nDreams announced that an update for The Assembly is coming soon that adds motion control support to the game for all three major VR platforms.
The Assembly is a first-person mystery/puzzle game that challenges your wits and encourages you to throw away your moral compass. We looked at the game in July, and we liked what we saw, but the lack of hand presence is noticeable.
nDreams took the criticism about the lack of hand presence to heart and built an update for the HTC Vive to bring motion controllers into the game. The developer also has plans to update the PSVR and Oculus versions of the game, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for their updates: Oculus Touch controllers come out in early December, and the Rift version of The Assembly will get the Touch update following the hardware's release.
Jamie Whitworth, The Assembly’s game director, said motion controls caught the developer off guard. The Assembly was well into the development process when motion controllers were announced. Too much of the game had already been designed around the gamepad to make the switch before launch. Once the game hit the market, the team had time to go back and retrofit motion controllers.
The retrofit approach works, but it has limitations. Because the developer built the game around gamepad mechanics, it doesn’t have full-fledged dynamic physics implementation. You can reach out and pick up objects in the world, for example, but there’s no way to throw them around.
But nDreams has updated the locomotion system for motion controls. The original version of the game included comfort mode navigation, which rotates your orientation in fixed increments. It also includes a variation of the Blink mechanic.
The motion control update can decouple your head from locomotion. In the original version of the game, the direction you are looking dictates the direction you move. With the motion control update, though, you can look around in any direction without affecting your forward movement.
The Assembly still uses the blink mechanic to move around the room, but now you can point with your hand instead of your head.
nDreams scheduled the update for the Vive version of The Assembly for release on Tuesday, November 22. The developer also built The Assembly for Oculus Rift and Sony's PlayStation VR, both of which will receive updates that add support for motion controllers in December. It didn’t give an exact release date, but nDreams did commit to adding Touch and Move support before the end of the year.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.