“The Invisible Hours VR” Videos (Dev Blog 1, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Edison)

Tequila Works, famed for their charming adventure game Rime, is set to have a virtual reality title “The Invisible Hours” releasing on 10th October. To hype up the impending release, they have released some new videos recently, introducing 2 of the characters and a dev blog.

The title will be launching on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR on the same date, and will be published by GameTrust. According to the developer, they seems to prefer this title to be referred to a mix of game, movie and theater play.

A group of strangers receive a curious invitation from enigmatic inventor Nikola Tesla, offering each of them the chance to make amends for their darkest wrongdoings. When the last guest arrives at Tesla’s isolated mansion laboratory, they find him dead – murdered. Disgraced Swedish detective, Gustaf Gustav, vows to find the killer amongst the other guests: a blind butler, a convicted murderer, the world’s most famous actress, Tesla’s former assistant, the son of a wealthy railroad magnate, and rival inventor Thomas Edison. But none of these people are what they seem.

In this title, the story, written by Rob Yescombe, will play out in the format of an immersive theater. Your presence is not really felt by any of the characters in the game, as the characters interact with each other as if you are not there. Your motion controllers serve to navigate around Tesla’ mansion laboratory, as well as to control the time. With these 2 abilities, you will be able to follow all of the 7 suspects, check out their movements, interaction with each others, and explore the mansion laboratory at the same time (there are clues to find and diary to read). You can practically view the story unfold in all angles and all perspectives.

As you can see from the blurb above, Nikola Tesla has invited 7 individuals to his place, but when they arrived, they found him dead. Its a murder in an island, meaning the killer can’t leave the island. In other words, one of the 7 individuals is the killer.


Characters

Nikola Tesla

In case you have no idea about it, the dead victim in this title, Nikola Tesla, is based on the real historic figure of the same name, an inventor / electrical engineer / mechanical engineer and physicist, famed for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Nikola Tesla in the real world has a rivalry with Thomas Edison, another inventor and was also Nikola Tesla’s boss at one point of his career. Their rivalry is fictionalized in this VR title, as Thomas Edison is set to be one of the 7 suspects.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison is, similar to Nikola Tesla, based on the real world counterpart of the same name, and serves as the biggest suspect. He is rather popular as one of America’s greatest inventors, and has briefly hired Nikola Tesla to work for him. Unfortunately their different working methods eventually caused their working relationship to turn sour, as Nikola Tesla will eventually leave the company. They will continue publicly criticizes each other for the rest of their life time. Thomas Edison has been portrayed in popular culture, and this title is just the latest of the attempt. Mark Arnold will be responsible for portraying the character in The Invisible Hours. Here’s a video discussing the character in this title.

Sarah Bernhardt

Just like the two characters before, Sarah Bernhardt is based on a real world figure. Sarah Bernhardt is regarded as one of the finest actors of the 9th century from France. In the 1880s, she became a huge draw in Europe, and took her own traveling company on a worldwide tour, and later on taking on roles in some of the earliest motion pictures too. Unlike Thomas Edison, Sarah Bernhardt did not even know Tesla, or got to see Tesla alive. And once again, the character here differs from the one in the history books. Played by Fiona Rene, Sarah serves as one of the seven suspects, is described as ‘greater than life, sophisticated, a “man-eater”‘, and is not what she appears to be in this title. To quote Thomas Edison in this game, she “lies for a living”, which will make her a tricky suspect. Here’s a video where the staffers discusses about this character.

Gustaf Gustav

Gustaf Gustav was a renowned Swedish investigator, who has retired from police work after mistakenly releases an infamous killer who convinced him of his innocence. The killer went on to commit more murders before he was recaptured, and at the same time killing the career of Gustav. Now unemployed, bankrupt and alcoholic, he take it upon himself to investigate the murder of Tesla. What if the game decides to throw a twist where the detective is the murderer himself here?

Flora White

Flora White doesn’t seems to be based on a real person. In this game, Flora White is an ex assistant of Tesla, also a widow, whom husband has passed away at war. Apparently she has been fired after Tesla has withdrawn from his public life, causing her to fall on hard time and has returned to Tesla to beg for her job back. It is possible that her desperation leads to more friction and cause her to murder her ex-boss, so she might have a motive here.

Augustus Vanderberg

Augustus Vanderberg comes from a wealthy family from England, and as you will have guessed, is rather spoilt. He has never need to work a day before, and spend his family fortune on women, booze and whatever pleasure he came across. Beneath that, he is a insecure guy who seek to impress his father, Marcus Vanderberg, a railroad magnate. Augustus Vanderberg has feel that he is constantly living in the shadow of his dead older brother, who has drowned when they were younger, and is seen as the better son by his father.

Oliver Swan

Oliver Swan is a blind man who once serves as a slave in Zanzibar, and forced to abandoned his son to escape to the United States. He has recently been brought to the mansion laboratory by Tesla himself, serving as a potential candidate to become Tesla’s new assistant, and taking over the job of Flora White. Considering that Tesla fired Flora White without a real reason and then hire a blind man as a potential replacement, maybe things is not as simple as it looks.

Victor Mundy

Victor Mundy, unlike the rest of the suspects, has actual record and experience in murdering. Many years back, he murdered his wife, after discovering her committing adultery behind his back. He was arrested and convicted due to the testimony of his own daughter, Mary, and since then, has birth the desire to take revenge on his own daughter. Given his track record, he may be one of the prime suspects of Tesla’s murder too.