As hyped as I was for Skyrim VR, I was very worried that it wasn't going to be all that great. First releasing on the PS4 and also being a nearly eight year old game, I just figured Bethesda would have put a small team on the VR project to make a quick port. Thankfully, the game is a great VR version, but not perfect.
To say that I was hyped for the movie adaptation of Ready Player One is a massive understatement. I had read the book early last year (well, I listened to it on Audible while I would jog) and really enjoyed it, so I was just excited to see a Spielberg directed film version of it. I am also a massive fan of so many of the references and my family as a whole are huge into films and video games from the 70s and 80s, so just seeing all of these in a single film was obviously going to be a treat for my eyes. And of course, as someone who has now jumped into the VR industry, I have a lot of hype (and hope) for what it will do for bringing VR to the mainstream.
I recently saw some gameplay of an upcoming VR game for the PSVR called Bravo Team and it shares a common issue that a lot of moderate budget games have as well as games releasing on more mainstream VR platforms like the PSVR. They have some decent polish to them and look like they will offer a lot of content/play time to the player but when it comes to their gameplay mechanics they are dull and take no chances. When I saw the gameplay video linked below, I couldn’t help but think to myself the whole time that I was looking at some gameplay of a mobile game for phones and tablets, and that sucks.
We did it! We had our first mobile VR event and it was a success. No one hit each other while in VR, no one got motion sick, no one broke any of the VR gear or the PCs, and most importantly everyone had a lot of fun.
This sentence, or a form similar to it, fills the comments sections on YouTube trailers, Reddit posts, Facebook videos, etc… for so many VR game announcements. Just recently, I saw it happen for the YouTube teaser trailer for Cyan, the company that made classic Myst games and more recently Obduction, which is called Firmament.
I came across a post on /r/vive recently that talked about mixed reality (not the Windows platform) and seeing the same player in the gameplay recording and it got me thinking about player avatars from the player's perspective in VR games. Should we have a standard/shared player avatar with our stats linked to our profiles (SteamVR, Oculus, etc...)?
CNBC recently released THIS article titled "Most teens can't afford a virtual reality headset, so they're going to VR arcades instead" and, for anyone paying even the slightest attention to the VR scene, it is very well known that VR is expensive, and in most cases prohibitively so. Many kids and younger gamers around 13-18 years old are typically gaming on a console due to the larger up front cost for PC gaming. If PC gaming is expensive, then VR PC gaming is much more so. While the PSVR has provided a decent VR experience, it still falls short in the quality of tracking and lack of room-scale VR, which is where PC VR is excelling.
I guess Phase one is coming to a close, which has been a lot of the prep work and getting Digital Worlds legally set up as a business. Phase two is starting the mobile, direct-to-consumer VR. I'm going to start out with two PCs for doing birthdays and corporate events. This way, we can do some simple multiplayer co-op and/or competitive stuff. Maybe if things take off, then I can buy the gear for two more mobile stations and we can allow groups of four people playing at a time for the mobile stuff.
Towards the end of 2017 I, like pretty much every one else, posted my favorite stuff from the year. In this case, it was my favorite VR stuff that year. It was a list I put together pretty late and quick. I've been very busy working one job and then in October deciding to open Digital Worlds took up most of my spare time. I sought to make a list that included some categories that not everyone would think of. Maybe this year I'll have more time to get even more creative. Like with any of these "Top" lists, there's some controversy, so I figured I would put together this post explaining my logic. I made the list to help people find those quality VR experiences, so this list gives the logic there.
After a little over a month of waiting, the lawyers and the state of Tennessee are done reviewing my forms and Digital Worlds LLC is now officially and legally a business!
2017 was a great year for VR. We saw traditional AAA developers/publishers get more invested in VR and we saw a lot of quality VR games made by new developers. There was a lot of cool new hardware this year, like the Deluxe Audio Strap and the TPCast. Sadly for me, towards the end of the year I really didn't have a lot of time to spend in VR as I was so busy planning and building Digital Worlds LLC, so there will be a lot of things missing on here that maybe should have made some lists, so I'll include a section at the bottom for those games that I never got to try. Also, for keep an eye out for my "Reasons For My 2017 Picks" blog post that will explain all of these. Anyhow, on to the awards.