The upcoming VR video game Moss has an adorable hero mouse named Quill who uses his squeaks and non-verbal cues to communicate with the player. Rick Lico, an animator for popular gaming company Polyarc, tweeted a test clip of the mouse protagonist greeting the player using American Sign Language on Wednesday morning, the tweet was bombarded with over twenty-six thousand likes and several hundred responses with people loving Quill and the fact that he was using sign language.
Moss will be coming to PlayStation VR (PSVR) this winter, in the game the player will be transported to a fantasy realm where they will befriend and help Quill in her heroic journey, with Quill being fully aware of the player’s presence at all times. Being that she is a mouse Quill does not have a voice, and so our tiny hero will use her squeaks, ASL, and any other means to communicate with the player.
Lico states in an interview that he was watching a playtest for the game with Polyarc CEO when he had the ideas for Quill’s communication skills. “I said, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we did some sign language in there,’ and he just kind of nodded. Since no one in the office knows any sign language, I needed to know if I was crazy or not, if this was going to work. I figured I’d post it on Twitter. I’ve been blown away by the responses. Especially the ones where you get actual deaf people saying ‘Thank you.’ I just had no idea, being able to emotionally connect with something like that.”
Lico was expecting some kind of feedback but never expected to garner the attention he did, even as a professional animator for 17 years he had previously worked with Bungie and Raven Games. The tweet even gained Lico more than 2,300 followers, as well as the incredible and passionate support of ASL users, many of who were able to completely understand what Quill was signing to them (despite her having only four fingers). Lico has stated that he’ll be staying away from more intricate signs being that he nor anyone in his office are too familiar with sign language. Quill won’t always sign in order to communicate to the player however, sometimes she’ll act out what she wants to player to do. Lico states that he was blown away by the reactions and support of his game and was very glad he was able to connect with his fans on an emotional level. Moss is set to release on PlayStation VR this winter, not definite release has been revealed yet as the game is still under development, but with the positive attention Quill has already garnered from her fans the game is sure to be a huge success. Happy gaming!
Featured Image Pixabay