over at Big Bright Monster!
Here’s a brief background: Prana is set in a ‘fantastical world’ that’s populated by ailing animals. What you are going to do here is to (literally) breath life to restore the vitality of them, therefore bringing them back to life. Your breath is tracked via the microphone of your VR headset, and visible in-game as well. All you have to do is to look at the dying animal, and breath for a couple of times, and this will magically revive them.
This experience work is designed to provide a relaxing experience, that people will wish to participate in multiple times, say 15 minutes per session.
I have the privilege to try out a build of this title from Big Bright Monster recently, and here’s an impression of what I have after trying out the playable demo on a HTC Vive.
The first thing I sees when I boot up the demo, is a rather soothing and peaceful afterlife-like world, filled with candles, glowing flora and a boat floating nearby, but the atmosphere doesn’t feel ominous at all. The demo is accompanied by a rather relaxing ambience music, which plays a part in settling me down into this fictional world.
I explored the surrounding by teleportation, and arrive in front of a deer on the ground, devoid of energy. After aiming my head at the animal on the ground, the surrounding gets darken, highlighting the sick animal that is in urgent need of help, and a translucent white indicator above it. This is an exhale indicator that move towards me. Apparently what I have to do here, is to exhale along with the indicator.
I let out a breath, which triggers some movement of the deer, a sign that it is not totally dead yet. The white particles that can been seen emitting in-game from my breath, move towards the animal, and apparently these are what makes them recover. I exhaled my breath a couple more times, and eventually it woke up, having fully restored and being all healthy again. In the midst of breathing to get the deer up, I can also see its heart glowing and pumping, as if it is struggling for live. At that moment, I feel like I am some sort of a god of life, who is using my power to resuscitating it. I got a rather warm and fuzzy feeling when I finished the task.
The deer is of course, not the only type of animal in this game. I have seen and also worked my magic on a tortoise and a raccoon, and according to the developer, the launch version will consist of 7 creatures, with additional animals as add-on pack.
Prana will be priced at $9.99, and I was told that it will be ready for release within a couple of months, which sounds to me that it will be releasing this year. A Steam page will be up soon as well, and while they have been planning on a Playstation VR launch first, it is not all confirmed and may likely to be fairly simultaneous with other VR headsets.
Check out the screenshots of Prata below.