Business

VR game lets you pilot a spaceship to its inevitable doom

Whether it’s the Starship Enterprise or the Millennium Falcon, many of us have long dreamt of piloting a spaceship.

Now, thanks to a team of college students, that dream can now become a reality -- or more like a virtual reality nightmare.

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Intern Astronaut,” created by Broken Door Studio, a five-student team from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, won the grand prize at the fifth annual Massachusetts Digital Games Institute Game Challenge pitch contest held over the weekend.

The virtual reality game, to be released for Samsung’s Gear VR in late spring, transforms the player into an untrained intern tasked with flying a spaceship, as urgent instructions from mission control flash on the monitors.

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Failure to follow instructions correctly or swiftly will result in damage to the spaceship and ultimately the end of the internship as the player is left stranded in space. Each restart of the game features new control panels and mission control instructions.

Broken Door Studio also won the College Beta/Near Release category at the MassDiGI event, which helps students, startup and indie developers and entrepreneurs launch their ideas. The event also serves as a showcase for the region’s growing game development community. The pitch competition, held at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Kendall Square, attracted 35 teams from across the northeast.

Other entries included the team behind Jig Time, an app that allows users to share photos in the form of interactive jigsaw puzzles; and EduSaga, a detective game created by a Harvard University Graduate School of Education team that teaches the user to learn Chinese.

Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.
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