VRcade Sets Its Sights on the Next Leap in Immersive Gaming
Using the Oculus Rift, VRcade’s engineers are designing what they believe will become the future of virtual entertainment.
May 8, 2013
By Peter Brown, Editor
The Oculus Rift has single-handedly revived public interest in virtual reality and it represents a tremendous leap forward from the immature head-mounted display tech that was touted so passionately in the ’90s. For developers interested in advancing the field of immersive gaming, it has already proven to be a catalyst of sorts, inspiring unexpected and offbeat experiences after a few weeks of experimentation (guillotine simulator, anyone?). It’s opening up previously unexplored avenues of expression for some creators, since it’s likely the first reason they’ve seriously considered designing software for virtual reality.
But there are some people and teams who live and breathe the hunt for immersion. They’ve waited years for the realization of virtual reality (wrap your head around that) to occur, and the Rift’s arrival is finally opening doors for projects that were previously roadblocked due to the lack of a viable headset. The team at VRcade in Seattle, which started tinkering with concepts for a large-scale virtual reality system back in 2010, saw the Rift’s wide field-of-view as the solution to their problem. They wasted no time in applying the display to their existing system designs, even going so far as to develop their own Rift-equivalent HMD in the interim between ordering and receiving their dev kit.
For their version of a holodeck brought to life, they’ve coordinated a system with full body and prop motion tracking working in conjunction with the Rift, designed to deliver a range of experiences like virtual laser tag and haunted house tours, to name a few. Promisingly, there’s already a working scale model of their system, with a handful of concept demos that showcase its unique capabilities. GameSpot recently had the chance to take a crack at a trio of early VRcade demos, and despite their unfinished state, each provided an excellent case for the team’s proposed version of advanced virtual reality. Read more on VRcade sets its sights on the next leap in immersive gaming…