Q-Games has had an interesting career of developing games. Their primary PlayStation 3 series, PixelJunk, was met with critical and commercial acclaim. It eventually spawned off the single platform and landed nearly everywhere else. Their tower defense title, PixelJunk Monsters (2008), grew to be the most renowned of them all. Q-Games has gone on to create many more PixelJunk games, until announcing The Tomorrow Children, a due-to-be-released-this-year Minecraft-esque, Soviet Union-themed dystopian PS4 game. And then, at last weekend’s BitSummit in Kyoto, Japan, Q-Games re-emerged from the depths of game development to announce yet another new game—a VR title called Dead Hungry.
Experimental VR games are a rite of passage at this point
Demoed on the HTC Vive, Dead Hungry is a time-management game. The player is a lowly food truck cook, and starving zombies are their greedy customers. In VR, the player must make food—be it burgers, fries, pizzas, or sodas—to serve to the leagues of hungry undead. But the player has to be quick and efficient, or else their brain-eating consumers won’t be happy. The concept for Dead Hungry is quirky, cute, and a tad experimental. Which, let’s face it, is totally normal for a game developer’s first VR project. It’s almost a rite of passage at this point.
Dead Hungry was originally born out of a game jam, before the company decided to pursue it as a full-on project. It looks similar to other like-minded, clerk-simulation games. Like Job Simulator, in which the player works a variety of jobs, such as a convenience store cashier, and has the freedom to goofily fling items around their virtual space. Or, you know, do their job. Dead Hungry instead wants to amp up the intensity, rather than give its players full creative freedom. The player is making burgers and more. Constantly. And customers are always hungry for more.
This is the fourth consecutive year for BitSummit, organized by creative director James Mielke. In the year of burgeoning VR technology, it’s only natural to see otherwise atypical game developers stepping out of their comfort zones and experimenting with new VR-entrenched projects. The future of bite-sized, exploratory-VR games will only grow wider and stranger as VR reaches more homes—and more hungry, creative minds. Whether they’re the zombie-driven minds like the developers at Q-Games, or otherwise.