Backslide is intended for a playwriting course. Students will experience the game in 3D – either on the desktop (PC) or in VR (Rift and Vive, with an Android/mobile VR adaptation).

The relevant texts are William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a metaphysical deconstruction of Hamlet. Also students will read David Ball’s Backwards and Forwards: A Playwriting Manual, which teaches them to read Hamlet back to front, in order to understand logical causality in a play.

A series of immersive ‘acts’ – divided into individual ‘scenes’ and littered with basic puzzle elements as well as fragments of texts – form visual cues for writing. Each ‘act/scene’ is rendered in 360 and comprised of a large-scale ‘video wall’ illustration which includes animated GIFs. Some ‘acts’ remain ‘locked’ until others have been experienced fully, offering a sense of game-like progression throughout the work.

Desktop Versions

Download for PC/VR (Rift) 

Download for Mac

PC: Double click the EXE file and follow on-screen instructions. If you have a Rift connected to your computer, the work will automatically play in VR. If you do not have VR hardware set up, then the work will play in desktop PC mode. Use the mouse to navigate (or a gamepad).

Mac: Download the ZIP file to your Mac and unpack it. Ensure Gatekeeper’s security settings are configured to run 3rd party applications (not from the Mac App Store).

Mobile Versions – Android VR

Download Cardboard

Download CE Cardboard

Download GEARVR

Mobile versions – Android Touch 

Download TOUCH

Download the APKs to your PC/Mac and install them through USB. Alternatively, directly download them to your device and install them through File Manager. Both the Cardboard and Android Touch versions can work in parallel from the same device (one has a black icon, the other has a white icon).

Screenshots (PC and Rift version)

Known Issues with the PC/VR download

  • Water reflections do not render 100% correctly in VR
  • Press ALT+F4 to quit

Known Issues with Android

  • Colour correction is missing from latest Cardboard build
  • Frame rate is still fairly slow on lower-end devices (Samsung S6)
  • Water textures are missing; renders solid blue
  • Touch version flickers occasionally when switching between scenes

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