Following this past weekend’s Tribeca Games Festival, where MonsterVine spoke with Funomena’s CEO and game designer Robin Hunicke about their upcoming 2017 PC & PC VR title, Luna, the developer has shared with MonsterVine their latest gameplay video of the VR experience.
Based on existing released video, the first half of the video is from early-on in game, whereas the latter half shows additional game sequences from points later in Luna. The developer, Funomena, is a five year old studio, with the team hailing from past game titles like Flower, Journey, Noby Noby Boy, and Katamari. Hunicke in particular was the executive producer on Journey before co-founding the studio.
Luna is a “uniquely tactile VR puzzle game, where players are encouraged to observe, listen, customize and interact with a beautiful storybook world” as the developer puts it. Check out the latest footage of the promising title below.
When speaking with MonsterVine at the Tribeca Games Festival this past weekend, Hunick described the opening of Luna, “you’ll see a little bit of backstory about this bird character who is actually growing up in Golden Gate Park – the whole game is set in the Californian coast. And the bird is actually convinced by this Owl to swallow the last piece of the waning moon. And when that happens it’s the first time the moon has ever disappeared from the sky, so there’s a storm and the bird is blown off course. When it wakes up it can’t quite remember how to get home.”
And that’s where players step in, either with in the standard PC release or the PC VR version, both coming later in 2017. Hunicke described the gameplay that is also seen in the latest footage as, “you engage with the bird in this abstract space to open and then solve these star puzzles, which are basically tangled cats cradle type puzzles where you’re moving the stars out of their scrambles and back into alignment, and then they reveal shapes. After you’ve finished finding all the shapes, you then take those shapes and use them to plant a terrarium and bring it back to life.” The Terrariums are interactive as they are being built as well, and when completed, players can, “go down inside of it and see the narrative unfold on the stage they just built.”
What appears to be happening in the latter half of the latest footage is what Hunicke described as, “throughout the game will interact with other characters that it’s drawn too that it helps draw out of the environments, who have also swallowed a piece of the moon. And so the bird slowly helps the moon wax. And so the story is really about why does the moon disappear and reappear every month, but it’s actually when you get below that it’s about the idea that sometimes we do things just because it seems like a good idea at the time and then turns out it wasn’t, and we call those ‘mistakes’ [laughs]. And a lot of times I think video games are about getting revenge or going back in time and undoing mistakes, but that’s not really how it works in real life, a lot of times you just have to cope with your mistakes and cope with the decisions that you’ve made, and maybe it wasn’t such a mistake after all right? Like if every mistake is learning, then really mistakes are just pieces of you that you haven’t found yet.”
Like the titles the assorted designers at Funomena have previously worked on, Luna appears to be a carrying the baton of inventive and meticulously designed indie games, looking to push the medium.