I'll have to bring up the most genuine concern from your blog, and one that I feel Oculus needs to urgently address:
"-Its impossible to drink tea while in the rift."
As a Yorkshireman, I cannot emphasize the importance of fixing this major design oversight.
Haha, this looks great! 🙂
It really reminds me of a similar idea some friends of mine worked on years ago, dinosaurs with guns: http://www.intuitiongames.com/images/Dinowaurs_allweapons_Row.png
Anyway, you mentioned considering a non combat game vs just adding guns to whales in your blog. I think this neatly summarizes one of game designs toughest challenges. It is so easy to make a game about combat, and so tricky to make a game about almost anything else! You can find exceptions to this (racing games), but my point is more general. 🙂
I would encourage you to explore non combat routes for your whales, whether it be no combat at all, or some sort of hybrid. Though I fully admit there is something strangely charming about seeing a whale with guns strapped to its back. 🙂