ana-ribeiroPixel Ripped 1989 is one of the most ambitious and innovative VR experiences I’ve seen. It’s a multi-dimensional experience with 2D game within a VR game within an immersive story. You’re in a VR world set in 1989 while also playing a Game Boy-like platformer game at the same time. It uses context switching as a game mechanic as you have to try to hide your playing of the 2D platformer from the school teacher. It’s an immersive nostaligic adventure that teleports you back to school in the 1980s through a chiptune soundtrack inspired by the videogames of the 1980s. Their cutting-edge spatial sound design really sells being immersed in a world within a world, and provides the multi-modal cues to help guide you through playing two games at once.

Pixel Ripped 1989 started as an ambitious student project by Ana Ribeiro, and she perservered through the ups and downs of her chasing her dreams of releasing the game for over four years. The project got picked up by São Paulo-based Arvore to help with development and distribution, and it was finally released on July 31, 2018 after a long journey through many technological phases of modern consumer VR. I had a chance to interview Ribeiro at the SVVR Mixer at GDC where she was dressed in a cosplay outfit of the main character of Nicola complete with blinking eyelashes. We talked about her development journey, collaborating with composer Terence Dunn from the National Film and Television School, mixing the immersive sound design of a world within a world, the challenges of using the buttons of an Oculus controllers as a NES controller for a 2D platformer, and the value of chasing your dreams.


Here’s the launch trailer for Pixel Ripped 1989

Here’s a biographical piece that Windows Developer YouTube channel produced:

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