FREE EXPANSION AND OCULUS TOUCH SUPPORT LIVE NOW!


Today we're excited to release our latest game update into the wild, and it's a beast if we say so ourselves. First, we're updating the game so that you can play with Oculus Touch controls across all modes. And we're also serving up a brand new setting, North, which is a huge free expansion to the game to enjoy with a gamepad or with Touch. Update The Climb today and get it all. Let's have a look at the detail, with insight from some of our development team.



OCULUS TOUCH – CHANGING THE GAME

Our new update brings all-important support for Oculus Touch. These amazing controlers really change the way you play The Climb. Principally, the game becomes a standing experience. The controllers can of course be used sitting down, but we suggest that to enjoy the most immersive, intuitive experience possible, get on your feet and become even more engaged. With accurate hand tracking, you're able to stretch for grips, slip naturally into a climbing rhythm, and feel like you're really swinging across monkey bars. It really changes the game. And this update, of course, includes a new range of dedicated leaderboards for Oculus Touch players, so the race is on!


Niklas Walenski, Game Designer:

"We've had Touch integration in the game for a while and we've been able to refine the experience following feedback from events like Gamescom and from both amateur and professional climbers who played the game with Touch. People really found it natural, especially those who were not gamers and didn't have experience with a gamepad – they intuitively knew how to play with the controllers. That said, we made some technical adjustments relating to the 1:1 mapping of hands in the game. For instance, you're able to reach right onto objects as you climb, but when you're jumping, we disabled that function after we found that people were colliding with rock surfaces. We also improved the searching algorithm and the snapping mechanism, meaning that securing your grip is more simple and seamless than you may have found it if you played at Gamescom. You're always focused on the climb, the route, the puzzle, and the way ahead, rather than micro-precision movements to get a grip which keeps you immersed in the climbing experience."


Onurhan Karaağaçlı, Producer:

"From the start of development, we had Touch support in mind. It really changes gameplay dramatically. Not only is The Climb an extreme representation of an extreme sport, but when you play with Touch it starts to become a sport in real life. The better you get, the faster you go, the more you improve your technique with Touch, it actually becomes physically tiring. Chasing the best spots on the leaderboards will go to the best players, and arguably the fittest too. When you're really pushing hard at your maximum level, it's genuinely exhausting! The flip side is that the natural and intuitive movements with Touch make exploring and taking your time a relaxing, almost serene physical experience, especially in Tourist mode."


WELCOME TO NORTH – OUR COOL NEW EXPANSION


The other big news in our big new update is the expansion of the game with a whole new environment – North. Loosely inspired by locations in the Arctic Circle and areas near it like Iceland, the new setting is around the size of Canyon and arrives with three difficulty settings and two new bouldering challenges.


Onurhan Karaağaçlı, Producer:

"It's a really exciting update. The community has been asking for more content, and we wanted to celebrate the launch of Oculus Touch with a substantial new expansion in addition to full integration of the controllers. We're pleased to be able to give away this huge extra level for free, and we can't wait to hear feedback from players as they explore this new environment, whether they play on a gamepad or with Touch."

North brings a range of new challenges. You'll climb vertigo-inducing heights above the sea, pick your path up new routes on grips and ladders left by previous explorers, and climb over some truly spectacular objects like a crashed airplane (hold onto that propeller!), a shipwreck, and even frozen woolly mammoth tusks. As you scale these dramatic new routes, don't forget to check out the view – you'll see helicopters, an oil rig, submarines, and icebreakers in the sea, with snowy mountains stretching off into the background. Being in the wilderness also means being around wildlife – so keep an eye out for polar bears, wolves, puffins, and more. But you won't need to be paying attention to the 'star' of North's location – a huge volcano – it dominates the landscape. And as you progress through the time of day-based difficulty settings, you'll see this active volcano become, well, increasingly active...


Niklas Walenski, Game Designer:

"We wanted to create an expansion to The Climb that was really different and also more challenging than you have experienced in the game previously. Naturally, you've already developed your climbing technique in our other settings – Asia, Alps, and Canyon – and now you can really show your skill. The settings and visuals reflect this more hardcore experience – it's a beautiful but harsh environment. Our other levels were all about creating an exaggerated reality of tourist destinations – North is more about an extreme adventure, becoming an explorer, and getting a real feel of intensity in an isolated wilderness. Of course, this new environment required some new design choices too. You can't really climb on ice with your hands, so where you're not climbing on rock, you're climbing on manmade objects like special aluminum grips that are hammered into the ice, ladders, even pick axes… although as you'd expect, these grips can be a little precarious! The contrast in colors also helps us from a design perspective, as it helps us to mark out route options. I think it looks pretty cool too."



Onurhan Karaağaçlı, Producer:

"In North, we aimed to make intensely high, really epic climbs, with some that are extremely challenging. We wanted to give you a real understanding of the scale of where you are climbing, and show how extreme these icy environments are. It's kind of similar to that sense you get when you reach the top of our Alps setting, but amplified, pushed even further, more epic! The sense of the 'epic' also comes through in our environmental features. North is stark, and dramatic, and the volcano amplifies the theater with its dominance over the surroundings; it's always there and as it becomes more active, with smoke and dust starting to emerge and the foreboding noise as it goes through the stages of eruption (our audio team did an amazing job with delivering 3D sounds of the volcano in VR)… it all combines to create a really unique, on-the-edge feeling. Our reward moments take advantage of this dramatic environment too – the climbs are epic, and the scale of this setting is caught in those moments you reach the top too."



Pascal Eggert, Art Director:

"North as a setting is not immediately familiar in the way that our other levels might be in popular imagination. It's exotic but in a different way to your typical tourist destination. Even the light is different. The aim was to make you really feel like you're an explorer in an unforgiving, almost overwhelming, icy wilderness. The volcano in our vista is based on those you find in Iceland, and it's our dominant feature. Over 4km high, it almost has an undercurrent of danger or even doom. So that you can appreciate its scale in VR, we actually position you a long way away from it, rather than climbing on it directly which would reduce the impact. However, while the main volcano is in the distance, the lava, particularly as you progress through the expansion, starts to spread everywhere on the rocks that you're climbing (it's active too!). People often think of volcanoes only in their most violent state or just erupting from the top, but actually lava oozes out of every crack under the right (or wrong) conditions. The lava creates a beautiful 'fire and ice' contrast, especially at night. That said, the lava is kind of dangerous, so I'd avoid getting too close."

North also arrives with new achievements and gear to unlock, so get updating, exploring, and competing, and let us know what you think on the usual channels. We hope you enjoy conquering North and experiencing The Climb anew with Oculus Touch.

The Climb Team

December 05, 2016 • 0 Comments

Touch support and a new environment incoming with our free update!

Next week Oculus Touch is coming to Rift, and to mark the occasion we'll be launching a free expansion which includes support for the intuitive new controllers AND adds a brand new environment for you to explore and compete in.

The update will be available to download at launch, and it allows you to play all of The Climb's game modes with Oculus Touch. The Climb will be updated with a range of separate leaderboards for this new way to play, and you can find out more about how Oculus Touch changes the gameplay experience in a previous blog here.

In addition to full support for Touch, we're also adding a brand new environment, North. Inspired by the Arctic Circle, this new location is around the size of Canyon and includes two new bouldering challenges plus three difficulty settings. Get ready to scale new heights in an icy wilderness where you'll need to keep your cool as you climb through ice caves and plot your route up dramatic cliffs. This challenging new setting also arrives with new achievements, gear to unlock, Easter eggs, and features a range of new wildlife to check out. We hope you like puffins. (Which you do, obviously, because puffins are awesome.)

Stay tuned for more information on North when we launch this new expansion for free next week.

The Climb Team.

December 01, 2016 • 0 Comments

​THAT WAS THE GAMESCOM THAT WAS!

Gamescom 2016 – you were awesome! It was the first time we gave the general public the chance to play The Climb with Oculus Touch and the week had a whole load of fun as we saw people experiencing free solo rock climbing in VR with these amazing new controllers. It's always great to meet players and we loved seeing their “VR faces" as they took on our virtual rocks.

Reactions? Check out what some of attendees thought below:


Meanwhile, we also welcomed some very special guests to our booth in the form of Dorothee Bär, MdB Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Garrelt Duin State Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne, to try out The Climb.



Another special guest, Jason Rubin, Head of Studios at Oculus, also stopped by:


Other attendees also took to Twitter to give their take on proceedings:


We'd like to say thanks to everyone who came down to our booth – we had an absolute blast at Gamescom 2016. And we'll leave you with a reminder that support for Oculus Touch will be added when the controllers launch, so you can experience them for yourself!


The Climb Team

August 23, 2016 • 0 Comments

Oculus Touch: See Them in Action Now, Experience Them at Gamescom


It's Gamescom week! Kicking off tomorrow in Cologne is the world's largest gaming event, and we'll be there in full force with X VR stations where you can play The Climb with Touch controllers for the very first time. If you're heading to Gamescom, make sure you swing by booth C40 in hall 6 and experience these game-changing new peripherals. We can't wait to hear what you think, and of course, see your VR faces.



To get you in the mood, why not check out episode two of our VR show on Twitch, where The Climb Producer Onurhan Karaağaçlı joins Community Manager Bastian Thun to talk about Touch integration, the development process, and, of course, show the Touch controllers in action, in-game. Stop reading, start watching:



The Climb will receive a free update which delivers support for Oculus Touch when they launch. But as with VR, watching is one thing and experiencing them is quite another. We hope to see you down at the Crytek stand.


August 16, 2016 • 0 Comments

First Look: Oculus Touch and The Climb


At this year's E3, we're showing off The Climb with Oculus Touch support to select members of the press for the first time. We're really excited to hear people's take on the experience, and of course, when these peripherals launch we'll have a game update so that every player can use them. We asked Onurhan Karaağaçlı, Producer on The Climb, to give you the lowdown on the experience of playing The Climb with Oculus Touch:

“First, Oculus Touch makes The Climb a standing experience. Sure, you can play sitting down, but it's much more immersive and engaging to be standing up, so we recommend playing this way when you're using it.

“One of the key features about the Oculus Touch controllers is that they are completely tracked in the game world. This means that in order to climb, you're actually moving your hands and arms. It's a very physical experience, and it could be tiring for some – in fact, if you played for an extended period of time with wrist weights, it could be a workout. Your hands are often above your head or to your side as you lean, reach, and jump. But because it's so physical, it's also very intuitive. When you jump or reach, it really feels like you are reaching out to the next grip, swinging across monkey bars, or using your arms to throw yourself from one ledge to another.


“That can make it challenging at first. Because you're controlling your in-game hands with actual movements, you need to be a bit more precise and to have the hand-eye coordination to make the moves and jumps you want. But in the same way that muscle memory builds up when you use a pad or a mouse and a keyboard, your hands, arms, and upper body get used to this quickly, and it is a really rewarding experience. The fact that it feels like you're really climbing, mastering your own movements in a virtual world to the point that it becomes intuitive, even natural – we find that really satisfying. You can reach out and ring the bells we use for checkpoints, brush your hand across plants along your path, and shoo away bugs too. And as you're reaching out for a grip or to ring a bell, the power of VR really puts you in that moment of movement.

“Because the Rift tracks your hands accurately in the game world, we had to consider the physical size of a player and how that affects gameplay. So to ensure that people with a physically longer reach than other players don't have an advantage, we made sure that every path you can take always has grips within reach. The competition will always come down to technique, rather than a physical advantage.



“We're really pleased with how it works. The movements in The Climb use real-life physics and are physically similar to reaching up or leaning across as you would to climb in real life, which is part of what makes using Oculus Touch with The Climb such a great experience. There's no sickness from the movement, even though you are performing extreme moves, such as swinging off grips and making huge leaps, such as jumping from a cable car to a cliff face with only a chasm under you. The most exciting thing is that it just feels so real, like you're really there in the game world."

We hope that gives you an insight into what you can expect with Oculus Touch launches for The Climb, and we'll have more as we get closer to launch.


The Climb Team



June 14, 2016 • 0 Comments