Visual novel </reality> hopes to explore a world where virtual reality gaming has gone wrong. Currently in development by Fancy Fish Games, </reality> features a “revolutionary” VR games console and a team of gamers who find themselves caught up in one dangerous situation.
Fancy Fish is currently aiming to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter to fund its development.
</reality> Explores a Darker Side of VR Gaming
In </reality>, a “VR nerd” named Lilya signs up to be a beta tester at a developer called InterMense, hoping to test a new game called “Vitalia” and a VR games console called “Penta.” However, what should be an exciting chance to test an innovative title turns into a shady conspiracy as the Penta comes with “physical side-effects,” Vitalia‘s NPCs are “unbelievably intelligent” and the developers at InterMense only offer up “suspicious explanations.”
And things soon get even worse for Lilya when fellow beta tester Ben tells her that he’s stuck in Vitalia “permanently” and “Lilya sees that she has become involved in something much riskier and more eye-opening than she realized.”
Fancy Fish explains that the visual novel, which is over 90,000 words, is told from the perspectives of both Lilya and a character called Jacob, who is the founder of InterMense. Ben, Lilya and Jacob’s fates will “intertwine” and they’ll be forced to make some tough decisions with “major consequences.” The plot will also feature some “mind-bending twists.”
With a VR-gaming-gone-bad plot and with Fancy Fish also citing sci-fi movies The Matrix and Inception as two of its influences, the biggest concern is that </reality> could potentially end up treading the same old cliched tropes. Though, Fancy Fish says that players may “come away from the game with theories and answers of their own”, particularly “in terms of how these themes might relate to their real lives,” and so hopefully it won’t just retread the same ground.
Also inspiring some confidence that </reality> will offer something a little different is the fact that Lilya has social anxiety, giving Fancy Fish some room to explore how VR gaming can help someone, rather than just entertain. Moreover, the developer promises lots of replayability and a romance mechanic (Fancy Fish tells me that Jacob has a same-gender romance option and that it is “considering” adding one for Lilya) which give gamers a couple of extra reasons to get invested.