(Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I played a small part in the production of Goggles, providing the voices for the characters of Vules Jerne and Frank Frankson. Other than one-time compensation for that work, I have no further financial investment in the title.)
German game developer bit2good has brought its Steampunk-themed Steam Greenlight project, Goggles: World of Vaporia, to market, and it is now available on Steam for PC, Mac, SteamOS and Linux. That's a lot of steam.
The Road To Steam Starts With A Dream
Bit2good is part of a growing community of developers, publishers, PR firms and studios called Games Bavaria, which is empowering game startups and development companies by connecting industry resources and providing funding opportunities. Bit2good was founded in 2011 when two university friends decided to quit their respective jobs and make video games together (a dream some of us have likely had ourselves). They entered a state-run funding tournament with their small development team and idea, and received the second-highest amount of funding from the Bavarian government via the program that year.
The company purchased office space in Munich, Germany and began working on Goggles in late 2012. The project was originally titled Glasses, and started out as a cartoony single-player 2D side-scroller meant for mobile devices. After another round of funding that netted more resources, developers, an upgrade to the Unity 5 engine, and a complete redesign, Goggles was presented on Steam Greenlight in July 2015 and had evolved into a 4-player co-op third-person shooter-meets-racing game for the PC. It was well-received by Steampunk gaming enthusiasts around the world, and after only 16 days, Goggles earned the necessary community votes for Valve to bring the game to Steam.
A Story Of Steam And Punk
Goggles brings players to the Steampunk land of Vaporia, a city-planet divided into four districts that are under the control of Fumare Tech, the planet's foremost manufacturer of steam-powered automatons. One of the world's most famous inventors, Vules Jerne, is preparing to reveal his latest discovery: the existence of four parallel universes influencing Vaporia and the invention of special goggles that can see into each of those alternate dimensions.
On the eve of his announcement, Jerne is attacked by a mysterious shadow creature when a portal from one of the parallel universes suddenly opens in his workshop. With the help of his apprentice, Quentin Quaint, and Frank Frankson, Quentin's longtime family friend, Jerne is able to escape the ambush. However, the goggles are lost in an explosion and scattered around the four districts of Vaporia. With the workshop in ruins, the trio meets and enlists the help of black market weapons dealer Tesla O'Tool, and it's off to the races to find the goggles, close the portals, defeat the automatons and save the world.
Players can choose between four characters, each with their own unique steam-powered vehicles and abilities. As you level up, they can be personalized with upgraded weapons and armor that will alter the look of the vehicle as you progress across the four districts of Vaporia. The vehicle's weapons also run on steam, and you must occasionally visit recharging stations located in various places on the map to replenish its power supply.
Each level is a race against time to clear the district of portals, shadow creatures and shadow-possessed Fumare Tech automatons before the time limit expires. Once all of the portals are closed, the area's main boss will appear, and it will take all the steam, gears and guts you can muster to defeat each zone's final opponent.
Price And Availability (And Steam)
Goggles: World of Vaporia is available now on Steam for PC, and although it is also available for Mac, Linux and SteamOS users, you may want to treat this release as early access, with bit2good explaining that the game has not been tested thoroughly on those platforms and promising to iron out any issues players may experience as quickly as possible in the coming weeks. The game is priced at a modest $19.99, and it will also be available for PS4 in late November.
Derek Forrest is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. PC gaming, graphics hardware and VR devices are among his favorite topics to cover. He is a lifelong PC enthusiast, former IT administrator and a custom PC builder with a penchant for creating music, voice acting and all things geek.