For almost a year, development duo Douglas Freeman North Cook and Mike Ferchak from Pittsburg have been working on their own VR game, called Forestry. Together they formed a studio called Decoder last year.
Now, after months of development, the indie team has announced that their game will release on Steam in 5 days. Forestry will be available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at $5 upon launch:
— Decoder (@decodervr) April 3, 2017
Now, when I first heard about Forestry, I was quite skeptical. I mean, I don’t have any of the qualities a lumberjack should have – an epic beard, a flannel shirt, nor the urge to chop down large trees. However, I’ve come to realize that Forestry appeals to two base instincts humans have; the need to axe things into little smithereens and the need to build. Two very contrasting needs – I know. But this game, much like it’s devs I’ve come to find, is a lot of fun and quite tongue in cheek, as the game description below testifies:
“You’re hired! Forestry hands you the axe and puts you to work. There is so much work to be done and you’re responsible. Don’t mess it up. If you fall down in the forest do the trees hear you? Is that the saying?”
Check out the game trailer below:
Put On Some Flannel and Start Working That Axe
In Forestry the player doesn’t really have much of a goal. The whole game basically just built around the premise of procedurally destructing and constructing mesh objects. And the cool thing is – you don’t even have to worry about deforestation or those pesky environmental laws. In fact, the world in Forestry is fully destructible – and you can use those pieces to build whatever you want. You have a campsite in the game, but you can build your own log cabin, make a strange sculpture out of wood shavings or build your very own wood throne. Which no poison, stabbing or dragons will be able to wrest from you. In Forestry you are king. When it comes to the chopping and working of the actual wood, you do have a couple of tools at your disposal as well. But you have to find them. Luckily, though, you have your trusty chopping axe from the start.
With that being said, there is more to Forestry than simply cutting logs and sitting by the lake – even though you’re allowed to do that to your heart’s content. Because like with many forests in real life there are mysteries and legends surrounding this one as well. As you explore the vast forests (through teleportation) you’ll begin to discover strange objects and monoliths to fill your time there with puzzlement. And those elusive mythical tools of course. But it’s still pretty unclear whether the game has any actual narrative or storyline. Maybe you’ll discover the forest’s secrets and never really know what they mean. Guess we’ll find out.
Room-Scale Is a Core Aspect of the Game
The developers are also planning on bringing the game to Playstation VR, but they say that they want to keep that immersive room-scale feeling, which is a core aspect of the game, according to them. “We built the game from the ground up for virtual reality in an attempt to create an experience that utilizes the unique gameplay, visual and audio functions of room-scale VR systems,” Mike said.
So, in essence, I’m thinking the game will definitely offer a couple of hours of fun, though as for how much replayability there will be I can’t say. Then there’s also the aspect of this game feeling somewhat lonely to me. Even a couple of deer or jumping fish would have added something in that department. Although, some people really enjoy and seek out that type of solitude.
Whichever you prefer, if you find this game intriguing then get ready to perfect your axe throwing and tree felling skills when Forestry releases on April 7th.