Astonish VR


Astonish VR game was made for a contest organized by Samsung. The intention was for developers to sell an experience in a game. This game should run on a Samsung Oculus Gear. In three weeks, we had a nice, but unfortunately not winning result.


First follows the description, with an introduction to the world you will be flying into, which leads to the mechanics, level design, controls and level build up.


AstonishVR is a fast ­paced sci ­fi racing game, placing the player in one of the most immersive experiences created in a VR game. Astonish VR is built, from the ground up, for the Gear VR in order to utilize the potential of mobile virtual reality. Through immersive sound and visuals we put you into the middle of the action.


The story takes place in a far future. Technology is making huge leaps in space flights and interstellar colonization. With the discovery of these new frontiers, big companies are capable to set up their own private space programs and bio domes, for colonies or resources. At this point there is no regulation in the skies, and whatever happens there, is hard to phantom. Our story will take place during these turbulent, but also exciting times. Beautiful environments because of the importance of our game and the use of the Gear VR, we need to take a different approach on visualizing the game assets for Astonish VR.


We intend to take the game to the next level by building truly immersive 3D environments that can be seen from all possible angles. The majority of the time, however, will be spent by the player on flying different space crafts. The play takes place in the 3rd person from where the player takes control of the ship. Each of the spaceships has the same way of starting up, but every new ship is different; different performance (acceleration, braking…) and paint schemes. At particular points the player can fly over visible speed triggers in order to fly faster. In other parts of the game the player will need to slow down in order to stay on the track. In these moments when hitting the obstacles the ship will slow down significantly, and may cost the player his place on the leaderboard.

Level design

The player has total control over his ship (turning, braking, accelerating…). We designed the levels as to always give nice and interesting scenery and composition for the player during the race, while also challenging his pilot skills. The feeling of speed is the top priority here, with huge man ­made structures on distant colonies. Every level shows and tells more about the world and tells you the story. Sometimes this is mandatory or important and at other times it does not add much aside from creating a solid background for improved immersion.


The controller layout is pretty simple. There are different options for each basic control to fit any play style, and to find them easily while wearing the Gear VR. The gas can be activated by key one, or the right trigger. The break is assigned to key three, and the left trigger. The ship position can be reset by pressing button two or the Select key. The steering and menu navigation is done with the left thumb stick; the right thumb stick controls the player view while racing. You can also have a quick look behind you by pressing key 4. The in­game menu is accessed by pressing the Start key (in progress).

Level description

An approximately two minute long VR race game, one level, divided in three distinct parts.

1st phase: Start – Tribunes

Immediately after the countdown, you’ll be able to pilot your ship and fight your competitors. Watch out for them as you need to win to get to the next race. Here is where you should decide for your racing line ­ preferably the one including the speed boosters.

2nd phase: Thermal power plant

Here is where the real race begins. You have new opponents now: gravity and darkness. Try to catch some speed here as falling off the track would mean a fatal accident, making you lose precious seconds. The line is thin between victory and defeat, as is the heat shield protecting you in this area from the lava.

3rd phase: Aerial segment

The finish line is now closer than ever, it is up to you to show your abilities and reflexes in order to overcome your enemies, or to keep your lead. The big open spaces allow you to plan your route and admire the scenery ­ or to admire your opponents as they steal the victory.