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Ex-Microsoft Creative Director Adam Orth On ADR1FT And VR “Everything Feels Magical Again”

Developed by Three One Zero and Published by 505 Games, ADR1FT is set to launch alongside the Oculus Rift on March 28th 2016 for Microsoft Windows before a later release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. ADR1FT follows the story of sole Astronaut Alex Oshima, as he floats perilously amongst the destroyed wreckage of a Space Station, with no memory and a badly damaged EVA suit, Oshima must come to terms with his current condition while determining the cause of the catastrophic event that killed every other Astronaut on board the Space Station. Players will have to fight to stay alive by navigating and exploring the damaged wreckage for vital resources while overcoming various challenges in an at times unforgiving environment to fix the damaged emergency escape vehicle and return back to Earth safely.

Three One Zero is led by former Ex-Microsoft Creative Director Adam Orth, we recently caught up with the man behind ADR1FT to find out more about what is sure to be one of the standout Oculus Rift titles this year.


PressA2Join: ADR1FT came about after you left Microsoft, in turn, you founded Three One Zero, do you feel that whole experience helped to create the game or did you already have the idea for ADR1FT in mind?

Adam Orth: The game was inspired by and created from of my experience on Twitter and the internet. It wouldn’t exist without going through that. I had been very lightly exploring a space disaster or stranded on an island (I’m fascinated with stranded/only survivor stories) but it wasn’t until I layered my personal experience over and into the idea about a catastrophic moment destroying your world that ADR1FT really took shape.

ADR1FT has similar elements to the film Gravity (which I loved), that complete sense of desperation and loneliness while floating perilously in outer space, not to mention the truly horrible fear of dying a very cold death. What have you done throughout ADR1FT to drive home those feelings and emotions to players?

Adam Orth: Being stranded and alone in space really is the core of that desperation and loneliness. Having to survive against insane odds, relying on yourself to stay alive and get home safely. It’s primal and instinctual. When you add a damaged EVA suit that’s slowly leaking oxygen, the stakes become very real and very terrifying. Trusting yourself, staying calm, cool and collected are the only things you can do to make it. I think everyone has a pretty universal understanding of space and those possibilities, so it works very well in the game.


Obviously, Alex is in outer space, so oxygen has to be a major factor in attempting to survive, but what other things should the Astronaut be on the lookout for that could further endanger his life environment-wise?

Adam Orth: In ADR1FT, the only enemy you face is the environment, space itself. Oxygen is the most prevalent danger, but avoiding debris and large moving objects that can damage you by forcing precious oxygen out of your leaking suit or being electrified by exposed power nodes and wires. A destroyed space station is a very dangerous place to try and survive while exploring and repairing mainframes to damaged systems. You have to really assess your surroundings and make decisions based on all of these things that are working against you.

To make it home to Earth safely, the sole Astronaut must overcome a series of daunting puzzles/tasks, can you tell us a little about the types of challenges he will face and what kind of impact will they have on the overall game?

Adam Orth: Without giving too much away, the Emergency Escape Vehicle (EEV) is offline and there are some critical station systems that need repair in order for the EEV to get online and get you home. There are some obvious and not-so-obvious game mechanics and subtleties built around that experience loop that fell pretty cool and compelling.


ADR1FT was delayed in order to launch the title alongside the Oculus Rift, how excited are you for people to experience the game with the use of Virtual Reality technology and can you tell me a little about your experiences from playing ADR1FT with VR, what players can expect and look forward to?

Adam Orth: Well, we didn’t delay the game for Oculus, we chose to hold it back to be part of their historic launch. The opportunity for a tiny team of our size to launch our first game on an incredible new technology platform and be front and center was not something we ever considered not doing. In terms of what VR brings to ADR1FT? Pretty much every single thing is amplified in terms of experience, scale and gameplay. Even the story and narrative benefits from VR. The way you are telling the story is instantly changed based on how you are existing in the world. The most normal game mechanics we take for granted today become new and fresh all over again in VR. It’s an incredible feeling to do the simplest thing. Everything feels magical again.

Visually ADR1FT looks stunning, what was it like to create such an amazing atmosphere for such an incredibly lonely place and are you pleased with how the game looks?

Adam Orth: Well, we had a very clear idea of how we wanted ADR1FT to look and why we wanted it to look that way. We had a vision and plan. Our art director Jason Barajas is a visionary. He took what I wanted and built it out with our team to create something that’s not only highly original but really unique. You don’t see a lot of space games take the clean, bright, hopeful approach. We wanted to stay away from anything old and dingy to support the universe, narrative and environmental storytelling. We wanted everything to feel safe and like home, despite being destroyed, dangerous and sometimes hopeless.


I noticed you have Weezer listed as one of the game’s composers, how will they be contributing towards the game’s sound and what are they like to work with?

Adam Orth: That’s actually a half-truth on wikipedia. The real story is I’m great friends with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. We grew up together and we’ve been circling around maybe a way to work together on something around the game or Weezer. Rivers is a really great piano player and there are a few really important piano pieces in ADR1FT that support the narrative. I had asked him to record the pieces for the game, but our schedules didn’t work out, so he suggested Brian Bell, Weezer’s guitar player. Brian is also a great piano player and since we’ve known each other for 20 years it made sense. So Brian played 3 really great classical piano pieces in the game. He did a fantastic job. I’m very happy.

Will the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game release on the same day as PC and will you be aiming for 1080p and 60FPS on both consoles?

Adam Orth: No, our PS4 and Xbox One versions will release shortly after Oculus/PC launch. We’re working on them now and we are aiming for the absolute best resolution and framerate we can for the experience on each console platform.


Do you have a final message for people interested in ADR1FT?

Adam Orth: I just really hope people enjoy the experience. We made a very different type of game and it’s something we are extremely proud of. There’s a lot of stuff in ADR1FT in terms of themes and subtext and like a lot of games, it’s not spoon-fed to you. You have to work for it. You have to go look for it and discover things with a risk vs. reward mentality. Everything in ADR1FT is broken: your character, your EVA suit, the station, the narrative and story. It’s all on purpose. Life is not a perfectly-tied bow. It’s messy and that’s what we’re trying to deliver in the experience.

Huge thanks to Adam Orth of Three One Zero for taking the time out to chat with us about ADR1FT.

ADR1FT has a scheduled release date of March 28th and will be an Oculus Rift launch title.

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Dan has been gaming for nearly 30 years and has survived everything from Nuclear Fallouts to Zombie Outbreaks but his main love is Survival Horror and don't we all know it. Favourite games include Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto, he can be regularly found cruising the streets of Vice City listening to the classics.


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