It’s launch day madness around the internet today. Developers are launching their new VR ready games and experiences in the Steam store, Vive’s are showing up at people’s houses, we’re giving away a smooth cover from VR Cover, and videos are popping up left and right featuring some exciting experiences. Today, Valve released a mixed-reality video which does a really good job at showing external viewers what someone is doing in the virtual space.
Valve carved out some space in their office and filled it with green from wall to floor. This provided an easy method to blend the two realities into one for us to watch and almost get a sense of how cool of an experience the user must be having.
Valve brings several groups into the studio for this video project and also shoots some at an offsite location. One group that goes to the office looks like a family of four. The young girl goes into a virtual field where she and her robot best friend play fetch. The girl’s sincerity was inspiring as she looks at her digital pet, kneels down to pet it, and even throws a stick for it to retrieve.
She was immersed.
There’s another scene you may not notice at first, it took a second watch for us to notice, but there’s a guy with the Vive headset on and one controller in his hand. A second person standing in front of him actually tosses the controller at him, knowing the guy with the headset is practically blindfolded to the outside world yet he catches the powered-on controller, because he can see inside the display of his headset. He didn’t bobble the controller, he perfectly angles his hand, which he couldn’t see, and makes an accurate stab at the handle of the controller.
Watching these people’s experiences from this perspective starts to draw the viewer in. Popular developers have pioneered this method of storytelling, but it’s the multiple experiences from several different titles blended into one video that sparks the idea of the possibilities. It shows the community that this isn’t just a single user experience it’s a multi-user/mixed-environment experience. The next best thing would involve multiple people wearing virtual reality systems and being able to interact with the each other and the same environment. We know some games like Raw Data have showcased this, but not many consumers will be in the same area and have their entire setup with them.
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