'Manifest 99' Explores VR Locomotion Via Eye Contact

One of the major challenges in virtual reality is the implementation of locomotion. Specifically, developers want to give you the ability to move around the game world without evoking the feeling of nausea. Some VR titles feature teleportation, while others let you “walk” around an area in small increments of movement. Flight School Studio, whose VR title Manifest 99 launches tomorrow, has a different take on player movement.

The game puts you on a train in the afterlife. In order to travel through it, you’ll need to use the murder of crows that populate each car. Specifically, you have to make eye contact with a crow, which lets you teleport to its location. By using enough crows you can get easily “move” from one place to another. This type of movement means that you don’t have to use a handheld controller at all.

Moving in and between train cars is just half the experience. To find out how you got on the train, you’ll need to discover the story behind its other passengers. Just like the crows, you need to look each character in the eye to find out their backstory. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, game director Bohdon Sayre wrote that the idea of eye contact teleportation also helps with the game’s narrative style.

“Sometimes, it’s easy to connect with someone and immediately feel compassion for them. Other times, there’s tension as we avoid others. The difficulty of the interactions with each character on the train varies as you progress. Maybe we don’t look people in the eyes or we attempt to hide from them. That experience is at the core of Manifest 99: you discover and connect with your travel companions. Their resistance creates tension with the mechanic and narrative that’s only possible with the power of platforms like PS VR.”

Even though Sayre singled out Sony’s VR device, it won’t be the sole platform for Manifest 99. You can try out the new teleportation for yourself on the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift via the game’s Steam page. A price for the Vive and Rift versions weren’t available, but we do know that it will cost $6 on the PlayStation Store.

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NameManifest 99
DeveloperFlight School Studio
PublisherProject Flight School Inc.
PlatformsHTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
Where To BuySteam
Release DateSeptember 12
  • Blatantruth
    Tongue based input would be much more helpful. Splitting the tongue and having twice the input per second capability would make even Hawking a viable gamer.