I think we all deserve a weekend treat, so let’s check in with another game that will be shown off at the next GaMaYo Day on Thursday 23rd November.

This time round we are talking about…


This is being developed by Elliot Mann and we asked him to fill us in on what to expect.

What would be your description of Sandboard?
Elliot – “Sandboard is a PC VR sand surfing and grappling game for Oculus Quest (2) and HTC Vive. With a sandboard at your feet and two grapple hands at your disposal, zip down sandy slopes, fly off boosts, and use your grapples to propel yourself through the Arverre badlands.”

How did development start? (Were there any key inspirations or ideas that drove you?
Elliot – “This was a 1st year university project initially developed over the course of four months in Unreal Engine 4 with an Oculus Quest 2 headset, now in continued development as a personal project. I made 3D assets in Blender, textures in GIMP and Photoshop, and sound effects and music in Logic Pro (mostly with the Massive synth).”

Sandboard draws inspiration from sand surfing in games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Journey and grappling in VR games such as Swarm and Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality. Other visual influences are Dune (2021), Monster Hunter 4, Shadow of the Colossus, Raised by Wolves, Mad Max, and the Borderlands series.”

Tell us about yourself? (Where are you from? How did you get started?)
Elliot – “I’m Elliot George Mann, a game developer, music producer, and final year BSc Interactive Media student at the University of York. I’m from Oregon in the US where I started developing games in 2019. Since then, I’ve worked on 2D, 3D and VR games, and now am most interested in immersive movement and speed in VR games.
Next year I’ll be looking for games work in the Leeds area – if you want to hire me, shoot me a message at elliotgmann@gmail.com or LinkedIn!”

What kind of experiences do you hope to bring players?
Elliot – “I want to bring the feeling of speed you get in desktop movement shooters and racing games to VR, thematically paired with the kind of open desert environment you see in Journey, Dune, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I also want to avoid making players throw up. Sandboard is based on movement techniques that mitigate nausea so the game is easier to play. All your real-world actions translate to corresponding in-game movement so you don’t end up with any weird locomotion.”

In 10 words or less, highlight the appeal of Sandboard?
Elliot –  “High-speed VR sand surfing and grappling”

What does the future of Sandboard look like?
Elliot – “I’m currently working on a rocky mountain range map including motorcyclists, grapple-able rails, and a massive vulture. Once development gets far enough, I plan to advertise the game and release it on Steam.”