Toilet plungers as VR controllers.
Every so often a VR experience comes along so ridiculously insane you’re not quite sure it actually exists. It starts with you reading the description, scrolling through a few comments and photos, and digging around in mild interest for any more information you can scrounge up.
Next thing you know you’re frantically scouring your apartment for a couple of toilet plungers to screw Vive Trackers into so you can collect alien insects in deep space.
I’m talking about Space Plunge, a new VR experience so insane I’m convinced it was the product of an intense fever dream. Developed as part of this year’s Global Game Jam at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, the bizarre VR experience tasks users with harvesting adorable space slugs on a desolate planet in order to power their fuel harvester. Wrangle enough slugs into your harvester to keep the fuel meter from hitting zero and ending your brief career as an intergalactic entomologist.
How exactly do you proficiently accumulate the necessary slugs to keep your meter stable? With a pair of toilet plungers obviously. However, instead of simply employing the use of standard Vive or Rift motion controllers, Space Plunge goes for maximum space plunging realism by having players use actual toilet plungers in-game. By drilling two Vive Trackers into the base of each of the plunger’s poles, players can gather hordes of cosmic bugs for hours all with the immensely satisfying suction only an actual plunger can provide.
Space Plunge is yet another indie-developed VR experience to introduce an entirely new function for the Vive Tracker. We’ve seen some truly unique uses for the tracker in the past, from an independent project that turned a ceiling fan into an in-game enemy, to an official Vive bundle that includes a tennis racket, ping-pong paddle and light gun peripheral.
However Space Plunge feels like the first experience that goes out of its way to utilize the Vive Tracker in the most unexpected manner possible. And maybe that’s a good thing. After all, you don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it.
Space Plunge was developed by Shane Huston (Art, Game Design, Programming) and Kyle Guillory (Audio, Game Design) and is available for download now for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and other PC-powered headsets. Of course you’ll need your own pair of Vive Tracker pucks as well as two standard toilet plungers (preferably unused). The installation process for the trackers is relatively straightforward. You can head over to the experience’s official Global Game Jam page for detailed instructions.