Nearly a year ago, CloudGate Studio launched Island 359 on Steam’s Early Access platform. Since then, the two-man development team has continued to make steady progress on its virtual reality dinosaur hunting game with regular bug fixes and content updates. Now the developer is gearing up to bring the title to the Oculus Home marketplace.
When we first tried Island 359, the game included a handful of guns, one game mode (Mercenary), and three dinosaur species to hunt. A lot has changed in the 10 months since. Island 359 now includes a wider range of weapons, including a bow and arrow for silent hunting, as well as more dinosaur species for you to track down and exterminate.
When we first spoke with Steve Bowler and Jeremy Chapman (co-founders of CloudGate Studio) about Island 359, Chapman told us that he was building a T-Rex, which would make its way to the game when he perfected the animations. The current version of Island 359 includes the T-Rex and a Triceratops that weren’t in the original release. And, if you opt into the beta branch (details here), you can also hunt down a Stegosaurus.
The latest release of Island 359 also includes new locomotion options. The developer added HMD oriented trackpad movement. You now have the option between “Look” and “Point” trackpad locomotion. In other words, you can choose to move in the direction you’re looking towards or in the direction you’re pointing at. CloudGate also added a free turning option at the behest of the community. The developer doesn’t recommend this option, because it can cause nausea, but it’s there for you nonetheless. CloudGate said the free turning mechanic is anchored to the center of your play space, not your head, so your position will move unless you’re standing in the center of your play area.
Island 359 came out in August 2016 as a Vive exclusive. The game requires motion controls, and it launched four months before the Oculus Touch controllers hit the market. Following the release of the Oculus’ motion controllers, GloudGate added support for the Oculus Rift platform to the game through Valve’s OpenVR API.
Now the company is ready to bring the game of the Oculus Home marketplace. CloudGate Studio revealed that Island 359 would debut on Oculus Home Early Access on July 6 with a limited time discounted price of $14. The price will rise to $20 when the discount ends.