Tag Archives: virtual reality
In case you missed it, Indie Arcade, an annual event hosted by the Smithsonian Museum of Art and American University’s Game Lab, featured 20 indie game developers this year. The games ranged from tabletop to choose-your-own-adventure to VR, most of them family-friendly and nonviolent. Although only the pop-up event was open for six hours, Indie Arcade pulled in over 4,000 people and exposed the public to the lesser known side of gaming. Below are some of the games we thought were pretty cool:
Dead Man’s Trail
Dead Man’s Trail is a zombie mobile game for both iOS and Android. Similar to the Oregon Trail series, the player will select a vehicle, keep the travelers happy (and healthy), and stock up on supplies in randomly generated cities. Unlike Oregon Trail, the player can loot in cities. However, taking too much will slow down the travelers as they run from the zombie horde back to their vehicle. Currently the release date is unknown.
The Town of Light
Winner of several awards, including GDC Awards’ Excellence in Story & Storytelling , The Town of Light takes place in a psychiatric hospital where the player will discover what’s happened to the other patients. Based on real places and events, The Town of Light gives us a glance of the history of psychiatric therapy, and it’s pretty scary. The Town of Light will be released on February 26th and will be compatible with the Oculus Rift.
Two players will face off and steal as much money as possible, even from each other in this strategy game. Play as animal banditos, shooting banks for their gold, and your opponents to steal. Winner of several awards last year, Fuego! is a fun PC game where the player will solve abstract problems and predict his opponent’s moves. Fuego! is currently available on Steam and Windows.
Trackoons is a silly little game similar to Mario Kart. Play with seven other local players as stuffed raccoons running a race. The only problem is that all of them are too full to jump the hurdles! Players will swap with each other to hit an obstacle and force each other to quit the race in downtown Toronto. Winner is the last survivor. Trackoons is available for free here.
To preface, let me just say that virtual reality is not a gimmick. It’s not going anywhere. And it could change your life for better or worse. Tomorrow. Imagine for a moment that you own a private island. And you can go to it whenever you like in an instant. Or perhaps a tea room in a bamboo forest, where you can meditate while five of your children destroy your suburban household.That fantasy is a present option of the Samsung Gear VR, the future of wireless virtual reality technology. We took the new Innovator Edition powered by Oculus for a spin and had the most intensely original technology experience Tech Void has encountered. Still interested? Read on below for our full review of the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4G from AT&T.
HTC and Valve collaborated to create Vive, a VR headset you can use with your favorite Steam games. For now, the developer edition won’t be out until sometime this spring, and the release for consumers won’t be until the holiday season. The Vive will, however, have a huge launch this week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, allowing attendees to try out the “Steampowered” VR headset.
The developer edition has a 1200 x 1080 pixel screen for each eye, refreshing at a rate of 90 frames per second. HTC claims the Vive exhibits photorealistic imagery that will immerse your entire field of vision, no matter the direction. Because of the complete immersion, the Vive removes the nauseating jitter and lag that was common in previous VR-tech. The gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position work together simultaneously to give players the most natural view of their virtual environment. These three sensors follow users’ head rotation, even if tilted as little as 1/10 of a degree.
Aside from the visuals, the controllers are ergonomic. Yes, there are two; one for each hand. The controllers themselves are tracked through space, although HTC doesn’t explain how. However, with two controllers, this may give the Vive a more comfortable shift from computer keyboards and mouses used by most current Steam players. It also gives the developers more options for in-game activities and interactions.
Of course, since this headset is only for visual entertainment, gamers have to plug-in their own headphones on the side of the Vive. You also have the option of connecting with the Steam VR base stations, which will allow you to physically walk around the virtual world, as long as the area has 15 x 15 feet of room. It’s about as close to a Star Trek hologram as you can get right now.
The Vive could also be giving Oculus and other VR tech a a run for its money, because the Steam network is so well-established. Game developers will continue to be added to the partners list. In addition, partners like Google, HBO, or Lionsgate have signed on. We’re not exactly certain what they have in mind, but perhaps HBO and Lionsgate will be investing in more interactive TV and film entertainment built specifically for VR, and Google will turn Streetview into a digital vacation via Google Earth.
Can you even imagine the virtual implications of this technology? The sky is the limit. Personally, I think it would be pretty cool to walk around Paris or Game of Thrones’ Westeros, but there haven’t been any announcements.