Albatross

Albatross (or Bring Your Own Bucket, depending on mood) is an experimental mobile VR endurance game, a sea-sickness simulator. 

To win, the player has to make it through ~10 minutes on a small VR boat listening to the first three sections of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

For bonus fun, players sit upon a stool nailed to a balance board, ensuring that their physical motion is at odds with their virtual environment.

Made in Unity, built for Google Daydream. This game was last shown at Feral Vector 2018.


Albatross was the first game I made in Unity and was an experiment to see how we might lean into the flaws of certain platforms—in this case, the way VR can induce nausea. To focus on this, I decided to include nothing in-game to distract from the rolling ocean except a very long and somewhat dry poem while also leaving the buoyancy as quite choppy and forcing the frame rate down to 22fps. To enhance the physicality and encourage players to move their body with the waves in a way that didn’t quite match reality, I had players sit upon a wooden stool affixed to a large balance-board.

Albatross was originally intended to be the first in a short series of horrible VR games, with other titles to include an upside-down 3D platformer and a livestream of a GoPro in a runaway hamster ball. These later games were not developed beyond basic prototypes as, perhaps unsurprisingly, I struggled to find people keen to play or showcase them.

Early prototype capture of Albatross