Imagine the movie Gravity as a video game experience, and you’ll have some idea of what ADR1FT is all about. The debut game, developed by Three One Zero, has already made quite an impression, especially since it will also have virtual reality support to create a deep, beautiful and unforgettable experience. ADR1FT launches on March 28 for PC as a non-VR game, with Oculus Rift support and console releases at a later date.
The developer has also partnered with iam8bit to create a special collector’s edition, a 756-piece jigsaw puzzle, a packet of dehydrated astronaut ice cream and an embroidered space station patch that fits into the game’s fiction.
[a]listdaily talked to Adam Orth, creative director at Three One Zero, to find out what goes into promoting a weightless “lost in space” experience.
How would you describe ADR1FT to someone who has never heard of it?
ADR1FT is a narrative-driven FPX (first-person experience) about an astronaut who wakes up floating amongst the debris of a destroyed space station with no memory and a damaged EVA suit slowly leaking oxygen. Your goals in ADR1FT are to simply stay alive and get home safely. Along the way, you discover the stories of the crew members that didn’t survive the catastrophe and eventually learn about yourself and what caused the destruction.
How have you been getting the word out about ADR1FT?
We’ve been fortunate that the concept and premise is immediately compelling and that we can back it up with amazing software. Showing the VR version of ADR1FT to press and at trade shows has really gotten the word out, far past the normal game press. VR is definitely something people are interested in and we are able to give them an incredible experience.
Has promoting ADR1FT both as a regular game and VR experience been challenging?
The real challenge we’ve had is that our VR experience is in such high-demand, most people don’t know that the game will be available non-VR as well. We’ve been surprised how loud the VR excitement has been. It has almost completely drowned out the other way you can play ADR1FT.
In what ways does using an Oculus Rift to play enhance the experience?
Selling the fantasy of being an astronaut in peril is hard. VR has allowed us to tap into the primal emotions of people within a universal subject. How you really feel about space comes through when you are playing ADR1FT. It’s magical that hardware can do that.
Has virtual reality impacted the way ADR1FT was designed and promoted?
Developing ADR1FT for VR and non-VR was challenging in the way that we always had to consider things that were basically unknown and untested. We have a very smart team and we made bets based on our experience. Most paid off, some didn’t. That’s what’s kind of exciting about VR. Exploring the unknown and finding new things by searching in the darkness.
How did you and iam8bit partner to come up with the collector’s edition package?
I’ve been a huge fan of iam8bit for years and they approached us. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. They make really unique presentations of known products and turn them into something entirely new without compromising the soul and integrity of the original product.