Some games have you running through trenches to fight off the bad guys. Others have you digging through dozens of menus and micromanaging stats, so that you are at peak performance. However Kaisuo does none of that, instead it does put you in a gorgeous world and makes you solve intricate puzzles to progress. And for many that’s exactly what they are looking for. Kaisuo’s puzzles are Chinese puzzle boxes that unlock surreal extraordinary spaces.
You can find the game for free on the Oculus store here. It recently came out on Steam, so you can find it here if you want to play it on Vive. Now we have something pretty cool. We got in touch with Kenneth Chen, a producer at Team Lantern. He was nice enough to do a short interview specially for us. So here it is. Enjoy!
Q: What was the inspiration behind your game?
A: Here’s an excerpt of what our game director, Valerie Lin, said about how she got inspired for this game: “As a kid, my mother, a docent at the National Palace Museum, would often take me to visit the exhibits. My favorite one was the Curio Boxes owned by emperors. They’re elegantly made wooden boxes used to curate and store important and precious treasure. I wanted to create a puzzle game that would reflect sense of exploration and delight that comes with solving and discovering the compartments of a puzzle box. Thus, Kaisuo was created.”
The art style itself was inspired by the Taiwanese town of Jiufen and the art style of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your team/studio.
A: Team Lantern was first founded when a group of college students from USC (University of Southern California) came together to make Kaisuo a reality. After successfully pitching to the USC faculty, Kaisuo was entered into the USC Advanced Games Project program to be developed using the university’s resources over the school year. The game and team went on the be entered into the Bridge incubator program at USC after the school year ended. The game eventually moved beyond the scope of a college project and last November 30th, Kaisuo debuted on the Oculus store. A Vive version is planned for a May 2019 release.
Q: How long has the game been in development?
A: The game has been developed as a side project in various capacities since Summer 2017 until Fall of 2018. Throughout development, the team shifted in size and commitment depending on the priorities of the team and its individual members.
Q: According to you what is the most interesting thing about the game?
A: Kaisuo features an art style and a graphical fidelity rarely seen in VR games. Without spoiling too much, in Kaisuo, you get to explore and manipulate the surreal world around you in unexpected ways. Our game pushes you to find unexpected ways to interact with familiar objects that open up the world around you.
Q: What are your future plans for the game?
A: We plan to release a Vive-compatible version on Steam on May 17th, 2019. We’re also currently in talks for getting more resources to develop a potential PSVR port but that’s currently uncertain.