When I gaze at the enveloping dreamy, luminescent landscapes of Gridmoon, I think instantly of James Turrell. Most might better know Turrell as the artist who inspired Drake’s neon-saturated music video for “Hotline Bling,” unawares of his prominence within the Southern Californian Light and Space art movement of the 1960s to 1970s. Gridmoon, a project made within the latest Procedural Generation Game Jam, isn’t much in the hyper-interactive sense. But that simplicity is intended.
Gridmoon was created by Graeme Borland, a developer from Owlchemy Labs (the creators of Job Simulator and the upcoming Rick and Morty VR Simulator). Gridmoon, according to Borland, is more of a “locomotion experiment” than a full-fledged game. As a locomotion experiment for the HTC Vive, the player merely points and clicks to where they want to move, and the area around them accommodates them by shifting to their firm-footed place. There’s no motion sickness-inducing movement, nor any jarring teleportation. The environment merely slides over to you, building a makeshift bridge to carry you on your journey, as where you once stood in the distance fades away.
Gridmoon looks inherently relaxing. Movement doesn’t really look like moving. Every environment a new calming neon-shining color. Cubes build just as they collapse, and towering in the horizon as new vantage points to clamber too. Gridmoon may be a simple experiment in locomotion, but it’s an effective one.
You can download Gridmoon here for the HTC Vive on itch.io.