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The studio behind the inventive multiplayer VR title Half + Half today announced a new multiplayer VR game called NOCK. Due to launch “soon” on Oculus Quest, Nock looks like Rocket League played with bows & arrows instead of cars.
‘Normal’ is the studio behind Half + Half, a collection of multiplayer mini-games on Quest and Rift that have some truly creative mechanics. The studio also builds Normcore, a multiplayer SDK for Unity.
Today the studio announced their next VR project called Nock—as in ‘nocking an arrow‘—and it’s “coming soon” to Oculus Quest.
Anyone familiar with Rocket League (2015) will pretty quickly see what’s going on here. Rocket League is the highly popular multiplayer game that turned a zany idea into a smash hit. It’s basically soccer, but played with physics-defying cars strapped with rockets. So while it might seem crazy to play soccer with bows & arrows, this is relatively well trodden ground… outside of VR at least.
From the teaser it looks like Nock could easily fit alongside the other mini-games in the Half + Half collection, but as of now it appears that it will launch as a standalone title. That makes us think that the studio sees this as a fully fledged title that will have more depth and staying power than its prior work.
One big question on our mind is how comfortable Nock will be. We can clearly see players flying through the air at fairly high speeds, which isn’t something we’d typically expect to be comfortable for most players. But considering the studio’s previous work with Half + Half, which is by all means very aware of VR’s unique affordances and comfort considerations, there might be more here than meets the eye.
Indeed, there’s reason to be intrigued by Nock beyond the mere concept of ‘Rocket League in VR’. Normal’s prior title is well regarded for its inventive approach to multiplayer VR.
As fellow VR developer Darshan Shankar said of the studio’s announcement today, “The Normal team’s first game Half + Half is a masterclass in social VR game design. Their latest game NOCK looks to be another smash hit.”
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