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Dreaming While Awake in Oneirogen

A surreal journey through dreams in room-scale VR experience Oneirogen.

The murky world of dreams has inspired a great deal of work, both fictional and non-fictional, including several videogames. Independent developer Wolf & Bear have drawn on the hazy realm of sleep and the writings of philosophers and psychiatrists to create the virtual reality (VR) experience of Oneirogen.

Oneirogen is not a videogame in the traditional sense, instead it is described as a room-scale VR experience with gameplay elements.

The title began as an MFA Art thesis, inspired by the dreams of the lead developer and the writings of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. As such, it has been created to be a dreamlike, circular journey filled with symbolism and surreal elements, many of which can be interacted with.

The name of the experience comes from two Greek words, óneiros meaning ‘dream’ and gen meaning ‘to create’.

Oneirogen has two modes, journey or Single room, and there are fourteen interactive environments available, where players are free to spend as much time as they like with each one. There are no timers, scores or combat of any kind, and no standard user interface or menu to deal with.

There are four hidden tokens that can be found to unlock quick-start single rooms which feature new interactive elements, such as fireworks, an archery range, cosmic badminton or the opportunity to play fetch with a wolf.

Oneirogen has been designed as a 3m x 3m room-scale experience, and as such there is no teleportation movement, though some smooth locomotion is available fr users with small room spaces.

The title is currently in early access, and is expected to spend roughly 8-12 months receiving polishing and updates. The developers are keen to hear from the Steam community in order to get feedback on what needs to refined and what new features can be added.

Oneirogen is available on Steam Early Access for HTC Vive and Oculus rift, priced at £5.19 (GBP). Further information can be found on the Steam store page. For future coverage of now and upcoming VR content, keep checking back with VRFocus.

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