Faceted Flight offers things to do and goal-based challenges, but the game is really about the joy of flying. I was able to play it in earlier form at an event this year, and the Kickstarter demo that's available now for anyone with a an Oculus Rift development kit should go a long way to convince fans that creator Matthew Scott is on the right track.
The feeling of being inside a ship, even a very basic one, is thrilling. The entire game takes place in a kind of warmly colored low-poly world, and the early comparisons to games like Star Fox aren't far off; it's fun to sit down in your virtual cockpit and simply enjoy the sensation of flying around these spaces.
The demo provides you with races where you have to fly through as many rings as possible, but I tend to ignore that goal and just enjoy myself until the timer runs out. The final product is supposed to have a more open exploration mode, and that may be where many players find the most fun.
The promise of multiplayer is one of the more exciting aspects of this particular Kickstarter. If flying around on your own and doing tricks and close passes by interesting things in the landscape is fun, it's hard to imagine how much it will be improved by adding a friend to join in your adventures.
The game has raised a bit over $6,000 of a $50,000 goal with 25 days to go, and that's a hard road in crowdfunding right now. Things would be different if more players had virtual reality hardware to try the demo and to see how much fun it is, but as it stands the potential backers are limited to people who are already sure they're going to be picking up some virtual reality hardware and fans who already have development kits. That's not a large pool of potential customers, but it's going to be a shame if the game is unfunded due to timing more than quality. This has long been one of the most solid, and enjoyable, flying experiences in the virtual reality development scene.
The game is already positioned well; Faceted Flight has been greenlit so it has a home on Steam, and the Early Access program will begin once it's funded. Scott is even ditching the expensive and time consuming physical rewards for in-game rewards, which is a smart move.
"We've decided to buck the trend of physical rewards in favor of digital rewards. You're pitching in the dough and want your contribution to affect the game," he wrote.
"Back us at reward tiers and you can bestow an AI with your callsign, you can name different ships, or even become immortalized by having an Airfield named after yourself. The one I'm most excited about, you'll have the ability to choose where TWO of the Airfields are located."
It may look simple graphically, but the amount of care that went into the game's design to make sure it works on a variety of platforms without making the player feel ill is impressive; this is one of the most comfortable virtual reality flying experiences you can play today. With 25 days to go, this one could be close.