To say that Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland enjoys VR would be a colossal understatement. Speaking with PC Gamer last year, Roiland talked about being one of the first Oculus Rift backers and getting a developer’s kit of the headset, and said, “I have never–and I don’t say this lightly–been more energized, enthusiastic, excited, and motivated about anything in my entire life, and that includes my TV show stuff.”
So it’s a big moment for the show to get its own VR game, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. Owlchemy Labs, the Austin game developers behind Job Simulator, has started production, and presented the first demo at Adult Swim’s carnival-themed Comic-Con installation outside the San Diego Convention Center.
The demo only takes five minutes, and is a compression of the ideas Owlchemy would like to build into the game, which will be available for the HTC Vive. The player is a Morty clone created in the family garage–look at your hands to prove it. To get the feel for picking items up and moving them around, Rick tells the clone to move laundry from a basket to a washing machine and turn it on. After the pair leave for a mission, the clone can teleport around the room–which expands the explorable space for the Vive. Players can interact with everything, including a Meeseeks Box, a plumbus, and Rick’s laser, which goes into “safety mode” whenever it’s picked up–meaning it shoots wildly and can’t be stopped. Before too long, Rick and Morty pop back in, while an ominous and otherworldly storm brews outside, and command the player to close the blast doors and step through a portal to escape. The game’s directions point players to move in such a way that they barely ever feel the boundaries of the Vive setup, and it’s easy to see how items like the portal gun can help transport players in such a way that the room doesn’t feel limited.
Roiland is incredibly passionate about all video games–but a Rick and Morty VR game is a whole different level for him. During his stay at San Diego Comic-Con, he reportedly has an HTC Vive system set up in his hotel room. One of the show’s producers told Olwchemy developer Andrew Eiche that while Roiland does busy himself with helping out other tangential game projects, he makes special exceptions because this game is VR. Eiche says he’s sent Roiland dialogue requests or other messages in the middle of the night, only to get notes or blocks of audio less than an hour later.
There’s no timetable for a release date yet, nor does Eiche say there’s even a rough estimate on the length of the game. But the beauty of the Rick and Morty-verse is that there are infinite alternate universes and new planets to visit. Developers can mix together some of the things from the 21 episodes of the series along with new ideas–and hours of voiceover improvisation from Roiland–to build out the kind of game the Rick and Morty creator has dreamed about for years.