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White Elk is a new VR company from Los Angeles, which is currently working on a new exciting VR-game called Eclipse. The. The project is being held by Jonathan Hawkins – former Sony Santa Monica developer, who worked as the Lead Level Designer in the company. Jonathan helped to build God of War I-III, however he decided to leave Kratos and Sony and moved on.
Jonathan’s fascination with VR started a long time ago. He tried to work with virtual reality during his time at Sony Santa Monica, when he saw a home-made VR-demo inside of God of War III. It was designed especially to be presented for Shuhei Yoshida – the president of Sony Worldwide Studios. it was amazing and Jonathan decided to move in this direction.
It reminded me of the first time I played Doom, a game that recreated 3D environments and teleported me to a new world. It blew my mind! I knew from that moment back in 1993 that making games was what I wanted to do. To create worlds, where I could explore my imagination coming to life and share it with others. For me, VR is the next step. It immerses the player even further into the fantastic worlds we create.
Jonathan Hawkins, White Elk
The biggest inspiration, that helped to shape the main ideas of Eclipse, was the song by Johann Johannsson called “How We Left Fordlandia“. The song was has an eerie feeling, which helped to grasp that feeling that sculpted the whole game. Eclipse is a first person exploration game. The action is set on a sentient planet, that has some very dark past. It starts with the main character awakening after the crash-landing. The gamer finds oneself in a dreamscape environment, filled with the remnants of a civilisation long lost.
One of the key elements of Eclipse is the Artifact. It’s a strange device, which allows you to control elements of the natural world and interact with the ancient technology. This tool helps Jonathan to blend classical exploration mechanics into virtual reality experience.
The game is partly backed by Section Studios, who’s co-founder Cecil Kim is actually a long time friend of Jonathan. Cecil also worked at Sony Santa Monica, doing Visual Development. Usually these two developed puzzles and integrated them into environments. So they started prototyping and created Eclipse, picking up the visual direction and the gameplay. They created a huge world with lots of strange giant objects and rooms. They have
Thanks to virtual reality, the developers are hoping to create a completely different kind of exploration game, where the whole story will be told through environments and your interactions with the world. With the help of the new technology the development duo will create a super realistic game, that transports you to a different dimension with it’s unique look and feel. Eclipse really looks like the kind of VR-game you want to play in the upcoming years. It’s fresh, rich in detail and completely different from anything we’ve seen before.
Be sure to subscribe to news at the White Elk official website and keep coming back for new updates. A VR-game from the God of War designers is definitely worth your attention.