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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Oculus Rift

    - Danny Cowan

  • Bernard John (B.J.) Badger, Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy alumnus, Covert

    In Covert, the player takes the role of Slim, a man with a special talent for finding out things that other people don't want him to know. In each stage of the game, Slim enters an environment full of clues which can be used to piece together facts and dig up the information Slim is after. There's just one catch: usually there's somebody else around at the same time, and if they catch Slim looking at the wrong things, it could go badly for him.

    The head-tracking of the Oculus Rift is used to both control the player's view and determine what object Slim is looking at. Looking steadily at an important object for a few seconds will enter data about that object to Slim's knowledge bank, usually bringing him one step closer to his overall goal. However, the people around Slim will grow suspicious if he spends too much time looking at unusual things, or if he fails to look in their general direction when they're talking to him. The player can use dialog choices to alleviate their suspicions or distract them momentarily. This gives the player the opportunity to search for more useful clues, though they must also listen for conversation cues that indicate it's time to give eye contact again. The more information Slim has already gathered, the more choices he will have available to misdirect or manipulate those he interacts with. Each scene is a carefully constructed puzzle which unfolds as Slim gathers bits of important information and gains mastery over the situation.

    Some examples of possible scenes:

    • Flashback to Slim's childhood school days, reading passed notes, sneaking peeks at the smart kids' homework, and observing his classmates' antics while their teacher's back is turned, while still paying enough attention to answer questions when called upon.
    • Called into the office of Slim's corrupt boss, keeping him talking long enough to uncover evidence of embezzlement.
    • On a date with a Mafia don's daughter, trying to extract information on the mob's movements from her cell phone despite her and her bodyguards watching.


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