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A secret agent who crawls on all fours and trips over cords in VR

Matt Leone has written about games for three decades, focusing on behind-the-scenes coverage of the industry, including books on Final Fantasy 7 and Street Fighter 2.

It looks like someone making fun of virtual reality. The player crawls on their hands and knees, reaches to grab nothing and looks in every direction, headset strapped to their face, oblivious to the world around them.

That’s Unseen Diplomacy, one of the most aggressive uses of HTC’s Vive with how much it asks the player to move around. You play a secret agent and find keycards, hack computers, make your way through crawl spaces and generally move around a lot while playing. At one point during a demonstration of the game, I accidentally kicked the headset cord out of the attached PC.

But Unseen Diplomacy is not, at least for now, a game you’ll be able to buy. The developers at Triangular Pixels created it for public spaces and events, like this year’s Game Developers Conference where they recently showed it off. The game can involve actors in other headsets and various unique factors, similar to the ‘90s British game show The Crystal Maze.

Unseen Diplomacy

"We don’t know what we’re going to do with it yet," says creative director Katie Goode.

For the time being, her team is taking it to events and installing it as a permanent exhibit at the National Video Game Arcade in the U.K. Down the road, though, she says there’s a chance it could turn into something for home use.

"We need to basically just talk to some people and just really see what our options are with it," she says. "Especially considering this was made in a month, and it’s just me and my partner, and we are working on another game at the same time."

Goode says if the team ends up going down that path, it would need to add a game loop, longevity, multiple areas, etc. "It scales massively," she says.

Currently, Triangular Pixels is also developing a dungeon exploration game called Smash Hit Plunder, which is a traditional commercial game players will be able to buy, with a demo now available for Gear VR.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.