'LOW-FI' Kickstarter Aims for an Open-world VR Game in a Atmospheric Cyberpunk Universe

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IRIS VR today launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for LOW-FI, an atmospheric cyberpunk virtual reality game and so-called spiritual successor to TECHNOLUST (2016).

Low-Fi is now on Kickstarter, aiming to raise roughly $45,000 ($60,000 CAD) in 30 days for an ambitious VR title. The game is set in a cyberpunk world from the mind of creator Blair Renaud; he doesn’t hide his inspirations, saying much is drawn from “great cyberpunk, noir, and sci-fi works” like Blade Runner, RoboCop, Outland, Alien and more.

The Kickstarter pitches the game’s premise as such:

LOW-FI is the street name given to those who cannot merge with The Platform, a ubiquitous virtual reality simulation where most of the population now live their lives. You are a low-fi police officer that has recently been transferred to a particularly crime ridden section of city-block 303. The only inhabitants of note in your jurisdiction are other low-fi, and human intelligence (or below) artificial life forms who have remained among the citizens after the AI singularity.

Somewhere, there is a crime happening. You’re the law around here, what’s your idea of fun? There’s plenty to keep you occupied. From investigating the death of the man you’re replacing as sheriff to the “white collar” crimes and petty street stuff. It’s up to you what you allow, and who or what you pursue.

With that interesting backdrop, Low-Fi promises the following:

  • Massive non-linear open world
  • Hundreds of crimes and stories to solve and explore complete with branching narratives and dialogue
  • Procedural markets with thousands of purchasable item possibilities
  • Interactive Photo-realistic NPCs
  • 3D positional Audio
  • Augmented Reality within Virtual Reality with multiple overlay programs
  • Companion NPCs (biological and synthetic)
  • Gun-play (Optional)
  • Arcade Mini-games
  • Playable on min-spec VR capable PCs

The Low-Fi Kickstarter has a range of tiers: the first to offer a finished version of the game comes in at $35 CAD (this is excluding an already sold-out Early Bird tier). Higher tiers offer access to the developer’s Discord server, where they say backers can “help shape the game,” as well as “immediate access to the development build of the game.”

The latter bit I found confusing, because “immediate access” will not come until the conclusion of the Kickstarter in October, Renaud has confirmed. Further, the ‘October 2019’ expected delivery date listed in all tiers refers to the development build, while the retail version of the game isn’t expected until the end of 2020, though this isn’t specified on the Kickstarter page.

Image courtesy IRIS VR

The game is being built for PC VR platforms, though there are significant stretch goals (if the project exceeds its funding goal) which would bring next-gen PSVR and Oculus Quest support, along with smaller stretch goals which would add additional music and content to the game:

  • $70,000 – New Licensed Music
  • $80,000 – Unlock the Wastelands
  • $100,000 – LOCKED
  • $120,000 – LOCKED
  • $130,000 – LOCKED
  • $500,000 – Next Gen PSVR Port!
  • $850,000 – Oculus Quest Port!

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Renaud ran a successful Kickstarter for Technolust, a similarly-themed VR title, which raised $64,477 CAD (double its goal) back in 2014. The title shipped alongside the launch of the original Rift back in 2016, where it remains available today. Though not a direct continuation, Renaud says that Low-Fi is a spiritual successor to the game.

In developing Low-Fi, Renaud plans to employ the help of several pioneering indie VR developers: Mark Schramm (Gravity LabNighttime TerrorTechnolust), Nick Pittom (Apollo 11 VR, Windlands, Dispatch), and Noah Rayburn (PixelGod), and is further engaging SECRET SIGN and others to give the game an authentic soundtrack.



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