Indie developer Austin Wolfe has announced a release date for Aonar, his solitary narrative-focused VR game.
Inspired by Scottish mythology, Aonar tells the tale of a lonely lighthouse keeper. A release date is set for August 21, 2023 for Microsoft Windows (through Steam).
Aonar received the Yugo BAFTA Student Award 2022 for Best Immersive Project, and has just been officially selected for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2023.
“Aonar in Scottish Gaelic is translated as the word ‘alone’, so this story is ultimately about loss and its acceptance,” Austin Wolfe said. “However I wished to portray it in a way that was more about the beauty in the loss rather then its sadness. The Scottish landscape gave me the opportunity to achieve this visually through experiencing the isolation of living on an island that also was teeming with life.”
Here’s a brief blurb on the game, plus a trailer:
Aonar was originally a pilot project created for research during a PhD degree for exploring narrative engagement in cinematic VR storytelling experiences while studying at Glasgow School of Art’s School of Innovation & Technology.
The goal of this project was to design a narrative engagement framework for cinematic VR for future developers and researchers. As such, the story developed for this project needed to have an emotional core. With a strong interest in traditional Scottish folk-tales, the legend of the Selkie was chosen.