As acid rain splatters against the mask's face shield, an ocular implant relays time and place. Night Market, Shanghai. Aug 29 2098, 9:37 PM. The noise emanating from the massive marketplace is steadily increasing - it won't be long now. Hopefully. Because time and money are running out.
Down on his luck, the private investigator Dew finds himself drawn into a maze of corporate conspiracy, set in a dystopian vision of future Shanghai. A simple, quick job for Virgo Corporation is Dew's ticket to a better life. In any case - how difficult can it be to find a young runaway? As it turns out, it takes just a few bigger fish to turn a simple job into something significantly less simple.
This zaibatsu embodies the new Japanese spirit like no other. For the past few decades, the Virgo Corp. has been one of the few success stories emerging from the economically ravaged nation of Japan. The megacorporation focusing on matrixware, cyberware and android development – the latter frowned upon in the Western world – managed to secure a place among the world’s most influential corporations within an astonishingly short time. Their newly inaugurated regional HQ in Shanghai is an impressive statement of this newly surging confidence.
Falkyard Industries is one of the few relevant companies remaining in the world’s former leading economy. The American megacorporation, traditionally focusing on heavy industry, managed to continually extend its capabilities within the automotive and cyberware fields over the past few decades. Their current CEO Collin Wittford is heavily committed to improving the corporation’s standing in matrix-related business sectors, currently dominated by Asian competitors – a necessary step his predecessors failed to undertake.
ASHTON ZHEN DYNAMICS
Media outrage flared up when Zhen Dynamics, a leading Chinese corporation within the cyberware and android industries, acquired the well-performing British Ashton company. A hostile takeover in more than one sense, the acquisition also served to gain a major foothold for Chinese interests in the stagnant countries of the European Union. Ashton Zhen Dynamics has become one of the most powerful corporations worldwide and employs specialists from all fields.
The Tang Conglomerate, headed by chairman Mao Xiaojin, keeps watch over virtually all the goings-on in Shanghai. The Conglomerate has united all Chinese companies under its aegis and represents a renewed, aggressive and totalitarian China going far beyond the wildest dreams of the old People’s Republic. It does not shy away from leveraging military as well as economic power to assert its international interests. The Tang military, known internationally as the Red Guard, is renowned for their efficiency as well as their ruthlessness due to their actions in the South-East Asia conflict and serves as the executive arm of the most powerful corporate state in the world.
Better Than Life is our first attempt at developing a VR adventure of our own. We're looking to create an atmospheric cyberpunk setting with a distinct personality and, more importantly, tell an engaging story within that setting.
From the beginning we've been trying to keep feasibility in mind. Concerning narrative as well as technical scope, we've been making sure to neither overreach nor overpromise. Thus, one of our first decisions was to employ a minimalist low-polygon visual style, using Blender and the UE4 engine to optimize for VR performance. And when it comes to the best way of bringing our world alive in VR and telling our story within virtual reality - well, that's what we're trying to figure out!
Our plan is to steadily gain experience and extend and grow our project as appropriate. Our first goal is to complete our protagonist's apartment, implementing several game mechanics, and then start work on the significantly more complex Shanghai Night Market.
...IT'S OUR PASSION
Biji. That's Japanese for "busy".
That's what we are, relentlessly busy. Who's "we"? We're Biji-San, a small independent team based in Hamburg, Germany. None of us has got anything to show when it comes to game development, but why not give it a shot? We love Cyberpunk. We love VR. Considering the opportunities we've got now - we just have to try and make something of them. So why not start a cyberpunk VR project? The only resource we need right now is time, but time is always short. Especially if you're constantly this ビジー. So what? We're passionate. We're on it. We're working on this project whenever, wherever, however possible.