Frogshark on TV! Overall a bit weird, awkward and funny to see 90 minutes reduced down to a couple seconds of screen time.
We think there is a bright future for Virtual Reality.
With the sense of “presence” in the virtual world, interacting with another person brings a new level of connection and wonder in virtual space.
Forget uncanny valley for a moment, ignore the dreary march toward realism, even just mapping positional movement and rotation of a person’s head is distinctly, recognizably human. Two cubes (players) are able to tell that they are both human, interact and communicate with just that alone.
Above comic panel from Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.
Non-default communication systems that encourage, emotional expression, the emergence of new, player created, in-game languages and efficient co-operative and competitive – sometimes deceptive – communicative behavior have a massive potential.
Exploring imaginative worlds together with friends, actual “social” games will be amazing.
The Facebook purchase was a stomach drop, an unexpected sour taste. It could have been inevitable and unavoidable since the venture capital relationship. We can look on the bright side with the increased chance of mass adoption, lower cost of product, easier R&D. The thought that if VR is what we hope, if Oculus succeeds beyond what we expect, knowing a company like Facebook is leading things is just heart breaking.
Sony’s Project Morpheus is a massive win. They have the ability to bring VR to the mainstream, push innovation, make things “just work” for the consumer. Long term though, I do have a lot of concerns for them.
“…so that when makes it to a new place, people with at home can feel like they’re right with them.”
Hardware limits push for less focus on graphics. Presence is priority. Where once we expected to be more than happy with head tracking and screens in front of our eyes, we realize we need perfection like never before. Lag means motion sickness. Unintended movements, bad calibration, camera jumps are actually physically bad. Resolution so close to your eyes so obviously needs increasing.
The Valve holodeck experience from Steam Dev Days.
The good news is, the technology is nearly ready.
The exciting thing is that lot still to learn.
There seems to be a push for “360 degree video”, which sounds cool but I have a lot of concerns… The majority of motion sickness comes from your brain believing its actually moving in virtual space, but it receiving contradictory physical stimulus – the opposite reasoning but same effect as car sickness.
If an actor, or camera man is jumping around, running or moving where you don’t intend; it could be bad. There are things to work out…
Virtual cinema screens while seemingly unimaginative, could actually be amazing in certain situations like for long plane trips. Feel as though you have left your cramped seat and escape to a complete virtual cinema just for you.
Virtual School trips to the actual places of study. Virtual reality educational experiences.
I think there is a big potential for Neurotech integration. You already have something on your head anyway, why not seamlessly introduce biometrics and brainwave monitoring?
Warp is a VR experiment built by Alexey and I for the Oculus VRjam 2013. We played it quite safe (read: boring) in terms of gameplay but spent a lot of time focusing on the feel, the experience, visual aesthetic and usability. While a bad game, I feel like the experiment was a success in that (from what I have seen) nobody has been given motion sickness by it, at least not to the degree of some first person controlled experiences. Its sort of a perfect “seated experience”. We managed this by keeping the overall movement in the world always going forward, in a single direction, no weird movement, no unintended jumps, no scene changes and ALWAYS allowing for player head movement to be one-to-one.
While cliche, we loved the idea of a spaceship cockpit simulator. With limited time, resources and the acceptance that there are a lot of them on the way, we wondered if a third person view of a player controller ship would work at all in VR. It did.
Part two will discuss peripherals and augmented reality.