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Feb 29

Microscopic Survival Game VEV: Viva Ex Vivo Coming to PS4

Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar Posted by VP, Truant Pixel LLC

Hi everyone! Souha here from Truant Pixel. We’re proud to announce that our indie game VEV: Viva Ex Vivo will be launching this summer exclusive to PS4 with planned support for PlayStation VR.

The Premise

Viva Ex Vivo’s tag line is “survival on a microscopic scale.” The game features a unique take on arcade-style survival gameplay.

The player assumes the role of a busy microbiologist in the not-so-distant future, whose research partner has taken off for the week for some much-needed R&R. Players will find they’ve been tasked with sifting through their partner’s notes, and completing their team’s work: researching biological samples using a nanoscale artificial organism capable of surviving in a multitude of familiar and foreign microscopic environments.

The VEV 1.0 Module

Dubbed the “Virtual Eukaryote Visualizer,” or VEV for short, this tiny, artificial protist acts as a surrogate explorer, similar in many ways to the unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV drones, that we are familiar with today.

Rather than being a remote-controlled aircraft, however, it is a durable biological machine, remotely-controlled through an augmented reality computer simulation that allows the user to see the surrounding microscopic environment, only on a massive scale. Worlds normally smaller than the head of a pin become vast expanses to be navigated, owing to the technology of the quantum confocal microscope, or QCM, hardware that powers the VEV interface.

VEV: Viva Ex Vivo on PS4VEV: Viva Ex Vivo on PS4

VEV Modules in the Calibration Matrix

A drop of water or a drop of blood becomes a vast, open field for players to explore, where they need to collect valuable organic particles and avoid competing and predatory organisms while testing the limits of the VEV module. As players gather organic particles from their surroundings, they will have two options to harness much-needed biological energy:

  1. They may choose to absorb each bit of food to harvest the energy as soon as possible.
  2. They take a gamble and delay absorption, aggregating the particles on their VEV’s surface. This allows for weak nuclear bonds to form between the compounds, resulting in “molecular crosslinking.” This, in turn, increases the efficiency of absorption, and thus increases potential energy multiplier to a total much greater than would be collected by absorbing said particles individually.

The downside to crosslinking is the risk of losing it all to aggressors in the environment.


Gameplay progression in Viva Ex Vivo is straightforward: explore your environment, find food, and avoid predators. Your ultimate goal is to gather the maximum amount of potential energy possible, and maximize your VEV’s functional lifespan within the time limit. Everything you do, from your swimming speed to your encounters with indigenous organisms, affects your base energy consumption rate.

Players will find themselves in a race against time and a race against entropy as they explore each sample, harvest energy, stay alive, and build that elusive high score.

VEV: Viva Ex Vivo on PS4

Though we present VEV as a decidedly laid-back experience (players cannot harm or direct hostile actions toward other creatures), the game is by no means easy. All elements within every biological sample, including composition of the environment as well as placement of food and indigenous life, are randomly generated with each level load. Small ecosystems, including creature behaviors, tend to occur sporadically within each sample. Organic particles have a tendency to spawn within caves and other nooks and crannies, though they may also be found floating about in the open should they be displaced by a wandering microbe. In Viva Ex Vivo, feast or famine may be around every corner.


There are two kinds of stages in Viva Ex Vivo — “in situ” and “ex vivo.” For our purposes, in-situ refers to those samples in which you are viewing indigenous organisms in their native environment, such as a drop of pond water or a dollop of mud.

Ex vivo samples are samples of organic tissue taken from a larger organism, such as a drop of blood or a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. Between the two sample types, ex vivo samples will prove to be the more challenging, as elements of an organism’s immune system carried within the sample will see the VEV as a foreign invader and attack it.

This occurs because VEVs are created by hybridizing molecular machinery of common cellular species (such as staphylococcus and pseudomonas) that are infectious in larger organisms. These derived elements still contain antigenic potential which may activate a host tissue’s residual immune responses.

In Addition

Viva Ex Vivo holds additional content for those players skilled enough to unlock hidden “research goals” with unique bonus levels for added value. Beyond these four sample types, the game also features added simulated calibration and challenge modes, based on the popular system software themes that your team has currently installed on their Quantum Confocal Microscope hardware. These modes will also provide players insight into the personality of their lab partner, known only as “S,” whose disarrayed notes cover their mutual workspace.

VEV: Viva Ex Vivo on PS4

Viva Ex Vivo features a professionally composed mix of ambient electronic music, designed to fit the mood of each individual stage. Each song features evolving and dynamic elements based upon proximity to key elements within each stage, from the amount of accrued mass on your VEV’s surface, to the ominous drumbeats which signal approaching enemies

Viva Ex Vivo has been designed from the ground up for easy transition to VR. This includes everything from the control scheme to the 3D interface which is presented to the player at all times. VR mode will be offered as a free upgrade once it is available.

In Closing

We appreciate the chance to finally share our game with everyone. As a first-time effort for our tiny company (Really, it’s just the three of us!), it has been a truly educational experience. We have other, larger projects in the works which we hope to bring you in the near future!

Add Your Own

KidGreengene said:

February 29th, 8:59 am

Is there a Team Deathmatch level? What about adding a solar blade or a rocket launcher? :)

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 9:17 am

    No death match solar blades, or rocket launchers, but we have tardigrades, immunoglobulins and hunter-killer cells!

    OnTheBus666 said:

    February 29th, 9:17 am

    No need for rocket launcher when the shotgun is already so OP

OnTheBus666 said:

February 29th, 9:18 am

Seriously though this game looks awesome… And educational!

EnigmaNemesis said:

February 29th, 9:21 am

Your dynamic themes are second to none. I am still loving LightStream. If those are any indication to the quality of work, I am more than exciting for this. These are the types of experiences PSVR or any VR needs to have to drive the new tech forward.

Remind me of the movie Inner Space as well. I am so in!

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 10:19 am

    We really appreciate the kind words! We’re also working on some themes specifically for this game, as well as incorporating some of our most creative ones into the game world.

glassmusic said:

February 29th, 9:22 am

So you mean to tell me that VEV: Viva Ex Vivo is NOT coming to the Vita? The alliteration alone makes it worth it!

I hadn’t heard of this until now, but it’s definitely on my radar now. :)

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 11:54 am

    You haven’t heard of this ’til now by design–this is our first official announcement. :D

Aymanium said:

February 29th, 9:27 am

That tardigrade sold it for me. Love the idea. Good luck guys.

Hakumen__ said:

February 29th, 10:26 am

This is certainly one of the more unique-looking games I have seen.

Any plans to bring it to PS Vita?

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 11:32 am

    We love the Vita, but VEV will remain PS4 and PS VR only.

Lord_Ripper02 said:

February 29th, 10:28 am

I probably won’t play on VR. Hoping there will be a non-VR version. Looks like a great unwind game best experienced in a dark room and with a glass of scotch.

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 10:31 am

    Hi! No worries, the game is actually coming out first as a standard release (‘non-VR’) with a free VR upgrade coming later :)

pablikenemy79 said:

February 29th, 10:52 am

Another Perfect fit on VITA.. Please consider this.

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 11:56 am

    It must look that way from the outside but there’s just so much that would have to change to make it work on the VITA, unfortunately.

    pablikenemy79 said:

    February 29th, 1:32 pm

    I understand, Thanks so much for the reply and good look with all your future projects. . hope there’s something hiden for vita ;)

    pablikenemy79 said:

    February 29th, 1:48 pm

    I mean “good luck”

Welmosca said:

February 29th, 10:56 am

Ha looks great I’m a master explorer on every game so this may be right up ma alley,the music is great too fits the situation perfectly and this game reminds me a lot of Microbot which is a helluva good game.I’ll be looking forward to VEV.

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 11:57 am

    Thanks very much!! Exploration is really the name of the game here :D

LeMatster said:

February 29th, 11:24 am

Congrats guys, it looks great and it’s a truly original concept. I’ve been quite satisfied by the quality of your dynamic themes as well (lightstream is amazing, clock was great too) so I look forward to play your first title!

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 11:57 am

    Thanks for all your kind words and support for our themes!

life28SK said:

February 29th, 11:26 am

I remember a game like this from one Slovak developer. It´s called Dance of Life but was never finished. But looks definitely better than VEV check it

CojueloDevill said:

February 29th, 11:45 am

Looks beautiful, I would love to see me and my daughter playing this in VR

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 11:58 am

    Thanks very much! We love the idea of you playing this with your daughter :)

SureBigBuster said:

February 29th, 11:47 am

Wow this is incredible! Unique and beautiful. The perfect game for PSVR!

Bobthesmiter said:

February 29th, 1:06 pm

How can you get involved in the beta testing?

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 8:11 pm

    Sorry friend, we only have beta tester. (me).

Anedime said:

February 29th, 7:35 pm

Does “planned support for PlayStation VR” means its planned to launch with VR support if everything goes well, or does it mean some day it might have VR support?

That’s a very specific way to say it’ll be playable in VR which kind of makes me question the validity of the statement.

    Souha Al-Samkari's Avatar

    Souha Al-Samkari said:

    February 29th, 8:12 pm

    VR is very much a concrete plan and has been from the beginning. :)

DemoniOtaku said:

March 1st, 11:18 am

Looks pretty interesting… looking foward to more footage and info.

Jonny-Sturtz said:

March 4th, 9:11 am

When will PSVR come out and will it cost $299 a Sony Representative said that was the case istudy it true

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