E McNeill
Based in San Diego, California

Release date:
Oculus Rift Launch

Oculus Rift (PC/Mac/Linux)


Regular Price:



Darknet is an upcoming VR strategy game that casts the player as an elite hacker in cyberspace. Zip between the nodes of a vibrant neon network, breaking ICE, slinging viruses, and tunneling through layer upon layer of cybersecurity on your way to the data.


Darknet is the revised, expanded version of Ciess, the 1st place winner of the VR Jam (a 3-week game jam created by Oculus and IndieCade). The top prize included a visit to the Oculus HQ, a showcase for the game at IndieCade, and $10,000. Oculus praised its "fluid and immersive VR interaction" and said that it "is immediately accessible with a low learning curve, yet offers deep and addictive gameplay".


  • VR Done Right: Darknet is a 100% made-for-VR game. Oculus has made it clear that porting existing games to VR doesn't really work and that the usual first-person movement controls tend to be awkward and nauseating. Darknet is something different, tailored for VR from beginning to end.
  • Strategic Gameplay: Darknet's gameplay spans multiple genres; It's a strategy game, but it includes aspects of roguelike, puzzle, and action games, all presented from a first-person perspective. Winning requires careful planning and smart execution.
  • Open Development: Players can follow the game's development via the dev blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, or mailing list. Most importantly, the game has an subreddit for the Darknet community, /r/darkcom, where I will be running a "perpetual AMA"; players can Ask Me Anything about the game, and I'll be there to answer!


Darknet Pre-Alpha Trailer YouTube

Darknet "Fair Use" Teaser YouTube


download all screenshots & photos as .zip (5MB)


Awards & Recognition

  • "First Place" Oculus/IndieCade VR Jam, 19 September, 2013

Selected Articles

  • "So many Rift games focus on trying to recreate a realistic world, but Ciess strips the idea of hacking down to a few abstract interactions, and pairs those with a strong sense of movement, excitement, and a low barrier of entry. It proves the power of virtual reality itself, even if the game is taking a playful swipe at the odd ways movies and pop culture visualize hacking and computer networks in general."
    - Ben Kuchera, Penny Arcade Report

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Darknet Subreddit: /r/darkcom
The official subreddit of Darknet. reddit.com.

Darknet Twitter

Darknet Facebook

Ciess (Original Prototype)
You can download the VR Jam version here: emcneill.com.

About E McNeill

E McNeill is a solo indie game designer working out of San Diego. He makes minimalistic, abstract games.

More information
More information on E McNeill, our logo & relevant media are available here.

Darknet Credits

E McNeill
Game Designer

Michael Heald
Concept Artist

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks