Examining The FULL Aperture VR Demo - ValveTime Spotlight Exclusive

Discussion in 'News' started by Omnomnick, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    As we mentioned during our latest Round-Up episode, I was recently lucky enough to be able to attend a virtual reality Game Jam in London this past weekend where three different HTC Vive developer kits were used to create mini-gameplay experiences over a 36 hour period. The Playhub-hosted event was heavily supported by Valve and HTC, with representatives such as Chet Faliszek helping to organise the jam and the final "Show & Tell" segment on Monday evening.

    While the Show & Tell segment was mostly focused on the Game Jam titles, a lot of the attendees were far more focused on trying out the Aperture VR Demo originally previewed to developers and press back at GDC 2015. The demo was undeniably the highlight of the event, providing an incredibly immersive experience set right in the heart of the most highly detailed version of Aperture Science created thus far. Since it might be a while until most people get to experience the demo for themselves, we decided to record a full playthrough of the "game" and upload it to YouTube to show off just how game-changing the HTC Vive's technology may be.

    The video linked below features a full playthrough of the Aperture VR Demo complete with play-by-play commentary explaining more about the Playhubs event while running through exactly what the player is seeing and hearing. The video linked at the bottom of this article also features a full playthrough of the demo, except this time with no commentary at all.

    With Commentary

    Without Commentary

    Given these videos are the first on YouTube to show the Aperture VR Demo in its entirety, we would really appreciate it if you could share this video with your friends, to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and to check out our previous content! Thanks for watching.
     
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    #1 Omnomnick, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  2. Vincent Pride

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    So basically they've come up with game design where you're standing on a small platform for the entire game and the world is moving / changing around you. It's like the next level of dumping down - first consoles killed aiming, now VR is going to kill the movement. Good job.
     
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  3. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

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    Ironific
     
  4. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    You can stop spamming this now. You think I haven't noticed it on both videos?
     
  5. Vincent Pride

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    I consider my opinion valuable - so people should definitely see it more often :finger:
     
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  6. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    Given you more than likely haven't actually tried the Vive or the Aperture demo, I'd say your opinion was no more valuable than anyone else's.
     
  7. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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    Valve and a lot of other developers keep saying that they don't know what a great VR game looks like; that today is analogous to the Atari days. That's why there's been so many VR jams and dev kits being handed out - so they can try to find those mechanics that will work really well.

    We do know that the general experience is very special, though. Just ask anyone that has tried this demo. So chill the **** out. ;)
     
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  8. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    I could actually see this work really well with live escape games. You know, the games where you're locked in a room with conspicuous clues and have to find your way out.
     
  9. Spamming Tanks

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    VR has always seemed like one of those things which only works well with certain genres. "Myst" like games, for example.

    I really do hope that developers don't add VR mechanics into games for the sake of being trendy.
     
  10. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

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    These kinds of statements throw me for a loop. I just don't understand what the big problem is with plugging in a VR renderer as a decoupled camera on top of a traditional mouse+keyboard setup, or why a game like that wouldn't be doing justice to VR. Mouse or right thumbstick aims, WASD or left thumbstick moves you, VR rotates the viewport relative to the aiming vector. Maybe motion sickness is a bigger hurdle than I'm thinking, but surely people can get used to it...

    As an outsider, it seems to me like developers are focusing so hard on the paradigm shift of physical/"presence" immersion that they're losing sight of the "game" component of VR. And I mean, that's a good thing in the early days of a new medium, but I just don't see many of these... I'm gonna call them "novelty room"... experiments panning out in terms of being the new standard of gaming. (You may call it closed-mindedness, but I call it skepical realism :V). Immersion is never a bad thing, and the sense of presence you get from VR is, from what I hear, absolutely mind-blowing, but once you get over the fact that you're slicing digital vegetables in a digital kitchen with 1:1 representation while being limited in-game to the walkable space of your real living room, aren't you going to want to sit down and play some CSGO or GTA V in VR instead, or try out a reincarnation of Hidden Source with 1:1 wallclimbing?

    I just don't get it. "We don't know what a great VR game looks like." Yes we do! It's a videogame made with VR rendering and 1:1 motion controls in mind. We already have VR, we already have motion control, we already have videogames, now we're just putting them together. It's like people are expecting a magical medium leap in the style of "music evolves into movies" based on the overwhelming novelty of VR presence and statements of hype. What happened in the shift from 2D to 3D in videogames? We didn't get some ineffable manifestation of the universe and the godhead's fractal self-experience... we got 3D evolutions of 2D games. So what else would VR gaming be if not "3D games in virtual reality"?
     
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  11. MFL

    MFL AlbatrossofTime

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    VR has no gaems.
     
  12. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

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    I think that line is treating differently "games with VR support" and "a VR game".
    i.e. It's about games designed to fully exploit the opportunities provided by VR rather than tacking the feature on, as with, say, Tf2.
     
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  13. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

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    It still strikes me as a romanticisation of the medium. Consider platformers - a "platformer with 3D support" is a 2.5D platformer, while a 3D platformer is decidedly a different experience. But there isn't any mystery in the middle when you think about it. Looking backwards, it's just 2D platforming put into a 360 degree horizontal space. Shooters, too, are largely the same - there was already pseudo-3D in the Build engine era, and now with full 3D FPSes you can look up and down and aim at particular angles while doing the same shooty things you did before. Increased world scope and size, increased precision of input and control, increased video and audio quality... the rest comes down to variations on narrative and mechanics between each title.

    I don't believe the VR gaming revolution will be so much more than the sum of its parts that we can't yet imagine what it will look like. It will be 3D games like we already have, but with increased control precision and the same kind of "wow!" factor we got in the jump from 2D to 3D (although probably a more powerful one). As much as VR games will be different, they'll also be just the same as they always were. We've already tried to make our way as close as we can to VR without actual VR anyway, e.g. through control methods/mechanics trying to abstract-away the gap between a hand and a keyboard, and a keyboard and a game world. VR just makes it easier to bridge that gap.
     
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