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Fantastic Contraption Coming To The Vive VR Headset

Fantastic Contraption [official site] is returning as a room-scale VR game built for Valve and HTC’s Vive headset. The original game was a 2D browser-based puzzle game about creating a device to carry a ball towards a goal, but creator Colin Northway is now re-building it as a virtual reality experience in which you build similar devices in 3D. There’s a trailer below.

When I used the Vive at GDC, it seemed perfect for exactly these kinds of experiences. Its twin motion controllers can be seen in-world and it quickly becomes second nature to use them as whatever tools they appear to be, whether simply hands for picking up, rotating and throwing objects, or a paint brush and paints, or a device for inflating balloons.

In the video above, Northway describes the game as a group activity, which also seems important for VR. One of the things that worries me about the Vive and Oculus is that they isolate you from the real world, which can be an uncomfortable experience if you’re in a room with other people. Making those other people part of the fun seems like a grand idea.

Fantastic Contraption will be at PAX this weekend, on show in Vive demo rooms.

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Graham Smith

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