Posts Tagged ‘virtual reality’

The RPG Scrollbars: Virtual Reality, RPGs, And Me

Like most people who can’t resist casually mentioning they have an HTC Vive, I recently acquired a HTC Vive. Finally, I have the ability to personally step into worlds of wonder and creativity more realistic and inspiring than anything mankind has ever created before. Instead, I’ve… uh… been playing mini-golf. Like, a lot of mini-golf. The one VR experience I could literally have better and at higher resolution by getting up going into my own town, only that wouldn’t be cool, because I wouldn’t regularly float over cliffs as I cack-handedly putt-putt away like I’m trying to join a parade.

I have no idea if virtual reality is the next big thing or just a passing fad. Even as potential fads go though, I can’t wait to see what it has in store for RPGs. As long as it’s not giant spiders in my face, obviously, I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

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A Matrix Moment With The Vive

Last night I spent about 20 minutes faffing about with The Lab [Steam link] which is that collection of little VR experiences and arcadey games Valve offer you free of charge for Vive. I then proceeded to have an utterly weird, fake seeing-the-Matrix experience.

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Virtual Reality Summit: Gloves On With The Climb

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb – Miley Cyrus, 2009

One of the most promising VR experiences I had at GDC came courtesy of Crytek’s rock climbing Oculus Rift project, The Climb [official site].

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Garry’s Mod Devs Release Vive Sandbox Game Chunks

WHOOOO!

Garry’s Mod gang Facepunch Studios have released their virtual reality sandbox game Chunks [official site] onto Steam Early Access. It looks like Minecraft, obvs, and building with cubes is certainly part of its foundation, but Chunks is built to be mega-moddable so who knows what it could become? Heck, even from a blockbuilding perspective, things like using the HTC Vive controllers to wave rollercoaster tracks into existence within the world looks pretty dang swish. Have a gander:

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Apollo 11 Sim Makes A Strong Case For Longform VR

One of the many lingering questions around the first wave of consumer virtual reality is whether we can realistically expect experiences which involve more than a handful minutes spent staring slack-jawed at some rendered paradise or briefly experimenting with a motion-controlled, cartoonish physics gimmick. I’m still combing through the 60-odd titles released on the HTC Vive’s not-a-launch day, and the bulk is solidly within the either the Brief Visual Experience or Didn’t We Basically Do This On Eyetoy In 2006 boxes. That’s OK: it’s early days and everyone’s still figuring this stuff out. But in terms of what I should actually use my Vive for day-to-day in the meantime, I’m coming up a bit short. Video is the main driver for now, but clearly I’d like to be gaming too.

Apollo 11 is more in the ‘experience’ box than the ‘game’ box, but what it does offer is something to spend an evening with, rather than just a slice of an evening. It’s a signpost to a VR future which simulates fantastic voyages, not simply hands-off lollygagging at something for a heartbeat. It’s also, like almost everything else I’ve tried, an all-too-able demonstration of current VR’s limitations, but I guess I’m starting to take that for granted now.

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The First Must-Have VR App: Virtual Desktop

VR, be it Vive, be it Oculus Rift or something else, is currently primarily discussed in terms of games, but given that what we’re fundamentally talking about is a new paradigm for computer displays, that’s hardly the be all and end all of it. There may well be various applications of VR in other fields – medical, scientific, tourism, military, porn, to name but a few – but general desktop computing is something that pretty much all of us have in common.

A question which has occurred to me since almost the earliest days of this stuff has been “can I use VR goggles instead of a monitor?” Less physical space but more virtual space, and the possibility of doing Minority Report-y things with the operating system. Virtual Desktop is the first attempt at meaningfully answering that question, and it’s about as essential a VR application as there is right now – but it also demonstrates why the technology just isn’t quite there yet.

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HTC Insists Vive Deliveries On Track Despite Complaints

Lately there’s been no small amount of worry that folk who pre-ordered Valve & HTC’s future-goggles weren’t likely to get them at the predicted time – which, for the first-wave of adopters, should be any day now. With reports of payments being automatically cancelled, deliveries being delayed and express shipping add-ons defaulting back to economy, folk were getting shaky – especially as the more definite delays to Oculus Rift shipments had set something of a precedent. The future might be here, but getting it into a cardboard box and onto a lorry is another matter entirely, it seems.

HTC have now broken cover about the problems, attempting to clear things up and reassure people that they’re not looking at major delays.
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