A narrative VR game where players deal poker to spirits in purgatory. The buy-in is their soul, the payout is paradise.
Made by: Anuva Aranee, Taylor Cyr, David Frisch, Daniel Kimsey
The Dealer is a visceral, interactive and procedurally generated VR poker game that takes place in purgatory, reimagined as a sleazy casino. Players step into the shoes of a poker dealer on their first day on the job, dealing to a rogue gallery of diverse characters who are playing for their ticket out of purgatory.
These characters range from a 15th century disgraced knight to an awkward millennial teenager, all of whom have died without being quite good enough or bad enough to move on to the afterlife. Now they play in a game where the stakes are high and the money can make or break their way out of endless stagnation. As the dealer, you get to know these strange people and try to deal the best game you can in order to earn tips and someday, buy your own way out of purgatory. Of course, if you happen to like a certain character more than others you can cheat — so long as the ever watchful eye in the sky doesn’t catch you doing it. The people who run this casino don’t take kindly to anyone tipping the scales.
With a robust AI system and interactive table, players deal a fully functional and informed poker game. They can throw physics enabled cards, chips and direct the flow of each hand. All the while, the dealer may listen as characters talk to themselves and one another, revealing their developed backstories.
We believe that narrative in VR is an area that has not been fully explored. There is much untapped potential there and the most exciting aspect of our project is pushing the boundaries of what has already been established in the medium. We also believe the experience of playing as the dealer gives our game a unique edge in the realm of poker games, and that the observant nature of the dealer position lends itself to a fascinating narrative experience by observation.