Award-winning independent game studio HappyGiant and Tippett Studio today announced their ground-breaking augmented reality game HoloGrid: Monster Battle has made the transition to virtual reality, and is coming out on the next-generation Samsung Gear VR. In celebration of the upcoming “Star Wars Day” (May the Fourth), the game is now available for download on the Gear VR website and App, and will be available at a limited-time discounted price of $2.99 (regularly $4.99).
In addition, HappyGiant will mark the occasion with a three-day HoloGrid virtual “tournament”, in which participating players have a chance to win prizes such as t-shirts and vintage prints signed by famed VFX artist Phil Tippett. Beginning at 12:01 AM EST, May 4, and ending Midnight EST Sunday, May 7, players who accumulate the most multiplayer match victories will be placed into a pool to receive prizes. Contestants must fill out the tournament form HERE.
Launched in December as a physical goods mobile AR game, HoloGrid: Monster Battle VR is one of the first Gear VR games to incorporate the use of the platform’s new GearVR Controller and add Oculus Gear VR Avatar support with VOIP so players can talk to their opponents during games. The tactical strategy game, which combines elements of board games, collectible card games, and digital games, has been reimagined for VR and set inside a deep space game arena.
Built in Unity, the title has added a new single-player AI mode and supports multiplayer matches. With gameplay similar to that of games likeHearthStone or Magic: The Gathering, HoloGrid: Monster Battle is the first augmented and virtual reality cross-platform game. VR players will be able to challenge players of the AR mobile version and vice versa.
Inspired by the Star Wars HoloChess scene, created by Phil Tippett for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope forty years ago, and then recreated for 2015’sStar Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, HoloGrid: Monster Battle brings the monsters of Tippett to life for the first time in a game. Captured through a process known as photogrammetry, where actual hand-crafted 3D models are filmed from all angles and then used to build digital models used in the game, the creatures literally roar to life and into the digital game.
“It’s been a dream come true to work with Phil Tippett, who inspired myself and so many others,” said HappyGiant CEO and Creative Director Michael Levine. “AR and VR tech has given us a whole new playground in which we can interact and create our own vision and worlds that previously only existed in fiction. We can’t wait to see what people think of HoloGrid in VR!”
HoloGrid: Monster Battle VR is available today on the Gear VR site and app for $2.99 USD (regular price $4.99). The mobile AR version is available for iOS and Android on both Amazon and the HappyGiant website for $24.99. Next-gen AR and VR platforms, including but not limited to Microsoft HoloLens and Google Tango are also being explored.