Watch Vive Game Fantastic Contraption At Seated Scale

I spent the weekend doing two things, building furniture and mucking about with Vive games such as Fantastic Contraption. It’s a remake of an old browser game in which you must transport a ball towards a goal by building a vehicle to carry or push it there. I was pretty sore after bending and twisting at odd angles to put screws in my furniture and, sometime on Sunday, as I bent and twisted to attach a balloon part to an elongated contraption chassis, I realised that really I’d only spent my weekend doing one thing.

“I wish I could play this while sitting down, I thought.” Lo and behold, a video showing a very early version of the game at “seated scale” is below.

Developer Andy Moore, who is playing above, likens the experience to building a model ship. That looks about right.

These kinds of physics construction games have been around for a long time, but there’s something much more natural about playing them with your hands than with mouse look or menu buttons. I like how quickly you can grab, resize, position, resize, reposition objects as you’re building your machine. That’s as much down to the motion controllers as the virtual reality headset.

The developers aren’t yet sure that they’ll “ship with seated-mode available”, which means everything you see above might just be a test that doesn’t go anywhere. They also throw a few other caveats into the video description on YouTube, which pins the blame for the visual controller lag on using a substandard webcam. I can confirm I never encountered anything like that while playing at the weekend. We’ll have more thoughts on the game later this week, hopefully.

If you’d like to get some thoughts of your own on virtual reality in general, you might like to pop along to Rezzed next month, where the HTC Vive will be playable along with five games.

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8 Comments

  1. Plank says:

    “I wish I could play this while sitting down, I thought.”

    Yeah standing up to play computer games gets old fast. Does anyone really want to come home from work and stand up all night to play a game?

  2. stoner says:

    Somebody wake me when we have The VR killer app. Until then…

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      caff says:

      It may not seem killer, but stuff like this does pursuade me more into getting a Vive.

  3. ceriphim says:

    I couldn’t watch more than 30 seconds of the video due to the lag between him moving and the game rendering. Does anyone know if this exists from the user’s PoV (obv he can’t see the devices themselves), or is it due to the fact that it’s a recording?

    • ChrisGWaine says:

      It says in the video description that it’s the laptop webcam that’s the source of the lag (you can see its the game that moves ahead).

    • Behrditz says:

      I highly doubt it, because as you can see, the digital is moving FIRST. The controllers arent lagging behind his movements, its the composited webcam footage that is lagging behind the actions. If that happened in game, it would be seeing into the future.