Silly Loading Human Player, You Just BROKE EVERYTHING

Must... not... break... own... phone, but SO ANGRY

Having hands is deceptively hard work. I mean, think about it. Do you know any non-human entity who’s even remotely good at it? And don’t say monkeys. They touch their own poo. That in mind, I’m prepared to identify with the apparent plight of virtual reality showcase Loading Human‘s main character, who seems to have a particularly aggressive case of butterfingers. Perhaps this is because VR hand controllers are still extremely underdeveloped and awkward to use, but I prefer to think Loading Human will be the story of one person’s struggle to not GET REALLY MAD AND BREAK EVERYTHING.

Did you see that? Glass shattering everywhere, crystalline snowfall in the wake of the player’s INCONSOLABLE RAGE.

For real though, Loading Human is adding support for Sixense’s STEM hand controller interface, which is, um, interesting. I tried it out back at GDC, and I found it to be a) a much-needed next step toward overcoming the uncanny valley that quickly engulfs handless experiences and b) terrible. I would very much like for it to become good, but at this point it’s a poor imitation of what hands do. The interface feels like two weird, wonky game controllers (triggers grasp, etc), not tactile or natural in a handlike fashion.

Still though, picking up things and just, like, turning them over is kinda revelatory. It’s not really something we do in games all that often, and the sensation of turning your arms/wrists 1:1 really sells it – even if your hands feel like strange elongated guns that you’re pointing directly at your own feet. In the demo I played (it was just a vanilla shooting range; no relation to Loading Human), I spent half the time stacking ammo boxes, and the other half trying to shoot my own hands. The controller’s presenters repeatedly asked me if I was sure I knew what I was doing, and everybody had a grand old time.

So hands are great, but having them is hard. At least, in videogames. Loading Human is at least trying for progress, though, and that’s admirable – especially given its Gone-Home-esque structure, which seems perfect for this kind of thing. You can read Adam’s impressions here. I guess he clumsily kissed someone and accidentally dropped his wife’s cold, lifeless body a whole bunch of times? Yep, that sounds like our Adam. The rascal!


Top comments

  1. Jerppa says:

    Drunken Rock Star Simulator.
  1. Lobster9 says:

    Finally, the Charles Foster Kane room trashing simulator we have all been waiting for!

    • Jekhar says:

      The uncanny feeling seeing the above poster starting his comment in the same way as you. (I started typing mine when your post wasn’t visible yet)

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Even Tommy Wiseau couldn’t top it. You Fk that room up, Charlie!

  2. Jekhar says:

    Finally, we can control Jurassic Park: Trespasser the way it was meant to be! This needs to be modded in pronto!

    • Shadowcat says:

      Trespasser proved just how immersive this sort of thing is. The interface for using your hand left a lot to be desired, no question; but the feeling of “being there” when the gun I was holding unexpectedly caught against a door-frame as I walked through it was second to none. No other games featured those sorts of collisions, because no other games attempted to give you that level of control. Those interactions between player and environment gave a tremendous sense of presence, though. Trespasser was an amazing game.

  3. Jerppa says:

    Drunken Rock Star Simulator.

  4. gibb3h says:

    I can’t see those controllers being fun to use in all honesty, I think something akin to the Leapmotion controller or the XBONE’s new kinect (should it ever make it to PC) would probably be a better bet for full hand and finger tracking.

    I must say I loved the care free LP lob though

  5. Ross Angus says:

    Please don’t add this functionality to Surgeon Simulator.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    “Do you know any non-human entity who’s even remotely good at it? And don’t say monkeys. They touch their own poo.”

    I haven’t tried it, but I suspect searching for “people touching poo” would render this distinction less effective than you might think.

    • Shadowcat says:

      (Don’t worry — it’s just monkeys. You’ll have seen it before, but it’s always good for a laugh :)

  7. xaphoo says:

    This is a bit *too* Italian.

  8. untoldgames says:

    Hey Everyone!

    It’s true that the two STEM controllers are not hands. As it is true that a gamepad is not a man who shoots, or an object to aim, or a gun, and a joystick is not Ryu or Ken.
    There is a fine line between realism and fun and when it comes to VR it seems that realism is never enough. But in the end, we want to do something fun, a game, not something real.
    Right now, the adaptation of the gamepad in its new role as a motion controller, (broken into two pieces) is the most fun thing there is. Do not forget that if we used a glove (or leap) we could not allow the player to move in space due to the lack of thumbsticks. We would have to use only the virtuix, but this would make everything very cumbersome and inconvenient for a normal player. The stem, after a few minutes of use, becomes much more natural than a normal gamepad, or joystick, in a VR environment, and it is the best that exists now. However, we also support the PrioVR :)

    If you have questions, feel free to ask them, i’ll try to answer,

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Hi Flavio /Nathan
      It would be cool if you guys did an interview for RPS. I for one would love to know more about full body immersion and proprioception in VR, and where it’s heading. As one of the companies at the forefront of it, it would be great to hear Untold Games take on it :)

      • untoldgames says:

        We’d love to do that. An in-depth analysis about the upcoming VR controller battle could be very interesting. I think how you control VR is the heart of the VR revolution, maybe even more than the headset itself.

      • Martel says:

        I’d 2nd that, would like to see an interview with these folks.

    • IAmKale says:

      What about using something like Myo to replicate arm and hand movement in-game? Being able to move your arms and hands without needing to hold a might be more intuitive and immersive than something like the Sixense.

      • untoldgames says:

        We’d still have the problem of “How do you move the character in the virtual world”? You’d still need a thumbstick… For arms, legs and full body emulation, PrioVR surely looks promising.

    • The Random One says:

      Ciao, Flavio. I’m going to look like a dick for saying this, especially considering that I know you just remade your game’s entire story and ideas in this industry are a dime a dozen, but I’ll say it anyway. Every time I read about your game I feel you could solve all of its control problems by simply making the main character a dude (or chick?) wot just lost all of their limbs on an accident. He interacts with the environment like Octodad’s drunken cousin because he’s not used to the prosthetics – but since you’re leaning towards near future, they might be prosthetics that are being prototyped nowadays, that tap directly to the user’s brain, explaining why you feel like you have real hands but can’t control them very well. And of course this also lets you use the hands to control the character’s movement, through a diegetic wheelchair, while still allowing players to look by turning their heads.

      Well, I’m just rambling, and trying to teach rites to the priest… I don’t have any real questions, so just wish you good luck.

      • untoldgames says:

        The idea is bold and diegetic (the best ones) but as you already know, it’s pretty late for such a change.. And I wouldn’t know how much a gamer could really relate with such an extreme character…
        I am confident that when the game will come out, the controllers will be perfectly working in harmony with the new engine, and you’ll be able to perform a lot better than now.

  9. Flank Sinatra says:

    This game just needs the Nintendo Powerglove… so bad.