Not enough development … too much VR

It’s been three weeks since my last post, and I haven’t done anything further with my Hexagon game, or anything really. I’ve been too busy with other things, namely Insomnia Gaming Festival.

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The Venue – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mpuk/albums

Last weekend was Insomnia Ireland, a gaming festival and LAN event. It’s the first time Insomnia has been to Ireland and it went so well. I was there as a volunteer helping run the event on live days (Friday-Sunday) and setup/pack down the event before and after it started. I was stationed on the VR area for the weekend, we had a HTC Vive and an Oculus Rift available or the attendees to play on. The Vive absolutely blew the Oculus out of the water, room-scale VR is just so much better than stationary VR. Before this weekend I had tried the Oculus at Insomnia Scotland in April, and it didn’t live up to my expectations of what VR should be, well the Vive did! Playing on the Vive was immensely immersive, I can honestly say that you feel like you’re in the game.

My first experience with the Vive was in Space Pirate Trainer, which is the game we had set up for the public to play on. Once the public had all left we cracked out The Brookhaven Experiment, a survival zombie-shooter, which was really quite good, although a bit buggy at times (we were only playing the demo after all). It does what it’s meant to, it scares you if you let it. You need to get in the right frame of mind to beat it, if you go into it thinking “How scary can this be?” you’ll soon find out. You only have a limited amount of ammo so you really need to make every shot count, and when you focus on that the scariness really dies down a bit, although the game can still creep up on you, especially if you forget to check behind you. Unseen Diplomacy¬†was another game I tried, it’s impressive because it really bends your perception of reality while you’re in the game. In reality you’re in a 4x3m space, in the game it feels like you’re moving throughout an entire building climbing through air vents, dodging lasers and searching for key cards. After you’ve played the game it’s hard to accept that you did all of that inside such a small space.

We had the Oculus set up for Dreamdeck, looping through various scenes so the attendees could basically be a floating camera within that scene. It wasn’t as good as the Vive, in my opinion.

With how good the Vive was, I’m feeling that now I need to buy one.

I was planning to write some stuff about the rest of Insomnia Ireland, but this post is long enough. That will have to be in another post … maybe.

If you’ve reached this far, I have one thing to say, you should be a volunteer at Insomnia! The next ones in Birmingham at The NEC. Apply here now.

Author: George Vicarey

I'm a university student on my placement (third) year of studying Computer Science (Games), I'm using my placement to start an Indie Game Studio - Indie Voodoo. Game development is my passion and this blog expresses that passion.

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